Saturday, November 28, 2009

Special

So, what's the plan, people? Is the plan to keep gorging yourself day after day with Thanksgiving leftovers until they slowly and seamlessly meld into Christmas celebratory indulgences? Is the plan to PLAN to start "tomorrow" every day for the next 33 days until the calendar says 2010 and you actually DO start for a few days and then give up again? Is the plan to shrug and give in because, after all, you can't turn down pumpkin pie, frosted sugar cookies, hams, those cheesy hash brown casseroles, crescent rolls and plates of fudge? You CAN'T! It just wouldn't be right to "miss out" on all that special stuff. Right? RIGHT??

I missed out on some special stuff. Oh, I had my ten kinds of Christmas cookies every year, six kinds of fudge and those little weenies you make in the crock pot for New Year's Eve with grape jelly and cocktail sauce. I had all the crackers and cheese spreads and hot buttered rum and all the extra-good candies and treats one can only get this time of year. But while I was having all those treats every year for the past decade, my kids grew up. My dog got old. My uncle died. Years passed and I didn't even notice. I could've spent more time with my boys instead of eating alone in the kitchen. I could've called my Uncle to reconnect instead of looking up 20 recipes for pumpkin cheesecake with caramel sauce. I could've spent more time playing with my dog rather than shopping for Ding Dongs and Ho Hos, and I could've been PRESENT for all of those moments instead of LOST in the food. I did miss out on some special stuff.

I don't want to miss out anymore. I want to savor every moment of life I have left... every moment with my growing children who are turning into adults before my very eyes... who will, someday, be too busy working or gone to college or off with their new wives to hang out with Mom anymore. I want to play fetch with my dog, who is 11 years old and still as happy to get so much as a glance from me that he wags himself to pieces every time I look at him. I want to call my aunts and my cousins and my friends, because, in an instant, they could be gone. You never know what tomorrow might bring. I want to make sure every person I love KNOWS I love them, knows how important they are to me. I want to create memories for myself AND for them, especially for my children, and I want to be fully alive and immersed in my little girl's preschool and grade school years while they last. I want the richness of life.

Would you trade it for a donut?

I won't.

I will enjoy special occasions and special foods. I truly believe that when one begins to torture one's self with excessive "fitness" and "dieting" expectations, one loses their life just as much as when one is lost in that cheesecake. Balance. Moderation. LIVING. Those are keys.

Being present. That's what I am striving for. I want to feel every breath and muscle as I bike or walk or rake leaves. I want to smell my child's hair and absorb her wonderful laughter and get lost in the blueness of her happy eyes. I want to FEEL my little dog's happiness emanating from his curly, furry, bright-eyed smile when he looks at me, and I want to savor the sunshine and the rain every day that I live.

The food is not "special." Life, the very moments of life... those are special. Don't miss another moment. Be present!

20 comments:

screwdestiny said...

Wow, great post. Besides, who says you can only get those foods this time of year? You can choose to make anything at any time of the year if you really want it for some reason. I think that's just an excuse people make to pig out.

Candace said...

I totally agree with this post. Some many times I have failed because I didn't want to MISS out on the good food. I think I'm doing good this time cause I know the food will always be there no need to binge now.

Anonymous said...

I tell me kids that, too. You can have ANYTHING ANYTIME you want. This isn't the last piece of cake (candy bar, cookie, etc) on earth so you don't have to go crazy when you are around food. I don't think it has sunk in yet, but hopefully it will one day. Teaching children to eat in moderation is a lifelong gift.

South Beach Steve said...

Lyn, this is a great post. In some ways it goes right along with my video for tomorrow. Why, oh why, do we tend to just take the month of December off? Not me, not this year, not ever again.

Laura said...

I found your blog very recently (Google Reader suggestion) and I get so much out of each post. Thanks for putting into words ideas that have been mist and fog in my brain for a long time. You have helped me so much in a really short time. Thank you!

spunkysuzi said...

You always make me stop and think! Thanks :)

Anonymous said...

This post brought tears to my eyes. I can't count how many people I have lost touch with in the past because I gained weight since the last time they saw me and I was too embarrassed for them to see. It's sad really. Well no more. Things are changing, for me and for you Lyn. With every new post you write, my eyes open just a little bit more. Thank you for that.

-T

Larkspur said...

Wow, that packs a punch. Good point about which "special things" really are special.

Autumnforest said...

I have to admit, I work from home and that's when I began gaining weight. The reason is, when I worked in the ER, I'd be busy working and taking lunch was a huge crowded effort, so I'd nibble on an apple and cheese while I worked and come home too exhausted to eat. I've found that if I take the sweets out of my house (my only indulgence), I will pout for days, but if it's not here, I can't eat it. So long as it's here, I'll eat it saying to myself "I'll get rid of it now and then it won't be here later" to justify eating it instead of throwing it out. Actually, I've never been a fast food/soda/fried foods/potato chip/french fry kind of gal. I eat extremely healthy, but I love sugar sooooo much! So, my resolution is to simply not have the sweets in the house. My son is moving out and that helps a lot because I had sweets around for him and then I'd eat them. Without him here, no reason to buy or make them. I suspect the first month, I'll lose 15 pounds just from not eating sugar!

pursestrings said...

Beautifully said. And so true.

ArleneWKW said...

Excellent post, especially the paragraph the is 2nd from the bottom

Dinah Soar said...

You nailed it lyn...and the best part?..you are young enough i.e, there is enough time left to make a huge difference in your life. The older I get the more I realize there is more to life than FOOD. Better rewards, more fun, thrills, and excitement. Getting up, moving, doing things, enjoying stuff is tons better than burying myself in the next bite of food, living for the next meal, or the next recipe. It's not too late for you..yet. Keep you hand to the plow and forge ahead.

flyingwoman said...

Very motivating post but can I just say...

"little weenies you make in the crock pot for New Year's Eve with grape jelly and cocktail sauce"

I don't know what that is, but the sounds of it make me never want to eat again. ;)

Val said...

Your posts are always so insightful. Everything you said is sooo true. You're awesome! Thanks so much for sharing!

Greta from www.bigbottomblogger.blogspot.com said...

Exactly...! The food is not the special part. I am going to write that down and post it somewhere that I will see it each day. Thanks!

I went on a run with my 13 year old today. That was fun. My 15 year old helped decorate the tree and was making comments like "wow, how will I get this many ornaments when I am living on my own"..... TIME DOES INDEED FLY! Being present is a good thing. Thanks!

Deniz said...

You are SO right as usual, Lyn. The special things don't come from the supermarket or a recipe.

Thanks for reminding us all (and me especially) to stay present and not lose ourselves in the season's excesses.

Here's to a fabulous 2010!

Trixie said...

I can't even begin to tell you how much encouragement I get out of your writings. One of the things I've heard over and over from people that have lost a lot of weight is that they are participating in life.

That's what it's all about! We are here to enjoy and partake of life, not hide.

Trixie

Heather said...

This made me cry... I am just starting out for the millionth time...and determined this will be the time.....Thank you so much for this encouragement!!!!!!

Duddes02 said...

Interesting blog! I've add you to my Reader so I can follow your journey.

Steve said...

This is a great post and SO SO very true. Any (if any, that is) happiness that comes from food is very short lived, and all ends up as sh*t anyway.

I don't have any kids, but now I kinda wanna go see my little brother and sisters. Thanks :)