My friend from college recently posted a picture for Transformation Tuesday. It was amazing the work she put in. To be honest I read her post and with envy looked at her after photo as I was reading Chris Powell's new book and eating a large Eegee's Pina Colada. I had less envy after she explained her mindset in that photo and I know how hard she has worked to get to the new photo. I also know that she has fun and will enjoy moments but then gets back to work on being healthy.
As I read her post about her feelings of failure I totally related. I know my journey for a better lifestyle is not overnight and that I too will be putting in the time and effort and that there will be days that I will eat an eegee or a very large slice of cake or pie. Those days are getting farther apart and now I end up throwing more of them away than eating them.
I share all this because in the book, Chris Powell talks about during the beginning weeks of the transformations he does on his show he talks to the participant about what their goal weight is and what they want to see to make them happy. It made me think of another friend who always had her ideal weight of 165 after testing she realized that she would never be that weight for her height and muscle. She'd have to cut off a leg or an arm. I tell you all this because up until recently I though I needed to be a certain number on the scale to be happy- to get married, have kids, have a full life. The pressure to be a certain size or number is crazy. I realized reading the book the other night that I have goals I want to accomplish on my journey to a healthier life but very few of them really have anything to do with a number on the scale and more to do with being satisfied with who I and what God has blessed me with. I have quite a few nieces that I love dearly (not that I love them more than their brothers, and not that this isn't the same for boys as it is for girls) and I don't want them to have the struggles of bad hair days, a bad hair cut, or horrible photo that they think they aren't pretty enough, smart enough or that any of those things are the end of the world. I just want them to skip over some of the self-punishing thoughts that I still struggle with today.
So I made a list of what I want to accomplish on my journey and I don't know when I will arrive but I want to experience life along the way instead of saying I can't do this or that until I meet that elusive number because I can tell you that the number on the scale yesterday didn't match the number on Friday and it won't match on Saturday.
I want to not have to wonder if the seat belt in the plane is going to be extra snug (they are all different).
I want to be able to sit comfortably (no hip overflow issues) on a plane or any chair.
I want to be able to shop in the same store and even near the same department as my friends.
I want to run a half marathon or any race in all 50 states, Canada and a few in Europe (I have 3 states down- four by Oct).
I want to learn to paddle board and be able to get up on the board by myself
I don't want to have diabetes (runs in the family) when I'm older like my grandmother and father
I don't want to have open heart surgery like my father, grandmother and most of his family (same surgery for everyone) and if I do I want to be in my 70's or 80's.
I want to not be intimidated to run with others because I'm a slower runner
I want to be someone who my nieces and nephews will always think is cool and would never be embarrassed to hang out with.
I want to be able to keep up with my nieces and nephews when I'm older and they have kids
I want to be able to do anything and never again have the thought of am I too heavy or too big, will I fit, or will this hold me?
That's how I will know I've been successful on my journey to better lifestyle when I can have most of these crossed off. I also know that I have friends who love me and encourage me in my journey. Some of these items will be a lifelong process that will never end (trying to be cool for the nieces and nephews) and others are a challenge and more of a bucket list (running the races) but I use races and those experiences to keep working out.
Tuesday, June 03, 2014
I label my friends. I give them labels based on what they do or a characteristic they have. I use this when I introduce friends to each other. So I have my vegetarian-friend-Christi, Jodi-who-runs-with-me, Jon-my-Yuma-farmer, and so on. There are my book club ladies, my Bible study ladies and my Graham boys. The Graham boys are a little misleading as they between the ages of 25-40 with the exception of three who are in their mid 50's or 60's. It helps keep my stories straight. But I want to share what my Artist-friend-Beth did on Friday. She gave me one of her pieces of work.
I love her work because she is so talented but also because she uses the gifts that God has given her to share her story and what is going on in her life. If you are her friend and you go to an art opening you can see her joys, pains, trials and victories there in her work. It's amazing. I can doodle and I can paint a wall but what comes out of her is awe inspiring! She also uses her talent to help others. She brings people in to make bowls for the Empty Bowls event and then will do a mug sale to benefit another organization. You can read her blog and see some of her work here.
When I met her just over 5 years ago at church I just new that she was from El Paso, had two kids and a husband, loved Jesus and was an artist. I went to her studio during a tour and fell in love with her work. She had mugs, vases, bowls and some of her other art available. There was a piece she had that I fell in love with. It was called "Sometimes I am Chicken Little." It spoke to me. It was as if God was saying through her work, "Why do you freak out and worry and be anxious when I am in control?" Over the past several years, the versus about giving it over to God and not being anxious or worrying keep coming back to me. It will always be a process to give it over to Him and each time I would visit her studio over the years that artwork would remind me to remember that someone bigger than me who can see everything is in control and that I just need to take each day as it comes and find the joy and the beauty in it.
On Friday, she left a note on my Facebook page saying she had something for me. She posted a picture of the piece. It made my day, week and month. I've always said that I would own Beth Shook art. It took 40 years for Israelites to get it together to enter the Promised Land. I turn 40 this year so maybe there is hope for me in trusting God with the small and the big and easy and the hard.
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10