I had a thought this morning while running 100meter dashes with a 15lb barbell, just part of my work for the morning… Well let me back up. I have been doing CrossFit Loveland for the past 5 weeks. If you haven’t heard of CrossFit watch the video at the bottom. I have been doing CrossFit for several reasons…
- I am morbidly obese (as the Dr.’s say)
- I have tried bootcamps –> Weight Watchers –> HCG –> Dieting –> Gym Membership to no avail!
- It kicks my butt ever single time & I feel amazing afterwards
- I’m seeing results
- I’m feeling confident
- The community & encouragement is like nothing I have experienced before
- It’s a focus on overall fitness, not just my gut, or my muscles, it’s everything!
- At 321 lbs at 28 something had to give!!!
That last one is the kicker for me. I have always been a big guy. Always! I’m Broad shouldered so will probably always be ‘stocky’ but I have always been large. Low 200′s in High school to mid 200′s in college, to low’s 200′s in Northern Ireland, to now in the healthiest state in the US & with in 5 years of moving here weighing around 215lbs I have put on 100lbs! What gives???
1st and foremost horrible eating habits. The stress of ministry plays a factor, but ministry doesn’t make me go grab 20nugs from McDonalds & a large fry & Coke. Ministry may take a lot of time & make things more complex in figuring out when & how I can go work out, but it is on the lower reasons. My eating habits suck! To many lunch meetings & not great choices!
I would say 2ndly & possibly the most important when I actually think about it… I don’t take Gods love for me & desire for me to have a ‘full abundant life in Him” (John 10.10) Serious! Nor do I take serious the fact that He has made my body to be good & a temple pleasing to Him. I have made excuses my whole life as to why I’m fat, I’ve ignored the sinful behavior that perpetuates the weight. Is being unhealthy & overweight a sin? If there is something you can do about I feel it is. I’ve lived it!
If you are overweight and reading this hear me please, as a big guy myself I am not trying to attack or make you feel like crap, but in looking at the love & truth of God I can take His grace & mercy for advantage & not try to live a healthier (less heavy) lifestyle for Him, for my family, for my church, for my community… for me!
So what ‘gave’? A number of things I guess. I got tired of making excuses! I got tired of struggling to buckle my freaking pants! I mean really! I got tired of flying in an airplane and wondering if I would have to ask for an extender seat belt… I mean you can jump rope with the 1st one!!! I got tired of mentally feeling that each time I get up to share Gods hope for peoples lives that people can’t possibly take me seriously because my weight tells them a different story of hope. Hear me on this, I am my hardest critic I know. No one has ever said anything to me about this or anything like it, even though it may have been for my betterment. But the way I’ve been living isn’t life, and more importantly this isn’t the kind of cross God has called me to bear, nor is it for you!!!
So back to my 100meter dashes carrying a barbell. As that cold bar straddled my back this morning & my trainer had me going back forth he instructed me to take some time to pray & ask God about thoughts of our next steps with planting DayBreak Church (click here for more information). As I was running & praying I saw my shadow with the bar across my back & was reminded of Jesus carrying the cross, the cross he was nailed to & died on for the sins of all people! Then the thought came to the cross we are also called to bear. I’m not sure if you have ever had God speak to you, whether audibly, through another person, through a feeling, emotion or what ever, but in that moment I felt a powerful word and thought hit me
This is not the cross I desire for you to bear!
I felt that I have made my weight a burden, a cross that I’m called to bear. And well honestly it has been one. I’ve made it a cross and in that I have made it a distraction. God never intended for the cross I bear to be unhealthy eating habits or being over weight. That stuff is merely sin, baggage, and baggage that is meant to be dropped off and left.
I want to bear the cross of caring for my family & loving through the hard times, I want to bear the cross of loving a city in need of Jesus… not the cross of high blood pressure, swollen ankles, jeans not fitting, hard breathing from sitting up in a chair (haven’t got that yet). The bearing of a cross is not about us, it’s about Jesus, it’s about the beauty of tomorrow, it’s more than overcoming, it is embracing Him who overcame!
I felt burdened to write this, to encourage those of you out there who are struggling with weight, or struggling with something/anything that keeps you from the hope of tomorrow! God has more for you than this! I have made 28 years of poor choices that have lead me to here, and not even 28 days will get me to a healthier place, but it is a start. My hope is that you too can take a good hard look and ask yourself, “Is this really the cross I’m called to carry?” If it is about you, probably not! If it is a short sighted thing, probably not! If it is a mistake in your life, probably not! The cross leads to life! Dig deep my friends & experience the Good Life, the Greater Life today!
I am reminded today God has something so much more in store for me and of others around me, for a city even! I am glad my soul is waking up to this truth “You matter! Get it in gear! It’s time to make a difference!”
As promised… the video…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_QUJlRdy-4