New Year’s Day… It’s been said that what we do today sets the theme for our whole year.  If so, then this is going to be the year of the Real Me.

Today I registered for doTERRA’s Slim & Sassy Lifestyle Challenge:  90 days of cleansing my system, improving my eating habits, and exercising consistently.  Cliché?  Perhaps.  But one only has to look at these “before photos” to know that it came after taking a good, hard look at some rather painful truths.  In fact, I inwardly shrieked at the thought of posting them at all.  Too exposed.  Too embarrassing.  Too real.

But after I spent six hours–that’s right, SIX–answering the two simple questions that the Challenge required, the Lord revealed that there was so much more to this than I was willing to admit.  Maybe some of you can relate.  This is what I submitted verbatim:

What limitations have you previously experienced with weight and lifestyle?

I struggled with this question.  Seriously. 

Every limitation felt small or insignificant, and I was hesitant to share them.  How I detest walking to the back of the store to shop in the plus-sized section.  How my right shoulder aches every morning from sleeping under the weight of me.  How it stings just a little when other moms post pics of their smiling families as they jog, hike, or ride bikes together.  How after 20 years I still feel embarrassed when my husband wraps his arms around my waist.  And although I smiled for these three photos, on the inside I was dying of shame.

Staring at this list, I can recognize that these are all just symptoms.  The real issue is this:  my body has been my silent, ever-present enemy… or so I have always believed.   Since I was not naturally athletic, my body seemed to exist only to humiliate me, to remind me of things I couldn’t do and how I couldn’t measure up.  Subconsciously I must have made a decision long ago.  If my body was not going to help me, I was going to spend as little time and effort as possible helping it.  Now at 46-years-old, I’m staring in the mirror at the result of a lifetime of neglect and abuse.

Enough is enough.

The truth is that my body is and has always been a blessing. 

I recognize it as a gift from my Creator to use for His glory, which until now I have squandered on self-pity and self-loathing.  

I am grateful for the will to choose, the strength to move, and the privilege to watch a goal become reality. 

I am reminded that my self-worth comes from knowing who I am and Whom I serve, not comparing myself with others.

I know this challenge will change my life and the lives of so many others.  Can’t wait to see what’s next. 

What are your goals for weight loss and lifestyle change?

For this contest my weight goals are to lose 40 pounds, drop from a size 20 to a size 14, and erase at least five inches from my chest, waist, and hips.  These 90 days will also solidify a disciplined lifestyle and allow me to “own” my schedule: waking up and lying down at set times, sleeping seven hours in a night, having a daily quiet time with the Lord, exercising according to a set plan, controlling my food and sugar intake, and supporting my body with the oils and supplements.  Discipline equals freedom, and I’m preparing to be free.

Ultimately, my end-goal is to look and feel better at age 50 than I ever did at 25.  Specifically, this means achieving and maintaining a size 10-12 at 175 pounds and wearing medium-sized clothes while not becoming preoccupied or obsessed with my size.  And how will I celebrate?  By learning to tap dance.  Just the thought of it makes me happy. 

I turn 47 this year, and I will finally make peace with my body.  Better yet, I will learn to enjoy it as the blessing it was meant to be.

I’d like to ask you, my friends and community, to hold me accountable during the next 90 days and beyond.  If you’re led to do so, please pray that I would heal both physically and spiritually.  I process my thoughts better with the written word, so I’ll likely post more often–Please share your experiences, too.  They are more encouragement than you’ll know.

Happy New Year.

About Mrs. Pahlow

Love English, love to teach.

3 responses »

  1. Donna says:

    Oh Debra, I’m just so proud of you! Seriously. Reading what you wrote brought tears to my eyes. Raw, honest, humble, and looking to God to make the difference like He always does. And Debra, He always does. I am so very proud of you.

    On Jan 1, 2018 1:59 PM, “Pahlow’s English: Global Classroom” wrote:

    > Mrs. Pahlow posted: ” New Year’s Day 2018… It’s been said that what we > do today sets the theme for our whole year. If so, then this is going to > be the year of the Real Me. Today I registered for doTERRA’s Slim & Sassy > Lifestyle Challenge: 90 days of cleansing my sys” >

  2. A Dozen Davises says:

    I love reading what you write. When I look at you, I see your smile. It pains me that you would feel shame, and I agree that your body is a blessing. My own habits were turned upside down with a 30 day cleanse a few years ago, and the habits have been mostly lasting. 90 days will give such clarity and reinforcement. Look forward to how good you will feel! I am working on less sugar, more regular exercise, meeting with God more consistently, and writing regularly.

  3. Kathryn Evers says:

    Simply beautiful!

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