Friday, September 26, 2008


One of my guilty pleasure returned to TV this week. Why guilty? Because I shouldn’t be sitting around watching TV,. Reality TV, no less. I left that behind to do my own writing and I should be writing. Or reading… or doing something, say, more productive. This is part of my negative talk – the why aren’t you finishing your book proposal or the 9 million other things you promised yourself you would do annihilation talk that somehow doesn’t make me more productive. I have cable TV now, thanks to my landlords, but for some reason we don’t get NBC so I have to watch the show online, sadly with a slow cable connection. But even with the stops and starts I’m riveted. By what? The Biggest Loser. I think I’ve watched every season but one. I laugh. I cry. And I get as furious as the trainers do when they have to yell at the contestants to move their fanny. Oh my god, I say, how can they be that lazy! How did they get that fat?! But I know that I’m not really talking to the contestants. I’m really talking to myself because it is part of the negative talk that I say to myself; and for the love of reality TV, I’m trying to stop.

I’ve always struggled with my weight. Had it not been for a fat camp intervention when I was 12, who knows, I could have ended up being a contestant on the show. As it is, I’m 25 pounds ish past the highest weight I can be for my height. Not big enough to be on the show but feeling enormous is a question of perspective. I’m in the feeling enormous stage. When the show comes on, I feel invigorated to exercise. When the contestants sweat in gym, I do leg lifts. I resolve to get up early in the morning and walk. Then I sleep in.

I’ve done many the deprivation diet. And I’ve lost tons of weight. And I know how to eat right. I know about nutrition and diet. At the core of me, I am a health nut but I can’t be trusted around a chocolate chip cookie. In art class, in high school, I actually painted a picture of chocolate chip cookies with an x over it. But I love them. I would sneak them, as a kid, and savor the sweetness in my mouth. They made me happy, delighted, in brief moments – in those moments I didn’t hate myself for being a chubby kid.

I have many avenues of discipline in my life. I don’t spend a lot on clothes or movies or silly things I don’t need. But I don’t have it with food. If I buy that delicious goat cheese Gouda from Trader Joe’s, I cannot stop at one slice. I run back to the kitchen several times – almost giddy because I’m allowing myself to do it. I’m allowing myself to be decadent. This thought stopped me this week. Allowing myself to be decadent. Is food really the only place where I allow myself to be decadent? In all my not allowing myself fun, spontaneous things, has food only been my only outlet? No wonder I delight in cheese.

I have had this thought before that the only place I’ve allowed abundance to show in my life is through food. I have no problems spending money on food. But abundance in food is clearly not what I need. Ask my waistband! What I need to find are more avenues to express the abundance of life and all its goodness.

So with that knowledge this week, I allowed another decadent behavior. I read a book for most of the morning. It cut into my writing time. I allowed myself to do it. It felt decadent and I enjoyed it. And I did it without a chocolate chip cookie. Next step is viewing exercise, not as a punishment, but as a reward. Last night, walking in the neighborhood, I reveled in the painted sky. It’s a step. (Ok, I couldn’t resist the pun).

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