How many times do moms and dads hear that in a day? Well, I actually hear, “I’m staaarving,” but you get the drift. As soon as the breakfast dishes are cleaned up, someone is looking for a snack, it seems. And it isn’t long after that that I’m trying to wrack my brain of what to thaw out for supper. Feeding a family is a never-ending job.
Kiddos can be hungry little creatures. I figured that out early…like during my first few weeks of pregnancy with my first child. Boy, was my appetite voracious! Most of the time, I felt like the precious little one growing inside of me was completely insatiable. So, I threw my Nutrition degree out the window and ate like a rock star...and gained seventy pounds. Yep – I did.
How on earth can someone gain that much weight over 40 weeks? Well, just grab a TV dinner or two in the middle of the night when you can’t sleep, eat man-size portions of everything, and eat breakfast twice. You’ll see – it can be done. I don’t recommend this – I’m just explaining how I did it.
But in keeping with my “eat whatevah ya want” mentality for three pregnancies, I managed to hold on to some of the poundage after each child was born. Don’t get me wrong, I am thankful that God blessed me with three healthy pregnancies. I’m okay with the weight gain because it was for a beautiful reason. HOWEVER, I know that I have much room for improvement in the eating department.
One of my weaknesses is cereal and milk right before bed. It’s just something I’ve always done. I wish I could say that I choose a halfway decent high-protein, heart-healthy, fiber-rich cereal, but I don’t. It is the Lucky Charms-Cocoa Puffs-Fruity Pebbles line-up that I’m addicted to. And, have you ever measured a ¾ cup serving? I mean…seriously. This is how it typically goes down - I start with ¾ cup of cereal and add milk. Then, I run out of cereal in the bowl. So as not to waste the milk that is left, I add some more cereal. Then, well, there is too much cereal and not enough milk. I add some more milk. You get the picture.
So anyway, in an effort to head back toward a healthier lifestyle (the way of life that I read endless college books about), I decided to start with exercise. I continued to eat the same lavish menu, but I just added some exercise. Not a single pound disappeared. So, I decided to work on the input part of the equation - it has to start there I’m realizing more and more. My sister-in-law, Stephanie, had planted some wonderful seeds about healthier eating some time ago. Then, my friend, Meghan, had me over for lunch and we chatted about a Paleo-type diet (http://www.robbwolf.com/what-is-the-paleo-diet/). For a carb-loving, not-so-Paleo-girlio, it seemed overwhelming at first.
But, I’m thrilled to announce that by avoiding the overly-processed, crinkly-packaged, super-duper-carby-stuff, I have shed five pounds in two weeks. (Strangely enough, I haven’t even thrown exercise back into the equation yet) However, my friend Linsey just told me that sweat is just fat crying, so you better believe that I will be incorporating it back in soon! During the last couple of weeks, I’ve tried all kinds of new protein-rich foods, fruits and veggies that I never knew existed. Although, I’m certain that the employees at some of the local fast food joints must be missing us by now…I’ll give them a call – hee hee.
To my delight, I have felt much better since I’ve taken out all of the blood sugar highs and lows of my day. I love sugar, I do (sigh). But when I asked myself the question, “How’s that workin’ for ya?” the answer was always, “It’s not.”
Like those pounds that wouldn’t budge for months and months - they hung on for dear life until I tried something different. Even more important than the adage “We are what we eat” just might be the saying of “We are what we feed.” If we feed anger, hatred, jealousy, resentment, and fear, they set up camp (like pesky pounds) in our very being and stay until we try something...different. They can be addicting and they’re there for the long haul. And, if we ask ourselves, “How’s that workin’ for ya?” and the answer is, “It’s not,” then, it’s time to try something different.
With all this talk about food, there is a great e-mail I recently received about nourishment:
A church goer wrote a letter to the editor of his local newspaper. He complained that it made no sense to go to church every Sunday. “I’ve gone for 30 years now and in that time I have heard something like 3,000 sermons. But for the life of me, I cannot remember a single one of them. So, I think I’m wasting my time and the pastors are wasting theirs by giving sermons.”
A real controversy started in the “Letters to the Editor” column and continued for weeks
until someone wrote this clincher:
“I’ve been married for 30 years now. In that time, my wife has cooked some 32,000 meals. But, for the life of me, I cannot recall the entire menu for a single one of those meals. But, I do know this – they all nourished me and gave me the strength I needed to do my work. If my wife had not given me those meals, I would be physically dead today. Likewise, if I had not gone to church for nourishment,
I would be spiritually dead today.”
We all hunger for different things throughout our lives. Some hunger for family peace; some for a soul mate who loves them for who they are; some for a day without pain. We just need to remember who is able to quench our appetite. God must be up there saying, “Come on, just ask me. Ask me. I’m here just waiting for you to ask me. I will satisfy your hunger.”
Generally speaking, I think that most people hunger for love. While we celebrated with our family this Memorial Day weekend at my parents’ little beach house, one thing was evident to me. Love grows best in little houses. In their cozy 800 sq. ft. getaway, we had seven adults and six kiddos sharing time (and only one bathroom). Doug Stone’s song, “Little Houses,” kept playing in my mind (click here for a trip down memory lane) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xCdyMq6z1c:
“Love grows best in little houses,
With fewer walls to separate.
Where you eat and sleep so close together,
You can’t help but communicate.
Oh, if we had more room between us,
Think of all we’d miss.
Love grows best in houses just like this.”
A little fishing pole seems to be the secret, too. The fish loved it. My nephew, Holden, caught the biggest fish (18 ½ inch sheephead), the smallest fish (2 ¾ inch) and the most fish (13) with his Finding Nemo pole in a kids’ fishing tournament over the weekend. He loved carrying all THREE trophies around! He knew what those fishies were hungry for – something different! Good job, little man!
We enjoyed making memories. We fished, we built sand castles, and we even played in a small blow-up pool in the front yard. Yes, people smiled (truthfully, they were laughing uncontrollably – but anyway!) when they drove by and saw our family of five in a pool made for two. But, like most children - ours were hungry for closeness, our attention, and our time and those things don’t cost a dime. Free fun is the best kind!