Okay…so you’re probably wondering what the two things have in common. Obviously there is tea that assists with weight loss, but that is not was I’m talking about. Let me backtrack to a few months ago….
My husband had a huge carbuncle on his neck (i.e. boil…but how often do you get to say carbuncle? Do you know that was a common expression back in the day? “He’s as touchy as a carbuncle.” Anyway…). It was in the works and pretty painful, but being the good wife I am I just let him cope and put my attention to the huge knot on my youngest son’s head, rubbed injure-heal oil and wrapped my oldest son’s sprained ankle and silently thought about my husband, “Put your big boy pants on and be quiet, already.” I’m a nice girl…I know! It was just the timing! I had two little boys with their own things, and one more boy to take care of was just not what I wanted. Plus, he wasn’t doing anything about it but whining. If you have a headache as an adult, do you just roam around telling your spouse, hoping he/she has some Tylenol? Or do you go look in the medicine cabinet yourself? So our medicine is outside in the yard or in glass jars, but he’s been taken care of enough to know that hyssop is antibiotic, antibacterial, and antiviral. He knows it’s my go to for any kind of infection. He should have known how to make a strong tea from it.
So, in my head he had a pimple. Then he asked me where his jugular vein is exactly. Then he said he was going to get his drill. That got my attention, and I decided maybe I shouldn’t let him take care of himself. I finally looked. EEWWwwwwww. It was huge. It had to be painful!
To avoid him drilling a hole in his neck I got up and did something. I gave him a bundle of dried hyssop and instructed him to fill a tea infuser.
I started the water KETTLE and had him get a mason jar tall enough to accommodate the infuser….and told him to pour the boiling water over it and cover the jar to hold in heat.
He decided (since he was doing it) to add a shot of whiskey along with some honey which is our usual. I helped him place the hyssop leftover from making the tea just as hot as he could stand it on the boil and put a million band-aids to secure it in place. (my infusers are cheap and it’s hard to press out the herbs after steeping, so the hyssop still had a lot to give. THIS INFUSER has a built in plunger to press out the herb without making a mess if you’re only making tea.)
So when he got home from work the next day it had come to a head, and I had him do it all again. Within just a few days of repeating the process he was all healed up.
But what does that have to do with body image? Well, in a round about way…everything! He felt so much better just for actively treating it. I could’ve done it all, as I usually do, and he would’ve told me how kick-*ss (his language) the tea was laced only with a little honey, and it probably would’ve still been ready to deal with by the next day. But maybe not. When we think of stress we think of bills due, a big test, how to shuffle picking up kids and making dinner,…etc. We don’t often realize that we have physical stress, too. Your body knows when it’s facing something bigger than it can deal with effectively. And it’s stressful. Everything in your life can be wonderful but because your body is out of wack everything is out of wack!! We are three-fold beings, so our mental, physical and spiritual are all entangled. Mentally deciding to pursue a physical ailment relieves a lot of stress, and pursuing that gives confidence to our entire being. Throw in God’s grace through medicine and a prayer of healing…cha-ching! Do you remember as a child going to the doctor and before you got the first dose of the antibiotic you already felt better just for going? Same principle.
On to body image. This past spring I caught myself watching the same infomercial again. The same people, carrying on about their dramatic weight loss, increased health, just overall amazing results with the Focus T-25 program. My mother, just the day before, had revealed that she had been diagnosed as diabetic, just as her mother and sister had been. That’s where I could be headed, too! So when my husband said, “I’ll buy it…if you promise you’ll do it,” I picked up the phone to order it. First of all, he was pretty quick to offer, and I know that he is a man, and although he probably doesn’t compare me to other women in a literal way, he does find healthier women attractive. So I do want that for him. I want to be healthier for myself, just as much, and model the importance of maintaining health for my children, too.
There was a time I would’ve told you that I’ve been big all my life. I remember in sixth grade, when ordered to wear the little shorts in P.E., being desperate to not show my fat legs. But the truth in pictures is that I’ve felt big all my life. I’ve looked carefully at the pictures of those years, and when compared to ME, I would say that in sixth grade I was in my natural, normal weight range. Not skinny, but normal for me. Probably closer to the heavy side of average. I’ve noticed in pictures from when my husband and I first bought this property that I wasn’t the skinniest little thing, but compared to ME, I was alright. Compared to ME, right now I’m overweight. I came to this realization a few years ago. I realized that in always feeling “fat”, I had in fact accepted it and became that way. I didn’t even notice when it happened because I didn’t look any different from how I felt I looked already. I can’t say I’ve ever physically felt inadequate…I’m strong enough for anything I need to do. I’m fast enough, have enough endurance to keep up with the gardens, kids, general life here on our hobby farm. But even though I physically felt fine…my perception of my whole self was not okay. I was not fine. I did not/do not feel really good. And what was I doing about it? Roaming around, waiting for my husband to do something! Waiting for him to say something nice or interact with me in a way to make me feel better. He always has to be the one to lift me up so I feel beautiful and wanted. And the fact is, he is never going to be able to do or say anything enough to actually make me better.
So, I ordered the program…It starts on a Monday and I got it on a Tuesday, so I had a whole week to wait. I could already tell a difference before I started. I felt better. All over better. Then I started the program. I found myself, with only a few pounds lost, strutting my stuff in Wal-Mart (quite glamorous, I know!). I found myself more open to my husband’s touch, and I hadn’t even realized I wasn’t before. Of course, no one else could see all those muscles that I could feel. They were hiding under a layer of fat, just as they had been. But I could feel them tighten when I walked. Muscles I didn’t know I had were making themselves known to me, and I felt fabulous. In only a few short weeks I was stronger, faster, more energetic than I had ever been. What happened was that for the first time I wasn’t operating on the comparison of myself to a standard. Just me. Where I started and not where I was, but where I was going. There was a plan. The stress of my current condition had melted with the establishment of a solution. I had made a mental tea, and the simple act of actively pursuing that made me better. I only lost six pounds (consider all the muscle I added), but I also lost eleven inches!! In only three weeks!!
I ended up getting really sick for a few weeks (turns out a gall bladder full of stones has a hard time coping with dramatic body changes) and I didn’t want to move on to the next stage being so removed from the first. It was warming up outside and I didn’t want to start over, either! So it’s going to be a cold-weather thing. Turns out the first five weeks are just building up your strength, endurance, flexibility, and balance for the next five weeks…the real work-out. Once those muscles are there apparently the next part will massacre the fat, but we’ll have to wait and see.
I know that my body works harder than it needs to. I know that we are on the verge of a desperate struggle between diabetes, heart issues and obesity. Those things are real, and my body has no say in the decisions I make. But there’s something about making a medicinal tea. The steam rising and hitting your face. The focus switches from what’s wrong to what you’re doing to make it better. Then that first drink warms your mouth, then your throat, you can almost feel it hitting your stomach, becoming part of you. The heat relaxes you. Helps you sleep so you can heal more. Everything just feels…better. So, here’s to making tea, preparing myself for life changes and actively pursuing a better me!
So, next week I will start again. It’s winter time around here, so there are no excuses of needing to spend my energy elsewhere. Hopefully I will ward off the 5-10 pounds I would have gained this winter. Ideally I will replace it with at least an equal weight loss. Wish me luck…better yet, pray for me!! And please speak out in the comment section!! Can you relate? Are you on a journey? Do you like herbs? Whatever you’re thinking…you listen to me (without charging $180/hour…thank you!). I want to hear you, too!