13 November, 2017
Those of you have followed my blog for several years know (as do those who know me personally) that I LOVE to eat good food. I love just about all types of ethnic foods and for me, eating is not as much a necessity as it is a guilty pleasure. I love to savor the aroma, the spices and flavor of fajitas, a good (emphasize GOOD) pizza, Kabsse at my favorite Lebanese place (Kabob G) in Peoria or any number of other foods. Eating is an adventure for me. Unfortunately, it has also become an "adventure" trying to keep my weight down. Five years ago I was rocking a much larger me, weighing in at 242 pounds at my heaviest. It bothered me, but like many of us do, I laughed it off and pretended it did not matter. It mattered. I did not feel well at all. I was always exhausted and easily worn out. I became winded walking the stairs to our bedroom and we won't even talk about how exhausted I became while preaching! I started a journey… no crash diets, but a journey and I got down to 195 pounds about 5 months ago when I suffered an injury which forced me to stop working on our church building for several months while wrist healed. In that time, there is no other word for it, I became lazy and careless and my weight rapidly crept back up to 216 pounds. A couple of months ago I looked in the mirror at myself and had a serious talk with myself. One of the things that I found myself saying absolutely rocked me as I said, "This is not just a weight issue, you're being ruled by your flesh!" It was almost like someone else said it to me. Those words stung like fire ants biting at my spirit-man. I really thought about that for a couple of days and I decided that it was time to wage war with my flesh and take authority over it. I started a group on Facebook called "Temple Builders" where a few of us have shared our battles and our successes. Some are still just watching on, and that's OK because I'm believing that they are going to get inspired and go for a life transformation themselves.
So… how's it going? It's going… but it's rough. My body is not just laying down without a fight. My flesh is lazy. My flesh craves cookies, turnovers, and baklava. My flesh tells me that I'm too tired, or that my body hurts too much to exercise. Sometimes it, in fact, does. I just went through a period where I went 5 days without exercising because of the pain in my neck and shoulder, but today I had another serious talk with "self" and said, you are going to exercise today, even if all you can do is seven minutes of aerobics. It took me more than an hour to get determined enough to get up off my duff, turn on the jazz (I like to exercise to jazz) and get with it. It hurt, but I kept telling myself, "just 7 minutes." As I approached 7 the 7-minute mark I said, "let's do 10 minutes." Then it was 15. Then 20. I ended up pushing through to get in 33 minutes. Yes, it was difficult… but I won a major battle with my flesh today. I'm determined that I'm not going to give in to my excuses. This is not just about my weight. My weight is a reflection of my spirit man, and I'm determined that things are going to change. For years I've convinced myself that I could never get my weight down to 190 (or below) but today I set my sites on 190. I will not back down. I will no longer allow my flesh or my age tell me what I cannot do. I have declared war on my flesh and I can do all things through Christ who is my strength!