Tuesday, September 7, 2010

If Only I Could Hike Every Day

Curry Mountain Trail - GSMNP
September 4, 2010 

While hiking this past Saturday, I had a "ah-ha" moment.  When I am on the trail, I do not think about food.  In fact, the only time food crosses my mind is when my stomach suddenly growls loudly telling me to feed it.  This is not necessarily a good thing, because a hiker safety rule is to always hydrate and/or eat BEFORE you sense hunger or thirst.  

Outdoor activity in the form of hiking and biking is my passion.  Lacing up those boots and stepping onto a trail brings out a feeling in me I cannot describe.  When on the trail I feel alive and I can breathe more deeply than at any other time.  And yesterday, for the first time, I embraced the fact that there truly is something I'd rather do than eat.  Ironic, isn't it, that at a time I'm burning more calories and need to be refueled more often, I'm thinking less about the the whole process?

Our pastor gave an illustration Sunday morning that got me to thinking about this.  He was relating this to our "wants" vs. God's "desires" for us, so I am taking it somewhat out of context, but as you know, I try to find relevance in anything that will help me in this weight loss journey.   From Dallas Willard's book, "The Divine Conspiracy, we are told that we often think we know what we want or desire, but those lesser things are not REALLY what we need.  What we need is for our wants to change.  In other words, we need a new "want-er."   As we change our "want-er," then our wants and desires are changed to higher things.

I believe that this is what happens to me on the hiking trail.  I am so at one with nature and in touch with who I really am that everything else, including food and preoccupation with weight, becomes secondary.  Eating assumes it's proper place as fuel for my body and is something I must do in order to have strength to continue rather than something I count the minutes until I do and treasure nothing that happens between this moment and that one. 

Oh how I desire to change my "want-er" to desire the higher things of total health, fitness, inner beauty, peace, moderation and contentment more than the temporary satisfaction of the wants like the next bagel(s), the box of Triscuits, dreams of what wonderful goodies will be served at small group tonight, the dinner party I'm attending on Friday night, sugar, white flour, and on, and on, and on...................................

When I'm on the hiking trail, I've experienced that meshing of my "want-er" being in the right place.  It feels really, really good.   My prayer for myself, and for you, is that we can all find that in every area of our lives.  Then we will truly be free.

Your responses to my last post are printed and posted as promised.  I know them all and will keep my promise to remember you and your specific needs every day.  In whatever form of spiritual direction you follow, please specifically remember Deb tomorrow.  She is having a lumpectomy that she has been assured is benign, but we all know that doctors are not perfect and this does involve anesthesia.  Rest assured that I will keep all your things you wrote me private as I promised, but since Deb posted about this on her blog, I thought it would be o.k. to mention it here. 

I'd really like to reach goal by December 31st, but I think I'm becoming more interested in changing my "want-er."  The Master "want-er" wants far more from Sharon than a number on the scale.  When Sharon finally sees that and joins in  instead of fighting it, "all these things shall be added unto her."

P.S.  Down 2 pounds yesterday, up 2 pounds this morning.
         Lunch w/MIL today.  (P.F. Chang's - heaven help us all!!)


  1. This was very interesting to me in light of a post I just drafted (and may publish tomorrow or Friday) about Geneen Roths's book "Women Food and God." Have you read it? She and Oprah really get into this spiritual connection that seems to be exactly what you are talking about with your hiking experience. I don't think about eating or food when I bike either, except for sometimes when I just get that little "I'm starting to get hungry" feeling.

  2. You are correct. I never thought of it that way but when I'm hiking, I forget to eat. I'm so enraptured by nature i.e., water, skyline, trees, flowers, the occasional marmat that I have to remind myself to eat. I never thought of it that way but yes, I too wish I could hike every day.

    Woudln't it be lovely? I'm always thinking about my next meal except for when I'm bopping along a trail.

    I've always had a spiritual connection to the out doors. Even as a kid. Nothing like the sun bathing you as you're sitting on a rock.

    Great post.

  3. good side tracked. The book Karen suggests sounds like a great read. I wish I could TURN OFF the voices in my head telling me "you're hungry, eat" "what's for dinner" "it's almost lunch time." We don't get any of that when we're doing the things we love.

  4. Karen, I have not read "Women, Food and God" yet although I do have it on hold at the library. It should be coming up soon. Will be interested to see your thoughts. I am currently reading Roth's book on Emotional Eating and I like the way she writes.

  5. Love it! When I am busy doing anything I don't think about food either!

  6. I realize that I too have things I do that don't center around food. So much of life DOES, that it's jolting to realize there are things that don't. Biking, running, gym, and reading (I'm lucky, I know). I need to look for more things or maybe DEVELOP more activities that don't revolve around food. A nice, thoughtful post, Sharon. Thank you.

  7. Thanks for the mention, Sharon. I appreciate it!

    As far as the wanter... I wrote a post on that theme in the past. That I wanted to not just harness my desires and bring them into submission, but I wanted them to change. I wanted to want what the Lord wanted for me..including wanting to eat healthy food. :)

    Except for today, of course, I am surprised to find that I am beginning to WANT salads and fruit and veggies. And enjoying them. That's a serious change for this "veggies once a week if I'm lucky" girl.

    The Word says that God will give us the desires of our heart--and I believe that when we ask it as you have done here, He will first PUT that desire IN our hearts, then fulfill it.

    This post blessed the Father, that's for sure.


  8. Sharon, you quoted from my alltime favorite author. So much of what he says about our spiritual journey can be related to our health journey. He also teaches about V.I.M (vision, intention, and means) in regards to spiritual formation, but again can be applied to healthy living. Here is a link to a post I wrote on it. http://debbyweighsin.wordpress.com/2010/01/17/v-i-m/

    And can I just say a hearty amen to this sentiment: "I'd really like to reach goal by December 31st, but I think I'm becoming more interested in changing my "want-er."" I think that puts you one step closer to making permanent changes in your life.

  9. I wish that I could do more hiking too-- This last weekend I really enjoyed walking outside on trails, and made me wish that I was able to do it every day, and that the weather was this nice year round!

  10. Focus on changing the wanter and the scale will move. Focus on the scale within a certain time,and God has to teach lessons about the wanter, which put me at a plateau!!!!!!!!! Some of us learn quicker than others! I think you're quick!

  11. Great post. I feel that way when hiking as well.