On my walk today, I saw a puppy playing in the wet grass. He was on a long leash, and the owner was watching him closely. He ran and rolled and jumped and got himself tangled. His owner patiently untangled him, just to watch him do it again. He yipped as I walked by. By the time I got around the block, the pup had exhausted himself and was lying in the sun on the sidewalk. A treat lay beside him, but he was too tired to eat, and too tired to bark at me again. I smiled at his cute puppy behavior.
But it isn't so cute when I do that. You probably do it, too.
Biggest Loser 2012 is into its fourth week for me and 60 of my closest friends. If you have been tracking with me for any amount of time, you know this is not the first BL contest for me. And the question "Why" is fair, and one I have asked myself so many times in the past year. I was a size 10 for my entire adult life, until 2004.
Seven years of wondering how I let this happen and why I can't reverse it.
I know this for sure: Carrying extra ponds is rarely about FOOD. Maybe it is about a large amount unsecured debt, or a painful relationship, or an energy-sucking job. Maybe it is simply not following your calling. Food issues (whether you are eating too much or too little) are generally about something else in your world.
I am not judging, or saying we should all be a size 10. But that is who I am, and who I will be by summer. And I am not encouraging anyone to ask the question "why" in a way that brings self-scorn or guilt.
Still, it is a question which must be asked if the situation is going to permanently change. Whether I am desiring a change in weight, or financial health, or relationship satisfaction, the first step is to determine the path that brought me here.
Which brings me back to the puppy. He was rolling and jumping and, occasionally being frustrated by the rope leash which either wraps him in a ball or jerks him back when he tries to go too far. Remember, the owner was standing guard, making sure the pup was not harmed. She untangled the rope when the pup was bound, comforted him when he ran too hard and jerked his neck. Then he was back at it again, dragging the leash behind him, never associating the cause and effect.
Do you ever do that? I know I do.
There are benevolent boundaries, a leash if you will, established by my God who made and saved me. Whether you believe in my God or not, you can't escape the fact that life has boundaries. And while I am fully aware of those limits, I cross them frequently, knowingly, and yet, maybe not understanding why.
Currently, I find myself in a position of needing to lose 50 pounds. It happened right under my nose. Literally! I can tell you why I am overweight - I took in more calories, over an extended period of time, that I burned. Not hard, is it? Probably the same reason you have extra pounds.
But overeating is just the symptom. Just like overspending is. Show of hands - who set out to be overweight and under a mountain of debt. Anybody? Uh huh...no hands.
So how did I get to be like this puppy - tangled in a leash of extra pounds, extra stress, too much fear... tired from the struggle?
The puppy is young and silly and doesn't really understand. Me? I am young at heart, sometimes silly, but able to understand...and yet, I lose focus.
Does that happen to you? Are you like me? Do you lose focus, in big and little ways?
Are you like me? Do you forget who you are, who you belong to, why you are here?
Are you like me? Do you subvert your best self in any of the ways I do?
I put food in my mouth mindlessly, out of boredom, out of habit, and forget what havoc the extra pounds wreak.
I put off exercise because my list has so many "important" items, and forget that none of those things will matter if I sacrifice my health.
On a larger scale, I get dirty in mud that others fling into my life, and forget their mud isn't about me.
I allow the wind to scare me and bring tears to my eyes, and forget I know the One who can stop the wind with one command.
I become overwhelmed with fear. Fear that I will never lose the weight. Fear that I will never get out of debt. Fear that I will never accomplish my dreams.
And I forget the One who holds my leash...the One who created me...the One who died for me...the One who has a good plan to prosper me...the One who lovingly untangles me when I stop long enough to allow it.
How about you? Are you unfocused and tangled in any area? Think about it.
I am going to sleep in the sunshine right now. We will talk again soon.