After a long hiatus from the world of good health (as well as tolerating the general misery that attends it), I decided to join Weight Watchers. I guess if people can tell you when they came to Christ, I can tell you when I began Weight Watchers – August 13, 2009.
I’m fond of saying in the studies that I teach that we don’t just “end up” distant from Christ. No one ever wakes up in the morning and says, “I think I’ll try to decrease my fellowship with God today.” Or, “I think I’ll try to really ‘sin up a storm’ today.” Or, “Perhaps I’ll grow relationally cold toward my spouse today.” That’s not how it usually works. No one wakes up and decides to sin, to fail, or to become stagnate. However, those are, quite often, a few of the consequences for not paying attention to your life. We lose ground ever so slowly, inch-by-inch, through the smallness of our surrenders.
I think that’s what happened to me with my weight. I didn’t wake up one day forty pounds overweight. It didn’t “just happen.” I wasn’t the victim to some conspiracy by fast-food restaurants. I just stopped paying attention in that area of my life. Sure, every now and then I thought that perhaps Suzanne was buying the wrong sized pants for me. But, in all seriousness, I knew what was happening. Yet I still chose, (of my own volition), to bury my head in the sand. We do this all the time: With our money, with our children’s behavior, etc.
My particular shortcoming (or, perhaps I should say, “one” of my shortcomings) was my weight. The funny thing is, I was actually exercising. I just wasn’t exercising any self-control or self-discipline regarding how much I was eating. Another aspect is that I don’t really eat that much during meals. But boy am I a “grazer.” That is, I just “nibble” throughout the day. I’m living proof of what “just nibbling” throughout the day can do to your waist size. Yikes!!
At any rate, as I said, back in August I decided to join Weight Watchers. It may not be for everyone, but it’s exactly what I need. It’s so helpful for me to have that external accountability in my life. Showing up once a week and weighing in is very beneficial to me. It holds me accountable during the rest of the week. It keeps my eyes on a weekly target while also reminding of the long-term goal that I’m pursuing. The 30 minutes is motivational, informative, and fun (if you live in Jacksonville or Orange Park, you must make sure that Norma is your leader. That’s imperative.).
I don’t know what the odds are that I’ll gain back the weight (or even some of it). I’m sure someone has worked out the math. And that really is the scariest part for me. But I’ve always been a believer that people in general need “big purposes” to keep them moving forward. So back in August, in order to help me make a permanent change in my life, I came up with nine reasons that I wanted and needed to make this change in my life. Going back and reviewing them from time to time is very helpful. This sort of review is helpful in every sphere of life. It’s why organizations have purpose and mission and value statements. Here’s my list:
1.) To glorify God (1 Cor. 10:31) by treating the body that he gave me with respect (1 Cor. 6:19-20), by showing self-control and self-discipline (Gal. 5:22-23; 2 Tim. 1:17), and by offering my body to God as a living sacrifice (Rom. 12:1).
2.) For better health: For my heart, my knees, my feet, and the countless other areas that I’m not even aware of.
3.) To thoroughly enjoy all my years with Suzanne.
4.) To be a good example to my children.
5.) To be around as long as I can (all things being equal) for my children and, one day, my grandchildren.
6.) To feel more positively about myself. (Caveat: Yes, my identity is in Christ, but when we are out of sync with what God desires for us, it messes up our whole system – spiritual, emotional, mental, physical, relational, etc.)
7.) To be able to live a healthier, more active lifestyle.
8.) To have greater credibility with those to whom and with whom I minister. I think it loses a little of the power to teach about obedience to Christ, growing in godliness, exercising self-control and self-discipline, etc., when the elephant in the room (pardon the pun) is screaming, “But what about me?!”.
9.) To look better. It’s embarrassing to put that one, but I’d be lying and hypocritical if I didn’t include it. But hey, at least I put it last.
So that’s my list. That’s my journey up through today. Perhaps making all of this so public will be another level of accountability for me. Of course, it didn’t work for Oprah. But hopefully it will for me. And, just as importantly, I hope this encourages someone who reads it to take the Weight Watchers plunge. It’s more than worth it. Come up with your own list of purposes and get started.
I have a meeting today and will weigh in. Just maybe I’ll give you the stats next Wednesday.