People keep saying to me, "You're so strong! How are you doing it? What's your secret? How do you stay motivated? Teach me how to have your willpower!"
Here are my answers:
"I'm not strong. I've never had willpower. I'm no different that I was every other time I tried to lose weight. My secret? It's gonna sound hokey, but it's the only truth: this time, I asked God to take me on this journey.
It all started when I decided to audition for The Biggest Loser. At the time, I was convinced that being pushed physically and mentally in front of a huge audience was the only thing that would work for me. I gave 100% of myself to the making of that audition tape and then, realizing that I could do no more, I gave it to God. Literally, I packaged it up, sealed it, and as I dropped it at the post office, I gave it to Him. "It's in your hands now. I give it to you - the outcome, whatever it may be, I will accept as Your will."
Immediately, I knew that I didn't need the show to lose the weight. By this time, having gone through the emotional journey of finding a willing partner, of filling out the application, and of creating the video, I realized that it wasn't just the weight loss I wanted - it was that I wanted my life back in EVERY aspect. For me, that meant that my journey would be much more than a physical one - it also needed to be emotional, mental and spiritual.
And those are the precise reasons I'd never asked God to help me before. Asking him to help me stick to a diet would've meant that I had to actually give it my all. I've never been ready to do that before, because so much of my weight problem and the bad habits that contributed to it were based in emotional weakness, and my eating habits were my way of covering that up - of dealing with it - of literally stuffing it down. As much as I hated them, my habits and the weight were a comfort to me, and I wasn't willing to let go.
But on a bright spring day last March, I gave it all up. I don't know exactly WHAT brought me to that point, but I knew I was there, and I knew that I couldn't put it off. I was ready to give it all, and to accept the gift of grace and promise in return. I'd never felt more safe in my life as I did the moment I surrendered all control.
So. My strength? My willpower? It's not my own. I'm not one who can turn down a chocolate eclair. I don't have what it takes to pass by Sonic without stopping for a Vanilla Diet Coke. I've never believed in myself enough to make a diet plan and expect to stick to it. I've never had enough self worth to walk into an exercise class without worrying what other people saw and thought. But the fact is, I HAVE passed up donuts, Sonic and potatoes. I've created a menu and new healthy lifestyle that I stick to, and I've joined exercise classes that I've been so blessed and inspired by that OTHERS have joined with me.
But let me tell you, and let me be clear:
I still don't have the strength, willpower, self worth, confidence and dedication that it takes to lose 150 pounds. But I'm well on my way to losing it; in fact, I'm over 1/3 of the way there. The only thing *I* have going for me is God, and my conviction that HE has enough strength, willpower, self worth, confidence and dedication to make up for my lack of each. He's carrying me through this. This I know for sure.