I won’t be doing this every day, but I have had some interesting revelations (may be too strong a word) today.
The first revelation is that TV is as much a habit as anything. I have the TV on when I cook and tonight, the silence was weird. When I sat down to eat (on a TV tray sitting on the couch), that was also weird, especially since nobody else was home at the time. So what does one do when they are eating alone…on the couch…in front of the TV? Reading a book was a little sloppy, but it was the distraction I needed.
The second (and probably more important revelation) was that it has already become clear to me that God is going to do some work on me during these 40 days. I have a problem with moderation. A big problem. This applies to many areas of my life….TV, food and drink consumption, exercise. I am just an all or nothing girl. And sometimes when the pendulum swings too far in a particular direction, I use abstinence as a correcting tool. In other words, I go from one extreme to the other. My extremes are relative…I don’t go from drunken binges to detox, but I do tend to be more on the edges of what is comfortably healthy at times. (That was hard to write, but is truth.) Exercise has been an area that moderation has been a real struggle. Once I set an exercise goal, I have trouble not turning the goal into my everyday expectation. For example, a recent goal was that I wanted to be able to run 5 miles. I had previously only done this on 2 occasions ever. TWO! So getting to the point that I could do it at all would be a major accomplishment. The goal in my head is that I would be able to run that far on occasion and not die. The reality is that as I increase my distance in pursuit of that goal, my goal becomes the new benchmark. I hit the goal two weeks in a row and then the goal somehow became the new benchmark. And by the way….5 miles is a once a week deal. I can’t do it two days in a row, and often have to take a day off after I do it. It is NOT a good goal for everyday running. I know this. Yet, I still feel bad when I “only” run 4 miles. Mark has tried to use logic to explain why my reasoning isn’t healthy. Um…no kidding Captain Obvious, I have a problem!! J
So back to today. For those of you who are keeping track, my commitment for Lent was no TV with a couple of very specific exceptions. The exceptions were specifically to address this issue with moderation. I said that I would be allowed to watch TV when I am on the treadmill. I need the distraction or the exercise becomes too much of a chore. I don’t want to have the no TV thing become an impediment to regular exercise, so I gave myself this permission. HOWEVER, today, I decided that I really didn’t want to start day 1 with even a little TV. Cold turkey baby!! So instead, I went for a run outside….in the rain…two days after a 5 mile outside run. My bones are 41 years old next week and they tend to let me know that outside runs are great, but make me more fatigued than inside runs. So I kinda knew the outside run thing could maybe not go well today. I made up my mind that I would only go 4 miles and I would not feel bad about it. At about mile 1, I tried to give myself permission to only go 3 miles because I was feeling kinda crappy. No dice. I went the full 4. For the last mile, I was DYING. My legs felt like they were encased in cement, I was gasping for air and generally miserable. All the while, I am reflecting on this little problem I have with moderation and thinking, “So you think you’re trying to show me something God? Huh???? Well, I’ll show YOU!” Ask me how that worked out for me. But I know you already know the answer.
Tomorrow, if I can get myself up and down the stairs, I will WALK on the treadmill with the TV on. Moderately.