THE JOURNEY OUT
by Karen Story
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This is my journey out of an unhealthy life into a healthier life of being emotionally, spiritually, mentally and physically fit.
I stepped on the scale and noticed my weight go up and over the next fifty notch on the doctors scale and a miserable feeling hit me in the gut which added to my somewhat sad mood. Sound familiar? Trust me, there is hope, just follow along as I share my journey.
God started prompting me to step out of my pity party over a year ago. He knew I was miserable as I cried out to Him on several occasions. I had turned to all sorts of unhealthy behaviors and quick fixes to help myself feel better. One of my sources was food. Conviction finally set in – I can not do life or fix myself alone. I needed friends and safe people to surround me because that slow sinking slip into a pit of depression was pulling at me in every direction.
Last summer I made a conscious decision to get off an anti-depressant that I had been taking for over ten years. It just wasn’t working for me anymore and I asked God for healing and to show me the way out. My husband, Craig, fearfully agreed to a plan on how to wean myself off of the medication. He reluctantly stood by me and kept a close eye on my emotions. I promised Craig that I would resume my meds if I became ill. I also considered that if God created this pill, then through God I was already healed.
Have you ever been so dependent on something that without it your brain felt and sounded within like it was in a frying pan? Can you imagine with me the sound of popping and sizzles when your brain is trying to function without a synthetic made chemical that's purpose is to help you feel good?
Maybe you could better understand it another way. Say you are a chocolate addict and without that daily chocolate fix your craving goes into overdrive and you start eating everything in sight to fill that void. Well, with me, without that pill, my brain would snap and pop trying to get a sluggish gland to work to produce serotonin.
On occasion, I would forget my morning pill and by mid-afternoon the sizzle would start and I immediately knew why. I'd run to my bathroom medicine cabinet and pop that pill as quickly as I could. Within an hour the sizzle would fizz out.
I felt trapped by that pill. The “what if's” would cross my daily thoughts now and then. “What if” I was separated from my meds due to an unexpected disaster? “What if” I lost my pills? How many days could I go without them before I tumbled into a pit of depression? Over the years I have unintentionally forgotten my meds and know that after two days I would find myself in a state of uncontrollable crying spells or fits of rage that affected my life and the people around me. I resented medication having that kind of control in my life and started praying for God to show me the way out.
Over several months of taking one 150mg pill and breaking it into two, then three, four, to the point of one pill being spread out to over ten days, I slowly was weaned from my dependence. The moment in the day when I fully realized this new freedom was also the day I made a decision to stop doing life alone. Not only did I need God more, I needed friends. Safe friends!
Early in April I noticed Jenenne had made a post about Body and Soul Fitness and First Place 4 Health on Facebook. Then Kaire posted about the great workout she had. Like a light bulb illuminated it dawned on me that I could mark off a prayer request as completed. I had prayed for God to bring a workout class to my church, Cathedral of Praise. I even envisioned that this class would have Christian praise and worship music. At that moment God was prompting me to find out more information. I asked questions and Jenenne encouraged me to come to the next class. It didn’t take much to convince me that this was my next step. God’s plans where in motion.
The key for my continued success with freedom from depression was to get more active. This is no secret, just ask any health physician. Activity stimulates that "feel good" hormone. I knew I needed to get my body to start producing serotonin on its own now that the meds were completely out of my system.
It's mid June now and also six weeks after joining Body and Soul Fitness and the bible study through First Place 4 Health at Cathedral. I was immediately drawn to read and study all of the written material available on this Christian approach to weight loss and explored their website http://www.firstplace4health.com where I bought a workout DVD. I will most probably be re-reading them over and over for the rest of my life. The book titled "First Place 4 Health" by Carole Lewis opened my eyes that in order to obtain a healthy weight loss and keep it off is more than just a diet; it's a process spiritually, emotionally, physically and mentally.
I am already seeing and feeling the difference inside and out.
Six weeks ago I was distant with God and now I again spend time with Him every morning. He is with me throughout the day leading and guiding to make the right choices. The key for my success is to always put God first and first thing in the morning each and every day of my life.
The praise and worship music that accompanies our Body and Soul Class ministers to my soul and I am gaining back my strength with the workouts even if I complain that I "just can't get the beat". I even started bicycling again.
It feels so good again to be able to bend over and touch my clean floor with the palms of my hands. I look forward to jumping on the trampoline with my grandkids when I visit them this summer. I’m not quite at the top of my game physically but this program asks for a one year commitment, which at this point is an easy "Yes”.
My kitchen was full of junk food and/or the refrigerator was empty and now I make a grocery list and shop for a weeks worth of quality foods. I enjoy cooking again and avoid all fast food restaurants. I'm saving money which is an added plus.
I’m back at volunteering at church and assist Lori one day a week and/or tidy up the chair pockets in the sanctuary for Charlene. God has restored my journaling to inspire others and one day I hope to publish a book.
Oh, and the depression - its history! Plus losing 12 pounds isn't too shabby either!
More importantly, I have renewed my relationship with the Lord. I didn't realize how much I have missed him. Even though he was always around, I didn't spend time with him and we have lots of catching up to do. It’s all about God!
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Wow, what and awesome testimony. I enjoyed it so much. Keep being a blessing.