Mamavation Monday


Our church, the Soul Factory, is on day 41 of a 90 day mandate that includes an emphasis on improving our health as well as restoring order to our families, relationships, and our finances. During today’s service people were asked to share what changes have taken place in their lives as a result of participating in the mandate. A lady shared with us that ย at the age of 44, she suffers from bulimia, and since the start of the mandate she has not thrown up her food. In response to her testimony, people stood on their feet to applaud her for her success as well as the courage to be vulnerable and transparent enough to share such a challenging, and sometimes taboo, struggle.

In the African American community, eating disorders is a subject that you don’t hear much about. After hearing the lady share her story, I was determined to talk to her and let her know that she is not alone. I recently shared with someone on Twitter, as someone that lives “outta da box”, body image is one area that I have allowed myself to be duped by mainstream America.

I found the lady in the foyer area of the church and began to share with her my story. Because I wasn’t anorexic or bulimic, I never thought I had an “eating disorder”. I wasn’t until about 2 years ago when I was talking to one of my best friends about my latest “Master Cleanse” experience that she helped me realize that I did in fact have an eating disorder.

I found it very convenient to take the concept of fasting and incorporate some “spiritual” goals to make my not eating acceptable. But what I found was that more than reading my bible or praying, I was paying more attention to the numbers on the scale everyday. My first Master Cleanse was for 21 days. I must admit that it was a very positive and empowering experience; I felt great, I didn’t watch any television, I was focused, but I came away with an unreasonable expectation about my weight. My lowest weight during the cleanse was 114. I knew that I would regain some of the weight but I became obsessed with my weight, weighing myself everyday, doing the cleanse every few months and severely restricting my food if I gained more than a few pounds.

Once I recognized the pattern, I was convicted to stop doing the Master Cleanse. My weight, 129, was about 6lbs more than my regular post-cleansing weight, and I reluctantly accepted it. Since that time I have been pregnant and recently had my fourth child. Pregnancy, and the weight gain that comes with it, can be very difficult when you already have body image issues and/or eating disorders. As much as you know why you are gaining the weight it’s difficult to change your mindset and accept those numbers as they increase each week. I managed to continue working out throughout all of my pregnancies (was actually in labor at the gym this last time) and taught my cycle class until the end of my third trimester earlier this year. I was conscious about my eating and tried to make healthy food choices and allow myself the occasional indulgences. I gained a little over 30lbs and I currently need to lose about 12lbs to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight.

I am currently exclusively nursing my 5 month old daughter. Most people that know me know that as a Breastfeeding Educator, teaching people about the importance of breastfeeding is my passion. My nursing relationship is critical to me and I would never do anything to compromise my milk supply or my ability to feed my daughter. During this time, I know that I have to eat and challenges with food are at a minimum.

I am very disciplined when it comes to exercise. Homeschooling and life with 4 children makes it easy to come up with reasons (excuses) as to why I can’t work out but I make it a priority. Some mornings, after nursing through the night, it is too hard for me to make it to the gym before my husband leaves for work. When that happens, I shift my plans and workout in the evenings (something I don’t like to do).

I look forward to receiving the support to embrace a healthy approach to weight loss so that even after I am no longer nursing exclusively, I will not have the temptation to turn to my former vices. I hope that I can model and share with other busy moms, how to make the time to workout. I am also on a mission to prosper my soul and find the balance in my spiritual and physical health.

I am training to run a marathon in Februrary, so I have recently incorporated running into my workouts. Here is my plan for the week:

Monday: 20 minute easy run and strength training

Tuesday: 1 hour cross training

Wednesday: Teach Cycle Class

Thursday: 30 minute easy run, strength training

Friday: 45 minute long run

Saturday: Teach Cycle Class

This weekโ€™s blogging carnival is sponsored byย SUBWAY. SUBWAY is giving away a gift card for $25 to one lucky winner who mentions the Commit to Fit Campaign and Jared on their Mamavation Monday post.


About offdachainandouttadabox

We are a married couple of 2 with 4 beautiful, smart children, who after 15 years of marriage have decided to join the blog world with a blog that will allow us to present what may be considered to many to be offdachainandouttadabox as it pertains to the areas of marriage, parenting, finances and health & wellness. The offdachain husband will also, against the wishes of his wife, (hence off the chain) post on other subjects from time to time.

31 responses »

  1. The mandate at your church sounds like it’s really helping people! Good job to you for being able to share your story at your church and also publicly on your blog. I wish you the best of luck this week, and I’m looking forward to getting to know you. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Hi Guys, I love the blog, especially the one about the cats. We miss you all. Glad to read you are doing well, best wishes and keep up the very informative, inspirational, supportive writing.

  3. Mamavation is awesome, and I’m looking forward to getting to know you more!

    The mandate at your church sounds interesting. Is this something they do every year or routinely?

  4. It’s so good to “meet” you and I’m glad that you are a part of Mamavation — I’ve been a part of this group since late March and the support/encouragement received has helped me deal with body image issues and POST-pregnancy weight gain.

    How wonderful that your Church is focusing on health — it’s not often that you find individual health a focus w/in our churches. And, how unbelievable for that woman in your church — to have the courage to trust God and work on ending this addiction to bulimia; Praise God!!! I’m so glad you reached out to her — I know she was blessed by your story and caring spirit.

  5. I hope you know you have my support in all your endeavors. I have enjoyed getting to know you via twitter and am glad that as new moms with similar desires for our kids we can share our stories with each other and our enthusiasm. You have already inspired me a great deal to keep active when I was pregnant and push to be better now that I have a young infant.

    • Kia, you have been such an inspiration to me too! I love how you have allowed you son to compliment your life and how you have taken care of yourself, I look forward to continuing to support each other in becoming wonderful women, wives and mothers ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. Wow. I wish that our church had something like this going on! Amazing. I was delivered from gluttony at the end of May, and ever since I felt felt more in control of my body and my health. I still need a lot of training and support. And the Mamavation Sistas help tremendously with that!

    Welcome to Mamavation! Can’t wait to get to know you!

  7. Hi!

    I am really enjoying your blog! I hear you loud and clear on this last one on weight and food. We have been bamboozled and yet our health is critical to all the other parts of our lives. What worked for me was getting a job that kept me in shape (four hours a day of dog walking) and finally getting my nutrition house in order (duh! dairy and white flour make me sick). I do weigh daily because at my age, those few pounds that sneak up mean something is off (too many nuts, not enough sleep/water ) and they turn to “stone” rather quickly after 40. So glad you are well…keep up the blogs!

    • Thanks Ruthcarol. I am hoping that I can get focused on really limiting the processed foods. You are so right about the importance of proper nutrition. Once I settle into my goal weight, I will go back to weighing everyday, I think it is very effective, as you stated, to stay on top of things before they get out of control :-).

  8. It’s amazing that the woman at church was able to do that and that she got the support she got! And kudos to you for going up to her to talk to her about your struggles with the cleanse/eating disorder behavior. That’s amazing. You all might have saved her life.

    Nursing is awesome!!

  9. Welcome to mamavation! Your story is very touching, thank you for sharing it with us and letting us in on your journey. I had a difficult time with body image throughout my pregnancy. I didn’t do anything to endanger my twin boys but I could barely look at myself in the mirror. After they were born, I had struggled with PPD. I became more and more depressed and it took me until they were 2 to realize that I was ok with how I looked and that I could change my habits and be a happy healthy family again. My boys will be 5 at the end of the month and I finally got my act together in the last year. I am looking forward to hearing more from you soon.

  10. What a beautiful and honest post. Thank you for sharing and being vulnerable. You will find lots of love and support with Mamavation. I look forward to getting to know you on twitter!
    Huge Kudos to your church on its focus on health. There are so few churches out there that talk about stuff like that which I always find ironic seeing as how we are created in God’s image and we should be honouring and taking care of the bodies we’ve been given.

  11. This is something I know about. I have an eating disorder. I’m an over-eater. I’ve had it since I was a little girl but didn’t realize it till I was actually on the verge of losing all my weight. It never goes away. I just have to deal with it. And ask your fearless leader, I’m VERY open with it to others. I think the openness helps people cope. So I’m happy to share. Nice to have you on board. XXOO

  12. wow, you are so organized and motivated! congrats on recognizing your past body image issues and troubleshooting to keep it all from coming up again. *love* the name of your church!

  13. welcome to the monday roundup of mamavation , i think its great that your church is taking an effort to change the health of its members, now thats a church that cares

    have a great week

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