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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Celebrating the hard moments

One of the things I learned on my weight loss journey that deserves its own post is that it's important to celebrate the hard moments. In every journey, there is a hard moment that seems to take everything we have in us to make us push through. At least in my case, those seem to be the things I have to do alone. Granted, for this journey, I purposely did it alone- for me, the fear of judgment has been so strong, because people's attitudes toward me and my body were so hurtful. So now that I'm through it, I want to celebrate.

Here are my top three celebrations:

1. When I planned this program, I forgot it fell during my daughter's b-day. I hated not getting to have any birthday cake, but in the book, she was very specific about not cheating, and how it will ruin your progress, so I didn't. There's some leftover birthday cake in the freezer, and we're going to have it tonight. I CAN delay gratification!

2. Sometimes your best laid plans fall through, and that's okay. I went to lunch with some friends at one of my favorite restaurants. I LOVE their rolls, but I couldn't have the flour, so I passed. It was SO hard. Everyone else was eating rolls, and I couldn't. So I ordered my sandwich and salad, knowing I'd only eat the meat from the sandwich, and then the salad. Perfect meal. Except I got home, realized that half the veggies I'd eaten on the salad were not okay for that phase, and I was disappointed I hadn't done better. But I let it go and forgave myself, because I'd done the best I could. And I resisted the thing I knew I couldn't have.

3. During my last few days on the program, we were at the kids' annual show. Which meant a weekend long potluck. Again, totally forgot about it when deciding this time period for the diet, but I was determined to make it work. I was not going to cheat on my last three days. I made a promise, and I had to see it through. So I looked at the food list of what others were bringing, and I brought things I knew I could eat. But, just in case, I also packed myself a lunch bag full of snacks I knew I could eat. Despite a lot of really yummy foods I wanted to try, and a really yummy looking cake, I did not eat anything I wasn't supposed to.

Celebrating these moments is important to me also because the remembrance of getting through the hard times helps get you through the next hard time. When I saw that yummy cake at annual show, I remembered the cake at my daughter's birthday, and the strength I had to not have a piece, or even lick the frosting that got on my hands. I knew I could do it because I did it before!

I'm not the first to come up with this idea- One of the things I love about reading the Old Testament is how there are so many moments of remembrance- remembering the hard times, and how God got them through. Because really, even though I chalk this up to my willpower of resisting, it wasn't all my own willpower. All of these times of resistance had some serious, "God, please help me," moments. And, as I look back at those moments of being able to resist, I know that before each one, I specifically asked God for help. I KNEW those were going to be hard times. And I told God the only way I'd get through them was with His help.

Come to think of it, the two days a week that had me in abject misery and hunger because meat and veggies alone just do not do it for me, those were the days when I prayed the most. Because I was miserable, and I could not do it on my own. Two thoughts sustained me- I've done it before, and I can do it again, AND, God, please get me through these two days.

But these hard moments- they're not just about my diet. They're about so many more hard moments I have walked through in my life lately. I'm in a season of hard. Funny, since I've had so much outward success, but inward- holy cow. It seems like every day for the past couple of months, it's been a new level of "really? I have to face THIS now, too?" But I do. And because I have reminders of the things God has helped me conquer, I've been able to conquer those things too. Okay, maybe not conquer. But they haven't defeated me either.

I don't know what battle you're facing. But I think we all have some kind of battle in our lives- whether it's something private or something public. I encourage you to sit down, search out the victories in your life, and celebrate them. Call on them when things get rough. Remember that you've been victorious before, you can do it again.

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