I saw it as I began to reckon with my sense of entitlement. Since I was responsible for feeding my family – none of whom had a weight problem – I had to learn to handle food without sampling it myself. As I resisted the nagging impulse to bring my hand to my mouth, I could feel another layer of denial being stripped away. I had eaten more than I’d admitted to myself.

I resisted self-pity by imagining a broke bank teller who had to handle other people’s money all day while struggling to pay her own bills. I fought my envy of those gifted with I-can-eat-and-eat-and-not-gain-weight metabolisms by thinking of my son Jonny who has Down syndrome and has to work a lot harder than others, yet who is consistently full of joy.

As I learned how much less I needed to eat to survive and thrive, I found the same true in other areas of my life. I found myself cleaning out closets and drawers – riding the downsizing trend. It seemed in every area of our family’s life, I’d over-consumed: Too many clothes, toys, dishes, knickknacks.

All crowding out the One in Whom we live, move and have our being.

As I lost my reluctance to let things go, I found a spirit of liberation as exhilarating as the new freedom which allowed me to sprint to the bus stop to meet my kids – without running out of breath at all.

At the doctor’s office a year later, when the nurse weighed my son in at eighty pounds – the exact amount I’d lost – I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. But it all became clear, as I imagined carrying him with me 24/7, how I’d burdened myself while trying to pretend my life was normal.  

In fact, as I freed myself from excess weight, I found my imagination soaring as my mental energy was no longer consumed with denial of what had truly been my greatest limitation – a limitation I had to admit had been completely self-imposed.

 

I won’t gloss over the grieving process I’ve had to deal with – for the loss of the years before I finally heard God’s call to surrender this area of my life.  Being able to buckle my seatbelt like a normal person, wearing size 10 jeans, having normal blood pressure and energy to play with my children – these are the outer benefits and powerful motivators for staying fit.     

 

But above those is the unfettered relationship I can enjoy with my Heavenly Father, before whom I can finally stand unashamed about the temple of my body. I can almost hear the whisper, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

 

For anyone beginning 2009 with a yearning to confront this area of your life – to recognize in a literal and tangible way the truth that “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30), I bring you glad tidings of great joy:  With God’s help and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, all things are possible to us. 

 

The only cost is surrender.  Give this final frontier to our Heavenly Father, Who gave so much for us.  Then, like a rider at the top of the roller coaster, be ready for the ride of your life. 


Barbara Curtis is author of nine books and blogs at MommyLife.net, where she will be embarking January 5 on the last stage of her diet to close in on her original target weight.  Several dozen readers have already pledged to join her and offer each other practical and spiritual support.