Thursday, January 26, 2012

Faith vs. Fat

Let's talk about fat. Specifically, my fat. Now there are many of you that may be rolling your eyes or may be thinking..."If she's on this courage kick why is she talking about fat?" Here is the answer: BECAUSE I am on this courage kick I HAVE to talk about being fat. People don't like the brashness of the word "fat." They prefer heavy, overweight, big...anything but fat; but fat is what it is - so I'll stick with that.

I wasn't always fat. I was actually pretty cute. In fact, I loved working out, but my fat has nothing to do with loving or hating exercise. Fat has been a source of protection. My first 10 pounds crept on after I was assaulted by a group of teenage boys. It wasn't a lot of weight - but it was just enough to feel a little bit invisible and safe. Those 10 pounds were just enough to stop any wanted or unwanted attention from other boys. What may be shocking to many of you healthy weight individuals is that being overweight is a great way to blend into the background. People don't like to notice fat people. You will deny it but it's true. It's a physical invisibility cloak. I know it sounds contradictory but it has been proven to me on multiple occasions.

In college, I began to regain my confidence. It was also nice to not have to see my attackers at school every day...that helped tremendously. I had these incredible and supportive roommates that helped me feel strong and worthwhile. I no longer needed the 10 pounds...so they went away.

After marriage, they returned. In fact, they brought friends with them. I would sometimes lose the original 10, but the friends never left and when the 10 came back they brought more friends. They seemed to always know the password to get back in, "We'll make you feel better. We'll make the hurt disappear." It was the ultimate social marketing plan...if fat were people.."and then they told two friends and so on and so on." The idea was that each little pound could protect me, insulate me from pain. But, it doesn't work that way...instead it just keeps all the pain inside...trapped. What I didn't realize, is my fat was showing how little faith I had that the Lord would look out for me. I know! I am as shocked as you! I have always thought of myself as someone with great faith...but by turning to food and not the Lord I was sabotaging my own chance of happiness. Phillipians 4:13 says, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." It doesn't say, "Christ will help you through these areas, ice cream will help you with the rest."

Here is the amazing part...this part's important, so listen up! As I have released my pain to the Lord and begged for his forgiveness in how I have treated myself and in the failure of my marriage something incredible has happened. Where there was pain, the Lord has filled me with gratitude. Without fail, every time I kneel and pray seeking release and forgiveness I am always left with the most incredible feeling of lightness and thankfulness.

So now 10 pounds are gone. There is a lot more to go, but here is the difference: the 10 pounds that left are the original 10. I don't have to be afraid to feel because the Lord is with me wherever I choose to go. Who knew that the ultimate weight loss plan was waiting patiently for me the whole time? I just had to trust in the Lord.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Courage

I am very excited about 2012. 2011 was a little rough for me. I got a divorce, sold a business, got a new job and went back to school. Needless to say, it was one of my more stressful years. As I have mentioned in a previous post, I am looking at all of these changes as a chance to start over...to begin anew. I decided I need to give myself a theme, to stay motivated and hopeful with this somewhat uncertain stage in my life. My theme is courage.

Back in the spring of 2011 when my entire life seemed to be falling down around me I received a call from my sister. "I'm in the car," she said, as if I would assume she could possibly be anywhere else, "and I have received some inspiration for you. Everyday you need to read Joshua 1:9. EVERY DAY." We chatted a little bit and I promised I would follow her inspiration.

(On a side note, Lisa called me a few weeks later and said, "Rob has the kids, so you have my complete attention. You can cry, vent, whatever you need." "Ummm, well, I'm making dinner right now and not especially feeling like having a breakdown. Oh - and the girls are right here." "But Rob has the kids! You have my undivided attention!" Lisa - I would like to apologize for not being able to have a breakdown at that particular moment. I want you to know there have been several since...but I wasn't sure if Rob had the kids. :))

Anyway, taking care of a few things I pulled out my bible.



Joshua 1:9 "Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of good courage; be
not afraid, neither be thou dismayed for the Lord thy God is with thee
withersoever thou goest."


LOVE IT! I have been reading this almost every day since and I will tell you there are days where this verse is what has kept me going. People call courage a lot of different things: confidence, strength, fortitude, initiative, even gumption. (Maybe my theme should be gumption - no one ever uses that word anymore.) But it all boils down to courage. There are a lot of people that live their lives with amazing courage. I'm not talking about the life or death type of courage; I'm talking about the courage to wake up, every day and do your best. There are so many people that have struggles and challenges that aren't just one or two rough days, but maybe weeks, months or even a lifetime of shoring yourself up every morning to begin again.

I was delighted when I read an article written by President Thomas S. Monson, the president of my church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, to find that he wrote about courage this month, as well. He included the following Ralph Waldo Emerson quote:




Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide on, there is
always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties
arising that tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a
course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage a
soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win
them.


So, no more excuses, no more blame, this is the year we courageously follow our hearts. Won't you join me?