Friday, February 22, 2013

Rise over Run

{Photo published on web here}
Skipping a meal is a slippery slope.  Stepping on a scale is also a slippery slope.  In addition, eating too much “healthy” food, exercising for more than an hour, looking in the mirror too often, going clothes shopping, putting on a swimsuit, and looking at women’s magazines are all dangerously icy inclines.

These things are risky business because I could easily slip into the old eating disorder habits.

Okay, sometimes, I am going along doing every right and it just happens.  I am stuck outside, miles from home, and I find myself in some “bad weather”.  Do I brave the circumstances to get safely back home?

Mental disorders are kind of like Ohio weather.  One day it’s 50 degrees and sunny; the next day, it is snowy with wind chill temperatures in the single digits.

I cannot control the weather.  I cannot control mental disorders.  The weather comes and goes, just like feelings come and go.  Even though it may feel like it, the blizzard won’t last forever and it will be spring again soon.

Just because we cannot control the weather, doesn’t mean we have to live outside in it.  We can come inside.  We can wear warmer clothes.  We can adjust.  We can practice coping skills.  We don’t have to live out in the elements.  We don’t have to settle with the way things are.

(I got this analogy from Dr. Scott Hahn and his audio CD, Love Unveiled, 2012 from Lighthouse Catholic Media Organization.  He used the weather to talk about feelings.  I took it a step further and applied it also to mental illness.)

In Ohio the other day, we had some snowy, icy precipitation.  The bad road conditions weren’t the only risk I was facing.  That afternoon of the winter storm, I also had a routine doctor’s appointment.  Before I saw the doctor, the nurse took the essentials.  You know… blood pressure, pulse, and…gulp…weight.
I kindly asked the nurse if she could NOT tell me my weight.
“No problem,” she murmured.
However, in going through the motions of her day to day job, she accidentally let the big red number slip.  Immediately, she stumbled with her words and got out something that sounded like, “Well, that number, you are, it is in the normal range according to BMI.”
A simple apology would have been nice.
I faked a smile, “that’s okay”, I said.  I wanted to say, I don’t give a shiitake mushroom about BMI, Lady. 

It is the number on the scale that gets me every time.

The number reflected on the scale when I step on it is always too large.  It doesn’t matter how small the number is, or how much weight I lose.  It will never be good enough for me.  So, if it doesn’t matter how small it is, it doesn’t matter how big it is either.  With that enlightening self-knowledge, I’ve come to the conclusion that I’d rather not know the number at all.

Nevertheless, the damage’s done; I know the number.  The experience has already left me grappling in the dark for my self-worth.  I immediately started planning to shave off calories from my meals and to go to the YMCA every day.

By the grace of God, I am not worried that it will majorly set me back this time.  Fortunately, I bounced back quickly and I was able to find some humor in the situation.  I invented a new definition for BMI: Bogus Material Info.

You may not think my acronym is funny.  However, I was literally laughing out loud when I told the doctor about my new-found discovery.  He didn’t quite understand, but you know doctors, all business.

Oh laughter, you are a very powerful drug.

If you want to have a nourishing life, a more positive self image, and a holier existence, get rid of your scale.  It doesn't matter what that number says.  You are perfect just the way you are.

When you die, are you going to think, "Gee whiz, I am so glad I spent all that time trying to be thin" and worrying about the number on the scale?  I doubt it.  Think about your ultimate goal.

1 comment:

  1. Amen, amen, amen! Not that I'm against a healthy lifestyle, but we tend to get so obsessive about it. You are BEAUTIFUL, and if anything...TOO skinny . ;-) Love you!