“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed…”
1 Corinthians 15:51
“I’m gonna make a change for once in my life.
It’s gonna feel real good, gonna make a difference, gonna make it right… I’m starting with the man in the mirror, I’m asking him to change his ways. And no message could have been any clearer: if you wanna make the world a
better place, take a look at yourself and then make a change…”
Michael Jackson, Bad, “Man In The Mirror,” 1988
Happy New Year! Even though we are still only in our first week of 2016, I can already see, hear, smell, taste and feel the change in the atmosphere. Friends and loved ones progressively moving forward to be the best people they can be inspires me to get up, get out and get something done for myself. I don’t really believe in New Year’s resolutions anymore, because I always end up breaking that promise I make to myself later on in the year when life sucker punches me in the mouth! For example, I smoked cigarettes for years. YEARS. And every year, for about 6 or 7 years, I made a resolution to quit smoking. For the first few months of the year, I would actually do well and not smoke a single cigarette. Oh, but then some life catastrophe would happen and the first thing I did to pull myself together to handle the business-y’all already know-light up a doggone cigarette! By the end of the year, I would be back to my same old song and dance of quitting again, and this time it’s for real, and I’m so serious and blah, blah, blah, blah, BLAH!
So, I finally just stopped lying to myself about changing anything in my life all because of a New Year. Because if you are truly honest with yourself, isn’t that exactly what you’re doing? Lying? To yourself? When it comes to truth and honesty, I always tell people, “If we’re gonna be real, then let’s be all the way real!” All right. Here was my reality-if I would allow my will power to break that easily for a cigarette, maybe my desire to quit wasn’t as strong as I thought. Or, maybe I didn’t understand what it really meant to be addicted to something. Nevertheless, I have since let my cigarette habit go, to improve my quality of life, not for some BS New Year’s resolution, thank you very much.
Last week I shared that around this time last year, I found out how much weight I had gained over the course of 7 years. I’m telling y’all, I wanted to crawl into a hole and die. But just like I made up my mind that I was done with smoking cigarettes, I had to make sure that I was done being fat and unhealthy, as well. It is very easy to tell yourself, and everybody else, that you will diet and exercise and get your weight under control; however, those plans are easier said than done. And that’s the most important lesson I have learned about losing weight. If you DON’T get your mental health right, you WON’T get your physical health right. Period.
Before I got myself into this predicament, I remember hearing people describe the process involved with losing weight as an individual’s ‘weight loss journey’. Now, I understand why they call it that. From the moment you sink into depression so deep that you accumulate over 300 pounds of excess on your 5 foot frame, to the moment you realize that you have indeed lost even a small portion of that excess, illustrates a long, tedious and oftentimes difficult road to recovery from whatever made you feel so bad in the first place.
For me, it was (and still is) a combination of things, that I recognize and accept as my life plight. The Lord already said He will never leave me, nor forsake me, so why am I sweating the small stuff? Exactly. I let the Devil get so close to me that I started to believe his lies over the truth of my Savior! I hid in shame for years because of my size, afraid of what my friends and other people might say when they saw me. Then I stopped hiding, but I limited the places I would go so people wouldn’t make fun of me for being overweight. The world is a mean place anyway, the Devil makes sure of that, but it is down right cruel to the obese. It’s hard enough to look into the mirror each day and see what a mess you have become, but to have people make jokes or shun you because of your size only makes it that much harder to put forth the effort to take off the extra pounds. I remember going out to dinner with my family once and a little kid threw a tantrum because he, “didn’t wanna sit next to the fat lady!!!” I was so embarrassed, I wanted to cry. His parents never told him to be quiet or anything. They tried to get him to calm down, but they never apologized for his remarks. I guess they felt like he was just being honest. It’s all good though, because those days are long gone and I know I’ve been changed!
Although I did lose some weight last year, I know I could have lost more. I made the smallest of changes to my diet, but I made some major changes to my mental, emotional and spiritual stability. I completely grasp the concept of combining the abstract of my life with the concrete in order to achieve the ultimate success. I am also fully aware that no weapon formed against me shall prosper. So, in honor of the late, great Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., let’s keep our eyes on the prize this month. We’ll see about next month when it gets here, and remember, our baby steps will one day evolve to become our adult stride. Until next time…