Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Carry the weight...

I am a huge fan of the reality show, The Biggest Loser. I am such a sap when I see these people turn their lives around. They inspire and give me hope. Of all the challenges they do, my favorite one is when they run a race "carrying" the weight they have lost so far. They begin the race literally carrying weights attached to their body to help them see how far they have come. It is amazing to watch as they drop the weight at each mile marker and move on toward the goal.

I've been thinking a lot about this lately, especially since I am desperately trying to lose at least 10 pounds (15 would make me happier) so that I can run the way I used to run. I've been trying to train again, and I can really tell the difference those 10...15...oh, let's be honest - 20 pounds can make. I've had people tell me I don't look like I weigh that much. They say I "carry" it well. How exactly does a person "carry" weight well? It's not in a backpack that I can drop when I want to go faster....I can't just leave it at the first mile marker - it's attached to parts of my body that I wish it wasn't attached to! I told a friend recently I wasn't dealing with a muffin top, I'm dealing with a whole bundt cake! Nope, I'm not one bit happy about this situation.

I've tried increasing my training, hoping that this would someone miraculously make the weight hasn't. I've increased my miles, run harder, tried harder - that weight just keeps hanging on making my runs miserable and slow. Then I got to thinking....this reminds me of how some people go about trying to serve God. We think that "working" more for God will somehow make the weights in our life simply fall away, but it doesn't. It just wears us out. As a matter of fact, running with all that extra weight makes it even harder and burns us out faster! Nope, simply working harder doesn't seem to be the answer. It's not just about doing more for God, it's about letting go of whatever is holding us back from fully experiencing our life with Him. Then we can really "run" the race before us. (It's funny, but the older I've gotten, the harder it is for my body to "let go" of the weight, and the older I've gotten the more things in my life I try to hang on to and carry myself. You'd think I'd learn by now!)

I've written before about "laying aside the weight" spiritually (Heb. 12:1) and to be honest, I'm still learning how to do that. I know I need to keep my focus on "whatsoever things are good, pure, honest, of a good report" but I also need to let go of some worries. I know that my God can be trusted with EVERYTHING in my life....I don't need to try and help Him carry any of them. He can take care of my finances, my family, my students, everything! I just need to lay them down at His feet and leave them there.

If you ask any of those "Biggest Losers" if they'd like to go back to carrying the weight they've taken off, not one of them would say yes. They are glad to leave them and move on. It's not just about training hard - it's also about "losing the weight" so we can RUN!

I look forward to the day when I can really run again without feeling like I'm carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders (or in my case - my stomach and hips.) Until that day, I'm learning how to love the run again. After all, that's what it's all about....not running because I have to - I run because it's what I love to do. I just know it's going to be easier once I finally learn how to let go of the things that weigh me down. I don't want to carry the weight anymore. I'm ready to let it go.

Care to join me for a run?

Psalm 55:22 (Message)
Pile your troubles on God's shoulders— he'll carry your load, he'll help you out.


Happy Feet 26.2 said...

Good message Donna! I'm glad you are finding your love of the run again. I love it when you are "in the running game" makes it much more fun for all of us.

not to be a "downer", but I can tell you from personal experience,for most of us, it will take calorie restriction to get the lbs. off. Urgh! When I started "marathoning" I thought I would be able to eat "whatever I wanted to" NOT true. I can run a million miles, but I still have to focus on "the food thing." I hate that! I want it to be a natural thing, but it takes a LOT of focus. "mindful eating, blah, blah, blah....."

Donna said...

Happy Feet - you are not a downer at all. I almost added a part to this blog about what we put in is as important as what we "lay down". Still have a "part two" to this blog that is rolling round in my head - may have to add that soon!

Deidra Gammill said...

I love your analogy and the reminder that we are to cast all our worries on Him. Thank you for sharing your personal struggles and journey in a way that makes sense to all of us.