Run Your Own Race

In the mid ’90s, two of my patients, a husband and wife, attempted to lose weight and get healthier together.thG890X9EB

Happily they both succeeded but not without frustrations. I knew the wife would have a harder time than her husband. I never said anything however. Although that sounds mean, my purpose was to keep “Jim” in the game.  He was attempting to get healthier only to appease his wife. “Three weeks, then I’m gone!” I needed to make weight loss fun as well as nutritious for him to stay. First I assured Jim there’s no magic formula, one needs to eat real food, not sticks and twigs.

I knew “Mary” was extremely competitive and would try even harder to beat Jim at his own game.  They ate a normal sensible diet, drank lots of water and exercised faithfully. Boy did they exercise!  They took brisk walks, swam and skied  together. On her day off, Mary found time to play tennis and lift small weights. She figured with all that extra activity she would surely win their agreed upon prize.

Not so. Each week at their weigh-in, Jim consistently lost more; usually a half pound more.  After nearly three months she was exasperated. “Okay, Ellie, what’s going on? You know how hard I’ve been working at this, so why am I not losing as much as my hubby?”

So I explained. “Muscle,” I informed her. “Men are more muscular and fat is burned up in muscle tissue. Women have softer edges and therefore more fat tissue for child bearing. But let’s do this,” I suggested, “I’ll take another picture and show that to you.”  (This was in the dark ages of the Polaroid camera.)

She looked over the developed photo and noticed a distinct difference in her size and facial features compared to the first. She nodded appreciatively.

“Now let’s measure you and I believe you’ll be impressed to see how your hard work has paid off.”  As the tape measure wrapped around her waist she gasped. She had lost four inches in a almost twelve weeks.

So the moral of this story is: Don’t compare yourself to anyone else! You are unique, a wonderful creation which God designed. Did Mary really want to look like her husband? No. We sometimes get caught up in competition. We all seem to want to look like Christie Brinkley, Cindy Crawford or Jennifer Lopez. I’m sure each of them is lovely but God doesn’t look at our outer appearance, He looks at our heart. How much does your grateful heart weigh? Are you blessed?

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,” (Hebrews 12:1) 

Run your own race! Embrace your uniqueness. We all have different body shapes. No matter who we are, there will always be others who have less or more: looks, money, luxurious homes . . .  you name it. Please don’t covet. Those items don’t necessarily make one happy. Joy comes from within. Be your best.

The question is: are you doing all you can to enrich your life and be the New Creation God desires for you? We each must stand before our Creator separately and give account for the life we lived within our body. Are you keeping yourself healthy or indulging in a food idol? Don’t worship food or allow it to control you. I promise if you continue to eat healthily, you’ll prefer fruit over donuts and vegetables over potato chips.

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14 thoughts on “Run Your Own Race

    • How fantastic! Never stop growing and learning. I know you will do well. I pray experienced people won’t intimidate you for you are a child of the King – As you probably remember, my husband was a golf pro for twenty years. Whenever I played with women golf pro friends, I watched and learned to become a better, more successful player. I knew I’d most likely never be as good as they were but I strived to be the best I could be and with that I felt successful. You have a wonderful opportunity to learn so much from others without competing. That’s a comfortable spot to be in. My best blessings to you,

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Good of you to put this out there Ellie. We cannot compete with anyone when working on ourselves. Many people aren’t aware that men burn fat faster than women. Thanks for sharing awareness. 🙂

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