Friday, September 16, 2011
Proverbs 17:1 A dry crust eaten in peace is better than a great feast with strife.
The summer is over and my birthday is coming up: 11-11-11. I had planned to spend these past 12 weeks working out and eating right so that I could give myself the best birthday gift of all: the fittest adult body I’ve ever had. Instead, I did very little and I ate too much. So, I’ve been kicked out of 100’sville for a little while until I can get my act together.
It would be too easy to say I’m lazy. People have been telling me that for over three decades, yet it has had virtually no effect on my behavior. And, besides, no one is as skilled at casting aspersions upon Ginger as Ginger. So what is really going on here? In order to escape this bondage, I must identify the straps that bind me.
I have always defied anyone telling me what to do and how and when to do it. Though I was suffering terribly at 350 pounds, I snubbed the guidance and support wisely offered by nutritionists, commercial programs, and medical doctors. One reason I refused to accept help was that I was afraid if I followed somebody else’s advice, he/she would get all the credit. I wanted all the credit. I wanted to be an idol.
Over the past three months, I had every opportunity to skate, bike, get on my elliptical, go to the gym, go to the pool, go to the lake, but I snubbed it all. Part of the reason I refused to be good was that I saw good behavior as optional. I must surrender my will and accept that exercise is no more optional than doing the dishes. Sure, I can let them pile up one day, but two days? Ewwwww.
Demanding my just desserts
Before I began this journey, I refused to divorce myself from the one thing in life that gave me pleasure. Since I didn’t drink, smoke, or do drugs, I demanded sweet, salty, and fatty foods to make me feel good. I fasted all day so that I could get high off of junk food at night. But that high never lasted long, and biochemistry defeated my best efforts to recall that feeling twice in the same day. Worse yet, intense guilt and shame quickly and powerfully took over (especially the next day).
Entitlement began to lap at the shores of my mind again, inviting me to playfully enter the shallow end. Not mindful of the undertow, I got carried away. But I've swum back to shore and, drying myself off, accept I am entitled to nothing.
The most damaging action I took was inaction; I failed to guide and support others. I ran from the battlefield and went awol. When I am out here in Cyberspace, extending empathy, providing guidance, and cheering victories, I keep myself on the straight and narrow, or otherwise suffer the label of hypocrite.
I saw “Contagion” last weekend and was shocked to learn that we touch our faces 2,000 times a day (which is probably an exaggeration, but still…). It made me wonder: if I mindlessly touch my face so often, exposing myself to harmful bacteria and viruses, how often do I mindlessly put myself down? Like the saying goes, for every roach you see, there’s dozens you don’t. Could one negative thought about myself – “I’m too lazy.” “How stupid can I be?” “My arms are so flabby.” “Why couldn’t I have been a better mother?” - indicate that dozens of others lurking in the shadows? If so, how can I get this under control? Certainly, one bug at a time is not gonna work. What I need is a roach bomb for the mind.