The fact that I have lost over 100 lbs and maintain it now for 21 years is indeed a miracle. I have quite a history of dieting, some of it worked for a time, but every one ended the same way, with a weight gain. It was certainly not the result I wanted. So what made this work after most of my 43 years of life’s diets did not?
I had a spiritual awakening, that’s what.
How does one have a spiritual awakening? I remember that one day back in 1993, I had to finally admit to myself that what I was doing wasn’t working. Diet after diet resulted in a weight gain. I had to build my life all over again, and find some different tools with which to construct something that could last for the long haul.
I start every day out in quiet time, praying, meditating, journaling and then, when food rears its ugly head, God is more of a forethought. I have also learned that armies win wars, so I’ve recruited a whole troup of people that I can call or text when the temptation to eat in-between meals arises. And believe me, I do have moments where I need to lean on friends!
I didn’t have anything like that when I was dieting. The pay-and-weigh clubs met once a week, took my money, I hopped on a scale, and then listened to a 30 minute lecture on a new tip for sticking to their plan. Afterwards, I left, headed right for a frozen yogurt place down the street, hoped no one would see me and I’d make up for all those points I saved up from the week before. I’m sure that the pay-and-weigh club works for a lot of people, but it didn’t for me.
I think the difference for me today is that I have consistent support, any time I’m willing to admit it and reach out. On Tuesday nights, Sean Anderson and I lead a healthy living support group. There’s a lively discussion, but it doesn’t stop there; during the week, we are available to one another and the success rate is much higher for many of them, just as it is for Sean and me. For me, this group is a spiritual experience; every time I ask for help and get it, and every time the members of the group do too!
I seem more present in life today and that’s a spiritual experience all in itself. I want to share about one of those moments from a few days ago while we were still in Palm Springs. I was driving across town for a massage, a treat I give myself on Sundays instead of watching football ad-nausea. (don’t get me wrong, I like football, but that ‘Red Zone’ drives me crazy!)
The temperature in the desert was in the mid-seventies, while clouds enveloped the mountains to my west. There was a break where the sun was pouring down through the clouds. It was a beautiful sight. I could imagine God shining His ever-loving light right down on me. It was a comforting sight that I’ll remember for a long time.
Every person is my teacher. Some teach me what I should be doing, while others help me to see the pain of returning to food, so I don’t have to do that myself. I need each and every one of them. And when I call someone who’s fallen by the wayside, I just ask God to give me the right words so that He can perform His miracle there too.