I have listened to many of my friends begin to complain about the “battle of the bulge” as they get older. They reminisce about their days of being thin or having all the right curves in all the right places. I listen politely, but I chuckle on the inside because the truth of the matter is that I have absolutely no “thin” stories to contribute to the conversation!
By the time I was a year old my legs were so chunky that my ankles lapped over those hard, white, high-top baby shoes that every 60’s baby wore to learn how to walk. By age 10 I weighed as much as a grown woman and although I was tall I was still much larger than most other children in my grade. Puberty helped me drop some pounds and gain some curves but it wasn’t long before the “pudge” returned.
As a young adult I was the poster child for yo-yo weight loss. I worked out regularly for a while, but once I got married and had my daughter I just couldn’t find the time. I tried all kinds of programs, pills, and unsustainable diets because I felt like if I could control my food intake then I could get results without having to work-out. While some of those tactics worked, the results were temporary at best and completely ineffective at worst.
I kept saying, “I have to do something about this weight,” but I just didn’t feel like doing what I knew needed to be done — until my doctor told me that I would need blood pressure medication if my numbers didn’t drop by my next visit. That news brought me face to face with the reality that change was NECESSARY for me to be able to live the life I wanted to live.
Around that same time I was planning the 2017 activities for W.O.N.D.E.R.F.U.L. Wives and had settled on the theme RADICAL LOVE, so I decided to adopt that theme for my personal life as well. I made the RADICAL decision to enroll in a six-week challenge to lose 20 pounds. It required me to work-out at least 5 days each week and adhere to strict nutritional guidelines. I knew it would be a struggle, but I also knew it had to be done.
During the process my muscles cried out in pain because they were being stretched in ways that they hadn’t been stretch in years (or ever!); my taste buds rebelled against protein drinks and asparagus; and old injuries I thought had healed resurfaced and often made it difficult to complete my workouts. There were days that I felt defeated and pitiful and I even shed tears as I wondered why I had chosen to put myself through such agony. HOWEVER, on final weigh-in day when I discovered that I had EXCEEDED the goal of losing 20 pounds every ache, pain, and tear was well worth it! The feeling of accomplishment was so empowering that I decided to keep doing the work even though the challenge was over.
So you may be asking, “What does that have to do with marriage?” I’m so glad you asked 🙂
I realized that many of us enter into our marriages like I entered into my weight-loss programs –dragging life-long struggles (low self-esteem, sharp tongue, selfishness, lack of self-control, etc.) that we have chosen to ignore. We have an inkling that we “should” do something, but we find it easier to say, “This is me. This is how I am!” rather than committing to doing the work that could change everything. Whenever our issues boil to the surface we are willing to work for a while, but as soon as things cool down its so easy to go back to what was comfortable, yet not healthy .
No matter how many times we have yo-yo’ed between change and “life as usual” I believe we have the power to make a RADICAL decision that will result in RADICAL change! It sounds like a cliche, but LOVE has the power to change everything!
- RADICAL LOVE for ourselves sparks motivation and determination to be our best selves;
- RADICAL LOVE for our husbands keeps our focus on forever and not the challenges of the day;
- RADICAL LOVE for God gives us the why, the how, and the strength to keep moving when things gets hard!
There will be times we cry out in pain as we are stretched in ways that we never imagined or desired. Our husbands will push “buttons” that make us want to rebel against the process of change. Challenges will come our way that stir up old wounds that threaten our progress, but if we just hold on I believe that we will have marriages that EXCEED our our wildest expectations!
Like weight loss, the journey to RADICAL LOVE may be slow, but the reward is well worth the struggle!
Join us this year as we strive to love our husbands with a RADICAL LOVE!
Check our Events page for more information: http://wonderfulwives.org/events/