In December 2020, I went with my family to a small extended weekend vacation over Christmas. We drove back home on Christmas Eve, making a stop at my parents’ house for the family Christmas Eve celebration. When I woke up that morning, I had a sore throat and just did not feel good overall. It’s not unusual for me to get sick over the winter so I had no concerns, until later. A few days later I realized it was something more. It was COVID.
For the next couple of weeks, I suffered with trying to fight the virus that had taken hold in every country on the planet. I stayed in bed a lot, watched a horrendous number of Criminal Minds and Law and Order SVU episodes, and mainly ate soup. I took countless amounts of vitamins and finally started feeling better. However, I quickly realized my battle was not going to end there and COVID had left me a gift. It’s a gift I suppose I may never be able to discard. It had left me tinnitus. Additionally, it has given me the “gift” of having no energy. For a person who was active, enjoyed being outdoors, running and playing with my dogs, the lack of energy was horrible. Seven months after suffering from COVID, and being back to “normal”, I took a trip with a close friend and my daughter to the beach at the Outer Banks. If anything makes me happy (outside my dogs), it’s the mountains or the beach.
Everything came to a climax during that trip. I noticed I was constantly so tired I even had a hard time enjoying the ocean. The mere act of walking across the beach would tire me out and I would be exhausted for the rest of the day. Of course, I was not helping myself with being overweight. After all, I was a foodie and loved to cook and enjoyed great tasting food. For years I had been telling myself I was going to lose weight, but never did. I tried a few different diets….a lot of them actually. I had realized the diets were not failing. The problem was was me. I was not motivated enough.
I had considered the effects I was left with after having COVID and took inventory of what I could do something about and what I could not. There were a lot of things I had no control over, but I did have control over my energy. COVID may have taken much of my energy, but I was ready to fight for my life. I was ready to fight for my energy and to enjoy the life God gave me. I was ready to fight….and this time I was going to win.
“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God? You are not your own; you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” (I Corinthians 6:19-20)
I began to look at the concept of the tabernacle in the Church. During Mass, I would concentrate on the tabernacle and begin to relate that to our bodies. The tabernacle, elaborately built with gold and valuable materials, is something that is well cared for and presents to us the image of how we should protect and care for our bodies – the temple of God. Why would I treat my body any less than I would the tabernacle of Christ?
I went on a journey that I am still running. Since my return from the beach in July, I have been focusing on health and wellness, which includes losing weight. The difference this time? I was motivated and had a fuel underneath this fight. Now, almost 50 pounds later, I was winning the fight. COVID had won a few battles (making me sick for a few weeks and leaving me with tinnitus, among other things), but I am on the road to winning the war by reclaiming my health and lifestyle. I may not fully have the energy I once did pre-COVID, but I certainly have the energy to enjoy the things I want to do.
We can take the negative that happens to us and feel sorry for ourselves, complain, and focus on that which takes our eyes off God, or we can change the lenses through which we look. COVID motivated me to change the lenses. As a result, I see the possibility rather than the obstacles. I see the result as opposed to the current situation.
Here’s to 50 pounds lighter and more to go!