Denise and I have recently signed up as Beachbody coaches, and in so doing we renewed our commitment to get fit, this time using Beachbody products (e.g. P90X, Chaleen Extreme, Insanity, etc.). As part of this commitment we are taking pictures to show our progress, and on Saturday we took our measurements. Beachbody shows specific ways to take measurements, so we changed our method slightly to conform with this and, lo and behold, according to this new way of measuring my waist is now 39.75 inches, a whole inch and a half bigger than my previous measurement at the end of September. Now, admittedly, I did not measure the old way to see if the difference was all just the method of measuring, or if my waist has really expanded that much. Either way, I must admit that I felt very discouraged. I have been doing Power 90 as well as running every day (except Sunday), faithfully, without missing. I have not touched processed foods or meat of any kind these past two weeks, and I was feeling great, only to discover this unlikely and unwanted result. Of course there are a dozen reasons why my belly might have expanded, but I'm not going to delve into those right now. Instead, I am going to tell you about the experience I had yesterday.
Yesterday was Sunday, and for me that is the Sabbath, the day I attend three hours of church meetings, partake of the Sacrament, and worship my Heavenly Father and my Savior Jesus Christ. Yesterday, as I sat through these meetings, I felt so uplifted by the Spirit, and I felt my Father in Heaven pouring His love down upon me, and I wanted to be better and to live my life for Him and declare to all the world my testimony that my Savior and Redeemer lives! The feelings and impressions were so powerful that I felt joy and peace and gratitude all day. I wanted to find ways to serve those around me and to spend every minute doing good.
Now it is Monday. I woke up this morning to get ready for my workout, and I looked in the mirror and saw my nearly 40-inch gut just hanging out there, and I started to feel discouraged--but I caught myself and turned my thoughts around. How can I feel discouraged when I am so blessed? How can I feel discouraged when I know I am a daughter of God and that my Father loves me and is aware of me? How can I feel discouraged when I have this beautiful, amazing body that can do so many wonderful things? How can I feel discouraged when I know that Jesus Christ lives and that I will live with Him again someday, if I live worthy of it? How can I feel discouraged with so much to be thankful for in my life? I cannot. I shall not. I am grateful!
Father in Heaven, I am grateful.