Thursday, March 13, 2008

Lessons from the Grave
We buried my roommate's sister today. Nancy was a lovely, loving woman who smiled constantly, and I don't mean a simpering "Mona Lisa" smile; I mean a big, broad grin. She loved Jesus and she loved talking about him. She would tell you all about her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and she meant every word. She honestly had the faith of a little child.

Nancy had cerebral palsy since birth. The last several years she lived in a nursing home and was confined to a wheelchair. Her right arm was virtually useless, and her vision was fading. It didn't matter - she smiled and laughed all the time. Her heart was simply overflowing with joy. Her circumstances just never seemed to matter to her.

One of her caregivers asked her a question once. "Nancy, you are always smiling, always laughing; don't you ever get sad or depressed or blue?"

Nancy's response was quite enlightening to me, and I intend to take her lesson with me. "Yes, I do get sad sometimes when people are not nice or when I think of my situation, but then I remember who I am. I am God's child. He is my heavenly Father."

Well said.

Enjoy your crown, Nancy. It is radiant on you.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

I'm Not Overweight, I'm Undertall
Some time ago I calculated my BMI index and figured out the extra weight that I'm carrying with me. Then I figured out how that weight measures out in terms of a person. Currently, I'm a 5'4" woman carrying an average 6'4" man on top of my body. To be sized appropriately at this weight, I'd have to be over 8 feet tall.

My friend Jeff (pictured below) makes a PERFECT foil for this because he's EXACTLY an average-sized 6'4" man. It's disheartening and humiliating to admit this in public.

I learned a couple of weeks ago that I now weigh 2 pounds more than I did when I went in for rehab 2 years ago, so I'm at my max weight this minute. BUT - today is the new day, Jan (my therapist) is my company clerk and Paula (my nutritionist) is my aide-de-camp. I also have Kori (my group therapist), my group, and my blogits as cheerleaders.

My goal is to make myself more conscious of every choice that I make. If, for instance, I'm buying lunch, I will say out loud to myself, "I am choosing the chicken salad because it's better for me and fits my program, even though I really want the artichoke casserole." Or, conversely, "I have had a bad day and I want to binge on McDonald's burgers and fries." I have found that speaking my choices out loud - positive or negative - makes me more aware of that particular moment. For now, that's part of the plan.

Also, I need to figure out some rewards for good behavior. If you have any suggestions, please send them along. Paula will be sending me a list of rewards that folks have given themselves when she finds it. I'll post it here for all of us!

It's All About the Health

My university is getting with the program. They are getting involved in the fight against unhealthy bodies, unhealthy body image, and eating disorders. I applaud them! Several articles were printed in the most recent issue of the University News:

UMKC Counseling, Health and Testing Center celebrates healthy body image

Why are you eating?

American Women are dying to be thin

Here's my favorite quote thus far from the first article: "Health should be the overall focus of someone who is unhealthy. We want to focus on getting them to a healthy place so that their body can do all the amazing things it is designed to and capable of doing."

An outstanding point, that. HEALTH should be the focus, not size or appearance. Let's shift our viewpoint.