Saturday, August 2, 2014

You are in control of your journey

Good Saturday Morning! I love the kind of days when I get to choose what things to do and when I want to do them. As usual, my “list” is longer than the hours in the day, but I love that I don’t have any specific place I need to be at any given time and I can putz around doing things today at my pace. Undoubtedly, I will be busy all day, but still, there is no pressure because “I get to choose when/what/how” I will go about my tasks. For a person like me who spends the majority of her work day seeing students by “appointment’ and/or attending meetings, the freedom from a rigid schedule is welcomed.  It makes me feel as if I have some “control” over the day, and if you haven’t already figured that out, I feel much better when I am in control of my time and life.
I’ve always been an extremely “independent” person (okay…somewhat of a control freak) but in many ways that characteristic has worked to my advantage, especially in terms of my journey.  I’m the first-born of three children and I learned as a child to take charge. Later, as a single woman whose parents had died young, I learned that it was going to be me & God against the world, although I know that I have extended family members and siblings who would rally around me if I were to need help. Part of this “determination (as I prefer to call it) or “stubborn-bullheadedness as others often remind me, has been integral to my ability to lose weight. Once I made up my mind that I was going to walk again, there really wasn’t anything going to stop me until I did. I’m so grateful for that ‘determination” and the grace of God which helped me to realize my role in my health and well-being.   

Taking control and realizing that “No one” could do this for me; I had/have to do it for myself” has been important. Too many times we fall prey to the advertisements for products or procedures that claim that “if we did this, took this pill or supplement, bought this  piece of equipment, followed this plan…..whatever it may be”….THEN…we will……lose weight; shed inches; feel better; beat this or that disease.  You’ve seen or heard the claims, perhaps even believed them or bought into them.  I’ve yet to find one that works, but I’m sure there are some that do….BUT….very likely, it’s NOT because of the product, but rather because the PERSON has decided to change his/her life. 

Products or tools don’t work by themselves; they take human intervention. Have you ever seen a hammer and nails laying on a table rise up and build a birdhouse all by themselves? Or a head of lettuce and some vegetables turn itself into a salad?  Not likely.  We have to USE those things and put work and effort into them to produce the product or get the result we want.  We have to “control” the tools; use the products; take advantage of the things to make life easier; but it’s not going to happen “by itself.” Even ‘self-cleaning” ovens require our intervention. If we want a salad, (short of buying a ready-made one) we have to make it.  Likewise, we are in charge of our bodies, and if we want to lose weight or become healthier, WE have to make it happen. If we want our lives to be ‘different’ we had to do things differently to get the results we desire.

 Even if we choose to use some of the so called “guaranteed weight loss plans or programs” or even opt for weight loss surgery, we STILL have to change our way of thinking and eating. We have to be in control of what goes in our mouths and make a conscious effort to become more active in whatever way we are physically capable. If you want to see different results; if you want to lose weight or give up a habit….YOU…and only you (and God) can do it. YOU, my friend, are in control and your success is UP TO YOU! 

Now…with that being said….I’ve learned that, “YES, THERESA…… is the only one who is going to be able to change THERESA”.....and I am in control of my own body……BUT….. I absolutely, positively, CAN NOT do it on my own.  It is only by the grace of God that I was able to lose the weight and get back in the game of life….and it is ONLY by the grace of God what I will continue on this journey.  This means, that although I am in control of my body… I have to surrender that control to God on a daily….all-day….every-day…basis, because I know that I need God to continually change my thoughts about food, about life, about others….and I am powerless over my addiction to food. It all sounds so contradictory; taking control and yet surrendering it at the same time, and yet, that has been the key to my success thus far.  We have to realize that it’s up to us to change our own lives, but we have to surrender that control to God to succeed.  I’ve said it often, ‘God can and will move mountains….but we have to pick up the shovel and cooperate!”

So, my friends….while it is true that I have a “no commitment; no place I have to be” kind of day today and I “THINK” I am in control….really…I’ve already surrendered this day to God and asked Him to be with me throughout the day; to transform my thoughts; to replace my temptation to eat when I’m not hungry and my desire for those foods that are not nourishing and life-giving with the desire to do good, be loving and kind, and be pleasing to Him” so essentially, I’m not really “in-charge” of this day at all. I cannot control most of those things that will happen today; the behavior of those I will interact with; the weather; the world; or other people……but I CAN control how I will react, how I choose to respond, what I eat, and how I spend my time. I hope to make good choices this day.

My advice to you today…….Realize that YOU…only You….can change your life. You are in control….but that YOU cannot likely do it on your own, so surrender that control to a higher power. You can do it!