Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Ah-ha Moments at the Gym....

Tonight I had a moment at the gym.  The kind of moment I haven’t had in years….but also the kind of moment I have been longing for.  I had spent a good hour and a half pushing myself…Hard…Harder than I have in a long while, and was walking over to get a towel to wipe down the my equipment, when I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror.  Now normally I try to avoid the mirrors at the gym at all cost.  I already feel pretty self-conscious there….surrounded by all the skinny people….that the last thing I want is to be reminded of my puffy, red-faced, huffing and puffing self!  Yet tonight, something happened when I looked in that mirror…..it’s like my eyes connected with the eyes of my reflection and I was able to see deep down inside of myself….and what I saw….was a fighter!
  Over the past several years I have felt pretty bad about myself.  I’ve had moments where I’ve been able to convince myself that I can do it….but ultimately I’d relent to the fact that I’m pretty much a failure.  I have tried so hard to become who I once was, that I’ve pretty much been frustrated over and over again with the reality that I just don’t believe in myself anymore.
  But tonight….tonight when I looked in that mirror…. I saw the girl who lost 130lbs….the girl who can run for hours without stopping…the girl who faced her fears and jumped out of a plane! It’s been a long time since I’ve seen her…and tonight I found that girl inside of myself again!  I don’t know why that switch flipped in me or why it happened tonight, or why it happened at such a strange moment!  But tonight I saw the fighter in me awaken and the competitor in me rise up!  I’m not doing this to prove anything to anyone….to get anyone to notice me…..or even to win some sort of prize.  I’m taking my life back again…and tonight I realized once again I have the power to do just that!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Women of Faith 2011...

  This past weekend I had the privilege to attend the Women of Faith Conference in Hartford Connecticut.  Now for me, a lot of times these types of conferences tend to be a time where I am just reminded of God’s love for me.  You see, it seems no matter how hard I try not to, life always has a way of clouding that issue for me and I forget that God calls me His beloved.  So heading into this weekend, I pretty much had the expectation that this is what would happen, even though for the past several months I’ve had no doubts about this truth.
  Well as the weekend drew closer, I felt a strange excitement welling up in me.  It was as if I knew there was something I needed to hear and God was going to speak it to me during this conference.  There were so many obstacles in just getting to the “bus stop” for the conference (from ticket issues, to lost keys, to not being able to find my favorite shirt...hee hee), that there was definitely a part of me that felt like that only confirmed that God really did have something for me, and the devil really was trying to keep me from hearing it (a thought that I don’t normally really turn to, but seemed pretty appropriate this time around).
  Friday morning, we arrived in the arena and found our seats and I put on my tiara (something our group leader decided we all should wear so that we could identify all the ladies in our large group… and as a symbol of the fact that we are “daughters of the king”).  To be honest, I didn’t want to wear it.  I felt like people might look at me and think “Who does she think she is?!?! “.  My insecurities about the whole thing actually only solidified for me my belief that obviously God was going to speak to me about the fact that I am his “Beautiful Beloved”.  As the speakers began, I listened so intently, jotting down notes here and there, hoping not to miss what God was going to speak.  And as the afternoon passed into evening, and then the night ended, I felt this strange sense that God had done what He needed to do, but since it wasn’t where I had expected, I had no idea what it was.
   Saturday morning, I woke up and as we headed back to the arena I honestly wasn’t expecting anything else from God.  I felt like He had done His work and even though I couldn’t put my finger on what it was, I was satisfied with it.  All day I listened to these very touching stories that just seemed to only confirm in me the belief that God truly is for us.  And I went home celebrating in the knowledge that I am God’s and He is mine. 
  That night before bed, I quickly read through my notes  and saw something that I had jotted down that don’t even remember hearing anyone say that first day.  On the top of the page, in big bold letters, under the heading of Dr. Henry Cloud, I had written….”You weren’t designed to be your own source”!  Now if any of you have been following my blog over the past several weeks and months, you know that God has been speaking to me a lot about surrender and giving Him all control.  I don’t like to trust other people, to hand over the reins.  I want to be in control so I can make sure that things go as I need them to in order to get what I think I need (as if I really have that kind of power)!  For me, this statement was a big, glaring, Ah-ha!  A light shining in the place of heart that says I have to get it all together, do it all right, make things happen, put on the show, take care of it all!  Here was God saying to me….I AM your source…..I AM your EVERYTHING. 
  I can’t really explain it….I almost hate moments like this for that reason…Moments that feel so profound but yet don’t come with the words that allow me to truly express what it means in my heart to anyone else!  The best way I can try to explain it is that it was like a momentous sigh of relief….a release….like a load was lifted off my shoulders (moments like this make me understand why the writers in the bible always use similarities to describe Jesus, God, the Spirit, Heaven).  I didn’t need to hear that God loves me, that He sees me, and that I’m His Beloved.  I already knew that!  What I needed was to KNOW He is my center, my rock, my strong tower….and I am anchored to Him forever! 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I See Sweaty People....

  This past weekend I transferred my Gym membership to a location closer to my house.  I had been using the excuse that it's a 15 minute drive to the gym as a perfectly good reason not to go for months...I mean it's simple math...if I worked till six, came home to eat (cause by then I'm starving), rested my belly, and then went, I would be getting home around 10pm and would still need time to wind down before falling asleep....plus if I wanted to go in the morning I would need to wake up at like 5am to get all the things done I need to do in the morning...and well for me that's like the middle of the night.  So like I said, I transferred my membership to a closer location...and well a 7 minute drive from door to door, really eliminates any excuses I have.
  However, all week I've been struggling with something that I've never really struggled with before at the gym.  I find at this new location I'm so self conscious!  I don't know what it is.  The people are nice, and I keep to myself for the most part anyway, but I feel like everyone is looking at me....staring at me....wondering what I am doing there!   I honestly think I am less self conscious in my bathing suit at the beach than I am in my sweats at the gym!  It's weird!  But if I were honest, I think it springs from the fact that I'm not skinny anymore.
  People always tell me that nobody is really paying attention to anyone else at the gym.  And I guess I always believed that because when I started going to the gym I was skinny and I never really had a reason to focus on anyone else who was there. But now all of sudden, I'm noticing people.  I noticed the older women who was watching Archie bunker while strolling on the treadmill, I noticed the Mexican gentleman huffing and puffing on the elliptical, I noticed my old cafe manager using the weights......I'm paying attention to people....which makes me worry ...are people noticing me too?!?!  And if they are what are they thinking!
  What is my problem?  And how do I get over it?  I'm sick of all my excuses!  I just want to get back in shape....and since winter is here, this is how I have to do it!  Am I the only one that feels like this at the gym though?  Please tell me I'm not alone!