There is a story about two cows who decided to try the delicious new grass at the edge of the field. They nibbled here and they nibbled there. They reached their big beautiful cow necks under the fence until they had nibbled all the new grass away.
So, they pushed harder and harder with their big cow bodies to get to the new grass until they had pushed down the fence. Now, because they were cows, they had no idea that the fence was there to keep them inside. They actually gave no thought at all to the fence. They simply knew that the grass on the other side of the fence was tasty and new. So, they nibbled and nibbled, further and further away from the herd. What they also didn’t know was that the fence separated the herd from the trucks that sped past on the Interstate Highway that was at the edge of the pasture. They were cows. They didn’t know about Interstate Highways or trucks. They only knew that the grass immediately in front of them was sweeter than the grass that they had just consumed.
And that is the story of the cows who nibbled their way into hamburger. The past three years has been a little like that for me. I’ve spend a lot of time nibbling. I hear some ominous rumblings going on in the distance, and think it’s time that I got back to the herd.
When I started Atkins five years ago, it was after celebrating Christmas with our kids in AZ and seeing how I looked in those photos. I had been avoiding having my photo taken for years. I also had avoided paying attention to what I ate or drank – for years. I knew how I felt about how I looked (lousy), and photos would only reinforce that, so why do it? I am tall, and when I pack on the pounds it is not always noticed by others.
But, the mirror doesn’t lie. And, the Christmas photos didn’t lie either. What I saw was myself in an unguarded moment; tired beyond measure, puffy faced and droopy jawed. My sympathy instantly went out to that poor woman (I’ve long had a relationship with an interior voice who loves me unconditionally and treats me with kindness and compassion.) I wondered what I could do to help. Of course, since it was me ~ I had a very good idea about the answer to that question!
Quit the position I held currently which was draining me of my soul.
Take off the weight.
I did all three. Taking off the weight has been the most rewarding and the most challenging.
My dear husband is used to January 1st being the first day of my diet. It had been that way for many years. Some lasted into even February. Many lasted only as long as it took to find some leftover Christmas candy. So, on January 1, 2002 he bought the long list of things that I needed to have in the house (he is the cook), and helped me purge the house of all the sweets and breads we had. And we began.
He lost quickly because he has been exercising for years. I actually began to lose rather quickly too. The two weeks of Induction brought 15 pounds of loss to me. I began slowly, but began nevertheless, to walk with my husband in the morning. This was no mean feat since we lived in Massachusetts and it was danged cold at 6:00 a.m. I felt good and I felt righteous doing this exercise, which had been, and truthfully still was, an anathema to me. I followed Atkins faithfully, eating protein and veggies, and losing pounds and inches. Soon, I began to lift weights! This, too, was a complete shock to me. I never could understand how I made that commitment. I think it was because I was feeling so good about my weight loss that I thought that I might actually be able to make a commitment to exercise. I knew that doing it would make me healthier. I was already feeling healthier because of the weight loss, the loss of extra water weight, and the Rest I was getting daily.
So, here I am five years later. I’ve gained back everything I lost, which was about 30 pounds. I’m looking retirement straight in the face, seeing myself in the mirror, loving the Self I see, and holding a great deal of sympathy for this dear person (again) and all she has faced in the past five years. (Life, after all, is no great picnic for many of us, you know!) January 1st is here again. And, so am I! Yes. It’s commitment time again. I’ve made some life-long friends here on the LCE Board. So much so, that I wouldn’t think of going a day without reading, and hardly a day without posting. But, it’s time, as I said, to get back to the way of life. Why not join me?