The second truth is: in the beginning, change seems all-consuming. In my case, it took a couple of months for my life to start feeling "normal" again. My new behaviors didn't fit in. It was odd...foreign. It was time-consuming. It had to be in the forefront of my mind to work. I had to be focused with each meal - plan out every detail - track somewhat obsessively until I had somewhat of a grip on what it was like to eat and be healthy. It got easier...but I know it will NEVER be easy.
The third truth is: you can't get somewhere all at once...it takes many small steps. In February if you would have told me I would be walking 5Ks or eating a mostly Vegan diet I would have laughed and then I would have quit. I would have set myself up to fail. I have always been very much an all-in or all-out person. For some reason, my personality doesn't like the middle ground. This journey has helped me to see that I can't always live my life that way. Instead, I started out by focusing on eating more fruits and veggies and then reducing the processed "crap" in our house and then I just started reading and educating myself. I listened to people who already were healthy. I prayed (A LOT).
I think the changes that have been the hardest to make in my life have been the most important and the biggest life lessons. I am hoping that my kids will never struggle with weight. I am hoping that my example and my story will be a reminder to them why we eat such "weird" food.
It's funny because I am once again feeling that "sick in the stomach" feeling that always seems to hit me right before I take another leap of faith, sign on the dotted line, make a life change. No...I am not done with my journey to healthy living - just adding another twist in the road. I am gifted in areas like: singing, writing, drawing/painting, creating of any kind. I am good at multi-tasking, listening, encouraging others. Here are things that I'm not so good at: maintaining...anything (heck I killed a cactus in college - I was told that they are the most resilient of plants), organizing, cleaning...in fact, my brain wants to shut down completely when I think of those things. Why? I'm not sure. Sometimes I think I'm just lazy. I am a thinker. I used to sit for hours (pre-Brent and pre-kiddos) and contemplate life and just "be." I definitely don't do this anymore.
I get overwhelmed very easily. I get freaked out by things that seem bigger than I can handle (and here is where I laugh very loudly because God has blessed me with 4 kids that are 3 and under). My defense mechanism to anything that seems daunting, uncomfortable, confrontational is to RUN and HIDE!!! I shut down. I sleep. I cry. I avoid at all costs.
I was talking to a good friend the other day who also has kids and struggles with maintaining her home and likened my house to the game of Tetris. Stick with me here. I try to pick it up (the pieces that fit)...kids mess it up (the pieces that don't fit)...start to panic (oh crap...where does this one go!?!)...the pieces just start to pile up and then I give up. Game over. Kind of funny but oh so true. Now...I am thankful that God made me the way he did for one main reason. With 4 children so young, my focus cannot and should not be on making my house perfect. I am happy that I can look past the clutter and mess and take the time to read a book to my son or dance and sing with my girls. I love that. My time with them is going to be short - I know it. Three years have already flown by. I don't want to squander that time - time is so precious...and fleeting.
BUT...the thing is...I can always do better. The other day I had some extra time and I used it to clean off our kitchen table, sweep the floor (does anyone else sweep up more food than their kids actually eat?), and clean the kids' booster seats. One room, one small task. I liked the way it looked AND I liked the way it felt - peaceful. The next day, my girls decided not to nap. Instead of getting angry and pouting (which is the norm) I calmly escorted them out of their room and told them that I was putting them to work. I sat with them in their tornado-stricken playroom and we cleaned it, organized it, and vacuumed it. Again, I liked how it looked and I liked how it felt - peaceful.
The next day, we maintained those 2 rooms. I set a timer and every few hours they had to pick up what they had gotten out and put it away. Sydney, my oldest, asked me why we were doing this. (in fact she asked who was coming over - ha!) Without thinking, these words came out of my mouth, "Because God has blessed us with a nice house and nice things. This is our way of honoring him." Huh? I'm still shocked that those words came out of my mouth, but I really believe it was the Holy Spirit speaking through me.
It is so true that we have all been SO blessed - beyond measure - and we take for granted many things we have in life. Since I had that conversation with Sydney I have made it my goal to pick one small thing each day to work on in my house - just like I started by focusing on fruits and veggies at the beginning of my weight loss journey. The funny thing is that the rooms that started this process are still clean. It is a little piece of peace in the midst of a chaotic life. And I really do believe it honors God - even if it never meets Martha Stewart standards!