I have been tested and found wanting in so many areas of my life lately-patience, faith, humility. Sometimes it’s good to take a step back and remember the journey so far. I started a long time ago, naive and frustrated, feeling alone and helpless.

That was 9 months ago, and now I have a new perspective on my journey.

It was 7 months ago that I met Jillian Michaels via DVD and immediately she taught me two things; pain and what I adopted as my mantra-transformation is not a future event, but a present activity.

In January, like every year I was inundated with the resolutions of those around me. “I’m going to eat healthier, I’m going to exercise more”…well I had felt that I had tried that with little success. So, I took a drastic step with the encouragement of my husband. On January 27th, I joined Weight Watchers. It was the hardest thing for me to do, to ask for help especially with something as simple as controlling what I ate and how much I ate. But, I couldn’t do it by myself.

So, I began to force myself to be more active everyday. I would yell at the TV when Jillian’s shrill voice would tell me “don’t phone this in” and “don’t quit on me, don’t quit on yourself.” I suffered injury and scale shifts, disappointments and plateaus. I remember flopping onto the floor and begging to allow myself to buy some pizza and just give up. But I printed her words and kept them near me always, not a future event, but a present activity.

Recently, I have celebrated overcoming my overweight self, and was awarded a free lifetime membership to Weight Watchers. Including the few meager pounds that I lost prior to joining, I have lost nearly 55 pounds. Finally the outside matches what I feel I look like on the inside. I was asked many times what I looked like before, and when I pulled the pictures people would be so polite and encouraging. Yesterday, however, a friend made a keen observation, and until then the achievement that I have enjoyed hadn’t sunk in.

She studied the pictures of me over a year ago, and about 11 months ago. Then she poured over me in person and the picture I chose for my “after” celebration. She pointed to the picture from November, me at my heaviest, and said, “Here, you’re smiling,” and then she switched to the “after” picture and said “here you’re happy.” And it hit me, happiness can be without a smile, and smiling can be without happiness.

I don’t want to live in a world where my faith and hope are hidden behind an insincere smile or a pasted on happy face. I had gotten so good at convincing even myself that I was happy when I was really dying inside, that it was scary to have it pointed out to me, that I wasn’t fooling anyone. And most importantly, I couldn’t fool God. While I thought that I was fooling everyone else, turns out I was only fooling myself.

So many people lately have been posting on facebook about holding their children tight because we never know what will happen. I was reminded this week not to be fake or to fool anyone, especially myself, because each day is a gift, and it’s time to stop pretending.

I have a sincere faith.


Erin Pearson

Hailing from Nebraska, E.L. Pearson is a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Kearney where she honed her writing talents and fed her desire for enchantment through studying classic literature. Her one-of-a-kind writing style reflects this love in her upcoming Prodigal Lost series. Fascinated by her childhood church, her unique perspective was forever changed when she attended a teen revival and accepted Christ as her Savior. Her mission is to encourage and uplift those in perpetual darkness. She seeks out those who feel God couldn’t possibly love them because of what they’ve done in the past. She desires but one thing-to let the world know that no matter the sin, no matter the stain from the past, Jesus is the cleansing power. As her relationship with God has grown, so have her blessings which include a patient husband who is kind and strong, and twin sons who remind her just how much God loves her. Together, they do life together in Kearney Nebraska.