I think that very often the first step in making a change in our lives begins with admitting that there is a change that needs to be made!
For too long I have swithered about doing something about my weight. My nieces wedding last year although it provided motivation to loose weight, did not actually get translated into real action – so the weight never got lost. I just went up a dress size so that I would feel comfortable in whatever I wore for the day!
I have become quite lazy in some areas of my life and need to establish a bit of self control. So I joined Weight Watchers last week! A friend of mine joined a few years ago and has lost a tremendous amount of weight. People who have not seen her for quite as while no longer recognise her!
I hate Weight Watchers! I hate paying money to climb onto scales. ( I lost three and a half pounds this week.) I hate the discipline involved. Weighing out portion sizes to see what I ought to be eating has been a real eye opener. To some extent I do eat healthy food – I just eat too much of it! I think what I hate most is having to admit that on my own I can’t do anything that is as effective. On my own I have failed! I don’t have the required will power to say “No” to Indian takeaways! (Incidentally that does not make me a bad person!)
I am going to WW simply because I need to make myself accountable to someone. Left to my own devices, I have good intentions, but I don’t hold a whip over myself to make sure that I do it. The lady at Weight Watcher’s does!
It is not a sign of weakness to enlist the aid of other people to help us to do the things we cannot do for ourselves. It is recognising that we have weaknesses that need to be dealt with and that other people can provide the support we need.
I am sure that this translates into the spiritual realm somewhere.
Confession - Joining WW is like making a confession, openly admitting to thirty or so women in the room with you that, as far as eating is concerned, you are out of control. I don’t think we do enough confession in the church setting. We do not always openly admit that there are areas of life that we are struggling with.
Accountability – By joining WW I am making myself responsible to someone each week and have to report back on my successes and failures. Someone else knows what is going on in my “eating” life. To some extent she only knows what I choose to tell her – but if I don’t tell her, the advice that she gives is not the best advice to help me. I don’t believe for a moment that she is going to share my secrets with the rest of the women, or point the finger and laugh at me. I trust her. In the church setting we need to be accountable – to be more open and more vulnerable.
Support – It is not just what the lady at the front says that makes the difference but the conversations that I have with the other women. They are “normal” like me – with all their wobbly bits still in place. They are not success stories that make me feel I will never get there. Support in the church setting is not the prerogative of the pastor alone. It is all of us working together.