Working Together

"We shape our self
to fit this world

and by the world
are shaped again..."

Excerpt from "Working Together" © David Whyte
in The House of Belonging

Many Rivers Press

Thursday, February 13, 2014

That Ol' Pie Hole Has Got Me in its Spell

  The lock fell soundly securing the door behind her massive presence...
        NOTE: Due to copyright issues I had to trace my own cartoon.  More about that here.  Picture inspired by Bernard KlibanWild Cat. Original can be seen here. You get the idea...


I realized today that there was a reason that I passed on "courage" years before when choosing a word of the year. I suppose I was so caught up in the "intellectual" aspect of the word and how it applied to my new endeavors that I forgot the actual walk behind the talk that the word implied. After the shiny bits of imagining myself as a great advocate for end-of-life dignity by December 2014 began to fade, the reality of what it really takes to be courageous set in.  I am essentially a fraidy-cat by nature and nurture.  Courage involves a major paradigm shift in me and one that has to begin at home. Needless to say these realities were met with a grievous disappointment and lack of will within me and I was deeply depressed over it all last month. Who wants to clean up their own backyard and find personal dignity before they take on the world? No one. Who has to? I do...really, I must.

It seems obvious to me that what requires the most courage of all from me is finding the will to dignify my own life. I need to start by being honest about something: I need to admit I have an eating disorder. I suspect it started after I quit smoking in the 90's as that is when my metabolism and thyroid gave out.  Those incidents were unfortunate and I took on some strange eating habits but the eating disorder didn't REALLY set in until I moved to Bellingham in 2004.  I became attached to food in a new way.  Food no longer was a fuel stop; it became a nursing station. Then food got mixed up with money and spending as I would plan out grocery lists and budget around food availability. This clouded the issue even more with consumption in general being an additional confusion. The conversation was less and less about doing what is appropriate for my maintaining my body's energy level and more and more what is an affordable, immediately satisfying and a politically correct purchase.

Success stories of people my age and older getting their weight under control left me sad...and jealous, which is even sadder.  My knees and my shoulders and all my parts are giving into the stress of having to deal daily with my mass. I want to be inspired by these stories...and, of course, I am (because here I am, alas) but stories alone are not enough. I am succumbing to depression and not moving; a proven prescription for disaster.  What is too heavy?  Over 200 pounds is too big for my frame to handle. Over 200 pounds is idly waiting in line for the coronary according to my family medical history.

I was distracting myself into a mild coma at the computer the other day when I read that Neil Gaiman uses his fan base to motivate him into do the right thing with exercise. I thought that might be a key for me to to try on my lock. He said, "I'm missing Twitter, but mostly because I really want to use it to make me exercise. I love being able to tell nearly 2 million people I'm going to go and jog, and then I have to do it. It's not the same when I tell the walls."  So true...if my walls could talk they'd tell some tales of my empty promises; if they could walk they'd leave the premises in disgust! The walls of those who live alone bear witness to such sad, sad stories that sometimes only the weight bearing walls survive in testament.

Living alone supports a type of lifestyle that partnered people and those who live with others often do not "get". When you live alone with no one else to answer to, you live differently. You often have to monitor and discipline your self to get to anything. Just think what happens when your partner, child or roommate goes away for a week. After the fun of having some space wears off, are you aware of how much of the trajectory of your time spent is generated and regenerated by the interaction with your loved one or friend in your home?  I'd wager it is a lot.  There is an echo in the lives of single people that has to be dealt with somehow; an inertia. To deal with that, I am going to state to the internets that I have an eating disorder and I need to find the courage to deal with it. Of course, if I wait to garner two million fans, I will weigh a cubic ton.  The public statement on my blog will have to do...because it is a good idea. Not wanting to disappoint others until I have enough success to not want to disappoint myself, when done in the right spirit, is proven to be successful in keeping people motivated. It is an illusion, to be sure but we'll see if this key unlocks a healthier future for me. Ten laps around my cell block has not been enough when all roads lead to the fridge. We'll try this. It's a start, I guess...I can't honestly say I have much hope as it seems overwhelming to write this but then everything courageous requires an uncertain and improbable beginning. I must be brave.

Video credit: SaraBarillesVEVO

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