So...I've been struggling a bit these past three weeks with the weight loss numbers not lowering as steadily as they have been in previous months. I tried to sort out different reasons why this might be happening, including at first thinking that perhaps it's time to incorporate regular workouts into my new routine and then once I added weight training, thinking that since muscle weighs more than fat, that is probably why I'm not losing.
People always ask for my secret to this weight loss journey I'm on. I can list several things I'm doing...but it's rare that I reveal what I know is the biggest key to my success.
Because most people don't really want to hear it.
Because many will think I'm ridiculous and/or out of my mind.
Because I want to give them something that can easily apply to them, not just specific to my story.
The "because" is fluid...depending on what mood I'm in at the time and who is doing the asking. The most honest answer is that I believe obedience to what I felt God telling me to do was/is my first step in the right direction.
Today forced me to pull my head out of the sand again. I was attending a luncheon for my BSF small group. It is always a beautiful time of fellowship that includes great homemade food made from scratch by our small group leader. Often she comes up with great ideas that help us converse easily around our meal.
Today's conversation producer was a pretty container filled with questions that we were to pass around, one at a time taking a printed question out and answering it. I was 8th in line and had watched a few ladies take a question out and then put it back because they didn't want to answer it. My first thought when one of them told us what it was as she was putting it back that that was probably my question to answer. I wasn't sure I really wanted to acknowledge or share my answer to that one but increasingly felt they were putting it back because it was not theirs...so I prayed about it and yielded to the Lord "I will answer the first question I pull out, whatever it is. You pick."
When it was my turn and I pulled out the first question I touched, I had to giggle. It was that same question that others had intentionally passed over. God truly has a sense of humor!
I had already shared with these ladies how I felt like the diabetes diagnosis was God's wake up call to me. I had shared with some that I clearly "heard" God telling me on one particularly down day that this entire diabetes situation wasn't my punishment...it was my rescue!
I have been struggling with the numbers lately. While I've been able to keep my blood sugar consistently in the normal range for months, the numbers on the scale were stagnant. I felt like I was healing and possibly almost free of having to be so rigid with everything I was consuming. I started to relax on things I shouldn't....all while rationalizing it as we are apt to do when we know we probably should not be doing something a certain way.
This morning there was a niggle in my mind and heart about obedience. There was that word again! As I read this question I knew what my answer should include. I KNOW without a doubt in my mind that God asked me to give up junk sugars and sodas many years ago. I know it as firmly as I know He told me diabetes was my rescue. He knows me well and knew I needed that stricter boundary to force me to obey, not because He is trying to ruin my fun but because He's trying to save and enrich my life! The choices I was making were accompanied by hefty consequences and I was on a slow but sure track to misery.
Don't get me wrong, I cannot unlearn what I have learned and do not want to go back to consuming all the things I used to consume. I do not want to give up this freedom I am experiencing! I have not and don't plan to return to consuming soda pop of any sort. I have, however, found that I could enjoy sweet things as long as I kept the amount low and the quality high (no high fructose corn syrup allowed!).
What was starting to happen, however, was that I was finding myself dealing with stress in unhealthy ways like I had in the past. Instead of an occasional treat, I was finding ways to incorporate candy into my daily diet. Since my numbers were so good and I didn't NEED to watch them as carefully as when I first began, it became easier to not pay attention. "Oh, it's just one...I don't have to count that one." Trouble is...that one not recorded often doesn't stay "just one" but easily morphs over time into multiples before you realize what's happening.
I have, for months, told people that the weight loss is a secondary concern to me. My primary concern was getting (and keeping) my blood sugar in normal range without using medicine. My mother showed me diabetes could be controlled with diet alone and I could not justify taking a pill so I could continue eating too much of the wrong stuff just because it's an easier route. This primary concern I shared was and is still true. What God was clearly calling me on the carpet for was my flippant pretense of not caring how much weight I lost. He is all about Truth. He IS Truth. While what I was saying certainly contained truth, it was not the complete truth.
I most certainly am enjoying the weight loss side effect to these changes in my eating habits. I have said that I would be okay if I never lost another pound. Every time I say those words, there has been a nagging question pawing at the door of my heart. "Really? Is that really true?"
I've ignored it.
I didn't want to answer nor did I want to even acknowledge the question. But it would not go away...so here I am...being forced to face it head-on.
It's not wrong to focus on the blood sugar numbers...that is wise.
It's not wrong to care about the weight loss...that, too, is wise in its own way. And it is more honest to say that I WOULD be disappointed if I never reached the goal I have had for several years. A goal that existed long before ever considering the possibility that diabetes might be part of my story.
However, neither the blood sugar nor the weight loss should be my primary focus, but obedience to my Lord and Savior needs to be the most important goal. From that obedience flows a river of blessings that expands beyond numbers and physical rewards.
Without obedience to my Creator...to my Father God...nothing else truly matters.
But Samuel replied:
‘Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
as much as in obeying the LORD?
To obey is better than sacrifice,
and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
1 Samuel 15:22
What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey – whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?
Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?
For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels,
and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.