One can for every pound I lose...bring it!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


The other day, I cleaned out my cupboards in the kitchen. I stood on a step-stool, opened the garbage can next to me, and tossed away.

There went the salad dressing that expired 4 months ago. Ya know, the dressing that was supposed to go on the salad I was gonna eat (the salad which had been tossed after it turned a color that God did not intend it to turn).

Also gone was the canned turkey chili (do you know how long you have to keep canned turkey chili before it goes bad? I do...)

The frozen bananas I meant to toss into smoothies were covered in solid chunks of ice. Freezer burn does not a tasty smoothie make. The yogurts that were opposed to be my healthy snack at work were weeks past their date (and let me just admit right now that I do not eat one single solitary thing past its expiration date. I don't care what 'they' say, I simply cannot do it. Anyway, this stuff was way past its life span)

As I tossed stuff into the trash, my son remarked, "What a waste."


It was a horrible waste. And I am ashamed to say I filled a whole trash bag between my fridge, freezer and cupboards. I felt awful. Awful for wasting the food, yes...but also awful for wasting something far more precious.


There are certain things that you simply cannot get back. I have purchased new turkey chili (and it's on my menu plan for next week!) and cut up some more bananas. A smoothie is on the menu for breakfast. Time? Nope, can't buy more of that. I looked. Down every aisle. Not there.

I actually had to dust off some clothes in my closet. Size 6's and 8's that had literally gathered dust (as I type this I am still OMG-ing) from not being worn. Some still with tags, because I am the girl who buys things for "when I am thin." Can I get an amen?

Such waste, everywhere I looked. How embarrassing. Yes, the thought that there are "hungry children in the world" nagged at me. I have been living a life of excess, and the hefy-hefty-cinch-sak full of waste said it loud and clear. The clothes in the closet mocked my efforts to let this year be THE year I would wear them.

It really bothered me that I had allowed myself to become so wasteful. Good intentions drove me to purchase the healthy items. I genuinely, truly, meant to eat that stuff. Really. I just got sidetracked by the stuff that will outlast a nuclear war...the processed chips and cookies and other stuff. And I have not just wasted the good food. I wasted the junk food too. I had a friend lament to me that she wanted to start to eat healthier but didn't want to 'waste' the junk food in her house. Yup, been there. I would eat it just so it wouldn't be wasted. That's fat girl logic. Then I remembered "better to go to waste than to your WAIST!"  But I want to get to the point where it doesn't have to be wasted because it doesn't get bought in the first place. Can I get another amen?

I decided that if I am really, truly committed to my plan then I need to be really, truly committed to not wasting any more time making it happen. Because the last I checked, I am not getting any younger.

OK so you may argue that no time is really ever "wasted" because it gets you to the point you are now, where you have learned lessons, you're a better person for it,  yadda yadda yadda. But when I see the waste my non-commitment has caused...well, I will argue that point. Because my choices, made over time, have been wasting the gift that God gave to me. I am desperately seeking my abundant life - and I have had an abundance of everything else but it has not led me to the place where I feel full where it counts.

I want to share a dream that I had shortly after my cupboard episode. I was on a buffet line, and my plate was packed full of yummy things. I was looking down at the other items on the buffet, and saw stuff that I wanted, but my plate was too full to put anything else on it. I heard a man ahead of me say, "I don't want anything else, I am really not hungry" and I tore my gaze away from the treats in front of me to glance at his plate. It wasn't even half full. I thought, how silly, he is not taking all this good stuff in front of him. Then I glanced farther ahead and saw that the buffet stretched on for miles and miles ahead of me - and at the end, was Heaven (I just knew that's what it mind had conjured up the pearly gates amidst the clouds and everything.) In my dream, I was ashamed. I had been so focused on my food and putting everything I wanted on my plate that I did not realize that this was a test on the way to Heaven.  It was a test of gluttony, and yours truly was failing miserably.

Wow. Cue the revelation. I find it completely remarkable, and a little humbling, that God would choose to speak to my heart this way. It was an eye opener for sure. I can so relate that to my life, and how I have been focused on the wrong things. Things that ultimately make me feel bad about myself and my relationship with others. Food has been my source of comfort and reward. Y'all know who the REAL source for that is, right? Well, I am re-learning it all over again. I knew it, of course, but I needed a serious wake up call to remind me.

I have a friend who is reading the "Made to Crave" book with me. She's quite far from where I live so we decided to develop a little online book club. I am reading the book with a new set of eyes. I have lost two and a half pounds my first week back on Weight Watchers, which my BFF is doing along with me. I have healthy support from friends who want to run with me and check in with me via text message as to what I am eating and how I am doing.

This time, I am being a little quieter about my journey (um, expect for this here Internet blog, haha). I am not making a grandiose announcement of "Here I go again!" to my family. I am not asking anyone to be my watchdog to make sure I don't eat past a certain time (worst.idea.ever.) I am not asking my husband if he can tell I lost two and a half pounds this week.

I am doing this as a spiritual walk with God, who cares about every little thing in my life. I totally can't wait for my husband and friends to ask "Are you losing weight?" - but that's not my motivation this time.

I do not want to waste another minute. I also do not want to waste any more food. I actually served a salad with dinner (and it was still green!) and am carefully planning out my menus with the food we have on hand - and for future shopping trips, we stick to a list. Those clothes in the closet will be put to good use, and someone will be blessed with my current wardrobe when the time comes. I look at my son, who is now 15, and realize there aren't many more family vacations or board game nights left before he goes off to college. I want him to have a Mom who is focused on the "right" kind of stuff. Yesterday, he was two. Time stands still for no one.

I have been hearing a song on the radio a lot lately by a band called Revive. Here are some lyrics that relate to what I am feeling about wasting time...

Teach me to number my days
And count every moment before it slips away
Taking all the colors before they fade to gray
I don't want to miss even just a second more of this

It happens in a blink
It happens in a flash
It happens in the time it took to look back
I try to hold on tight, but there's no stopping time
What is it I've done with my life
It happens in a blink

I want to answer the question, "What is it I've done with my life" with a substantial answer. A week ago, I would have struggled with this. I might have said I wasted time.

How about you? What are you wasting? Food? Time? Money? What can you do to stop the waste and start making the most of your resources?

Let's figure that out together. This is a constant up and down battle. But I just know that when I do make it here, I want to have my eyes focused on what matters - and that does not mean a plate full of food. I want to say, "I did not waste a single gift You gave me." Ah...wouldn't that be nice?

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