Today’s post is not an easy one for me to be writing but it is a really important one. Last year, I was writing a lot about how I had been losing weight and what I was doing to keep that going. I haven’t blogged about weight loss for a while now because, frankly, I ‘failed.’ The photo you see above comes from the end of November, 2015 (with my wife, sister and brother-in-law), when I was sitting at one of the healthiest weights I have been in years… but I was still about 40 lbs. from where I wanted to be.
When I realized that I had set a completely unrealistic weight goal (losing that extra weight in a length of time that became impossible), I gave up. For a couple of months, I just ate as I pleased. After a few months of this, I realized that I had gained back almost 30 lbs! Out of shame, I started doing ‘dietbets’ again, but I would just gain the weight back after because I felt that I had failed.
Something shifted in the beginning of the summer for me, I realized that I had been letting my failure define my weight loss journey. In fear of ‘failing’ again, I just gave up and said “I’ll lose the weight eventually.” I was afraid to set a new weight loss goal because I thought that if I didn’t reach it, I would just fall back into shame. This mentality was BRUTAL and self-defeating, so I needed to put it aside and choose to learn from my failures rather than be defined by them.
- I learned that weight loss is a process. It’s something that takes time and is work; but is worth it. If you are able to lose weight quickly, that’s good, but it’s not enough to just lose the weight and go back to how I was eating before (that caused me to gain the weight). Weight loss is a process and it’s not “all-in all-out.”
- I learned that it’s important to enjoy the process. When I was shedding weight like crazy, I wasn’t enjoying what I was doing. Don’t get me wrong, I liked going to the gym, but overall I was just thinking about the next time I could treat myself or when “I won’t have to do this anymore.” I learned that gradual weight loss can be enjoyable, and this is more sustainable.
- I learned how powerful shame is… but also how ridiculous it is. Shame is probably one of the largest reasons why I am overweight. When I feel ashamed about myself, I overeat… Shame is a liar, and it’s not mine to carry. Over this summer, I have had to give my shame to Jesus, thank Him for who He has made me, and receive my identity from Him.
I have been planning on writing this post for a while, but have held out on it (as it is quite a vulnerable post)… but this morning I saw an email in my inbox from a blog I subscribe to called “How God Feels about failure…” (click to visit full post). In this post, Graham Cooke says some incredibly profound things:
God has a plan to make us successful by using failure for us and not against us….
In the love of God, we cannot fail; we can only make mistakes and mistakes have already been covered by the cross.
This kind of love helps us to relax about ourselves and our lives. In mistakes, we understand how lovely we are to the Lord. That is what empowers us to overcome failure as a negative construct and wield it into a weapon that propels us into developing our destiny…
We are a work in progress. No one condemns the artist of an unfinished picture. Instead we look at it, like God does, loving it for what it is today and picturing what it could become. We wonder, we imagine and we are excited by the possibilities!
Seeing this blog this morning compelled me to write this post for those who may be living in a season of defeat. Don’t let your defeat define you, let God define You – and let Him take you as you are to where He’s calling you to be. It’s not going to be a one-stop fix, it’s going to take work (lot’s of work), but He’s right there with you!
Here I am, back on the scale.. back on the weight loss journey… the failure is behind me. I am carrying the consequences of neglecting healthy choices from the early part of 2016 but that is not what is going to define my journey moving forward. Don’t let it define yours!
Thanks for all of the prayers, support, well wishes, accountability, and friendship!
Feel free to share with those who may need the encouragement.