Journeys

By:  Staci Stallings

I heard a preacher the other day talk about the journeys of our life, and that got me thinking.  Life is kind of a weaving together of different journeys.  Each one will teach us valuable lessons if we are willing to learn them.  These lessons can be used to make travel guides for others around us.  We can use them as travel guides for ourselves also–this works, that doesn’t, take this, don’t worry about taking that, this type of road is good, that type of road is bad, this is what you do if you have a flat tire, this is who you call if you run out of gas.

Now, in the strictest practical sense of the word, I am not a traveler.  I don’t like to travel.  Give me my house and my computer, and that’s about all the traveling I need.

But in the metaphysical sense, I am very much a traveler.

I have been on many journeys in my life.  Some were pleasant; others not so much.

At the present time, I’m on several journeys.  I’m on the journey of being a wife and mother and daughter.  I’m on the journey of being a business owner–dealing with payroll and employee issues and how best to navigate a business.  I’m on the journey of being the mom of a dyslexic kid, which for awhile was a little more than a little intimidating but now is getting really exciting because of all the things I’ve been forced to learn.  I’m on the journey of being a writer and all that entails.  I’m on the journey of being a home owner and learning how best to take care of a house.

And I’m just embarking on the journey of learning to really take care of myself.

For me, all the other journeys kind of overtook that last one.  I was so busy being busy that I didn’t have time or make time for me.  I’m learning that wasn’t a very good plan.

This journey of learning to live a healthy lifestyle–instead of wishing for one, trying for two days, and giving up–is exciting and amazing.

It’s funny to read how “simple” weight loss and getting healthy are:  3,500 calories = 1 pound, so shed 500 calories a day and you’ve lost a pound a week.  Man, that sounds SO SIMPLE!

Until you try to put it into practice and realize that on paper that works, in real life… well, it’s a little more complicated than that.

Why?

Because let’s say you decide to cut out sodas.  Great.  That’s 180 calories you’re not putting into your body, which means that’s 180 calories you don’t have to try to burn.  BUT it doesn’t mean you’ve shed any weight… after all 0 is not negative, and you’ve got to get negative to lose weight.

Further, there is more to your body than just calories.  There are toxins that have to be dealt with and there are muscle/injury issues that you have to take into consideration.  You have to learn to plan exercise, figure out what you enjoy so you will do it, plan your meals–and realize that servings are MUCH less than you ever knew (a medium bowl of food is about what you should eat for a whole MEAL!  1/2 or a 1/4 is what you should eat for a snack… how many “meals” was I having when I sat down anyway?).

It’s also important to learn that getting all of your joy from your food is not smart.  I was getting about 60% of my joy from eating.  Good grief!  No wonder I couldn’t stick to a “diet” plan very long.  Take away my food, you take away my joy!  So, I’ve had to find other things that bring me joy and replace the food with those.

I’ve had to dig into the WHY of why I was eating because a lot of times it wasn’t because I was hungry.  I’m learning about emotions and how they trigger you to eat–why that happens and how to stop it (and willpower ain’t gonna do it my friend!).

And then there’s the water issue.  Newsflash:  I’m NOT a water drinker.  Never have been.  But all the books talk about drinking water–a LOT of water (to me anyway).  So how to get my water in without feeling like I was going to sink?  Until I read one little nugget tucked away in one little book:  Drink one 8-oz. glass of water every two hours.  So now, it’s ten o’clock, time for water.  That way I don’t have to try to drink a gallon with my meal.  What a concept!

I’m loving this getting-healthy and taking care of myself journey this time.  I’ve got a couple of my best friends who are on the journey with me, and we can talk and swap a-ha moments (for example, did you know that if you get out and walk for 20 minutes around the block, you won’t come back and have lost 20 pounds?  Funny how we think that, and when it doesn’t happen, we give up!).

How many of you are on a journey or six with something in your life right now?  How many of you are learning lessons you never knew were even out there?  Take a look at your journeys today and bless them.  They are here to teach you some very valuable things… if you will pay attention!

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