October 11, 2013
I am terrified of beginning this new chapter of my life. I’ve been given this opportunity by the Grace of God, literally. Here’s how it all came to be…My sister, Kristi, was a member of Balance Fitness before she moved to Prague. (Oklahoma, in the country, not The Country) Even though she was no longer a member she still followed the page on Facebook. One day, the owner of the gym, Jake, posted he felt a calling from God to help someone who is need of weight loss but didn’t necessarily have the means to work with a personal trainer and if you knew someone, contact him. Now Kristi being Kristi, she immediately thought of me. All things weight loss related lead her to think of me. I’ve always be the heavy one in my family of six kids and at this time of my life, it’s the biggest I’ve ever been. So, she calls me early Friday morning on the 11th to see if this is something I’d be interested in or even wanted to do. I’m naturally skeptical and a little put off that it’s another “weight loss” phone call. (she means well and only wants the best!) I agree to let Jake contact me and we’ll just see where this goes. Later that morning at work, she sends a text, “Jake from balance is going to call you! Woot!!!” exactly as he’s calling. I missed the call but called him back later on that day. Now, for those of you that don’t know me, I don’t really like calling people I don’t know. I was hoping for a voicemail and bingo! I got one. Now it was my turn to leave a message. Message left and it was time to wait and see what happened next. I didn’t hear back from Jake until the following Tuesday. Between Friday and Tuesday I thought he might have found someone else to help, he was no longer interested, just a number of reasons why he didn’t call me back. All negative. When he called Tuesday afternoon I was a little apprehensive to answer. Even though I said I was interested, here is someone that I don’t know, offering something that I’ve never done before – a chance to change my life. After talking with him I agreed to meet him on Thursday at 4.
I didn’t mention the meeting to anyone. Kristi is really the only one I told. I didn’t want to let everyone know about it in case I chickened out and decided not to grasp this life line I was being given. I didn’t want to disappoint anyone or seem like a failure. (common theme in my life) Kristi said she would attend the meeting with me and I was overjoyed. I normally don’t go places by myself and if friends and I are meeting somewhere, I usually wait until someone else shows up before walking in. Weird I know. Anyway, Thursday arrives and I’m working myself up into a frazzled ball of nerves. All day I have thoughts of what if’s – what if I’m too big to help, what if he decides not to help me, what if I decide not to do it, what if, what if, what if. I can ‘what if’ with the best. It’s finally 3:30p.m., time to leave work and make the drive north. On the drive I’m talking to Kristi to keep from turning my car around and driving home. I know this could potentially turn out to be a life changing event, but I’m petrified. The more I drive north, the worse my anxiety is becoming. 4 o’clock is looming large and my stomach is a wad of knots and fear. I pull into the parking lot, Kristi still on the phone, and I can’t open my car door. I’m about to start crying because I’m so nervous. Kristi’s urging me on the phone to “just open your car door. I’ll be there in a minute.” I wipe off my face and summon courage that I don’t feel I really have and open the car door. No turning back now. I nervously walk towards the building and make it to the door. Opening the door I feel I could throw up all over the place. Upon entering, here is this guy with a smile on his face ten miles wide. He knows who I am and immediately introduces himself. Jake. We shake hands and I’m still just scared. I look around and it’s a nice place; an intimate setting with treadmills, weights, and machines on one side and an aerobic studio on the other. He’s finishing with a client so it will be just a minute. I explain that Kristi is on her way and should be there shortly. I quietly stand by this crazy looking machine to wait for Kristi’s arrival. There’s only one other guy there working out, so I could bolt if I wanted to. When Kristi arrives it’s such a relief to have her there. Someone who knows me and the reason I’m in this place to begin with. After Jake finishes with his client we go to his office to talk. The first thing he says is “Tell me about yourself.” Poor guy. I don’t know if he was prepared for that. I can’t even say three words without crying. I tell him I’m tired of being fat. I’m the biggest person in my family out of six kids, I’ve always been heavy, I feel my siblings are embarrassed to be seen with me in public (my perception), I’m just tired of being fat. I’ll be 40 next year and I don’t want to carry this weight around anymore. I’ve been overweight, obese, all my life. I explain to him how I have let it control everything I do. I’ve missed out on a lot of things because of my weight. The constant running dialogue day in and day out of “will I fit in this chair” “do they have booths or tables” “is this seat belt going to fit”, and countless other negative thoughts. Being this heavy it plays into every single aspect of my life. I have let it play into every aspect. I’ve missed out on so much. But this meeting is changing all of that. Listening to Jake speak about God and his plan for us, not just me, everyone, is empowering. He’s speaking about God’s Grace and do I know that I have His Grace? I haven’t really felt that way. I haven’t felt worthy. That’s another theme of my life. Not being good enough. Not feeling worth it. Listening to Jake speak, I’m really hearing what he has to say. There isn’t anything more I could do on this earth that will make God love me more. He already loves me unconditionally. I just have to know it. Believe it. We are all worthy. At some point during the meeting Jake’s wife Nicole comes in and introduces herself. She has a warmth and kindness about her that is welcoming. The entire meeting I felt like this is where I should be. This is happening for a reason. Don’t get me wrong, I was still nervous, but I knew I needed to be there. I agreed to come to Jake’s ministry that he recently started at the gym on Saturday evening; another situation where I was nervous because I won’t know anyone and it’s something out of my comfort zone.
Saturday was great! I ended up sitting in the front row, not my usual, and felt awkward for a while. I was introduced to the others and everyone was again nice and welcoming. The sermon was great. I still felt somewhat awkward after it was over, but that’s just me. Time to set the schedule for the upcoming workouts. “This needs to be 5 days a week.” Jake told me. “Okay.” I replied, thinking inside, 5 DAYS A WEEK?! 4p.m. was the scheduled time. Monday was to be my first day of training. Oh joy.
When I finally told people, the reaction is one of excitement for me to be successful. I’m blown away by everyone. I shouldn’t be because these are my friends and family. People who want nothing but the best for me. So this is how I was given the opportunity of a lifetime. What follows next can only be considered comedy.
So, this was the beginning of the journey that is changing my life. It hasn’t been easy and it’s been filled with joy, embarrassment, happiness, frustration, and more tears than I care to count. But it is all worth it. I’m worth it. And I think I’m finally getting that.