Patience was never one of my strong suits. Two years ago when I was up at my sisters cottages, which have been in my family for many generations, I commented on the beauty of Great Grandma’s (Baba) lilies that are sprinkled about and how they are still going even though she has long passed.
My brother-in-law over hearing my enthusiasm and gratitude over Baba’s flowers, surprised me the day I was flying home with 6 plants he uprooted for me to take back to Florida. Everyone scoffed at the idea saying these lilies could never grow in Florida soil.
Ignoring the nay sayers, my husband and I got busy and planted all 6 in the ground as soon as I landed and we returned to our Florida home. And…they all died! And then a strange thing happened. A few months after their death green foliage sprouted, but nothing more. Years passed. And today, to my glee I walked by and spotted this orange flower swinging to the breeze.
What a lesson in patience! I am so glad we did not give up and dig the plants out. Releasing weight and recovering from an eating disorder works the same way. Often you want to throw in the towel and just give up, especially if your are worshipping the scale. I know I never had patience to lose weight. I was jumping on and off the scale on a daily basis. Then one day (many years ago) a very wise friend of mine suggested I trust my food plan and turn the rest over to God. Wow…that was a bit much for me. First off, I never thought of my food and weight a God thing. I always thought about it as a lack of will power on my part. But, I thought with a hundred extra pounds hanging on my body what did I have to lose? Okay…I stepped into that one: 100 pounds!!!
I learned a profound lesson. I stopped worshipping the scales and trusted a power greater than me. I put all my attention on what I was eating: weighing and measuring it. I let go of sugar, flour and wheat and turned the rest over to this power bigger and grander than little ole me. And I waited. And waited. And waited. Nothing. A little like Baba’s orange lily. I was barely losing a pound every few weeks. I decided to let go of the daily ritual and worship of weighing my body and instead turned to once a month and trusted my plan would work. Some months I dropped a pound. Some months nothing. Other months I got a hand full of pounds off. But I stuck to leaving the scale to the power greater than me. Slowly and steadily my body changed, my spirituality strengthened, and my confidence soared. I like to think of it like healing. My body, mind, and spirit were healing.
My little flower could not have come at a better time. Today, 11 years ago, April 11, 1998, my Mom had a massive stroke at 4:00 a.m. I got the call from my Dad and by 8:00 a.m. I was in the car headed to Madeira Beach. We were suppose to have a lovely Easter Sunday together; all the preparations were waiting in the kitchen, even the little basket for Benjamin who was then 8 years of age. Life changed in that moment I received the call. I believe my Mom would be here today if she had understood eating disorders and obesity. My mission is to carry the news to those living and suffering from eating disorders…
So, here I am today reflecting on patience. I attach my weight loss success and my peace with my addictive foods to patience. Just like my little orange flower, blowing in the wind, I have sprouted my own pedals. I too needed a little soil, watering, sun, and love. I am grateful to have a piece of Wautoma, Wisconsin (Baba) in my back yard. It was worth the wait just as letting go of 100 pounds was worth the years it took. Today, I am at a healthy normal weight…never worried about what to wear or what to eat, just sticking to weighing and measuring my food, not eating sugar, flour, or wheat, and turning everything over to a power greather than me. Life is good.
Photos by: Dr. Lisa Ortigara Crego