Saturday, January 23, 2010

On Not Becoming Weary

"Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Galatians 6:9, NIV

You reap what you sow. I've got this body for a reason, and boy did the whole reap what you sow thing ever feel real to me today. Walking (in the rain! Can a sistah get a break in the weather!) I remembered that in 2004, for the first and only time since becoming a large woman I lost a lot of weight. To tell you the truth, I worked my butt off, literally, because I knew I was going to see him. That guy I wrote about in "I Loved A Boy," which was my very first blog entry here. The last time we'd seen each other I was seventeen-years-old. We'd rekindled our salacious entanglement friendship online and then starting talking on the phone.  This was in the Spring time that year. On the first of September I'd turn 40. I'd planned to see him the first week of August, and there was no way on God's pretty planet earth that the gorgeous specimen who deflowered me was going to see me weighing 187 lbs! And he was still pretty! Prettier than I am!

So, I began to take Slim Fast, but I didn't love it, not enough to keep going. I think I may have lost about eight lbs that way. Then I went to Medical Weight Loss. I found out if you've ever had an eating disorder, none of those popular programs want you. You're too much of a liability. I decided to take matters into my own hands, and cut my portions in half. I walked everywhere, which was easy since we didn't have a car and our Ann Arbor neighborhood had amenities all around. I went to bed hungry a lot. That was all I did. Four months later, I'd gone down to 150 lbs. I continued throughout the fall, and my lowest weight was 143. People say I looked good, but I still felt very fat. It occurs to me now what an accomplishment that was, but I have to admit, it seems like a strange dream, like it never happened. I'm having difficulty remembering that just six years ago, I was a size 12. I am a size 18 on a good day. On a bad day, size 20.

So I'm walking today, thinking that once upon a time, I did it. I did it for him, or for my own vanity, knowing I'd see him. I didn't think about cancer, or heart disease, or diabetes. I wanted him to remember me like I was: young; pretty; small. And I failed, because I was 40. If I was pretty I was the last to know. And I was not as big as I was at 187, but much bigger than the 98 lb waif he knew. What was I thinking? Please, don't answer that!

I didn't want to walk today, though it gives me energy to exercise, and that is no small gift for person with fibromyalgia. I've also found I have less pain, also a remarkable gift. But I didn't think about that as I boogied at a brisk pace down Third Street, umbrella in hand. All I could think about was how forever it's going to take to actually look smaller. This, my friends, shows a profound lack of patience, as well as gratitude. It also shows the tenacity of this disease of complusive eating I have, and the mindset that accompanies it. This isn't about how I look. It's about life, abundant life. That whole, "How do I look?" thing is just a game I play, and in the end, it discourages me. I had to put my mind right.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Help me, Lord, to not become wearing doing well.

It would be easy for me to give up, and just accept the diabetes that will surely come if I don't change, but every thought of doing so plays like a horror movie in my imagination. I watched one of my favorite aunts have her toes, foot, then leg hacked off, bit by bit, and she didn't even have diabetes; she had another condition she could have averted if she'd changed her lifestyle. She died around Thanksgiving last year. She'd still be alive if she'd had another part of her body amputated, but she didn't want that. Lord, have mercy.

I realized today that weariness comes. I've sown my seeds of change, and each day I hit the streets of downtown Lexington to walk I am tenderly caring for my garden of good health. I don't have to stand there wondering how many days it's going to be until Spring. That would be ridiculous. All I have to do is what every gardener does: tend my garden. At the proper time, if I do what I know to do, the weight will come off. And it will be all for God's glory, and my freedom, not for something as ridiculous as seeing him. Although, ironically, I will be seeing him this Spring. And don't make me think about that right now. For real. Let me just say, it isn't my choice, but I still have to do it.

But I digress.

Here I am bundled up in my walking get up, right about to head out. I just got the fleece jacket. It was on sale for 3 bucks at Target! The hat is from the dollar store. The skull and bones = I'm working out and killing diabetes! Check out the fingerless gloves. I treated myself to them for good behavior. Love 'em! And I love you.



Jennifer McDaniel said...

And she comes into the light! While I was reading your post this morning, I thought, now she's doing it (weight loss) for another Lover. One who loves her as she is and will love her into something more wonderful each passing day. Thank you, Mair.

MaryAnn M said...

one step then another...yay...those gloves ROCK!!
beautiful YOU

GailNHB said...

I agree with Jennifer - it is another lover, The True Lover of your soul that you are walking for and walking towards these days. May He meet you along the way, open the Scripture to you, and show you His boundless love for you, no matter how much or how little you weigh.

Walk on, girl.
Walk on.