Category Archives: Mistakes

A Big Slice of Humble Pie

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Last week I gave a lesson on the need for both humility and self-esteem. The result for me (that didn’t really hit me until yesterday,) was a big slice of humble pie, and a little voice inside my head with the question: “did you even hear yourself?”

It was not a good presentation (and I am not, NOT, NOT fishing for reassurance, so please don’t go there.) I stumbled over my words. I tanked on trying to explain “asceticism” and tie it in to the lesson. My power point wasn’t readable. I relied too much on my notes. I was boring. (Wow, there are a lot of “I’s” and “my’s” in that paragraph…my first hint that something is wrong!)

So, I’ve been fretting over it ever since. There are a lot of other frets that took up valuable brain space (and heart space) last week, too. Like my fret about my continuing fight against fat, and how I looked, and how my clothes fit (or didn’t), and hating my glasses and how I have to forever take them off and put them back on and how they make my eyes look like I’m ogling the person I’m talking to…and how my scaly heels needed a good pedicure (just keepin’ it real, y’all!) And then, did I hurt someone with my words or opinions given in the afternoon forum that same day? Did I mention that the reason I have these opinions is because I’ve made these mistakes and learned from them? Does someone think I’m a hypocrite? (Wow, do preachers wonder these things every week??) Will someone think less of me if I admit these insecurities? Will someone think I’m somehow disingenuous if I write about my own lack of confidence and humility – and then post it publicly? Fret, fret, fret.

Wow, lots more of those “I’s” and “me’s” and “my’s”.

Back to the lesson last week. What I was trying to relay to the audience was that our confidence and self-esteem shouldn’t come from how we think others perceive us…or from things or looks or smarts or from the admiring masses. Our humility shouldn’t be “pretend” – all the while enjoying the attention that our “modesty” attracts.

The light bulb came on yesterday morning. I already knew that the more I focused on me, myself, and I, the more Satan could distract me from my task at hand. But what really hit me yesterday is how he REALLY uses it against me when the me, myself, and I isn’t a matter of pride at all, but rather disappointment with me, myself, and I. My self-esteem had taken a hit because I was not pleased with how I might have been perceived or misunderstood. Basically, I was simply preoccupied with myself.

In last week’s lesson, I tried to convey that Godly humility looked like the heart of a servant, like Jesus. That humility says “I came not to be served” (or, I suppose, “liked”, or “admired”, or “fawned over”) “but to serve” (Matthew 20:28).  Humility is doing “nothing from selfish ambition or conceit” but counting “others more significant than yourselves,” (Philippians 2:3-4). Hard for me to do, when I’m only focused on myself.

I hoped to show that regardless of how we look or sound to the world around us, God sees our heart (1 Samuel 16:7). The Maker of the universe knows me better than I know myself, and the precious blood of His only Son redeemed me. I am a daughter of the King (Romans 8)! That, truly, is the only confidence I need. Feeling like you’ve presented something with clarity is a good thing. Complimentary, supportive friends are nice, too! But I think they’re the “gravy” in life. My confidence and self-worth has to come from God.

“Physician, heal yourself” came to mind yesterday morning while cleaning the kitchen and thinking of the things I wished I’d said and done differently last week. How sadly ironic. Did I even listen to my own words? I know I believed them. But did I apply them to MYSELF last week?  Evidently not.

I’m trying, now!

Missing Information

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I found myself a little miffed tonight because several days ago, I sent a certain son of mine who shall remain nameless (but whose name starts with J and ends with acob) a picture asking his opinion about a gift he is supposed to give his aunt. He never responded. Which isn’t all that unusual, but I thought to myself “Well, I guess I’ll choose HIS gift for her MYSELF and he can pretend to be all PROUD when she OPENS it and says oh THANK you Jacob I LOVE it how did you EVER pick this OUT and know what I WANTED?”

Scowl.

angry_baby

Then tonight scrolling through my messages I saw a red exclamation point next to that picture, which meant, of course, that the picture failed to send.

Oops.

Just another reminder of the times I’ve been miffed over something, only to find out that I didn’t have all the correct information. Maybe I better do a better job of remembering there’s always more than one side to every story.

What does that have to do with losing weight? Nothing, really. But that’s what was on my mind tonight.

Food log today: Back to my usual 2 oz Boar’s Head ham, 1/2 cup cottage cheese AND 1/2 of a small Kerbey Lane pancake, no syrup. Lunch – big spinach salad with 2 oz diced grilled chicken, boiled egg, 2 tsp sunflower seeds, 1 tbsp La Madeleine Caesar dressing, and some pita chips with hummus. I could probably lose weight a lot faster if I didn’t eat pita chips and hummus. We went to dinner with Robert, Tracy, Ally & Katy tonight at Texas Land & Cattle. Unfortunately, they had a 2 for $25 special which included an appetizer. I confess to eating some onion strings and some steak nachos. Not too many, but more than I should have. I also had some bread, a salad with some ranch dressing on the side, about 4 oz of lean sirloin, and 1/2 of a baked potato. Not the best eating day – but not the worst, either.

What Do You See In the Mirror?

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360_anorexia_0615Back in 1981 when the world as we knew it had only three channels, I watched a movie called “The Best Little Girl in the World.” The movie was about Casey (Jennifer Jason Leigh, remember her?) – a teenage girl who struggled with an eating disorder. I vividly remember one scene in which Casey stood alone in front of a full length mirror, wearing only a bathing suit. Her eyes saw chubby thighs, a spare tire around her middle, and a double chin when she was merely skin and bones. Casey’s mother (who had no idea the extent of the condition her daughter was in) suddenly opened the door and was horrified to see the reality of shoulder, rib, and hip bones jutting against Casey’s skin. I was a petite little girl at the time – and couldn’t imagine anyone deliberately making themselves upchuck (Mom’s word) but I remember a character in the movie saying it was “better than being fat.”

Body image is a complicated thing. When I looked in the mirror 75 pounds ago, I saw a pear shaped woman. Guess what? When I look in the mirror now, I see a pear shaped woman.

I don’t feel more worthy, more valuable, more important or more significant than I did 75 pounds ago. That’s not to say I haven’t noticed improvements in my life: among them a sense of accomplishment and increased energy. But I’m certain that to God, my value didn’t go up as my weight went down and I know this is true of every fat, skinny, high-waisted, short-legged, beautiful, not-so-beautiful, blonde, brunette, unibrowed, wrinkled, brawny, puny, “red, yellow, black or white” individual on the planet.

I say all this not to discourage anyone from losing extra weight, but as encouragement to focus more on health and less on appearance. (Oh, I’m not going to lie – of COURSE looking better is a bonus!) But what is important to God should be reflected in our lives: “For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)

Food log for today is early because I’m going to a Christmas party catered by Carino’s  tonight and I may or may not want anyone to know what I eat later. 🙂 I got crazy and switched things up at breakfast, and had an omelette with one egg and about 1/4 cup shredded potato and some salsa, plus about 10 cocoa almonds. Lunch was a cup of beef vegetable soup and some pita chips & hummus.

Hefty.

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Hefty. According to Webster: “quite heavy. Marked by bigness, bulk, and unusual strength. Impressively large.” Not particularly the way I wished to be seen. As tempting as it sounds, I never had the desire to be impressively large. But two years ago, a dear old man, in a passing comment, referred to me as HEFTY. 

It wasn’t one of those “a-HA!” moments, where I jumped out of my chair and yelled “That’s IT! I’ve had it with being fat!” Instead, I let it roll off, knowing he didn’t mean to be unkind, knowing that it was what it was: truth.

I wasted nearly 25 years being hefty. My size never really went up and down, I just went up and stayed up. I love to cook, love to bake, love to create, love to feed my family, love to make them happy with food, love to eat with them. So after John and I married, I began fixing all of our favorite things: mainly pasta, bread, potatoes – all that good stuff! The first thirty pounds piled on during our first year, and the next 60 happily jumped on the bandwagon.

Let me just say here that I did not dislike myself. John never made me feel unattractive or unworthy or unloved. I knew and trusted in the fact that my Heavenly Father saw my heart. But I just did not have any self-respect. And I don’t think that was all tied up in how much I weighed, but the lack of self-respect came from knowing what I needed to do, but refusing to do it.

I couldn’t cross my legs. I couldn’t get clothes out of the dryer without losing my breath. My footsteps sounded like an elephant’s on our wooden deck. Airplane seat belts barely fit. I had to get a rolling start to get out of bed. Standing at the sink hurt my back. I was afraid to sit in folding chairs. I hated pictures of myself. I never felt dainty.  I skipped the magazine articles talking about diabetes and heart disease. Walking past a glass storefront, I was horrified to realize that the “hefty” person walking past was ME.  I weighed 231 pounds. On a 5’3″ frame. TWO. HUNDRED. THIRTY. ONE. POUNDS. It still hurts for me to admit that.

Almost two years ago I purchased a 90 day trial app on my phone for Weight Watchers. As I sat at the kitchen table learning to use the app, Micah walked in the door with a Double Dave’s pizza roll. I ate it, savoring each bite, and then the following day, January 16, 2011, I began keeping track of what I ate. The first few weeks I lost four, five, or even six pounds at a time. By June I had lost 40 pounds. The next 35 came off over the next 9 months. Each week that I lost was motivating to me. But I have slammed into the wall of reality: my fat is not really gone, it’s just hovering nearby, waiting to come home.

Have you played the Angry Birds Star Wars game yet? There is a force field in space, and Darth Pig is holding the little piggies floating paralyzed in his death grip. If you break the force field, gravity returns and the piggies come rushing back to the planet. And that’s how I feel about me and my fat – every day finds me struggling to maintain the force field and keep the fat away.

Which brings me to today. My initial goal was to weigh 150 pounds. I thought I’d just get that far, and see if I still wanted to continue. Supposedly, my ideal weight is somewhere between 107 and 135. I weighed more than 107 pounds in MIDDLE school, for crying out loud. I’m not aiming to be skeletal, just healthy. So….I haven’t made it to my original goal yet. I’ve danced around it, hovered above it, flirted with it, but that 1-5-0 remains elusive. Depending on which scale I use, I seesaw between 153 and 157 pounds. Hey, let’s just be honest. The scale at the gym says I weigh 159. But that’s with my tennis shoes on, so I get to subtract four pounds for those, right?

I’ve decided to try my hand at blogging about my determination (or lack thereof) and struggle. Maybe if I commit to publicly confessing what I eat, I’ll be more diligent about making better choices. Which is why I didn’t start this blog a couple of days ago: I would’ve had to confess to eating one of Jordan & Erin’s fried cheese sticks, and a nice, hot, buttery roll from Logan’s Roadhouse (among a few other things.)

I know the majority of you out there may be groaning – even those of you who have made it this far through my ramblings – don’t really CARE that much. Feel free to laugh at me and never read another word. I’m really writing this for me. And the truth is, there are other things in life that are so much more important than numbers on a scale. Our souls may have no earthly weight, but they are eternally weighty, and THAT is my main focus in life.

So, while I may still be considered pleasingly plump or a little bit tubby, that’s okay. I’m just aiming for a little bit less, and no “moore” of me, please.