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James Caserta: Finally Stepping Into The Light – Part 3

27 Mar

Taking Back My Fire

JAMES

Sunday, March 26, 2017

  “Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you.”

Luke 10:19 NLT

A couple weeks ago I took it upon myself to begin this blog, to document my journey to better health and regaining the life I had taken for granted; a life I sacrificed in exchange for immediate satisfaction. Each week I sit here at the family computer, and I put on my uplifting music, and I lift up this new entry to God, to use for His divine purpose.
Now, I’m finally beginning to see some of those results I’ve been looking for. The exciting part is hearing many others comment on how I look like I’ve lost weight; it’s like fuel to the fire for me. I could not be happier with how this is going so far, and the minor improvements in my mobility and stamina are all testaments to my daily efforts to control how much food I intake.
However, this is only half the battle for me. During my low points, those times when I felt hopeless and past the point of no return, my spiritual fire was decimated. I completely lost my faith in God, and I felt as if He wasn’t even listening. Those voices had me convinced that I had thrown my life away, and God wasn’t going to answer my tear-filled cries for help. So taking back my fire is just as critical to my overall well-being as my physical health is.
The voices are still there, but I have a choice as to how much power they have over my mind and the choices I make. So I’m making it my goal to arm myself with the knowledge that comes from the Bible, and to reignite my dormant inner being, because I refuse to let my weight or my food addiction dictate my identity any more. I can’t take this for granted, or make excuses like I have so many times before.
And so, for my health, for my wife, for my family, and most of all for my God, I’m taking the fight to the enemy, and taking back my fire, once and for all.

James Caserta’s Journey: Finally Stepping Into The Light

18 Mar

Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. ~Matthew 26:41
 
   The above verse is how I would summarize my journey thus far. I desire these things-a healthy weight, lower risk of diabetes among many other things, but my flesh is continually seeking instant gratification. So I’m struggling to keep my goals in front of me, and I find myself settling for less than my best and justifying it by telling myself “hey at least it’s better than what you were doing before”.
   This week I’ve adopted some good habits, such as tracking calories via the My Fitness Pal app, and it’s proven effective in pointing out which foods will consume my calorie limit quickly. My wife and I have been preparing meals at the beginning of each week, which can be time consuming (and expensive) but very rewarding if you can commit to eating only what’s in those containers each week.
   After taking these couple steps forward, I’ve found myself becoming content yet again, not really sacrificing everything for the sake of a new life and a new body, but rather giving enough to showcase in front of everyone so that it appears that way. Specifically, the types of foods I’ve been taking in haven’t changed outside of what we prep each week, and eating out with family usually means I eat whatever I choose. If something is offered to me, I usually accept it; I mean, it would be rude to say no, right?
   I make excuses because I’m not willing to cut off my flesh from what it desires, even if it means delaying my progress. So I need to learn to surrender myself, flesh and all, to the God of the Universe, the only one who can give me the strength I need to overcome. After all, Jesus endured all the temptations we face here on Earth, so He certainly knows what I’m going through.
   I pray that He would help me to die to self every day, so His willing Spirit can take control of my life, and lead me to the life of freedom God has planned for me on the other side. Help me Lord to stop listening to what my mind and body tell me, and strive to follow your voice and heed your Word instead.

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James Caserta: Finally stepping into the light

10 Mar

JAMES

James Caserta: Christian conservative, patriot and blogger

Friday, March 10, 2017

Day One

For the waywardness of the simple will kill them,    and the complacency of fools will destroy them ~Proverbs 1:32

If you are taking time to read this, first of all you have my gratitude. My vision for this series of entries is to reach as many people as possible, and even if it helps just one person, I will have considered it a success.

I’ve always been drawn to writing, and I knew it wasn’t just a coincidence; I believe writing is something God has always had planned for me, to share my story, to be a light in a world full of darkness. This is a new adventure for me, so by doing this blog I am definitely stepping out of my comfort zone, but the way I see it, I have been comfortable for far too long.

My life has been filled with blessings, I have a great family that loves and holds each other up, and my parents have always strived to be examples of good work ethic and Godliness.

From the time I was born, I have been surrounded by love and many memories over the years. If I could summarize my personal journey from childhood to adulthood in one word, I would say “complacent”, meaning everything I did was routine, everything was taken care of for me, so there was never anything to worry about; I was in the perfect comfort zone. I went through life on autopilot (cliché I know but it’s true 😉 ) while shirking my responsibilities at home and in my personal life; after all, I have parents who are always there and a God who will never leave nor forsake me, and my life has been great so far, so why worry right?

Little did I know I was being suffocated spiritually by the darkness of complacency, blinded to my own faults by stubbornness, barred from God’s promise of a prosperous future filled with His grace and favor because I chose to appease the temptations, promising to make everything better, convincing me to forget about it for one more day.

I snuffed out my own light in exchange for a “comfortable life”, and it wasn’t until I met my life partner that I was made to see just how broken I was.

Once the mirror was turned on me, I didn’t recognize the person staring back at me, and I hated him. I still do most days. Hate is kindling for evil to grow, so naturally my habits and my priorities became more and more corrupted. As the verse above stated, my foolish complacency was destroying me from the inside out.

Today, as I sit here, I weigh 508 lbs., literally carrying the weight of all my life choices everywhere I go…and I’m done. I’m over this life.  I’m fed up with feeding myself to the point of an early death, losing my wife because my weight has caused me to become near infertile, the hope of a family becoming more and more distant.

The little things I used to take for granted, even putting my socks and shoes on or going up stairs have become arduous tasks, sometimes requiring assistance. I think back to whom I was versus who I am now, and my heart breaks.

So I’m taking a step forward, into the light, little by little, this time by pursuing weight loss surgery. I had my consultation today with Dr. Blaine Nease, and I can say that I am very excited for what my future holds. I’m doing weekly meal prepping with my amazing wife, without whom I could not hope to make all these delicious meals I have to choose from 😋.

I will be using this blog to document my journey through the next six months, leading up to the big day, and then the following weeks and months, watching my life change before my eyes.

Each day brings more hope, more light, and I feel more determined than ever. However, I cannot do this alone, so I’m sharing my story with all of you to keep myself accountable, and to ask for prayers as I leave my comfortable life behind, one step at a time.

 

James Caserta at 5:51 PM

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  Finally Stepping Out Into the Light

 

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