Thursday, October 18, 2007

Little Things

I am a people watcher. I like to sit and watch people go by... at the mall, on the street, in waiting rooms. People are just fascinating. I have noticed a lot of little things lately that I never noticed before. Little things that add up to a great, big epiphany.

The other day, I was at the park. I was sitting in my car making a phone call while I waiting for my son to finish a class. There was this family at the park... at least I assume it was a family. There was a young, trim mother who was happily chatting with her handsome husband at the base of the slide. Two little children were climbing the equipment, chasing each other and racing around in the sunshine. The little girl looked to be about 5, and the boy, maybe 3 or 4. The little girl ran over and tapped her mother on the hip and quickly darted away, yelling, "TAG! You're it!" This is where my eyes were opened. The mother sprinted after the little girl, grinning, calling, "I'm going to get you!" and jumping up the stairs after the children. The kids ran around squealing in delight as their mother raced all over the playground, laughing, until she finally "caught" one of them and tagged them back! I watched this little moment of everyday life in awe. I caught myself smiling at the love and joy the children were sharing with their mother. I caught a tear rolling down my face, because my children are nearly grown, except for my toddler daughter, and I have never played tag with any of them. For ten years, I have been obese. My children are teens and preteens, and all they know of me is the fat Mom who cannot run, bike, race, or play with them. I was thin when they were very small, but they don't remember. And now they are too old to want to play tag with me. How utterly, profoundly sad this makes me.

This morning, I saw a young woman running along my street. She was making a good pace. She had long, flowing hair and a thin but athletic build. She looked to be about 30. And she was running in the rain! The weather has turned cold here, and it was dreary and overcast, but there she was out running before 9am. What made me look twice is that she was pushing a stroller. There was a clear canopy covering the whole stroller, and inside was a baby girl about 6 months old. And I thought: WHY, oh WHY didn't I do that? Why did I use my babies as excuses for staying inside, overeating, and getting fat? I blamed my fat on my babies. And here is this woman out here jogging in the rain, proving me wrong. I wish I had seen this ten years ago. it might have saved me a lot of suffering.

Last week, I was in the grocery store. I saw a fat woman battling with a candy bar! You know exactly what I mean! I have had the same fight over and over, but usually the candy bar wins. I bet all the thin/normal people walking around her in the aisle had NO IDEA what they were witnessing; but I knew. I could almost hear her thoughts as she stared at the shelf of candy bars, then reached towards one, then pulled her hand back, then picked up a Reese's candy bar, looked at it, went to put it in her basket, then put it back. She stood there awhile looking at it. She must have picked it up 3 times, and then put it back. Finally she put it back one last time, shook her head, and darted away (as quickly as an obese person can dart). I wanted to applaud her right there in the store. She won!! But to save her the embarrassment I just let her go quietly. But lady, if you read my blog, congratulations. You are my hero!

Watching people really makes me reflect on my own life. The things that have been, and could have been. Sometimes it makes me sad; other times, jubilant. But it all teaches me and grounds me in my determination to lose this weight. I lost too many battles with the candy bars. I wrecked my knees so badly with 10 years of morbid obesity and inactivity that jogging is no longer an option. Walking is barely an option! But I can ride my exercise bike. I can eat right. I can win battles NOW. And my little girl, who is my youngest and last baby, WILL know a healthy Mom. And if you come to the park on a crisp fall day in a year or two, you will see me smiling and racing after my daughter on the playground as her little voice calls out to me, "Tag! You're it!"

10 comments:

Laura said...

I have been ready your blog (saw it on 3FC) for several days now, and I just wanted to let you know what an inspiration it has been to me.

I don't have as much weight to lose as you- but I am also a lot younger than you. I am a young mom and knowing that I struggle now, makes me wonder where I will be in the future if I don't figure this out now.

Anyway, thank you for you honesty and for having the courage to face this battle.

Teale said...

I would imagine you're not near being a grandma yet, but just think.... when you win this long battle, you'll be able to play tag with your grandchildren:)

Once Upon A Dieter said...

Wow. People running effortlessly is always one of those things that STOPS me with wistful longing. It has been so, so, so, so long since I was able to actually run with effortlessness. I'm talking, what? Early twenties? I wasn't obese then. Man.

I would have internally applauded the lady, too. I've had those "I shouldn't/I want" battles. Sigh.

Great post.
The Princess

Lauren said...

this made me smile and feel a little sad. I truly hope that it isn't too late, that I haven't ruined my body so much that I will never be able to have children of my own.

Alea said...

Great writing!!! Love your posts!

Marshmallow said...

Oh Lyn! This post absolutely broke my heart, I felt your sadness like it were my own.

Beautiful post. BEAUTIFUL post.

hanlie said...

Lyn, this was a very moving post. We all feel like you do...

We must, however, be careful not to beat ourselves up over our past choices. We cannot rail against what we cannot change, for it will make us hate ourselves, which is self-defeating. We just need to make better choices today and every day from here.

I have also done the "should-I" dance in the supermarket countless times. I suppose when we give in, we are reinforcing stereotypes to the people who are observing...

Lauren, the body has an amazing capacity to heal itself if given the right materials. I am also losing weight to get my body ready for pregnancy (I'm 38) and the trick is to eat the freshest, healthiest food, exercise and avoid or severely limit anything containing hormones (i.e. dairy), avoid artificial sweeteners, sugar, additives and preservatives. Make sure to get adequate essential fatty acids from cold-pressed oils, avocadoes, nuts, olives, etc. The hormonal system is very sensitive and takes a while to balance properly, but it can be done!

Lynn, thanks for an excellent post!

Anonymous said...

What an amazing blog. You are really honest and brave. I love your blog and visit it every day.

honib1 said...

What a profound and beautiful post Lyn... though I am not a mom I totally understand it.. I guess we can not look back with regret .... just accept what was.. and now create a new what is.. You will do this.. and I can not wait to see the results for you as we journey on.. though our travels may be different ultimatly they are one in the same...

Anonymous said...

Only someone who struggles with their weight would understand, but when I read about the lady struggling over the candy bar, tears actually came to my eyes. That could be me!! Unfortunately, too many times the candy bar wins.