Flashback 9years ago: There I was, as I saw me – not particularly slim, but very well rounded and shapely. ‘A full-figured woman’ would be the appropriate expression, I believe. No one said anything about my weight, not even my hubby – precious man that he is; and besides, I had four children didn’t I? As I slowly spread into a size 20 (UK no less), I walked in the assurance that I still packaged pretty good. You could have knocked me over with a feather when a friend I hadn’t seen in a while came calling and she was a fraction of her previous size. Whatever she had done, I wanted the same and so first thing on Monday I presented myself to her dietician, paid in full for the program, and spent the next few months of my life in a high-exercise, healthy food, radical lifestyle change. Was it tough to let go of my chocolates, cakes, ice-cream, et al? At the beginning yes, but I had the image of my friend as a clear vision of what I wanted and knew I would be able to achieve; and I wasn’t letting go of that for anything!
7 months later, I was a HOT (if I say so myself, lol) size 12UK. Awesome! Total lifestyle change, total wardrobe change, and I was absolutely loving the new me! I was good for about 5years…..then I rediscovered my sweet tooth and began an indulgence back into the pure decadence of chocolate that has seen me slowly expand from a UK12 to a large UK14. Truthfully, for most of 2011, I found myself buying 16UK (as the saying goes ‘Hips don’t lie’ and mine were sure yelling the truth from the mountaintops. Sigh!).
Anyhow, I knew with a certainty that I needed to take back control but lacked the staying power and kept giving in to the cheese cakes et al. Something I had read a couple of years ago began to reverberate in my mind during the last half of 2011 however; so much so that when TW – a women’s lifestyle magazine I write a column for, announced their next Fitness Challenge, I signed up in a flash. For the past two weeks, the team and I have sweated it out at the gym and on regimented meal plans. It’s tasking, but I am absolutely loving the results. My skin is glowing, I am full of energy, and I am sleeping like a baby…… plus, I am several pounds lighter already. I have a ‘Wow’ vision of a new me by the end of the 3-month program. YES, I can!
We got a call yesterday to say that a relative had been in a coma for a couple of days, so hubby and I headed out to the hospital. As I watched this man struggle for breath, and watched the several mostly elderly patients in the ward struggle with one thing/pain or the other; I recalled that my sister-in-law who is a nurse back in the USA, saying how she’d had many patients who worked hard all their lives so they could enjoy their wealth in their old age, and then because of poor lifestyle choices that compromised their health, rather spent their wealth trying to buy health in their old age. I thought that was quite profound and as I stood at the foot of the hospital bed this evening, I found myself thanking God once again for good health and for the ability to do some of the simplest things that we all take for granted daily.
I thought of my decision to be part of the fitness challenge. I realised that the Lord had actually been speaking to me for so long about my health and I hadn’t been paying enough attention. In that hospital yesterday, I repented and strengthened my resolve to see my new lifestyle change through to the end of my time here on earth. If my body is the temple of the Lord, I figure I should make a concerted effort to keep it in a shape that is good and fitting unto the Lord right? I realised that if I truly believe this (and I do), then I need to have respect unto my body and build it up as I do my spirit. Faith without works is dead right? So as I have faith and trust the Lord to keep me in good health up to a ripe old age, I need to do my part (the works) to maintain the ‘house’ that He has put my spirit and soul in, for this my time on the earth realm.
My in-law died this morning; in a flash, he slipped away. In one of his coherent moments earlier on, he had said ‘I won’t get out of this bed’ and ‘So I will die in this bed?’ I reflected on this all through last night, and went to the gym this morning with a renewed zeal and energy; thanking God that I am still able to ‘get out of my bed’. Indeed, this experience has been a reminder that time is short and we only have today to begin to make the changes that will allow us a better, healthier tomorrow – spiritually and physically, financially, mentally, etc.
‘In old age, he shall be fat and flourishing’. ‘He shall still bring forth fruit in old age’. How can we bring forth fruit in old age if we are unable to ‘get out of our beds’? My sister, are you feeding your spirit and neglecting your physical body? Pls rethink it sis, and take a stand. You may not become a Jane Fonda, Leslie Sansone or a female Billy Blanks overnight, but pls do something. Today…NOW, is as good a time as any to start. Let’s wise up about our food choices, intentionally incorporate reasonable amounts of exercise into our routines regularly, and get enough rest to keep our bodies functioning at optimal level.
God did say that His desire above all things is that we should prosper in our bodies even as our souls prosper right? Let’s not unwittingly make this scripture of non-effect in our lives by our own hands (or is it mouths?). Think through your lifestyle choices, and make the right changes while you still can. The Lord will help us! We will live healthy, wealthy and wise; glorifying God in our bodies, His temple.
Be blessed because you are.