The Waiting Game

Deep lessons from giving out simple nutrition advice at work…

Here’s one of my secrets to eating right and maintaining a healthy weight… sometimes you have to wait.

There are a few times when despite my best efforts, I eat a 500-700 calorie meal and still feel hungry. I know that if I eat more, I’ll undercut my progress maintaining or losing weight. So if this happens, what do I do? Go back for seconds? Snack in between meals? Search for a magical junk food that makes me feel full but has no calories?

Nope, nope, and nope.

Basically, I have two options. The options for “earning more food” are: 1) wait 4-5 hours for the next meal – which is earning by time – OR 2) exercise to create a calorie deficit. That’s it. Those are our options.

If you choose to wait, I highly recommend distracting yourself by getting busy with other things. Otherwise, it becomes considerably harder.

This is a hard lesson to learn – how to wait for food when it’s so available, so abundant, and so obtainable. It takes practice. 

I realize waiting is hard for most people I know. Not just at mealtimes, but in life. We’re so impatient these days to have what we want, when we want it. It’s normal to have instant gratification. It’s not normal to “go without.”

It’s not surprising the act of waiting seems foreign to us in the United States. Everything in our culture is telling us to act impatient. Marketing companies ask us, “Why wait?” (as if that’s the silliest thing in the world to CONSIDER a purchase before buying it). Or, they tell us we “deserve a treat.” No, we don’t.

We don’t deserve a treat. Not really. We’ve had far too many treats. That’s our problem.

We’ve lost the skill of learning how to wait for things in life. Not only that, when we DO have to wait for something, we’ve lost the skill of waiting gracefully.

Two things about waiting gracefully….

You have to realize something – you shouldn’t always get what you want – if you did, you’d be spoiled rotten. Anytime my younger sisters complain about my mom or dad not giving them something, I remind them that this is a good thing. They’re learning how to not be spoiled. Why can’t they appreciate the absence of gifts just as much as receiving a gift? It takes awhile in life to realize it’s not a good thing to have too much.

The other thing we should realize about waiting is that waiting can be an active time. Everyone looks at waiting as a time of torture or despair. I’m not getting what I want and this is TERRIBLE. We have to get over it. Move forward. Waiting can be a time of preparation for things to come instead of a time of “wasted energy.” It’s only wasted if you sit and dwell on what you don’t have instead of thinking about what you do have.

This lesson was particularly useful to me because I realize I’ve been in a waiting game myself.

God’s depriving me…good news!

Sometimes we don’t realize that God has to say no to some prayers in order to give us opportunities for other parts of our life to flourish. It seems like an easy thing to grasp, but it’s not so easy when it’s you.

It happens to me all the time.

I’ll give you an example. A couple months before I left for Brazil I met a very nice boy. We dated for awhile.Long story short, it was great for about a month and then he started distancing himself from me and I stopped hearing from him completely 3 weeks prior to my trip.

When I look back on that trip, I realize it was a blessing. The lessons I learned about myself and about life would have never happened if I had a boyfriend at home waiting for me. I needed to be unattached.

I was forced into waiting for a relationship; but, the waiting served a purpose. It couldn’t have worked out between us before I left because I had things to do. I needed to grow. God knew this. I’m sure of it.

Even now that I’m back from Brazil, I’m thankful to be single. My sister moved in to my apartment while I was gone. Which means, I’ve come home to a new roommate.

I love it.

I realized today that I have time to spend with her because I have no boyfriend. Boyfriends take up time. Now is my time with her.

When you’re young, it’s easy to take time with your siblings for granted. You don’t realize how hard it’s going to be to go back to the way things were when you lived under the same household. You don’t realize how much adulthood can pull you away from each other.

It’s so rare to get an opportunity to spend 6 months living with your little sister (as adults); I’m thankful to have that chance. I don’t need a distraction pulling me away. This is the time I have and the situation I was granted. I can’t change that. So, why not make the best of it? Why not realize that because I’m a single 26 year old woman with my own apartment, I get to have an opportunity to live with my unmarried 19 year old sister that needs an apartment. I doubt she would find it nearly as exciting/easy to live with me if she were moving into a house with a married couple with kids.

Thank God for saying no to my prayer for a husband. I’ve got some things to do before I’ll be ready for him.

Are you wasting time waiting? Or putting the extra time to good use? 

4 thoughts on “The Waiting Game

  1. omggggg you’ve just written what I’ve been verbalizing to EVERY SINGLE PATIENT OF MINE. Except in MUCH nicer terms. “Hunger” will NOT KILL YOU. None of them can conceptualize what REAL hunger is, and I find that somewhat insulting to people who go without food on a regular basis and who are suffering from extreme hunger. I may share this with some of my patients, if that’s ok with you!

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