It’s funny how you can see someone else’s struggles and it either A) gives you perspective and you feel better about your own life or B) wonder what the hell they are sniveling about. Sometimes it’s both at the same time.
Today I watched “Heavy“, which is a show on A&E about extreme morbid obesity and (in the episode that I watched) the battle of two people who wanted to get their health back on track.
One guy, Tom, was eating 6 fast food hamburgers plus 15 chicken nuggets at a time. Holy Moses!
The other gal, Jodi, was slowly allowing food to control her life; escaping into food the way some addicts escape into drugs. In particular, her “drug” of choice – ice cream.
It would be easy to sit back and say, “Well, shit! No wonder you’re fat!” Ah, yes. It is that easy for lots of people who sit back and judge others on their physical appearances. But, if you watched it the way that I did, it is *always* more than just a matter of “make better choices.” It is typically an escape, or means to control some small aspect of life. Ironically, overeating is almost no different than under eating. I have been on both sides of the spectrum.
At one point I weighed 240 lbs. Yep. I was fat. And you know what? Back then? I didn’t give a crap what anyone thought about it. I was happy. I used food like an old friend who was always there. Tough day? Eat. Great day? Eat. Boring day? Eat. Everything was about eating. And I love me some food.
Enter Weight Watchers and the subsequent bulimia (see my post on those issues here). Now, let me be very clear: Weight Watchers does NOT make you crazy. They give you tools and opportunities to learn how to make healthy choices. I *did* learn those things. I also chose to go further and learn all new (and terrible) things.
Jodi is a unique human being. Truthfully, I was inspired by her. I related to everything she said. From the concern that a trainer can’t be trusted if they haven’t been fat to the burden the weight places in every single other area of your life; she and I speak the same language.
Enter the mountain/molehill comparison. Jodi weighs about 200 lbs more than I do. If she were to look at me she’d probably say, “What are you bitching about?” But there is a common thread that ties us both to the problem: when you have old tapes that continue to play in your head, it is easy to give up.
Now, stay with me here: I am going to shift the conversation a little.
I have had my fair share of struggles. I continue to have them. Sometimes they are new, sometimes they are old. But you know what I hear in my head *every time* I come up against something difficult? “I can’t.” I hear it inside of me every day, which, if you knew me in real life, would make you scratch your head. I don’t really put it out there, but I hear it. And it’s the big things that make the “I-can’t-monster” really rear its ugly head. Fear. Fear of the unknown.
I’ve got this diet thing under control right now, so I didn’t really apply Jodi’s life lessons to my own program. But I did hear some underlying tones that make me think I need to make some serious effort in the “I-can” and “I-am” and “I-will” areas of my life.
So, as part of my next month’s goal of posting with various song titles (which is really just an exercise in fun), I will be tying it back it what I can do, and what I am doing. In the month of February, I will remove “I-can’t” from my vocabulary. But don’t worry, I’ll start working on it now.
Oh, and before I forget, it is January 23rd, and I am thankful that God places people and events in my path on a regular basis to repeat and support the messages he gives me. And I am especially thankful that I have the insight to see it, even when it isn’t a burning bush.
And Jodi will never know, but I am thankful for her, too.
And you? What tape is playing in your head? What can you do to change it?