Food, money, and God

Tuesday, September 11, 2007
OK, so last night, trying to go to sleep, I got to thinking. (not everything here is a product of last night, but.... whatever)

I have to be honest to everyone: I am not happy with my weight. Using the UPS exercise program, I lost 50 pounds in 6 months. But in the last 8 months of not working there, I have put half of that back on. So, I have been trying to exercise, but it isn't easy! I have been going to the gym 3-4 times a week. I usually run at least 2 miles, as well as plenty of walking and/or biking. I have even tried some swimming, but it makes me sick... I am going to have to work on that.

But even with all of the exercising, it isn't working, and I will be the first to admit why: I ain't eating right! I am eating just as bad as I was before. Yes, I stick to skim milk (or, as Alton Brown calls it, "white water"). And yes, I don't eat LOTS of fried food when I go on break at Chick-fil-A. But I still eat too much, and I eat the wrong things. But it is so hard to eat the right things, and eat little of it. The desires that food create are an un-stoppable force within my body.

And that brings me to money. (like my segue?) I have been listening to way too much Dave Ramsey... OK, not too much, but a lot. His big thing is to "live like no one else, so that you can live like no one else," and to have "gazelle intensity." The first means that you give up everything now, IE: fast food, comforts, entertainment, non-necessities, "eat beans and rice, rice and beans", so that later, you can have the money to splurge on these types of things. The later quote means that you hit this problem full force, you squeeze out every dime you can, you "sell so much stuff the kids think they are next," and you put forth every grain of effort into paying off your debts. But this, again, is hard for me. Why eat left over Hamburger Helper when you can have Mc. Donald's? Who wants three-day-old Taco Salad when you pass by a Sonic on the way home? And there is that video game I have been eyeing for a while (Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars, ya baby!).

But these two problems I have mentioned are very similar. I have been watching "Fat March" and "The Biggest Loser," both of which prove that people heavier than me can end up where I want to be (under 200 pounds). And I struggle with exercising, but I don't have the discipline to eat right, or exercise enough. I want to get rid of my student loans, but who would miss $50 to pay for a game I want to play (even though I already own plenty of games).

Which brings me to my third metaphor: God. I know where, spiritually, I want to be. And I know that it helps to read the Bible every day, but the patience to do it, the discipline to take the time, the effort to actually STUDY this text... I would rather read The Scarlet Letter (and I HATED that book!). But something deep down inside says "do it, read, study, learn." And yet, I go through the day, never looking at the leather bound compilation that my brother bought for me; I forget to pray before meals; I don't go to church;

I fall short.

At what point do I consider that I have tried my hardest; at what point to I accept mediocre?

Matthew

PS: I don't consider myself a philosopher; in fact, quite the opposite. But these things have been pressing on me a lot lately. Hopefully, soon, I will post about other problems I am having, other demons I have inside of me, other things that make me cry at night. I will continue to post my weird, whimsical links here, but I also hope to make it something much more beneficial.

2 comments:

spartacus976 said...

I think that we are facing much the same problem. It's the base problem of discipline. We were never taught that... dad still has problems with it to this day...
We were allowed to play first and do homework later (which usually meant staying up till 1am...)

like I said, I face the same problem. I need to study more and eat better, and spend less. However... getting on a budget this month has actually helped the last 2 problems. The spending because I can only spend the cash thats in the envelope and the eating because I allot myself so much for food and that means that I can not go out to eat every day.

I think its just self-imposed discipline. Its knowing that if there is junk food in the house I will eat it so I don't buy it at the store. Its knowing that I want to overspend so I put my allowance in an envelope. Its forced discipline.

As for the studying.... I still struggle with that... and I think accountability would help (gotten through fellowship, which both of us lack)... so put more effort into life groups and get some guys to hold you accountable.

Love ya bro... we struggle together.

gail said...

ok - mom here.......

you WERE taught discipline - look at how INCREDIBLY, AMAZINGLY, WONDERFULY, RESPECTFUL citizens you ALL turned out to be?

I believed that you can't FORCE discipline and organization on someone. Look at what mother did to me!!!!! There is NO ONE on this Earth that forced her will on others more than her and look at my weight!!

Weight is NOT a discipline - it is a MIND GAME!!!!!!!!! When I lost my 60 lbs a few years ago that was the ONE truth that I learned. Is it hard?!?!? Oh my gosh - yes - but it can be done. Just like anything, you need to learn WHAT MAKES YOU AND YOUR BODY TICK!!!!!!!! I used to brush my teeth early in the evening so I wouldn't want to eat - worked then, but NOT now. And I will tell you that the first 6 weeks of ANYTHING are the hardest.

DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT get into the mind trap that you can't do it - another mindset from mother that took me 45 years to unprogram myself from. Take it 5 minutes at a time - another HUGE mind game I learned. I would tell myself "You've done GREAT in the last 5 minutes - let's keep it going for another 5." And if I did screw up, I didn't throw away the rest of the day, but "No biggie - just get back on the wagon in the next 5 minutes."

Food is comfort. Plain and simple. Always has been - always will be. Talk to Cin - her struggle makes ours look like anthills because she is getting into the phase of it hurting her health. And she has it SO TOGETHER when it comes to the mind games.

We all have our demons, my darlings. Just take 1 at a time....... PICK YOUR BATTLES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Look at how young you are - I didn't start struggling with the "why" until my 40's so look at ALL the years mother "won."

You put too much pressure on yourself - who in the world ever said you have to be PERFECT in every aspect of your life?!?!?!?!? Eat a little healthier today and read a 1/2 page instead of a chapter. Another thing I learned was planning - if you TOOK THE TIME to plan what you are going to eat (bring a healthy snack to work so you don't have to $$$) that HELPS SOOOOOOOOOO much too. But too much of the time we'd rather play Warcraft another 15 minutes with ding & jimmy than get up and fix the snack to take the next day.......hhhhhhuuuuuummmmmm

In the last 3 weeks 2 of my dearest friend had HUGE struggles with their kids that comes under the heading of "stupid stupid stupid things I did that wound me up in jail". NEVER would any of ya'll do that kind os stuff....... so these demons you face are "fixable".... just take it 5 minutes at a time.

i love you so very very very much!!! You are AMAZING and you just need to remind yourself how TRULY close to perfect you REALLY are.... and that is NOT an option. :>)