Friday, August 19, 2016

A Fast End to A Fast

I had to break my fast. In case you didn't read my post the other day, I decided to do a "numbers" fast for three days. Are you wondering how I did? 

Well, on a scale of one to ten, I'd give myself about a five.

I discovered that it's impossible to ignore numbers. I didn't quite make it through the third day.

Hubbles and I decided to take a hike after work yesterday (Day 3). By the time we got home from work and decided on where to go, it was almost 5:30. There was a smaller section of a larger trail in our town that we'd never hiked, so we decided to try it. The only problem was that we didn't know how long it was or how long it would take. We estimated about 4 miles. That was doable before dark.

How could I "fast" numbers? Basically I was trying to ignore them. But if you set out on a hike in the woods a few hours before sunset, ignoring numbers is just plain stupid. How would I sound if I had to call the ranger for help? 

Imagine this scene: We're in the middle of a dense forest, and the sun is quickly fading. Before we can return to the car at the trailhead, we are plunged into darkness. Naturally, we've forgotten to bring flashlights or headlamps. Mary decides to call the park ranger (she just happens to know the number).

Me: Hi, we're out here somewhere and I'm not sure where. Can you come get us? It's dark, and we can't find our way back.

Ranger: What time did you set out? How long have you been hiking?

Me: I'm not sure. Time was irrelevant. We've been out for awhile. I'm not really at liberty to put a number on it.

Ranger: (long pause).

Me:  Are you still there?

Ranger: Yes, ma'am. Uh...what are your GPS coordinates?

Me: I don't know.

Ranger: Look on your phone (Ranger proceeds to tell me how to do that). 

Me: I'm sorry. I can't. I'm fasting numbers.

Ranger decides it would be best to leave the crazy woman in the woods for the night.

I do not suffer from OCD. In fact, I don't obsess over numbers. I obsess over certain things, and I'm not even sure it can be called obsession. Sometimes I dwell on them too long. Think a little too much about them. Like the bank or credit card balance. Wishing I had just a little more in one and a little less in the other. But thinking and wishing won't make money appear or get the card paid down. 

Making wise choices with money will.

Turning off the clock on my run was great because it showed me that I'm too hard on myself. A performance mentality fuels my competitive nature, but I needed to realize that it's not a race and I'm don't need to compete with myself. There is nothing wrong with my being competitive. It's how I'm wired. But, like money, I need to use it wisely. 

When I no longer enjoy something, and it's become work, I know I'm out of balance. 

The decision not to weigh myself was a good one--a practice that I'll continue (or maybe discontinue would be more appropriate). I realized that I am afraid of gaining back all the weight I worked so hard to lose, so weighing myself daily gives me a (false) sense of security. But even my doctor told me, "It's not about numbers. It's about how you feel. Your body will know when it's hit its goal weight." 

She was right. Focusing on the possibility of failure only invites fear. 

Numbers can thrust us into bondage or they can motivate us, keep us accountable (pardon the pun), and help us to stay on track. Numbers are necessary and helpful. As with anything, we can become obsessed if we allow our mind to get stuck.The key is balance. 

Knowing what is good and beneficial. 

You say, "I am allowed to do anything," but not everything is good for you. You say, "I am allowed to do anything, but not everything is beneficial."
Romans 10:23 (NLT)

Oh, and if you happen to go to the Kay Environmental Center where the above sign sits, please don't mention my name to the park ranger.

Kay Environmental Center, Chester, NJ at sunset
Blessings Along the Path,


  1. Mare- I liked this "When I no longer enjoy something, and it's become work, I know I'm out of balance." It's so true!
    I enjoyed your post!
    Your #DancewithJesus neighbor,

    1. Thanks, Julie. Or, often if I no longer enjoy it, it's time to let it go. Have a great week, and thanks for stopping in.

  2. As always, you entertain while delivering a great lesson. As usual, I smiled while agreeing. Keep coming up with the good stuff, Mare!

    1. Thank you Thea--you're a great cheerleader. We must encourage one another, lest we fall prey to the enemy's tactics.

  3. A great lesson and one I'll remember because when you make me laugh . . . it sticks! I stopped weighing myself too. That numbers obsession had the ability to make or break my mood for the day. Whew! Had to stop that! Blessings!!!

  4. Thanks Deb (another wonderful encourager!). I have to admit that once I went off my "fast" I weighted myself haha. But I had gotten back to the weight I wanted to be--before vacation set me over--but now I am stopping again so I don't obsess. Sheesh!

  5. Hey Mary, I have gained back all the weight that I lost a few years ago, and I'm sure a few pounds more. My husband keeps telling me to weigh myself, and then start doing what I can to lose it. He says it's good to know my progress. Bless his heart, he'll never understand how that scale is an accuser. Knowing my weight right now would devastate me. And I would cave in to the numbers.

    I plan to do my due diligence to get healthier, and the weight will come off I hope. But I will not soon jump on a scale. Numbers are not my friend right now.

    Also, I spent last week monitoring my blood pressure, as it's been high lately. And all I did was succeed in scaring myself. My doctor said that anxiety is driving the numbers up, as they greatly improved in self-monitoring. Again, numbers were not helpful.

    There really is only one number that counts - The One.


    1. Sharon, I know exactly what you're going through. I went through the same with the weight and blood pressure. I think that we all have to get to the point of getting serious about losing weight on our own. The more people tell us, even if they think it's encouraging, the more difficult it is and the more guilty we feel--and the worse we feel about ourselves! For me, it was one more medication after a trip to the doctor where I was informed that my triglyceride level was almost 700! (healthy is below 150). I went home and decided to get serious. Two family members had just undergone open heart surgery in three months, and a third several years ago. I was the only one left, and I didn't want to end up with my chest ripped open, or worse, dead. I began a doctor supervised personal nutrition plan with a nutritionist, which led to eating healthier for weight loss, not just eating healthy and stepping up my exercise. I hated every day, but I knew it was necessary. But when I saw the weight slowly drift away and my endurance increase, I had incentive to keep going. Now, I'm maintaining and I find that I look forward to exercise. Weird. I always hated it. Swore I was allergic.

      Every person has to have their own epiphany, along with what is right for them. What works for one person may not be right for another. So, maybe weighing yourself isn't good for you right now, but if and when you start feeling the weight come off, it's a good tool to use in helping to know where you were, where you are and where you're headed. And btw, once I changed my lifestyle, my blood pressure dropped so low (like 90/52) that I had to go off the bp meds. Anything is possible. Yes, He is THE ONE to look to for inspiration as well as the root of our issues--He will expose it, and heal us. Thanks for visiting, and reading my second blog here haha.

  6. I'll remember not mentioning your name. :)
    Oh, what an experience!