Last year on my 50th birthday, I made a decision that I was 100% committed to my weight loss effort. Doors were closing to me because of my weight. Some people are prejudiced against obese people; they assume we are lazy or self-indulgent. Airplane seats were too snug; I felt embarrassed about the way my fat kept pushing the arm up. My co-workers were -- at times -- dismissive of me; some of them told me I was exercising a lack of self-mastery.
At that point, I was still healthy, but I could see the "handwriting on the wall," so to speak. I knew that if the door opened to diabetes or heart disease, those would be hard doors to close. I decided I would do whatever it took to get back to a healthy weight. I knew that it would not be easy --- I'd spent the last four years 75% committed with little results.
As soon as I set my sights on that goal, I became aware of doors opening and closing all around me.
My internist closed his door. He said, "I have done what I can to help you. You need to move over to medical weight loss or you are going to get in trouble with your health. In my opinion, the genetic cards are stacked against you and this is not something you can accomplish on your own."
In the fall, a friend opened the door to a website called SparkPeople. I found there a lot of support and encouragement, as well as the easiest food and fitness trackers I've come across so far. It has been life-giving. And it's free!
75% of my freelance event coordinator job went overseas. Slam! Some people would look at this closed door as a dead end, but since we do not depend on my income for basic necessities (thank you, Paul), I saw a big open door to more exercise and greater focus on my health.
With fewer work responsibilities, there was a door open to foster parenting, a "want" that seemed impossible with my big job previously. Fostering -- though not as frequent as I'd like -- has encouraged me to be more active and helped me expand my vision for our family.
Lessened freelance work allowed me to open wide the door to my coaching practice. And coaching allows me to remember for myself the power of intention and how much can be learned both from meeting and falling short of my goals. When I'm coaching, I work harder at "practicing what I preach" and my whole life has gone from being a little out of tune to ringing clear.
Also in the fall, I decided I wanted to do the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer and there was a sunny door open with a neon sign over the top saying "Walk this way!" Turns out the Avon walk is on my 51st birthday! How is that for synchronicity? At first I had to push on a few doors to find the opening for my training because it takes a lot of time. But the openings are there -- I only needed to look for them.
As I've been successful at weight loss, I have found my training easier and easier. This has opened doors "to the future" as I plan what I will do for exercise in 70-something days when the Avon walk is over. I see possibilities I never did before!
It is all about choosing. It is about taking what God is offering and saying Yes! It's about seeing each closed door as a chance to open a different one. It's about trusting that inevitably, there is a force for "good" working in my life and that though I cannot always see the whole path, the next step is right in front of me and all I have to do is take that next step! Or jiggle the door-knob a bit and see what happens!
I'd love to hear about the doors in your life! What doors are closing and which are opening?
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