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2007 and 2014In Parts I and 2 of this series I talked about getting the wake up call to change my lifestyle from unhealthy eating and activity patterns to healthy patterns, and how I answered the call.  Now I will talk a bit about outcomes as my body started to change.

As I mentioned in Part 2, I started working with a trainer who was also a youth minister in his church.  He knew how to tell the truth.  Some trainers might say what they think the client wants to hear to keep the client coming back (I’m not pointing to any specific gym or person, but this statement is backed up by literature), but not my trainer.  He knew how important my faith was to me because we had talked about it before things got serious.  He knew I was focused on getting healthy because of what I believed God wanted for my life, and therefore I wanted it, too.  Because he knew these things, I knew that there would be no backsliding.  But as it turned out, I did not need my trainer to keep me focused. I was focused by some intense, intrinsic property that I had not seen nor felt since completing my dissertation several years earlier.

I started off not knowing very much about exercise and healthy eating patterns.  But I had this in my favor– God was on my side.  What more could I need?  He was my focus.  My hours in the gym and in the grocery store became important worship and meditation time for me because I prayed continually for strength in both settings.

I got stronger and leaner.  Soon, others noticed my transformation and I was asked at least once a day how I did it so easily!  I gave them the straight story- starting with the before picture, my faith, my prayers, and my total reliance on God.  I found myself witnessing often. I had not expected that, but I should have, because God was using me & my journey to His service.  I became even more motivated.

During that 14 month transformation I hit milestones that I never dreamed would be important to me until I experienced them.  First, I realized that I could sit on an airplane in between the arm rests, because my thighs no longer required so much space that the armrests had to stay up.  That was amusing but noteworthy.

My husband & I renewed our wedding vows for our 25th anniversary (November 2004), and for that ceremony I took off my wedding ring so he could put it back on my finger.  Except it would not go back on.  I had to slip it on to my little finger to finish the ceremony.  It was embarrassing and terrible.  In January 2007, I got my wedding ring on my finger more than 2 years of not having it. I was so happy!

In July 2007 I was trying to buy clothes since my body had changed.  I had been practicing the new lifestyle for a year and decided to celebrate with a new suit.  So I went to my usual store and tried on the smallest suit available in that section.  It swallowed me so that I could not see myself in the mirror! I looked at the size again, and there was no mistake. From that time forward I would have to start buying clothes in a different part of that store, or maybe in a different store.  The idea of shopping in an unfamiliar setting was so intimidating and so scary and so wonderful that I stood in the middle of the store and started to cry.  Every emotion I was capable of experiencing came over me at that moment.  I had to find someone to show me how to dress my new body.

Next time, more outcomes and benefits of the inside-out transformation.