Some people have asked me how I started my weight loss. My first few months in the blog archive explain it all.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Just Because Things are So....

I always have a hard time hearing about my husbands mission. He served in Venezuela. His pictures show him a young man, 6'3 and 170 lbs. He looks emaciated and noble, if his head was shaved and he was draped in white he could be a dead ringer for Gandhi. That is the spirit of sacrifice. One who is willing to go to a third world country and be served rice with bugs, black beans and soup containing chickens feet. Its obvious to me he was a good missionary because he really suffered...

When my papers went in I dreamed of a third world country. I longed for a parasite that I would then have to battle for the rest of my life, leaving me a beautiful thin woman suffering valiantly, "persecuted for the Lord". My wispy hair spread out on a chaise lounge while holding the scriptures to my heaving breast. "I only want to serve the Lord" I say in a weak voice overcome by the fatigue born by constant service.

I ended up in Utah, fat and happy, driving a red Chevy. I really loved my mission. It was a joy. 80% of the people loved us, and everyone fed us. Now just think, when you feed the missionaries don't you always feed them your best? Doesn't that include dessert - even in the middle of the week? Eating at members homes every night and every night after the best meal the family could prepare we were brought brought out cake, or pie, or ice cream. I wasn't raised to say no to such fare, and so not wanting to be rude and completely addicted to sugar, I indulged. One members home, I remember, didn't serve dessert. I was shocked, and kept waiting for the best course to come. When it didn't, I didn't think I could say "thanks for the meal" because I didn't consider it done. When I came home the family couldn't kill the fatted calf to celebrate because I was the fatted calf. The word "deseret" describes Utah as the "land of milk and honey" and is close to dessert, I think the two words should be interchangeable.

Returning home I greeted every meal with delight, which led to gradual disappointment. Why wasn't I served? More importantly, why wasn't I served dessert? What is this? Was this the hard transiton that I had always been warned returned missionaries experience? That girl had some changing to do if she was going to return to pre-mission weight.

Just because things are so, doesn't mean they are right, and a habit is hard to break. One example for me has always been the bowl of cereal in the morning. I have always eaten a bowl and then poured another - (fruity pebbles I could eat the whole box) One day the thought occurred to me that maybe I should be content with one serving seeing that I am really just one person, and would like to look like one. Wow - was that ever a change. I have learned to be satisfied with my one bowl and eat it slowly to savor it. (I just stay away from the pebbles even Barney can't keep away from.)

If I double check my eating, I can always find other traditions that aren't grounded in good choices. I really need to make an effort to stop rewarding myself and others with edible treats. This week I congratulated my son for winning senate and said when we were driving to scouts, "I am going to buy you a huge bag of M&M's" I caught myself and told Zac about how food isn't supposed to be a reward. He said, "I'd rather have gum anyway mom."

Getting healthy isn't about making one huge good decision it is hundreds of daily good decisions, It is about examining traditions, changing the bad ones and creating better ones.

Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy conference! Keep a pen and pad of paper in your hand instead of treats, because watching conference can be the best reason to eat and eat and eat while watching tv. (a previous tradition for me!)


Kristen said...

I could eat Fruity Pebbles forever. Isn't it crazy?

Yvonne said...

Any good ideas on rewards (other than candy or sweets) for early morning seminary kids. Whenever we feed the missionaries, I always include desert and then I give them the leftovers to take with them. (I must admit, our missionaries don't get fed every day--they're lucky if they get fed by the members two meals a week)

I can remember our family being invited to a friends house for dinner and being surprised at how little they put out for us to eat. I thought--that's the way I need to feed our family.

Thanks for the thoughts. Hope you enjoy conferrence. We don't get it on TV so a trip to the Stake Center--which works out well because I can't get up and go snack!!!

Heffalump said...

We have a conference weekend tradition of making kim pahp (which is Korean and similar to sushi, only it has ham in it rather than raw fish). Its light, tastes great, and the kids love it.

Lisa said...

I'm glad you posted this, especially the ending. I have read a few other posts this week that talk about the food associated with conference. I was thinking it was a great idea-not something we've done in the past. But your post reminded me that I don't want everything to be about food. Thanks!

Courtney said...

Mmmm, cocoa pebbles... or better yet. Cocoa and Fruity Dino Bytes. They come in those huge bags and are dirt cheap. Why does eating well have to be so expensive?

mindyluwho said...

When we have the missionaries over we just serve them what we would normally have, which usually means no dessert. One time I thought maybe we should have something more special, but when I halfway apologized for it the elders told me they were happy we didn't serve dessert because everywhere they went they had it and it was nice to just come to our house for a "normal" dinner!

I like your thought about "examining traditions, changing the bad ones and creating better ones". Iv'e been doing that a lot lately with different areas of my life and am finding much happiness in the process.

Rebecca said...

Something that has started becoming tradition for me during conference is doing a quiet project that I've been putting off like matching odd socks. Once I peeled a bunch of potatoes, another time I peeled a lot of apples for a pie that my husband ate raw instead.

Janice said...

As a future missionary, these are things I am glad to be posed with now, so I can make a game plan! Maybe it won't be rude to just have a small portion, and then look "temperate in all things" in the process! Much love to you and thanks again for the encouragement!

Rebecca said...

Janice, I love how you used the expression "temperance in all things". There was a talk about that in General Conference some time ago, how the phrase in the scriptures is "temperance in all things" not "moderation in all things". Very interesting talk. Wish I could find it again.

I was looking for a new post today and it's not there yet. :(

What do you mean, Calamity Jane, by not chaining yourself to the computer on weekdays? Hahahaha. Looking forward to your next post! No pressure. *ahem*. No. Really. No pressure at all! :D

Tara said...

So I probably shouldn't have used candy as potty training treats for Natalie, right? I realized I was rewarding her with food and then just decided that when it comes to potty training, whatever works has to be done!

Calamity Jane said...

Kristen, yes, but I seem to be oddly drawn to crazy

Yvonne - I know that I used to love oriental trading company toys. Give the kids a smiley face super ball. I know they will love that, or better yet, hand out rubber bands to kids as rewards then at the end of class have a shoot off and the winner could get a superball. It would work for me, I love those things.

Heffalump, I am looking for your recipe.

Lisa, I hope it worked and conference was great for you.

Courtney, I have to admit, I just bought a bag of dino bytes. (please excuse my imperfection) I am using them for a dessert, I thought it was a better alternitive to pie, my kids loved it! I am pretty sure it says vitamin fortified...

Mindyluwho, you have no idea how nice normal seems to young homesick missionaries

Rebecca, love the sock idea, I have a ton in my sock box.

Janice, Yea for temperance! I think it is interesting that a derivation is "losing your temper" I am sure I could lose my temper and eat a whole cow, (with bbq sauce of course) So important to school our feelings and follow the promptings of the holy spirit. Thanks!

Rebecca, thanks for missing me!

Tara, I will reward you with food if you potty trained Eliza... you name it and I will bring her over -really, name your price (said in a voice brimming in desperation and jellousy.)