It has been 1 year since this journey began! And my, how good it feels to have lost 42 pounds!! Wow! When I started in August (see video below), I was confident that I knew exactly what it took to lose this weight, and that the process would move smoothly and quickly. I, however, was woefully underprepared. Woefully. Losing weight this time was much more difficult.
In the beginning of this process, all I wanted God to do was return me to my former self. I just needed to lose 67 pounds and then I could continue the life I was leading. Carrying all this extra weight left me feeling quite a bit of shame and embarrassment. My, how I mourned the loss of my “old self.” All I wanted to do was hide. I avoided people I had not seen in years. I just wanted this all to go away.
God, however, wasn’t quite signing off on my plan. The first few months were SLOW. I settled into the extra weight. I started a new job, and was relieved to be around people who did not have a “before” picture to compare with my current state. After I started in August, I was able to lose 10 pounds by Christmas. At that rate, I was going to be on this journey for a much longer time than I expected. I ended 2017 determined to do something different.
In January, we started accountability challenges within my Facebook group, Freedom Chasers. Throughout each challenge, there was a new lesson, and a new discipline I needed to master. I spent time focusing on nutrition and calorie counting, and then on learning to only eat for hunger, becoming more comfortable with my appetite. We also tackled physical activity, and I surprised myself by committing to walking almost 5 days per week. The final challenge was to cease snacking. I love snacks and this was quite an experience. However, I saw the difference that it was making once I stopped.
While the journey is still not over, I am glad that I can stand in the victory of achieving a significant portion of my goal. A friend of mind recently said, “Its no longer good enough for me to experience freedom. I want others to have it too.” This, too, has been in my heart this season, and has kept me going. And my, how it give me peace to watch others walking closer to freedom and moving forward in their weight loss goals.
At times in this journey, I have felt as if I have been in a prison cell. Stuck, and not knowing when or if my “freedom” as I remember it would arrive. However, as Psalm 119: 71 says, “it was good for me to be afflicted.” This was good. No, I would not have chosen it, but I am confident that this was good, worked for my good, and was used to bless others. This helped me obtain a greater depth of freedom, and learn to focus on my behaviors, working to practice daily choices that will continue to ensure that I will not walk back to those chains.
So, while the journey is not over (still have about 25 pounds left to lose), I celebrate. Thank you for joining me for this ride, friends.