Friday, January 26, 2007

The "Weight" of Guilt

During my quick trip to Grand Rapids a couple of weekends ago I had the most wonderful opportunity to spend some time with Trista. I love her children. Abby and Ethan made me feel so special while I was there. Still, having time for just the two of us to talk face to face was priceless. We discussed the things that have been concerning each of us. During the conversation, Trista gave me something priceless: she affirmed my need to attend a church other than the Catholic Church for the time being. It’s just not healthy for me right now. While she grew up focusing on the love of Christ, I apparently only caught on the rules and regulations to which I just can’t meet. How can two people grow up going to the same church, having mostly the same religion teachers and have two opposite views of their faith? Your family is just as – if not more – important in forming such things as the institution itself.

I attended a local United Methodist Church on Sunday. The topic of the sermon was losing the “weight of guilt.” If that’s not a sign from God that I should be there, I don’t know what would be. It was a good service and to top it all off, Danny watched the girls that morning so I was able to concentrate fully. What I found the most interesting was how universal the causes of unnecessary guilt (condemnation) really are. Does everyone’s mother know how to stick it to them? Apparently it’s not just a mother/daughter thing. Where do these issues of perfectionism come from? The song/prayer at the end of the sermon was really nice. It didn’t get rid of my issues, but I am on the right path. That feels good.

One of Danny’s co-workers, A, attends this same church with her family. We talked for a few minutes after the service and that was really nice. She invited me to her Sunday school class this Sunday. I look forward to seeing how that goes. I’m hoping that it will feel like a good fit to me, too.

On a somewhat related topic, I’ve recommitted to my weight loss program on Tuesday. I went through all of the Weight Watchers Tools for Living and wrote down my thoughts and feelings. I’ve been drinking a quart of water a day and have been following the Quick Start guidelines somewhat loosely. Hopefully seeing some quick results will boost my motivation. A co-worker and I started doing a Leslie Sansone 10 minute walking burst once a day (we got the routine from a magazine). We hope to work up to three times a day, but we’re not pushing our bodies or ourselves. We don’t want to do ourselves in by attempting to do everything at once. I think that we’re being smart.

I’m already seeing some results. Today I had an extremely stressful morning. I didn’t drink my water right away like I had the days before, I had a fair amount of M&Ms from a co-worker’s candy machine, and although I chose a Panini with portabella mushrooms (not a fatty meat), it was still pretty darn fatty. About a half hour after I ate, my body gave me a gentle, yet noticeable message that what I ate had too much fat. My tummy is certainly getting used to healthier eating pretty quickly. Now, if I had been dieting before and ate only those M&Ms, the whole day would be considered shot to hell – if not the rest of the week or month for that matter. After the gentle reminder from my stomach, I reminded myself of what I really wanted. I filled up my water jug and started getting in my daily requirement. Just because I hadn’t started as soon as I got into work doesn’t mean that it was too late for that. And, as much as I didn’t feel like doing our 10 minute walking burst, I did it. That was a good thing, too. It was much, much easier today than the two days before. I’m making progress there, too. I’ve conquered my first meeting with my “all or nothing” enemy and I’m noticed some really nice progress. Tonight I’m going to get a turkey sub at Subway and start all over again tomorrow. What I’ve gained inside is worth so much more than what those M&Ms and Panini might have cost me in calories.

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