Monday, November 16, 2009

When 10 Equals 100

I came across a new realization on my weight loss journey last week: 10 equals 100! No, it’s not a new math method. It’s a new mindset.

As many of you know, I have lost over 100 pounds during the last five years, primarily as a result of my faith and prayer life. Praise God! Yet I still tackle the infamous ‘last ten pounds’ which I need to lose to reach my goal weight. It amazes me that it’s such a common theme; you know, you share with your girlfriend “I have these last ten pounds to lose!” What does she say? “I know what you mean…these last ten are the HARDEST!”

Why do these last pounds get such a bad rap? What’s the difference between them and the first ten? Hey, a pound is a pound, right? I’m not a nutritionist but I can acknowledge that there is some truth to the fact that losing these pounds is a different struggle. I think we’ve taken this concept too far, though. Why the last-pounds struggle? Here are a few reasons I can identify:
1. My body as a thinner person requires less calories than it did as a much heavier person; as a result, I am eating too much if I use some of my old eating habits; therefore I need to eat less.
2. I have more muscle mass than before, and so I can eat more if my metabolism is higher due to the muscle. Sometimes I might take that liberty too far and steep back into the old habits; as a result, I eat too much again.
3. My weight loss efforts are getting tiresome; after a long time of following this eating program, my body is too familiar with the routine and in its higher level of fitness, and requires that I change something either in my eating or exercise or both to wake up my metabolism.
4. I’m just tired of it all and so I simply eat out of boredom.
5. It’s possible I’m afraid of success and that I have identified myself as a person who needed to lose weight for so long that I’m not ready to give her up.
There’s no way to have long-time success in a healthy weight and lifestyle without some knowledge of the reasons behind the food science. That’s not my focus, though. I’m here to deal with the spiritual perspective.

I am thrilled to have finally become conscious of the fact that over the last ten months, I have been working from an attitude of “Hey, God. Thanks a lot for your help with those first hundred pounds. I’m down to the last ten…(gulp, here’s the problem)…I CAN TAKE IT FROM HERE!” The self-sufficiency fails to serve me once again. What am I thinking? Why do I assume that since these last pounds seem like a smaller goal, and therefore I can attain this one on my own? I persist with food tracking, exercising, reading new recipes and cooking…only to find myself in that state of permanent plateau once again. And boy am I excited to recognize my problem. Why? Because my God, the same God who held my hand through those hundred pounds, is still here. He’s with me, holding my hand, for these last ten pounds. I just forgot. I need to treat these last ten pounds the same way as those first hundred: a goal that can be accomplished only with God’s help.

There was an amazing new Scripture I discovered the next day after realizing this erroneous attitude on my part. It’s Galatians 3:3 in the NIV version: “Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?” Okay, so God needed to knock me upside the head with that familiar clunk of a V8 moment, but I think I get the message. Ten pounds, beware. You will be gone.

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