From Chicken Soup for the Dieter's Soul

Worship Walk

You will praise the name of the LORD your God, who has worked wonders for you.

Joel 2:26 NIV

It’s been two years, and I can’t believe that I’ve stayed on my low-carb diet. I say “low-carb” because I know that my body needs some carbs. Otherwise, I’d fall off my treadmill. That’s another thing that amazes me—that I’ve stuck with my motorized treadmill. It’s just not like me to stick to something hard without losing my way. No sugar. No honey. And no molasses. None of my favorite foods— like Krispy Kreme doughnuts, brownies, fluffy biscuits and sweet corn bread—are on my diet. I miss them nearly every day. Every muffin I bake is from scratch, and not quite the same with Splenda and soy flour, but it’s livable, and I have lost over forty pounds.

As a diabetic, not only is my glucose level under control, but my hemoglobin levels have dropped from a poor reading of 7.5 down to a nearly normal 6.3. The lower my score is, the less likely I am to lose a foot or kidney function or my life! So my diet is not only life-changing, but it is life saving. And frankly, I could not have done this without the grace of God. I just don’t have that kind of willpower. That is why I call every day, on or off of my treadmill, eating only foods that are good for my body, my worship walk.

My goal is simple. I am never ahead of my present meal or snack. This is a walk that I take moment by moment, always remembering what doughnuts taste like. If I plan ahead, or if I look toward tomorrow, I know that I’ll fail.

There are two pictures of me that I like to compare. One is of me holding my birthday balloons, two years ago. I’m laughing at my family, and you can tell that I have a happy life. The other picture is more recent. It’s of me sitting on my husband’s lap, as we smile into the camera. The difference in me is not only that I’m slimmer, but that I can actually fit on my husband’s lap! For me, that says everything.

This has not been easy. I am not a woman who heads for the dieting magazine. I’m the one who’s drooling over the chocolate cake. Strangely enough, I still bake for my family. In fact, I do more baking for them since I know I’m not going to eat it. I do, however, get to take that first sniff, if there is a bag of doughnuts around. “Wait! Don’t open it! Let me!” Mmmmmhhh! What a wonderful smell! Then I move on to my high-protein blueberry muffin and thank God there is such a thing as toasted soy flour and Splenda.

When I met my husband, I was 120 pounds. On the outside I looked confidant, but inside I was a mess. I believed that if I lost my youth and my perfect figure, my husband could not love me. Why? Because I did not love myself. Now, at sixty, I realize that my view of myself and of my husband’s love was shallow. My husband and I will soon be married for twenty-five years. During our marriage, he has told me every day how beautiful I am to him. His love, support and faithfulness have been constant, yet only now do I believe him. Only now, at sixty, and a mere 160 pounds, do I believe that I’m beautiful.

There are diet books enough, and the Internet is full of diets, but it was not the diet that was my problem. It was the reflection that I saw of myself, not in the mirror, but in my heart. So today is a good day. It’s a day that begins anew, in a walk that is both physical and spiritual, a worship walk that I can only take from moment to moment, as I place my hand in the hand of God.

Jaye Lewis

“One thing I like about my new image is that there’s so much less of it!”

Reprinted by permission of Dan Rosanditch.

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