Change can be difficult for anyone, depending on what it is. For me it has become a revolving door over the past decade, so much so that it seems like it’s just part of life for this girl. One of my worship mentors always said “Blessed are the flexible, for they shall be stretched” and oh, how I feel that quite often. In my job, in ministry, in relationships, in my life overall.
When my mom died a few years ago, I knew that my health had to change. I’m sure a number of people have heard me say this again and again, but I don’t want to end up where she was: depressed, lonely, discontent with people and life, and full of stress and emotional baggage that finally took its toll on her body because she internalized things so much.
She died at the age of 65; her mom, around the age of 70. I don’t want it to be me at 60 or before I have lived and done all that God has planned for me (unless of course, He returns to take us home, then I will relent and go gladly through those pearly gates).
So I am starting to recognize just how much my hard work is paying off. I can see the results more now than ever before and at times it astounds me. For example, I tried on a dress this week that I’ve wanted to wear from the moment I laid eyes on it, but it had been too small. Now I can fit into it almost comfortably, just gotta work on toning up my arms. But I cried when I looked at myself in the mirror because I had not believed that I would get here anytime soon.
I also recently discovered that over the past four years I have dropped an average of fifteen pounds per year, or sixty pounds altogether. I had not really realized that because I’ve been focusing more on my stuckness (is that even a word?) with a closet full of fun and stylish clothes waiting for me to show them off. Can you tell I’m hard on myself? This is significant! I need to celebrate this, right?
I find myself seriously NOT wanting to use food in unhealthy ways like I have before, to fill those potholes in my heart where pain and sorrow have appeared. Now I am thinking more about how to use food, the very best foods that leave me feeling good, feeling healthy and full of energy. I don’t want to bring home the snacks and junk food much these days, even if it is a healthier choice, because I know that my tendency is to sit in front of the TV and eat it all.
Or instead of binging because I’m super emo, I meet with a wonderful counselor, find time to release the stress in cycle class or on a walk with a friend. I make myself journal and write the truth about how God sees me, then speak it out loud so that I hear it and get it into my head and my heart. Some days out of desperation I will even crawl up to the piano to spend time singing out my love songs to Jesus (actually I do this a lot because it fills me up, but I don’t always go there first).
Do I always make the best choice? No, but the “want to” is growing stronger day by day. I’ve been waiting for this for a long time people. And now that its here, I think I’m becoming inspired to cook more and spend time in the kitchen again. I may have a different perspective once school starts due to time constraints, but I’m eager to try out new recipes and see how they work for me.
For the past three days I have been eating a “high raw” diet, trying out new recipes and seeing a positive change in my body. Even though I still want my Starbucks White Mocha Americano with half and half, I know that eating clean and raw is one of the best things I can do for myself and the people God has put in my path. I’m believing that these changes are becoming permanent for me, as a way of living healthy. In all that I do, I want to honor God with what He has given me so that He is recognized as the One who showers down redeeming love to us, His delight. It is only because of His grace that I have been able to make these changes and continue on with them more and more. I’m thrilled with what I see happening and I look forward to see what else will come.
This is me on my 30th birthday at around 350 pounds:
I’ve come a long ways since then and life just keeps getting better and better.
Romans 12:1 (The Message Bible)
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.