Friday, January 07, 2005

A Big Rose and One Hefty Thorn

The Apostle Paul speaks in 2 Corinthians of a "thorn in the flesh." A weakness, a pest -- something that he longed to be removed from his life, but something that he carried to his grave.

Paul (no last name given) spends a great deal of time pondering his pesky pain, his perturbing predicament and even asks three separate times that God perform a bypass, of sorts, on his life and free him from the proverbial thorn.

The Lord sends him an answer and it's a "no." No, he won't remove the thorn, but he will help Paul understand it. "In your weakness, I am strong," God says and Paul begins to realize that the thorn is a good thing. It keeps him humble, keeps him human and, I would like to think, keeps him from getting "the big head." The "getting the big head" translation, of course, comes from the RFV: Revised Frances Version.

There's a serious truth here that I hope I don't miss it with too much smirking. I'm a strong, confident young woman and, despite my extreme weight, I battle an ego just like skinny, rich folk. My biggest (OK, second biggest) fear in this weight-loss journey is losing my thorn.

My weight has always been, well, a weight around my neck. I wasn't the most popular kid or the one voted most likely to succeed because I was the fat kid. Years of teasing later followed by years of health problems made me sensitive, I think, to suffering and darn resilient. Becoming thin is some pretty scary stuff.

Both of these pictures make me cringe. Things are improving, but I've always avoided pictures of myself like the plague. I don't see this person and I guess I don't like this person -- but I love myself.

Hmmm? Yeah, I outta put the pipe down for a second.

I love Frances cause she's fun, witty and she doesn't have any weaknesses -- except she's never completely dealt with who she is; all 300 plus thorns weakening her flesh and shortening her life.

I'm forcing pictures in my journal because the camera doesn't lie (much) and how can I move forward if I don't know where I've been and my current location?

The picture on the left was taken at the beginning of this journey. Even though I can tell you I was sick and had a serious case of "pillow head," I never thought it was going to see the light of day. After 50 pounds, I'm still quite embarrassed. I decided to post them both last night to force myself to see how serious this problem had become and keep me motivated to take a better picture and therefore continue to be healed of a long list of ailments.

I'm ready to give up my thorn, but I think the sting will remain for life. The sting of extreme morbid obesity will keep me working even after I've reached my goal and I truly hope it will keep me reaching a hand backward to people climbing the same ladder.

Food note: Speaking of protein supplements. I recall suffering with the yucky protein drinks that gave me hives months ago and tonight's meal makes me smile. Do you know that one serving of red beans has 19 grams of protein and tons of fiber? If you can't cook dried beans, shoot me an email. Mix in some lean sausage at 8-9 grams per serving and you are packing some pretty potent protein power -- Louisiana style!

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