The Journey, Week 2 — I Smell French Fries.

It caught me by surprise, the familiar smell of salty/greasy, comforting indulgence. Someone in the office had French Fries. In the span of seconds, my senses triggered an emotional response of self-pity, remorse, deprivation, guilt, punishment and shame. If I had made better choices, I wouldn’t be fat. If I wasn’t fat, I wouldn’t be on a diet. If I was a better/prettier/smarter/more-disciplined person, I wouldn’t be in “food jail.” If I was “normal,” I could eat French Fries, too…
This train of thought spiraled into a startling halt as I realized the office was mostly empty. It wasn’t lunch time, and no one actually had French Fries. As real as it had seemed, I had imagined the whole thing. Seeming to have temporarily turned against me, my mind had fabricated a delusion – a desert mirage of the senses, if you will.
I can’t really blame my psyche for having a craving. French fries are yummy! What really bothers me about that moment is the self-loathing that ensued. Seriously? I am a relatively smart girl. I have my dream job. A cute, sweet, and funny man loves me, and I have a beautiful blue-eyed boy with whom I share a most special, mutual adoration. And I’m seriously going to let PHANTOM French Fries spoil my day?!?! Where does that kind of thinking even come from?? Well, let me tell you…
Somewhere along the way, some part of me decided I deserved to be punished. Put bluntly, it’s called baggage. We’ve all got it, and it doesn’t matter if it’s the latest Louis Vitton or last year’s Wal-Mart Special. Bags are bags, sweetheart, and junk is junk – no matter how much we try to pretty it up with faux leather and leopard print.
I won’t go into the who, what, when, where, why or how I got my junk. I’ll save that for another post. Make that a series of posts, or a book. The point is, it doesn’t really matter right now. Right now, I’m focusing on the future – the next time I smell French Fries. Can I guarantee that I won’t be assaulted with a myriad of negative thoughts? No. Can I prepare myself for the onslaught? Yes!
According to GI Joe, “Knowing is half the battle.” So, what do I know? I know I’m trying. I’m committed. I’ve enjoyed a little bit of success (down 3 pounds in 2 weeks!). I’m not a bad person. I’m a person who used to overeat instead of being true to herself. Now I’m fixing it.
Will I lose 80 pounds by Christmas? Not likely. But, I will have done so by next Christmas. Do I have to put my cheerfulness aside and assume a mantle of shame in the meantime? No. Do I have to go back into hiding until I’m a size 10? No.
What I will do is take my journey one day at a time. I will learn and grow, and enjoy rediscovering who I’ve been and who I am.
Look out, world! Marilyn’s got a brand new bag, Baby!

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