On Friday, March 5th...I went to a huge Christian concert at our civic center here in Tallahassee. It was fantastic! However, many things were happening in my heart. Let me share -
This journey of weight loss and healthy living has not been easy, but it has been wonderful. I have learned a lot - especially about myself. I love to "people watch" and as I was sitting in the stadium-style seating at the civic center (quite comfortably for the first time that i can remember)- I was doing just that. As I was scanning the crowd, a woman caught my eye. She was overweight, and beginning her ascension of the stairs from hell. Her head was down, lips tight and with every step...her face contorted in pain. She held onto the railing, trying to pull herself up the stairs in order to find some release from the pain in her joints. I tried not to, but I couldn't help but to stare. The next thing I knew...tears were trickling down my face. I was that woman 6 weeks ago. My heart broke and wanted to scream - "it doesn't have to be this way..."
No pun intended, but there is a heaviness that comes with being overweight. I'm not talking about the physical kind, although that does have a lot of effect on what/how we do things. I'm talking about the emotional and mental heaviness. I think we often feel like failures because we know we got ourselves into this mess, and feel helpless because we can't see a way out. We feel shame about what we've become - and how our bodies look and move; embarrased that we cant glide up and down stairs, or sit in chairs without "tucking" ourselves in. When we look in the mirror...those thoughts are magnified.
Not to mention the conflicting signals from society we get. The entertainment industry depicts "Be thin, or your nothing," while the majority of Americans are significanlty overweight...even dangerously so. Infomercials use already thin and fit people in their ads to entice to use their product...but I, as the viewer who needs to lose over 100 pounds, think to myself..."There is no way i could do that, or look like that." We see before and after photos side-by-side, never hearing about the journey inbetween.
For me, it's not the before and after I really need to hear about...it's the struggle inbetween. It's the days that i don't want to get out of bed to meet with my trainer, or the days when the weather is cold or damp and it makes my knees ache, it's the days when I gain on the scale or can't finish a work out and have a breakdown...Those are the defining moments. Do I keep pokin' along or stop altogether because it's hard and painful?
You've made it this far in my blabbering - please stay for just a bit more. You and I...we are stronger than we know. God, Himself, created our inmost being. GOD!?! How could we not be strong?!? We are part of who He is. We are amazing and magnificant beings of value and worth. Please be encouraged. We are doing this journey together.
To the woman at the civic center on Friday, March 5...I saw you, and you moved my heart. It doesn't have to stay this way...you (we) can overcome it all!
Let us (you and I) run with perserverance the race marked out for us and throw off everything that so easily stands in our way.