Hellooow…
It’s meeee….

I was wondering
If we could meet
To exercise
Next week.

Let’s go over…
To the gym

So I could flatten out
this belly
And I don’t feel so much
Like Jelly.

There’s such a difference…
Between us…
I’ve got a lot…to…do!

Hello from the other side!!
There’s so much fat I cannot hide!!

So tell you what,
I’ve got
to work it all off now…
So my wife doesn’t
think I
look like a cow

Anymore…

——-

Okay…I’m not FAT fat, but I can’t see my 6 packs either. At least, not like my 15 year old son who can lift up his shirt and show me how it’s done, you know. There’s enough to tell that I’ve got a front bumper, that my pants feel snug, that my shirt has this little overhang in the front and doesn’t just drape down the sides….like svelte people do. Besides, my younger children like to put their hands to my belly, jiggle it up and down, and giggle….just because it simulates jello…for entertainment, of course.

I’m…what I’d like to tease myself as…oh…”well-rounded”.

So towards the end of last year, I did this diet for 30 days….because my wife told me I was doing it.

“Yes, Ma’am!”

Apparently running 3 miles twice a week wasn’t doing me any good, nor was swimming once a week, nor situps, pushups, pullups, leg lifts, etc. Somehow, my body wasn’t responding in a “psychologically psatisfying” way….where what I thought should be happening (losing belly) was actually happening. I was working out (or so I thought), but something wasn’t working out. My efforts alone were not working out.  Something else had to change.

So, this diet thing, I did it. Hardest time the first week, but the following weeks were interesting. I actually lost craving for different foods. I actually lost weight. And the end of that 30 weeks was amazing! I lost 10 pounds …and maintained it for 2 more months…to my wife’s surprise….and mine. I still had a pudge, but it was a smaller pudge, and I lost an inch around my waist. I thought my well-roundedness was well on its way….out.

Or so I thought.

Never try out a diet a before Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year. Because the test of keeping it up is a killer, I tell you!

Well, it’s been 7 months since that diet. Remember those 10 pounds I lost? Found them all! (I wish I could say the same about all the memory I’ve lost as well. I still can’t find those.)

Some Pudges are hard to budge. Some mountains are just hard to move. And of all the mountains that are difficult to move, I’m the hardest one to move.

You know, in the Bible is says that it takes Faith to move Mountains.

Matthew 17:18-21
18 Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour. (Prior to this, the disciples of Christ couldn’t do it and were baffled.)

19 Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out?

20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

21 Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.

Usually, whenever people translate this, it’s along the lines of “as long as you believe, you can do the impossible.” Others twist it up a bit and say something like, “As long as you believe in yourself, you can do anything. You can do the impossible!” We usually take this motivation and repeat it to ourselves in some form or another: “I believe I can do this!” “I have faith in you!” And, to an extent, we succeed. For a time, we succeed. For a season, it’s “psychologically psatisfying”.

But! (You knew it was coming….)

Why do we revert? Why do we lose momentum? Why do we lose interest? If all it takes is faith as a single mustard seed to move a physical mountain, why can’t I move the Mountain of Me? Or in my case of regaining my lost weight, was my weight really the “mountain”? Or was it something else?

The scripture really teaches that it takes more than Faith to accomplish the seemingly impossible. You also need Fasting and Prayer.

Understanding Faith, Prayer, and Fasting

Faith is trusting someone outside of yourself. Regardless of how truly reliable it is, it’s what’s worked with you for a time…until it fails you, and that’s when you begin to reconsider how you trust this thing. Take a look at who you trust outside of yourself in order to get something accomplished: God, family, a friend, a system, an activity, a book, a philosophy, a set of beliefs. So, whenever you need help, this is your Go-To…because you trust it. And we follow that which we trust. That’s how we show we have Faith in it.

Prayer is how you interact with this entity you trust. With God, prayer is specifically how you communicate the desires of your heart and the thoughts of your mind with Him, and it’s how He connects with you. If there’s any relationship to develop, it’s with God, through praying first…and then following His promptings. This interaction also applies with anyone else, whether by lessons, by conversation, by training sessions, classes, seminars, or whatever. Behind the principle of prayer is your one-on-one time with the one you trust.

Fasting is your commitment, a decision to give up something for something else. When you fast, you give up food in order to focus yourself on more spiritual things. It’s a way to show that you’re willing to give up the most basic of what your body needs and wants, and choose the things of the spirit. It’s what you’re willing to give up for the cause. If there’s anything to give up, it’s ourselves…our will…for something much greater than ourselves…His will. It’s where we ask for help, “Ok, I can’t do this alone. What can I do now?” and we suspend our way of doing things….and try something outside of our own will. When you fast in a spiritual sense, you set aside yourself…and take up the cause, and will, of God.

In life, if there’s anyone to trust that will not fail us, it is God. It’s usually us that fail Him. We usually fail to see His hand, His work, His help, His will, His answers to our prayers. If there’s anything that we need to develop, it’s our relationship to God…through praying first, and then listening for and following the promptings that come. If there’s anything to give up, it’s our self…in favor of His will. Because when we lose ourselves for His sake, we find ourselves.

Implied in all of this is this: We really can’t do it alone. We need help. We still do what needs to be done, yes. We can stand on our own, yes. But we shouldn’t stand alone. We don’t have to.

So, to remove my pudge, I realize that I need a bit more help than my efforts alone. It’s a little mountain, sure, but it’s a mountain that doesn’t want to move. And maybe, it’s just my heart that doesn’t really want to move…no matter how much my body moves.

So God sent me a friend, and I asked my trusted friend (“faith”: trust) to help me (“prayer”: one-on-one) with my fitness goals to help me be accountable (“fasting”: commitment to give up something for something else).

Thanks, Adele….Hello, Pain. I’m feelin’ it already.

From one side….to the other side.

The LDS Lamplighter

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