Minimizing Me

My hiatus from some of social media freed up some time to work on new projects- but I apologize for being gone so long. Sometimes inspiration for writing doesn’t appear as on schedule as I would like.

In the spirit of downsizing- a brief update on what I have been doing.

I had a major painting project due- a commissioned piece that I had to re-paint 3 times before I got the image I wanted. I couldn’t shake the feeling that the first 2 attempts were just not what the painting should be.  But the third time was a charm, and I got it closer to the mental image I envisioned.

I also worked thru a Bible study regarding diet and eating.  After steadily losing weight post-baby, I found my weight creeping in the wrong direction. I also felt terrible most of the time- achy, grumpy, and tired.

I have done half-hearted attempts at weight loss in the past.  My most successful was with Beachbody a few years ago.  This time around, I didn’t have the motivation to even try that.  Like I said, I felt pretty lousy.

My husband was looking to shed some pounds too, and after a couple weeks of us discussing what our efforts should look like, we settled on ‘old fashioned’ counting calories.   I added the Bible study portion, which had daily readings and Scripture discussing how taking care of our body was important to God.

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“Date Night” Yes, we still have a splurge every now and then..  

In addition to minimizing my weight, it has minimized our grocery budget.  The difference in the amount of food I cook and serve myself now at 1400 calories, versus what I consumed before is massive.  The digital scale and measuring portion sizes has been unbelievably eye-opening.  Did you know salads at restaurants can start at 500 calories a piece and that’s without dressing?  All the time I thought I was ‘watching what I ate’, I was blindly eating triple the amount of food I needed in a day.

I can’t/won’t give up things I adore- like pizza, an occasional cookie, or a good steak- but it’s all been portion controlled and fit neatly into my calorie bucket for the day.  More fruits and vegetables have found their way on the plate because you can eat a ton of them and its not a lot of calories.

How does it all fit in to Minimalism? Minimalism to me is about removing the clutter that distracts us from ‘real’ life- and in my case, my overall health had been suffering, and food took up way too much time obsessing about what the next yummy treat would be.  In minimizing my calories for the day, I was given the added benefit of time back for other pursuits; less weight as I stepped on the scale; and an overall better feeling of health to take care of my family.  So far, all wins in my book.

50 days later- with the help of a digital scale, Myfitnesspal app, “I Deserve A Donut” by Barb Raveling, and a lot of praying- I have lost 8 pounds, and my husband probably 12 or more.   Cheers to on the going journey.

 

 

Waiting

It’s 2 a.m., and my 6 week old daughter is flailing her little arms and legs in the air as I try to wrangle her into a fresh diaper.

It’s her usual wake up time- a diaper first, then a cuddle and a warm bottle to settle her back down for the rest of the night.

Tonight, the bottle warmer doesn’t seem to be going fast enough for her; her eyes well up with sad tears, and she starts to wail.  Her arms pump in frustration- even offering a pacifier brings no comfort to her.  I gently whisper, “Wait just a moment more, little one, the bottle is almost ready”.   She doesn’t understand me, or know that a warm bottle will be better for her than the chilly one from the refrigerator.  All she knows is her hungry tummy, and the anger of not being listened to or answered.

It makes me wonder if that’s how we look to God sometimes-  like little children, with our pouting and crying when we ask for things.  We don’t think he is listening, or answering quickly enough, or at all.  How often have I prayed for something I wanted, and tearfully beg God for relief, only to be made to wait a little longer.  I remember Psalm 27:14, “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord”.

It’s difficult to do that in this society that values immediate gratification.  Even in situations that are heart wrenching, I wonder sometimes why doesn’t God deliver me immediately? Doesn’t he care for my pains?  Matthew 7:11 “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”  

But like my daughter- crying in the night- sometimes I can’t see that the thing I want most may not be ready for me. But, by waiting, it will be exactly what I need, in the exact time that I need it.

The bottle finally heated, my baby drinks quietly and drifts back to sleep.  I imagine God whispering to me “Wait a moment more, little one”.