Weight Loss & the Devil’s Lie

I have struggled with my weight for as long as I can remember. Even when I was at my healthiest, and by medical standards, at a perfect weight/height ratio, I was absolutely CONVINCED I needed to lose more weight. I was still not as thin as other girls around me and in my mind, I had decided that I wasn’t good enough.

Even as a child of 7 years I can remember off hand remarks from fellow classmates that I ate too much and if I just tried I could be skinnier. Seriously… I was a child. And SERIOUSLY – I was a small child. No chubs on this little girl.

But I remember these moments. From a young age, I was told that I wasn’t good enough and that I needed to be more petite. There was no truth in my mind at such a young age that God made everyone different, that bone structures vary or that as your body grows, you grow into your own skin that was so perfectly designed by God.

Perhaps these ideas do stem from and fester in our hearts due to the society we live in. Either way, I know that Satan is behind every single one of these lies.

As the New Year has come and “resolutions” are being tossed this way and that, I have been overwhelmed and anxious once again by the dreaded word “weight loss.” This is my constant battle. Even when I had no need to battle this demon I did.

 Now, as I take on my role as a mom, I am filled with more guilt and shame than ever. Pregnancy was hard for me and I gained more weight than I am proud to admit. I was sick almost constantly with Lillian and if I ever let my stomach go hungry I would begin vomiting with a vengeance. I was tired and uncomfortable and I dreaded the inevitable throwing up over and over. So I would snack constantly to avoid it. Unfortunately, I didn’t gravitate towards the healthy snacks and no, I didn’t freaking crave carrots so all you perfect, healthy, pregnant people who talk about how they craved veggies can shove it! And working out? Yea… that didn’t happen that often either because I was drained from all energy heaving into the toilet bowl.

Pregnancy stretched my skin to the max, forcing vibrant red stretch marks on my stomach and hips. Heartburn attacked my stomach and ripped through my chest like a fire-breathing dragon.

But I was content in spirit knowing that my baby was alive and healthy – growing more every day. I would take the pain and vomiting and discomfort and ignore everything else because, after the miscarriage, I would do just about anything to have a healthy baby in my arms.

Lillian came as beautiful and precious as ever. She was so worth it AND pregnancy was finally over! Thank goodness!

But as time flew by my weight simply hung on. My body didn’t bounce back like some women’s. I had little motivation or energy to work at it. So when I looked in the mirror I was embarrassed.

weight loss the devil's lies losing weight
Photo by Jennifer Burk

It’s been over a year since Lillian was born and I still feel this way. Even though my stretch marks begin to fade, I realize they will never be completely gone. Even though I’ve lost a little weight, it’s still not as much as I need to lose. That extra skin around my belly feels like an anchor and the daunting task of losing weight feels so impossible and out of reach, I have basically given up.

But as I sat on my couch this week reading my Bible Study I had a moment of enlightenment. The Lord opened my eyes to a truth I already knew but did not apply to this particular circumstance.

Satan is deceiving you. ANYTHING is possible with God.

The devil is the ultimate deceiver and he is never NOT messing with your head.

 If you struggle with weight loss, you better believe that the devil is going to use that weakness against you! He wants to thwart you on the path God has for you and he will do it in whatever way possible.

Do not be deceived.

As you struggle in your heart and mind with your body image, your desire to lose weight and improve your health – do not believe the lies of Satan telling you it’s not possible. It’s too hard. It will never happen. You can’t do it. You had better just learn to be content with your unhappiness regarding your body. Satan, get behind me!

What terrible lies! No problem is unsolvable. No weight is un-losable. The devil wants to drag us to a place of defeat and hopelessness and leave us in a cloud of guilt and depression and misery. For if your mind and heart are clouded with lies, how will you be able to hear God tell you where to go or what He wants for you?

This is his plan. When you are focused only on the displeasure you feel regarding your body and weight, you forget that you are loved and capable of being used by God. AND, you forget that with God you CAN accomplish anything.

In the book ‘Anxious for Nothing,’ Max Lucado says, “Satan is the master of deceit. But he is not the master of your mind. You have a power he cannot defeat. You have God on your side.” When I believe the devil’s lies, I give up. I convince myself that it’s impossible. So I go ahead and eat a cookie and wallow in discontent. But I have forgotten that God is on my side and that the deceiver is simply feeding me these thoughts.

Take Your Thoughts Captive

You CAN lose weight. With God, all things are possible (Matt. 19:26) and that includes your weight loss journey. With His encouragement and His hands before you, behind you and on you, how could you fail?

“…take every thought captive to make it obedient to God.” 2 Corinthians 10:5

weight loss losing weight set your mind on things above
Photo by Rucksack Magazine

When thoughts of hopelessness trickle into your mind, take those thoughts captive and bring them to the Lord. Are these thoughts from God or is the devil trying to deceive me?

Yes, it’s going to be tough. It’s going to require you to work hard. You will have to fight temptations, train your body, and learn self-control. So you must “fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Philippians 4:8

Maybe you feel you can’t do it. And maybe you’re right. But God CAN. Trust in the fact that the Almighty God loves you and wants you to be happy. He wants you to be healthy and content with the body HE created so you can better share His word.

These are the truths I know. These are the truths I am repeating to myself every day.

 I will start my day with prayer and truth, asking for God’s help each day, knowing that I can lose the weight with Him beside me. Holding my hand and guiding me each step of the way. I know there will be times I mess up and get discouraged. But overweight or skinny as a rail, I can be happy and content knowing that I am exactly where God wants me, with an open and willing heart ready to serve Him in whatever way He desires.

Yes, there are certain areas of my body that will never be the same after having babies.

 But stretch marks and a little extra skin are the evidence of a miracle. A little extra weight does not define you.

I know that I want to be a mom that plays with my children without hindrance or pain. I know that I want to have more babies. I know that I want to go where God calls without being worried I won’t be able to keep up. I know that I want to be as healthy as I can be for my family. I know that I want to be a good example for my own daughter as she goes out into a world filled with body shaming bullies.

We are made beautiful because of Jesus.

If you are in a good place and feel content with whom you are – Praise the Lord! I pray for continued protection over your heart and mind.

If you are living with the lies of the devil, believing you cannot succeed, I pray that you use God’s truth to destroy and blow away every sliver of deceit that Satan has planted in your mind.

God IS capable. You CAN do it. He will help you.

Rest in Him.

You are not alone.

“Your challenge is not your challenge. Your challenge is the way you think about your challenge. Your problem is not your problem; it is the way you look at it.” –Max Lucado

“Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life.” Proverbs 4:23

 I have been listening to the devil’s lies for too long. But this week my thought pattern has shifted. I have a sense of peace knowing this area of my life rests in God’s hands. I will no longer believe the lie that I can’t lose the baby weight and extra pounds so I might as well give up.

If you have stuck with me through this whole post, I hope that as this year progresses you will encourage me not to give up and to keep working towards my goal. I know there will be times I will feel tired and discouraged. And if you are reading this and struggling with similar issues, let me know so I can encourage and pray for you as well.

(Looking for a quick and efficient workout, check out Shiree’s weekly workout plan HERE)

Feeling the need for extra encouragement?? Check out Live For Today for guidance on weight loss, saving money, being a good wife, mother and more!

Want someone to pray specifically for you? Email me! I’d love to pray for you

Cold Season Survival Kit for Babies

Cold Season Survival Kit for Babies

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As November has blown into Montana a runny nose and chest coughs have blown in with it – and therefore the need for a cold season survival kit for babies has come again! The colds that have decided to make residence around our home so far have been particularly nasty, sometimes adding low-grade fevers and earaches to the already long list of typical cold symptoms. As much as I really dislike being sick, I hate watching my baby girl struggle with illness even more! I remember as a child, my dad would always say things like “if I could take the pain away I would” or “if I could be sick instead I would!” I totally get it now! At the time it was comforting and I felt loved, but I didn’t understand the depth of those words. But boy, I’m becoming my father. I say the same things to Lillian now!

The winter Lillian was born proved to be a hard one for Montana and the crazy amount of viruses that blew through the Bitterroot Valley was unavoidable. I honestly don’t know how she got so many colds during her first few months on this earth, considering I didn’t take her out terribly often. And I rarely let people other than family and close friends hold her. But her little body kept getting cold after cold. As a first-time mom, it just killed me watching her struggle and I wished I could trade places with her! So, like any normal first-time mother, I went on a mission to find everything I could in hopes to ease her discomfort. Throughout the past few months, I have collected my favorite products and perfected my “cold season survival” regime! I hope this Cold Season Survival Kit for babies helps other mamas who are in search of safe and effective ways to nurse and love on their sick babes.


Cold Season Survival Kit for Babies
Cold Season Survival Kit for Babies

 Unfortunately, with newborns and babies under age 1, your options are a bit limited. But there are a handful of things you can do to ease pain and encourage a swift recovery. I used these for Lillian as a newborn and continue to use them to this day!

The first thing to remember as you let the cold work its course is to keep baby hydrated! The best thing for baby is your breast milk, which is full of antibodies that will help baby fight off the cold faster and stay hydrated! If you aren’t able to breastfeed and using formula instead that’s totally fine and just as good! Just make sure baby isn’t lacking for liquids!


 

MY FAVORITE THINGS – COLD SEASON SURVIVAL KIT for babies

  • Nose Frida – seriously, this thing is awesome! When I first had Lillian I remember seeing reviews for these on Pinterest and going, “EW!”  But decided to buy one and have on hand just in case. Boy, am I glad I made that decision! I have used this nose aspirator more times than I can even count. And don’t worry, you aren’t ACTUALLY sucking their snot into your mouth or anything. Ya silly goose! You can get the Nose Frida HERE. But if you still can’t get past the “ew” factor there are battery powered nose aspirators you can buy like THIS ONE. I personally like the Nose Frida as I can determine the sucking strength. Hahaha, that sounds so weird 😛 I recommend having extra filters on hand as needed!
  • Saline Mist – I love the baby’s saline mist as it can help loosen up baby’s boogies so they have an easier time breathing! Be sure to do a spray test before spraying in your baby’s nose so you don’t over-do it! You can pick up the “Little Remedies” brand HERE. I also liked this brand as well.
  • Boogie Wipes – When I first saw these I was definitely skeptical. There is NO WAY I was going to spend $4 on 30 moist towelettes! But I decided to test them out for myself and I’m pretty happy with the decision. I don’t use these wipes for every single nose wiping but like to have them around for the crusty noses. It was uncomfortable for Lillian’s little nose when I would try to clean the crustiness off with a normal Kleenex. The saline in these wipes really helps loosen everything up so that wiping their little noses is so much easier and less painful! You can also save money and buy this three pack or this six-pack on Amazon. Score!
  • Vick’s Baby Rub – I seriously LOVE this stuff. It’s one of my absolute essentials for cold season! Vick's Baby Rub Soothing Ointment The smell is subtle, pleasant and comforting, especially when a cough and stuffy head are attacking! I like to rub this on Lillian’s chest and feet and even put a little tiny dab on the tip of her nose to help encourage easy breathing! You can find off brands at most drug stores as well.
  • Humidifier – having a humidifier around for cold season is SO nice. Every time Lillian is fighting a cold I like to plug in her humidifier when she’s sleeping. A large humidifier can run you anywhere from $35 and up, and if you’re anything like me (aka cheap) oftentimes you don’t feel like spending the money. I found THIS nice little humidifier on Amazonurpower humidifier for a nice price and have been really happy with it! Lillian’s room is small enough – but I would recommend looking into a larger humidifier like this for a larger area – and it’s only $35. I sometimes drop some essential oils into our humidifier as well – double check this is compatible with your humidifier before doing so!
  • Aquaphor BabyI like to keep Aquaphor Baby around all the time, not just for cold seasons! I love how thick and moisturizing this lotion is for dry skin and eczema. I’ll use some Aquaphor on Lillian’s little nose every day to keep it from getting too dry and scaly. A little bit goes a long way so you won’t need to buy a new bottle every month! A++ Get Aquaphor Baby HERE.
  • Zarbee’s Baby Immune Support & Vitamins this is not a necessary item for cold season but I personally like having it around to give Lillian’s immune support an extra boost! I would warn to be careful when giving this to a newborn, as it’s a bit thick and harder to swallow. When Lillian was a newborn, I would give her slow little sips of it so not to overwhelm her! Get Zarbee’s Immune Support HERE. Probiotics are also something I am all about! There are many different kinds and be sure to check labels on ages – this one on Amazon is a good probiotic – and once your kiddos are older, Plexus has an awesome Multi-Vitamin + Probiotic for kiddos you can get HERE.
  • Essential Oilsthe first time Lillian got a cold as a baby a friend of mine (thank you, Dani!) came over and gave me some wonderful oils to help!essential oils set rahda beauty I have since continued using these oils every time a cold comes knocking. A lemon citrus concoction that I rub on her feet and a peppermint, tea tree, eucalyptus and olive oil mixture I will put on her chest and behind her ears (and a few drops in her humidifier!) I find these oils to be incredibly comforting and relaxing for a sick babe! You can find oils just about anywhere, but this set I find on Amazon and include just about everything you may need for cold season survival!
  • Shea Moisture Baby Oilthis baby oil is my absolute favorite! shea moisture baby oil rub This is not a necessity but who doesn’t love a nice warm bath when you don’t feel well! Put a few drops of this baby oil in the bath, set up a space heater in the bathroom and give your little one a nice little soak. They will smell glorious afterward and I’m sure they will be happier. You can get this two pack on Amazon!
  • Hyland’s Tiny Cold Tablets – PLEASE NOTE: these are NOT for newborns. I personally like to steer away from medicine for babies as much as possible but there are times you just need a little something extra to help them sleep and get a little relief. These tiny cold tablets are for babies 6 months and up (unless instructed by a physician) and can truly be wonderful if your little one is suffering miserably. I realize everyone has mixed opinions on these sorts of things, and I am in no way trying to tell you your need to use these! I am not a doctor and these opinions are my own. But these can truly be helpful when needed. Be sure to read your labels for usage directions!
  • Steaming – one thing you can do to help a baby with congestion and a stuffy nose is steaming. I’ll go into our bathroom and close the door and turn the shower on as hot as it will go and let the bathroom steam up. Sit in the bathroom with your little one and let them breathe in some warm steamy air to help clear out their nasal passages and breathe easier! Steaming can be especially helpful if your baby is suffering from croup. (If your baby is suffering from croup, stepping outside briefly for a breath of cool fresh air can do serious wonders!)

Snuggle Time

It’s absolutely no fun to watch your little one suffer – but with prayer, time and TLC your little one will be back to normal before you know it. Don’t forget the power of some comfy PJ’s, cuddles and a warm cozy room! More often than not, you are the best medicine for your little one. Lots of love all around! Relax and enjoy those snuggles.

P.S.  If you are worried about your baby’s cold and your inner mommy radar is giving you a red flag, call your doctor. You know your little one the best and it’s better to be safe than sorry. Most doctors’ offices have nurses on hand that you can call and simply talk to about your questions and concerns, with no cost to you. Don’t be afraid to ask if you are concerned! For me personally, it was comforting to have the reassurance that everything was totally fine and normal.

Do you have any products or home remedies you use to help your sick babies?? Let me know!