Thursday, July 09, 2009

Weight Weport 8: Agape, Phileo, and Perseverance

It took two weeks to lose the 1.4 pounds that I had gained back as of June 24, but I did it, and I thank the Lord. Despite pain in my hip and the holiday weekend, I worked at and achieved this small goal. While 1.4 pounds doesn't sound like much gained back, it represented a big failure to me. I was ready to give up and say "it's just not worth it." But I didn't. God kept encouraging me (mostly through a chapter in Love to Eat, Hate to Eat) to stay the course. Changing my eating habits is going to be for a lifetime, not for this week or even next year, yet the decisions I make 25 times a day, every day, reveal whether I love God or just say I do. Like Jimmy preached on Sunday, when Jesus asked Peter three times, "Do you love me more than these?" He used two different Greek meanings of love: agape (Godly, sacrificial love) and phileo (brotherly love, w/ strong affections toward). It's as if Jesus asks me every time I reach for food and wonder if it's for comfort or for fuel, "Do you love Me more than these (high fat, sugary "comfort foods")?" If I truly know that I am reaching for fuel, my spirit knows it's agape love. If not, I am guilty of simply having only strong affections for the Lord, but in the moment, stronger affections for food.

So I'm back to a total loss of 15.4 pounds. It's not nearly as much as I originally wanted gone by now, but I am learning a lot about perseverance, acceptance of the givens in my life, God's comfort, and am in the midst of trying to discern whether I "need" Weight Watchers as accountability or whether God wants to stretch me further than I think possible by going it alone. I am so afraid of failure. There's something to be said for having to plunk down money and get on a scale and have someone see your progress (or lack thereof) week by week. There's a lot to be said also of a serious accountability partner like Karen. I have never had an AP stick with me for very long. Always before it has been a random, every 3 weeks or so, someone asking, "so, how ya doing with the weight thing?" which doesn't really motivate me. That's not really caring, in my book, not true accountability, not all that helpful. This time I am thankful for Karen, but even if she doesn't stick with me, I know I have the Lord. This isn't ultimately about losing weight. It's a walk of repentance--away from gluttony and self-reliance, toward believing with my actions that what I truly need cannot be found in the fridge or the pantry, but in Christ alone.

The victory this week: persevering when I felt like giving up. The week of June 24 to July 1st was THE hardest, and the following week was just a tad easier. Thanks be to God that my former way of living (ie giving up when I didn't reach my goals, feeling doomed to failure) is changing. What I need to really work on now is refusing to get angry at naysayers. Even the lady at Weight Watchers who, when I told her I wanted to lose 100 in a year, said "that idd'n gonna happen." I wanted to smack her: I felt neither agape nor phileo at the moment, but have since realized she was probably just trying to keep me from setting myself up for failure. Lesson I learned? Don't tell someone "It isn't gonna happen." Say, "You're mighty ambitious and I wish you well," and keep your thoughts of failure zipped inside your lips!


Laurie said...

Good lessons learned and patience and perseverance being practiced! Press on!

itsboopchile said...

Whenever I read how patience works in losing weight I get hyped into thinking I can lose.
Then I think, my eating is right. It is exercise that does me in. I am just not able to do much, I barely walk, and even then with a walker.
So, I lose all hope.
BUT, I congratulate you on your perseverance and work to lose whatever you want and on schedule.
Keep at it. It does help me.
Betty G