Repost: Finish the Race


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This is a repost from a few months ago.  I’ve struggled this summer, between the move and other factors.  I’ve completely fallen off the wagon, and needed this reminder.  And, just an update, I am working to finish up my masters degree this semester…yay!

Several people have commented on what they perceive to be my weight loss goals, mostly well-meaning people commenting on my facebook page telling me not to focus on getting skinny.  Their assessment is so far off base, so I am just going to pour my heart out here today.  I’ve already shared that it’s more than the number on the scale.  In fact, my goal is mostly a spiritual one.  Getting into a healthy weight range has many tangible benefits, but my real goal is to prove myself faithful.

He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much.  Luke 16:10

Over the years, I have acquired a nasty habit of not following through with things. I wanted to be a “professional” scrapbooker.  I got pages published, served on many design teams, etc.  Right in the thick of it, I lost my mojo and it’s been 2 years since I scrapbooked.

I wanted to get my masters degree, and we’re in debt nearly $20,000 because of that decision.  I finished all my classes, and all I have left is the final quarter of the work on my thesis-like paper and my comprehensive exams.  I’ve been at this point for 2 years now, and if I don’t finish by next year, my credits will “expire.”

I’ve always wanted to write a novel.  Last summer, I did it.  I wrote an entire, full-length novel.  I worked on revisions for a few months, but there are still some things I need to tweak.  I’ve been stuck at this point for the last 6 months.  It’s hard to find quiet time to focus on such a tedious task, but that’s mostly just an excuse.  The truth is that I lack follow through.   

Depression has played a huge role in all these things, but regardless of that struggle, I have not proven myself faithful. 

One Sunday in church, I was praying, and God called me out on this.  I said I want to be used by Him, and I felt a gentle chastening…  “You have not shown yourself faithful in the little things, therefore you also can’t be trusted with the bigger things.”

This was and is a devastating truth to face.  I know, in my spirit, that the victory of reaching my goal weight is going to be, more than anything, a spiritual victory for me.  It’s what God has called me to do to prove my faithfulness to Him.  

“let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.”  (Hebrews 12:2).

The Christian life is referred to throughout scripture as a race that requires endurance.  Losing a substantial amount of weight is symbolic of that.  It requires discipline, dedication, and follow through, all qualities that are necessary for walking with Christ.  God has really placed this on my spirit.  My weight is a hindrance to me.  My reliance on food is something that easily ensnares me.  I have a need in my life, both physically and spiritually to lay that aside, and finish this race.  I need to do this in order to be more useful to my Savior.  Not because a “skinnier” person is more useful, but because a faithful person is.

How I long to say, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4:7)

(Please note that I am in NO WAY judging anyone for their weight or anything else!  This is something that God has placed on my heart for my situation and nothing more.)

Now for the numbers:

Heaviest Weight: 201.8 (I am 5’6″, so this put me in the category of being medically OBESE)
Current Weight: 180.8
Next Milestone: 170
Final Goal: 135 (Healthy weight for my height is 115-145)

I had lost a total of 23 lbs, reaching a “low” of 178.8 or so.  Over the past few months of completely backsliding, I have gained back 2 pounds (and a lot of belly inches…).  Either way, I consider this a victory because I have been back to square one with HORRIBLE eating and virtually no exercise for nearly 3 months, so it could be much worse.


(also check out: Weight Loss WednesdayWorks for Me Wednesday, Women Living Well, Women in the Word)


  1. says

    I can so relate to this post! I am the very same way with starting something and fizzling out….or worse, having intentions to do tons of things and never doing any of them. I’ve been on a ‘get healthy’ regime since December. I don’t know if I’ve really lost any weight, but I’ve definitely built muscles and toned a little. I am being more conscious about my diet and committed to exercise. I also see this as a spiritual thing because we are to treat our bodies as temples, and I surely haven’t. I also feel that I need to do this for my hubby (although he’d never ask me to and is totally happy with me the way I am). Thank you for sharing. It’s nice to know that there are others out there that tackle weight loss for the spiritual and not ‘just to look better’.

    • Crystal says

      Nicole, thank you for sharing your thoughts and struggles as well! Yes, honoring our bodies as the temple of the Holy Spirit is a huge part of my motivation as well…the first time I read 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 in that light was really sobering.

  2. says

    this post has really touched me. i too am one who starts something gung-ho and then lacks at the finish line. i have struggled….even failed. i agree wholeheartedly that this journey is more than weight loss…it is a spiritual journey and this week i need to refocus and get back on track. i love the verse from 2 Timothy! thank you for your honesty and your heart!

  3. says

    I struggle with this to an extent, too, and I had honestly never thought about it in spiritual terms before. I keep saying I “really want” to learn Spanish, but I have never followed through, so how much can I REALLY want it if I don’t?! God’s chastening of you is so poignant…thank you for being honest with your struggles and helping to point out my own!

  4. Jennifer says

    Thank you so much for this post! I am facing this same race! I’ve never thought of my weight loss failures in this way and this was very eye opening. I want to be found faithful too. My hardest part is the cravings between meals. I know depression plays a major role for me as well as migraines but I know our God can sustain me. I will pray for you as we struggle through this together. My first 5k is next Saturday and I’m slightly scared:)

    • Crystal says

      Jennifer, thank you for your kind words! Cravings in the afternoon used to be my downfall every time. I wrote a post about how I (try to) beat the cravings, here. Prayers for you, Sister! Keep that mantra–God can and will sustain you. Congrats on your upcoming 5K. I want to work up to that eventually as well :)

  5. says

    I totally agree with you that this journey is more than just about a number on the scale. I also struggle with follow through and relying on self and other things in place of God. I feel your frustration. I am on a healthy lifestyle change myself and there are good days and days where I feel defeat but we have to get back up when we fall down. Thankful for a sufficient Savior. Blessings to you!

    • Crystal says

      Heather, I have definitely learned the lesson of getting back up again when I fall down! That one was a long time coming for me and it used to throw me off course every time.

  6. says

    This is such a well written post! Thank you for sharing. I am with you that our physical health is as much of a spiritual discipline as everything else, and there are so many lessons to be found in living a healthy life. Keep pressing on. By continuing on, I believe you ARE proving yourself faithful. Allow God’s truth rather than the world’s lies to reign in your mind. So much of this starts in the thoughts we choose to allow into our minds. Press on!

  7. says

    EXACT same issues on weight loss for me, too, Crystal. (Except I don’t have the courage to blog about it.) I have been praying for self-discipline, but I guess I need to pray for endurance as well. I’ve lost the same five pounds more times than I care to count. And believe me, I have a lot more to lose than five pounds! Thanks for the encouragement and fellowship today.

  8. says

    Linking up shortly after you at Faith Filled Friday – congratulations on a milestone in your weight loss! And I was blessed to read your post – impressed that you want to be faithful in this area (and in others). Thanks for sharing your heart here.

  9. says

    You’ve hit home for me with this post: it’s about persevering and finishing. God has promised not to quit until we are ‘made perfect’ so we must stay the course. Press on, sister!

  10. says

    Completely relate to this post as well. On day Four of P90X…. I still can’t believe I even started… let alone have successfully completed three days already! Keep up the good work!

  11. Jodi says

    Wow, this is so me… I never finish what I start… I want to so badly but I have no motivation. I know depression plays a roll in this… I don’t understand why I can’t finish all the things I love and want for myself to be a better me…

    • Crystal says

      Jodi, that is my problem exactly–depression. It is such a hard thing to conquer and I fully believe that we cannot do it without God’s help. I think it is an attack by Satan to keep us from being what God wants us to be. I am praying for you!

  12. says

    So glad I stumbled across your blog today! You and I have been led to the very same conclusions about our weight and the underlying problem behind it and so many other issues in life. Thanks for the encouragement. PRESS ON!

  13. says

    Crystal, this was wonderfully written and so on point. I love that you said a “more faithful” rather than a skinnier person is more useful! I am in the same boat as far as not finishing all of my “projects.” And I am working on it! I know I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me! i want to finish the race…I want to lose weight…I want to finish some things that He called me to start. Thank you for the encouragement and the accountability! (visiting from a Pause on the Path)

  14. says

    Very well said! So glad I stopped by. It really is more than a number, rather it be on the scale or pant size. It’s about being obedient. My follow-through is hurting too, it’s one of the main reasons it’s so hard to stick to a plan, I want to bail when it gets tough or boring. Relying on His strength is the only way to do it.
    Thank you for this post, it’s a great encouragement!

  15. says

    I am so very happy that I stumbled across your blog! I have been feeling the very same way about my weight…that it is a physical discipline that will help me spiritually (most of all). Time to surrender! Thank you for this!! It is confirmation to me.

  16. says

    Hi Crystal, I am stopping by from Though Provoking Thursday… I have recently lost weight and it has been a journey of not only fitness but faith… overcoming my old unhealthy patterns both physical and spiritual… that’s why I write posts about both faith and fitness on my blog. I celebrate with you on your weight loss and most importantly your VICTORY!!! :) Yay for you and Yay for God, who is always so very faithful and teaches us to be as well!!!! Blessings

    • Crystal says

      Thank you for the encouragement, and I completely agree! Blessings to you and congratulations to you on your weight loss victory as well.

  17. Amber S. says

    “God has really placed this on my spirit. My weight is a hindrance to me. My reliance on food is something that easily ensnares me.”
    …I read that and my mouth about dropped open, because I’ve said almost those exact words to my husband. My weight has been a lifelong struggle for me, and, especially recently, I’ve really felt the Lord encouraging me to “run the race” He has set before me… to trust Him and finally let go of this war within me. To finally finish what I’ve started SO many times. To finally allow God to fill me, instead of always turning to food.
    I’m so glad I found your site. I love your honesty and I’ve been inspired and encouraged. Thank you! :)

  18. says

    Thanks for writing this post…I was going to say how much your story reminds me of mine, but reading through the comments it sounds like there are a lot with this same struggle, so good to know I am not alone in this.

    • Crystal says

      Heather, I think that’s one of the most encouraging things about being authentic as a blogger…that’s when we can gain the understanding that we are not alone and that there are others who struggle with the same thing and we can help encourage and inspire one another. Thanks so much for visiting, and I’m saying a little prayer for you right now…

  19. says

    It is a struggle, a constant struggle for all of us- this battle with the flesh, with our old nature.
    Let me just say something to encourage you- God loves you right now, as you are… that endurance you need is not something you have to pull out of yourself to prove yourself to Him- it’s something He will give you for the asking. It’s a fruit of the Spirit, as are all of our good works.

    By grace you are loved and saved. May you rely on His grace to help you fight these temptations in your life as well.

  20. says

    I also struggle with a lot of the same issues… I get a great idea and start working on it and then bam something hits me to slow or stop my progress. This just means that God is giving us a road block and we need to get past it. I am actually struggling right now to overcome something and it's hard, but I will not give up or give in! Don't give up on YOU, because YOU deserve health and happiness! Have a blessed day!

    • Crystal says

      Carrie, thank you so much for the kind and encouraging words! Praying for you as well, that God will give you the encouragement you need, and that you will fully claim your status as being more than an overcomer! God bless you!

  21. Stephanie says

    I feel as if I could have written this post. I have struggled with weight loss for several years now. However, just recently, I know the Lord is convicting my heart of this. I have placed food, my desires and my satisfaction above Him. I know deep in my soul that until I commit to Him and lose this weight, I will not be where He wants me to be. And it is not all about the weight at all. Yes, I know that losing it will be beneficial in so many ways, but it is more about giving up my will for His. And I cannot seem to do it. I ask that you pray for me and I will pray for as well.

    • Crystal says

      Stephanie, I completely understand your position, as I am there as well. Yes, it is more about giving up my will for His, and giving Him rightful place in my life instead of turning to food. It’s a HARD journey, and I will absolutely be lifting you up in prayer!

  22. Barbara says

    Crystal, What a loving post! Not following through, or being faithful had become a “joke” with me, until I had a similar wake up call from God’s word. I have begun to start off with very small baby steps so that follow through would happen and i could see that victory. Thank you for encouraging me today to be faithful to the Lord in all that I do so He can be glorified. I think it really ends up being how we glorify Christ in the world when we follow through and God gives us that victory. God bless you!

  23. says

    Congratulations on not quitting =) It’s true what they say… Winners never quit and quitters never win.

    “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4:7) How I love that verse! =)

    Thanks for sharing your journey with us! =)

  24. says

    Thank you for the encouragement. I am right there with you and can relate to everything you said. I lost 40lbs last year and then when I weaned my son and my hormones kicked back into “normal” gear my weight loss plateaued. I grew frustrated and slowly lost my motivation. Then I injured my ankle and for the past three and a half months have been on crutches and now in a walking boot. I’ve forced myself not to give up completely and go in and workout on the weight machines even though I can’t do cardio. But it’s rough stuff! I’ve gained about 10lbs back and need to be faithful in this weight loss journey as well. Thank you for sharing this!

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