Today is the day. No more postponing, no more “well maybe when this or that happens”…no more excuses.
This last week, the entire month really, has been a wakeup call. Illness and health issues a plenty. So starting today, I am using a Mind/Body/Soul attack to my life.
My mind- I will challenge it daily. I will do Soduku or crosswords or learn a new language. I will express myself creatively by painting or writing or any one of my multitudinous hobbies. I will think. I will (gasp) memorize.
When I was young, memorization came so easily. Since then, all my mental post-it notes have lost their sticky. I know I still have a mind in there, it’s hinges are just a little rusty. Going back to school and realizing I can handle a Master’s program at my age has been a welcome challenge. I can’t wait to start my internship and learn to use what I know in a practical and hopefully wise way.
But more than that, a friend started a 30 verses in 30 days challenge for March. I immediately joined. I immediately wondered how on earth I would do it. I haven’t tried to memorize this many verses at this pace since 5th grade Sunday School! So starting with the Mind attack, I’m reading it, repeating it, writing it, posting it where I can see it and read it throughout the day, and going to bed every night repeating it until I fall asleep. I know these verses are treasures that will nurture my soul as well. They will become weapons of defense in times of anguish, attack, or temptation. They will be words of comfort to pass on to others. They will be reminders in my mind of the greatest Love Letter of all time. Am I sure I can memorize them all, at my age, in my current condition? Nope. But I know we are told to hide His word in our hearts…so I know He’s gonna help me.
Next, the body. Ugh. Mine’s a mess. A combination of neglect and genetics. But I have a plan. I’m getting a membership at a rec center so I can walk inside (pollution, weather, asthma all removed from consideration). I have summer plans for pool access at a friend’s. I have exercise videos and games that will be the only replacement for not going to the above mentioned possibilities.
I also am thrilled to say I’ve finally found a cookbook that I not only use, but I’ve loved every recipe that I’ve tried. It’s called Cooking Yourself Thin. I found the show at hulu.com and loved the ideas. They take the comfort foods that usually trip you up on a diet because let’s face it…there are always those temptations that are harder for us. I can easily say no to deep-fried mushrooms because I don’t really like them, but if I friend wants to go to Red Robin my resolve to stick to the grilled or salad options disappear as soon as I see the bacon cheeseburger, or the guacamole burger. This cookbook offers you options that remove fat and calories and leave in all the taste (or more) so that you are full, and satisfied, at 1/2 to 1/3 of the calories. They showed one woman who would have a drive-thru cheeseburger, fries and a shake for lunch that she was eating 2800 calories in that one meal. Their version (the Southwest Turkey burger with baked sweet potato fries and their chocolate shake) reduced the total calories for all of those to 600 calories. It was the first recipe I tried. I didn’t make the shake (they aren’t a temptation for me) but the other two were fantastic. Nearly all of their recipes sound great to me, and the show has pop-ups that suggest alternative ingredients for those of us who are picky eaters. They also have a lot of dessert recipes (like chocolate cake, carrot cake, red velvet cake, chocolate chip cookies, cupcakes, choc/rasp roulade, etc.) that use things like ground almonds and shredded beets/butternut squash/zucchini to substitute for oil and butter. I don’t often make desserts, let alone from scratch, but I love these ideas and as soon as I find a way to gluten-free them I’m going to try one.
For my soul-I’m making time. Time to read, even if only a chapter a day, of a good book. Time for a soothing cup of luxurious tea. Time to be in nature. Time to listen to amazing music. Time to converse with my Abba. Time to remember that there are things in this life to enjoy. God didn’t have to put beauty in this world. I’m sure we’d all find Him faster if the only beauty we saw was in Him. But He did because it is in His nature. He gave us so many gifts to enjoy and I’ve been realizing how often I walk right by without noticing…the blue of the sky, the amazing breeze, the colors in the clouds at sunset, or even a baby laughing on YouTube.
So that’s the plan. I know there will be days I falter. But no more throwing it all away. Today is the day my routine becomes something that makes me better. No more settling for quick and poor choices that leave me worse off. May God have mercy on my soul.
Well, I’m off to bed. I’ll be repeating my day 1 verse until I fall asleep. 1 Peter 5:7- “Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares for you.” I have a feeling I’ll be using this one a LOT.