Too Many Fat Tuesdays

It is Fat Tuesday.

All over people are scarfing down their last bit of forbidden food that they will then give up for the forty days of Lent.

Chocolate, Pizza. Desserts. Soda.

Paczkis (pronounced “POONCH-key”) are all the rage by us. They are Polish pastries of delight filled with all kinds of goohey goodness–custard, lemon, chocolate, raspberry or the traditional prune. (Yes, prune)

They are big in mid-Michigan where I live.

This scarfing and stuffing—-because tomorrow the deprivation begins—-isn’t just limited to Fat Tuesday.

In my life, I’ve had a lot of Fat Tuesdays.

Dozens.

Maybe hundreds.

And they don’t always fall on a Tuesday.

You see, I’ve been embattled in a knock-down, drag-out fight for over a quarter-century now. Sometimes, I feel the little daily battles that are part of this clash completely defeat me, leaving me helpless and hopeless. And I feel alone in my battle.

What is this battle that consumes me? It is one that many women face. My constant, decades-long skirmish is with food. Or rather with my desire for food. Bad foods. Wrong foods. Or just vast quantities of food.

Six years ago, I felt I’d come to the end of my rope. Severely overweight and reeling from seven different medical conditions, I finally determined to do something decisive so one day with desperate determination, a pair of hand-me-down walking shoes, and my trusty calorie counter in hand, I set off to religiously follow a weight-loss and exercise regimen. And follow it I did — to the T!

Eleven months later, I’d dropped over 100 pounds. All my health conditions disappeared without any medication and I felt better than I had in my twenties. I boldly determined that never, EVER again would I let that weight creep back on.

Fast forward a few years. And a few life stresses, husband’s layoffs and periods of laziness later.

I hate to admit that, sadly, I again turned to food instead of to God. I made it my comfort; my distraction; my tranquilizer; my friend.

However, this familiar “friend” quickly became my archenemy. Over the course of these few years, I’ve  gained back almost half of the weight I’d lost! Now entrenched in the thick of the battle again, I am weary and weak; embarrassed and embittered.

And so I vow to start again.

But before I start, I have myself my own little private “Fat Tuesday” (bad-food binge) and vow that TOMORROW, I’ll start over and give up the fattening foods.

Only tomorrow I feel such guilt and shame that I don’t start over. I spiral down.

And I vow to start over.

Again.

I want to stop starting over. I want to stop needing to start over.

It amazes me that with all the fabulous resources out there (even good, spiritually based ones like Made to Crave and Reshaping it All—both  written by friends of mine!) so many of us gals still struggle.

Friend, I have no clever tips for you today.

No three-step plans or sure-fire cures.

Just understanding.  And empathy.

If you are someone who too is embroiled in the battle. I get you. I’m with you.

I understand. I know what t means to vow to start over. Again and again and again.

Pray for me? I’ll pray for you.

Tomorrow is a new day.

(and tomorrow the paczkis will also be half-off so lets stay away from the bakery!)

photo credit

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46 Comments

  1. Is there anyone here who would like to be accountability partners and report our weigh-in progress via email each week? My accountability partner that I had while I lost the majority of my weight is pregnant – if anyone is interested in weighing on Mondays and emailing results, please email me at marjorie.goble@yahoo.com

  2. Well you’re not alone. So resonated with this one. I too lost weight, felt great, and now have gained half of it back. But no…no more Fat Tuesdays. I cannot handle this situation on my own. And so I’m returning to what I know to be Truth. God will help me. And so this Lenten season, I’m asking God simply to help me eat as unto Him. I know I can count on His help! And I know I need to be reminded I can’t do it, but He can!

  3. I can relate from the opposite side of the food addition…recovered anorexic that came close to losing her life. I have struggled at time as you have and others…wake up one morning and realize I had dropped too much weight…but God has been at work with me through the years…this is the first year that I truly am ok with the weight that is on me…and I am having a birthday next week so that would put it probably close to 27 years for me to finally really be ok with it. I will pray for you with the starting over…as you can see I had my shares of start overs also. Not really sure when it happened. I have prayed for God’s desires to be my desires for a while now….guess maybe I am getting there. :)

  4. Thank you KAren,
    I recently have been having some health problems and a month ago decided to start working out (in some way) daily and to watch what I was eating. I dropped my daily Mt Dew – cold. But then I ended up with the flu and now restarting is terrible – I always have something that I can do instead of working out. You are in my prayers and keep going – You can do it with God’s help!

  5. I hope you will all turn to PrayFit.com for help and inspiration. Great folks and a great site. Get their daily devotional to help you cope with food and exercise issues.

  6. Karen, I am so walking this walk with you right now. I thank you for your prayers and I will be praying for you too.

  7. Thanks Karen and all of you who have posted. I have struggled with food for 35 years and it can be a lonely battle that many don’t understand. Praise God for new mercies and small steps with him holding our hand

  8. Karen: you read my mind. I tried several things to avoid getting Diabetes, especially since my daughter (at 10 yrs old) was considered Diabetic. I’ve changed the family diet and watched what I eat and exercised regularly. Worked for little girl, but not me. I’ve read Made to Crave twice and still have issues. Consistency helps, I have been told. Pray we are successful this time around!

  9. Karen, your timing is so God Perfect! Just last night I signed up for Weight Watchers on-line to begin, yet again, to start over in my struggle to lose weight. I’m right there with you in the constant struggle in turning to food instead of turning to God. I will be praying for you and appreciate your offer to pray for me. While we’ve never even met, I feel that you are a dear friend and kindred spirit. Thank you for your openness and honesty and sharing your life with us. God Bless you dear friend! :)

  10. Oh thank you so much for sharing! Lent has become a very important time for me and my plan is to pray more nd give some
    Bad habits to God and replace them with the fruit of the spirit. I will be praying for you and I covet your prayers as well. Thanks:)

  11. I love this! I even just realized we live close to each other. I live in Mid-Michigan too! Keep with it. I have had to fight the battle over and over after each baby and I say I will do it easier this time. It never happens. However, I know that making progress is what is important, so I plug on, eating healthier and exercising as often as I can!

  12. Karen, I am with you! I haven’s struggled as long (just cause I am younger)…..but I joined Weight Watchers 2 years ago…and took 7 months to lose 20 pounds…..and then I have gained back 5…..and now I am back to paying to lose it again…..it’s so hard. I also own Made To Crave….and it’s a GREAT book, but sometimes the stress just overwhelms….or the food is so tasty!!!!

  13. Karen,
    We are made of the same cloth. I have struggled too & worshiped the food idol for much too long & now have fatty liver, hypertension, and osteoarthritis. I just re-started my efforts using walking & My Fitness Pal. I have laid my struggle on the altar & praise God for the encouragement I have found in other sisters-in-Christ like you. I will definitely pray for you!!! Thank you so much for touching my heart tonight!
    P.S. I am doing the Let. It. Go. study with Melissa Taylor & small group 42. Love it!
    (((hugs)))) & best wishes,
    Martha

  14. I completely understand and can relate to everything that you shared. I am not Catholic, but participated in Lent for the first time last year. I plan to do it again this year in hopes of breaking free of my destructive habit of turning to food for comfort. We both know that it won’t be easy, but we both know that it can be done. I am not sure if you are interested in a helpful resource, but SparkPeople is a free website that helps you track your meals and fitness. It has videos and ways to connect with others. I have gotten some wonderful support from people that I met on the site. They have motivated me, comforted me when I got the news that my son was being deployed to Afghanistan, and cheered me on. I have exercised daily for the past 42 days and seen progress on the scale. I will be praying for you and for everyone who commented here. I look forward to reading your Praise Report and to cheering you on!!

  15. I too need to “start again”. Praying for you….will you pray for me as I begin again tomorrow too. Thank you for your honesty.

  16. I hear you!! I could eat ANYTHING for so long (past college) in part because all through high school and college I played field hockey, and those first two weeks of pre-season with three-a-day practices would take 10-15 lbs off me. Even when i first started working, and gained some weight, a quick couple of months watching what I ate would easily take it off. Then came the years of NOT getting pregnant (I called mine no-baby weight instead of baby weight, as I’d barely gain weight when I finally was pregnant), and then 43, which brought a screeching halt to weight loss. I now (at 48) have just started treating my thyroid, a heart arrythmia (oh THAT is why I’m always tired…) and am finding I can lose weight. I will be praying for you. I am trying to stay on reading a book, needlework, something to keep my hands busy at night, which is when I eat. Check your physical body too – thyroid? Vit D? these things can wreck havoc on that metabolism.

  17. Karen – Thank you so much for your candor! It warms my heart to know that we are not alone…I have struggled with my weight for the last 17 years…since the birth of my first child. I want to lose like 60 lbs – but everytime i start – like you, I get discouraged. But tomorrow is a new day, and I will strive to each right, and fuel my body!! God Bless you friend.

  18. Karen,

    This really hit home with me today! Just this past weekend I decided to start eating better and trying to exercise more (have not done well on that part yet). it is very hard! But I have been more aware of what I eat. I am just taking it one day, one step at a time so I do not get discouraged and give up like before. I am reading made to crave and I pray it will help me!

    Prayers for you my friend,
    Kristen

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