I want to talk about my Gramps this Monday. He was the best man I've ever known. I've known lots of good men and he's still the best. What I remember most all my life was that he was personable. Everyone liked him and he took time for everyone. I know my perception is skewed, but I have NEVER heard one negative word about him.
He was a short little man who lived a simple unassuming life as a teacher, counselor and pastor but he packed out a church when he passed and the stories people told, oh how they spoke of his love for his fellow man. He was patient and kind. He loved the LORD and people. He always, always had time for everyone. I don't know how he did it but he did. He cared, truly cared for people and they knew it.
Last week my husband brought him up in conversation and it made me cry. It's been six and a half years since he died and thinking of him still brings tears to my eyes. I miss him every single day. I wish I could get one more day with him down here.
I wish more people were like him. I wish you all could have known him.
I can pinpoint my hate affair with my body to a pair of pink pants. Someone gave them to me and implied they may be a little small but were worth a try. They were a women's size14 and were anything but small. As a young teen, it killed me knowing someone thought I might not fit into them. I couldn't see me in the mirror anymore, I saw my fat.
I spent the remainder of my teenaged years fighting the bulge I didn't have. I look back and pray for the body I hated. I promise God if He gives it back to me I'll love it like I should have then. I developed a selective case of bulimia. I knew I liked food too much to become anorexic so I chose binging and purging; of course there were several stints I pulled with not eating as well. I remember overhearing a girl say I was too skinny and was sure she must have been talking about someone else. I hovered between 95-115 those years. At my lowest, 95 pounds, and I could still see a muffin top, saddle bags, meaty arms and fat, fat, fat!
Then I got knocked up and gained almost a hundred pounds, not once but twice. By the time I was 21 I had ravaged my body with overeating in pregnancy and methamphetamine use when not. My weight had fluctuated from 120 when I first found out I was pregnant to 184 at delivery, down to 140 before the next little guy, then right back up to the 180s. By God's amazing grace I was delivered from drug use in May of 1999 but I was left with more than one mess from that time in my life. Physically, I didn't know normal weight or how to get back to good, or where good even was for my body.
I spent my 20s nominally overweight. I admit that before ephedrine was outlawed I bought pills and took up to the daily recommended limit daily (maybe slightly more than the recommended limit if I'm honest – which I don't want to be but probably should be. I still count my clean time at May 1999). Again I think it was a gift of grace that took them off store shelves. Once chemical means of altering my weight were removed I was faced with the reflection in the mirror. Me. My fat. My body. I didn't know what to do, so I did a little exercising (I've always been a highly active person) and counted calories when I felt like it. My weight fluctuated between 130-170 for most of that decade.
Then my grampa got sick and I made a point to spend as much time with him as I could. He was the greatest man that I have ever known, and I've know lots of great men. He went home too soon, partly because of poor food and fitness choices through-out his life. I promised him I'd take better care of myself.
If my teens were too skinny and 20s too fat, I've dedicated my 30s to honoring that promise. I started walking with friends the month Gramps died and slowly, gradually worked up to running. I found a video yoga program, Outstretched in Worship, and practiced Christian yoga several times a week. I started eating on purpose instead of conveniently or emotionally. Since then I've held steadily between 130 and 140. I did gain 14 pounds when we moved from Western to Central Washington but that weight was shed within 18 months and hasn't returned. I think I'm healthy, I think this is a “good” weight for me … but...
I still hate my body! Not a little dislike, I am utterly dissatisfied with it. It's all wrong and lumpy and stretched and broken from decades of abuse. I have 2 more years until I hit the big 40. It is my hope I can get there and finally feel satisfied in my skin. I want to look in the mirror and be able to accept how I look and love it. I believe that means I should still shed another 10-15 pounds and tone my flabby, abs. I regularly run, walk, and participate in a corssfit-like exercises program at my CrosSprot gym. I have largely given up yeasty and white-flower laden products. I am mindful of what I eat and I hope I can find happiness in my own skin...someday soon.
Will I? Can I find the magic number on the scale that tells me I'm “there,” will I ever look at myself naked and see a body that I like ever again? Will I ever get rid of this hanging sack of flab in my lower abdomen? I know I won't be perfect but I'd like to stand proud and see a body that shows intentional work and dedication and restoration.
Please share your plan or advice or inspirational story with me! I'm open to ALL tips and recommendations that do not include surgery and dietary-supplements at this time. BUT if I hit 40 and am not “there,” then those two options are on the table!
Let's talk about health care shall we? Why the heck would I want to talk about health care? Because I need to get it off my chest and my blog is as good a place as any.
Let me be clear, I try to keep my political opinions to myself … so I promise Monday's will not become an opportunity for me to rant politically but I have to say something about government provided health care.
I think I may be the only conservative in America that is FOR, 100% absolutely, without a doubt, FOR, government sponsored health care. I'm not talking Obamacare where we still have to pay out of pocket, like a bill. I'm talking like social security, like sales tax, like property tax, mandatory. Money comes out whether we want it to or not. Everyone pays, everyone receives.
I do not pretend to understand the implications, but I also do not understand why so many conservatives are opposed to it. Don't make the employers pay more for it, make each citizen pay it out of their paycheck or in sales or income tax every year.
The way I see it, health care is like road maintenance. We all need roads, we all appreciate well maintained roads, bridges, and infrastructure and NOT ONE OF US expects to have to individually foot the bill for the portion of the road we use or the type of road we want to drive on. We start our car, or get on the bus and use the same road as everyone else and expect the roads to be in drivable condition. Now, some of us live down personally maintained roads, or up atop beautiful bluffs and we pay additionally, out of our own net earnings, to construct and maintain our personal roadways. If you want better or additional care, pay for it but all of us should be given the right to BASIC health care.
Look at St. Jude's people give to help the kids with cancer be treated and given the best care possible... and they like it! We are a generous population, we want people to be OK. We are a people of compassion. We should want this for our citizens. We shouldn't have to cut a check for it, it should come out of our pay or be included in sales just like other taxes. I think it's the right thing to do and I simply do not understand the conservative aversion to socialized healthcare. It's the government managing a beast too big for any individual to shoulder, that's exactly what the government is for the big things!
Now, some will say this will cause the working class of America to fund those who aren't contributing. I don't disagree, it's true! As much as I hate to admit it, there will always be slackers, addicts and mentally ill individuals that can't or won't contribute BUT... we as a society already shoulder their weight! Maybe if healthcare was a right some of the addicts could get in for treatment they can't get in to right now. Maybe some of the mentally ill could get psychiatric or psychological help they can't afford. And slackers will always be slackers, it's how they roll.
And IF healthcare was a right, middle class workers who skip the doctor because the deductible is too high for regular preventative care would go and would catch preventable diseases before they cost way more. Maybe people who are injured will seek treatment before an injury gets infected. I for one HATE the doctor. Whether it's a right or not, I'm going to avoid going as much as I can so it doesn't make a difference to me and I'm happy to pay a little extra out of my taxes for ALL Americans to have access.
Sadly, I didn't have the express opportunity of personally interviewing Colleen Hoover. But since she is an amazing story teller and she is one of my favorite authors AND is such and inspiration to me on my own journey I figured I'd share one of my favorite youtube interviews of her this week. Whether you're a fan of her stories, an aspiring author yourself, or just love hearing about incredible life journeys you'll love it! Enjoy!
Every week I have grand plans of writing out a deep, meaningful fitness post. Currently I want to talk about body image and how I relate to my own skin. The frustrating part is I've planned my fitness posts for Wednesday which is quite possibly the busiest day of my week. The result is NO fitness post last week and a baby one this week.
Whilst I modify my posting plans I'll leave you with a picture of me and two of my favorite lunch work-out buddies. We were swinging hammers today!
Also if you're at Run Wenatchee tomorrow or next Thursday 3/12 be sure to email me for a free e-book copy of Waiting on Justin.
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