Day of Reckoning

So, if you couldn’t tell from last week’s post, life was going on in full swing.  And having recently returned from the Fairy Tale of Food Heaven, I wasn’t ready for the reality of menuing, measuring, and memoing my health.  So I took a sabaath from tracking, running, and in general thinking about what I put in my mouth for a week and a half.  It was a much needed breather.  Sometimes there’s nothing like a Cookout Banana Pudding Milkshake to cure all that ailes you.  I mean really what can’t ice cream, biscuits and cheese cure?  I have to think all the world’s problems might just be solved by enjoying some good food with some good friends.  Or at least if we took the time to sit around a table, really shared food and drink, and listened to what one another had to say.

At the same time, the lure of veering off the stewardship of self loomed large.  Oh, not only did I indulge in edible goodies last week, I also indulged in some of my other favorite past times:  over-committing, enabling, and controling.  It wasn’t until listening to the sermon on Sunday that I realized–“DOH!  Megan, there you go again!  You’ve both forgotten that you are not in fact a super hero, caped crusader or christ and that you aren’t responsible for other people’s worlds–just yours.  And that is enough.”  It seems that when I’m not taking care of me, I really do believe it is my business to take care of everyone else.  When I say take care of everyone else, I mean solve their problems, tell them what to do, and in general be the expert on everything–excpet well, myself.  I just sort swallow my own self-care down with a giant gulp the way I do a milkshare.  Not so pretty, my friends.

And then I just get irritable, grumpy, grouchy…the list goes on.  So, Sunday I have this a-ha.  It’s Palm Sunday.  We celebrate and welcome the triumphant entry.  And like the crowd, I so easily know what I THINK this salvation thing should look like.  I THINK I know what is best.  And I THINK I want to be in charge of what everyone else should do.  I have this a-ha, but does that stop me?  Oh no!  I might have gotten back to the gym and back on the scale (up a pound–and not beating myself up–this is success for me), but I still managed to pick a fight with boyfriend (we’ll call him Aidan–yes I used to watch Sex and the City and honestly I’m much more of an Aidan gal than a Mr. Big chic, but I digress)  As Aidan shares about his day and the trials of apartment searching, I not only need to give my two cents, I open up the wallet to pour out all my change.  I catch myself and apologize.  And as I drove to the hospital last night for my on-call shift, I couldn’t help but realize…there I go again!  And that my friends is why I have discovered that I need to continue to commit to this stewardship of self.  Apparently, something in the process of me taking responsibility for me helps me not try to take responsibility for everybody else.  But cookout milkshakes, Biscuitville, and dinner with friends…well, that’s a sabaath worth taking any time.

Quotations for the Week

My imperfections and failures are as much a blessing from God as my successes and talents, and I lay both of them at His feet.  Mahatma Gandhi

Self-discipline is self-caring. M Scott Peck

As I surrerendered my imaginary power over others, I gaied a more realistic view of my own life

Good-Bye Wagon; Hello Sugar Hang-Over

Before I begin my blog for today, let me first say, I feel partly absurd and frivolous for even writing a blog entry about last M. Malick’s weekly weight loss struggle.  With the recent earthquake and tsunami in Northern Japan and the subsequent devastation and potential nuclear disaster, writing about weight loss feels a little self-indulgent to say the least.  And for those who have read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, I see myself a little like the fictional Juliet.  Writing something trifling.  Or so it seems.

If you couldn’t guess from the title of this week’s entry, last week provided a dietary challenge.  It started with Pie Day.  What is Pie Day? You wonder.  It is how the staff celebrated Mardi Gras, Shrove Tuesday, or more apt, Fat Tuesday.  All staff persons were invited to make a pie to share for lunch.  And pies included, but were not limited to, dessert pies, shepherd’s pies, empanadas, and spanakopita.  So, since I lost 2+ pounds last week, I indulged a little.  And oh it was wonderful.  I officially treated myself to a day off…knowing that Ash Wednesday was the following day, and I would be back on the wagon.  Or so I planned.  Well, what started as a day off turned into 5.  That’s right.  Five!  Now, just to be clear, I did not go and buy gallons of ice cream, demolish an entire bag of chips, or devour an entire batch of cookies.  Not at all.  What I did was not measure, not plan, and not think.  Thursday was a late lunch including 3/4 of a personal pizza and Friday started a 24 hour women’s retreat.  Although I was part of the staff leading the retreat, my detail eye did not design what I would eat.  So, I ate what we had.  Which included a nice wine and cheese, fried green tomato casserole, brownies, and ice cream.

But apparently my eyes are now officially bigger than my stomach.  The brownie and ice cream indulgence was Friday night. And Saturday morning I awoke with a head and stomach ache.  If I didn’t have to work, I would have stayed in bed.  I had a hangover–a sugar hangover.  I have heard of this before.  Wasn’t sure it was possible.  Thought it was probably a Weight Watcher Myth attempting to help us stay on plan.  But I’m here to tell you, it is possible.  Apparently, I have changed more than my waistline in the las month.  My body no longer finds comfort in uber-sugar indulgence.  (Now I don’t mean to say I’m not going to have a brownie again–but I think half a brownie as opposed to two is a good plan.)  Amazing!

What’s even more amazing is that I avoided having the hair of the dog that bit me.  I knew I could assuage my stomach strain with a little sweet treat.  And Saturday night offered cupcakes with thick, creamy frosting.  They looked good.  But I still didn’t feel quite right.  And I decided to say no.  Wasn’t worth it.  Didn’t want to wake-up hung-over again.  One woman commented, You’re so good.  I don’t think it was being good so much as a matter of self-love and self-care.  I guess I am learning to be a better steward of myself.  And I discovered that this love tastes much better than brownies and ice cream.

Quotes for the week

“Ever’thing there is but lovin’ leaves rust on yo’ soul”–Langston Hughes

“We must alter our lives in order to alter our hearts, for it is impossible to live one way and pray another” –William Law

“Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly”–Philippians 3:19**

**I’m not big on the destruction selections in Scripture, but in light of the feeling in my belly, I thought this an apt excerpt

Right-Sizing in 2011

It seems that 2011 is the year of less is more.  Or at least that’s what we’re telling ourselves.  Households are making due with less, schools, hospitals, governments are all re-examining how resources can be more efficiently utilized.  What was once called down-sizing, I’ve heard called right-sizing.  Perhaps this is a euphesism.  An opiate of the masses if you will attempting to help us, the general public, feel better about earning less, purchasing less, having less.  But as a pastor, I can’t help but think of right-sizing may be more than just a politically correct turn of phrase.  We have spent and consumed more than our homes and bodies can hold.  The decrease in our o-zone and the increase in our pant-size suggest we are in need of a size adjustment.  Well, maybe not your pant-size, but mine.  Now for those who know me, you may be thinking, yeah, get over it.  But hear me out.  Over the last year, I’ve handled the stress of budget cuts, staff reductions, and program re-structures with increasing my consumption.  And I’m not just talking about calories here.  I mean I have used the importance of ministry.  Of being there for and with others as an excuse to indulge.  I’ve become a regular at the Turkey Hill down the street where I get coffee–and often forget to take my travel mug or better yet use the excuse that I’m so busy attempting to save the world that I don’t have time to wash my mug.  This same pattern repeats with re-usable grocery bags and meals-on-the-run.  In my attempts to do justice, I’ve become part of the problem.  So, today I come clean.  Today I say no more.  For the last week I have brewed my own coffee, eaten whole foods, and managed to say no to tasks outside my boundaries.  The world did not come to a screeching halt.  The sky did not fall.  And I lost 2.5 pounds.  So, there you have it.  The beginning of my journey.  Right-Sizing myself body, mind, and soul and seeking a way to be a better steward of my own being and resources.

Quotes for the Week:

Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you. (1 Corinthians 6:19)

The changes in our life must come from the impossibility t live otherwise than according to the demand of our own conscience (Leo Tolstoy)

You are what you eat.  (Ubiquitous quote from health class that may actually have something to say.)