Monday, September 14, 2020

Hope Uprising

It wasn't long ago that I gave up on everything. 

I gave up on being a wife and mom- cooking, cleaning, etc.- the family complained about what I cooked and just made the house messy again. My advice was no longer needed or wanted since the kids were grown now. Everything I knew was...useless.

I gave up dieting. Past attempts didn't work, and I was tired of gaining more weight after each try. I stopped writing humor because it seemed there wasn't anything left to laugh about without offending someone. I stopped watching online church services since it was just someone on a screen- I was being talked at, not talked to

I hadn't just given up on those around me, but I gave up on myself as well. Each day was filled with thoughts of just do what you have to do to get by, bite down on the pain, and escape life through sleep. 

I slept a lot.

But God had other plans. 

No matter how deep the rut is, how vast the chasm, how high the climb, God is always there for me, whispering in my ear (and yours!), giving me hope when I least expect it. 

Image by Daniel Reche from Pixabay 

It started with a surprise trip to Cape Cod after driving our daughter from Pennsylvania to New Hampshire. I was overjoyed- it was the first time since our honeymoon twenty-three years ago that we were going on a bonafide vacation; no cooking, cleaning, or campfire building for the entire week! 

But I started feeling anxious because my husband was talking about doing a lot of walking- something that I just wasn't able to do. The more he talked, the guiltier I felt- and there was no time to 'get into shape' to walk long distances either.

We enjoyed going to the beaches (I encouraged him to explore on his own while I waited by the exit and people-watched), read books, ate fantastic restaurant food, and had good conversations. He was still enjoying himself despite my hindrances, working around them so we could both have fun. God gave me an awesome man for a husband!

I was still feeling guilty for not being more mobile. I wanted to walk on the beaches too! One time he decided to 'go for a short walk' before dinner, and next thing you know, he called me to come to pick him up, otherwise, we'd be late for dinner- he wasn't far, he said. Just three miles down the road.

Three miles. A short walk, my fanny! 

I wanted to be so much more active for him. He deserved a wife that was better than the current model. My engine revved great, but the body was dented and the tires were overinflated. No MPG on this baby!

That night, I decided to put on the hotel TV. I flicked through the channels and found Shark Tank. We watched an episode before I decided to channel surf. 

And that was when God whispered in my ear. What will motivate you to change?

Well, I wanted to be an entrepreneur (hence Shark Tank), but I wasn't certain I was cut out for it. Then the remote clicked on a show that hit me like a ton of cookies. My 600 Pound Life.

Wow. Both of us were shocked at some of the attitudes and occurrences we saw on the show. Some of them were not so surprising (but worrisome), and some attitudes were so downright familiar they were scary. 

I'm going to backtrack a little here. Several years ago I was a borderline hoarder. I could never figure a way out of hoarding until I watched the show Hoarders. It shocked me into making major life changes. I've now gotten control of my hoarding tendencies, and decluttering is a regular part of my life. I don't even have a junk drawer!

And now I had to shock myself again but in a very different arena.

It only took a few episodes of My 600 Pound Life to realize I was headed that way, big time (excuse the pun.) Their excuses were my excuses, their diet fails were my diet fails, and though these people opted for surgery, I didn't want to go that route. Extreme dieting wasn't the answer either- not for long term weight loss. Been there, done that, never will do it again. 

So how was I going to get where I wanted to be, and walk on the beaches with my husband? What was I going to do to consider a three-mile walk a 'short' walk?

I knew better than to run to the next new diet fad. 'Lose 85 pounds in a day' was just not a good thing, no matter how you looked at it. So I did a little research, bought a book called Fast, Feast, Repeat, and chose to start an eating lifestyle that was easier to stick to, and at a slow enough pace I wasn't crashing and burning like the Hindenburg.

All because God whispered at the right time. He gave me hope that I can change for the better.

My lifestyle eating journey starts in a separate blog, here.

Less weight, more energy. More energy, better life. Less time in bed, more time living.

And finally doing what God wants me to do. 

I'm not going to lie- I'm still struggling. Those feelings of being incapable are still very prominent. It's hard to be hopeful when you have doubts about yourself and lack the hugs you need from friends and family during this COVID-19 pandemic. 

Hope is hard to hold, but not impossible. Because God is still there, whispering. Hope rises from the ashes and lives another day. And another. And another. I'm so grateful for His whispers. I hope you hear His whispers too. Just take a deep breath and listen. His hope will come!