On Judging Not

I came to a new insight (for me anyway) on why Jesus warns us to judge not.  For those who are not familiar with the Bible the  relevant scripture is as follows:

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged.  Do not condemn and you will not be condemned.  Forgive and you too shall be forgiven”  Luke 6:37

I used to interpret that scripture mainly as a warning that others (and most importantly, God) would evaluate and measure us according to the measure we use on  them/others.  And that may still be accurate…but I realized, Jesus may also be warning us that such a spirit of judgement and self-righteousness will turn back on the owner.  Even for the non-believer, a judging and condemning spirit is a poison first and foremost for themselves.  To judge, one must place themselves on a pedestal and no one is perfect all the time.  Thus,  self-condemnation, denial and defensiveness follows when one inevitably fails to measure up to their own demanding and unforgiving standards.   We are creating our own prison with a judging heart, our own worst critic.

My personal experience has been that I am sometimes a very judgemental person towards others but I am ‘careful’ to hide that under a veneer of politeness and charm.  However, I am coming to see that my judging ways are not really hidden as I have been brutal to myself and it affects others no matter how smooth I think I am.  Being unkind and ungracious to others and myself in my thoughts (if not always in my words and actions) really freezes the process of growth and healing. As I think of it now, the times in my life where I have experienced the most growth and joy have been the times in my life where I have been the most humbled and willing and accepting of grace.  …and when you see your need for grace and accept it, you have no problem sharing it with others as you know you are no different then they are.

Maybe this all seems very abstract?  I thought I would illustrate with an example:

I look at an overweight woman passing by and think, “wow, she is so fat, look how sluggishly she moves, must not be working out, how could she sit there eating chips when she is already overweight”  Later on that day, as I am sitting eating chips, of course I am going to be so vicious to myself to the point where I run and hide from that meanie in my mind…by eating more chips, totally out of control with disregard to my satiation .  Because how I deal with bad feelings and anxiety and stress (feelings produced by said viciousness) is by eating.  Yeah, not a good cycle.  (and by the way if food is your drug/poison of choice, my bet is that harshly judging the fat lady will lead you to your addiction even if you are thin)

Meanwhile, if I my heart is full of love not judgement, I might still notice an overweight woman as such (since weight has been a life long issue for me, I always notice) but my thoughts would be either a reminder to myself not to pass judgement (I know zero about her and her life after all), or be compassionate and empathetic in nature as I struggle too (although this lady may not, who am I to say? again do not know her…lolz)  And later on when I am eating chips… I’ll enjoy my chips.

I’m Depressed BUT…

…surprisingly have not turned to food yet.  Usually food is all I can think of and then later after I am surrounded by crumpled empty bakery bags, I feel calmer and saner.

There is no plan except to fight.  To earn a fighting spirit somehow.  Everytime I think about my weight, I quite literally do some jumping jacks.  I know it is silly but it is just a reminder to me that I am learning to fight…tooth and nail, whatever it takes.

AND maybe this was not the case earlier, but it is clearly so for me now.  I am not necessarily motivated so much specifically about weight loss but character.  I want change somewhere somehow and I am picking this beast for a number of reasons.  It is my path of growth quite simply.

I am going to crawl on my elbows through this thing and I am going to arrive on the other side triumphant.

So much to write

I know I wanted, nay, NEEDED to write.  But the challenge is what should I write?

Should I beat the weightloss dead horse by oohing and ahhing over my highest weight to date? (173.8) (lions and tigers, oh my!)

Should I tell you about how I want to start a new blog (which will basically be my life’s work) regarding child rearing and psychology?  (but I’m scared, and anxious and sometimes feel so unsure of myself)

Should I tell you about the profound (you bet I’m eyerolling myself) thought I had that if I believed in being kind to my child then I should be kind to all children/all people because they are all my children?

None of that and all of that I guess.

A long time ago I saw the movie Alive (true story about an airplane crashing into the Andes and these young men who survived in the freezing temps and climbed/crawled/walked out of there alive.  Some say that it is to this day some of the greatest feats of mountaineering the world has ever seen.  They had no equipment)  There is this exchange between the men:  First guy says:  We’re going to die you know  Second guy replies: “Maybe.  But we are going to die walking”

W

Regarding my weight, my writing, my motherhood, my relationships (especially spiritual)….all the things taht supposedly define me, I wonder why I have no fighting spirit?  Where is the “I will die walking” spirit in me?  I am a comfort lover and if it seems too hard then I just want no part.  Just want to curl up with a good book instead.  Maybe I blame school for this attitude because it gave me head pats for such little effort?  Maybe something in my upbringing?  Beats me.  Maybe even that spirit is hard won and comes by slow and painful small steps in the direction of your dreams, despite the fears and anxieties and stumbles?

Reasons Motherhood is Stressful

‘Coz I am a raging, raving Perfectionist!!

Exhibit A for your consideration:

I had some letters to mail (thank you letters from the family for some people hosting us and gifts given to the kids).  It has been stressing me for a while because the kind gestures are from last October!! and still nothing has been sent out.  Today I had some time to mail it and I hesitated because I wanted my daughter to be involved and draw a picture to say thank you from her (it is so important for me that she learns about gratitude and thanking people from a young age) and also wanted to take her to the post office so she could see the goings on of a post office (you know, learn about adult interactions and the post office by practical life experience).  It was especially salient to me today because I noticed her watching a bubble guppies show today talking exactly about the post office and I thought how cool would it be if I could take her to actually experience it first hand.  Anyway, I realized that it was  better to just get this niggling to do DONE and over rather than try to wait until the stars align and I have all the post stuff, her and in the right location for her to have this experience.  She is only three….she will have plenty of opportunities to draw thank you cards for people and see the post card.

(I know this is elementary reasoning for the sane population but for me the analysis paralysis perfectionist this was a mini breakthrough thought and action (e.g. to just mail them and get it done rather than waiting to do it all with her)

….and that is why I am constantly stressed and my husband thinks I’m nuts for it…I try to do everything perfectly and according to this vision I have and constantly get stuck(and of course he is right ;)

Playing With Fire

Folks, I come to you today from inside of a Tim Hortons cafe (for my one US reader that is our ubiquitous coffee and donut shop here in the north – everyone loves this place and they are almost literally on every corner).  Talk about playing with fire….many a time I have ‘escaped’ from life’s stresses or emotional events by crawling into one of these places and greedily ordering as many donuts as look good to my desperate eyes and then furtively gobbling them up while reading a newspaper in the corner.  Talk about ESCAPE.  I told myself during those occasions that:

– I deserve it

-I need this

-this is the last time

-(similiar as above) It is my last hurrah before really buckling down and taking this weight off

-I turn my mind completely off and don’t think anything except ‘shovel food, quickly, before you think”

We are talking easily 3-4 donuts and then I might have a large hot chocolate and cookie for good measure on top of those….and then I would feel relaxed and maybe a bit later I would feel suitably chastened and guilty and then the cycle would continue.

Today I was forced to leave the house for some alone time as my hubby tells me the kids are much harder to care for if I am around as they constantly want to be around me (I know, how sweet…but also slightly suffocating sometimes …haha :) and I could not think of any better options.  I knew I was playing with fire to come here and I don’t suggest or recommend for you or others with my struggles to put themselves in this kind of position at all.

BUT EXCITINGLY, currently all I have beside me as I write is a giant green tea with nothing in it.  I have somehow achieved this moment of transcendence b

of the following factors:

-I already stuffed myself at lunch (but not with sugar so I give myself credit)

-I had a bit of a sugar binge last night so maybe I am in the repentant part of my cycle but to still give myself credit in the  past maybe I would have been like I have blown it so why not just continue

-but it has helped to think of it as STOP NOW, just persevere and move forward

-why not just live the life of the person I want to be now instead of waiting for that person to appear and then doing those things?

-I prayed before coming here that somehow God would help me to resist the urge to escape with sugar

…but I have not left this place yet so let me not be so arrogant as to think I won this battle.  Wish me luck!

Remain in Me

So I’ve been thinking a lot about why there has been so much craziness around food ?recently?  Certainly, restrictive diets don’t help.  I also feel this pressure to get this right for my children’s sake.  And I have no solutions….so I started listening to messages on the Bible (long story but I have been feeling burnt out by reading the Bible and it has been a struggle to feel connected to God…but I had no where else to turn) and came across one which discussed John 15.

“Remain in me and I will remain in me.  For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine…” John 15:4

In the past, I would have read that passage once and moved on…but since I decided to give up trying to be all that I am supposed to be (according to me) (bible guru that kind of thing)….I thought I would simply just read this passage every day this week and think about it.  Pray about it.  Read a commentary saying that it is two parts one that we make choices to do what is right (remaining in Him) and two that we depend on Him to fulfill those choices (Him remaining in us).  That was a really useful and practical for me.  This week when both kids were sleeping and I walked by the Second Cup, I just prayed to God that he would give me the strength to pass on by.  And for whatever reason, I did not think of it again.  Praise God.

I am also really grateful to my husband because this week one morning he found crumbles from my night escapade with pecan tarts (again!) and instead of getting mad at me and really emotional he had an honest and humble talk with me about how it made him feel….and in fact the first thing he asked was were you feeling overwhelmed? (something I had asked him to ask me since when I am turning to food like that it is more about stress and anxiety more than anything else)….It was so good to feel his support and get his honest opinion about things and talk about my failings (yes, I was feeling childish last night) without condemnation but with expressions of wanting to help and understand.  He also encouraged me that moment to just get up and go work out which was also a helpful thing to do.  (not to work out calories necessarily but really just to get into a health positive frame of mind again….I tend to so have the all or nothing , black and white thinking of ‘well I ate those pecan tarts, might as well just eat the ice cream….instead of saying “stop now’ …move

on…working out reminded me that I wanted to do good things for my health).  I appreciated his calmness, honesty and his solution oriented demeanor.  This was NOT easy for him as he is very concerned about my health.

Anyway, that is my update.  Started my daily quiet times more of a priority (focussing on Remain in me) and working out….baby steps, my friends.

After the storm

For the record, the current weight is 168.2.  Which is pretty awesome considering how derailed I have been recently.

Today was my first clean day in awhile.  I am so grateful.  Was tempted when the hubby came home to rush downstairs and get a pecan square BUT  I told myself I don’t really want that….I want to be FREEEEEE.  Free of being a slave….and when did that pecan square ever save me or help me?  just temporary mind turn off holding pattern…that is it….I just come back to same stress and more problems….because now I’m craving more, husband is discouraged, I am unreliable to myself, I have more weight to deal with.  More problems because I eat….gotta find other ways to escape.

Here I am writing….don’t want to be so arrogant to say that I have avoided the binge since I have been known to run off in the middle of the night when the family is sleeping to the Rabbas to get junk to inhale.  But since I ate carb free for the most part today, I feel pretty good about my chances.  Wish me luck