Last Friday at Six Flags Great Adventure, I experienced the walk of shame. My family and I walked to the front of the line for the Green Lantern roller coaster, and each of us made our way to our seat so we could pull down the harness and put on the safety belt. I stood next to my wife and brother as the attendant came over and tried to fasten the harness.
“Sorry, sir – this ride won’t fit people your size. You’ll have to exit the ride.”
As the roller coaster sped off down the track, I walked away from my wife, brother, sons, and nieces with my head hanging low. Shame. Guilt. Embarrassment. Self-hatred. I’m too fat.
Welcome to Wellness Week, 2017.
Maybe you’re not overweight like me, but chances are strong to quite strong that you have issues with food just like I do. Every one of us struggles in some way with food, exercise, body image issues, an eating disorder, or neglect of our bodies. So many of us walk through life with a “love-hate” relationship with food and exercise. God designed our bodies with a need for nutrition and health, and He made our bodies with the innate ability to taste, experience, and enjoy the flavors and smells of food.
How can something so good cause so much pain and so many problems?
In May 2016, I did something I’ve never done on my blog. I wrote for six days in a row, and each post revolved around the idea of Wellness. I liked doing something different, and I think the posts encouraged and challenged many.
One year later, I’m doing the same thing. For the next six days, I’m going to share a new post about wellness. 2017 provides you with an upgrade, as this year I’m sharing the writing burden/opportunity with four other friends. You’re going to hear from the perspective of others as they also share their thoughts and wisdom on wellness.
Before my friends share, I want to bring you in on some of my recent thoughts and challenges with eating and wellness. The roller coaster provides the right analogy for me, as I find my problems with wellness filled with many ups and downs, twists and turns, and surprises. Sometimes I’m filled with excitement and a rush that only a roller coaster can provide, while other times I’m nauseous and want to vomit.
I feel great after a quality workout and a few days of eating well. I’m excited and want to keep going, so I go to bed early, put my gym clothes out before I go to sleep, and refuse to eat any snacks after 8:00 pm. Then I get on the scale after a week of crushing it, only to find that I gained three pounds. And it’s not muscle or water weight. Cue nausea and frustration, followed by lemon pound cake from Starbucks. Ups and downs. Twists and turns.
The struggle exhausts me. It takes me about 15 steps to get from my office to the 8th-floor kitchen at Watermark. I walk by that cursed kitchen 15-20 times every day. On any given day, you can find candy, cake, chips, and pizza in the 8th-floor kitchen. I’ve affectionately renamed the kitchen the “sin den” because of the constant sin struggle I face every time I walk into or by the kitchen.
- I still remember everything in the kitchen from one day a few weeks ago: a large shopping bag filled with 10 small bags of chips, three large bags of chips (BBQ Lays, Cool Ranch Doritos, and Original Lays), a box of Krispy Kreme donuts, and an amazing looking homemade chocolate peanut butter dessert.
- Every time I walked by or into the
kitchen“sin den,” I had to fight the battle not to eat and binge on the food in the kitchen. I could sneak a few chips and no one would know, or I could fully give in. Or, I could just walk by and pretend none of it existed. The battle exhausts me.
On my lesser days, the number on the scale defines me: fat, lazy, nothing will ever change. On the better days, I know the three-digit number on the scale won’t determine my worth.
And on the better days, I’m reminded that in every part of life, God calls us to faithfulness:
- Scatter seed and trust God with the result (Luke 8:4-15). In other words, do the things God calls me to do and trust Him with the results. Just be faithful.
- “Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world….” (Philippians 2:14-15).
- Exhibit the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Part of the fruit = faithfulness.
- Be content and faithful in all circumstances – when the number on the scale is low and when it’s high (Philippians 4:16-18).
- Regardless of the situation, choose to honor God with my body (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
Thankfully God’s love is not predicated on a certain weight, waist size, or my max back squat or bench press. Rather, He demonstrates His love to us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for you and me (Romans 5:8). Our value comes in His love for us, not in anything we do or don’t do.
Wellness Week 2017
I’m excited about what you’re going to learn and read this week in Wellness Week 2017. I’ve been encouraged and challenged by the posts as I’ve read them and prepared them for the blog, and I know you will be as well.
Bottom line: We need to talk more about wellness. We need to figure out how to discuss this with our spouse, kids, and friends. Let’s do what we can to NOT make wellness, eating, exercise, and sleep a taboo topic that we don’t discuss with friends and family. Wellness Week is one small step to encourage us to talk with others about these crucial issues.
Sometimes it just takes the tiny step of admitting you have a problem and need some help. Years ago I shared about my challenges, and it’s made all the difference.
- I’m grateful for friends like Bobby and Becca who lead a wellness ministry at Watermark.
- I thank God for the men in my community group, my boss John, and my incredibly patient wife who ask me about my eating and exercise habits. They’re not afraid to challenge me, ask the hard questions, pray for me, and encourage me.
- Friends like Blake ask me penetrating heart questions and want to understand more of what this struggle is like so that he can pray for me.
- Men like Kyle invite me to join them at Weight Watchers. Each week, Kyle and I walk into a room filled with 25 women and one or two other guys. It’s a new level of humility, and I’m glad I don’t have to fight this battle alone.
So here’s your challenge for this week: Who will you talk to about your wellness? As I said above, every day this week you’re going to hear from some friends about wellness. Choose to read these posts with others – share them with your spouse, your kids, your friends, and an accountability partner. I’ll ask you to pray for me in my battle with wellness as I seek to honor God with my body, and I hope you’ll allow me to do the same for you.
- Who will you talk to about your wellness this week?
- Where/how is God calling you to be faithful with your wellness?
- How can I pray for you in the area of wellness? Either leave a comment below or feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org