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!)