I don’t know about you (well, really I do – smile) but, I have had an obsession with that bathroom scale for about 10 years now. Here’s how a typical morning looks. I get up in the morning; take a leak; then strip off all those heavy undergarments and step on the scale. The number on the scale is ALWAYS 15 pounds higher than I want it to be. Did you hear me? Always… I go to the gym on the regular. I run for miles on the treadmill. I lift weights. I have done weight watchers, Atkins, Fit for Life, and most recently hCG. On the hCG diet, the weight drops off like water. 1 pound, 2 pounds etc. And it happens every single day. At some point in the near future, very near future, you will be 12, 13 or 15 pounds lighter. People will comment on how you must have lost weight. Clothes look better, you feel better, life is good. But, in about two months you find yourself right back where you were before, exactly 15 pounds heavier than you would like. WTH? How is it that my internal body mechanism chooses a “natural” weight that is exactly 15 pounds heavier than I would like to be. Whyyyy? Oh you may say it is my age or my significantly slower metabolism. After all, skinny Kelli (my daughter) eats everything I dream of eating and continues to be skinny! So maybe there is something to it, maybe?
The same holds true when I drink red wine. Red wine is perhaps the greatest drink there is. Maybe I’m related to Noah from the Bible? Yet, I have found that wine really is a social drink. Drinking wine alone is just well, weird… But in a social setting it is sublime. The first glass encourages conversation and laughter. (It maketh glad the heart of man) The second glass starts to loosen your tongue and for a small instant seems to make it okay to express your love and fondness for other people. Yet, by the third glass (as I blogged about before) the sparkle turns into numbness which continues in intensity from there on out. Maybe that’s why people end dinner parties with coffee. Maybe?
Both of these seemingly innocent illustrations have something in common. Oh you may say, “duh ~ you eat and drink too much!” But, there is something more. Many of us good ol’ Americans eat and drink too much. So the question that remains is why? Why would my body (you know, the one that I own) choose a weight slightly higher than the one I have in mind? Why would I continue with the third and forth drinks knowing that my sparkle will be replaced by numbness? My wife made chile verde on Sunday and oh my lanta it is delicious. It was so delicious I had two large helpings and settled into the typical post thanksgiving coma. Well, it was delicious! So tonight, still feeling the effects of yesterday’s feasting or should I say binging, what did I do? I had another plate of it with lots of rice and because it was so tasty, I had two plates. Enter post thanksgiving coma and “I am a fat man” self loathing! Oh, here we go again!
So maybe something else is in play here… Maybe this crap is psychological? Oh I know, I have told myself many, many times that it is just science. Calories in, calories out, simple math! But you know what, I think it is more than that. I think the excesses that we faithfully engage in are more than just excesses. I think we are compensating; compensating for some missing ingredient in life. I realize that is not an original thought (haha cause I can read) but maybe it deserves a little more of our personal attention. Maybe we like to feel good and food makes us feel good. Wine makes us feel good. But, why are we working so hard to feel good? What part of us doesn’t feel good and or doesn’t feel full or doesn’t seem fulfilled? When do we eat too much? Is it in the evening; late night; after the wine excesses? Is is a time we don’t feel good; feel bored or unfulfilled? I can’t answer that for you and you cannot answer that for me. But, with God‘s help, we can answer that for ourselves. Maybe our question is, what in my life continues to sabotage my efforts and why would I sabotage myself? I suspect that old, unruly enemy fear is involved in there somewhere, somehow.
I am often reminded that our personal curriculum in life exists to help us be the best we can be. God certainly isn’t making us overeat or drink to excess, but instead remains willing to answer the ‘why’ part. What lesson is hiding in that scale? What answer can be found at the bottom of that wine glass? What information do I need to learn in those feelings of boredom, that unhappiness, that lack of fulfillment? It may not seem like it, but God wants us to be on the other side of these questions, sharing what we learned with others.
So have I forever stopped eating too much? Will I never again drink too much wine? I seriously doubt it! But, one thing I do know is that I aint getting on that scale everyday anymore. Beating myself up for not having arrived is never going to help me arrive, in fact it retards my progress. Instead, I will seek outside myself for the answers, knowing that the One who has all the answers, will answer those questions for me, and make it nice along the way…
Eat your food; drink your wine; and most of all, love yourself and you’ll find that the food and wine never were the enemy, you were! Make your mind your friend and listen closely for the still small voice, the One that assures you everything is going to be okay…because it will.
Go Cabernet, go life!