You know when you're in a "pit" and the further down you go, the harder it is to climb out? It's like that for me anyway...always has been! Something will pile up and keep getting worse, and the prospect of getting out of it seems so daunting that doing nothing seems like a better idea. Until it gets really bad, then it must be dealt with. The best way is to just pray for motivation, dig in, and DO IT! The easiest thing for me to do is convince myself that I can "do it tomorrow", "start tomorrow", etc. The American way is procrastination, it seems!
I've been in some serious pits in my life in the past, and I'm thankful that these days my pits are a bit smaller, but nonetheless frustrating and serious for me. The two biggest pits I fall into consistently are keeping the house in order and keeping my weight off.
The first pit of a messy room/house/growing chores list is easy for me to excuse away or justify as "we're busy" (which we are, no doubt!) and things pile up. I'm embarrassed to admit this, but we have been gone so many weekends that my overnight bags from Garry cabin weekend (in, um, JULY) were still sitting packed in my closet. The house desperately needed a deep clean, my clothes needed to be picked up and the seasons changed out (that in itself is a huge undertaking for me!), and we just needed a few uninterrupted days to get it all done. Thankfully, we had that this weekend! Tyge and I made breakfast together on Saturday morning, made a to-do list and delegated who would do what chore. After a big "Go Team Clean!" we were off! We tirelessly worked from about 10 AM to 5 PM and got SO MUCH done - it was awesome! We played some rockin' music and together as a team knocked a lot off our list. We finished the rest after church on Sunday and collapsed in a pile on the couch just in time to reward ourselves and watch Dexter and Homeland. As we laid in bed last night (on clean sheets, in a clean room) it felt so good! I can't explain the weight lifted off my shoulders of having all that work done and having a clean house, a clean slate. I don't know why I can let it get so bad (being busy is not a good excuse) but I know I won't anymore. If I can just do a little bit each week it won't pile up! However, when it was as bad as it was (my house wasn't filthy or anything, it was mainly massive amounts of clothes shoved in my closet haha), the prospect of getting to the bottom of it was daunting - it seemed impossible at first, but once we dug in, we got it done.
The second and more reoccurring issue, body image/weight struggles, is something I've dealt with my entire life. I fluctuate weight more than anyone I know, and can gain or lose up to 5 pounds in one week! At 5'9'' tall I've had my lows (125 - in a bad relationship, not a healthy weight!), my highs (206) and my "happy weight" (155ish). I remember specific periods in my life by what I weighed, what clothes I wore, etc. The reason my closet is bulging is because I have sizes ranging from 6-16 - I can't get rid of the small clothes in case I lose the weight and I am afraid to get rid of the big clothes in case I need them again! Vicious cycle! Almost two years ago (February 2009) was when I hit my highest (206) and decided to do something serious about it. With my amazing husband's support and blessing, I joined Slimgenics and lost 50 pounds in a little over 5 months. I felt so good with the weight off that I reignited my love of running and ran my first half marathon in September! I do have a passion for healthy and clean eating and cooking, and love exercise, sometimes I just get busy, lazy, and don't stick with it. It's much quicker, easier, and instantly gratifying to eat pizza and sit on the couch rather than make a healthy meal and go for a run, but leaves me with a guilty feeling, a gutache, and two extra pounds on my hips. Why can't I remember that?!?!
Anyway, I was able to keep my weight off for that summer and fall, put some on again over the winter, and lost it all again for our anniversary trip last March. Since then however, I've put about 20 of those hard earned lost pounds back on. Talk about a yo-yo! As I would see the scale creep up into the single digits gained, it was easy to ignore or excuse away - I'll eat healthy tomorrow, I'll go for a run tomorrow, it's not thaaaat bad. However, now that I'm nearing the double digits of pounds away from my goal weight I can't stay in this pit any longer. All those cute clothes I hung up in my closet yesterday are tight and I'm not about to go buy bigger ones!!!! Getting the house cleaned and my closet cleared did something mentally for me - getting out of one pit helped jumpstart me to get out of another. I remember when I had the journey of losing 50 pounds ahead of me thinking what an insurmountable task it would be, but I did it. First was losing two pounds, then four, then 10, then 15, and so on, until I hit 50!!! And it's like that now - though I have about 20 to lose, I have to start with one. I have each new day, each new MEAL, to make a healthy choice. My body type isn't the one where I can eat whatever I want and not work out to maintain, I have to work at it! And because I was too busy, too overwhelmed, too unmotivated to work to maintain my weight this summer, I have to work extra hard to get out of the pit I'm in now and lose it again. I'm up to the challenge!
It's so incredible to me that when I'm in a pit, I forget to involve God to get my way out. I figure He doesn't care about something as trivial as my messy house or my weight struggles. I forget that He loves every part of me and my issues are His issues, my hurts are His hurts, no matter how big or small. I started praying for motivation a few weeks ago and He delivered! I'm going to continue to invite Him into my struggles, invite Him into the pits I'm in and ask for His help in getting out.
Something I love from Beth Moore's book, Get Out of That Pit: Straight Talk about God's Deliverance, is how she explains that deliverance is for everyone - no matter how you got stuck, no matter how long you've been down, whether you think you deserve it or not, deliverance can begin this very day. Not tomorrow, but TODAY. One of my favorite quotes from the book is, that “Every one of us who authentically calls Jesus Lord has the right and power to be victorious.” Can I get an Amen?! :) When you find yourself in a pit, she suggests that to break the chain of distraction (my biggest one), addiction, and destruction, you should cry out, confess, and consent to the Lord.
Then, as Psalm 40:2 (NLT) says - He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.
So here I am - lifted out of the "messy house pit" and beginning to be lifted out of the "body weight pit". My feet are steadier than they were last week, and will be even steadier tomorrow, as long as I continue to ask Him for help!