Contributor: Ryan Moffat, BS in Bible and Theology from Multnomah University. Pastor of Vast Church.
Once a month in my Cross Fit class my coach Ryan gives a one or two day “heads up” before we have our monthly “Baseline Test”. I think it’s his way of saying, “you might want to stay off the Twinkies in the next few days”. I hated pop quizzes in high school but a surprise physical test that makes former marines puke is just flat out mean.
The worst part isn’t even the actual physical test even though it’s between 3-9 minutes (depending on fitness level) of all out work. The worst part is undoubtedly the moment of truth when coach grabs his seemingly innocent weapon…..the dreaded calipers!!! (By the way that is not my amazing abdomen pictured below…..I’m not that ripped!)
The Calipers Don’t Lie
These little buggers don’t lie. Scales, weight? You can fool those things but not the calipers! See the calipers cannot be outwitted, they expose ultimate reality. They leave grown men without excuse, utterly vulnerable.
If you gain a few pounds from July to August you can simply fool yourself, “well, ya know muscle weighs more than fat right?” but the calipers don’t buy that little line…….they EXPOSE you and they do it while you are shirtless!
The first time I encountered the calipers was in February 2013. It was too painful….I didn’t want to look but I couldn’t look away. How far have I fallen from being an athlete? Have I been looking in a funhouse mirror the past 3 years with a slimming effect and will all my wishful thinking be exposed? Whatever the case I had to go to mental place that even allowed me to lift up shirt and take the calipers like a champ….I had to preach truth to myself;
“All right Ryan the only way to get truly free isn’t to pretend. The only way to get truly free is to look REALITY in the face and begin operating based on truth however depressing the situation is. You can do this, lift up your shirt, breathe deep and embrace it”.
See the truth is that all my goodwill and happy thinking couldn’t change the objective reality that the calipers were about to show. It was about to get really real on that fateful February morning.
This is the same reality we need to face in our own lives. We need emotional, spiritual and relational calipers that can give us checks, balances and ultimate reality. I’m convinced that the words of CS Lewis ring true in light of why we avoid vulnerability, risk and choosing the life of exposing ourselves to the reality of pain:
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket – safe, dark, motionless, airless – it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.”
When we are at the crucial moment of choice; “Should I go back to my vice/addiction or do I fight it?” the weapons we must wield is not one of stronger self-discipline but rather an admission to ourselves (and others) that we aren’t strong enough, aren’t in control and we need help.
That’s why AA has rightly and famously started all treatment for alcohol abuse with step #1 of the 12 step program; “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.” It’s the admission to the problem, the willingness to open up, that cultivates the right heart to actually change.
BTW- I started at 23% body fat and coach has me down to 15% body fat…..I never would have got there had I not been vulnerable enough to lift up my shirt that first, gut-wrenching day.
Take the risk of vulnerability today! The seeds of willingness and openness to bear fruit! The gains and advantages are on the other side!!
Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!
Have you taken the risk of vulnerability in your addiction recovery to promote healing? Who have you leaned on for support?
About the Author:
Ryan received his BS in Bible and Theology and a minor in counseling from Multnomah University. He has pastored students, families and is passionate about Christ-centered recovery and healing. He’s been married to his beautiful wife Michelle for 13 years and they enjoy raising four crazy, unique and special kids together.
Ryan is the teaching pastor at Vast Church in Sisters, OR and is currently working on his Masters in Theology at Western Seminary in Portland, OR
Addiction Hope is proud to announce the initiation of a special Christian Track of blogs and articles to commemorate the blessing of our sister site, Eating Disorder Hope’s 10th year anniversary. Watch for further content noted as “Christian Track”.
Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on May 1st, 2015
Published on AddictionHope.com