“Of The Fish and Honeycomb”
By Carolyn Allen
Today is the day after Easter. What a glorious time it is, one that is much anticipated not for just the Easter Sunday itself, but for the remembrance of the Savior’s last days and weeks, and the annual thrill of the world turning green once again. Whether you enjoyed a busy day with family and friends, or experienced a quiet personal time, it’s often a little sad and empty when the joys of a holiday weekend – especially a spiritual holiday like Easter that is preceeded by the rich feast of General Conference the weekend before, ends.
It’s easy to wander around for a day or two (which often turns into more), nibbling on Easter candy and leftovers, avoiding exercise and trying to “get up and going” and into the swing of things. For most of us, it’s that way after any holiday or when our routines are interrupted. It can last for several hours, several days, or even several weeks, causing weight gain and personal disappointment in our lack of ability to “get it together.” These are normal tendencies, surely not unique to us and our generation!
Though we know much of the days and weeks leading up to the Crucifixion, there is precious little of the days after, especially of the day-to-day lives for the family and friends of the Savior. I often wonder how Mary, Jesus’ mother, and the others made it through that first Monday and that first week. After all that had transpired, weren’t they exhausted? Physically, emotionally and spiritually? Surely there were children and grandchildren to care for, chores, jobs and gardens that had been neglected, animals that needed tending, and meals to prepare.
These mundane, earthly things must surely have seemed impossibly unimportant and dull in light of the death and resurrection of Jesus, their son and brother, Jesus their Lord and Savior. Did they, like us, struggle to “get up and get going?” What reservoirs of faith and coping measures did they draw upon at such a time? Was there a desire to sleep or fritter the days away as they both rejoiced and mourned? As they sought to come to personal terms with the eternity-altering events they had been a part of?
Perhaps there was a measure of comfort in simply returning to routine and a schedule. Perhaps within a few hours or days, they were able to catch up with neglected tasks as rooms, gardens and barns were tidied as schedules were restored. Perhaps they then received the lift of a “second wind” that brought the physical and emotional energy that arrives when order and a schedule is again restored. That lift often clears the path for increased peace, reflection, and understanding.
However they coped – or didn’t — for a lucky few, there was a chance to walk and talk with the Savior again as he returned and proved the actuality of his resurrection. It is fascinating to me that he proved the actuality of the resurrection by doing the routine and mundane, the physical! He walked with them, talked with them and ate with them, even fish and honeycomb.
By doing so he proved that it is the routine, mundane, earthly things that make up the days of our lives and that allow us to grow and become who we are meant to be. When those routines include (even marginally) positive, productive habits that provide health and stability, our days are brighter and far better, even when temporarily disrupted with a holiday or other events.
These interruptions are as sure as the morning sunrise and often thwart our efforts to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Sometimes they can be predicted and are scheduled (i.e., holidays and vacations) but just as often they cannot.
Spencer W. Kimball’s often quoted counsel to create a reservoir applies beautifully for preparing for these disruptions to healthy living:
“There are in our lives reservoirs of many kinds. Some reservoirs are to store water. Some are to store food. There should also be reservoirs of knowledge to meet the future; reservoirs of courage to overcome the floods of fear that put uncertainty in lives, reservoirs of physical strength to help us meet the frequent burdens of work, reservoirs of goodness, reservoirs of stamina, reservoirs of faith. Yes, especially reservoirs of faith so that when the world presses in upon us, we stand firm and strong; when the temptations of a decaying world about us draw on our energies, sap our spiritual vitality and seek to pull us down, we need a storage of faith that can carry us through the dull, the difficult, the terrifying, the disappointments, disillusionments and years of adversity, want, confusion and frustration.” (Spencer W. Kimball, “Faith Precedes the Miracle” Deseret Book, 1972. Pages 110-111.)
How well I remember a woman in one of my weight loss groups who had determined to lose just over 25 pounds. Her husband became terminally ill when she’d lost about 15 pounds. There was much disruption to her life and he was quickly gone, in about six weeks. To my great amazement, she continued to maintain her healthy eating habits and reached her goal a couple of months after his death. “However did you find the strength to do this?” I asked. I’ve never forgotten her reply: “It’s the only thing I can control in this difficult time — what I put in my mouth, what I buy at the store. Exercise at the gym provides someplace to go each day, gives me release, helps me cope with the sorrow and gives me something else to concentrate on for an hour or two. The structure and distraction is a blessing! Not to mention feeling great about achieving something difficult and knowing it would make him happy and proud.”
Equally remarkable is that her healthy habits had not been long years in the making. She’d only been at it for 2-3 months!
I believe her experience is a perfect example of what President Kimball is talking about, and a great reminder that new habits can be established as soon as we wish.
What reservoirs can we create? Here are five good ones that will create peace today and ease and security for tomorrow:
1) Eat just raw fruit for breakfast. As much as you want of any raw fruit: apples, oranges, bananas. It’s easy and requires no special preparation. It’s also very affordable. You will find, as we have, that it is plenty filling and will not cause weight gain. Fruit goes into your stomach and out in a matter of 20-45 minutes. Other foods, including protein and grains may take up to 4 hours, draining your body of energy while it digests that food. This means more good news with just fruit for breakfast: No more morning lethargy! We have been doing this for several months now and are amazed at not only how much easier it makes the morning, but how much better we feel! Learn more by clicking here.
2) Get some kind of physical exercise — brisk walking will more than do, just get that heart rate up for at least 15 minutes! If you have joint problems, chair-walk by sitting on the edge of a chair, get lift your feet one at a time and pump those arms.
3) Keep carbs at an absolute minimum. Especially refined ones. Throw out the Easter candy, the dinner leftovers and the bunny cake today! Concentrate on the spring-colored foods that are literally filled with light from growing in the sun. Think dark green, bright green, orange, bright red, purple from the produce aisle. These are foods that build our bodies.
4) Instead of nibbling or gobbling, sit down and use your divinely-given senses of taste and smell to truly TASTE what you eat, Here’s how. With every bite
S – Second
T – To
E – Express gratitude, examine the flavors and textures, experience true joy in eating
5) Remember who you are! How often we tell that to our teens, but we can remember ourselves that we are divine sons and daughters of a King! If that is so, then there is no problem that we cannot face, no disappointment that we cannot meet with courage and faith, and without unnecessary, inappropriate food. If you’re used to having something in your mouth, sugarless gum is a quick-fix that does the trick well. Cinnamon is especially helpful as it has been shown to reduce food cravings.
How good it feels to be up and doing, proving and improving our own mortality by doing what we know is best and right for today and at the same time building reservoirs for tomorrow!
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