It is Time for Me to Be Honest
I’ve been keeping a secret. But now I need to confess to all of you why I have been keeping this secret. Have you ever had a secret that you didn’t want to share because you were afraid you would fail and let down the people you care about so much? I have shared before how I struggle with weight and all the emotional trauma that has been inflicted on me as a result. It is ugly. I want to be healthy not just spiritually, but physically and emotionally. Just as God is a triune being, so are we in our own way.For each of us to reach our full potential, we have to be healthy in every area of our lives Click To Tweet For us to reach our full potential, we have to be healthy in every area of our lives. Over the past few years, I have been working hard to become healthy in every aspect of my life. I have had a great support system who has been cheering me on and continues to do so.
This all started last December when I decided I wanted to do something to give back to others. Jesus Glitter is about encouraging others to #BetheSparkle. What I chose to do was outside the box, outside my wheelhouse, and mostly just… outside. I knew I had to do something that would encourage others to think outside the box and go the extra mile. I decided to do a 5k once a month. This gave me the opportunity to give back, as well as assisting with achieving and maintaining some health goals I had set for myself. I shared with some people what I was doing, and there were those who I believe thought I would never make it and others who admitted they could never do it themselves.
I went to my doctor and had a blood workup done. She explained to me I was in a pre-diabetic state. I’ve always had a blood pressure issue, and my cholesterol was high. Honestly, it wasn’t a surprise. Both my mom and brother have diabetes, and I know the complications it can cause. My doctor said if I didn’t change my diet and lifestyle I was heading toward some serious issues. I have heard the “talk” before. I had done a Whole 30 for sixty days instead of thirty and fell off the wagon. The funny thing is I loved doing the Whole 30 because I felt so much better. It was like those simple carbohydrates were evil minions that just kept calling my name. They called, I ate, and I was miserable once again. The one thing I did learn from the Whole 30 was that I knew I could do it, but I had to change my attitude if I was going to succeed.
When I first started walking again, I remember going up the hill and saying to my daughter Alicia, “Keep going I’m going to die right here on the sidewalk.” Okay, I may have been a little dramatic, but I was so out of shape, gasping for air and sweating like I had just taken a shower and we hadn’t even gone a quarter of a mile. It was not a pretty scene. I hated the fact that once again I had to start from ground zero. I was so ashamed of myself. However, I was angry and determined to change because I knew my life depended on it. The beautiful thing was no matter how slow I was, Alicia never left my side. She just kept talking to me and the next thing I knew we had walked over a mile. That was my beginning.
Food was the one thing I thought I controlled, but the fact is I allowed food to control me. It has taken me a long time to come to terms with the fact that food became my God. Food was my comfort, my source of healing, my stress reliever, my anger management, my joy, and reward. I was good at feeding my emotions, and I stuffed way more than my emotions. Whenever anything good happened, I thought I deserved a treat. Goodness, I treated myself like I was a dog. Do a trick Sheila, and you get a treat! How sad is that? I’m sure you have seen the commercial “What would you do for a Klondike Bar?” Well, I would have done just about anything short of being on the wrong side of the law. On the flip side, if anything stressful or bad happened I ate to cover my pain because food was my release. Addiction is addiction; it just comes in various forms.
I am no different than a drug addict. We talk about the opioid epidemic in this country and the many lives it has taken way too soon. The only difference between opioids and sugar is that sugar is legal. It is as addicting as any drug and has the capability of killing you.
The ball was in my court, and I knew I was at a crossroads in my life. I had to confess and repent before I could begin to deal with my issue. Prayer is my foundation. Conversation with God is minute by minute because in the beginning, I had to talk myself into going for a walk or talk myself out of eating something every day. It is amazing what you can blame on the weather or how many ailments you can blame to avoid doing something you know you have to do. The fact is I can’t do this on my own now or ever, but with God all things are possible. Now, I get frustrated if I can’t walk for some reason. I never thought I would see that day!
Defeat is no longer an option. I shared with a friend recently, God doesn’t demand perfection. He just wants us. In my weakness, He is strong. I’m not doing this in my own power, but in the power of Jesus Christ who lives in me.
Here is what I learned in this process. Attitude is key. The first month I did a 5k was last December, with my daughter. It was called the “Elfie Run” with all donations being given to Toys for Tots. The day we decided to walk was cold, blustery and snowing. There were snow pellets hitting us in the face, and it was painful. I could have made a million excuses for not doing it, but I didn’t. Alicia and I did it together, and although it was freezing outside, our hearts were warm, and we finished. Our attitudes were that it wasn’t about us, it was about the kids who would wake up on Christmas morning and have a gift under the tree.
I couldn’t believe my first 5k was in the books and the fact I didn’t have to do another one until January made me happy. However, I can’t tell you how incredible I felt because I finished what I started and I didn’t die. Instead, I felt more alive than I had in a long time. God was stirring my heart. I kept my promise to God, and He kept His promise to me.
I called my initiative #GivingWhileLiving because I didn’t want to wait to die in order to give back. I wanted to give back in the here and now to make an impact on the lives who could benefit from some love, hope, and encouragement. This is what Jesus Glitter is all about. But, what I received in return was way more than I gave. My life was given back to me.
This past July, I found a doctor whose expertise is working with people with weight issues, especially those who are morbidly obese. Yes, I fell into the category of being morbidly obese. No words anyone wants to hear, but it is my reality for the moment.
Now, here is the secret I have been keeping. Since the end of July, I have lost 60 pounds. I had new blood work done last week and here are my results. My new numbers no longer classify me as a pre-diabetic. All of my numbers including blood pressure and cholesterol are within normal range. In fact, my doctor was so proud of my numbers she called to congratulate me. Please hear me when I say I am not bragging, because I know I am vulnerable and have the ability to slip back into complacency in a second. Yes, I have lost 60 pounds, but I have a long way to go. It is a war that rages within my soul every day. However, I’m not running away from God, but I’m running to God or in my case walking at a fast pace. J The transformation in my ability to walk is nothing short of a miracle. I am currently walking at least four miles five days a week. The hill I wanted to die on the first day, I now walk up with ease.
In November, Alicia and I will be doing the “Turkey Trot 5K” on Thanksgiving Day. The charity that is benefitting from this run is called Way Side Station. Here is the link: http://www.waystationinc.org/turkey_trot_15/#faq Way Side Station helps children, adolescents, and adults with serious mental issues and offers love, care, compassion, and hope.
I never thought I would be excited about doing 5k’s, but I am. I love looking for runs who are donating to charities that are close to my heart. When I am walking/running, I think about what each person has had to endure in their life, and I pray for them. The medals I have received are the reward for completing the 5k, but for me, it is so much more because it is a reminder of God’s faithfulness and my obedience.
I don’t know what you struggle with, but God does. Some of the things we struggle with such as weight, are more obvious than others. There are those who struggle in private with pornography, anger, depression, and self-worth to name a few. Our struggles don’t make us any less valuable to God. From the moment we were created by God, we were priceless. As long as you have breath, you have the opportunity to start fresh. You don’t have to live in your agony. Yes, there is always a risk with being vulnerable and honest, but God will reward you in ways you can’t imagine. Freedom is a result of no longer being held captive. I’ve held myself a prisoner for long enough. What about you?
We can keep secrets from each other, but we can never keep a secret from God.