God has allowed me to struggle for years with my weight. (My sister tells me to be careful about what I pray for – sometimes God will answer you requests in ways that you aren’t so thrilled with.) I have met with different dieticians off and on since 1991 (due to gestational diabetes) and have learned a great deal about nutrition, healthy lifestyle, the glycemic index of foods, nutrient density, portion control, calories consumed verses calories expended, yada, yada, yada. All of this head knowledge has probably kept me from passing a certain number on the scale, but I haven’t been able to bring my weight down to the number that I’d like it to be (Yes, I know it isn’t about a number.).
However, a lower weight number would help my body avoid Type II diabetes as well as help my back condition to not deteriorate quite as quickly; having less weight to carry around every day. So I continue to strive toward this goal, getting frustrated, but staying determined to not give up. I’ve prayed persistently that God will give me a break and help me out. I think he’s allowing this struggle to build my character. It feels like Paul’s thorn in the flesh. My default response is to say the heck with it, kind of that all or nothing mentality. I’ll be the same number whether I sit on the couch each night or if I put myself through a lot of pain and sweat during the day. I know that isn’t the right answer. I am trying to have a reasonable attitude about all of this.
Making good food choices is crucial, I know that. I have a legendary sweet tooth that was passed on to me by my mother. And I tend to reward myself with “treats”. If I do a workout, I may have burned off 400 calories, but then I “treat” myself to 600. In the past I’ve done the food journal thing where I’ve recorded my blood sugar levels, what I’ve eaten (every bite) as well as how much I exercised. I spent a lot of time doing this with nothing to show for it. I’ve purchased the calorie counting software where you plug in exactly what quantity of what foods you eat and it tracks everything for you. I have a Y membership, a treadmill and weights in my basement, I’ve walked in “races”, and I’ve done a 60 day stint on P90X (I dare you!). I’ve even done a colon cleanse!
I have found new resolve to be a good steward of my body while keeping balance in my life. Not obsessing about the number, the food or the movement. But keeping God at the center, making good choices for overall health, reading food labels to avoid all of the added chemicals, sugars and sodium, and talking some long walks with the Lord; eating several small portions throughout my day and limiting my “treats” to a few fruits and an occasional brownie!
I can proclaim Jesus as I struggle along my journey – He created me – I am fearfully and wonderfully made – my body is aging as it should (menopause doesn’t make this task any easier might I add) and my years of struggling have kept me in relatively good health. My family loves me as I am. Jesus listens to my complaints, hears my excuses, knows when I fall short and give in to cravings, strengthens my resolve, encourages me to press on and gives me perspective. That number is only so important – let’s keep it in its right place. Thank you Lord Jesus for the many blessings you continue to pour out on my life!