Dear Lucy: I have tried everything I know to lose weight. Diet, exercise, books, you name it. Why is it so hard? I find myself looking at other women and even men in comparison. I have gotten to where I am happy just to see someone bigger than me. I feel ashamed of my thinking and because I can't get the weight off. I used to have an hourglass figure and now I look like a big plastic tumbler!
Dear QB: This is such a worn out conversation. It's in our face at the grocery checkout, every talk show, every few Google ads, every doctor visit...it's just everywhere.
If you will notice, every major change in the world today is about the need to shift our thinking. We seem to have come to a place where we are being asked to equalize, to find a new balance; a balance between having what we need and having enough. Is that not what the global economic crisis is all about?
So this shift is showing up, screaming at us from every quarter. What is the shift really about? To me, it is about humanity taking on a new way of thinking, being and doing. We are being challenged to learn how to live out of the overflow in a spirit of love.
Look around you, there is an overflow of money, food, fat, churches and schools. At the same time there is an overflow of poverty, anger, jealousy and fear. It's the imbalance that makes us afraid and unable to live out of the overflow in a positive way. We get so distracted on the side of what we cannot do that we forget about what we do know how to do, what we do know how to be and what we already have.
I have been trying to lose 10 pounds for one whole year. Just 10 pounds! I have watched my weight shift, my body change, a different Lucy forming. I was watching a movie recently about a group of middle-aged couples and noticed that they all looked like me. They all had problems: physical, mental, emotional, relationship and marriage problems, spiritual problems. Like most movies, there was a moral to the story and a pretty good ending. But something in me snapped relative to all that I have put myself through over 10 pounds. I don't know how much you want or maybe even think you need to lose. But suddenly, I knew that was not the point. I realized that this thing had become a threat to my ability to love myself.
Jesus tells us to love ourselves so that we can love our neighbor. Paul tells us to avoid comparing ourselves among ourselves. I had become so self critical over my inability to lose the weight that I forgot how grateful I am for this awesome garment that my Soul made to cover itself.
It is such an awesome garment! My arms are bigger, but I can still reach out and embrace life, my face is fuller and so I have more to smile with. My torso is wider and I have more to stretch with. My real obligation is to love, care for and cherish my Soul's garment. It serves me well and I will continue to serve it well with adequate exercise, thoughtful and responsible eating and guilt-free praise of it.
As I live in the overflow of a body grown a bit bigger with the prosperity of regular meals, I can consciously miss a few meals every now and then. I can sit down to a meal knowing that I am already full to overflowing and eat in moderation without guilt or fear that my food will harm me. I can trust that I am indeed fearfully and wonderfully made and be joyful and privileged to cooperate with Grace.
Relax, QB. Reclaim your balance. Let go of the stress of not being enough. Live in the overflow of Grace. Begin each day, looking in a full-length mirror talking sweetly to yourself with words that reaffirm how much you love yourself and how grateful you are for such a wonderful garment to cover the great soul that you are. Do this faithfully for 14 days and see how your attitude begins to shift. Do it for 100 days and watch your weight stabilize! I am doing it with you.
(For help with the feelings that get in the way of prayer and peace of mind, get Lucy's new book, "BE NOT ANXIOUS." Order it directly from her at 901-907-0260 or go to her web site www.heartworks4u.com.)