One of the things I took from my grandmother’s house after she passed was a little wall plaque that she hung in her bathroom. I put it in our bathroom when we bought our first home just so I could have a little bit of her here. It quotes James 4:8 and I have probably read that scripture thousands of times but never really got it until today. It says that, “if you draw near to God, He will draw near to you”. I entered this contest two weeks after starting to work out for the umpteenth time since in at least a decade of trying. I’ve said before if I just got selected for this contest then I would no longer have an excuse for being unhealthy… and I’m just going to say it- fat. I asked God for a chance at something that may not be as important as most things He deals with. “When you ask for something, be prepared when you get it” was the quote that crossed my mind and now I realize that my two weeks of working out three times a week had been a preparation for the challenge I asked for. At that point, I had lost my customary six pounds and was not sure how to get past that. So I stepped out in faith believing that God would put the right people around me, and did He ever!
I have gone from barely getting through one workout a day, three times a week to pounding out two or three workouts a day, five to six days a week. I have gone from barely pulling myself out of bed by 8 am to waking up before my 6:30 alarm goes off and making my kids both breakfast and lunch before school each day. I have gone from barely squeezing into size 22Ws to almost fitting into size 16s (they are a couple of steps until my “goal pants”). This time, losing weight has been totally different and it has to be in correlation with that tiny scripture that has been sitting on the vanity in our half bath for over five years. My friend’s husband pointed out to me today that thing with that scripture is that action on our part is necessary for God to do anything. I could have cried and complained and moped around for another decade about being fat and slow and miserable but that would not have changed a thing. In fact, I probably would have gotten fatter. But the moment that I started toward my goal it was like God was pushing my goal toward me. I started getting stronger. Each time I added a workout and pushed past the kitchen my goal became a little more within my reach. I also noticed that my intensity during the workouts increased. I really try to exaggerate movements to maximize the effectiveness. If I left a class or got off an elliptical without being drenched with sweat, I didn’t work out. Why do anything half hearted? And there I was everyday trying to make good on the investment God has in me. Today I realized that all that I have been doing in this competition is strengthening a relationship with Someone who loves me very much.
When I began this contest I had lots of excuses to not go all in and a new one pops up every now and again just to test my resolve in completing this task. I would have to work harder than everyone else in the contest to lose weight. I do have a great deal of responsibilities with four children at home and my husband’s long hours. I do have to travel across town to work out and gas prices are high. My knee does hurt if I do squats and lunges. Sweating profusely, everyday is pretty rough on my hair. I could go on but it is much more fulfilling to honor the accomplishments that have been achieved in spite of the obstacles. I thank God for every class my husband and I work to get me to. I say “Amen” every time I get farther in a workout than I did before. I thank God for everyone who has gotten something out of these blogs. And every time the numbers get lower on the scale I give thanks and praise to my Father that He thought enough of me to meet me where I was and answer a silly request, just so He could draw closer to me. I still have a great deal of work ahead of me but seeing where I was and feeling the testimony that is growing from this is more than enough to keep pushing me forward.