Don't Let's Call It a Diet

Higher Ground

I’m pressing on the upward way,
New heights I’m gaining every day;
Still praying as I’m onward bound,
“Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.”

Lord, lift me up and let me stand,
By faith, on Heaven’s table land,
A higher plane than I have found;
Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.

I’ve been inhabiting, a little grumpily, a plateau for the past few weeks. It was predictable, I guess. In every journey there are course corrections, right? But as I see in the near distance such marks as the number that will get me my 50 pound Weight Watchers prize (a little disk to add to my WW keychain), or the possibility of actually weighing what it says on my driver’s license, I am eager to move on to the next phase and take little consolation in being a full 50 pounds lighter than I weighed at the doctor’s office last summer, in finding my new size 14 jeans are already a bit loose, in laughing at the enormity of the pair of size 20 jeans I saved as a reminder and knowing I wouldn’t have been able to wear them last June, because I am determined, and not moving forward contains the risk that I will feel I’m failing, and in my life, that fear of failing has usually contained the temptation to stop altogether.

My heart has no desire to stay
Where doubts arise and fears dismay;
Though some may dwell where those abound,
My prayer, my aim, is higher ground.

The good news is that those sorts of thoughts, of quitting, or of being overly impatient with myself, have not come into play.

But that doesn’t mean it’s not disappointing when I’ve been both active and scrupulous about tracking and pretty darn good with my food choices to see the scale go from .6 down to .8 up to .4 down, for a net loss of .2 in the past few weeks.

I know these circumstances would have driven me half-mad in the past.

I want to live above the world,
Though Satan’s darts at me are hurled;
For faith has caught the joyful sound,
The song of saints on higher ground.

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So I remind myself of the loose jeans. And I remind myself of the wedding and engagement rings now so loose that my Valentine gave me a sterling band to wear until it’s the right time to have them resized, and I remind myself that my blood pressure has gone from 148 over 98 to 98 over 60, and I keep doing the same things I’ve been doing. I go to a meeting and listen to my leader, Old and New Friend as she sings a song of the weight loss saints, and I come away encouraged.

I strive to be noble about the whole thing. The weight loss will come again. It must, right?

My mantra has been "Building muscle will surely lead to burning fat and losing pounds." I know already I’m changing in inches, from the way my clothes fit better or don’t fit anymore.

I remember that when I despaired of having success in my husband’s absence last fall, a classmate at WW said, "Would it be the worst thing in the world just to maintain while he’s gone?" I hated having to say it would not be the worst thing. I like to win, you see. I like to be the best at everything. So much of this process has been about letting go of that "I win or I quit" brand of perfectionism that has haunted me all my life.

I want to scale the utmost height
And catch a gleam of glory bright;
But still I’ll pray till Heav’n I’ve found,
“Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.”

Lord, lift me up and let me stand,
By faith, on Heaven’s table land,
A higher plane than I have found;
Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.

I’m striving to be conscious. And it strikes me that the tableland is a kind of a plateau, a place where you can really stop and look around you, sit and contemplate, get your head together for the next step on the journey. Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.

17 thoughts on “Higher Ground”

  1. SB:
    Methinks your feet are planted on higher ground.
    You go, girl, for all the right reasons.
    The scale will reflect the hard work you’re doing. The healthy BP #s and commitment to health are HUGE things. HUGE.

  2. Amen to your comments about the tableland. And you are doing so well!!
    (P.S. How that takes me back to my Baptist days. Who are all the singers? I can hear Iris Dement singing harmony.)

  3. What if you continue to do exactly as you know you need to do but just forgo the scale all together? I weigh once a year at my GYN checkup. No number needs to tell me if I am successful. I know when I am eating in a healthy manner and I know how my clothes fit. Fixating on a number would, in the past, make me want to quit too. But, muscle DOES weigh less than fat and so while you gain muscle but continue to lose fat, the number may not budge, but you are fully LOSING fat and redefining your body. Go to the meetings, stay on plan, but just don’t go there for a few weeks and see what happens. Just a suggestion.
    I am soooooo proud OF you and FOR you my friend!

  4. you’re just having such wondrous progress that your body wants some time to adjust to the new you before there’s even less!
    FWIW: From my experience, as soon as you cave in and buy some new pants you’ll start losing again! It’s that murphy fellow’s fault.

  5. The other day I went back through your Flickr pix and was astounded to see the physical changes through time. The felted hat? you were gorgeous. The Mardi Gras beads? ditto. The similarity is that your gorgeous and blessed spirit shines through in both.
    The difference is not carrying the extra, physical evidence of the baggage. If I keep saying how insanely inspired I am by this journey you’re walking, will you smack me?
    (At first I thought that was you in the clip…talking. Then the singing started and I was pretty sure it wasn’t…!) 🙂

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