Sunday, February 20, 2011

Cheat Days.

Conversation with a coworker:

Me: I guess nobody’s gonna eat all those petit fours and they’re just going to stare at me and make me smell them for the rest of my life.

Him: Why don’t you get a cup of coffee and just eat one?

Me: Well, I just ate some carrots, and I’m really at the point on South Beach where that should suffice.

Him: They don’t build in a cheat day? You need a cheat day.

Me: I’d kind of like to lose more than 5 lbs before making myself a cheat day.

:: pause ::

Me: Also, I cheated yesterday.

Friday, February 11, 2011

TGIF + 4 = :-)

Five things I'm thankful for are...

1. It's almost FRIDAY.

2. Friendships that pick up immediately where they left off, no matter when that "left off" occurred.

3. Meeting new peeps!

4. When a diet finally seems to be working. Whew.

5. Answered prayers, specifically in the form of divine appointments, affirmation, and well-timed encouragement.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Mission & Prayer.

I'm working in an environment I've never experienced before -- not so much the healthcare area, but the spiritual facet. Since I'm not Catholic, I wasn't sure at first what it'd be like, but I knew from week one that it is an amazing fit for me, and a blessing to be part of.

These are some things I'm exposed to every day as I begin my work, and they provide an absolutely beautiful way to focus and remember why I'm doing what I'm doing:

Our Mission

Inspired by the vision of St. Francis of Assisi and in the tradition of the Roman Catholic Church, we extend the healing ministry of Jesus Christ to God’s people, especially those most in need.

We call forth all who serve in this healthcare ministry, to share their gifts and talents to create a spirit of healing–with reverence and love for all of life, with joyfulness of spirit, and with humility and justice for all those entrusted to our care.

We are, with God’s help, a healing and spiritual presence for each other and for the communities we are privileged to serve.

And this is my favorite part of all -- the peace prayer of St. Francis of Assisi:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;

Grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice.

Most of us eventually come to realize that life, as John Mayer said, "ain't a fairytale, it's a documentary."

While giddily reaching for stars is still encouraged in books and songs, real life soon enough translates pixie dust and lofty dreams to attainable goals and 5- to 10-year plans, often as early as high school.

Don't get me wrong: living in The Land of Nod really shouldn't last forever. As my cousin said years ago when I lamented that his then-toddlers had grown past that adorable baby talk, "Well, it might be cute now, but do you really want them to be calling pencils 'lellow' in junior high?" Point taken.

As necessary as the crash from unicorns and rainbows to meetings and budgets can be, it still has a harsh impact.

We eventually learn those sweet songs and poems we know from childhood sometimes originated in a very dark way, with medical epidemics, deadly fires, and such.

The 24-year-old princess wakes up to see a million other girls with tiaras and ponies and the latest fads just like hers, despite the comforts her daddy will coddle her with till death do they part.

The Peter Pans cleverly disguised as grown men are occasionally haunted by The One Who Got Away, forcing them to once again close their eyes and hearts until they find another Tinkerbell to whisk them into the night.

Or, in my case, the chick who was 30 before she noticed fat grams existed starts South Beach diet.

That's right, folks. I am in a carbless reality, and it's not pretty.

Ok, I'm on week 2, which truly isn't as tough. But those first few days of week 1 were something akin to a black-and-white Russian movie. The cinematography was off, the dialect was abrasive, and the subtitles just didn't match up to what I was used to.

As I lamented to some friends, "All this time I thought I was nice, but I'm not. Rebekah without bread might be healthier in the long run, but right now, I'm just MEAN."

It's a very harsh reality to realize what you thought was a relatively okay personality was apparently just constant starch and sugar intake.

I won't Splenda-coat it. Having to make smart choices isn't always easy or fun. (Nor is losing the dream of the last-minute rescue by a handsome stranger from any mess we get ourselves into, but that's probably another post for another blogger.)

But while reality may not always be the prettier option, it certainly is the healthier one.

Even when we don't see immediate results from choosing salad over KFC, or get instant gratification from doing what's ethical and honest, we still know we made the healthy choice for body and soul.

And, in the end, even if it's packaged as a documentary, that's the true grown-up fairytale.