Dear Future Self… – February 12, 2012
I was watching an episode of a popular sitcom “How I Met Your Mother” and in the episode the single guy would write a letter to himself after a breakup with a girl. He did this so that in times of future desperation & loneliness when his “future” self would be tempted to get back together with the girl he would pull out the letter he wrote post break up. This letter of course was filled with all kinds of humorous advice, feedback about the relationship, and reminders of why he broke up with the girl in the first place. He would always title & begin the letter “Dear Future (and then fill in his name). This gave me a great idea for a letter I want to write me my future healthy, fit, and trim self.
I have heard so many stories of people who have worked very hard to get healthy through disciplined eating, vigorous exercise, and plenty of water & sleep. Then after they reach their goals they become comfortable and casual about the disciplines that were such a huge part of their lives. Lysa TerKeurst has a chapter in her book “Made to Crave” titled “The Curse of the Skinny Jeans”. In this chapter she details and unspoken expectation she had that arriving at her goal weight would bring with it a perfect life free of troubles, trials, and temptations. I myself have shared with you that I have fallen into a cycle in the past where I have lost 40, 50, even 60 lbs and then got caught up in the moment and “fell off the wagon” as they say. I found that even after such an accomplishment “life” still happened. Temptations were around every corner along with the stress that led me to indulge each and every time.
I have hope that this time is going to be different for a multitude of reasons…..just in case I thought it would be fun to write my future self a letter filled with the truth about what those indulgences lead to. So here is goes!
Dear Future Jen,
I am SO proud of you for reaching your goal and learning to honor God with your body. I know that you have gone through so many ups and downs throughout this journey and you have learned a lot. It must feel so good to see that number on the scale and fit into those clothes that you worked so hard to achieve. I want you to cherish every moment of this success with the Lord and fully embrace the new identity that you have developed.
In this glorious historical moment in your life please remember these few things. Please remember that this is one step in a lifelong process. I know you may fall under the momentary illusion that you have “arrived”, don’t fall under that spell. You MUST embrace this process the rest of your life and never under estimate the power that this addiction had, has, and will have over you. Continue to be committed to accountability, to faithfully following a healthy food plan, and making choices with your body that honor the Lord.
For years of your life you built habits to run to food during times of stress and anxiety. You fell into the pattern of making food a bigger priority than God, than your husband, and your family. You turned holidays and special occasions into feasts of gluttony and did not honor the true meaning of the occasion. Remember the shame and despair you felt when buying clothes a size bigger, again and again. Think back to those uncomfortable moments in tight airplane seats, walking up flights of steps, and squeezing into small spaces filled with humiliation and regret. Ponder the effects your weight had on your breathing, the horror of pneumonia over and over each year, chronic bronchitis, swollen feet and hands, and not even being able to take your wedding rings off to clean them. Running to food, over indulgence, being out of balance and unhealthy only caused your suffering and pain.
I pray even now for you Future Jen, I pray and ask God to “fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And I pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.” (Colossians 1:9-12)
With much love & hope for the future! Your future is bright!
Whew! I don’t know about you but that totally made me cry which I didn’t expect. Have you ever thought of writing a letter to your future self? Would you have the courage to write and share it? I think I could have gone on and on with this exercise, I could write to my future “wife” self, or my future “counselor” self, or even my future “mom” self by God’s grace. I wonder what you would say to yourself? What topic you would choose to address? I’d love to hear your letter if you’d like to share it!