Friday, March 20, 2009

On Freedom and Control

It's finally spring!! I have NEVER been so happy to see winter go. This was the toughest winter (for me) on record, with overcast skies and freezing weather keeping me stuck inside with the toddler for most of the winter months. Yesterday was the nicest day yet, hitting close to 60 degrees with tons of sunshine. It felt so amazing to just go out and work in the yard... picking up stray branches and leaves, pulling a few weeds that started early, and then taking a nice walk with the mini-dog (1 mile). I even took a second walk after dinner, for about 1/3 of a mile. As I walked down the block, my mind went back to the day a little over a year ago when I was able to walk this stretch of block to the stop sign for the first time. When I started walking in August '07, I walked 30 seconds down the sidewalk and then back to the house. That was all I could do. It was exhausting and left me in pain. But I did it every day. I was sick of being stuck in my prison of fat... unable to even walk my child to the park less than 2 blocks away. That park, and that stop sign, may as well have been 10 miles away. I couldn't get there without a car. I'd walk my 30 seconds, stare longingly down the block (which is actually 2 long blocks) to the stop sign so far away and think, gosh. Maybe someday I will be able to walk all the way there.

Every few days I would walk a few steps farther. I remember when I could walk halfway to the stop sign. I was so happy. Walking that far took me by the neighbor's house with the beautiful flower garden, and I relished the sights and smells when I walked slowly past. After weeks of walking... or maybe even months... I was getting very close to that stop sign. I remember getting within ten feet of it and thinking, "next time, I will reach that stop sign." And when I did, I had tears in my eyes. I finally made it. I was so happy! And after that, I was able to walk my child to the park to play. That was the first real taste of freedom... freedom from obesity.

So yesterday as I walked in the evening breeze, I stopped at that stop sign, not out of necessity, but because I was ready to go back home. I'd already walked earlier that day... past the stop sign, up the long hill, around the corner another block, through the park and around another block. It was a mile, and it wasn't difficult. It was great!

Freedom isn't about being able to eat whatever you want. It isn't about buying a bunch of candy bars and inhaling them all at once. Real freedom is not about indulging every desire; it's about being free to live your life and enjoy your moments... being able to walk down the block if you want to, or take your kids to the park and play with them. It's about being able to vacuum and mop the floors without hyperventilating or collapsing into a big sweaty puddle of agony without even finishing the job. Real freedom is control. It's about being able to set boundaries for yourself, rather than having them set *for* you by your weight. The false freedom in a binge... the sense of being "able" to eat whatever you want... does not lead to happiness. Real joy, I am finding, comes from being *in control* of my intake, which results not just in weight loss but also in the ability to live life the way I want to live it.

Spring's here. A time of rebirth, new growth, and optimism... for ALL of us!

17 comments:

Sugar Bush Primitives said...

Amen. Love your blog!

Hugs,
mary

♥ Dee ♥ said...

Wow.

bbubblyb said...

I'm SOOOOOO ready for Spring too!!! Think I'm going to take a walk down my favorite road tonight with the kids, always makes me feel great. I sometimes remember my first walk down that road and how far (or not so far) I could go. It really is about appreciating our bodies, they really are great. *smile* Hope you had a great day, sounds like you did.

new*me said...

I love that! Real freedom is control----very well said :)

Happy Spring to you!

redballoon said...

Great words.

petunia said...

This is a really good post! Be well!

Hanlie said...

I remember a puppet show from long ago, where the puppet said "Freedom is never free from reponsibility!" I've just never forgotten that...

Michelle Riggs said...

Love your blog!

Thank you so much for praying for my daughter, Abby.

ArleneWKW said...

I just started reading your blog a few days ago. I can understand why it received the award. Your last paragraph about the freedom inherent in self control is so well stated and so on target. I'm currently having difficulties exercising that particular freedom.

Karen In Tennessee said...

Very uplifting entry today, Lyn! So glad you are feeling better. May spring bring us all renewed spirit and disappearing pounds. :)

Stormy Vawn Bradley said...

Another blog that was poignant and very enjoyable to read.

Anonymous said...

Staying on plan is sometimes the only area of life I can control!

I too am so glad to see Spring. It was a long, cold winter. Enjoy the pretty weather that's to come.

Mei

Karyn said...

Preach it, Sister!

Lia said...

Beautiful post, absolutely beautiful. You are really inspiring to me, and I love reading your posts so much. The point you make about real freedom was moving, true, and eloquent. Enjoy spring and keep up what you are doing!

Sara said...

Good perspective on a binge. Something I've been thinking a lot about lately :)

Anonymous said...

"Real freedom is control. It's about being able to set boundaries for yourself, rather than having them set *for* you by your weight."

YES YES YES! Writing this in my journal, it is beautiful :)

The Fatty Cake Girls said...

"It's about being able to vacuum and mop the floors without hyperventilating or collapsing into a big sweaty puddle of agony without even finishing the job. Real freedom is control. "

I needed to hear this today. Thanks for posting this little snipet of inspiration. You are a force to be reconed with and I comend you! -Heather