Wednesday, January 23, 2013

I am not my Van. (On caring for the body)

Moby, our van

I get in the van, turn the key, and expect it to GO.

It should go. Vans should work. That’s what they are for, and I expect them to do that.

Now, sometimes my van breaks. And when it does, I am highly irritated and inconvenienced. So what do I do? Do I learn how it works so that I can figure out what is wrong with it and fix it?
No. I tell my husband. He fixes it.

Sometimes, he tries to explain to me what was wrong with it, and I try to listen, sort of, but my mind just hears a bunch of uninteresting words:

I don’t care to know how the van works. I just want it to work. And when it doesn't work, I will ask my husband to fix it, or pay for a mechanic if all else fails (and it rarely does.)

I don’t care how it works, I just want it to work. 
I’m told it needs regular maintenance too, but I don’t really know when or what, because my husband does that. 

And the van goes.

Not our van, but wouldn't that be SWEET?! 
See reclaiming the cool factor

I act the same way with my body.
My body should GO. I have important places to be today, and I need my body to get me there. I will fuel it with whatever fuel sounds good to me, and I will expect it to just keep going.

I don’t want to be bothered to learn how it works, to care for it, to bow to some silly maintenance schedule.

And then, my body starts to complain. Personally, my complaints have come in the form of weight gain, mood swings,  bad skin, and irritability. My body hints, then complains, then screams at me to change my ways. But I really don’t want to stop moving and take the time to listen.

But my body is not like my van. I can’t just use and abuse it and then ask someone else to fix it.
(Well, I can, actually, but that's probably not the best choice.)
It might be worth taking the time to learn about it. 
My van is replaceable, but my body is not.

This is hard and humbling because I should know this stuff already. I should have learned these healthy things and made these healthy changes years and years ago. How can I take time out of my life to do this, now?

How can I not?
My body is not replaceable.

And I think about what I’m doing: expecting my body to run smoothly while at the same time giving it little or no attention. What would it be like if I did that with my house? What if I approached homemaking this way- winging it, getting things done as quickly I can with as little attention as possible, refusing to bow to any kind of maintenance schedule or routine?

FlyLady cartoonIt would all fall apart. Fast.
Three kids ago, this is exactly what was happening, which is why I finally started to listen to flylady and it changed my life, saved my sanity, and helped me to make a home for my family.

And my body is an even more complicated system then my household.

It is fearfully and wonderfully made, in fact.
Much more so than my 15 passenger van named Moby (though the van is pretty awesome, I must say.)

When I was drowning in the tasks of running a house, I thought about housework all the time, did it all the time, and yet still felt completely out of control and overwhelmed.  Now, what if, instead of learning a system, I simply tried to think about housework less, and hoped that solved the problem?

It's crazy, right?
But this is what I do to my body when it complains.
I think about food too much, whether it’s what I want to eat, what I am eating, what I shouldn't eat, or what I can’t eat. This is true of me when I am being lazy and when I am on a health kick. 

I think about food too much.

I think this is one of my body’s complaints, actually. The cravings, the restlessness, and the constantly being unsatisfied: these things are going on for a reason. And I haven’t wanted to take the time to figure out why.

I’d like to think about food less often, but I can’t do that without addressing my body’s complaints. I can’t just force myself to be less hungry. I have to take the time to learn how a body works. That means learning about the proper fuel, the emotional and spiritual issues, and a maintenance schedule for soul and body that will keep my whole self working properly.

So, let’s eat some humble pie and start learning.
(mmmm. Pie.)

Pinned Image
photo credit: Jesus and tea

 I couldn't find a picture online with this verse written on a fat mama foot, and I would take one of my own, but my handwriting is terrible even when I'm not twisted up like a pretzel trying to see the bottom of my foot. So you will just have to imagine it. This verse, on your own foot, that is.


Like me, do you want your body to just keep on going without requiring your help or attention?
Is your body complaining to you about the way you treat it?
Are you hesitant to learn about healthy eating because you feel like you should know it already?
Or do you feel like you already do know it, and the problem is in doing it?

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  1. Thanks for reminding us that our bodies are more than just the "house" we live in or the "van" we drive. Often treat my body with disrespect. But I'm getting to the age when I feel those disrespecting actions much more strongly than before! ha! I wish my motive to take care of my body was to honor the vessel God created in me, but more times than not, I do it because I don't want the pain or kinks that come with disrespect. Thanks so much for this thought-provoking post!

    1. Beth, yes, motivations- that is a whole other topic now isn't it? The motive to avoid consequences is certainly not the holiest motive :)

      Thanks for commenting!


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