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A Weighty Issue

So I wanted a better title than this…something a little less cliche, but I couldn’t think of one so I stuck with this one. In light of my quick trip to the grocery store just moments ago, I felt the desire to tackle this touchy subject.

I’ve battled weight for as long as I can remember, which, to me, is all my life. And when I wasn’t, I should have been, if you know what I mean. I know my parents didn’t feed me horribly when I was a child. They didn’t let me gorge on sweets, desserts, and other horrible foods. We ate rather sensibly, though we ate out quite often since my mom and dad worked a lot and often long hours. I was an active child and teenager though. I took dance. I played tag and hide and seek, and I was on the swimteam.  I even did track in highschool.

I’ve always been the big girl, the one everyone says has a beautiful face. And I’ve always had a love affair with food. It’s taken me many many years to come to terms with my body – it’s shape, what I can change, and what I can’t. I don’t love it, but I certainly don’t hate myself because of it as I once did. I have to work harder and longer and have to restrict myself more than many others. Or do I?

As I was walking through the grocery store this evening for simple items such as milk and eggs, I watched the other people shopping, meandering through the store, and I wondered if they, too, battled with themselves to not (or to) buy certain items as they passed them. In a 5 minute shopping trip I battled buying cupcakes, yummy smelling fresh baked bread, Lindt chocolates, ice cream, some new kind of pudding cups, and cheese doodles. As I walked out of the store, having once again fought the temptation to buy what I ought not, I thought this continuous process can not possibly be normal. Do many women have this same battle? Thin women? Does it consume them? Is it a constant battle and struggle to watch what they eat, exercise, lose weight and/or maintain? Is this my destiny – to constantly battle this desire to eat wonderful foods to excess? Is it like the alcoholic who may always battle the urge to buy another drink or the drug addict who will always struggle with the desire to once again take drugs?

When I was in highschool, it was easier.  I was on the track team.  I could eat what I wanted as long as I ran my 3-4 (or more) miles per day.  But now, three children later, it’s not so easy.  My body is different, but my desire for food is not.  When I see women who are bigger than me, I wonder what circumstances brought them to that size.  When I see women who are smaller than me, I often wonder if they can gorge on what they like mindlessly or if they, too, maybe have the same issues as me and the other larger women.  Is it an unspoken language of struggle? Or is it all in my head?

Right now, my desire to lose the weight, be healthy and thinner is stronger than my desire for food.  I’m just wondering how long my desire will hold out….just like the alcoholic or the drug addict.  When will I decide that food is better than health?  Or will I ever decide?  There must be a way for me to continue to have both the foods that I love and gain the body that I want.  I guess I’ll keep exercising and eating until I figure it out.

“I know a man who gave up smoking, drinking, sex, and rich food. He was healthy right up to the day he killed himself.”

Johnny Carson

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An Apple A Day…

does NOT keep the doctor away. I mean where did that phrase come from? I know apples have a lot of nutrients but so do pomegranates, bananas, oranges. Why apples? I mean does an orange a day keep the dentist away? (actually, apples WOULD be better for that)

Anyway, I had to take my one year old for her one year check up and shots yesterday. I found out several things: 1. She has a VERY high pain threshold 2. So high that she’s had two ear infections apparently for quite some time because there’ve been no signs of her being in pain and 3. there’s a reason God gave mothers a motherly instinct…and that is to not listen to the doctors when they say something stupid.

My doctor insisted that I not continue to give my daughter her nightly bottle. She said I could give her milk in a sippy cup as long as I brush her teeth afterward (yeah, at 10 pm when she’s still half asleep). So I conceded to the milk instead of the formula, but I thought that she wouldn’t take it. I didn’t feel comfortable about it because I told the doctor that she doesn’t really like milk all that much, but I thought I’d compromise. Big mistake. One of those smile and nod moments where I should have left the office and done exactly what I wanted to do. My dear sweet daughter awoke screaming her head off three times last night. She’s hungry. I tried the bottle with milk and she apparently wasn’t having any of that (I could tell by the way she let all the milk fall out of her mouth, down her sweet little face and onto..well, me). So I nursed her (something apparently this pediatrician wasn’t too thrilled that I was still doing even after I told her I was only doing it because my baby doesn’t take milk well and I didn’t want her to be dehydrated). She said a child will not let her/himself get dehydrated. WHAT?! Does she have kids? My first child would starve herself until I nursed her…I mean hours upon hours. She wouldn’t take a bottle AT ALL…EVER. My sweet angel #2 is just as strong willed. It is entirely likely that she would refuse liquids until she did get dehydrated.

So, on with the story. I finally wound up making a bottle (at like 3 am…haven’t done that in a while) to give her which she sucked down and went to sleep. Now I know that every mother doesn’t tap into their instinct and I know that sometimes (stress sometimes : )) mothers are wrong (although mine never has been….my mom is right…even when she’s wrong), but really, it’s MY baby. I know when she’s ready for certain things. I’m not going to push her to be a two foot adult. She doesn’t need to read before she can walk. She doesn’t need to eat with a full set of cutlery before she can eat all table food. I mean really people.

So, I still have learned so much through this experience. I am reminded that the Lord starts us off with the milk of His Spirit. And like a parent, He knows when we’re ready for the heavy stuff. And we are all too often the strong willed baby that likes the easy way of the milk. So when it’s time, and we’re done being hard headed, we’ll learn that the grown up food is so much better.

I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. 1 Corinthians 3:2