Yesterday, I ran in a half marathon. It all started nine months ago, when I first got the idea to do it. The only problem was that I was a hundred pounds heavier last May.
I know God commands us to respect our bodies; and the fact that I overate and was so heavy bothered me. It also upset me that my children were learning bad eating habits and also seeing their mom very unhealthy.
In the past, I have lost and gained weight many times. I always lost the weight in a very unhealthy manner. I would crash diet and not really care if I was fit, just thin. I then would gain the weight back quickly when I would stop dieting.
This time, I knew I needed to not only lose weight but do it the right way. I also knew that I needed God’s guidance to do so.
I prayed about the direction I needed to go in to reach my healthy goal. A few days later, I saw the bulletin for the half marathon. I knew this was what I needed.
I have always admired runners. Their endurance and discipline was always something I longed for in my life. This half marathon seemed like a huge undertaking for someone one hundred pounds overweight. But, I had faith that God would help me through it.
As with anything in life, I started out slowly, walking and getting used to a new lifestyle. I would listen to Christian music and it would improve my mood and push me to keep going.
I had my ups and downs, my weeks where I missed out on running or walking, but I stuck with it. Every mile seemed like a milestone. Every step was a step closer to the person I longed to be. I felt a step closer to God by honoring and taking care of the body He gave me.
"For you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body." 1 Corinthians 6:20, ESV
After nine months, I lost one hundred pounds. And I did it right this time!
It was not always easy eating healthy or getting myself motivated to exercise. But, God blessed me with many friends who encouraged me and cheered me on.
Last Sunday, at the half marathon, I could truly feel God’s presence with me. Every second I felt I could not make it, I thought about how far He has brought me. Not just with the weight loss, but with all He has carried me through in my life. I thought about my children who need to learn the importance of following through.
My friend Stacie and I prayed for peace and strength before the race. That was exactly how we felt. We felt strong and at ease. We were not the fastest, but we were there and we did our best.
Sometimes the finish line in life is not a physical thing. It is a spiritual thing—learning to love yourself, to take care of yourself and to appreciate every step in life that God gives you. Sometimes it’s a just a moment where you can say to yourself, “I made it”.
God cannot only carry you through the hard times, but He can push you to do things that you may not believe you can do.
Our bodies are gifts; their abilities should be utilized to their full potential. I am not going to stop running now that the half marathon is over. Instead, I am pushing on to the next goal. I will continue to treat the body God gave me with respect.
Have you ever pushed yourself to do something you thought you couldn’t? I would love to hear about it. Share your story below.