This blog recounts my fitness journey into the sport of triathlon and the gifts God has blessed me with while on it! May the movements of my life boldly proclaim that the sparks we encounter in scripture will kindle hope in our lives!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Bloody Battle isn't over...yet

Who is that vibrant woman?
This is my favorite picture of "The New Me" so far!
The way I look matches so much better how I feel inside. 

By the end of May 2009, I'd been working with Paul and Mark for about 8 months. I'd seen some tangible physical progress. I've described some of the amazing experiences I had while I was working so hard to change my life, essentially, who I was.

However, I recognize that much of my story can sound kind of "over the top". I love to memorialize the most shiny moments! I don't enjoy revisiting ugliness. You know some people save their "fat" clothes so they can compare them later-remember where they've been-not me! I've gotten rid of every stitch of "fat" clothing I had. I want to support every effort to stay focused on where I'm headed.

Let me explain something, though, that I perhaps have not been clear enough about. This journey has been and continues to be a downright, spiritual/emotional bloody battle.

When I contacted HOMFIT to begin training, I had already been working pretty hard on my own for 8 months. I was mentally prepared to continue applying my determination to the hard physical workouts.

Nothing prepared me for the emotional work I'd have to do! I had to grapple with dirty looks from friends as my appearance began to change. I struggled with feeling very conspicuous as my shape changed and I began to wear more fitted clothing. People were always asking me what I was doing to lose weight and I would find myself the center of conversation over and over again. As my weight went down it seemed to be unearthing a variety of elements that tied my emotions to the pounds that were leaving. As I began to turn my back on previous escape mechanisms I had to begin facing emotional trials head-on! That made for some interesting melt downs and serious self-examination.

Why was I tempted to eat when I wasn't hungry?
Why did I want to watch hours of mind numbing TV?

I was lonely. I was unhappy. I was angry. I was bored. I was anxious. An old emotional scar was picked open as I faced a circumstance of the present.

I had to learn to face those things and wrestle with them as they occurred and make different choices about how to look at them. I had to take the time to frame them in the hope of Truth. And it's still stinkin' hard work!! We live in a culture that isn't the most supportive about putting the brakes on life to get things figured out. We're supposed to pull ourselves together and get on with life! Well, I'd put the brakes on anyway. I was determined to do whatever it took, still am. Sometimes that looks unconventional or defies the comfortable societal norms. People tell me I'm courageous for my attitude about doing whatever I need to do when I need to do it no matter how others view it. Maybe. I think I'm more stubborn and perhaps compelled than I am courageous.

I have to fight every single day to make these changes. Each and every day stands alone. Are there bright, ecstatic days? You bet there are. Are there days that I've been knocked down and decide not to get back up until the sun goes down and comes up again? Absolutely! Every moment hasn't been victorious! I have to choose not just to believe the Truth, but to walk in it.

Some days I don't want to get out of bed and it takes me a while.
Some days I want to be crabby and I cringe as I snap at my girls.
Some days I still want to just pig out and escape whatever current concerns I may have and I do.
Some days everything makes me cry and I can't stand my own wretched ungrateful spirit.
Some days I'm still someone I really don't want to be.
Some days I wake up and think, "I don't want to swim/bike/run today." *gasp* and I don't!

On other days, I know exactly who I am and whose I am!

On those days I am a force to be reckoned with. I embrace the beauty and strength God's wrought in me. I hit the ground running in the right direction and only God's hand will stop me. It seems that my life is absolutely inspired and ordained. I speak and others hear Truth and see Truth as I do life with them. My spirit cannot help but run, dance and laugh and encourage others to do the same with abandon. I live and walk in a trust that is so true and transparent that I feel as though I'm breathing the very air of the Kingdom!

Please hear me say this with gravest humility, because the beauty of this work in my life has almost NOTHING to do with me! God has born it out as I've pressed into Him to remind me of His eternal truth moment by moment. The key to the transformation of my outer shell hasn't been some special diet or workout routine or the power of positive thinking, but my passion to surrender all of who I am to the One who made me.

I felt a need to explain that.

Anyway, as incredible as some of my moments on this journey seem, I was about to head to family camp at the end of May and experience one of the most jaw dropping episodes so far!

...and I had yet to complete a triathlon!

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