Posted by: cmittermeier | April 11, 2011

Snack Tables, Feasts and Transformations

Life has been busy lately, both planned and unplanned events have kept me busy and away from my computer.  The first part seemed to be going downhill, or ‘up’ if you trusted my scale.  Yet, something told me to look further and I’m glad I did… hormones have a funny effect on a woman’s weight.  It was really disheartening to see my weight go up, and I did toy with the idea of giving up but I followed Ignatius’ advice and examined it.

I found a number of things worth finding.  I had not been drinking enough water and every woman eventually figures out that if you don’t drink you will bloat up at certain times of your cycle, even though it is counter-intuitive.  The second thing was that I had slowed down my exercise a bit with all the appointments and the third was that my Lenten resolution needed a lot more prayer.  The last two are worthy of separate entries, but I’ll combine them just so I apologize for the long read today.

Though I was able to maintain a much higher intensity of workout when I had the coach coming every second day, and I was able to keep up a lot of the “push push push” of workouts on the days off of the trainer, it didn’t take much searching to realize that I would not be able to continue with such intensity.  I am not by nature a person to push the envelope on a consistent basis – in fact my nature is to be rather minimalistic in my efforts.  I spent a lot of time thinking about this because I know I will not see changes in myself without doing MORE – yet – the level of push with the trainer was very definitely too much of a push.  I then got another help from my faith…

God’s path for all of us is an uphill climb, but it’s not a vertical climb.  It is weighted to our abilities.  As I was looking at my physical, I have also been looking a lot at my faith journey, and its eerie how they parallel each other.  We are not meant to be stagnant in our spirituality, we are to grow and that will come with challenges of all levels.  Those of the daily prayers that we say easily, where it’s not such a big effort, but a continuous effort to say them.  Those of the crisis, where its full of emotion and desperate searching that are a massive effort to find the answers to the challenge while you pray frantically for a stronger faith – but it lasts usually for only a short time.  Those of the journey, where the effort of beyond current day-to-day, but can be maintained for a longer haul.  Like when you add a new devotion, or follow something specific from the church calendar like Lent.

Just like the physical: the daily efforts to make healthier choices that aren’t too hard, the party times when you have to resist for a few hours the urge to eat all the brownies on the tray and the middle challenges like upping the exercise or paring down the daily food just that extra bit.  Its more than a days worth of effort, but you know that once the routine is in place much less effort will be needed.  That was the key to understanding both the work in my faith life and the work on my physical – that middle element of growth.

Going to the physical, it was obvious that I needed that middle step.  something harder than day-to-day that would eventually become day-to-day, yet not too hard.  So small changes, more manageable changes were put in place to my food AND together my hubby and I have explored a few extra fitness changes.  With all the appointments and illness around, that has meant that we are not going too fast, but we are getting there.

Now, back to the third… that my Lenten resolution needed a lot more prayer.  Well, my resolution was to get out of the habit of daily sweets n’ treats, and set down a foundation of smaller treats only on special events.  It was much harder than I thought.  For the first half of lent, every feast event included going overboard.  I did not know what to do as I was making no headway at all.  I kept looking around me for extra helps, and I kept hearing about the transforming power of our God – through the Eucharist, through confession, through the Holy spirit, through each other.  I was given HOPE, big bolded capital letters HOPE!  I handed more over to God, and slowly it started to happen.

For the last few occasions, my sweets and treats stayed in moderation.

I’ve been around lots of snack tables, lots of social gatherings.  I’ve had a few family movie nights, and all of them have not ended in me going over board with the food.  I have skills I didn’t know I had, and a lot of it comes down to prayer.  Prayer before the events, prayer during the events when the really good, awesome tasting, instantaneous pleasure of the lips is sitting in front of me and needs to be ignored (the best one-liner so far has been, “man does not live on bread alone”) and prayer afterwards thanking God for putting us on a better path.

and after it all, once my period was past, I was back to where I was before.  Now I must go and get ready for a short walk.  Half an hour in the morning and some time at night is easier for me than one long stretch of time.  The morning one needs to be at a harder pace though… so still more prayers to say.

So stay close to the fruit, enjoy the social of the feast and watch yourself be transformed!

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