Chris Tomlin O Come all Ye Faithful

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Water on the Altar; Fire from Heaven

This morning I wrote a blog post on the SparkPeople.com site for my page there....and it was a list of goals phrased as desires. A long list of "I want...."s and I was surprised when the first comment to come through was from a woman Down Under (which is not surprising as it was 3:00 AM when I posted the blog. Who else would be up at that hour??)...and she immediately talked about how I must be surrounded by negative people...and she ended with an injunction not to let them bring me down.

I admit, I was a little ticked off. I mean these were goals of mine , for Pete's sake. How did she get off saying the post was negative?? I mean, isn't one of the cornerstones of SparkPeople based on goal setting??

I thought about it for awhile. And then it dawned on me.

These were all statements written from a position of lack and of weakness. Of someone who doesn't have what she wants, and whining about it. Like the kid with the mile long Christmas list....or a begger's dreams of food. So I asked myself..."how can I change that? How can I come from a position of strength and control rather than one of lack??"

Duh.

So I changed them all into "I will...." statements. Positive affirmations of what I intend to, and will accomplish before I'm done.

Here are a few examples from my list:

1) I am going to feel strong and in control once again.
2) I am going to work hard and love it
3) I am going to make myself proud and I will look in the mirror in amazement and joy
4) I am going to,instead of hating sweating, love it again
5) I am going to do a workout - and not consider it a good workout - unless I've reached my threshold for strength and exhaustion
6) I am going to succeed at regaining control over my body and health .......

I confess as I was typing these things, I was a little bit scared. After all, these are no small dreams. NO SMALL REALITIES that I'm trying to,... working to,... GOING TO accomplish. And I began to see the negativity in me. If I get so scared by the audacity of committing myself to the pursuit of health that just putting these plans into words seems terrifying, then I must not truly believe that I will do these things.

And I am made curious by this. After all, I only have to lose 40 more pounds to be thin and at the weight I desire to be....and only 30 pounds until I'm within the range that's considered "normal" for my height and age. And last year, I lost 60 pounds, radically improved my health and with the exception of having several major surgeries, I was not sick or in need of a doctor all year...even through the fall and winter , which is my critical time for illness.

And last year I was way behind where I'm at this year when beginning the summer/fall season...I couldn't walk even a mile...I could hardly make it up the stairs without gasping and staggering. This year my starting point is power walking two miles uphill; or a half hour of aerobics. If I were to get serious RIGHT NOW...where might I be by the middle of November?

And I have to say that there is one small problem. One niggling doubt. One thing that might hold me back. And that is that I've lost the edge in my desire. I've lost some of my determination. And the stubbornness that really did help me last year...in the face of all the naysayers in my life....I wanted to flip a bird and go and DO IT. ( and that list was topped by my pulmonologist/GP who told me that putting any extra demand on my lungs would kill me.)

Where did that determination go?

Well, for one thing I feel powerless in the face of two forces which are working against me. (And I'm working this out as I go here...til this minute I'd not realized this...)

Force #1--A plateau at which I was STUCK for months last year. I simply could NOT break out of a low weight wall of 157-160....I couldn't get lower than that, no matter how hard I worked, or how carefully I ate. Now I KNOW that plateaus are a recognized physical phenomenon in a weight loss effort. And I know that sooner or later, given persistence, they will finally give way. But it didn't FEEL like that to me.
I felt stuck.
I felt powerless...helpless.
And that brings me to

Force #2 - An eating disorder with which I am struggling mightily... And this eating disorder is kind of bizarre and I'm not going to give you details about it,....except to say that is isn't bulimia...but that it does involve overeating. And I am COMPLETELY STUCK in the face of this. I know that very likely I need professional help with it....and I really really wish I had someone to coach me through it, who knows what they are talking about. But that is highly unlikely....bordering on impossible, due to many factors. SO ...hence...therefore...consequently:
Helplessness.

And these two things are more of a reality in my life presently than they were last year. And they are looming in my subconscious like Goliaths in front of the Israelite army.
Unbeatable.
Huge.

A verse just popped into my mind: "I can do ALL THINGS through HIM who gives me strength." And it was rapidly followed by this one: "For my strength is made perfect in weakness."

Like: Yeah!
When did God do his best work all through Scriptures?

---When he was up against impossible odds. When buckets of water drowned the altar....
THEN fire fell from heaven....

---When the army was reduced to a few men, holding trumpets and clay pots....THEN the terror of the Lord fell upon the enemy....so confusing them that an army of hundreds of thousands, ended up slaughtering each other in the darkness of the night.

So the fact is: I don't need to be sure of my own strength and determination.

I only need to be sure of my God.
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