Today is a big day. A sweet anniversary. A year ago today God grabbed me and said “I have a better plan!” You see, I had asked him sorta “tongue and cheek” to just make me magically thin and fit after my sister declared on Facebook she was ready to lose weight and get healthy. I knew I needed to do the same thing….but the past 15 years had only proved to me how excruciatingly hard this was! So why not ask God for this little favor! I thought it would be an amazing thing for Him to do. I’d just wake up the next day and be 10 lbs lighter. And as I barely changed my eating habits and continued my crusade to never exercise a day in my life, I’d continue to lose weight like butter slipping off a hot steak. It would be spectacular! After this past year of talking to people on social media who are trying to lose weight, God could stay quite busy helping people achieve their own pre-laid quick weight loss plans! People get so agitated and discouraged if they don’t lose 5 lbs or more a week.
But I digress. Back to God’s better plan! I did truly pray for God to make losing some weight easier for me. I did hope I could lose at super fast lightning speed. Because who doesn’t? I knew,though, I needed a mindset change and that’s what I honestly prayed hardest for. Because I knew that if I woke up every day thinking it was OK to be the “fluffy grandma” , that cookies were life and that sitting on the sidelines watching life pass me by was cool, I’d never ever ever lose weight again. I had to have better thoughts passing through my head.
So I went to bed on February 28,2019 with this prayer on my heart. And when I opened my eyes on March 1st, something was different! No, I wasn’t amazed at my new size 10 body staring at me from my bathroom mirror. The size 20 girl was still there with all her bed head glory. But what lay beneath all that crazy hair was not the same! I can’t explain it beyond God’s miraculous touch, but I knew I knew I knew that all my “I can’t possibly do this” thoughts had left the building and would no longer be an issue.
So I grabbed my phone and purchased the WW app. I scoured through YouTube for all the Leslie Sansone Walk at Home videos I could find. I threw out all the sugary , yummy junk that was lingering in my pantry. I went to Kroger and filled my buggy with lean meats and fruits and veggies and all the healthy things I once snubbed my nose at. I joined my sister’s Facebook group with others who were trying to commit to new and healthier lifestyles…because accountability is a good thing. Then I set about the business of listening to what God’s better plan was and doing it.
My first big surprise was how easy it all felt . It wasn’t hard to hit play on the walking video and actually spend 30 minutes marching and kicking around my living room. It wasn’t hard to kick the cookies to the curb and eat blueberries instead. It wasn’t hard to tell people “no thank you” when they offered me a piece of cake because they knew I always wanted cake! None of it was hard. And that was weird and so amazing.
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning.”…Lamentations 3:22-23
Part of His better plan for me was to teach me this. His mercies truly never end. It’s been an every morning thing. I go to bed each night unaware of what the next day will bring. But God knows. So He wraps up the strength I’ll need to make healthy food choices all day. He boxes up the stamina I’ll need make it through the harder workouts. He ties up all the positive words I need to say to myself. Then when I wake up in the morning, He hands them all to me…a new gift each and every morning.
So by this point, you must be wondering if doing all these things with my new “Jesus super powers” made everything so super easy that I reached all my goals at the exact time I wanted to reach them and never struggled.
And the answer to that is a big fat nope!!! God promised His forever presence with us. But He never promised us His presence would make life super easy with every single thing going just like we want. Over the course of this last year , some things have happened exactly like I wanted them to….like losing 30 lbs in the 3 months before our fancy Alaskan cruise. The picture above of my husband and I was taken on that vacation. We were standing in our “adventure cart” on a mountain trail in Ketchikan, Alaska. SO! MUCH! BEAUTY! Let me just stop here and say if you ever have the chance to go to Alaska, don’t think twice about it. Just go! Best as I could figure, losing 30 lbs would be a reasonable 3 month goal and it would be just enough to make me more comfortable with all the vacation things we’d be doing. And I was right. By June 15th , I had lost 33.5 lbs. Because God sometimes like to show us how He is able to do abundantly more than all we ask or think, simply because He loves us.
After those first three months of abundance , I had new lessons to learn. And the biggest thing God had for me was wrapped up in the s l o w n e s s of the weight loss I would have for the remainder of the first year. I lost 33.5 in the first three months. Over the next NINE months ( and to this very day), I would lose only 32 more pounds. The tail end of my first year of weight watching was full of plateaus, roller coasters… gaining and losing the same 3 or 4 pounds over and over. I’m telling you, a weaker person would’ve just said “Hallelujah for those first 30 pounds but this is for the birds” and thrown in the towel.
Now I’m human. And even though I had given God control of this venture into “healthierness”…yes,that’s a word and I just made it up and it’s good…I still felt big needs to help Him speed things up when the wheels started screeching on my weight loss. So I changed my WW plan . I changed my exercise program.
And ya know what?
I kept losing weight! Yay me!!
You wanna also know what?
My efforts didn’t speed up a thing! Yep. In spite of all my incredible efforts to get to my goals and reach the end of this race quicker , I was still barely losing 1/2 a pound a week. What the heck was going on?? I had accepted the fact that I was gonna lose slowly because of my age and I was OK with that. But this just seemed excruciating. I needed to have another serious chat with my Leader about this.
It went something like this…..
Me: “Hey God! I know You’re for me and with me and all that but I’m just wondering if You , for some reason, have put my request to lose all this weight on Your back burner. I still have a good 15-20 to go and I’m not even losing a pound a week. This is gonna take forevah!!” (insert semi-frustrated grunt here)
God: “Take heart, Sweet Girl, and wait for me. Be strong. I am making you strong now. Don’t you feel that?”
Me: “Yes! I’m so much stronger. I DO feel that. Have You seen that I’m lifting heavier weights now? And I’m doing real burpees! I still can by pass the cookies and cake but even if I have just a bite, that sugar monster You helped me slay stays asleep!! Seriously!! But I really thought I’d be at my goal weight and coasting through maintenance by this point. I need help to not just grow tired of this!”
God: ” What you are doing is a good thing. You’ve made so many positive changes . Continue to use my strength to help you not grow weary in doing these good things. And at the proper time, you will reap the harvest of your efforts because you did not give up. Remember that My timing is perfect even when it’s not the same as what you’d like.”
Me: ” Oh I know!! I won’t forget that. But I’m still an impatient human, just like You created me. I also know to You a day is like a thousand years and that makes me a tad bit nervous! Please please please tell me I’ll reach my goals quicker than that!!”
God: “Stay faithful to the good things I’ve taught you this year. Let your perseverance finish its work . You don’t want to reach your goal prematurely. Let all you’ve learned and accomplished come to completion so that you won’t be lacking anything. When you feel frustrated , like you don’t know what you’re doing anymore, come to Me. I love to help. I won’t look down on you or think you’re weak. I’ll just help you. Ask boldly and then believe without a second thought that I will help you.”
Me: “So if I do these things I don’t see how I can help but reach my goals. In Your time and in Your way. I will wait patiently. I will stay steady and strong. One good decision after another. One at a time. “
And that my Friends, I guess is the secret to my success over this past year and into the years to come. By my own power , I’m a mess. With God leading the way, I at least stand a pretty darn good chance of getting what I truly need. Healthy weight loss….not super fast, at the speed of light loss. A mind set that is changed for the good and for the better because anything that is slowly simmered is superior to something quickly boiled into a mushy mess.
I’m still a work in progress and will continue to be.
Until next time, keep JOYFULLY CLAMORING!