Friday, February 8, 2013
I can honestly say that when I successfully lost weight 30 years ago, I did experience that indefinable something the moment I began my diet. And at that time, it really was a diet. I knew it was for a finite duration, after which I thought I could go back to normal eating. I spent years afterward, trying to figure out what exactly flipped that switch ON for me, and how to flip it ON again. I cannot explain how it happened, just that it did.
Around September (1981) before my upcoming March wedding (1982), I realized I didn't want to be the fattest one at my own wedding. At the time I was just shy of 160 pounds on my then 5'4" frame. I wore a size 14 or 16, but felt obese. Insanity! But once I realized that I would be the heaviest member of the wedding party if I didn't do something, the switch was flipped. I joined Diet Workshop, and the class leader was my future mother-in-law. I lived in the same town where my fiance's family lived, and they were my support system. I had access to my leader 24/7. Over the course of the next few month I lost just over 30 pounds. Back then, DW gave you a goal weight range, and you had to arrive at the lowest number in that range to "hit goal," and stay within the range thereafter. I clearly remember the night I weighed in and I was in the 130s. I cried. Literally cried. My weight had never been that low in my short adult life. I felt so good.
I came within HALF A POUND of reaching goal. Yep. My lowest weight was half a pound over the number I needed to see on the scale to be at goal even though I was clearly within goal range. My all-or-nothing personality wasn't able to embrace the success I had achieved. I was only aware of my failure to reach goal. Had I been able to walk away from that experience and say, "Okay, I look good. I feel good. I can live at this weight and be happy," the past 30 years would have been markedly different for me. Not that I believe every negative thing I've gone through since then has been exclusively related or attributed to my weight, but I believe I would have discovered a strength within myself that I didn't know was there.
I have attempted losing weight countless time since then, and tried many different methods, few of which were balanced or made sense for lifelong change. In the process, my reserves of hope have been chipped away by the chisel of defeat until I wondered if there was a way out. But just as I believe the steps of a good man (or woman) are ordered of the Lord, I believe He has led me unaware to where I am right now. First, found out about Suzi Walthall, who has lost over 200 pounds the old fashioned way, through diet and exercise. And by exercise, I mean she is now a BEAST! I am always impressed by her posts on facebook about her workouts. Check out her story and pictures at https://www.facebook.com/SuziWalthallFitForLife.
I also heard about a woman named Lori Marshall Olson, who has lost over 140 pounds. In fact Lori and her family have lost a combined total of 367 pounds! You can read their story here: http://www.standard.net/stories/2012/12/10/layton-family-reduces-its-combined-weight-367-pounds#.UM4U3CqO0EN.blogger. Lori started a page on facebook that she called How Bad Do You Want It? This is a cyber meeting place for people who struggle with their weight and find encouragement and hope to continue on in their quest to take back their lives.
As I looked at Suzi and Lori's pictures and read their stories, I realized these were women like me, who were living a miserable existence. They were smiling on the outside, but aching on the inside for a different life. For a chance at freedom. They were literally trapped in a prison of their own making, as was I. I believe both of them would tell you that they made a decision one day to choose another life, and each day after, they woke up and decided again to keep pressing on. I believe both of these women took their first steps after finally hearing grace call them to change, and once they began their journeys, they found the power to pull it off.
I lost 2 more pounds this week, for a total of 9 pounds since December 28, 2012. This might seem like meager beginnings given the fact that I want to lose more than 100 pounds all together. But I'm thankful that Grace has called me to change my life, and is giving me the power to pull it off each day. There was no flipped switch this time around. No magic moment from which I launched. There was a spark of hope, and each day I am successful fans the flames of hope in me. The fire is building and ablaze. Just like any big fire, a few drops of water (or momentary setbacks) will not put it out. I might hear a sizzle or two if I slip up, but the embers are still glowing hot.
Each person must find his or her own motivation. Mine comes from faith. I am convinced that I am not alone in this journey. I have no doubt that God is helping me every single day by His grace. His love for me is not dependent on my success. Rather, His unending love for me leads me to success. I am thankful for that. If you still struggle, listen for the voice of grace calling you to change.
Until next time . . .