Greatness appeals to the future. If I can be firm enough to-day to do right, and scorn eyes, I must have done so much right before as to defend me now. Be it how it will, do right now. Always scorn appearances, and you always may. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
The writing prompt that goes along with this quote is quite lengthy but asks three questions: What are the costs of inaction? What kind of person do I want to be? In the event of failure could I generate a positive outcome?
For many years I was morbidly obese. I did not fall into this on accident. It was not something programmed into me by my mother or grandmother or family circumstance, although they were great cooks. I did not inherit the “fat” gene. I choose food as my way to not feel pain in my life. It was my anesthetic to numb any feelings.
In essence, I was not inactive about trying to get healthy. At least eight times I lost 100 lbs, only to gain it back plus more. The kind of person I wanted to be, i.e., healthy, was not more important to me than eating which was a constant friend always there, readily available, a way to drown my sorrows, fears, anger, loss, disappointment, even joy. Every emotion was made better by eating whatever I wanted.
I knew that what was required was action that included right choices in food and regular exercise. But I didn’t want to do those things. I wanted to magically be healthy and normal-sized without all the hassles people go through on The Biggest Loser.
It took me 50 years to realize I was totally out of control and if I wanted to live, I was going to have to make some tough choices. I elected to have weight loss surgery and although it is not the magic cure, it did help me lose over 200 lbs. I felt better and looked better but I still was not at goal weight.
The action I took got me closer to the goal but in my mind I had still failed because I did not totally reach my goal. So I could look at myself every day and think I have failed or I could look at myself as I do and say I have succeeded and tomorrow will be a greater success and so on.
My past failures have led me to know that if I go back to inactivity and poor eating habits, it will not lead to the outcome I wish. I know how to sabotage the process, sidetrack and get it off course. But when and if that happens, with my goal firmly in sight I will go forward.
The past has shown me that for me things like candy, for instance, get me totally off track. Candy for me is something I have chosen to give up, much like an alcoholic who wants to change his or her life gives up alcohol. This is a lifetime decision. When I chose to do this about a month ago it was a turning point. Always in the past when I lost weight, I went on a diet that I knew in mind would last only for a certain length of time. Now, I am making decisions that are ones that I know will last for the rest of my life.
These right choices, though, do not negate the fact that I need a merciful and forgiving God every day of my life. The shape of my future does depend on me but even more so, they depend on my Savior. Man is not god and cannot work his way to God.
Salvation begins with Christ but it continues each and every day as I walk in accordance with his precepts. He has laid out suggestions for me to live and full and meaningful lfie. Many times I choose to ignore these and go with what feels good. This will not lead to the realization of my goals and dreams unless the goal or dream is to do nothing, be nothing, just subsist.
God wants to work with me. The more I work to overcome resistance to my goals and dreams, the more He works with me to make those goals and dreams happen.