The sign going into the Wellness Center at Two Rivers YMCA in Moline.
I pulled myself out of bed this morning and decided to go to the YMCA to work out. Actually all I do right now for my work out is walk for 30 minutes. Today it wasn’t as hard to convince myself to make this effort. Usually I argue with myself for 15 minutes to 1/2 an hour. If I argue long enough with myself I’ll sit on the couch (in my work out clothes) in my living room reading email, then Facebook and then the tv goes on and that’s it. But not this morning. Maybe it’s because yesterday morning my son wanted to work out as well. This means we have to push the warm covers away and move through the dark cold 5:30 morning. I got up because he wanted to go. But this morning I came on my own. In fact the message in my head was, “It will feel great. You will feel better all day long.” This is a positive message. One I don’t have to fight. One I don’t have to argue against.
During my work out yesterday, I found myself crying during my workout. I listened to a song expressing the losing of the old man and becoming a new person through Jesus. Right after that song was Redeemed!! I was crying. I felt like God was trying to get through my sick messages. He was trying to tell me He loved me. I mean, come on, I have been eating my way through stress and in many cases snubbing my nose at God while I was eating. I mean really. The last few years all I did was fight. It was a fight at work to do the right thing for my students, it was a fight at home to do my part in all that is a family life, it was a fight to go to church and really worship God. When I say fight, I mean I had to convince myself to do some of the simplest tasks throughout my day. So eating was an easy way to express my anger at life, at God. So during this workout yesterday I began to cry. Because ultimately, I was never alone during my fighting, my surviving. God was right there with me in the trenches. Even when I snubbed Him.
Since I resigned my teaching position and am following the call to be a Deacon, so many areas of my life have improved. I am by far much much happier. I have less stress. I am experiencing God and life and relationships in a deeper more positive way. But becoming healthier is far harder. Quite frankly I’ve given up hope of ever changing my health status. Shit, I’ve been on this yo-yo ride since I was 15. I’m 50! How is this going to change!! Yesterday during my crying workout, God’s grace and mercy covered me. Reassured me that I was a new person in Jesus.
But then later that day I found myself a little angry with God. I’ve been helping to facilitate the Alpha course at our church. And there is a point in the video of a man who talked about accepting Jesus as his Lord and Savior. All of his addictions left him. He was addicted to drinking and cocaine. And I was like, “What about me? Haven’t I been faithful!!” See, I realize I am addicted to food, to eating. I’ve been reading the book 10-Day Detox Diet by Mark Hyman and other articles about the brain and food addiction. So I get what’s happening. And there is this part of me that was relieved after reading Hyman’s book. I mean I had believed for so long that I just didn’t have enough will power to lose the VERY excessive weight I was carrying. And this book explained all of the science and addictive nature of foods, especially processed foods, on the brain. And I was like yeah, this is me. I mean, I will be thinking about what I will be eating for lunch and I haven’t even finished eating breakfast. And then throughout the day thoughts of eating and food come into my mind. It doesn’t matter what I’m doing. That’s the very nature of addiction.
So I was a little pissed with God! If He has the power to take away addictions why doesn’t He take away mine?!! I even prayed about it for Heaven’s sake. I mean come on! So then I chalked it up to one of those thorns in my side things. One of those things I just have to trudge through in life. Maybe it’s that will help me continue to seek out God.
And then this morning happened. I didn’t realize what changed until writing this blog. My thoughts this morning were changed, “It will feel great. You will feel better all day long.” I did not have to fight myself this morning. This morning my walk on the tread mill was different. Jordan Feleliz’s song, The River began to play. Today instead of crying I was rejoicing as I praised God listening to the lyrics. When I say praised, I mean my hands were out and open, my head was bowed or looking up and I was singing to my God. (No, I did not sing out loud. At least I don’t think anyone could hear me.) The living water was washing over me, and I was coming alive. I was washed by the water in amazing grace.
Now I truly am a sceptic when it comes to eating and getting to a healthy weight. I know myself and my sinful nature all to well. I will take the positive messages back. Those are so much closer to my true nature. I am a naturally positive person. Maybe that’s the miracle. Maybe it’s another path for me to explore with God. Maybe this old dog can learn new tricks. God is capable of anything. I’ll talk to Him about my scepticism, and I’ll hold onto His promises. Maybe He will perform a miracle. Maybe next year I’ll be the right weight and healthier then I’ve ever been. For right now, I’m praying Psalm 30: 1-5, 11-12;
1 I exalt you, Lord, because you pulled me up;
you didn’t let my enemies celebrate over me.
2 Lord, my God, I cried out to you for help,
and you healed me.
3 Lord, you brought me up from the grave,
brought me back to life from among those going down to the pit.
4 You who are faithful to the Lord,
sing praises to him;
give thanks to his holy name!
5 His anger lasts for only a second,
but his favor lasts a lifetime.
Weeping may stay all night,
but by morning, joy!