I cannot remember a time when my weight has not gone before me, preceding my intelligence, wit, compassion and charisma in all of my interactions with others. My need to overcome others’ perceptions of who I am made me a perfectionist, driven to prove that I was a valuable human being and worthy of love. I longed for people to experience the “real Robin” obscured within my expansive exterior, but the prospect of losing nearly half my body weight was overwhelming and seemed unattainable.
On June 14, after a series of inconclusive medical tests which netted no answers for my severe abdominal pain, I decided it was time to get serious about my health. I made several attempts at weight loss in the past, tried various diet and exercise programs, ranging from the latest fads to simply not eating with only short-term success. A friend recently had great success with Weight Watchers and, in desperation, I decided to give it a try, figuring the only real thing I had to lose was weight!
My life as a pastor is filled with meetings and I was reluctant to add another weekly obligation so I jumped at the idea of an online program. My techy geek tendencies were fed by the tracking tools and the related iPhone app. It’s like playing a game. My laptop now takes residence in my kitchen where I track and enter food while I cook, even before it enters my mouth! And the iPhone app makes tracking my “on-the-go” meals easy and fun. As with my other resources, I budget and utilize my points wisely, saving points to “buy” something special on occasion.
Though I have only been on the program eleven weeks, there has been a significant change in my behavior patterns, my relationship with food, my relationship with myself … and of course, my weight! I’m learning to make healthier choices – not just with food – but in other areas of my life, too. I set my initial goal at 36 pounds as my previous weight loss attempts were never more than 35 pounds. Attaining my initial goal has propelled me beyond that psychological barrier and the “real Robin” is emerging.
As a pastor, one of my roles is to model healthy behavior and relationships with others and oneself. While I did not initially tell many people about my decision to join Weight Watchers, my weight loss has become apparent and given me the opportunity to speak freely and openly about health and wellness. As I confidently move toward wholeness, others are journeying with me, making healthier life choices, which not only affects each of us individually, but also impacts our community as a whole.
Writing is a meaningful discipline for me. When I was in seminary, I blogged on a regular basis, reflecting on what I learned in class, my life as a student pastor, and simply looking for God in the ordinary. In the last year or so, life has gotten busy and I have not created space for writing. This updated blog is my attempt to remedy that. Transformation is tough work and making time for reflection is an important part of the process. My upcoming posts will mostly focus on wellness, mindful eating, body image, and where God is in the midst of these things.
I welcome comments and suggestions, and pray that we can dialogue together about these important issues and the process of living into that which God created us to be.
Until next time, peace …