The good Lord gave me some inspiration from a totally unexpected source — a freelance assignment! My project involved a book by Mark Batterson called All In (A FABULOUS read, by the way), and one of his lines jumped out at me. He writes, “You are one decision away from a totally different life.” Wow, right? Now, I’m sure Batterson never intended to offer diet advice, but nevertheless, his words carried me through a 3-day weekend, two barbecues, and a fateful trip to the drive through.
I normally allow myself “free range privileges” on holidays, but this time I found myself thinking things like, “That hot dog was SO good! I’d really like another one, but I want a different life instead.” Or, “Cheesy Bread chips?? Seriously? Forget seconds, can I just inhale the bag??” Uhm, no. I want a DIFFERENT LIFE.
The idea just captivated me. Whenever I’ve dieted in the past, I’ve told myself “no” to things I liked, but I didn’t really let myself see the reward – the fruits of my labor, so to speak. My vision didn’t really reach very far into the future because my dreams for myself just really weren’t very big.
In addition to my relative bbq victories (I enjoyed myself, but I didn’t go crazy), I had an interesting drive-through experience that left me with a liberating revelation. I had forgotten to bring my lunch, so I went out for a quick bite. I was careful and chose a grilled chicken wrap even though the chocolate chip cookies splattered across a HUGE sign called to me like the Sirens called to Jason and his Argonauts. I wanted to give in to temptation SO BADLY. But, I made it past the microphone without giving in. Then, at the window, came the real test. A sweet girl smiled and held out a large caramel mocha frappe. “We accidentally made this extra frappe – you can have it for free!” Then, another girl came over and said, “Yes, PLEASE take it because, if you don’t, I will!” Did I mention both of these sweet girls were very thin? I smiled and said, “Thank you, but I can’t. I’m on a diet.” Thin girl #2 says, “Oh, okay. I’m proud of you, though!” I smiled back and drove away. My grilled chicken tasted REALLY good that day. I guess self-satisfaction makes a pretty good condiment. 🙂
I began to realize that every no can be a yes to something else, and that felt pretty amazing. Feeling a bit like Galadriel after she passed the test of the ring was pretty awesome too! (Throwing that out there for all my fellow nerd friends ;)).
This is the first time I’ve had joy while trying to lose weight, and that I am doing it really just because I want to. Not because I wanted a boy to like me, not because I’m afraid my husband will leave me, not because I’m afraid people won’t like me. But, just because I want to finally be free to be me. I don’t have to hide anymore. It’s okay to let the world in and not try to morph myself into whatever I think it wants me to be. It’s okay to let the world know I don’t just like Billy Joel and the Beach Boys, but I also like The Cure and The Rolling Stones. It’s okay to let the world know that I’ve been a closet Egyptologist wannabe since I was 7. It’s okay to let the world know some of the stuff I’ve tucked away because we’re all in this together, right? And maybe, just maybe ,I can reach out, and someone will reach back, and I can help pull them into the light, too.