“Together We Thrive” is the new ad line for the Kaiser Permanente. It seems they are on to something very spiritual and direct from the pages of the Bible. On another, soon to be related, note, I did speedwork with the Coastside Running Club this morn. I am enjoying it as I can learn from others who are very experienced. Not just about improving pace, but form, the concepts of tempo runs, and more. And yet on another, soon to be related, note, I have joked that I have my very own wellness team, “Team Len” comprised of Mark, my chiropractor; and Trevor, my personal trainer. They have been invaluable to me for getting and feeling healthy. Shortly after the Kaiser commercial ran this morning, Diane joked that I had new members of Team Len – the running coaches of the club. My reply, “Together We Thrive!”
I have seen and learned many spiritual principles on this journey towards fitness. And one of the most important? I can’t do this on my own! From the Ultimate Leadership team, to Dr Arnold who I spent a year with, to the fellow running friends from Church, to the previous mentioned “Team Len” members; I need(ed) each and everyone of them. From the real deep work to put pieces together to the passing encouragements, it all plays a part in this idea of “thriving.”
And of course that is what God designed for us. He wants so much more than survival for us. He wants us to live, to love, to serve, to thrive! And the key to all of that is together – the one-anothers! By nature I am not the most social person. I love people, but I am a bit shy or awkward in new situations and I am not the best follow-through friend. I have been described by some as aloof, and I think there is some truth to that at times or situations. And so this lesson of interdependence is so valuable to me. I have grown to cherish the role and interaction with others. I look forward to growing friendships through all of this in the future. It’s not just an ad campaign, it’s truth – Together We Thrive!
This morning I left the house feeling GREAT! I had just done an hour of speed work interval training for the first time with a local running club and I am wearing new jeans in a size that I haven’t worn since probably I was 25. I was walking out the path just filled with self-satisfaction that quickly moved to a gratefulness toward God. And not a false-humility, oops-I-feel-guilty-for-taking-any-credit, kind of gratefulness. I think there is a place that God allows for us to feel a joy for our part of the relationship we have with Him. But that said, I am quite mindful of just how insignificant my role is in all the changes I have gone through in the last few years.
Now that the “number”, the amount of weight I have lost, is public (currently now at nearly 210lbs), I am getting all sorts of positive comments from people. I have been getting the ‘you look good’, and ‘how are you doing it?’ sort of statements, to which I appreciate. I am human, and compliments and acknowledgement does feel good. But it has now ramped up to a level of how inspiring I am and how I have motivated people to make changes and that I represent hope. And of course I know these are nothing but well intended and I accept them as nothing but pure compliments. But I still get a bit uncomfortable with them nonetheless as the changes REALLY are not about me.
Yes, I have had to follow-through with good behavior and choices on eating and exercise. But if you have heard or read my story you know that before there was any weight loss, there was a year or more of counseling and prayer and “dot-connecting” as to why I had developed reactionary and self-sabotaging habits. God had clearly begun a deep work of heart and I have come to realize just how much I failed to trust God’s plan to deal with stress and pain and chose my plan to self-soothe with food.
And that is ALL God! I am so immensely grateful that He loves me enough to continue to reveal in me just how much I need to continue to grow and trust. The work of “forming Christ in me” is a long and beautiful process. It isn’t easy and frankly is so difficult to discern when you are trusting in Him vs self. I really was shocked when I had those numerous AHA-moments that wasn’t really fully trusting Him. But once I saw it, I knew nothing but good was coming. Such a huge weight lifted, that was greater than any amount of fat on my body.
This new stage and passion of running may not last (although I hope it does), but what will last is the ever-growing reliance on Him. When I run, it is on a “path” of grace. “Eat less, move more” is the simple lifestyle change strategy I share, but the REAL change is found in trusting God’s plan and not your own.
Again, I don’t mind the compliments (keep ’em coming), I know they come from nothing but a great place of love and encouragement. But please know there is a BIG God behind what has happened in my life. And I would love for you to join me on that run!