I cried last night. (Actually, this entry was composed a couple of weeks ago now but you get the idea.)
Yes, that’s right. For those of you who know me, this is a rare occasion. I’d like to say it was because of some precious moment with my children or some alarmingly tragic event but, alas, it was not.
It was more about coming to terms with truth. While sitting at my dining room table, the window reflected back a reality that brought me to tears. I walked upstairs and weighed myself after this visual revelation and discovered the naked (sorry for the visual) truth: 207 pounds.
It seems so trite to say that I am that shallow but perhaps I am. I am in mourning for a lost person – the one hiding under the extra 52 pounds. I don’t look like myself anymore and I know why: I have neglected and indulged in indecent proportions and I am reaping what I have sown. Perhaps it is tragic, after all.
The last time I cried was when my 9-year-old daughter, Gwyneth, crossed the finish line for her 5K run in the top thirty of her 1000 girl heat. I was overwhelmed with pride. Now, I am overwhelmed with shame. I couldn’t have run that distance with her and I want to be able to next year at this time.
In the past, I have found that truth is like that: a bit of a slap in the face. It’s a wake up call to reality and you can’t pretend it away. That number is the truth and it is staring me in the face: 207.
And, as if the reflection and the scale were not enough, the facts were made abundantly clear when I started my afternoon shopping for clothes. Ugh. I hate shopping, even at the best of times (and sizes). I’d rather live inside my head – in thoughts, and music and creative ideas – but, alas, God saw fit for me to live in this body and it must be clothed.
Brace yourselves: I specifically went to shop for active wear and bathing suits! Talk about an exercise in discouragement. I mean, couldn’t I just have another baby? That seems far less painful! (Just kidding kids, it is far more painful, don’t be fooled.)
However, this issue isn’t about baby fat, though I would like to justify my overeating and blame my four little monkeys for it. It isn’t about stress, though 10 months of full-time teaching, taking care of 4 kids and a complete home renovation is enough to put anyone over the edge. It isn’t about other health concerns, either. All my excuses and justifications don’t amount to anything substantial other than a higher dress size.
Simply put, it is about disobedience: I know what I ought to do but I do not do it.
There is no magic formula to weight loss or health, despite millions of articles and books and programs that want you to believe otherwise. This is all there is to it: eat less, move more. The trick is to actually eat less and move more. That is what I must do.
Here’s the bottom line: I have a self-discipline problem. I do need to figure out how to live in this body after all. And I need to do it in a way that honours God to maintain any spiritual integrity.
So, I am giving myself a specific goal: 52 pounds in 52 weeks. And you, my dear readers (Jason, Loreli, Mom), are going to keep me accountable.
This is the long view. The next year is about getting my body back. With no additional parties destined to inhabit it ever again, it is time to feel okay in my own skin.