On Sunday I taught a lesson in Relief Society. The topic was “Good Shepherd, Lamb of God” a conference talk by Elder Garrit Gong. I knew we were only going to be able to cover one topic, so I focused on the Good Shepherd. I love studying so I studied the lamb of God portion as well. I studied and read everything I could find about Christ as the lamb of God. I read about ancient sacrifice, how sacrificing a lamb to God pointed early worshippers toward the great sacrifice of Jesus Christ. I read about modern day sacrifices and how we covenant to live the law of sacrifice today. Then I taught my lesson and went on with my everyday life.
On Wednesday I met with my weight loss coach, it was tough love day. I haven’t been losing weight over a long period of time, and I thought I was doing everything I could. I felt really sorry for myself and whiny, and I thought there must be a “magic key” that everyone has that I didn’t. The coach asked me some hard questions like – “Why aren’t you losing weight?”, “Why did you come to this meeting today and what did you think I was going to tell you?” I didn’t have any answers. I kept saying “that’s a good question” and “I don’t know”. Finally my coach said that she wasn’t sure that she wanted to keep working with me. I don’t answer direct questions and she wasn’t sure I was telling the truth. We hung up and I was dumbfounded. I started asking myself a lot of hard questions about what I was eating, how often and how much. One of the things the coach said was that she had never met someone who couldn’t lose weight. They might not like what they had to do, but everyone she had ever worked with had been able to lose weight. As I thought further, I realized that I was thinking there was something outside of me that was causing me not to lose weight. In reality, I didn’t want to be 100% responsible for my weight loss. I think realizing these thoughts are holding me back from losing weight is probably the “magic key” and I need to change these thoughts to finally unlock my weight loss.
I made a list of things that I do that might be causing my slow weight loss:
- I want to feel comfortable – I don’t like feeling hungry all the time
- I give in and eat early – because I feel like I am starving
- I have “Joy eats” – when I can splurge and eat things I have been avoiding
- I have exception meals – foods that are slightly off my diet protocol
- I eat fruit – which contains sugar -natural – but still sugar.
- Some days I eat more than my body needs
- I eat dark chocolate – and tell myself it is “healthy”
- I eat some flour – corn tortillas, corn chips, and add flour to thicken sauces
- I do eat some sugar – in the form of candy
- I make excuses for eating things not on my plan – just a little this time won’t hurt anything, and I deserve it
Some people’s bodies might be able to do these things and still lose weight. My body can’t.
My next soul searching questions were:
- What is it worth to me to lose weight?
- Am I willing to give up all the little exceptions and excuses?
- Am I willing to not have fruit for weeks or months to see if my body will release the weight?
After all of these epiphanies I knew what I needed to do, and all of a sudden I was recommitted and 100% all into my weight loss plan. Knowing full well that “I might not like what I have to do”.
Am I willing to give up sugar and flour? YES!
Can I give up peaches and nectarines and apples and pears? YES!
As I went through the list and said “yes” over and over, and “bring it on!”, all of a sudden I visualized the picture of a lamb on the alter, and I realized that I was willing to sacrifice all of my guilty pleasures on the alter. I could see sugar and chips and chocolate and fruit, all piled up on the alter. I am willing to sacrifice to lose weight. All of the sudden, I had a flash of insight, I realized what the Law of Sacrifice means. It means that we are willing to put selfishness, personal weakness and little sins on the alter to become closer to Christ. Just like I was willing to give up my favorite over-eats and treats to lose weight.
I chose to lose weight as a goal because I thought it would help me learn to coach myself, I thought that I would learn to be a better coach by mastering myself first. This is true – I am a better coach because I am learning to see how my thoughts drive the actions that create all the results in my life. What I didn’t foresee was how learning to master my body and my mind would make me a better disciple of Christ. I guess it’s a bonus.
Painting above: “Ye Shall Find What is Lost” by Yongsung Kim