“You have circled this mountain long enough. Now turn North!”
“I’ll have the chips and queso, six mini tacos, two sides and a pitcher of frozen margaritas. And yes, I’ll be saving room for dessert. This is my ‘last meal’ after all.” “I slept in yesterday, so since today is Tuesday, I’ll wait to start my early morning workouts until next week.” “It’s Friday, I’m supposed to have treats!” “It’s Wednesday, I’m supposed to have treats!” “It’s Sunday, I’m supposed to have treats!”
…and about a million other shameful excuses for not getting control of myself.
I have found myself caught in this dirty, sticky, vicious cycle of excuses and rationalizations more times than I care to admit over the course of my adult life. I’m certain the majority of us have. I have battled with my appetite and my weight for YEARS. It’s shameful, really, how long I have let this demon run my life.
I am a planner to the extreme. Truly, drafting lists and organizing days is one of my greatest delights in life. That, and frozen yogurt piled high on top of a crispy waffle cone. So, in the past when I have made my mind up to “shed this weight” and “live healthier”, I have ALWAYS had a plan, and a very meticulous one at that. These plans have been quite successful, I might add…for a short while. And then I find something to celebrate! What’s the best way to celebrate? Growing up in my parents’ house it was always with yummy foods and homemade treats.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I completely cherish the traditions my parents thoughtfully put in place for my siblings and I, and I honestly don’t feel there’s harm celebrating something phenomenal over a hearty meal and a glass of wine with loved ones. But friend, I have reached the point where I’m “celebrating” leaving work everyday.
And as I wallow in self pity and deprecation because I did not “stick to the plan”, my Heavenly Father so lovingly smacks me on the back of the head and reminds me of the word He gave to the Israelites wandering in the desert. TURN NORTH! TURN NORTH! TURN NORTH! Break this ridiculous pattern of drafting a plan, riding the high of a successful three week weight loss run, celebrating with two dozen cookies, a bag of baked lays, and a “sharing” size bag of Life Saver Gummies that we both know never gets shared, and then calling it quits because you feel defeated. Turn North.
I was talking with a dear friend recently and she shared with me how she was feeling utterly defeated in an area of her life that she knew greatly lacked the right kind of discipline. In a moment of trying to encourage her, the Lord provided me with such sweet revelation as I said, “You are NOT defeated. Perhaps delayed, but not defeated.” Delay absolutely does not equal defeat. Proverbs 24:16 says that even though a godly person falls seven times, they get back up again. It is, however, up to us to make the choice to get back on our feet.
I resolved to tithe the first part of this upcoming New Year by fasting processed sugar for forty days. (January 1-February 9) I shared this with my father at lunch today and was amused as I saw the genuine concern spread across his face. “Oh wow, hon. That is a long time…I know I couldn’t do it.” (You see where I get my sweet tooth from.) “But, I’m very proud of you. That’s a big thing, and I’ll be praying with you. I know it won’t be easy.” He’s right. It won’t be. But I feel fully equipped and confident that the Lord cares about such a struggle and will help me overcome. I look forward to crushing this mountain over the next year and not only creating a healthier me physically, but emotionally and spiritually as well. And yes, I will be documenting (lamenting is more like it) my forty day sugar fast to keep you all informed and entertained, and hopefully to glean some accountability as well.
Now, please don’t disregard this particular blournal entry just because you may not struggle with your weight. Because whether your “defeat” lies in your appetite, your finances, your marriage, your spiritual life, your family life, your workplace, or whatever the case may be, you can ALWAYS TURN NORTH. There is always a way out! There is always a chance to start over. You can always make today day one.