[Originally published January 4, 2013]

It’s Friday, January 4th, and I have been back at the gym for two days.  Today will be day 3 – if I go.

And by “back at the gym”, I mean that I’m back after about a 3 week period of not going.  First, it was sick kids.  Then it was our cruise to the Caribbean.  Then it was New Year’s.  Then I ran out of excuses.

So here’s the problem.  I don’t want to be back yet.  Brad is still on his vacation.  The kids are still home.  The tree is still up and I’m still not unpacked from the trip.  I’m not ready to face the whole “eat healthy and exercise” routine.

But I have this friend, and she and I agreed we would go back together.  So Wednesday, we talked ourselves into going.  Then Thursday – against my better judgement – we did it again.  Now it’s Friday and I know she will let me off the hook if I ask, but I don’t want to ask.  I don’t want to admit to her that I’m a big weenie and just want to stay home and enjoy this one last day with my family.

I wish I could say that I was really glad we started back when we did.  I wish I could say I feel so much better now.  But I’m just not there yet.  I’m still rebelling against the diet and haven’t even started tracking my food again.  I did 50 push-ups both days for the indiscretion.  And if I go today, I’ll do 50 more for yesterday.  I was thinking yesterday that it’s the exact opposite of “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.”  Instead, “The flesh is willing but the spirit is weak.”  Actually, that’s not accurate, Biblically, since the original context of that verse was the disciples falling asleep when Jesus asked them to pray for Him in the Garden of Gethsemane.  It was their flesh that caused them to be weak, and I guess that’s ultimately what’s bringing me down too.

But there’s something else at work too.  I have to confess that my spirit is rebelling against God’s Holy Spirit.  I have tried to ignore it, but it’s pretty obvious by now that my unwillingness to submit to the principles I agreed to when I joined the gym is ultimately a spiritual battle.  So why would I be rebelling spiritually???

I think it can be traced back to the same attitude I see in my children – entitlement.  My kids are suffering from a horrible disease in which they feel like they deserve to have everything in life handed to them on a silver platter.  Just because they are alive.  Just because they are members of our family.  Just because they are kids.  It’s been abundantly clear this Christmas, especially when we were on the cruise.  They wanted to be entertained every minute of every day.  They refused to wait patiently – for anything.  They were bored when we took our tour of Honduras; ungrateful for the coconut water we bought them after they complained and complained about being thirsty and hungry.  On and on it went – and that was just one of the days.  It happened every day, in some form.  And it was ugly.  It was hard to see as a parent.  And it’s even harder to see it in myself now.

  • Because of my sense of entitlement, I have been eating whatever I want – including a whole lot of Macadamia Nut Cookies I made last night.
  • Because of my sense of entitlement, I have felt like having to diet while everyone else is on vacation is unfair.
  • Because of my sense of entitlement, I have felt like having to exercise while Brad sleeps late is unfair.
  • And because of my sense of entitlement, I have refused to take control of the cooking and grocery shopping, and have instead fed my family whatever junk food I could find – even if it meant driving through to purchase it.

But here’s the truth: I chose this.  I CHOSE this.  I chose THIS.  Me.  No one put a gun to my head and made me join.  No one forced me to participate this week.  No one even told me I needed to lose weight.  It was ME who reached the end of my rope.  It was ME who cried out in desperation to God for help in the battle.  It was ME who saw that unless something drastic happened, I wasn’t going to be able to walk by the time my kids were in High School.  It was ME who got completely fed up with being so tired all the time.  And it was ME who made this commitment.

That means I can stop if I want to stop.  I can go back to where I was before – that’s where I’m headed as it is.  I can go back to be tired all the time, back to being embarrassed of how I look, no matter what I was wearing.  OR I can chose to go forward with this plan and submit myself to it.  I can continue to wear smaller clothes and enjoy the complements of those who haven’t seen me in a while.  I can continue to look at myself in the mirror and not be disgusted by what I see.  I can continue to feel strong and have energy I never knew existed for a 42 year old woman like myself.  I can continue to push myself to walk outside of my comfort zone, for the sake of becoming someone I believe God wants me to become.

It’s not fun, this choice.  I would rather go on pretending to be unaware of the battle raging inside of me.  But I can’t pretend any longer.  It’s time to stop acting like an immature, spoiled brat and put on my sports bra and GO.  Seriously – I have to go!  My class starts in just over 30 minutes!!!