You Gotta Earn It
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Last night I watched Eat Pray Love. It's a beautiful movie, but not exactly "amazing," as I had expected. Beautifully shot, beautifully acted, a beautiful script, but it was predictable...and I haven't even read the book. Still, there is the beauty factor, and plenty of great lines throughout the movie to keep me interested. (I'm a writer, when a line hits the heartstrings, I feel touched...a good script can do amazing things to a movie.)
Lines like this one:
"Then I looked at around to this place, at the chaos it has endured - the way it has been adapted, burned, pillaged and found a way to build itself back up again. And I was reassured, maybe my life hasn't been so chaotic, it's just the world that is, and the real trap is getting attached to any of it. Ruin is a gift. Ruin is the road to transformation."
But there was also this theme running through it about forgiving yourself and not being so hard on yourself. There's even a part where they talk about how Americans feel the need to do something in order to EARN a break. And, if just for a moment, I got defensive.
You see, I made myself earn that movie. I was nearly home last night. I had decided to skip the gym. I was giving into the me that wanted to go home and clean and watch Castle episodes and just be with my family. And then, after coming out of a quick stop at Advance, I checked the Redbox app, because I remembered it was Tuesday and time for new releases. Eat Pray Love was number one, and I've been waiting for so long to see it. I quickly reserved a copy and then this voice popped into my head...
"You know, if you really want that movie, you're going to have to earn it first."
What? Where did that come from? Even more surprising was my response:
Really? I know I have to earn this movie? Am I kidding me? But in my head the connections I made went so fast that I simply flew past them.
1) The Redbox is right across the street from the gym.
2) I was turning back toward town, and it would be stupid not to just stop at the gym while I was there...because I no longer had the excuse that I didn't want to go back to town.
3) Wednesday's exercise is going to be iffy, at best. No time, so there's not a real chance of devoting yourself 100% to it.
4) My gym bag was right next to me in the seat.
5) I would feel awful later if I realized I wasted a night in which there was a perfect opportunity to work out.
6) Line dancing was starting in about 25 minutes...and line dancing is fun.
So I headed to the gym, I changed into my workout gear, I grabbed a towel and my water bottle, and I headed upstairs. I walked 4 laps around the track, and ran 2 before stretching before class. I felt warmed up and ready to go. And an hour later I felt wonderful! Line dancing was fun! I was lighter on my feet this time. I hopped and bounced and shook my booty with the best of them...and I had burned a good bit of calories in the process. I had earned my movie.
And then, while watching the movie I made myself earn, I'm being told how silly and wrong it is to feel the need to earn things. I kept hearing these lessons in my head coming from the screen, like this gem...
* No man will turn a naked woman away just because she has a little pudge. Living a life of restrictive diet and calorie counting is exhausting, eating to fill your heart and soul is freeing.
Truth is, I've gone backwards on Liz's quest. While she learned how to eat in a more forgiving and taste-driven manner, I lived that way for years. I was always eating whatever I wanted, as much as I wanted, whatever tasted good to me. I didn't care about my size or my jeans getting tight. And now? Now I'm feeding my body the fuel it needs. I'm learning how to use food as a tool to survive. I still enjoy it, I still want to eat great food - but my idea of great food has changed. Those cheeseburgers at McD's look nasty and greasy now, and they likely taste the same. But a bowl full of roasted vegetables in olive oil and spices is like heaven! Somehow, this change in eating whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and less processed foods, has led me to feel more connected with the universe. I, too, am having a relationship with my pizza - my whole wheat, feta cheese, spinach and mushroom pizza.
So, yes, I make myself earn it...and after thinking about the conflicting idea of that and the ideas represented in the movie, I realize that this is a step that needs to be learned as well. In the past, I didn't think I deserved anything. And now? I earn things in order to find some sort of happy balance in my soul and self-worth. I've done good by my body by working out and making a healthy dinner (whole wheat fettucine in a chicken and broccoli alfredo from SparkRecipes = yum! --- add a bit of salt and pepper though). And movies do my mind and spirit good because of the deep emotional connections I form with the words and the pictures on the screen. They keep me in touch with my emotions and fill my heart with thoughts of betterment. In my opinion, my quest and journey is about learning to earn it. And that's what I plan to continue doing.
I'm going to earn my Thanksgiving lunch favorites, like the sinful cheesy potatoes, by maintaining portion control, and starting my day right - with C25K W1D2.
If I want a sweet dessert, I will earn that by taking a walk after my meal with my family, and letting the food I've already consumed settle and digest. There is no reason I have to eat dessert immediately following the consumption of lunch or dinner. I tend to wait an hour or two now, and I drink a lot of water in between - another way for me to earn it.
So...do you have the "you gotta earn it" mentality or not?