I set a weight loss goal 4 months ago - and earlier this week, discovered that I'd not only succeeded, but had surpassed my goal!!! This is so exciting! I DID it!!!
In my BC (Before Children) life, I was very conscious of the food choices I made, did 3 days of weight training at the gym weekly, and walked for 30 minutes every day.
Then, I became a mommy - and EVERYTHING changed! I ate whatever I could get my hands on, cancelled the gym membership, and walked only when I absolutely needed to run away from everything (which was ... daily for the 1st year, randomly the next few years, and never lately).
Becoming a mom was something that I looked forward to throughout my pregnancy (Gwyneth Paltrow was expecting her 1st baby - and made pregnancy look totally glam. I just knew that her little one would be her next great fashion accessory - and I, hip princess that I was, would have one, too!). However, truth be told, my little-girl-dreams had never included children. I dreamed of Prince Charming, Riches and Grandeur, and Happily Ever After. I was the center of my own dream life. Children made demands. I wanted to be the one doing all the demanding.
At some point - 4 years into my marriage (read my entry "Buy Some Bison"), having children seemed like a natural next step. I certainly didn't feel any more like sharing the spotlight than I did the whole rest of my life, but something (God) laid it on my heart that it was time to be a parent. It was time to grow up.
Parenting was God's plan for me. I needed my selfish heart broken, needed to learn how to serve God, how to serve others. He desired for me to be more like Him, a servant. Mark 10:44-45 says that "whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." I had the desire to be "first", but not the humble heart, not a desire to serve, but rather a selfish heart seeking to be served. Parenting guaranteed that I HAD to care for another, one who fully depended on and needed me for his very survival. Parenting humbled me, made a servant of me, and turned me back to my Lord and Savior.
The first 3-4 months of parenthood was hell for me. My pre-pregnancy clothes didn't fit. I was exhausted and unable to sleep (not because my little one wouldn't sleep, mind you, but because I just COULDN'T sleep!) I felt completely inadequate as a caretaker. (Seriously, what did I know about parenting?) I'd rock my precious bundle in the darkened nursery while he nursed himself to sleep - often for an hour + at a time - and think anxiously that this was surely the end of any joy in my life, I would most certainly have no life for the next 18 years. Parenting was a prison sentence.
One morning I got out of bed - after hours and hours of sleeplessness (Tobey slept a full 12 hours through the night at about 2 months of age, but I - cruelly - could not catch more than 3 hours nightly for the first 3 months of his life - insomnia) and sat at my dining room table watching the sun rise, listening to the quiet of the house and dreading the first whimpers that would indicate I must drag my tired bones up the stairs to tend to the needs of my child. For the life of me, I could not bear one more day of this - this unbearable sense of doom, this knowing that I needed to be on when I knew not where the "on" switch was. I began to weep. I didn't even know that I had the energy to weep, but from somewhere deep inside, tears began to run - slowly at first, and then uncontrollably. There was a well in me that had been stopped up, but not anymore. Tobey was 3 months old.
At my 6-week check-up after giving birth, the doc had indicated to me that I was borderline for post-partum depression. The morning that I sat weeping at my table, I knew that this was the name of the demon within - Post-Partum. I also knew that this was quickly becoming a burden I could not carry - and that I needed help fast!!
It was a Monday. My mom and sister had spent the weekend helping me care for Tobey. Now, they were gone. Jay would leave for work soon. I was alone.
I waited until Jay woke - and then, with tears still flowing, told him that I had to go to the doc. He took me - still crying - and we got the official diagnosis.
There is much more to this story, but the point that I started out to make (got a little sidetracked!) was that when I became a mommy - MUCH changed in my life. My whole world was turned upside down. The turn-around was not welcomed at the time, but over time - I've come to treasure this period in my life. This was the catalyst needed to turn me back to the Lord - and away from my Self. My life has never been better, fuller, or more satisfying than it is today walking with Him - and raising up my young'uns.
However, in the midst of all this spiritual awakening and transformation, I neglected to care for my body in the way I had BC. This past January, my family went to Disney World. When the vacation pics came back - I was delighted with all of them except for those of me! The pictures showed me what I refused to face inspite of the climbing numbers on the scale and the increasing overflow at the waist band of my jeans. I was gaining weight. Ugh!!! It was time to address this - not in a spirit of pride and selfishness, but in a spirit of love and consideration for that which my Father had created.
I began Weight Watchers online program on February 1. I set my goal for 20 pounds - and, bravo, I have exceeded it!!! On February 1, I tipped the scale at 180 pounds (my full-term weight when I delivered my first baby). 21.4 pounds later, I am weighing in at 158.6 pounds!!! I haven't been in the 150s for at least 5 years!!! Success is sweet. So is salvation. I am working towards a healthy life in both the body and the spirit.
My Take: Weight loss success is sweet, but Salvation is sweeter. The thrill I get from the former will surely pale to nothingness when I receive the full benefit of the latter. Here's looking ahead to the ultimate goal - the ultimate prize!!
I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
PS - In Christ, I've found my Prince Charming, Riches and Grandeur AND Happily Ever After!!