Saying "Yes" to Physical Health and Weight Loss When the Struggle is Real!
It sounds easy enough, but anyone who has struggled to become physically fit or to lose weight can tell you it’s not easy, but it’s necessary.
Welcome to the 46th post of The Aim and Soar Life, a weekly Christian personal growth and lifestyle newsletter that provides actionable, relatable, and biblically rooted content to help you live abundantly and GROW YOU. GOD’S WAY.
I hope you had a great week!
A few years ago, I was smack dab in the middle of one of the worst periods in my life. Despite my depression and heavy heart, I got up one morning and prepared myself to go to the one place I knew I could find solace—church. God’s house.
I got dressed, made up my face, and put on my jewelry. I worked hard to mask the crushing I felt on the inside. Only God knows the kind of emotional pain I was struggling with that day. I had come to church so that God could pour into my hurting soul as I worshipped.
As I sat on the pew bench trying to give God all my pain, someone whom I do not have a close relationship with slid next to me and poked my stomach. “Wow. Looks like you haven’t been pulling away from the table,” they said. I’m not kidding. This really happened! Terrible. I know.
Now anyone who knows me can tell you, I can be very quick-witted and direct. But that day, I didn’t have any more “fight” in me. I had used all the fight I had to come to church. God buttoned my lips. And I was able to get through service without falling apart.
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Like millions of other people in the world, I am an emotional eater. Sad. Mad. Anxious. I eat! Food has often served as a “comfort” for the unbearable things in my life (Honey, the book is coming soon! LOL😂). So, the struggle is real folks! The last few years have brought me significant health challenges—physical and emotional.
Most recently, I have been recovering from a back injury with sciatica that greatly impaired my mobility for almost a year! I am still working through pain at times as I attempt to be more active and lose all the weight I “found” along the way.😂
Weight loss and physical health are not always synonymous.
Physical health is a broad term that includes your “numbers.” These numbers provide information about such things as your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, kidney function, and A1C to name a few.
Physical health also relates to your overall fitness, which is your ability to perform certain functional tasks.
A person can be overweight by BMI chart standards and have excellent “numbers” and be able to perform functional or weight-lifting tasks that would qualify them as physically fit. It varies from person to person.
We know that weight can be the culprit of a myriad of diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and high blood pressure. For that reason, it is very important to keep your weight at a number that lessens your risks.
It sounds easy enough, but anyone who has struggled to become physically fit or lose weight (ME!) can tell you it’s not always easy, although it’s very necessary.
Good physical health can prolong your life and give you a better quality of life. While you are on the journey it’s good to keep a few things in mind:
1. It’s Your Journey!
Whether you are on a fitness journey, weight loss journey, or both, it’s personal. Do not allow others (family, friends, or people who sit next to you at church for that matter) to appoint themselves as your unofficial accountability partners!
They may say things like, “Are you supposed to be eating that?” or “When is the last time you worked out?”
Simply tell them, “I have an accountability partner but thanks for asking.”
Some people who have “mastered” their fitness or weight loss goals may tend to criticize you if you haven’t mastered your goals yet.
Sometimes people will criticize you if they are farther along on their journeys than you are. These are people who love to give you unsolicited advice on what you should eat and how you should work out.
It’s not their business, so don’t allow them to make it their business! Even if someone means well, he or she ultimately does not know what your goals are and what’s the best way for you to get there.
Set boundaries and make sure friends and family respect your journey. And if no one has asked you to be his or her accountability partner, mind your business as well! LOL
2. You Need a Compassionate Accountability Partner!
Speaking of accountability partners, you can’t go wrong with someone helping you along. But make sure you choose someone who is going to be beneficial and uplifting.
When I was in my thirties, I had a personal trainer who made it his business to belittle his clients when he felt like it. We actually paid him!
He was more like a drill sergeant. Think mean weight loss show. That works for some folks. I call it negative motivation and it doesn’t work on everyone. It sure doesn’t work on me! It can be very damaging and counterproductive. I respond much better when I work with someone who is kind.
Take a closer look at negative motivation vs. positive motivation:
Negative: “You’re fat because you eat too many donuts,”
Positive: “Choosing healthier foods will help you reach your goals faster,”
The difference between negative motivation and positive motivation is day and night.
You need a firm and kind partner who will speak life into you or your worst day, not yell at you and insult you.
A good coach or accountability partner will provide a balance of firmness and compassion.
3. Know Your Whys!
When it comes to being physically fit or losing weight, you have to know your whys. If you are struggling with overeating, talk to a coach or a therapist (if you have more serious issues that need to be addressed) who can help you figure out the root causes.
This will allow you to have a plan in place and to change your behavior gradually. Rome wasn’t built in a day. You cannot lose a gazillion pounds in a week when it took months or even years to gain the weight.
Understand that change or transformation is a process! You are in this for the long haul. There are no quick fixes. Changes must occur at the root. When weight loss is approached this way, it is easier to maintain your loss.
Having limited mobility due to my back injury and sciatica caused me to appreciate simple things like going for a short walk. If you have a fitness goal, take baby steps!
It’s unrealistic to think you can look like a fitness model after a few weeks of going to the gym.
Ask yourself why you want to lose weight and why you want to be physically fit. Be real with yourself. If you want to lose weight or become fit because you don’t love yourself, that won’t change when you meet those goals.
Learn to love yourself even if that takes professional assistance from a therapist. Loving yourself will spur healthy habits.
Be kind to yourself. Give yourself grace and patience. That’s what God does.
Disclaimer: Most people write about weight loss and physical health after they have mastered their goals in these areas. If you haven’t noticed by now, I’m not like most people!😂 I am writing while on the journey, a journey that has had stops, starts, and pauses along the way. But It’s MY JOURNEY, just like it’s YOUR JOURNEY. And God is always with you! So say “yes” to loving you by becoming a healthier version of yourself.
Until Next Time,
GROW YOU. GOD’S WAY.
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