Friday, December 24, 2010

Flowers and Fruit

This is in the front yard of my home until New Year's Day!
Venice, Florida - December 22, 2010

If you've seen the movie "Chocolat" (one of my personal favorites), recall the scene where the priest finally caves in to the temptation he has so pridefully resisted throughout the movie.  He is seen in the window of the Chocolate Shop comatose from hours of binging on all the chocolate.  Well, that visualization could be me except I am happy to say that my coma would be fruit-induced, not sugar, although for a few days, I was concerned that the sugar-induced coma might take place.  Pioneer Farm Market in Venice, FL smiles when they see me coming because they know it's going to be a big sale!  Gotta stock up today because they are closed until Monday!   LOL!  

But I had enough sugar in me that the transition wasn't easy and the "turtles" haven't left me completely.  I totally loved Ann's comment on my last post that she only saw a dolphin in the bottom of that pool, NO TURTLES!  That dolphin actually ended up saving me from a few turtles!  Hey, I'll take inspiration any way I can get it!  Thanks, Ann!

Speaking of temptation, the Bible Study I've mentioned numerous times continues to provide amazing insight to me these days. I refuse to chalk that up to coincidence and I'm going to pass a bit more of that on to you in the hopes it may sustain you for the next eight days and into 2011.  As I've said before, I know everyone does not follow my belief system and I respect that, but I don't believe anyone can deny the wisdom of these Biblical principles.

I want my journey to a healthy weight and lifestyle to be much more than a story of pounds lost and kept off.  I want it to be a story of growth and character building.  For me, character building and growth is displayed when I produce a different kind of fruit!  Those fruits are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, humility and self-control.  These fruits, just like the to-die-for oranges, grapefruits and strawberries I've been binging on, mature VERY slowly!  The older I get, the more I realize that these fruits are often developed when I am allowed to experience circumstances in which I am tempted to express the EXACT OPPOSITE quality.  For example, we learn more about loving others when some quite "unlovely" people are placed in our paths.  It's easy to love the "pretty" people who are kind and loving to us!  We understand true peace, not when everything goes the way we want it to, but on the other side of chaos and confusion.  Patience is learned in the looooooooooooong check out line with the nasty clerk or when children push that last button!!  But every time we defeat a temptation, we grow and our character builds.

Temptation is a process that begins with a desire.  My tendency is to blame the "desire" on external circumstances, but that is not true.  ALL temptation begins within!  In your mind, not in your surroundings.  Without the internal desire, the temptation would not attract you.  Every one of you can think of something with which other people struggle that is simply not a problem for you.  The internal desire just isn't there.  "Normal" eaters don't struggle with the desire to binge.  The internal desire just isn't there.

Doubt and mental deception follow the desire.  Ever had this discussion with yourself?  "Just one won't hurt,"  "It's the holiday's, I'll start tomorrow," "This isn't bad, no food is bad, I can have anything I want in moderation," "I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings by refusing the food they've prepared," "I just can't be around all this food and not eat it, I'm addicted, I can't help it," "these people should be more supportive of me, how can they do this and not care what I'm going through?"  Yada, yada, yada!  All are negative statements designed to justify the "desire" which has already taken hold.  

Then there is the final step when the temptation becomes the reality of giving in!  We finally act on the "process" that we've been toying with in our minds since the "desire" was planted!  

Here are some additional suggestions for overcoming temptation to go along with those in my last post:

1)  Refuse to be intimidated - Understand that reaching a weight loss goal and years of successful maintenance will NEVER, EVER totally free us from temptation.  You can ask any one of my friends in BlogWorld who have been maintaining for years!  They will tell you that there will ALWAYS be periods when the fruit is peaceful and self-control is easy.  They will also tell you that the "devil" raises his ugly head when you least expect it and haunts you with a vengeance.  

2)  Recognize your pattern of temptation and be prepared for it - The time to stop the process is when the "desire" from within speaks!  Know what triggers it, understand your personal vulnerabilities and know your plan of attack!  

3)  Ask for help! - Yeah, you knew this one would get in there!  It always does!  And why would that be?  BECAUSE IT WORKS!   I ask for and gladly take help from any source I can find!

I have already decided that 2011 will be, for me, a year of expanding my orchard!  I have a lot to learn because I've never been a very successful gardener!  But I have a master teacher, lots of study material and a universal support system. I think I better begin with growing some self-control!   Will you join me?

Things have settled down a bit here in Venice and we are having a lovely time.  It took us a few days to establish a routine that worked!   For the last 26 years, we have lived close to both sets of parents so visits were frequent, but never for days at a time.  You quickly learn a lot about someone else's routines when you are with them 24/7!  Let's just say the "patience" in my orchard should be more fully developed by the time we return home!  Gentleness and kindness are needing some fertilizer, but we're working on that!

But the weather couldn't be more perfect and I am provided every opportunity to walk and/or take a bike ride any time I need to "go away" for awhile!   Once we got past the "turtle" episode, much more respect has been displayed to me with respect to the eating choices I'm trying to make.  That whole thing was very out of character for Mr. B and I think had more to do with "I'm with my mama, I'll do anything I want to do," than any intentional act toward me.  I'll blame it on the "only child" syndrome!  

I have no plans to take any blogging breaks over Christmas or New Year's.  It may not be every day, but I'm most definitely here!  Every last one of you are special to me and I love reading your stories.  I wish you all a wonderful Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  

May it be filled with Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness, Humility and Self-Control!


  1. Interesting post - made me think about that temptation and desire thing. Especially in light of how frivolously I gave into my own desire in the face of massive temptation this week.

    Merry Christmas, Sharon:)

  2. Sharon, I have to tell you - seeing that photo was like a breath of fresh air. I was just looking outside my window while waiting for your blog to load - everything white, no color...and BAM! That blast of purple came up. Soak it all in for me, will you?

  3. That is a lovely bougainvillea plant! I love them! I am originally from California where they are also a plenty.

    Your post resonated with me in so many ways.So much of what we do during our weight loss journey is learning how to be healthy., but learning so many other things, too. It is a grand journey of self discovery.

    You have made terrific progress this year which was so evident in your adventures in biking and hiking with Tish. Slow and steady is what I say. It has been so great to get to know you through your blog. Stay strong, my blogger friend through this wonderful season. Thanks for all your inspirational thoughts. Merry Christmas, Michele

  4. Beautiful post!!! Very inspirational!!

    Keep up the great work my friend!!!

    Merry Christmas!!

  5. Sharon,
    Once again your post spoke to my heart. God is amazing that way, isn't He? It was just what I needed to read this morning to get me through the next hours and days.

  6. Fruit is our friend, I am convinced. Especially when trying to fight off the sugar monster. Have a wonderful blessed Christmas, Sharon.