An interaction in the hallway at work with a colleague inspired me to add another word to my Word of 2016 list: nourish. The interaction sounded like this.
B: Hi, Julie. <in hushed tones> Have you lost weight?
Me: <nod of my head> Yes. Yes I have. I'm just not ever hungry. And since I'm alone a lot, I just skip meals. I know I don't have any weight to lose.
B: Julie, it's not about being hungry. It's about being healthy and NOURISHING your body. I don't want you to get sick. You need to be strong and healthy for your daughter.
Me: Yes, you are right.
B: Revisit the food pyramid and look at the foods you need to NOURISH your body.
Me: Yes, I will. Thank you.
B did not say the word nourish in bold letters, but that's how I heard them. Since I'm a word nerd, that word stood out to me. NOURISH was the flashlight I needed to illuminate a darkened path. I'd stopped wearing most of my trousers because they were too loose. I'd stopped running because I knew I wasn't fueling my body well enough to support that extra effort. These were subconscious clues that I my stress non-eating was taking a toll. I knew deep down I needed to pay attention to this, but until B initiated this conversation, I didn't know what to do.
I am proud of how I responded. In the past, I would have obsessed and worried over this conversation, and been paralyzed by fear. That day, I decided to let nourishing myself be my guide. I bought supplement drinks to add more calories, asked a friend to cook for me on occasion on evenings when I am on my own, and asked a couple friends to pray for an increased appetite and for weight gain.
Since that hallway conversation, I have taken care to make three meals a day a habit again regardless of whether I feel hunger or not. I am not overwhelmed by the situation. I know I can improve it one meal at a time. So far I have gained back about four pounds, and have my sights on gaining another five. When I hit that weight, I will aim for another five pounds.
TRUST and NOURISH really do seem to be the most appropriate words for me to meditate on in this season of my life. They offer the next steps in self-care that were initiated when I chose the word gentle in 2015. I am in a season of rest, healing, and becoming my best self. Those goals will be achieved as I trust God, myself, and others and as I nourish my body, mind, and spirit.