One of the downfalls of music mission life in a travel trailer is that our normal daily level of physical activity is decreased and our eating mishaps are increased. In a normal home you have to walk potentially 30 steps just to get to a bathroom. We have to walk about six. Need a pen or pencil? Four steps. How about a glass of water? Lean over.
While we used to be very good about getting exercise and eating well, lately it has been less easy. There are several reasons or excuses or whatever you like to call them. One, our dog died–having a dog to walk made us, well, walk. Of course our dog was big enough to ride, so we could have gone that route, but we didn’t. Aren’t we boring? Two, the weather this year was not conducive to outdoor exercise…except sledding. (The teens in Girldom, however, keep the indoor exercise going year round.) Three, we’re human. That condition is relatively incurable. Four, our diets have been more potluck fare (which we admittedly enjoy) and less of the real food that our Hannah would approve of (which we admittedly also enjoy–apparently we enjoy food).
It hasn’t always been this way. I remember visiting a church after Steve had lost quite a bit of weight due to life and healthy eating, and the ladies wanted to fatten him right back up. Some of them scolded me that he wasn’t getting his treats–he was too skinny. Ha ha! I love those ladies! This is not sarcasm–as a feeder myself, I really do love them!
Here’s the plain ugly real-life truth:
Plain ugly real-life truth number one: Our children’s biological grandfathers both have/had diabetes. There was an uncle on one side and a grandfather on the other (both overweight) who died of heart attacks much too young, one younger than Steve. There was an uncle on each side with diabetes, and one of them died from a diabetic coma at about my age. We want to prevent that as much as it is within our abilities without losing our minds in the process.
Ugly real-life truth number two: Food sensitivities and autoimmune disease run in the family. One of our daughters has Crohn’s disease; Christy can’t tolerate sugar; Steve has a gluten sensitivity that shows up when he overdoes it; some of our kids have battled food allergies; and our boys break out in hives from foods we have yet to pinpoint. We want our children’s gut health (also known as their secondary immune system) to be as strong as possible to reduce the propensity toward those conditions. Oreos and donuts don’t help the gut, and a sedentary lifestyle does nothing to increase the bone strength that is sometimes lacking in children with autoimmune issues.
And here’s a lifestyle truth for you: While most of you have treats at church, say, on Sundays or a potluck once every month or so, we have these fun festive fellowship events several times a week. The only way to combat that is to choose wisely.
That doesn’t mean our kids (and poor Stevie) don’t get treats. It means we pick. If we’re in Maine, we’ll seek out the blueberry pie. When we’re in Edna, Texas, we’ll enjoy the famous sweet rolls. When we’re in Vermont, we’ll tackle that Vermonster! When we’re in Wonewoc, Wisconsin, we’ll have a slice of that incredible peach pie. When we get to Yorba Linda, California, you can bet your Oreo that we’ll be sniffing around for Jan’s pepper jam. When we’re at your house for dinner, some of us will enthusiastically eat dessert. But when there’s soda or Koolaid and a platter of cookies and cupcakes at every church, most of the time we have to say “No, thank you.” Sniff sniff.
So when you see some or all of us walking or running in circles around your parking lot or doing step exercises on your staircase, don’t think we’ve gone nuts…although that is always a possibility. And please, please please don’t be offended when we pass by the cookies. We want to eat the cookies–we really really want to eat the cookies, and once in a while, we just might eat the cookies. But mostly we have to do what’s best for our bodies and give the Holy Spirit the strongest temples we can out of thanks for what He has given us and to prepare for whatever mission He has planned for us.
Thank you for understanding! Have a cookie!