Lesson 15- Keep Hope

I gained two pounds. It was bound to happen. Summers are not structured enough for me to keep up my regular routine, no matter how hard I try. What has surprised me however, is not the gain itself but my reaction to it. My mind wanted to quit. How odd that I can loose 44 pounds then gain only 2, and my old mindset, which I thought had been replaced, comes screaming back at me. This psychological warfare game I play with myself is the reason I don’t have a scale at home anymore. I only weigh once a week at Jazzercise to track my progress, not to obsess over it. Since weight loss is no longer my ultimate goal, but merely a by product of my new lifestyle, I thought its importance had lowered on my list. But I guess that old habits die hard. This habit of mind is a hard one to shake. Giving up when things do not go as you think they should is a common ailment for those of us who have fought the weight battle our whole lives. It is the cycle of hard work for very little pay off that gets us messed up in the head. What I felt was the old hopelessness creeping into my subconscious. The first thing I wanted to do was go eat everything in sight. Hopelessness creates self-sabotage, and I am a master at it. All of this because of 2 little pounds.
Then I hear God whisper to me, “Keep hope.” I realize that hope is what motivates me to continue this journey. For so many years, I thought there was no hope that I would ever get back to a semi-normal size, or have a semi-healthy life. It seemed an impassable mountain looming in front of me. Then one day, I realized that deep inside I still had hope that I could scale this seemingly impossible-to-climb mountain. I saw that rather than looking to the top of the climb, I needed to focus on the small steps in front of me. I made a decision to banish the hopelessness that had me stuck in excuse-land. I decided not to focus on the pounds, but on being active. I fixed my eyes on taking my life back, not on measuring every bite I eat. Rather than obsess over the little steps and get stuck, or focusing on the big steps and being overwhelmed, I have concentrated on the heart of the journey…the internal growth of mind, emotions and spirit. Now this tiny setback threatens to steal all of the peace I have found. To combat this pull, back to the dark side of hopelessness I will fight with what I know. (I learned this from my friend Sarah.)
I have lost 42 pounds in about 7 months. I have been able to shop in a regular store with my daughter, and buy regular sizes. I have been taken off of all cholesterol medicine as of yesterday. My diabetes medicine has been cut in half for now and in three months may be removed completely. My blood counts are all well in normal ranges and my doctor is amazed at that fact. My heart is stronger and I can do a great deal of activity that I could not do before…without getting winded. I can fit in theatre seats, and airplane seats, and roller coaster seats. I can walk long distances. I can climb stairs. I have a core that I can tighten. I can lift things I couldn’t lift before. I am stronger over all, and this is just the physical part of the journey.
Emotionally, I have confidence in my abilities. I know how to work hard to accomplish my goal. I also know that it will not be easy, but I am stronger mentally now. I find that I am more at peace, more calm and have a ton more energy. My thoughts are clearer and more positive. Spiritually God is as close as my breath. He is speaking to me all along this journey, helping me to realize that I am never alone. He is tying my Cancerland experience to this fitness one in ways that I could not have imagined before. He is opening my eyes to see his hand in my life, and his strength in my weakness. He is the piece that has been missing from previous attempts to climb this mountain. He is hope, therefore, when I am hopeless it is when I am trying to operate in my own strength. When he says, “Keep hope” what he is really saying to me is “Keep me.” Keep me in the center of what you are doing. Keep me as your focus. Keep me with you every step.
The fact is I am bound to have setbacks. I am pretty sure next week will be another gain since I strained my foot and have had to back down from walking in order for it to heal. However, how I view these kinds of gains will make or break my attitude. I have come too far to quit. I cannot go back to where I was, but I have not yet arrived at the top of the mountain. I will continue the trail in front of me by focusing on what I know, and the changes that are already a part of my metamorphosis. I will keep hope.

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