There are many places in the Psalms where the writer reflects or calls the audience to reflect and remember what the Lord has done. Remembering is key to moving forward. I know so many say not to look back on the past to leave it there and press onward. Paul says, “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on…” but there are still times, most especially in the Christian life when we should reflect on the past, with a focus on what our Father in heaven has done for us. By remembering what He has already done for us and all the ways He has proven His love for us, His provision and protection, whatever challenge may lie ahead seems so much smaller and easier to conquer. Sometimes it takes remembering what He has already accomplished in order to believe and trust what He will continue to work in our lives.
I am writing this post with these thoughts in mind. I have shared in past posts about my fitness journey, It’s Just a Number, but I think I really have tried to avoid writing about the topic. Maybe because part of me was still afraid that I would fail and have the condemning eyes of whoever reads this blog looking down on me. Maybe because another part of me is still embarrassed over the fact of being overweight for so long, and I really think at least part of it is because I really don’t want anyone saying ‘hey look at what she did’. I do NOT like being in the limelight. Some attention is nice every once in a while, trust me no one likes to be ignored, but I can only take small doses.
Why am I going to write about it now? For God’s glory, not my own. He has given me this story in order to show His greatness and His power. So read the following if you like, but know that I had little part it in all. I merely followed where He led.
I have been overweight most of my life. To put it this way, I have never been skinny, slender, trim, etc. Words like thick, solid, and chunky were always more fitting. I was never very athletic, preferring to read or watch TV. There have been many failed attempts at losing weight. In college I did well, instead of gaining the freshman-fifteen, I lost it. But after graduation I fell back into old habits, and so the cycle kept going.
In 2011, I started having problems with my knees, clicking cartilage and pain with excessive use. There’s no telling how many times I’ve scraped and banged up my knees over the years. Add that to the abuse of carrying around 200+ pounds for too many years = mild osteoarthritis.
That truly was my wake-up call. It wasn’t anything major or life threatening, but at the age of 24 wondering about if and when I may have to have knee replacement surgery down the road. It was scary. August 2012 I joined the gym. I went. A lot. That September I sprained my ankle. Satan wanted to deter me early on. After two weeks, when I could go with a brace instead of a boot, I was back to the gym.
Made to Crave Devotional has been one of my favorites. I had heard the phrase “we all have a God-shaped hole” before, but this book made it more real. God created us with the ability to crave. He gave us cravings and desires. He made us so that we could not feel complete or satisfied on our own. It is an inherent need for HIM. Only the signals get mistranslated and we think we’re really craving food, relationships, other substances, money, things, etc. What we really need/want is God.
This fitness journey has been different. Even my attempts before my goal was rarely to “be skinny”. Most of the time it was to be healthy, to be not fat. This time I wanted to serve God, to love Him and worship Him by how I took care of this earthly vessel. I remembered that this body is a gift from God, a precious gift. It is the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit, making my body a holy place.
How would we feel if someone filled our church building with trash and was never used for its intended purpose?
Taking care of my body is an act of worship. Not self-worship, a way to worship God, just as much as singing praise songs, sitting in church, and praying. God wants everything we do to be an act of worship, a way of glorifying His name.
I think because of this attitude God has blessed me in this journey. My knees still click, but there is rarely any pain. My ankle is stronger than ever. I have lost 63 pounds that I never want to see again. It has not been easy. I have failed in many ways. God will pick you back up, but only if you’re willing. He loves us too much to leave us where we are. But we also have to want to move.
Praise God for helping me to be willing, for reminding me why I am doing this.
Exactly one year ago, I could only run 10 minutes before having to walk. Yesterday I ran my first half-marathon, that’s 13.1 miles, in 2hours and 34minutes.
To God Be The Glory!!!