After ever so many months, I'm finally back. I've had such an adventurous few months; I can't possibly tell all, but could hit some highlights, for sure.
The biggest, ongoing adventure is my foray into the world of food addiction. Actually saying that I'm an addict was the hardest part, and once that hurdle was behind me, it has been full steam ahead in the weight department. I've lost 55 pounds in the last year, first losing 25 last summer, but gaining back 10 of that when fall arrived. Those autumn months were when I finally came to the conclusion that I couldn't do it alone. In December I got serious about the program, and started counting my "days abstinent" on January 2. I've had several breaks since then, have yet to accumulate 90 continuous days -- but the weight has continued to fall away, and I weigh less than I have in 15 years! No, I don't have a recent picture to show, but I promise to get some this month. And I don't want to neglect to mention the program I've joined: Food Addicts in Recovery Anonymous (FA). It's known to be fairly strict, and closely aligned with Alcoholics Anonymous. It's not or everyone, but it's surely for me. I have been living a miracle these last few months.
This adventure is about far more than weight loss, however. There's a saying in FA: "I got in it for the vanity and stayed in it for the sanity." It has been delightful, for sure, to buy clothes in smaller sizes; but I have more energy and order in my life than I have had in years, too. Somehow my garage, my potting shed, and my home have become more organized. They're not perfect, never will be -- but there is room to breathe! I've got a (reduced, more sensibly-sized) vegetable garden in, and I seem to have more time on my hands for the things that count: reading, writing, enjoying my back porch, talking on the phone to friends and family, and taking care of business at the church.
I've also had many adventures this spring:
A mission trip to Honduras, helping in the dental clinic of a school and orphanage (no, I have no dental training, but I learned to assist with some things):
It was an amazing experience -- I think everything that a mission trip is supposed to be. I learned about the kids, the country, the school, and myself. I did a lot of reflecting and writing, and am so happy that I went.
I also attended a writing retreat at Valle Crucis Conference Center, and got re-invigorated to write about the black madonna. I'm currently working on an article that I'm hoping to publish. This group of women, who have been writing together for some time, will get together again in August, and I will join them!
Since I have lost considerable weight, I've been enjoying the heat much more than I ever have. I spend a lot of time reading and writing on my cozy back porch:
I also use my little grill almost every night, and the porch has become my favorite spot! The large pot you see on the left is actually a water feature that I made myself; the sound of water splashing masks the traffic noise from the busy road in front of my house. I sit out here and do work, do meditative writing, and sometimes just kick back and pretend that I'm already on vacation!
So on this Independence Day, I wish you the freedom I'm finding this summer.