For most of my life I have been a slave to fear. Fear paralyzes. And sometimes it physically paralyzes. A year ago I weighed 20% more than what I do now. It isn’t by some crazy miracle that I have lost weight, it is simply by deciding that I wasn’t going to be paralyzed by fear and I wasn’t going to let fear paralyze me from all the fun that I want to have for the rest of my life.
In a book entitled “She” there is a quote that says, “She decided she was worth it.”
You see, for years I didn’t really think I was worth anything. I have incredible friends, an amazing church family, and a family that loves me, but I never believed I was worth fighting for. So I didn’t. I believed a lie and that lie began to paralyze me.
But one morning in November I awakened and made a decision. I was worth it. I was worth the cost of a gym membership and not just some gym, I was going to go to a great gym. As my friends refer to it, “the really fancy” Lifetime Athletic in City Centre in Houston. I went for a visit and before I even toured the place I told the guy, I am getting a membership here, so don’t think you have to sell to hard to get the quota. He did take me on a tour and I was more and more impressed … there was an indoor soccer field, basketball courts, spin studio, fitness classrooms … and all of that was on the third floor!! I was blown away. I grew up an athlete, so those were things that brought pleasure. The pools are resort-like. The locker room was nothing like the high school gym, much more like my visit to the Houstonian Country Club. I was grinning from ear to ear, but I knew inside that I had to believe that I was worth it to make this happen.
It is the second floor of the gym that I have deemed my second home since November 21st. I spend at least 7 hours there each week and it is rarely grueling though it is exhausting. I have learned to like watching TV when I work out, but mostly I like people watching and wondering what they are thinking. It is here, on the second floor that I meet with my trainer, Wayne. He is full of life, laughter, and Jesus and he loves working with me. When I say “I can’t” he makes sure that “I can” even if it means modifying something. Wayne makes sure I work every muscle and I think he sees my body as art, he is trying to fix, mold and sculpt, but I have to do all the work. By investing time and money with Wayne, I began to believe I was worth it. I show up at the gym and do work throughout the week and I meet with Wayne one-on-one as well as for his Wayne-Sanity class (it’s Insanity class plus some, and no, I never believed that I could even do that). And through all this work, my body began to change, and the results made me realize I was worth it.
But one thing that Wayne insisted early on is that I see the dietician at the gym. Fear entered in.
I knew I wasn’t worth it.
I knew that she would have lots of terrible things to say about my eating habits. I envisioned some really cranky person who was kind of like the principal in elementary school. Thankfully that has not been the case. Amanda is funny, knows her stuff, and offers tough love. She made a plan for me and I have been following it for 7 months. I just eat a whole lot of vegetables and protein and get creative when that gets boring. The best thing that Amanda did, though, was make me text her a picture of everything I ate. EVERYTHING. It’s a little annoying, but the reality is, she wanted to help and I had to be honest. I sent texts 5-6 times a day. Common responses, “great job!” or “try to get a little more protein” or “where is your healthy fat”. What I feared was being known, seen, and corrected; it turned out to be the one thing that is the game changer. You see, you can work out all you want, but if you eat garbage your body will still respond to that garbage. Eating vegetables and protein makes me feel good and my body loves it. Amanda is someone I consider a friend and she is definitely not the mean principal. With the way I feel and the things I have learned how to cook and enjoy, I know I am worth it.
And you, my friend, you are worth it, but you have to decide you are worth it. Your journey may look really different than mine and it may not be the physical that fear is paralyzing. Maybe it is a wound from the past or relationship struggles or self confidence or just everyday life stress. You have to find a way to realize you are worth it. Fear will do anything to attack that which is good. As a follower of Christ, I believe Satan loves to wrap us in fear because we are weak and paralyzed. It is in running to Him, allowing Him to be your strength, that you can humbly walk in and get help. Maybe the place you need to start is with friends who can hold you accountable, like Amanda has held me accountable. Take a picture of how you are spending your Friday night and text it to a friend; just make sure that friend will redirect you when you need it. Or maybe you need someone like Wayne who shows up, beats the hell out of you, and hugs you when you are done. Fear isn’t going away, you have to have a plan to fight it. It’s worth a celebration when you see that you have overcome something big in your life.
Go. Fight evil and grow glory. You will see the results and know that YOU ARE WORTH IT.