As we discussed in week 5 of 52 Weeks of Health, finding the proper motivation for the long haul of getting healthy is extremely important and that motivation really must be something outside of wanting to look good. However, as the weeks and months go by we can sometimes begin to take our new-found health for granted. We forget how we used to feel and can start to wonder if we are really making any progress. Is it all really worth it?
I’ve learned to take great joy and express great thankfulness for the “little” things, such as the joy of now being able to run when I am late for something (or just for the joy of running) and not feel winded at the end…. or the joy of being able to sit on the floor without wondering how I’m going to get back up gracefully…. or the joy of no longer suffering from sleep apnea…. or the joy of being able to teach all day and not have to hobble home because my feet and back are in agony. There’s also the joy of no longer having the pain of acid reflux … and the joy of climbing the stairs without raising my pulse and gasping for air… and the joy of actually desiring to get out and cross-country ski (unfortunately no snow here on which to do that) or hike.
Today I had the joy of rummaging through a tote packed with clothes that had been significantly too small for me thanks to years of neglecting my health. Some of these clothes had not been worn in years and I had not looked through them for at least 6 months. We’re leaving on a trip soon, though, and I needed something to wear, so I opened the tote in hopes of finding something that would fit.
Oh, glorious day! When all had been tried on I found the majority of them fit perfectly now and some were too big! There was only a very small pile of clothing that was still awaiting my further changing health. The joy of putting on clothing I have been unable to wear for quite a while and discovering that I once again have a waist was amazing!
It’s these things that keep me going. When I feel myself start to get sloppy in my eating and my other health habits, I need to stop and take stock of how I now feel compared to a couple of years ago. I have to learn to take joy in how much younger I feel so that I will continue to do what is good and right for my body. I need to take these little encouragements and inspirations and realize that I have not arrived yet. I still have more weight to lose and more strength to build to get to the place of health that I believe God intended for me, but these encouragements along the way are giving me a taste of what the future holds. I’m starting to fly free and the sky is the limit.
What encouraging changes are you experiencing in your health?