What I learned from the YMCA

When I set a goal to lose weight in 2011, I did it for a few reasons:

a) I wanted to look better.
b) I wanted to feel better.
c) I wanted to be able to dress the way I like to.

Admittedly, every reason for me to lose weight was something that was very superficial and actually a little hedonistic. There was never any though in my mind going into it that said, “Hey, maybe I can learn something through this.”

So, of course, I’ve learned something through it.

Before I go any further, I know I’ve only been going to the gym for two weeks. I know that there’s still a chance to “fall off the wagon” and be a cliche’ and stop going. I don’t plan on it but then again, neither does anyone else but it’s a cliche’ for a reason.

When I woke up on Thursday morning, I knew I needed to go work out. I hadn’t been in a few days because of the snow so I wasn’t in the “routine.” My alarm woke me up and I hit snooze. When I finally got up I moved really slowly and took my time getting out of bed and getting dressed. Eventually though, I made it to the gym.

The next day I did the same thing, except I think I took even longer getting up and getting ready. Once again, I still got up and made my way over there and did what I needed to do.

And even though I didn’t want to go on either day, I felt better after going.

I knew that I had done something that was important for me to do.

The strangest thing of all of it? I actually felt good after it.

Fast forward through all day Friday to Friday night around 11 or 11:30. I’m a night time quiet time person. I like to do my reading and everything before I go to bed. On Friday night though, I was tired and really just wanted to go to sleep. Just like on Thursday and Friday morning, I sat there contemplating just skipping out on it.

One day won’t hurt.

I can just make it up tomorrow.

Who’s gonna know the difference?

Just like working out, I knew that reading my Bible was something I needed to do. I didn’t look forward to it or even want to do it on this night, but it was something that would be very beneficial to my health to do. So that’s when I prayed:

God, to be completely honest, I have no desire to read my Bible tonight. I’d much rather just roll over and go to sleep. I know that you want me to read it and you want to hang out with me some tonight so would you mind giving me the focus to actually pay attention to what I’m reading tonight? And would you mind letting me know exactly what it is you want to talk to me about tonight? Thanks. Amen.

That was it. Nothing fancy. I didn’t hide the fact that I didn’t feel like reading my Bible or anything.

The crazy thing is that prayer worked.

I opened up the Bible to where I left off on my reading plan and started reading about Noah. Through the two chapters I read, God spoke to me and let me know very clearly what it was he wanted me to know for that night.

And even though I didn’t want to read that night, I felt better after I did.

I knew that I had done something that was important for me to do.

The strangest thing of all of it? I actually felt good after it.

I went into this year thinking the gym would make me better looking or something like that. It hasn’t yet and I don’t expect it to for quite a while. However, it’s taught me something that’s even more important than looking good:

Sometimes there are things you need to do but don’t want to do. Push through them and get them done. It’ll be worth it in the end every single time.

I’m not under 300 pounds yet, and reading my Bible one night hasn’t made me this great theologian, but I’m getting there on both of them.

It’s all a process.

We just have to keep moving forward.

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