(This post continues my first draft series where I write the various things on my heart and mind without editing due to time and then I press publish. You can read the first post here: http://www.trillianewbell.com/2019/01/17/first-draft-blogging-series/)
Did I tell you I have a hiatal hernia? I don’t write or talk about it much but if you’re around me, you’ll quickly see and hear the effects of it. I cough a lot and must restrict what I eat. A hiatal hernia occurs when the upper part of your stomach bulges through the large muscle separating your abdomen and chest (diaphragm). I know, lovely. I was diagnosed with it after receiving a procedure to determine why I had so much pain in my abdomen. And although I haven’t been officially diagnosed, I do believe that I also have celiac disease. I have all the signs and the one time I went completely gluten free I experienced a significant improvement in my quality of life.
So, if I know how to help myself, why won’t I? Why do I continue to struggle with the pain and cough and uncomfortable-ness if I know what I need to do? It’s simple: I lack self-control and I’m selfish.
Recently, I’ve been freshly convicted by my lack of care for my health. I’ll say things to myself like, “Don’t you want to be around for you children” or “You will feel better in the long run, dumby” and then I eat that bowl of ice cream and hope for the best. I try to convince myself that it will be okay…if I eat slowly. Yes, I think if I eat it slowly I’ll be okay, my way of trying to reason with myself so I can eat what isn’t good for my body.
I think it’s also difficult for me to control what I eat and exercise self-control because I don’t struggle with my weight and don’t have other medically diagnosed health concerns that seem tangible. But I’m fooling myself and hurting myself. The reason my condition can be dangerous is because in the long run, it’s harming my esophagus, the lining of my stomach and a variety of other secondary issues.
My Future Self Will Thank Me
Last year, I had the opportunity to read and endorse Your Future Self Will Thank You by Drew Dyck. It is an accessible and helpful book about self-control. I remember when I read it quickly that I’d need to come back to it again. Here’s part of what I wrote in my blurb:
Self-control is something we all need but not something we like to admit we need…Your future self will thank you for reading and heeding this book!
I’ve decided now is the time to pick it back up and read it again. I want to ask my heart the hard questions and ask God to do the good work He loves to do in His children: make me more like His Son. I am confident that God is going to help me, not because I’m confident in myself, but there’s been a change. I guess this is what repentance looks like. I have asked the Lord to forgive me for my lack of self-control and am turning, changing by His glory and running towards Him for help in this area. My future self will thank God.
It Takes a Tribe
Besides self-control in what I eat, exercise also helps. I used to be a group fitness instructor and so exercise came rather naturally: it was my job! But now that I have devoted my work and attention to writing and speaking, fitting in exercise takes a lot of effort. I’ve tried pulling in friends, signing up for road races, and doing a number of other things to build accountability. Although these were good ideas, none of them motivated me because I knew I didn’t have to do it. I had an out and the busyness of writing and travel usually made it easy and excusable to give up.
But, recently I decided to take on a challenge that would cost me if I failed. I won’t share all the details but I am doing a 42 day challenge hosted by a company called Iron Tribe where I’ll have to go to their facility three times a week for a workout, restrict my diet to the things I’m supposed to be eating, and if I fail pay a significant amount of money. Yes, it’s that intense and drastic…and I’m excited! The Iron Tribe coaches will text me to make sure I’m doing what I’m supposed to so the accountability is pretty intense, which is also what I need.
Another reason why I’m sharing this with you is because I will need to document my attendance. Yes, I have to post something on social media so that the coaches can track me. Big brother will come after me, y’all! I’m kidding but that level of accountability will prove to be helpful. So, if you are on Instagram or Facebook, you will be able to follow along via my stories and I’ll likely post here once in a while too.
So, here’s to self-control! If you struggle in this area too, I encourage you to grab Drew’s book, your future self really will thank you.