Things got nuts for a while, and between the stress of a five week Anatomy and Physiology course and the job where I did not fit, I began to comfort myself with food. A lot. I actually gained six pounds during that month, and it was embarrassing. I wrestled with food issues a lot. I felt very ashamed of my lack of self control. I was also feeling pretty guilty. On top of school and work, weight became one more thing for me to feel badly about. I began to avoid the scales, and also stopped posting the Friday Weigh In. In looking back, I see that my last post was June 18th. At that point, I'd lost 18 pounds for the year. My weight began to wobble. And then I managed to gain six pounds. Six. How bad am I? Pretty bad it turns out.
Well, class is over, and I got a B. I've also got a job that I enjoy a lot. The people are awfully nice. It's a pretty physical job, and I actually like that part. A lot. And magically, that whole eating for comfort thing has settled down. Just like that. If ever was a lesson to be learned, this is it. When my life is under control, so is my eating.
Now, I have not weighed myself, even though I knew that I was losing weight again. I mean, there was something just inherantly awful about losing the same weight that I'd already lost before. I just made up my mind to give myself a month, and then get back on the scale. When I got back to the weight I was when I posted that I'd lost 18 pounds, well, I'd begin posting again.
You know, I have the funniest stories from work. I love that job. Just all sorts of charactors. I was ringing up an Amish man. The folks behind him said, "Are you Mr. Yoder?" For an Amish, he was pretty funny stuff. He answered, "Well, one of them." Byler. Yoder. Miller. Those last names are probably shared by more than half of the Amish here. But the people behind him said, "You're Eli's father right?" and he admitted that he was. And the people began to tell him what a wonderful boy Eli was, that he'd done some work for them, and they were quite impressed with him. So impressed that they treated him to dinner at the local Chinese buffet. The woman said, "We all tried to eat with chop sticks and couldn't. Except Eli. He figured them out with no problem at all." And the whole mental picture of an Amish man using chopsticks to eat his Chinese made the entire line burst out laughing, even Eli's father.
And there was this elderly lady who came into the store. She was about to begin volunteering at a local therapeutic riding place. It is a place where people with disabilities get a chance to ride, and physically handicapped children develop muscle control, or balance, or simply get stronger. Autistic children bond with the animals there. The animals are collected from abusive situations, and brought there to be loved on for the rest of their lives. The thing that I love is that I when I meet the people who volunteer there, some of them are pretty broken themselves, coming from very sad situations. They begin to volunteer at the Double Rainbow Ranch, and they find meaning in their own lives. They love the animals. They love the kids. They love Milton, the funny lively man who runs the show. Everyone wins there. The kids. The animals. The volunteers. The owner. It is amazing to me, and I'd like to volunteer there myself, if I ever have the time.
Anyhow this elderly woman came into the store. She was looking for barn boots, because she has just volunteered at the Double Rainbow Ranch. I show her our barn boot selection, which ranges from the $10. basic black boots to the top of the line Muck boots which cost over $100. She had a hundred questions, and it was obvious that she was a very lonely woman. She just talked and talked and talked. I thought to myself that she was a perfect fit for the Double Rainbow Ranch. I scooted back and forth between customers at the register, back to her, and it was getting kind of frustrating because honestly, a lot of conversation had begun to rotate around which boots she should buy, and that tends to be more a matter of personal choice. She just had to decide. And she couldn't. She waffled around. At one point, she came walking through the boot section taking mincing tiny steps. She wanted me to cut the plastic line that held the two boots together so that she could wear them around the store for a while. I was waiting customers, so it took me a minute to get to her with the scissors. In the meantime, she made hobbled little steps to get to me first. Finally, when we began closing up the store, she made her decision, and bought her blue boots, and proudly wore them out of the store. Bless her heart! You know, she called the very next day to tell management about my wonderful patience, and how pleased she was with my service. Ike couldn't get her off the phone and handed it to me. The woman told me, "You know, you are VERY good at your job. I'd never been in Tractor Supply before, but I'm coming back." Now wasn't that sweet?
But the thing that I love most about that job is this: that everyone comes through your line, and you have a few moments to speak to them, and in that few moments, almost always, we find something in common. A shared interest. A shared opinion. I love listening to their stories.