Tuesday, February 18, 2014

I feel like a number (I'm not a number)

I was reminded of that Bob Seger song after weighing myself yesterday morning. There can be so much emotion and self image tied to a number on the scale, as if it defines me. My eating and exercise have been off since the beginning of December. I am being reminded just how much those choices effect me physically, mentally and emotionally. I am paying the price. My headaches are back, I am not sleeping well, emotionally I am all over the place, I am tired...bleh. 

When that number came up, 8 pounds over my comfortable spot, I was defeated. And not just in that moment. I struggled all day. Into the evening. Into this morning. I went for a 3 mile run yesterday. It was symbolic of how I was feeling. I was running into the wind, my pace was slow, my body felt heavy and cumbersome, my favorite songs weren't coming up in the shuffle (yes, I can be that big of a baby). The entire run, I had that negative talk running in my head. You are slow. you are clumsy. You are not strong enough. Just stop. Just walk. Give up. You can' won' will never....For three freaking miles. It was a beating, but I didn't stop. I finished the run. I would love to tell you there was a Rocky moment at the end where I felt great and SO proud of myself for persevering. Nope. Not even close. I clicked off my running app and thought to myself, "well that sucked" and I walked 3/4 of a mile home thinking I should have run faster.

 The shame started to lift a little after my kickboxing class this morning. It isn't gone completely, but at least it isn't as heavy. I realize I was already on shaky ground mentally having been out of my routine for so long. But that number on the scale set a shame storm in motion. It wasn't that I was just disappointed in the number. Every failure from the past settled in around me, reminding me of how many times I've started and failed. It is making me think of the lyrics from the song by Casting Crowns:

                                                 Oh what I would do to have
The kind of faith it takes to climb out of this boat I'm in
Onto the crashing waves

To step out of my comfort zone
To the realm of the unknown where Jesus is
And He's holding out his hand

But the waves are calling out my name and they laugh at me
Reminding me of all the times I've tried before and failed
The waves they keep on telling me
Time and time again. 'Boy, you'll never win!'
"You'll never win"

But the voice of truth tells me a different story
And the voice of truth says "Do not be afraid!"
And the voice of truth says "This is for My glory"
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth

I struggle with fear. What if I fail? What if I never reach my goals? I have to be very careful to keep my feelings and fears in their rightful line behind truth. They like to puff up and try to push their way to the front of the line. They are bullies. But just like any other bully, when confronted with truth, they have no other option but relent, and take their rightful place. I am so grateful that feeling something does not make it true. I am 8 pounds heavier than I should be right now. That is true. I am a failure. That is not true. It's not the falling down that is the problem. It's the not getting back up.  I am the same person at 147 that I am at 139 and will be at 125. I am encouraging and funny and faithfilled and irreverent and tenderhearted. Truth is I am a lot of things, but none of who I am is altered by how much I weigh. Where is my focus? On how I feel, or what God says is true about me?In Luke 6 it says:
43-45 “You don’t get wormy apples off a healthy tree, nor good apples off a diseased tree. The health of the apple tells the health of the tree. You must begin with your own life-giving lives. It’s who you are, not what you say and do, that counts. Your true being brims over into true words and deeds."

It is who you are that counts. It is whose you are that counts. We must begin with our own life-giving lives. That is truth...