Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Solid Emotional Foundation

Since I've been feeling somewhat stuck in my efforts to become healthier and physically fit, I decided to dust off my old Bob Greene book, Bob Greene's Total Body Makeover. Last night, after an ice-cream fellowship at church, I was feeling desperate. I only ate about a cup of cherry ice cream and some watermelon, but I was still in a state of panic. I came home, put on my pajamas and, in the interim, gave myself a good looking over in the mirror. Most of the time, I don't look much. This time, I turned around, looked things over and wanted to weep.

I knew this was a very unhealthy self-image practice. There was just this air of desperation, "I've been killing myself for a month, working my butt off and, well, my butt isn't looking a whole lot better". Patience has always been a problem with me. Can't I just work out a few times and be done? Apparently not. So, with a frenzied fever, I started brainstorming how to kick this thing into high gear.

Help me Jesus. Help me Jewish guy. Help me Oprah Winfrey, help me Tom Cruise! Tom Cruise use the witchcraft on me...

There is a biblical reference to being physically fit. Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship. Romans 12:1. This always helps me get through my workouts but, somehow, doesn't stop me from eating ice cream. It seems like doing something is easier for me than NOT doing something. There are also passages about our bodies being the temple of the Holy Spirit. This is a great conviction for me to eat well, until there is an open bag of potato chips in front of me. Weak flesh. That is why it's a sacrifice. If it were easy, it would hardly be sacrificial.

I know I just blew through about a dozen topics, but that's the way us ADD infected people roll.

It isn't easy for me to live this way.

So I grabbed my Bob Greene book, put it on top of my head and hoped all the knowledge would pour into my brain. Then I actually opened the thing up and the first chapter was one that I'm pretty sure I skipped the first time I read it. It was entitled, Building a Solid Emotional Foundation. I rolled my eyes and let out an exasperated exhale, but decided it might be beneficial for me to read the darn thing. Apparently, being emotionally stable is the infrastructure of a healthy lifestyle. I know I'm more emotionally stable than I used to be but I'm still teetering on shaky ground. Sometimes it surprises me what ticks me off. The difference is, instead of just reacting to my emotions, I'm more aware of them and tend to analyze the situation carefully. Being aware of anger doesn't make it hurt any less, it just keeps you from ripping somebody's head off.

There are four cornerstones to a solid emotional foundation. They are:

Honesty

Responsibility

Commitment

Inner Strength

I've always been big on honesty. Mom always says that I say what everybody else is thinking. I hate secrets. I hate lies. I hate sneaky game-playing. I want nothing to do with the proverbial elephant in the living room. I'll point it out every time. "There's a big ass elephant in the living room people!" However, when it comes to being honest with myself about my own stuff...I tend to fudge a little... I'm just overweight because I'm almost 40 and I've been under a lot of stress. I had a little bout of seasonal depression, that's why my pants don't fit. Sad, silly excuses.

Responsibility...look up the effects of ADD and tell me how hard this one is going to be for me. Kyle has battled this malady since birth and I've never let him off the hook. "You're just going to have to work harder for it, son. It will mean more to you than to those for whom it comes easily." I never let him get away with an "I didn't mean to" excuse. But, somehow I hold myself to a lower standard and responsibility alludes me. This will probably be my biggest struggle.

Commitment...this falls along the lines of hard-headedness. I've got that one. Once my mind is made up, I'm like a bulldog and won't let go. This is a good thing and a bad thing. Stubbornness can keep you from admitting you were wrong, but it can also keep you committed to your promises.

Inner Strength...I know it's there. I've seen it in action. It simply lies dormant until it is called upon. I'm going to have to stoke that inner fire to be able to see this thing through.

Successful people who have made honesty, responsibility, commitment, and inner strength central to their very being have found that it changed them in ways they would never have imagined. That's because while, certainly, these are the keys to making your body over once and for all, they are also the keys to accomplishing anything.

That was just a small excerpt from the first chapter. I like it. It is encouraging to know that, while I'm working on my body and the keys to helping myself change physically, I'll be tapping into the skills it will take to help me in all areas of my life.

I'm attempting not to freak out anymore. I'm also thinking that maybe it would be a good idea not to be looking too hard in the mirror for a while. I've got to keep my head in the game, keep my focus, and just keep doing the hard work.

Tomorrow is weigh-in day for me. I'll be happy if the scale has moved at all. Stay right there on the edge of your seat and I'll post results tomorrow.






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