For me, living a healthy life is hard. My gut response to stress is to eat. My automatic choice to sitting on the couch versus exercising is to sit on the couch. Take the time and energy to plan and prepare a healthy meal or order a pizza? I'll take the pizza. After four years I guess I expected it to be easier. But I'm still needing to think about every choice before I make it. I'm still making poor choices more often than I would like. I'm still not getting this lifestyle right.
A week ago I ran in my first 5k in almost two months. Life with a teenager and pre-teen combined with various life situations being highly stressful and a rough winter had pushed my resolve to be healthy to the back burner. With the arrival of Spring, I was determined to get myself back on track. This was my kick-off!
As I ran, my "negative self-talk" tape was on playing on high volume over and over in my mind. "You need to get yourself together. You can't let this keep happening. You can't have your garbage can filled with pizza boxes and fast food bags. You can't keep going to bed without going for a run. What have you been thinking? Your children are going to grow up and become lazy and fat because of you. Your blood pressure is going to go back through the roof and you're going to die way too young."
But then my self-talk was replaced by another voice:
"Repent, then, and turn toward God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord." Acts 3:19
"The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him." Daniel 9:9
"Then He adds, 'Their sin and lawless acts I will remember no more.'" Hebrews 10:17
It's that simple. When I ask God for forgiveness, He does three things for me - He forgives me, He forgets what I did and He offers me relief from my guilt. That got me thinking . . . If God can forgive me, why is it so hard for me to forgive me?
It shouldn't be. I know in my head that I am not perfect and my journey is not going to be perfect. My heart needs to understand that.
Over the past week I've continued to wrestle with this idea of self-forgiveness. While I haven't completely answered all my questions, simply identifying the need to understand this has helped me to feel better. My high energy level returned. My desire to exercise returned. My sleep has improved. (Is this my time of refreshment?!?!)
The easy decision when a person hits a slump is to throw in the towel and walk away. The hard decision is to pick-up that towel, wipe yourself off and jump back onto the road.
So I'm picking up the towel and getting myself back on the road . . . back on the right path of doing my best to make healthy choices . . . I am recommitting myself to this journey . . . AGAIN!
|My sister Megan and I at the St.John's 5k|
on Saturday, April 5, 2014