We have been on this diet for what seems like forever. In the grand scheme of things, it has not been that long but when most foods that bring delight are removed from one’s daily intake, time sure has a way of standing still.
But this week is vacation……
In various ways, vacation signifies taking a break from the usual. We try not to think about our jobs, our responsibilities waiting for us, AND our diets. OK, so maybe it is only me who wants a vacation from my diet but I am just being real here.
It didn’t help our diets when I discovered Sunday was National Ice Cream Day. Seriously, I want to know who comes up with these “holidays”. This burst of information came early on in my day much to my delight. And I am not even much of an ice cream person. I could not wait for everyone to wake up so I could share this holiday with them all.
I quickly announced to my diet partner & the rest of my family….
“Today is National Ice Cream Day & I am going to celebrate!”.
My dieting partner looked at me in disbelief. I am usually the one keeping us to task. And as the day wore on, we did just that – celebrate. Not only with ice cream but….
Twizzlers, pistachios & some potato chips. Thankfully for our stomachs, not all at the same time.
Once we put the kids to bed, I began the “set-up”. After all, if we were going to celebrate this holiday, we may as well do it right. And BIG! So the ice cream sundae bar was created on the top of a buffet. Out came three types of ice cream quickly followed by walnuts, hot fudge sauce, bananas, sprinkles and whipped cream. No sugar free Cool-Whip for this celebration!
And the celebration was in full swing as we played board games.
We played games, laughed & had our sundaes. As I scraped the last bit of whipped cream & sprinkles out of my bowl, I said, “What a sad moment. Our “holiday” is over.” We all laughed.
Sitting in the dark & quiet of this morning, I remembered what I had read the other day:
But I am learning that feasting can only exist healthfully – physically, spiritually, and emotionally – in a life that also includes fasting.
(from Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist, page 134)
Part of what made our feasting so enjoyable was the very fact that we had indeed “fasted” from sweets for a while. We had not given in to our desires for delectable treats whenever the call came from deep within us.
Fasting gives me a chance to practice the discipline of not having what I want at every moment, of limiting my consumption, making space in my body and in my spirit for a new year, one that’s not driven by my mouth, by wanting, by consuming.
In a very strange way, going without makes the getting even better. Somehow the absence made the obtaining even more enjoyable, definitely delightful. Going without had only heightened my senses to the tastes that hit my palate.
National Ice Cream Day – how funny that it would be the day that God would choose to teach me that I need both days of fasting & feasting in my life.
To have one without the other is unbalanced.
To have one WITH the other creates true balance.