Background: In January 2017 I got my first big girl job in Myrtle Beach. It was my first move aside from college (which was 30 minutes away so that one might not even count!). Rewind to August of 2016, my grandmother, my mom, my sister and I set off on a 28 day long road trip leaving on the day before my 22nd birthday. It was one of the best months of my life and one I will cherish forever. After we got home and we got the pictures back, I didn’t recognize myself; I had gained almost 50 pounds. I’m not going to get into semantics of when I gained the weight because I’m not sure. 2015 and 2016 were both rough years for me. I lost 5 friends and a family member in a year and a half and honestly, I lost a part of myself during the grieving process. When I moved I saw the opportunity to take my life back, and that’s exactly what I did. Currently I am 30 pounds down and countless inches, looking and feeling miles better than I did. Now, for the good stuff and what you probably came for lol
1. Real Feelings Come to Surface– As the days of binging on Ben and Jerry’s and popcorn came to an end, I started to realize how the food I was eating wasn’t the only unhealthy thing about my relationship with food. In church, they always talked about idols but, I never knew that food could be considered one! After stressful days, rather than praying or getting in the Word, I would open up my pint of Chunky Monkey and revel in the comfort. Fast forward to now: since I practice moderation (most of the time lol) I don’t have the safety net of food to come home to. It forces me to think about the things I don’t want to face, talk about, or even think about. I love how it really challenges me to rely on the Lord for that comfort. Even though He isn’t as tangible as the brownie batter core of another one of my favorite pints, He is inspiring some growing pains just so I can have a stronger relationship with Him.
2.Good Progress is SLOW Progress- In the times of ‘I need it now,’ one of the most frustrating aspect of my weight loss journey is the lack of instant gratification. It pains me when I see pins or ads for ‘Lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks’ or any of the similar titles reinforcing the idea that healthy weight loss is easy. News flash y’all: IT’S NOT THAT EASY. It takes time. It takes some struggling. It takes a constant effort. If you’re anything like me, you’re going to want results and want them NOW. (Anyone else say that like Veruca Salt from Charlie and the Chocolate because I did lol) The Lord has blessed me with a lot, but anyone who knows me knows that patience is something I have to work hard for. What I’ve failed to realize is that while I believe that I am ‘suffering’ through this time of lifestyle changes the Lord is giving it purpose. Romans 5:2-4 says, “Through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which now we stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only that but we rejoice in our sufferings knowing that suffering produces endurance and endurance produces character and character produces hope.” Needless to say, I have tried to shift my focus from the time this journey is taking, to what this journey is ultimately producing.
3. Discovering your TRUE ‘Why?’- I want to preface this section with the fact that I struggle with Body Dysmorphia. When I look in the mirror, I am preoccupied by all of the flaws that I perceive in my appearance. Even though in the Songs of Solomon it says ‘He calls me beautiful one’ I don’t physically see it. When I go to the store I often still shop in the plus size section of stores or pull the wrong size of clothes off the rack because I still believe it fits me even after losing 30 pounds! Nothing is more depressing to me than looking into a mirror and not seeing the results of all your hard work while others can. If you were to ask me last February when I first started my journey what my “why” was I would say “to get healthy and live a better lifestyle.” But, now If I’m being 110% vulnerable and honest, I would say because I hated my body. I loathed myself. I thought about all my failure, flaws, and vulnerabilities and projected them onto my body. All of the negative energy manifested into a deep disgust for my image which is why I started my weight loss journey. Unfortunately, even after I lost 15+ pounds I still felt the same way. I still avoided mirrors and being in pictures. I dressed frumpy because I was portraying the image I had for myself by dressing that way. The last thing I want to do is get sappy because the former me would want to punch now me in the face by ending this paragraph with this verse. “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” Psalm 139:14 In today’s society it’s so easy to forget that you are a child of the God who created the hills and valleys, the stars and the moon, the mountains and the depths of the sea. Even writing that I can’t get over it!
Closing thoughts: I didn’t mean for this to discourage you from losing weight or making healthier lifestyle choices. I wish I had the ability to check the position of my heart when I started in January, but through it all I grew closer to God. While, I didn’t get (and still don’t get all the time) instant gratification, it taught me to celebrate the smaller things in life. In turn, that gave me a heightened ability to worship the Lord in ways I didn’t realize were possible. It filled my heart with gratitude and reminded me that our lives as believers weren’t designed to be easy. We’re designed to ultimately give glory to God and be living servants. Just remember, no matter how good the numbers are or how good you look, your heart might be the thing that needs to lose some weight.