What would the new year be without a post on dieting and exercise? Seriously. I’m likely to get kicked out of the blogosphere if I fail to address this annual dilemma. After all dieting and exercise are big business, and January seems to be the time of the year when everyone gets fired up about both. I might as well jump on the bandwagon with them. After all, the holidays have done a number on my waistline, too.
Dear Self-Discipline… why is it that you always feel you need a vacation in December?
Did you know that exercise equipment sales top $5 billion annually? Can you guess what takes up the lion’s share of that amount? Yep. You guessed it. The treadmills that have become high dollar garment racks in bedrooms or are hiding in the back of a closet so women don’t have the daily painful reminder they aren’t actually using it like they promised their husbands they would when they bought it. Please know this: I’m not pointing any fingers. I’ve been guilty of both, but I was smart enough years ago to give mine away to my sister, and I’m certain she actually used it.
Diets and treadmills don’t really work for me. And the bottom line is this. I’d probably contemplate giving up my right arm before I would give up chips and salsa. Ok, probably my left arm since I am right-handed, but before you decide to bail on reading the rest of the story, know this. I’ve discovered how you can eat chips and salsa and still feel 20 pounds lighter. Heck, you don’t have to give up a single food you like. And, no exercise equipment… not even tennis shoes!… required. I did it, and you can took. Take a look at these pictures.
Have I lost you? Let me try to explain. These are pictures of the trunk of my car. I’ll just confess all right here publicly so you’ll know that I’m not trying to appear all humble and self-righteous. What exactly is in that picture? Here’s the inventory:
7 purses, 2 wallets, 9 pairs of shoes, 6 pairs of pants, 20+ shirts/blouses, 5 jackets, 3 coats, 4 scarves, and get ready for this one… 42 pieces of costume jewelry that I tried to disguise as something less than excess by putting it in cute little bags with a “God Bless You” tag on them. Oh, and while I’m bearing all, let me add that I also had several bags of stuff for Goodwill and I also sent a large box of clothes to my sister. And, even worse yet, I still have a closet FULL of clothes and shoes. Lord, help me.
So what does all this have to do with chips and salsa and dieting and exercise?
Here’s what I really think. I don’t believe it is our weight that weighs us down, and I don’t care what the scale says when you step on it. What I believe weighs us down is STUFF… EXCESS in our lives… SUBSTITUTE STUFF we bought in exchange for true joy or true purpose. It is that cute pair of shoes or that darling jacket or that perfect necklace for that perfect outfit. That’s what weighs us down. Too much stuff. Too much stuff! It is NEVER the $20 we gave to the homeless person in the parking lot at Lowe’s… or the care package we took to the people who just lost their home… or the meal we brought to the person who just had surgery… or the $50 we put in the offering plate on Sunday…
… or the carload full of my excess that will provide a much needed coat or pair of shoes or even a cute necklace and earrings for a woman who is currently at the Family Abuse Center in Waco.
No, those things don’t weigh us down. They make us feel 20 pounds lighter. Those things put true joy in our hearts. Those things are our very purpose for being on this earth.
“These things I command you, that ye love one another.” John 1517 KJV
Are you up for the challenge? Ready to lose 20 pounds of excess in your life? I’m praying you on!