Being overweight is like being in a tumultuous relationship. I had always been pretty thin, but around age 30, I found myself with about 40 extra pounds. How did you get into my life?, I’d lament. Mr. Extra Pounds wouldn’t answer; he would just woo me with more of my favorite treats and I couldn’t resist him.
Before long I got used to him being around. Deep down, I was miserable and he knew it. He would listen to my incessant inner murmurings about the issues that I felt were the source of my grief. Laughing at my muttering, he’d notice that I never blamed him.
He had deceived me. He told me I looked good thick. We’d go shopping together and I would select fashions that seemed to complement him.
Sometimes he’d frighten me. He told me I would look sick if he left. People would look at my face and make up lies about the reason he departed.
I hated him. But I was afraid to let him go.
I didn’t plan to break it off with him on April 25 of this year; it just happened. He had enticed me to buy a Marie Callender peach cobbler. After the first bite, I was already thinking about when we could get together again. (smile)
I’m pleased with the treat Mr. Extra Pounds encouraged me to buy, I thought smugly. After deciding to have seconds, I thought I would get online first and surf the internet. I don’t know what happened exactly…. maybe I just had an epiphany, but I turned to Mr. Extra Pounds and blurted out, “You have to go! Tonight! ”
“What about the pie?” he asked. He sounded so pitiful.
I hesitated before replying. That pie was better than the sweetest kiss. “I’ll deal with that tomorrow,” I said with uncertainty. In the back of my mind, I was secretly toying with how I could keep it around.
The next morning, with my mind set like a flint, I walked courageously into the kitchen and threw that six-dollar cobbler in the trash.
I had a plan. “When he tries to tempt me, I just won’t be home,” I said to myself. I decided to take long walks.
So every day, I set out, taking 45- to 60-minute walks, determined to keep Mr. Extra Pounds at bay.
Mr. Extra Pounds was very quiet. He understood, I guess. He and I had been together for a very long time. We had broken up before several times but he would eventually find a way to woo me back.
Some nights I would sit alone, wondering if I could keep him out of my life for good. He was frightened too. He knew that underneath all his delectables, I would eventually tap into the incredible will power I was born with.
We grappled with each other back and forth but soon I discovered I was winning. Mr. Extra Pounds was growing weary. He loved to hold me tightly around my waist, sometimes so tight, it affected my breathing.
Why did I allow this so long? I wondered once as I climbed a steep hill in the sweltering heat. The only answer I could come up with was, I had suffered in so many different aspects of my life, I didn’t want to give up another thing that brought me a measure of comfort. During this time, I hardly had any friends and wasn’t able to shop or travel like I wanted so food became my constant companion.
Initially, during my daily walks, coming uphill felt like I was carrying a cinder block on my shoulders. Still, I was determined not to quit. Even when there were days I would occasionally see my distorted image in a building window and catch Mr. Extra Pounds mocking me.
Others were starting to notice, particularly strangers. It was nice to pass the neighborhood bus driver , who would now wave, smiling with his eyes. Or the young guys, who were now starting to take a second glance, playfully flirting, asking if they could join me on my walk.
Some would stop and chat briefly, often times asking the same question. They wanted to know what was my motivator. What was the one thing that caused me to end it with Mr. Pounds? I could never give them a clear answer; all I knew was that it was time for our relationship to be laid to rest.
Hebrews 12:1 says, Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which doth so easily beset us and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
The writer of the book of Hebrews addressed his epistle to a group of people who depended on things other than faith in Christ alone. Because they relied on religious rituals, they were becoming weak in faith and their spiritual growth was stunted.
Have you ever read something in the Word of God and were puzzled by how the saints of old could miss a fundamental principle?
Christ is clearly the better way, I’d think, giggling at their lack of understanding.
Before long, I’d come to realize that I was behaving like them. I was relying on other comforts, like my relationship with Mr. Extra Pounds, instead of relying on the comfort of the Holy Spirit.
In Hebrews 12:1, the word weight is an interesting one. The Greek word is ogkon, which means a bulk or mass, an encumbrance, a heavy burden that has a hook so that other hindrances can be attached. Ogkon also means a swelling tumor or pride. You get the picture of a person carrying something around in addition to or in place of that which he or she should be dependent on.
As I struggled to rid myself of the mass Mr. Extra Pounds bestowed; I’d soon discover the hooks holding other weights, caging me.
Stay tuned for Weight Watcher, Part 2.
What are some of the weights in your life that impede you while running the Christian race?
Tamara D. Brown © Copyright August 2011