I’ve been reflecting on some defining moments I had when I was struggling with my weight. I missed out on many things I wanted to do physically, but couldn’t do at 240 pounds.
It seemed the bigger I became, the smaller my world became.
One incident I recall vividly involved a roller-coaster. This is a story I’ve told very few people before now. It was my most humiliating moment ever.
I went to an amusement park with some friends. I was looking forward to riding the most daring roller-coaster in the park at the time, the Scream Machine.
None of my friends wanted to get on it, so I decided to go by myself. I waited in the long line and was excited when it was finally time for me to get on board.
I found an empty car, settled in, reached for the seat belt on both sides, and pulled it to go around my waist.
And pulled. And pulled.
My face burned. No matter how much I pulled, the seatbelt was not long enough to fit around my belly. I sat there, stunned. I wasn’t sure what to do.
Then I became conscious of the teen-aged ride attendant walking around, checking that everyone had their seat belts on. A sinking feeling developed in the pit of my stomach as I awaited my turn.
When he got to my car, he peered inside. He saw that my seat belt wasn’t on. “Ma’am, you need to put your seat belt on before the ride can start.”
I took a deep breath. The boy stood there, waiting for me to fasten the seat belt.
Hoping for a miracle, I grabbed both ends of the seat belt and tried to pull it across my belly again. But just like before, it was too short by 4 inches to buckle.
The teen-aged attendant watched me with his arms folded, frowning. “Ma’am if you can’t get the seatbelt on, you are going to have to get off this ride.”
Fighting back tears, I nodded. I exited the ride. By the time I got back to my friends, the rollercoaster was on its way without me.
My friends were surprised to see me. “We thought you were on the ride,” they said. They waited for my explanation as to what happened.
Did I tell them the truth? No. I was too humiliated to admit the truth at the time. I told them that I changed my mind and didn’t want to ride that roller-coaster anyway.
But the truth was, I did want to ride that roller-coaster! However, it was one of the dozen things I learned to downplay in my mind because it hurt too much to think about what I was missing out on because of my size.
I got very good at downplaying and denial. So good in fact that it took another 3 years after this incident before I decided to lose the excess weight for good.
The final straw was having a severe chest pain that I thought was going to kill me. That hurt so much that I couldn’t deny the reality of my situation anymore.
When God told me, “It is not supposed to be this way” I had a choice. Would I believe Him or not? I decided to believe. I wanted Him to teach me the way it was supposed to be.
I finally got tired of feeling like I was hiding from my own life. It was time for me to show up for it.
Dropping from a size 22 to a size 8 opened up a whole new world for me.
Not only have I ridden many roller-coasters since my weight loss, but I have hiked Stone Mountain, ridden in a hot air balloon, gone zip-lining and even rode a horse.
Okay, the horse-riding didn’t last long because the horse got scared one time and threw me off. But I was fine!
Are you showing up for your life? You might not want to ride a roller-coaster like me, but do you have dreams that you are missing out on because of your weight?
You only get one life. And you are the only one who can choose how you want to go through it. One of my favorite movie lines is from the movie, “On Golden Pond.”
An adult daughter is angry at her father because of his neglect when she was growing up. But her mother suggests she forgive him and says to her, “Life marches on, Chelsea. I suggest you get on with it.”
Some of you may feel that excess weight is not a problem for you. That’s fine. If you feel that you can do everything you want to do right now and fulfill your God-given purpose with nothing in the way, then good for you!
You could actually stop reading.
I am writing to those for whom the excess weight is a hindrance. I created Take Back Your Temple for those who feel they are settling for less than what God has for them and don’t want to settle anymore.
I wasted all of my 20s and most of my 30s living out a food addiction rather than living out my life.
I knew God’s desire is for me to “prosper and be in health even as my soul prospers.” And that time, it seemed impossible that I would ever get there.
However, I discovered the truth of this scripture:
“Behold, God is exalted by His power; Who teaches like Him (Job 36:22)?” God is an awesome Teacher! I was a hard-headed student at times. I seemed to make some of the same mistakes over and over again.
This time, though, I knew God was on my side. And with God for me, who could be against me? Even my self-sabotaging ways couldn’t stand up to God for long as I learned to submit to Him.
With His help and a promise to myself that I would never give up, I reached my goal. And you can too. Are you ready to take back your temple? Then come join me on the journey in the Take Back Your Temple program, starting today.
God’s word talks about the wisdom of partnership. It’s easier when we do it together:
“Two are better than one,
Because they have a good reward for their labor.
For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.
But woe to him who is alone when he falls,
For he has no one to help him up.
Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him.
And a threefold cord is not quickly broken (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, 12).”
Kimberly Taylor, Author and Wellness coach
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