November will be my one year anniversary of living feast and famine intentionally. In today’s fast-paced world, many a mother fuels herself with caffeine and sugar. I get it. The back-to-school days of three years ago, where I was working and trying to balance family life, left me out of gas and out of time to do the things I needed to do. The to-do list is never ending, and there isn’t enough time in the day. We take care of our house, our spouse, our children, the plants in the garden, and, in some cases, the dogs and the chickens! I struggled to find time to grocery shop, so I pulled through a drive through far more than I ever wanted. There I was—a mom who loved to cook, but who was stretched too thin and gaining unwanted weight. I was not taking care of my own health.
I found myself hiding behind my children when we took photos as we traveled. I realized I kept needing new clothes because I didn’t like the way mine fit or didn’t fit! My tired bones rebelled against me as I failed to do the things I wanted to do. I finally accepted I was overweight. It was time for me to make changes. How does one find balance while taking care of so many responsibilities? How can I pour from an empty cup? Where do I find the time?
My gluttony was more about my inside pains rather than what I was putting inside my mouth. I needed to discover why I behaved in such a mindless way. What were the roots of my constant feasting? What was eating me?
Growing up with instability and sporadic poverty, I viewed the power to buy and consume whatever I wanted as freedom from my past. I viewed going to the grocery store and loading up on food as a huge success. It felt good to feast and share the feasting with others. Many profound conversations are held at the dinner table. The food wasn’t my problem. I was trying to heal the wounds of my past with a twisted solution that ultimately wounded my present. I was unhealthy and I had to face the truth.
I found a program that worked for me which centered around sleep, water, and better food choices. The biggest mind-shift for me was not about the food placed in my mouth or the pounds I lost. It was that I needed to turn to Christ to heal my wounds and to find my worth. I needed to take care of myself so I could properly care for my family. It wasn’t selfish to get a full night’s sleep if I could wake-up ready for a full and joyful day. I can say no to the things that I felt guilty about saying yes to. I could fast and be satisfied. I could feast and not feel guilty. I found balance beyond the scale in the bathroom.
We know the truth by living our faith in word and deed. Holy Mother Church gives us all the directions we need. There is a time to feast at the wedding of Cana, and there is a time to fast in the desert. Finding fulfillment in Christ and his unconditional love during feast and during famine brings me to the best physical and spiritual health I’ve ever experienced. This gift allows me to model a better life for my children so they in turn will make good choices in times of feast and times of famine. Living feast and famine for me means giving yourself what makes you whole and depriving yourself of the things that weigh you down.