I’ve been on a no-wheat, no-dairy, no-sugar “eating plan” (I’ve found out the hard way that the word “diet” invites Way. Too. Much. advice from social media counselors) for 21 days now. And it hasn’t been too difficult. I mean, other than the fact that my stomach has hardened into a wee, angry, acidic knot, and I see stars and brilliant bursts of white light when I run.
Of course, I’ve been advised against doing anything more strenuous than walking during the first few weeks of this cleanse because of the severe caloric restriction, but I thought maybe running would help me forget the fact that I’m starving. Plus, I’ve read that vigorous exercise releases almost the same amount of endorphins as the racy physical intimacy Priscilla’s been encouraging married couples to engage in. And, being the single, middle-aged, desperately hungry woman I am, I figure I can use all the endorphins I can get.
Little did I know how much this diet – oops, I mean eating plan – would affect me spiritually.
How the light-headedness would soon give way to an elevated sense of awareness. How having an empty stomach would lead to a less cluttered heart and mind. Without the distraction of Frappuccinos and french fries, I’ve realized there were more toxins clogging my soul than there were triglycerides clogging my arteries. That the extra weight I was carrying in my spirit was much more dangerous than the fluff I was carrying around my middle. That just like I numb my body’s need for healthy nourishment when I gorge on chips and queso, I also numb my soul’s need for confession – for cleansing - when I stuff myself full of me-first rationalism.
When I stepped on the scales a few days ago, the arrow was pointing to the number I used to lie about on my driver’s license back when state governments imposed such indignities.
I can now wear those darling boot cut jeans that used to cut off my circulation. Mind you, they’re not skinny jeans but at least they don’t have an elastic waistband. Plus, I have more energy, more stamina, and stronger nails (actually, I’m not sure about the fingernail part, but that’s what the brochure advertising this particular cleanse promised).
More importantly, for the moment my heart feels significantly lighter. It’s not weighed down by emotional fatty deposits like, “Why do I always have to be the one who says ‘I’m sorry’ first?” or “If God isn’t going to give me a husband and children, why doesn’t He at least bless me with a best-selling book and small pores?”
Today – well, at least this morning – those kind of yucky thoughts that sometimes clog my soul are gone. I’m fasting from whiney narcissism and a sense of entitlement. I’m content just being a sturdy, mistake-prone girl who’s absolutely adored by King Jesus!
And grinning in spite of a growling stomach.