Tuesday, March 5, 2013

So, you're human?

I’ve been struggling lately in the healthy living arena. There are a variety of contributing factors – shifts in my gym’s class schedule, holidays, illness, another injury, more-than-usual busy weeks (leading to lowered focus on cooking). Also, there was just a pure lack of discipline on my part. This wasn’t something that I wanted. I’ve worked hard and don’t want to continue down this path away from healthiness and back into lack of self-care.

I started praying. I then raised a flag of surrender, admitting this to key people in my life and heading back to the doors of weight watchers to face it. I had gained, which I knew. For a few days I slipped a bit into the negative self-talk.

I then had brunch with a friend and told her part of the reason I was so frustrated with myself was that this is the first time in the two years of walking this road that I had gained more than 1-2lbs. She then responded with something that I think was really just a comment, but what was quite profound, “So, then you’re human?”

I am human. My natural tendency is to seek perfection and beat myself up if it’s not achieved. The fact that it was taking so long to hit goal weight in general was frustrating; I mean, don’t other people lose faster?

And yet, that is a deeply sinful thought. And my friend showed me that in her comment. She pointed-out that I had resorted to doing this on my own, not through the strength and glorification of the Lord. Not in a way that waits on and recognizes his timing above my own; that the only reason I am working toward healthy living should be to glorify the Lord.

I then heard a talk about the spiritual impact of healthy living. It was beneficial as it reminded me of that purpose. Yes, there are worldly positives that occur when you live healthily, but ultimately my sole purpose in life is to glorify Christ, and that includes the hows and whys I should and want to live a healthy lifestyle.

I started by praying, asking God to help me have self-discipline in all areas, including this. I asked for accountability to pay attention to my eating and working out, as well as to not allow those to become an idol. I then quit trying to fit workouts in that I knew would never motivate me. Sure, there are days when I need to just do the elliptical, but on the whole, I know I am more committed when I like something. I evaluated and determined that truly the best things for me are dance-oriented cardio (when the instructor is good…bad instructors are downright irritating) and yoga. Yes, I also need to add-in some weights, which I’m still trying to figure it out. I jumped back in and so far, it’s been good!

I’ve realized that I thrive with encouragement in these sorts of things. I naturally beat myself up, so having people point-out my failures just makes that worse (side note: there are situations/times when I most definitely need help identifying if something isn’t aligning with God’s Truth and, while it may be hard to hear, I welcome that if it helps me grow in Christ).

On Sunday, I went to a zumba class that I hadn’t been to in a while as it was cancelled for about two months and then the time was shifted after it was reinstated and I hadn’t been able to go. It worked for me to go this week and for some dumb reason I was a little nervous about it. As I was walking in, I prayed and asked that the Lord would protect my heart from the fears I had. Well, to my wondrous surprise, three girls came up to tell me they’d missed seeing me, two of them combining the greeting with a hug! It was so encouraging.

Then this morning I was tempted to skip yoga, but drug myself out of bed and to the studio. Tuesdays are the hardest yoga days, which I knew going in. During class, the instructor took time to come over and compliment me on my form several times. She didn’t need to do that at all, but it was so encouraging as well. Especially as she’s a 500 RYT and I sometimes feel like I’m just flailing around in her class.

So, I had a set-back. I’m human and sometimes make mistakes and/or choose my flesh over what I know God has for me. But thankfully God is forgiving and gently leads me back to him and graciously provides encouragement along the way. I do hope to finally achieve goal this year, but more than that I hope that I can honor and glorify Christ with my body and my life.