Earlier this year I embarked on a health journey. It has been long overdue, but I decided that with the help of God I could make changes and live healthier. I know that my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and felt like it was time to start honoring Him with my body. I realized it was time to trust God with my pursuit of healthy living.
Unhealthy habits have been part of my life since childhood. I have never been one to exercise. In grade school I would walk the presidential fitness test. I was never able to do a single pull up. Physical education was my least favorite subject. Fortunately for me growing up, I was just physically active. I grew up out at the lake so we walked and swam a lot. As a teenager, my family moved into town and since my mom worked evenings I would walk a lot to do activities in and around the community. As an adult, I have spent most of my career in a car or behind a desk. I wanted to do a 5K, I walked it, but after I completed it I stopped working out.
Add to my unhealthy physical activity a love for food – all foods except vegetables. I traded in my late teenage and early adulthood addictions of drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes for food. Unfortunately, my weekend binges of drugs and alcohol were traded for daily binges of sweets and salty foods. Instead of having a cigarette in my hand, I had chips, candy, and soda. It is not hard to see how I went from 125 lbs. to morbid obesity.
So I started the journey this year with prayer. I realized that many years of fad diets and starvation, I had failed in my own attempts. However, despite giving God so many areas of my life, this was one area where I had kept guarded from Him. I was lead to Weight Watchers through a program at work and found a good fit. From January to March, I focused solely on the food aspect of my journey. I committed my food intake to God and changed much of my eating habits, despite being on an emotional journey that would normally have led me to food. God promises if we commit our actions to Him, He will help us succeed.
In April, I joined the gym and started working out several times a week in the pool, just swimming laps. I have always loved the water. As I swim laps I pray over different areas of my life, people, things God places on my heart from local needs to worldwide issues. It is an amazing time and I went from twenty minutes to forty-five minutes pretty quickly. It wasn’t “Exercise” it was prayer time. It was amazing to see God answer so pretty significant requests. More than the physical endurance I was finding success in my prayer life on a greater level.
Then I joined a fitness class – again tied to the water. I started working out five days a week. I really was drawn to the gym. I was meeting people getting to know others with a drive to improve their physical health. I felt so much better. My activity was increasing on the land too. I went from huffing up one flight of stairs to averaging about eighteen flights a day. I was walking 10,000 steps a day five days out of the week. My husband and I started walking together in the evenings.
I still have a long way to go in my journey. It is in trusting these actions to the Lord that my plans have succeeded. There have been times in this journey where I have got my eyes off the Lord. Times where I looked at what I wanted instead of committing my eating and physical activity to Him. Those weeks I didn’t always succeed. This trust walk is a daily decision. It is one of the reasons that Weight Watchers has worked for me. If I fail one day, there is room for success the rest of the week. If I fail one week, there is a fresh start the next week.
The journey is slower than I want it to be. There are more weeks than I care to admit that I don’t commit my actions to the Lord. I still trust the familiarity of food or the busyness of life to sooth my soul too often. I know that daily I have to commit my actions to God. I have to take the tools He has given me and trust Him to sooth my soul on those difficult days instead of food or busyness.
I am thankful for God’s grace that covers my failure and His mercy that if fresh every morning. The numbers don’t move like I want them to each week, and sometimes they move the wrong way. However, I trust God for the long journey. He has never failed me. I trust that as I commit my actions to the Lord, He will help me succeed.
This blog is part of a #Write31Days series on trust. 31 Days is an online writing challenge, where bloggers pick one topic and write a post on that topic every day.