1.You shall have no other gods before Me. 2.You shall not make idols.
So, this stuff seems pretty self explanatory. I think it's safe to say we understand that we shouldn't worship a gold goat statue and think it's ok. Or do we? I was a good Catholic girl. Memorized the Ten Commandments, the Golden Rule and all the prayers of the Mass and Holy Rosary. I truly felt a spiritual connection when I prayed and even at a young age felt that although I didn't understand all the meanings of the words, they were like a telephone call to God. There was a time during my teen years that I rebelled and was angry at God and my spiritual journey was rocky. I share this because I don't want you to get the idea that all has been perfect and I am preaching on a soapbox. Just the opposite. I share my journal in case it is helpful for anyone who reads it. So, just like many Americans, I have had my share of dieting and exercising for the sake of losing weight. Seems to make sense that you eat less and exercise more, you will lose weight. And you usually do. The problem is, it isn't a sustainable lifestyle if it is deprivation and the goal is "once I reach my goal weight, then I will be happy and able to eat some goodies, in moderation of course". So, I am fortunate enough to understand my ways and I'm an all or nothing type of person. This was an issue when I just wasn't motivated to lose weight and got me some great results when I was. Looking back now, I naturally focused on workouts I enjoyed and transitioned into playing sports to keep myself active. It really was the eating portion that was not so good. I've been a vegetarian now for about 25 years. I started out just cutting back on red meat to eat a bit healthier. I ended up vegan really, but when I was expecting my first baby, I craved eggs. I know not to mess with body wisdom so I listened. So, when I was dieting after the kiddos were weened, I was fixed on eating cleaner. Or at least that's what I told myself. I ended up eating the same thing for breakfast, basically the same lunch and dinner. It was fine at first but boring, really. I wasn't enjoying food. Eating was like a job. Every 2 and a half hours or so, my watch was set and I'd eat my snack or perfectly portioned meal. I did this with success after my older two were toddlers. Like I said before, I then played sports and even finished a triathlon. Our son came soon after and I just couldn't do this again. I was now in my 30's, three kids, stressed and just couldn't get motivated to do this again. I would lose some weight and then get out of a routine and put it back on. So frustrating! I felt like I had no willpower. I just kept making excused like "I am a good mom and can't take time away to workout" Silly. I found a home workout program that made me feel alive again, like an athlete. It was so hard. It was hard because I put on so much weight, my knees were achy just from standing too long. I started eating to fuel my workouts and went to what worked, portion control and planning. But here's why this time was different. I didn't let my negative thoughts take root. I truly allowed myself to exercise because it makes me feel alive again. I changed bad eating habits like stress eating by adding nourishing food. I eased into the eating plan. That was it. It was just a plan, so I can focus on what I like and don't like. What makes my body feel good and what doesn't. I love to try different workout programs because it's fun to see how the body shape shifts. I know I like to workout hard and see my strength and endurance progress. These are all just different tools, but the real change was, I didn't say to myself "when you are at your goal weight, then you'll be happy", I decided to be happy at 213 pounds. Sore knees and all. I didn't put portioned food in containers because that was all I was allowed, it was to see how my body feels with the change. I realized something else. When we obsess and only value ourselves if we weigh what someone decided on a a chart we should weigh, we are putting the gift that God gave us last, our body, our life.
Do you let the scale decide your happiness or worth? Is this our golden calf?
God made us sensual creatures who's body functions without us having to tell it to. So why do we treat it like it is not worthy until we weigh a certain amount. Enjoy life now. Find what makes you feel alive. Do more of that. Nourish yourself with your surroundings. Breath and pray and be grateful before your day begins. Look around and find something that inspires you. A child's laugh, a dog chasing it's tail, the rustling of the leaves, or even your miraculous life. Don't judge yourself because you faltered. Instead, shake it off and forgive yourself. Next time you have a meal, stop and ask, is this nourishing my gift from God? Look at the colors,smell the aromas, slow down to savor every bite, feel how your body feels afterwards. Be present and mindful when you eat. Add one thing nourishing don't worry about removing the not so great stuff. You won't crave it anymore. Yes, this will take a lifetime of experimentation because we are always evolving. What your body needed as a baby, toddler, teen and different stages of adulthood is different. Find your rhythm. Educate yourself but don't be so stubborn to recognize when something isn't working for YOUR body. You are the only expert of YOUR body. Love it. It's the only one God gave you.