Over the last several months I have shared from my heart about the ups and downs of my weight loss journey. Admittedly, it’s much easier to write about the successes, but in the spirit of honesty and humility, I confess that I have not been eating well over the last several days. Today I woke up to the sound of my stomach growling. I generally don’t wake up hungry, but I think my ravenous appetite this morning is an effect of my recent eating habits. I have not been tracking my meals, and though last week I reminded myself that I have come a long way and should be gracious with myself during my recovery, I realize I have been too lax. It’s like a child who has been diagnosed with some serious condition and is excused for her bad behavior because of her illness. I’ve eaten cookies and chocolate and breads and other assorted goodies over the last week or so to give myself comfort. I’ve not done this mindlessly. I gave myself permission to do it, but now I need to get back on track. I stepped on the scale this morning and I’ve gained 5 pounds. Yep, 5 pounds. Eeek! I recognize that some of this may be related to my sudden menopause, but I cannot allow the good habits I established over the last several months to blow up in a hot flash. So this morning I decided to take some action.
Until today my weight loss has solely been the result of changed eating habits. When I started this journey, I knew that I could only make one major behavior change at a time so until now I have not engaged in any organized fitness routine. Prior to my surgery I made a commitment to myself that once I was fully recovered, I would add exercise to my program. Since today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Lenten season in which we should be more disciplined, I decided to start walking. My doctor encouraged walking so this is something I AM allowed to do until I am fully recovered in a few weeks.
With determination this morning, I grabbed my iPhone and looked at some of my music playlists. I decided to start with the “confirmation class” playlist. This is a list of songs selected by Oak Chapel’s confirmation students last year for use during the worship service when they were confirmed. These six songs by Francesca Battistelli, Moriah Peters and Rebecca St. James totaled 22 minutes. I went to the basement (which is the full size of my house and virtually empty!) and walked laps for the full 22 minutes, singing those songs and praying for those students and others at my church. It was energizing. Now I certainly don’t want to “push” it and exhaust myself before returning to work next week, but 22 minutes of walking each day won’t hurt me. As I walked and prayed, I decided to add one song to this list each week which will increase my daily walking by 3 – 4 minutes each week. By Easter I’ll be walking about 50 minutes per day. As the end of Lent approaches I can then decide how my fitness routine will continue.
After my walk this morning, I sent an e-mail to my two dear friends who encouraged me on this journey even before I made it public. One of them responded, “Maturity comes not from never slipping, but from taking responsibility for those things that are part of the rhythm of our journey, and addressing them with honesty.” How true. It’s something to consider not only during this penitential season of Lent, but as we continue to grow and become the people God created us to be.
Until next time, peace …