Although the blog has been silent lately, my mind has not. I’ve been learning much about myself – and while surprising, what I am realizing makes sense.
When the pandemic started, it was interesting to read about people gaining weight during quarantine – “eating all the snacks at once”. For me, I lost weight. I didn’t buy snacks – I bought food with space and nutrient value in mind. Living in an RV with limited storage space forces you to prioritize like that. My perceived threat response was to conserve space and resources and simultaneously build and maintain healthy immune systems. I viewed the threat as not just an attack on me personally, but a much larger scale. Our meals were smaller in proportion, healthier, and with a noticeable absence of snacks/sweets.
Lately, my stress level has changed – or so I thought. (It was, in reality, a change in perceived threat.) Our pantry certainly reflects a change. More sweets and snacks, larger portions with less thought to nutrition. At first, I attributed this to “numbing” to the pandemic threat and made a conscious effort to get back on track. That wasn’t working so well, so I started paying attention to what I was eating, what I was craving, and the situations that preceded food. I realized that I was eating (very poorly) in response to a different perceived threat. Sure enough, I could predict when I would be hitting the sweets. Something would happen that, in my mind, I would perceive as an insinuation that I was not enough. It might have been something as simple as stating my plan and having another person make a suggestion to override and do it “better”. This happens often enough, and it is easy to believe that your thoughts and actions are not enough. (This revelation helped me understand how/why I struggled with a much higher body weight in the past. First, food offered comfort – sugar and sweet stuff just helped transport the comfort level. Second, I could control/choose the comfort.)
Generally, I try to avoid conflict and please those around me. It is easier to give in to whatever option is offered so as not to offend. It BECOMES very easy to believe that your ideas and plans are not good enough. Growth sometimes causes discomfort. I can say, with confidence, that I have grown over the past couple 5 years. The discomfort generated by not feeling well, the scales creeping up, and a few other things were concerning. With some reflection, it was pretty easy to figure out why the scales were creeping up, and my attitude was creeping down (and health and general sense of well-being). Knowing what I am missing is a huge plus this time. It doesn’t make the work any easier – I know changing will be a challenge. I also know what the payoff will be – and I want it with a passion.
God is amazing – that seems so trite to say – but I am humbly grateful for the messages he puts in my path. Pastor talked about Fruits of the Spirit this morning. Next to Grace, this is probably one of my favorite topics. His message had a different slant that I don’t recall hearing before. He talked about the traits of love and the fruits of the Spirit and took it a bit further. He brought in the topic of judging others against oneself. He reminded us that patience looks much different from one person to another – as does every other trait of love and fruit of the Spirit. Just like running (my interpretation) – the only person I have to compete against is myself. The only person that is qualified to judge my traits of love and fruits of the Spirit is God. Remembering that – hammering that into my brain – will allow me to respond to “helpful suggestions” more reasonably. More reasonably in terms of my self-worth, my self-care, and my attitude.
Time to incorporate some Grace, drop a ton a judgment and comparison (mostly against myself) – and open myself to the Fruits of the Spirit and the traits of Love.
God and His Amazing Grace! This is my Grace Lesson.