Holy Week is always an exercise in madness for preachers I think. Bulletins and services and stuff, oh my! I've been ordained for six years now, and every year it was the same story... I'd get so busy that I'd forget to take care of myself. And then the inevitable too-tired-to-move-the-entire-week-after-Easter bit. And usually post Easter sickness. But for the first year ever, I handled my stuff, instead of being handled by it. I ate well. I went to the gym and busted it as planned. I slept. I didn't stress. And I had fun. (And I realized yesterday that I've consumed nary a peep... and I love peeps! I kept thinking I would buy one package but I just never got around to it.) When He-who-trains used to give me the schpiel about this being a lifestyle, not a diet, I thought I got it. But maybe I'm just now understanding: Health isn't only about body weight or what you put in your mouth-- it's about the whole proverbial enchilada. When I started The Pudgy Parson, this is what I envisioned for myself. All the pieces coming together in a way that works for me, that leaves my body as a faciliator for all the things my brain and heart dream up.
During Holy Week, there was a day of remembrance for me. April 15 would've been my best friend's birthday. We were friends since we were children, but she was killed in a skiing accident in 2001. Every year since her death, I've marked the day by having a private birthday party for her, including eating a rich dessert in her honor. Even last year, I celebrated with cheesecake. But this year, I just couldn't bring myself to do it, at least not like I had. She was athletic (a gymnast) and health mattered to her. And she always wanted me to take care of myself too. Her family had a pool, so we spent hours in it, but even as a kid I was heavy-- and she always knew how much that bothered me. So this year, I still wanted to mark the day... I had a few bites of mexican flan (seriously, maybe an 1/8 of the dessert) and said a prayer of Thanksgiving for who she was and all she meant to me, and it was enough. Some part of me believes she'd be thrilled, with the celebration, with who I've finally found the courage to become.
On Saturday, He-who-trains had my workout partner and me in the martial arts room doing kicks for cardio. I've not spent any time in there since I first started at the gym, which was well over a year ago. I remember it being horrible-- not having to do the kicks, but having to look at my body in motion in all those !@%* mirrors. I couldn't even focus on the kicks because I was so distracted by what I saw. I wanted to cry at what I had let myself become. But when I was in there on Saturday, it was a completely different experience. I didn't love it, but I could at least accept it. I could see my belly jiggle and squish up, but that wasn't all I saw. I saw how different my legs looked. I saw my collar bones. And I saw a face that stared back at me fiercely that told me there is a fighter inside, and she will not back down until she wins this one. There is no obstacle too big. There is no food I want to eat badly enough to sabotage myself. There is no room for excuses. I know what I want, and I will get there.
In effort to practice self care, I'm doing a staycation this week, where I'll work a little bit-- long range planning and things that I can't ever seem to find time to do, but I'm actually energized. I'm gonna do some artsy things like paint and draw and take pictures. I'm going to read books for fun. I'm going to sit in the sunshine. And I'm going to breathe deeply, because this, I think, is what it means to be alive... and well.