A little over a year ago, the end of February 2012, I needed to pick up a new belt – the old one had worn out. Janet and I set out for Kohl’s – must have been the romantic end to a date night since the boys were not with us. The state of my wardrobe should clue you into the fact that I despise shopping – especially shopping for new clothing that does not involve any of my favorite teams or my favorite university.
I had an idea about what size of belt needed, but was shamed when I discovered that the belt size needed was in the “big and tall” section.
I’m not tall.
I don’t recall if it was that night or the next morning that I climbed aboard the bathroom scale to discover what I weighed. Embarrassment changed to resolve when I decided that it was time to do something about it. Exercising and making healthy eating choices commenced. Over the course of the next several months, from February until around November, I lost 50 lbs.
Many have asked how I lost the weight. It’s simple. And boring. Hard work – exercising between 30 and 45 minutes a day about 5 to 6 times a week. I usually do this over my lunch break for the proverbial two birds with one stone. Making healthy(er) choices in eating is also crucial. For me this means more fruits and vegetables and greater portion control.
That’s it. No secret and no short cut. Work out and eat better. Not earth shattering.
What I discovered in the process was how much I related happiness to what I ate. The erroneous belief that eating tasty morsels leads to greater joy was rooted firmly in my heart. I fear that this is a battle I will have to wage for the rest of my life.
Food had become an idol for me. I thought that happiness could be derived from what is on my plate. What I realized was how shallow and short-lived that joy was.
Greater joy. Lasting joy can only be found in knowing and following Christ. The joy he imparts does not fade with the grumble of a stomach or the whiff of a delicious meal.
Granted, I haven’t abandoned good food. I still like pie. But I have to constantly revolt against the desire of my flesh that tells me that food can provide lasting happiness.
I’ve kept the belt and wear it almost daily. It wraps around the side of my waist and looks a bit silly. But it is a good reminder that I’m not tall.