Five years ago I was 10 pounds lighter.
Ten years ago I ran 3 miles a day, 5 days a week and clocked under 8 min. a mile on an average day.
Four years ago I walked regularly and ran some.
When my second child was 6 months old, two friends and I joined Weight Watchers. It was the first time in my life I’d had excess weight when I wasn’t pregnant. I was 23 and at least 20 of the 40 pounds I’d gained during pregnancy weren’t coming off.
All three of us reached our goal weights. We followed the eating recommendations by Weight Watchers that included measuring our food. Portion control. We attended weekly meetings where the instructor encouraged us and helped people who had reached a plateau or struggling to meet their goal.
When we met our goals, we stopped attending the meetings. The guidelines were simple enough to continue on our own. I stayed within comfortable weight limits for the next 14 years or so.
Then I stopped doing what I’d been doing. Oh, I had reasons. Good reasons. We were moving. Again. In the span of one year my best friend died, my father died, I turned 40 and our oldest graduated high school. Surely, that’s enough to plunge anyone into carb loading and sugar highs.
It was a gradual slide into relapse. The age-old home remedy of self-medicating with food.
Pulling out that favorite pair of jeans offers a moment of clarity. Determination sets in. Until guests come and they want to go to that ice cream place you took them to last year. The one that only has double sized everything.
Tomorrow comes and you spend it wishing things were as they were and wishing that wishes were all you needed to do to get things back under control. And then your mind starts having this crazy argument about control.
Big deal, right? It’s only weight and it’s only 10 pounds and most people don’t think you need to lose even one pound so what’s the big deal?
It’s not of course. Not a big deal. I won’t lose my job, my husband and children won’t leave or disown me. My friends still trust me.
It’s a very simplistic view of the more serious state addicts and alcoholics find themselves in. Only their labels are ALL CAPS, bold type.
I’ve never met an addict of any kind (drugs, food, work, etc.) who didn’t want to change. Who didn’t want the wishing to make it go away. Who didn’t want to pray it away or find the magic cure at the baptismal or walking through our doors. But it takes more.
They carry the label and the scars of a bad record preventing job opportunities, of a poor work history, of being a loser and not trustworthy. Things far greater than being overweight.
Addiction is a disease. A compulsion stronger than one can control on their own. It leaves wreckage that some will never be able to see beyond. For us, it’s an opening for grace and where there is grace there is hope.
Some people think work takes God out of it. Last I checked, God likes work. He likes people who work, blesses them and promises to share the load, even carry the bulk of it. Believe me, loving people who aren’t like you takes work too. Living a life Christ calls us to takes work. Every day.
It’s a spiritual awakening that brings the willingness to change. Willingness is where God meets us.
“Discipline, not desire, determines our destination.” Andy Stanley
At a time.
GOD, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time, accepting hardship as the pathway to peace. Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it. Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His will, that I may be reasonably happy in this life, and supremely happy with Him forever in the next.