It’s been a rough week. We have been dealing with gun violence in our community that took the lives of two highschoolers this week, days apart, both times they seem to have been caught in a fight that had nothing to do with them. On top of that we have had inclement weather that has kept my elementary kids home this week doing virtual school. Today I have simply been feeling weary.
I weighed myself this morning, hoping to cheer myself up with my progress, but I had only lost one pound in six days, which is frustrating when I look at how much I exercised and how good I ate, despite the fact that we had a Valentines’ weekend.
So, now I am trying to have a good attitude. I have lost ten pounds in five weeks. That’s good. I have been exercising around fifty minutes a day, six days a week. Also good. I can feel myself getting stronger. I have been eating for hunger instead of boredom or as a coping mechanism. That is awesome.
My kids’ elementary school was a “Leader in Me” school for a while (not sure if they still are?). They incorporated Stephen Covey’s “7 Habits for Highly Effective People” and they went over these habits every day. It was impossible to not hear about these seven habits on a regular basis every time you visited the school. I don’t know if it made an impact on the kids or not, but there is one habit that has been on my mind this week, “Begin with the End in Mind”.
I am tempted to get frustrated at the slow weight loss when I look at how much work I’m putting into the process. But, I need to step back and look at my end goal. My end goal is to have more energy, to not have an unhealthy addiction to food, to be in shape so I can do more activities, and to get my prediabetes under control.
If I step back and look at these end goals, then I am doing very well. I’ve been taking my blood sugars more often and the numbers are already looking a lot better. I’ve been able to push through a very stressful week without binge eating anything, and have kept my intake at the level that it needs to stay for the rest of my life. I’ve been pushing my body to do a lot more than I thought it could do, and I can feel myself getting stronger and more capable. I’m jogging up the stairs at our house without giving it a lot of thought and I’m enjoying the rush of getting a really good workout. In other words, no matter what the scale says, I’m living the lifestyle I need to.
I imagine I will have to remind myself of this often.
Sometimes I am shockingly disconnected to my body and what it’s going through. And then my body responds to a situation in a very normal physical way, and I’m like, What’s going on?? What is wrong with you??
The past two days I have been so tired, any time I sit down, I start falling asleep.
Am I sick? Vitamin deficient? Coming down with something?
And then I stop and try to assess the situation.
Ok. I had to surrender my dog to a shelter on Monday. On Monday I also started a new diet/exercise program that I am sure is a shock to my system. On Tuesday I had an important meeting at the kid’s school, had to put myself forward and stand in the gap for a child that needs some special help. Everyone was nice, but any time I have to speak my mind in front of strangers, I get stressed. Last week my teenager was walking home from school and shooting broke out, half a block behind her. Now I am feeling hyper-vigilant as I listen to all the sirens throughout the day. It’s not been a tranquil month for relationships. In short, while I have decided to pump up on vitamins, stay hydrated, etc. I am also just trying to be kind to myself and acknowledge that maybe my body is trying to tell me something.
You are Tired.
The following are the words to the final chorus in the song Breathe put out by Jonny Diaz.
When it starts to fall apart in my heart I hear you say just
And that’s where I’m at right now. Needing to acknowledge my body’s efforts to slow me down. Needing to rest. I’m not up for solving any of life’s mysteries or thinking really deeply, or being anything amazing. I just need to rest at Jesus’ feet and breathe for a while.
Senate hearings, upcoming elections, every headline forecasting doom and taking a jab at some political party. Anger. Fear. Anxiety.
If you are on social media, this is what is consuming us right now.
And I ponder a future of unrest, riots, uprisings. Pandemic out of control. People out of control. A country that refuses to unite.
And I feel weary. Unsettled. Anxious. On Edge.
And everyone else around me seems to be feeling the same way.
And I sit in my chair, late at night, the kids tucked into their beds, the little ones all asleep. And I take a deep breath, let it out. Take another one. Let it out.
And I wonder how to find the right balance of getting on with the beauty of living, being prepared for future problems, and finding my peace in Jesus.
Step one: think about something happy.
I have a new puppy. It’s really cute. We also just figured out that he is deaf. This is a very unexpected twist in our life plot. My husband has started researching how to train a deaf puppy. What precautions we need to take etc. We have a couple basic hand signals, and I’ve been trying to teach the kids what they are so we can all be on the same page.
Our Mama cat also gave birth to five new kittens today. This was an “oops” pregancy. I’m trying to get her fixed, but I wasn’t fast enough after her last litter of kittens. We have three orange kittens and two black kittens that will need good homes in about eight weeks. Mama and babies are tucked away in my son’s bedroom where the door stays shut from all other animals and small children. Puppy stays downstairs and outside. Fish stay in their fish tanks. The other three cats do as they wish. I seem to have started a Noah’s Ark. And I’m enjoying it. Fortunately the ferrets moved on with my oldest son. I am being very firm now. NO MORE PETS!!
Here’s a pic of my puppy.
Step two: prepare.
As my mind runs through all the different future scenarios that freak me out, I’m trying to make a plan for each one. Write it down. Think it through. Follow the scouts motto: Be Prepared. Even if my plans turn out to be silly or unneeded, it makes me feel better.
Step three: Pray.
In the end, I have to keep coming back to the fact that my life is in God’s hands. Our country is in God’s hands. This pandemic is in God’s hands. And so I continue to pray, Your Kingdom Come, Your Will be Done. And I cling to the promise that I am his, and he will never leave me or forsake me. And I pray that through everything that life throws my way, my life will somehow bring glory to God.
Step four: Be Thankful.
Thank you Lord for my beautiful children! Thank you Lord for my adorable pets! Thank you Lord for work for my husband! Thank you for safety for our family! Thank you for our amazing church! Thank you for all my friends and family who constantly encourage me! Thank you for your love.