It had snowed a bit the night before. I was headed to work one morning last February and my car was iced over. After starting my car and flipping on the blasting heater, I got out to scrape. I reached up my right hand with the plastic scraper to stab a small ice chunk off the windshield, when I felt it.
More of a twinge really, and small enough that I didn’t really notice it at first. I got in the car and went to work like every other day. It was mid-morning when I began to feel stiffness across by lower back. By the time I was ready to head home, I was in full-on back ache mode. I got home, took some ibuprofen and went to bed early.
The next morning, I thought I was paralyzed.
I attempted to swing my legs out of bed, and I could not move them. At all. Then a wave of pain washed over me. I gasped, and discovered I could barely breathe in. From my midsection down was immobilized with searing pain. My wife could hear me struggling to move and breathe. I was in full-on panic mode. How did this happen? What did I do to myself? I considered calling 911, but after my wife helped drag my legs over the edge of the bed, I was able to slither down to the floor and crawl across the room to the bathroom where I collapsed, barely able to breathe.
That was my moment. My “I’ve had enough” moment. It comes to all of us eventually. It may have already come to you. It may be in your future. But make no mistake, it will show up on your doorstep. For me, that was the moment I decided that anything would be better than the pain. At that moment, I would have given anything, ANYTHING, to get rid of the pain.
Through a combination of heating pads, ice packs, and ibuprofen, I was able to hobble around my house for a few days, trying to decide what to do. I didn’t have a regular doctor since moving back to the Denver area in 2011, so I contacted a friend who recommended a physician in town, Dr. Jeffrey Gerber. I’m not sure if it was fate, luck, or God’s presence that put me in Dr. Gerber’s care. I will forever be changed by it. More on that in another post.
Dr. Gerber competently treated my back and luckily, no permanent injury. But I was a terrified man. I had experienced pain before, but nothing that debilitating. I never wanted to feel that way again. As I slowly got better, I worked up the courage to make another appointment, this time to discuss my weight. It was the scariest, most vulnerable appointment of my life. My back was slowly healing, but I was a broken man. I had tried to lose, and failed. Then tried again, and failed. I’d had enough. I was finally willing to surrender myself to something new. I was finally willing to say “I will try anything. I will learn anything. I will do anything. I’m done with the old fat me.”
So what are the secrets to losing weight? There are none. Before you will be able to shed a single pound, you must first be willing to lose yourself. Lose the old you. Lose the anchor of your old, fat self. Your old methods, as broken as they are. Surrender yourself to something new. Decide you have had enough. This far, but not one donut further. You may have to hit rock bottom. You may have to be scared for your life. You may have to lie on a bathroom floor, gasping for breath. Yet, once you are willing to let go and be open, only then will you begin to take the first step towards healing, health, and life.
Turns out the first thing I lost was lying on that bathroom floor. I lost myself. It was the sweetest loss of all.
What will you be willing to lose?
Thoughts? Share them in the comments or you can e-mail me privately using the “Contact” button above. Thanks for reading.