I'm headed to Chicago after work tonight to visit my friends at JPUSA for the weekend, and I'm pretty excited about that. Last night when I was tucking into bed, an old, familiar voice piped up in my head. It noted that I haven't yet completely packed for the trip (though I'm well begun). I know this voice - it's been with me my entire adult life, and it always looks for a way to weasel out of good exercise/eating choices. That was what it was up to last night, telling me I should probably skip the run and focus on packing this morning.
Here's the good part: another, newer voice ALSO spoke up in me: the voice of Karen who has been letting the Lord teach her to love her body for a full year now. That voice wasn't angry or argumentative; it just noted calmly that skipping the run would NOT be loving my body, and we would NOT be exercising our option to skip. All of this happened without me having to stop, pray, think, consider, fight - just a quick and no-nonsense NO to a voice of temptation that has held absolute sway over me for most of my life. Let me tell you, I WAS IMPRESSED. I like what the Lord is doing in me.
I was also thinking this morning that if one were measuring this "loving my body" goal by weight loss, it would look like a failure for the last little while. I am still wearing the same size jeans now that I was wearing when I moved back from Chicago at the end of August. I lost a little weight after my return, but I think since then I have found a bit of it again. I know the "whys" of this long section of not losing weight: I hardly bike at all in the cold weather and I haven't replaced my biking with another physical activity, plus the whole food thing is a little harder for me, living a life of doing my own shopping and cooking and cleanup, than it was at JPUSA. I'm just flat not eating as well or as little as I was.
BUT: my goal in following the Lord's lead has NEVER been "I will lose weight." It has been, "I will let Him teach me to love my body." And while my weight has been more or less stable for about 5 months now, I still feel myself making great advances against self-hatred of this body. I still feel an ever-growing appreciation, respect, and affection for this body that are so foreign to me I hardly know what to do with them. I still feel like I am getting more and more *whole* every day. The failure to lose weight is not making any dent in that. I'm not feeling hopeless about picking up momentum again, when it's time. I'm not feeling afraid that I'm going to go back up around the 275 pound mark where I was about 18 months ago. I'm okay right here for now, and I have great hope that as I continue growing in loving my body, I will again come to the point of whittling it down to a healthier weight.
Meanwhile, no panic, no self-loathing, no hopelessness. Even if this is the ONLY fruit that ever comes from following the Lord on this one...it is more than enough. End of story.