“Keep Your Eyes on the Prize”


Mindfulness seems to be all the rage these days.  You can take a college course to learn how to be more focused, present and aware  But maybe all you need to do is avoid distractions and not just the cell phone kind.  Distractions and discord have been around since the serpent in the Garden of Eden.  Likened to temptation, a distraction takes you away from somewhere you need to be and steals you away from harmony.  The serpent used a sweet apple, but anything and everything can tempt or distract you away from your goals, your happiness, your purpose in life. 

To stay focused, to stay the course, to follow your own arrows, it helps if you’re passionate about your goal.  And not the fleeting kind of passion you experience with a band, a hobby or the latest superfood.   Because they’ll come a day when you’re not that turned on by kale anymore.

Before the kidney donation, I was pretty obsessed with my health as I should’ve been.  I was passionate about donating the best organ I could.  I was blessed to be healthy and felt I needed to be in my best possible shape.  I ate a steady diet of kidney beans, red veggies and fruit and always drank a ton of water.  I was decluttering my body like I was decluttering my closet, clearing out things I had no use for.  Not that long ago I donated a pair of jeans because I actually owned 2 pair of the same jeans, in the same size.   They were just like my kidneys and I only need one.  The doctors called the donated kidney “beautiful.”  It was just like my dad’s choice in names, Linda which means beautiful in Italian, which also became the kidney’s name.  And for an added boost, the docs also complimented my athletic heart rate and blood pressure.  So I’m pretty sure my passion for health paid off.

After the surgery, I continued the healthy habits I started about 4 years ago.  That was when I began losing weight at Weight Watchers.   Losing weight before the surgery and keeping it off for a while before getting tested made me a good candidate.  The donation team felt my weight loss could be sustainable.

Almost three years later with life’s ups and downs and temptations all around, I remind myself almost daily, “I have to take care of myself.” With one less organ in my body, I can’t take a chance of becoming obese again.  I’m still focused on what I need to do but I can see how easily I can be lured away.  Staying focused, aware and mindful helps keep those temptations and distractions at bay.

While caring for my Dad, not only did I not track my food, I was eating “In-N-Out Burgers” for lunch and dinner.  At trying times, it’s easy to blame stress.  But I’ve fallen off the wagon at happy times because it’s just as easy to blame a long holiday weekend as it is to blame stress, sadness or even boredom.  A Weight Watcher’s leader once said, he lost weight and found it again.  I can also relate to that description.  However, this time, I must keep my eyes on the prize and that is to keep my health, my organs, my temple (my body) in “Linda” condition.


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