All over people are scarfing down their last bit of forbidden food that they will then give up for the forty days of Lent.
Chocolate, Pizza. Desserts. Soda.
Paczkis (pronounced “POONCH-key”) are all the rage by us. They are Polish pastries of delight filled with all kinds of goohey goodness–custard, lemon, chocolate, raspberry or the traditional prune. (Yes, prune)
They are big in mid-Michigan where I live.
This scarfing and stuffing—-because tomorrow the deprivation begins—-isn’t just limited to Fat Tuesday.
In my life, I’ve had a lot of Fat Tuesdays.
And they don’t always fall on a Tuesday.
You see, I’ve been embattled in a knock-down, drag-out fight for over a quarter-century now. Sometimes, I feel the little daily battles that are part of this clash completely defeat me, leaving me helpless and hopeless. And I feel alone in my battle.
What is this battle that consumes me? It is one that many women face. My constant, decades-long skirmish is with food. Or rather with my desire for food. Bad foods. Wrong foods. Or just vast quantities of food.
Six years ago, I felt I’d come to the end of my rope. Severely overweight and reeling from seven different medical conditions, I finally determined to do something decisive so one day with desperate determination, a pair of hand-me-down walking shoes, and my trusty calorie counter in hand, I set off to religiously follow a weight-loss and exercise regimen. And follow it I did — to the T!
Eleven months later, I’d dropped over 100 pounds. All my health conditions disappeared without any medication and I felt better than I had in my twenties. I boldly determined that never, EVER again would I let that weight creep back on.
Fast forward a few years. And a few life stresses, husband’s layoffs and periods of laziness later.
I hate to admit that, sadly, I again turned to food instead of to God. I made it my comfort; my distraction; my tranquilizer; my friend.
However, this familiar “friend” quickly became my archenemy. Over the course of these few years, I’ve gained back almost half of the weight I’d lost! Now entrenched in the thick of the battle again, I am weary and weak; embarrassed and embittered.
And so I vow to start again.
But before I start, I have myself my own little private “Fat Tuesday” (bad-food binge) and vow that TOMORROW, I’ll start over and give up the fattening foods.
Only tomorrow I feel such guilt and shame that I don’t start over. I spiral down.
And I vow to start over.
I want to stop starting over. I want to stop needing to start over.
It amazes me that with all the fabulous resources out there (even good, spiritually based ones like Made to Crave and Reshaping it All—both written by friends of mine!) so many of us gals still struggle.
Friend, I have no clever tips for you today.
No three-step plans or sure-fire cures.
Just understanding. And empathy.
If you are someone who too is embroiled in the battle. I get you. I’m with you.
I understand. I know what t means to vow to start over. Again and again and again.
Pray for me? I’ll pray for you.
Tomorrow is a new day.
(and tomorrow the paczkis will also be half-off so lets stay away from the bakery!)