I’m awake, refreshed and coherent-BEFORE my alarm goes off. I quietly sneak downstairs, a plan has already formulated in my thoughts for Bible Study-which isn’t for another 3 hours. This blog is sitting on my shoulder and demanding to be written.
I can’t recall a time when I didn’t as much get out of bed but fall out of it, dragging myself to the nearest coffee pot. Planning through the morass of thoughts/insecurities/fears/pain was more like trying to run through a wall of cobwebs-sticky and binding. Writing was an abstract, a luxury, a passion I had to steal from my other ‘worthier’ causes to spend time creating.
Why the drastic 180 degree change? Did I suddenly find the will power my mother and others have always said was the only reason I was fat and unsuccessful? Did I suddenly discover a pill to take away all the stresses, strains, pains and peeves which kept me under their thumbs?
Nope. I simply started to eat real food.
Seriously, I’m a clean eater.
This blog is based on the premise of “Eat Less. Pray More. Love Abundantly.” A topic I rarely explore is eating. The reason? It’s hard to write about addressing your drug of choice and secret shame. It’s an invitation for judgement when you say you are eating well and then reach for a cookie at an event. It’s hard, disciplined work with moments of failure on display for all to see in your too-slowly changing sizes.
I wish I could say I had an epiphany towards health and eating. I would love to have one of those inspirational stories where I suddenly realized I was worth it (cue instrumental music and images of people running through ocean surf). I didn’t have one of those. Instead it was more mini-moments of clarity which strung themselves together into one of those rope bridges across a cavern. I simply chose to walk across the bridge and deal with the height, the wind blowing the ropes, and the churning waters beneath me.
I didn’t tell anybody except those I knew who were solidly in my corner. I just shopped differently one week. I cooked differently. I ate differently.
10 pounds later (coincidentally the weight of spinach I’ve eaten AND the amount of weight the scale has gone down) I sit, in the early morning writing this blog.
When I hit publish, I’ll go and make special Sunday breakfast. I’ll roll up quinoa and sausage in a lower fat, higher nutrition version of breakfast. I’ll roll up my sleeves and package up a week’s worth of breakfast/lunches and dinners all made with mostly clean, whole ingredients. I’ll bake with the apple sauce I made yesterday in my crock pot (I felt like a modern day Pioneer Woman).
Another thing I’ll do? I’ll write.
Today, what will you do? What’s one minor or momentous thing you can do to take step towards health and wholeness? Share with me. Together we can take this journey to eat less. Maybe share a recipe or two.
Thanksgiving is officially over. Only half the leftovers remain and I have my eye on them for pocket pies. The eating frenzy has continued days past the actual holiday. Today, breakfast was “Grandmother Elkins Caramel Cake”. Lunch was chips and dip. Dinner was an amazing Thanksgiving strata (think everything on the plate smushed into layers and casseroled). Not good for my goal of eating less, not good at all.
I frequently turn to food as my drug of choice, this holiday I was like an alcoholic spending her days in a vat of Jack Daniels. I, shockingly, found no need to medicate. I was happy. I was full. I was satisfied.
Aside from aching joints and a second trimester belly, I remain disturbingly in good health despite my eating frenzies. I can be thankful that I still have a chance to right this ship and set her on a course for greener pastures and slimmer silhouettes.
At the blog, The Story Project, Ashley Beaudin, describes how she is building a better relationship with food. Check it out here: Food and I Have An Ugly Relationship
When I read the blog, for the third time, one line stood out in three-dimensional relief: “I am not going to starve and heart doesn’t need donuts and pop to survive.” I am still dubious on pop not being necessary. However, the two points remain powerful.
First, I am not going to starve. Even if all the food suddenly disappeared from my house today, I have enough reserves in my body to last a very, very long time.
Second, my heart doesn’t need junk to survive. It needs the divine embrace of grace. It needs to laugh and chase kids. It needs sleep. It needs to play and pray with friends. It does not need donuts.
It’s my relationship with food which is the problem. It’s my relationship to myself and the role food plays in it which is the real source of the challenges.
As the holidays continue to barrel towards me like an Accela train, I believe I will gift myself something. I’ll give myself the gift of loving myself more abundantly and praying more so that I can finally-eat less.
What gift will you give your heart this holiday season?
There will be no “Eat Less” related post this week. For obvious, yummy, chocolatey reasons. You can find me either bouncing off the ceiling from the sugar/caffeine/cocoa induced high or weeping in the corner from the self-loathing calorie counting low. Drive through please. Oh, and on your way please take some of this holiday goodness with you!
Less-More-Abundantly is a year long journey I am taking. Inspired by two books, Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert and One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp, I will endeavor to do three things: 1. Eat less, 2. Pray more, 3. Love abundantly.
Gilbert, in “Eat, Pray, Love” shares her journey across the world to find herself. She eats, prays and loves her way to wholeness of identity. I am going to do the same, though I probably will never leave the comfort of my own livingroom.
Voskamp, in “A Thousand Gifts” is a dare to live fully right where you are. I take up the challenge.
Less More Abundantly will explore my journey and invite you to take it with me. Or at least stand on the sidelines, cheer and pass me a cup of water as I pass by.
In “Eat, Pray, Love” Gilbert writes, “I am alone, I am all alone, I am completely alone. Grasping this reality, I let go of my bag, drop to my knees and press my forehead against the floor. There, I offer up to the universe a fervent prayer of thanks. First in English. Then in Italian. And then—just to get the point across—in Sanskrit. And since I am already down there in supplication on the floor, let me hold that position as I reach back in time… to the moment when this entire story began—a moment which also found me in this exact same posture: on my knees, on a floor, praying.”
My moment begins now. I too, offer up a prayer of thankfulness for beginnings full of promise. I take up the dare to live fully in this moment, whether alone or in a crowd.
Thank you for taking the journey with me.