Giving It Up ““ Gaining More

Giving It Up ““ Gaining More

Giving It Up

Have you ever felt stuck in one place, unable to move forward? I have in many situations. The latest area of stagnant motion is my lack of ability to lose weight. I know that I am not alone with this problem and the solutions will come, not only with knowledge and understanding, but also through commitment to the end result. It would be easy to find excuses why I am twenty pounds above my healthy weight but, I would rather find reasons why I am not where I should be and use that knowledge to plan my attack in the “Battle of the Bulge.”

Part of my problem stems from the fact that I’ve been off my bike, once again, since my last surgery eight weeks ago. So, I validate as stated in one of my previous blogs that, “Lack of movement creates lack of movement.” I also no longer have youth to my advantage and have surgically been thrown into menopause. OK, sure I have excuses, but excuses get me nowhere fast. However, I do realize that tied to my condition are habits that aid in the difficulty of the struggle. Habits are patterns I have fallen into. Some habits are good, such as, every morning before standing I kneel in prayer, while other habits are a detriment, such as having to eat something sweet after each meal.

So, it is in understanding these habits that I have come to learn there are patterns that need to be broken in order to successfully face and conquer my dragons. I have heard it said on many an occasion that, “It takes twenty-one days for a habit to be formed or broken.” With this in mind there is a traditional practice that many Christian religions partake in around Easter that makes a lot of sense. This practice I speak of is called Lent. Lent is a ritual of fasting and abstinence, or giving something up for 40 days in order to rediscover ones self.

Four years ago I read a book titled “Give It Up,” in which the author, Mary Carlomagno, tells of her one-year experiment to live without certain comforts she had grown accustomed to. Each month she would chose one item to do without for that entire month. As she faced a new world of self-control over abundance, she discovered many gifts in doing so. From her month without coffee to another without elevators, she began to emerge as a new individual breaking old habits of over indulgence and wasted time. In making her plan through evaluating her habits she stated, “I wondered how my life got so complicated, with too many distractions: too much stuff and too much technology demanding attention and taking my focus.” Each month her choices had unforeseen impact as she went on to explain that, “the biggest lesson of all was not about what I had given up, but what I had gained.”

When I first read this book I took on the challenge with my own life, and, recalling this experience, I remember the impacting effects of giving up chocolate, television, and spending for an entire month. With each sacrifice came, what seemed to be, an eternity that only lasted for the first week or so. It was amazing how difficult some of the tasks were, yet it took little time to develop a new habit where the old one diminished in importance. It is from this experience that I now know what to do. So, for this entire month of June I am giving up sugar; sweet, white, refined, decadent, sugar! Yes, I am only on day two and I’ve already added a companion habit to my one vice that I won’t touch in June, and that is diet soda. I know from my last experiment in giving up sugar for an entire month I developed another bad habit in its replacement, so this time soda (or pop as we may call it in Canada) won’t be on the menu anymore.

So, here I go again. It is not exactly new territory but it just might be the kick-start I need in moving forward. I invite you along and hopefully we’ll have a story or two to tell about, not so much what we have given up, but rather what we have gained.

In Other’s Words:

Watch your thoughts, for they become words.

Choose your words, for they become actions.

Understand your actions, for they become habits.

Study your habits, for they become character.

Develop your character, for it becomes your destiny.“

~Frank Outlaw~

1 Comment

  1. Fran Whiting

    Hey sweetie. You did excellent without me. Good story and in most cases people need to lose more than 20 – me for instance. – won’t tell u how much I should lose. Love u

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