I’ve been keeping something from you. The whole reason I started writing publicly about My January Rest (MJR) was to truthfully and vulnerability share—share insight, share process, share progress, share victories and defeats. Plus I love the community aspect of sharing this journey together. It has been fun and there is a higher level of accountability when I publicly state my boundaries. And when I have friends walking alongside me, seeing what I do (and don’t do). I actually thrive on it!
But, I haven’t shared one big change that complicated my rest. I’ve been trying to figure out how to articulate it. I’m going to give it a try.
So here it is—I have never, ever wanted MJR to be a New Year’s Resolution! While I am not opposed to New Year’s Resolutions, they seem hollow in that so many people start out the new year with high hopes and set goals to better themselves, but as high as the hopes are, so are the failures. It seems to be an all or nothing deal where most people, by far, fail and quit resulting in no lasting change.
MJR on the other hand is a process and I have found that the process brings long term changes. In the process of letting go of lesser things in order to focus on greater things, I become better. While I resolve not to snack, for example, the focus is really about slowing down and appreciating what I have instead of mindless consumption—which I fully admit I am fluent in at times! The process brings awareness and appreciation that changes me long term.
While a large portion of MJR does focus on my relationship with food (eating what I have, not snacking, not shopping for more until I use what I have), it has never been a diet. That is why figuring out what has been going on in this MJR has been difficult to articulate.
Here’s what I’m figuring out—for the last six years MJR has been more difficult to navigate with the food portion because I eliminated gluten. Using up food became more difficult because there was a large proportion of food in our home I couldn’t eat. And because I’ve been on a health journey due to severe osteoporosis, food has become medicine to heal my bones.
Because of a bone injury, I put on ten pounds that will not come off. I started counting calories using an app which became a silent partner in my health journey. Then, for Christmas I got one of those gifts—the kind you didn’t ask for—but realize that you really did want it after all. My husband purchased me a FitBit. And lastly, my physical therapist released me into an Exercise is Medicine Program (EIM) to work on my bone density.
I felt extra busy in January, but when I added up how much time these new tools took (that provide structure and accountability), I understood why I sometimes felt a time crunch in the middle of My Rest! That being said, I actually had the time, because of other things I rested from and the hope was that by February, the Exercise is Medicine Program (EIM) will have found a place and a pace in my life. I can drive to and from the medical facility in the same time it takes to run to purchase a cup of coffee—which I didn’t do, thanks to MJR!
The one big change? Dedicated focus on health.
MJR was full of diet and exercise for me! Sigh…and cheers too. This was not what I planned, but Someone else did! I knew I needed to add weight training to my exercise routine, but it never happened for many reasons, until now. God held my hand, and walked me to people, and programs, one step at a time, and made it an easier transition.
And the best part? I’ve had access to a sauna! I’ve splurged several times and relaxed and let my tension melt away. I’ve felt like I’ve gone to a spa, and that feels like rest!
As I’ve counted calories, I still ate out of my pantry and freezer overflow, but it was one ounce of cheese at a time instead of my usual quantity. Counting calories also slowed me down and made me think about what I’m eating and how much of it. When I lit the candle to enjoy my meal, I didn’t walk away from the table until I recorded my food. More time. More accountability. More truth spoked to myself through insight. It…slowed…me…down.
And isn’t that the point?
I was busy enough with My Rest that I didn’t write and post as I had hoped. I still will share a few more posts about my journey soon. They are helpful in my processing, like figuring out how to articulate this post about why I was busier than I hoped, and how MJR, to me, is different from a New Year’s Resolution.
And a heads up…if you have are a new FitBit user, and happen to get up in the middle of the night for a bio break, then snuggle back into your warm covers, don’t be alarmed, (like I was!) when your wrist starts buzzing and buzzing and buzzing. I didn’t have my contacts in, but when I squinted at my wrist to see what in it world was happening, I learned that I had for the first time since I got the device, hit 10,000 steps: it was throwing a party for me! Let’s just say it is funny now, but in the moment I was a bit distressed!
If you participate in MJR, please let me know how it went!