Saturday, August 24, 2013

I am (not) a failure

I was so down about my weight and about myself when I started 18 months ago. I was beat down, depressed, and completely overwhelmed at the prospect of starting....again. I could not face failing on a diet (again). I wasn't sure that I had another start in me. I saw myself as a failure. I was going through the motions, but I had lost my fire. It was a lonely place to be, feeling like I didn't have anything to offer. So much energy was needed to do anything. Why even try? But there was something down deep that would not let me give up.

I did what was in front of me to do. One foot in front of the other. Making myself move forward. Sometimes in anticipation, sometimes in anger, often in fear...moving no matter what the underlying feeling was. I believe God gave us feelings to enhance our life, to add depth and beauty. All too often in my past I let my emotions run my life instead of simply add to it. It was draining. I would wait until I "felt" something before I would make a change....many times what I felt was sad or overwhelmed, neither of which is conducive to making a positive change. I stayed stuck for far too long.

Long story short, learning to put my emotions in their rightful place has been good for me. Choosing to move no matter what I felt turned out to be liberating, not only in losing weight, but also in breaking the cycle of self pity that all to often kept me feeling like a victim. I still struggle with it from time to time, but it is getting easier to move out of it.

When I first started this journey, losing the weight gave me momentum to keep going. It felt good to see the numbers go down, it felt good to physically feel smaller. Then I hit my plateau. I have not lost any weight for 6 months. Some of that is just a natural plateau, most is probably my eating. I haven't been super diligent with it. But since I have been at this same weight for so long....I have gotten used to being this size and have lost sight of how far I have come. The feeling of failure is creeping back in. When I look in the mirror, I see the things about my body that I am unhappy with, and the fat that needs to go. I feel embarrassed and if I am to be honest, a little ashamed that I have not finished getting this weight off. Those feelings of failure and poor self image are bubbling up. This is the point where I need to use what I have learned. 1.) Focus on the truth not the feelings. I have lost 40 pounds, and gone from a size 18 to a size 8. (yes, I am only 5 feet tall). Those feelings of failure and insecurity have no merit. And 2.) I need to move. So I will begin to use the :My Fitness Pal" app to track my food/exercise. I have also asked a friend to hold me accountable by downloading the app and checking my posts.

I read a quote one of our pastors posted a week ago. I am not sure what it's from, but it really resonated with me. "Tell me, what is it you plan to do With your one wild and precious life?" -Mary Oliver.

What a great question! I believe I have been given the gift of this life, and it IS wild and precious. I am in this place, with these people, and have these opportunities. Why do I allow myself to be bogged down in the mundane instead of embracing the wildness of it? I have hidden for far too long. There are conversations I have chosen not to have, relationships I have chosen not to pursue because I was afraid; of not being accepted, of not being smart, of not being enough. One of my favorite students was over for dinner this last week, sharing what God has taught him this summer. One of the things he shared was in 1 Peter 1:15-16 " But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy:" He was sharing that the word for holy can also be translated "unique". What a challenge; to embrace and live out my uniqueness. It is expected of me. It is a holy calling on my life. I am who I am because this is EXACTLY who He wanted me to be. And who am I to question how he made me.....he makes beautiful things!

Enjoy this video (which features one of my favorite people on the planet) and be reminded that he CREATED YOU, intentionally, and with great care. You are precious and beautiful because you are his. It is ok that we aren't perfect, we were NEVER created to be perfect. You were created to be HIS, and he makes   -----> BEAUTIFUL THINGS.