November 2, 2012. Not a holiday in most people’s experience, but for me it is the day of my “fake heart attack”. So it’s not a holiday for me either, but certainly a watershed day in my life. Although I had already been spending a year doing heart work – emotional and spiritual, it is this day that began the physical transformation that all that heart work was leading me to. I remember being in the hospital trying not to be afraid, but with the wires connected to me, doses of nitro being administered to no effect, and being prepped for an angiogram, I was admittedly scared. Later we realized the nitro had no effect because it was not my heart that was damaged. I had/have acid reflux. Not a fun condition to be sure, but a manageable one. One whose management meant a radical shift in my diet, thus the physical transformation. When one can’t eat spice, fat, citrus, tomatoes, chocolate or even coffee, one is going to lose weight. And weight I lost. After a short while, I began to notice this and with all the heart work that had happened, it was like a light came on and weight loss just sped up. My new heart wanted a new body to go with it. I no longer needed to use weight to hide or suppress my fears and hurts. I no longer needed to use food keep from trusting God’s plan for those hurts and to manage them on my own. The first year I “moved more, ate less” and I lost about 10 lbs a month. The next November I joined a gym and the weight loss slowed, despite beginning running. But it still comes off. My general eating has returned many of the foods that acid reflux doesn’t care for, but with the weight loss the doctors said I might not need to worry so much about it. In retrospect, my fake heart attack was a gift, a wake up call from God and another step in my healing that he was taking me on!
Look at this picture! The left side is me in late October 2012. And that wasn’t even my highest weight. A few years earlier I was 40 lbs heavier. The one on the right is me yesterday on my longest run to date. I stopped for a moment to ask a random person to take a picture of me.
I still have weight to go, but that is not a concern for me so much. I am loving fitness and the new me. I still have those moments of snacking late at night, but because I run and work out so much I am able to handle it. But that explains the slower weight loss these days.
In earlier posts I have referenced a couple of songs with lyrics that mean so much to me. One is “Brand New Day” by Joshua Radin. As I was running yesterday it came up in the playlist and one of verses struck out to me.
Most kind of stories
Save the best part for last
And most stories have a hero who finds
You make your past your past
Yeah you make your past your past
It’s a brand new day
The sun is shining
It’s a brand new day
For the first time in such a long long time
I know, I’ll be ok
It reminds of what Paul says in Philippians.
Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:12-14
It’s not that I forget the past, but I make it my past! I press on to the future and as he says in the next verses, I hold on to what I have attained! This new me IS me. The old, is a memory, one which shows the God of grace at work…MY God.
Who am I that you would find me here?
Who am I that love would draw me near?
Who am I that you would die, to save a broken soul like mine?
Who am I?
Who am I?
The maker of the heavens knows my name.
The author of the oceans gave me grace
My should my soul will ever sing your praise
(Almighty God, Todd Fields. North Point Live: Here + Now)
Congratulations man, excellent progress.
Oh wow, Len, reading this made me cry out of happiness. Your comparison picture struck me hard. I am inspired!