OK, I joined Weight Watchers…again! This is my 7th try in 35 years. I think I notice a trend here. In between times, I was introduced to Jenny Craig, Martha Rounds,Mr. Atkins and Jack LaLane. I worked my “weigh” through Curves, NutriSystem, The South Beach Diet, The Grapefruit Diet, The Cabbage Soup Diet and many more as they came along. I have spent several thousand dollars on gym memberships – finally buying all of my own. I have the old “Shaker Belt” from the 70′s, the Ski Master, The Thigh Master, The Ab Roll, The Stair Stepper, The Giant Ball and Arm Stretchers, A Trampoline, and two treadmills. When we built our house 20 years ago, we put a full size swimming pool in our lower level so I could swim every day. That has now dwindled to once a month.
The older I get, the easier it is to make excuses for not losing weight, not feeling well, not eating healthily, and not exercising. And guess what! I know many of you reading this can relate in your own way!
As one who used to weigh 250 pounds and had 200/150 blood pressure, it is easy to rationalize why it is still so hard for me to lose weight. All of us have our tempters, such as those dreaded office parties, carry-ins, family get-togethers, eating out, and Girl Scout Cookies! Then I say, “At least I am not as bad as I used to be.”
Last week I just happened to hear a pastor preach on a topic NO preacher is supposed to even mention – the sin of gluttony! I felt so guilty because I realized what a hypocrite and failure I am, I headed straight to the buffet lines. Although I have kept 100 pounds off (give or take 10 or so depending on the month) I know I need to lose another 20 and keep that off as well. So I re-joined Weight Watchers which allows me to eat all the fruit and vegetables I can eat. It’s really hard even for me to binge on papaya, pears and brussel sprouts.
As a traveling professional public speaker and trainer, I eat out at restaurants more than I eat at home. My husband and I just returned from speaking in Kentucky where we had buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner for the whole week. Then we sampled every dessert at the conference and I returned with the promise to start another diet again next week! I know other “foodaholics” understand my plight and can relate when I declare that I am no different than an alcoholic, or a drug addict knowing how hard it is not to cave in to the pressure of circumstances.
Finally, I returned to my own book that I had written a couple of years ago and read my words on the spiritual side of overeating. The Apostle St. Paul said our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. He admonished us to “bring your body under submission and present ourselves as living sacrifices, without spot or wrinkle!” Believe me, eating broccoli and grapefruit while everybody else is sinning with chocolate and whip cream pies, is indeed a “living sacrifice” for me!
When I was in my 20s and had first returned to church, I had collected over 100 scriptures all dealing with food, and overeating and giving in to temptation, focusing on the scripture that all things are permissible but not necessarily edifying.
Then Paul even says, “You have made your stomach your god.” Ouch!
I can blame my Mom’s side of the family for my “fat genes” or circumstances for tempting me, or “old age” for not exercising. But I truly want to be healthy, full of energy and live another forty years enjoying life, people and traveling to exciting places. If my Mom, age 87, can get down on the floor and play with all the grandkids and great-grandkids – so can I!
With a winter cruise to Spain and Portugal on the way, once again I ask, “Why weight?” I have stocked the fridge full of healthy foods, I walk daily, and even got out my pilates DVD. I increased my regular time of prayer and scripture reading because I found if I feed my soul first, my obstinate body is much more likely to obey.
The following is from my book, “It’s Your Turn Now,” and I am following my own advice for the umpteenth time:
- Begin a healthy lifestyle routine (eating, exercise).
- Forgive yourself and others for the past.
- Begin to speak only what is good and edifying!
- Seek to help others who need help.
- Take full responsibility NOW; the past is over!
- Start each day with a clean slate — for self and others!
- Stop the mind games and traps you know will tempt you.
- Practice the balance of activity and resting.
- Ask others to help and hold you accountable
- Seek professional help if needed
- Continue in prayer and scripture reading!
- One of my favorite scriptures is, “HE MUST INCREASE; I MUST DECREASE!”
I am committed to reach my goal weight by Christmas. If not, would somebody please just have me committed? I promise not to ask,“Why weight?”
Debra Peppers, a professional speaker for 25 years, is one of only five inducted into the National Teachers Hall of Fame upon her retirement from Lindbergh High School. A member of the National Speakers Association, and radio and television host, she has traveled to all 50 states and 60 countries teaching others that if she can go from being a 250-pound high school dropout, to Teacher of the Year there is hope for every child and adult. Her web site is www.pepperseed.org.