I have decided that it’s time for some accountability – and living up to what I “preach” at my youth group kids. For those who are friends of mine, you know that I’ve been faithfully posting on Facebook every day for the last 10 days how much I walked that day, plus whatever other small victories I managed that day (not eating those donuts, actually doing sit-ups, etc.). It's helped me out so much to have the constant encouragement of my friends. I guess it really is true that if you make a decision to do something, you basically guarantee that you'll keep it if you tell everyone about it! Here’s the explanation of my new “journey,” because I think it’s important enough to share.
A couple of weeks ago, we had a lesson in Sunday school for my high school girls on food, self-control, and proper body image. I’m really big on encouraging them to eat the right kinds of foods, and especially not skipping meals or replacing them with fast food or bad-for-you drinks. Most importantly I tried to at least get through their heads that if they’re putting junk into their systems, that’s the kind of functioning their body is going to do – junky. The boys in my class often hear me rant over the sheer amount of chemicals and sugar in a simple energy drink (Sidebar, have you ever seen the amount of sugar in one of those spooned out onto a plate? It’s scary.).
But in the day or two after that lesson, I realized that I was being totally hypocritical. I too often eat something just because it sounds good, or grab cookies or brownies to eat instead of what I know I should be eating. I tell my own kids all the time that if they have to skip eating something out of their lunchbox on any particular day, it better not be the fruit, because it’s the best-for-you thing in there. But I wasn’t following the same guidelines myself.
I've had so many times in the past where I've focused only on the weight part of my health, and even lost some weight because of it. But because I focus on that short term thing, it's hard to keep up. And then all I seem to do is think about food, which doesn't help my eating habits! :) I wanted to be a good example both to my boys (I told them yesterday why I've been walking so much more and trying to not eat as much junk) and especially to the teenage girls in my youth group. I figure it's not fair for me to rant to them about the crap they put into their systems when I do the same.
I'll admit, I still eat cookies - every, single, day. :) But I eat one (okay, sometimes 2) - instead of 5. I make myself stop and think about what I'm eating instead of grabbing whatever is there, and then grabbing another because the first one tasted good. And although the weight loss part is a total added bonus, I'm trying to not focus on that too much. I'm also going for the many fruits and veggies I've stocked up my house with more often than not, which helps tons.
I also have a friend that is my temptation texting partner - we keep the other in prayer when we're tempted by something in particular. It's funny, knowing that I would probably need her prayer helps me walk away from more things now. (And, of course, feeling like I need to check in with all of you on FB helps, too!) My friend and I also have the challenge of minutes per week walking instead of focusing on miles. When I think miles, it intimidates me. But minutes, well, to me that seems so easy (we're at 150 a week. So as long as I walk my half hour at least 5 days a week, I'm doing it!).
In addition to all this, there is another part of my new journey. I haven’t been posting my follow-through on this one publicly, because I don’t want it to be a “check list” kind of thing for me. But after the lesson at youth group last night on making good habits, including spiritual ones, I thought I'd just share that once: part of my new routine includes coming home from my walk and reading my Bible. Right now I'm actually reading "The Story," which is like a novelized version of the Bible (nicely skips over the slow parts, but is still mostly scripture). I'm not going to win any awards for Bible reading, but it does help me start my day better. I’m hoping with creating the habit, I’ll get back into more in-depth Bible reading, for myself and with my kids, as well.
I won’t ask you to join me on my journey – because this one is mine, what I know God is telling me I need to do right now. But I will ask you what your new journey, or maybe just new leg of a journey, is shaping up to be right now. God is always working on us, and never asks us to do something until He has prepared our hearts and lives for it. I feel like a lot of the things going on lately have pointed the way for me – what are your signposts?
If you’d like to share, or just want a little extra prayer, please let me know (because that’s a continuing part of my journey, praying every day, at every available moment, for those that need it). I would love to be able to pray for you, too. And keep me in your prayers (and hey, encouragement, too!) as I keep at my new regime – I’ve heard 21 days makes it a true “habit.” Most days I’m just happy to have conquered one more day!
Walk with me, friends. Let’s enjoy the scenery together. J