Finding Happy Again

So, not long ago I told you about some weight issues I had in the past with being afraid of food to loving it too much. I want to tell you about some things that I have been doing to help with this lately.

I am a woman who has birthed four children. They were all about two years apart. Just carrying them takes a toll on the body. Then, add on the sleepless nights, lack of energy to really cook anything healthy, drive through pounds, eating what the kids don’t finish, and overall disregard for self healing and love. This is the formula for the momma who just could not get the pre-baby figure back. Exhaustion was left in the dust.

This went on for years. When life would get me down or I would face a new trial, instead of making healthy choices, I decided to eat my emotions. It was so much easier and convenient. So, no matter how much I tried to really work on the weight, I found myself in a battle against my own will. It just sucked; lots of years spent trying to fight an uphill battle. I was so tired of it.

This past year, after realizing that I really had no idea who I was any longer, I made a decision to find happy again, and that was going to start with my health. I lost happy a long time ago. I hated the way I looked and felt. I hated being tired all the time or not being able to keep up with my family as we went for a hike or simple walk. I didn’t like that I was ashamed of my appearance, and that made me not want to be on the worship team because that was posted live on a very active Facebook page and people would see. I was terrified that people would make a comment or even worse, keep the thoughts to themselves and judge.

These are all things that women deal with. Our brains are wired to care. I just couldn’t take it any longer.

My decision to get healthier started slow. I changed the way I ate. No more fast food. No more crazy sugar. And that soda was out of here. The first step really wasn’t that bad because I found some amazing recipes that were low-carb, but still so delicious that even the family would like. I still cook real food and it’s so good that we really don’t like to eat out any longer. The best part? I know exactly what goes in my food, and I control how much I put on my plate. I also cut down my portion size. I don’t count calories, but I am aware of how much I am putting in my body and what I eat and drink. I still have some cheating moments, but they don’t make me feel bad because I know exactly how to get back on track and quickly.

I also decided that I would be more active. This was harder than changing what I ate. I kept a pretty busy schedule even working from home. I had to make this work and rearrange things so that I could work out when the kids were at school or I had time where they weren’t always around. I started with simple exercises like squats, jumping jacks, push ups, and leg lifts. Even those were hard at first.

I started to do some research on routines and programs that I could do from home. I joined an online community that has over 600 workouts from different trainers, and I choose one every day now (except Sunday). I needed this for some accountability and also to mix it up so I don’t get bored.

I really wanted to kick it in gear for February, so I made a calendar that listed everything I would do for the full 28 days. It included my food menu, workout times and routines, and spaces to weigh and measure myself on the 1st and 14th of the month. I do not check my weight every day or even every week. That gets me discouraged. I rely more on how I feel and how my clothes fit now. I have a 36 year old body that fluctuates and hates change.

This has not been easy for me. I just have a mental battle to fight every day before it’s time to move the coffee table and start the next workout. I push through and it’s worth it. Every rep and every plank is worth the time and effort because I see results and feel so much better. My body is thanking me every day for the healthy choices I am making.

I started before Christmas and my clothes are looser, I am not sick when I eat food, I feel stronger and healthier. When your skinny jeans can’t be your skinny jeans because they are too loose, that’s a victory in this battle. I will take it and work toward my next goal. I am finding happy because I am starting to feel better for myself.

I am not saying that everyone needs to do what I do, but you need to find happy with yourself. Make whatever changes are necessary to do so. If that is changing your health, do it. If that is separating yourself from a toxic relationship, do it. If that is doing something that isn’t necessarily in your comfort zone, do it. Sometimes happy comes at a cost, but I promise you will never regret it.

1 Corinthians 10:31 says, “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” This helps me remember that even if I am just eating a meal, I need to remember that my body is designed to be pure and whole. It matters.

Lord, this life is stressful and it’s hard to keep up with at times. Help us to be more aware of what we are doing to live a life that’s more whole and healthy for you. Amen.

Tara DeMaris

Tara is the founder and president of Titus II Woman Ministries as well as a contributing writer and speaker. She is the wife to David, seventeen years, and the mother to their four children. Together, they make their home in South Dakota. She is a graduate of Crown College and most passionate about reaching the hearts of women globally through mentorship, friendship and God’s Word. “Make history with God and He will make history through you.”

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