The blessing of this burden

Losing weight has been an issue my entire life.

Even in my childhood years, when I was extremely athletic, the extra pounds seemed to stick around.

For years, I was angry about it. I asked God, why is this my burden?  Why couldn’t I have a super-fast metabolism? This isn’t fair.

Then, in the summer of 2012, I had the realization that changed my life forever and set me on this journey.

I am blessed to have this as my burden.

Wait. Battling obesity is a blessing?

Yes, it is. Here’s why.

We all have a “thing” that seems to be in the way, or a constant force of opposition in our lives.

For some, it can be a debilitating disability that no matter how hard you fight or how hard you smile, it will always be there. For others, it can be a fatal disease.

The only decision many people have in situations like these is to be happy despite their circumstances, or drown in misery.

I realized that my “something” is a blessing because I actually have the power to confront and overcome it day by day.  It doesn’t mean it’s easy, but it certainly means I have the power to push through it.

I became grateful that God blessed me with an obstacle I have complete control over.

I can choose to exercise. I am blessed with legs, arms and feet so I can walk and jog and run (I’ll get to running… eventually).

I can choose to make better eating choices.

I. Can.

I looked in the mirror, and thanked God for everything I saw looking back at me. I began to say, out loud, “Thank you God for this burden. I will make you proud by facing this obstacle head on.”

The more I replaced the anger with gratitude, the easier the hard choices became. I started to smile through tough workouts, and got excited about finding healthier recipes.

Many people have asked me what diet I’m on. It’s not a diet, but a lifestyle change.  Kale, spaghetti squash and sweaty sessions at the gym a few times a week are my normal now.  I’m able to enjoy crawfish or pralines from back home every once in a while, and get back to my delicious cauliflower rice and “Body Combat” classes with no problem.

How?

It’s because the joy of seeing my progress manifest itself in my smile, waistline and blood pressure is everlasting.  Anything coming from a sugar-laced calorie is fleeting.

Every single day, with every meal choice, with every workout, you have the power to choose.

What a blessing!

(originally published February 20, 2014)