Alcoholism · Body Image Issues · Health · Sobriety · Uncategorized · Weight loss

Body Image Issues

e89a71fe5b0d6a706f3c60188f553b3f

When a person starts drinking heavily,  they start to gain weight, mostly in the abdomen area. And for women, this can create some really uncomfortable body image issues, especially if they already have low self esteem.

This is what happened to me after I started drinking excessively. I was having a really hard time with narcissistic family members who were so disrespectful and childish to me. It made me feel like I wasn’t worthy to be part of my husband’s family. I felt self-conscious and would feel hurt if someone was laughing behind my back (which happened a lot).  So every night, we put a bottle of wine out of its misery. It was a ritual; one that we dare not break for fear of the dreaded DT’s. “What harm could it do?” we thought, as we poured another glass. “We’re not driving or operating heavy machinery.”

Harm. It did some harm, all right. To my waistline, my self esteem, my moods, and the way I reacted to the negative energy around me.

It did a lot of harm.

To everything I loved, including my fit and healthy lifestyle.

It was battle of the bulge, and I was losing. Wine: 1. Emily: 0.

This went on until I realized that no matter how much I exercised, I was not burning the fat in my ever-expanding belly, thighs, and butt. It just wasn’t possible unless I benched 250 everyday for months. And that simply isn’t possible. I think I can dead-lift 30 pounds at the most.

I kept running and I would do squats and other body weight exercises occasionally, but it was futile; I had some strength in my legs from running, but that was it. The pounds just kept coming.

And so did the negative energy. It’s not easy being a very small, shy girl in this decade. People are hurtful. Unless you look like Kate Upton or Kim K, they pretty much dismiss you as trash, and I was dismissed all right. Tossed aside with ugly words and dirty looks. I’ve always been funny looking, but alcohol made me look a lot worse.

e43a63b506c69a2c82a92e0e50768ac1

I coped with crying and burying myself under the covers; and alcohol. So much alcohol. It was a vicious circle. The more depressed I got, the more I drank.

And from all this foolishness, I gained 20 pounds; but I’m trading in those pounds for self esteem, self care, happiness, joy, and a healthy, fit body. The body I used to have. The body that could run for miles like a tiger. That’s the body I want, and the body I deserve.

a349210246d18aba66158cff691dbea8

Body image issues don’t have to be a part of our lives forever. I believe that if we forgive ourselves for doing things to our bodies that aren’t healthy or are harmful, then we can begin the healing process. We also need to forgive those who have hurt us; not because they deserve it, but because it will help us to heal from the pain. No one likes to be called fat, ugly or worse; but forgiveness is the critical first step in moving on.

0cc3f53f7c2bfc261db030ed73669015

Loving ourselves is so important too. It may seem impossible now (believe me, I’ve been there), but loving ourselves in a healthy way is job one. Self-care is a way to love yourself; shave your legs, go for a walk, and put healthy food into your body. Those simple steps are a way to show yourself love.

39e66afc5bbd472bd974db4442b82b17

Changing our mindset. Oh, how important this is. I had to do it straight away because my original mindset was “I’m not worthy, and I can’t do anything right.” Now my mindset is “I’m created in His image, and God loved me so much that He gave His son for me.” Genesis 1:27, John 3:16. Changing our mindset can also be about replacing negative thoughts that bombard our minds with good thoughts. Cast out the negative, wicked, and depressing thoughts, and replace them with good ones. Write them down and read them aloud to yourself. It will improve your mood and help you climb out of the rut of a negative mindset.

12729bfbf2d60c10ec371c9a51c6a394

Exercise. This is a no-brainer for someone like me who is into running, weight lifting, and other outdoor activities. But when someone is depressed or hungover (or both), who wants to exercise? I get that, yet it’s so important to keep the body moving. Endorphins make us feel good, and that’s a great pick-me-up for someone with body image issues.

f83c3426112482e4b375e2fd8bdf9468

These are just a few of the things (in addition to God’s Word) that I’m applying to my life to climb out of the rut and live a healthier, happier life. I know it’s hard to live with the body image issues that come with alcohol abuse; it’s one of the things I hate most about it. But there is hope, and there is a healthier happier ‘me’ on the other side of the spectrum. I just need to go after her.

Resources:

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Rm 12:2 Taken from 15 Positive Body Image Bible Verses, via Marie Osborne.

Body Image Activities from A Year Without Mirrors

The Struggle to be Skinny: What Does God Have to Say About It? From RockT.his

Disclaimer:

Everything I have written in this post is strictly my opinion. I am neither getting paid or endorsing a product or website. I am simply sharing my experience and what has worked for me in my current situation. Also, I am not offering medical advice or recommending that someone exchange professional advice for what I am offering here.

 

index

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alcoholism · Health · Running · Sobriety · Weight loss

Happy Good (Sober) Friday

Red Glass Alcohol Spill Red Wine Liqueur Spot

Happy Good (Sober) Friday to everyone. It’s a great day for me. I am cutting back on my drinking, and it’s exciting to finally have a handle on something that was a succubus in our lives.

Alcohol is one of those things that is supposed to make normal things ‘fun;’ parties, dances, sporting events, you name it. But the more you drink, the less fun your life becomes. In fact, it can turn into a real train wreck. Your health is affected, and your behavior changes dramatically. What was once a sweet, shy little lady who loved the Lord and enjoyed peaceful evenings in front of the TV is now a hateful, angry, loudmouth who isn’t happy unless she gets her way.

The bottles fill up the recycling bin, which is of course embarrassing, but the cravings are so fierce that the need for another drink trumps the embarrassment.

Life becomes a real ordeal; friendships are destroyed, and other relationships are tarnished because of the habit. It’s never a good scenario, and it doesn’t have a happy ending until someone gains control of their habit. Which is what I did. I decided enough is enough. It’s time for me to gain control of my drinking and say ‘yes’ to a happy, fulfilled, blessed life in the Lord. So here’s what I did:

Red wine is my drink of choice, so I decided to cut down to one glass a night. Just one (actually, two 4-ounce glasses with dinner) and nothing else. Last night was my first night, and today I feel amazing. I am so thankful that God has answered my prayer and has helped me curb my excessive drinking habit.

I finally feel in control, and I know my health will benefit greatly because of it. I am ready to tackle things that were too hard for me before like weight training, losing weight, and getting in shape. I’m excited about what God is going to do in my life now. The possibilities are endless.

Disclaimer:

If you or someone you love has an alcohol problem, I urge you to pray and ask that the habit be broken by God’s healing grace. However, most people who are excessive drinkers need professional help. I urge you or your loved one(s) to seek this help, because it is the safest, and most effective way to break the addiction. I will have resources available at the end of this post.

Even though being sober means cutting out alcohol 100%, I decided it was best for me to cut back for now; that way I don’t feel deprived. I’m drinking wine the way I used to: slowly and gracefully. So I can still enjoy the taste and not have to worry about cravings when my husband is also having a glass of wine or a beer.

We also have whiskey and vodka in the house; but I’m less likely to overindulge in those, thank God. Maybe this weekend I’ll have a shot with my husband while watching a game. I learned the hard way that I can’t drink wine and then have a strong drink: it makes me crazy. So it’s either one or the other. Since I am cutting back anyway, that seems like a good idea to me.

I’m so thankful to God for His healing grace and love. He has been so patient with me through the difficulties, the pain, the shame, and the body image issues (I’ve put on 20+ pounds thanks to this habit), and I’m ready to give my all to Him so He can heal my body from the inside out.

The body is affected greatly by alcohol; and all of them lead to health problems. Here is an article that I read yesterday online about how excessive drinking affects every area of the body. It was a real eye opener. I’ve experienced a few of these and it’s not fun. I’m praying some of the damage will be reversed as I begin to take better care of my body with vitamins, nutritious food, exercise, and medical care.

Easter is going to be a special weekend for me indeed, because I’ll be sober enough to enjoy it. It’s going to just be the two of us, so no church functions, but we’ll get out and enjoy the fresh air and God’s creation. I’m looking forward to it, and I feel so blessed to have this new leash on life.

Alcohol abuse is a real thing; and it requires medical care if someone has been an alcoholic for a long time. It’s a disease. And if you or your loved one is struggling with alcoholism, I urge them to seek help right away. Here are some resources for you, and I pray that it is helpful to you.

Schick-Shadel Hospital in Seattle

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Find The Best Rehab For You

Top 10 Rehab Centers

Disclaimer:

This post is purely personal experience and opinion. I am not a professional, nor do I claim to present myself as such. The information herein is completely taken from my point of view, and is not intended to replace professional medical advice.

This post may contain affiliate links, from which I earn a commission when a visitor clicks on a link and makes a purchase. I post these items because I like the products, and any information given is strictly my opinion, and is not an official statement that I’ve made with the company.

banner

Running · Training · Uncategorized · Weight loss

Running Past The Finish Line

3ffe25695dba990efac0839cbd24cdc7

Excuses, Excuses

For the past few years I’ve wanted to run a marathon, but I wasn’t prepared to put in the work. The long, difficult training seemed to be too daunting for someone at my age, who is passed her prime and who is carrying a few extra pounds. I also deal with ankle pain from time to time, thanks to a serious bicycle accident 3 years ago. But these are all just excuses. Excuses that I let take root in my mind. The roots of these excuses permeated my thinking, and crowded out any motivation that I had to continue training for the marathon. The roots dug deep into my psyche, allowing no room for progression or success.

Running I Shall: Train I Shall Not

I did continue to run, but train I did not. I would start a program, and then stop. I did this multiple times; and once you make the same mistakes over and over again, it becomes a decision. I decided that a marathon wasn’t for me. The tree began getting stronger, and the roots embedded themselves deep into my brain; the excuses became decisions, reasons, and alibis.

Then one day something clicked.

The reason my body wasn’t ready to train for a marathon was because it wasn’t strong enough. After my bicycle accident in 2014, I started running very slowly until I could run 10 miles comfortably. I got back on the bike and enjoyed hiking with my husband. But I did virtually no strength training. And my running suffered for it.

No More Running For Me!

Fast forward to 2017, and my thin, lean body became a study in fat collection. I put on 20 pounds, and most of it rested in my gut. It made it very difficult to run, and I basically gave up in March of this year. “No more running for me,” I said. “I’m done–now I just lift weights.” When I made this announcement, I pictured my Facebook friends looking at their phones and rolling their eyes, because they knew I was full of it. They knew I would return to running.

And by golly, they were right!

I just finished a nice, relaxing 4 mile run, and the endorphins are flying all over the place. I feel great, and I’m excited about my training plan that I am now following. I’m determined to see this thing through because I’m not getting any younger (I’m now part of the over 40 crowd), and it’s either now or never. My only regret is that I didn’t do this sooner. That I let the excuses take over my mind and crowd out the reality that I do love running, and I always will.

Run Past The Finish Line

I know that once I run past that finish line, all the hard work will be worth it. I will have achieved a goal, and it will feel awesome. There’s no try: lace up, show up, and go!

Photo credit: Brittneymasseyphoto.com via Pinterest

Save