In an effort to get back to consistency in my blog writing…I’m making some changes while also giving you a peak into the “Leah of today”. So much of what I’ve shared here in recent years has been related to my journey into widowhood and back out of it, as a result of my previous husband’s suicidal death. That season of my life is definitely a significant part of my story, but it’s not the whole story. You see…God has been so BIG in my life in so many ways. I share much more of my story typically when I share in person at public speaking events. However, there is a part of the story that’s currently being written, and I haven’t shared much about it with anyone…let alone this blog community.
The reason? Fear of ultimately failing.
God has been so gracious in bringing me “out of deep waters”…in restoring my life from the depths of extreme pain, bondage, and hopelessness. But, He isn’t finished and won’t be until He calls me home. However, I do believe there is one victory God desires for me to have on this side of Heaven.
The victory? A healthy body.
It all began on January 21, 1972. I weighed in at a nice average and healthy weight of 7 pounds, 14 ounces. I stayed nice and “average” until the mid to later part of my teen years. I then chalked it up to being “big-boned”, but in all honesty…I was coming to grips with the fact that I was going to have a battle ahead of me. I didn’t have the natural gift of high metabolism, and there was a history of obesity in my family. But, I thought I could avoid it…I just needed to lose about 15 pounds…then.
Those 15 pounds grew into many more…I’d lose and be at a healthy weight for awhile and then I would climb back up and typically top off higher than my last highest weight. So, I would diet again…get the pounds off…glow in the praise of those flattering comments only to find myself back in the same vicious cycle another couple years down the road. I’ve tried so many “diet programs” that I’ve lost count. I’ve been very successful at many but not for the long term, and I never actually reached my goal each time that I would lose weight. I would get “close enough” to be satisfied.
I got to a “breaking point”, so to speak, a few months ago and shared with my loving and supportive husband that “I was tired of the battle and needed help to permanently overcome my food addiction.” I knew food had become an idol. I learned that in recent years and succumbed to the fact that I was craving food more than God. I was ashamed. But…even so…I couldn’t seem to be successful.
I know how to eat healthy. I know exercise is paramount to permanent weight loss and a healthy body (especially the parts we can’t see). I know God has to be in this. I know I have to bathe this in prayer and scripture. So, the time came to put my “knower” into action! I needed to stop just knowing…I needed to start doing.
With the help and huge support of my sweet Joel…I began the journey I’m now on. I am under a doctor-supervised weight loss and counseling program. For me, long term success will involve figuring the “why” and “how” I got here to begin with…hence, the necessary counseling. I’m beginning to exercise slowly…even with a bum (and recovering) knee. I’m memorizing scripture to aid with my permanent success, and I’m calling out to God in prayer! After several weeks…I had lost 25 pounds!
Then life threw a curve ball. My husband had a major surgery in mid-March, and we moved (the day before the surgery) into our new home. And…life got chaotic (to the nth degree). I failed to stick with my program, and I allowed food to be my comfort during these stressful times…all over again. I knew I was heading into that vicious cycle again, but God kept whispering…
“Daughter…Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” (Isaiah 43:18-19, NIV)
I sobbed. I know God loves me so much and wants to see me faithful in this to the finish line even more than me. He doesn’t care about the external. He loves me regardless of what the scale says, but He is concerned about my heart. And…my heart has not always had him first…too often, He’s been replaced by food. And so, I asked Him…I needed to know where to go from here. I truly don’t want to fail. How am I going to be able to maintain accountability and show that with Him…I can do this? His response?
“Go back to the doctor. Face the consequences of a couple weeks of sinning with food, but DO NOT give up regardless of the number on the scale. And then, I want you to go public about this journey.”
Go public? How Lord?
“Share it with your blog readers. You’re not the only one struggling with this, and Joel and I aren’t the only ones cheering you on. Bring the addiction to the light with those that I will send to read about this part of your story that I’m writing. And, when you reach the finish line…remember to give Me the Glory.”
So, now you know…I’m a recovering food addict. I’m walking hand-in-hand with God to the finish line…to finally reach that goal. I recognize this will be a lifelong struggle, but I’ve got the best Battle Leader walking alongside me. I’m not allowing fear of failure of not reaching that goal hold me back (but, if truth be told…the fear still exists).
This will now be a weekly post I’m alliteratively dubbing…Makeover Monday. God is making me over…mind, body, and spirit, and I’m going to share much of that with you. I’ll share the victories and struggles. I’d love to hear from those of you on the same battle. I’m willing to lift up your name to Him in my prayer time. I. Will. Get. The. Victory. This. Time.
For accountability purposes…I gained back 7.5 of those 25 pounds – just in two weeks. I weigh-in each Thursday, so I will come back here the following Monday and give you an update on how the week went. I covet your prayers and support. My love language is words of affirmation, so if God lays one on your heart…don’t hesitate to share. You never know the impact it will have.
Be blessed sweet bloggy friends!