Yesterday I was out running errands with my daughter when I had one of those split second thoughts of going out to eat. It's funny; there are certain areas of town... specific areas where I sometimes shop with my girl, and when she was 2-3 years old... even 4... we used to stop and get something to eat when we got hungry. We often went to a fast food joint or maybe just grabbed a snack at a coffee shop. Sometimes we'd just go into a cafe for some soup. It was one of my favorite things to do... just "girl time" together... and yesterday as we pulled out of a store parking lot and drove past those places to go home and eat, I thought, "I am missing out!"
Missing out? It only took me a fraction of a second to realize the ridiculousness of that thought. Missing out on WHAT? Missing out on weighing 278 pounds, driving to Arby's with my toddler, eating sandwiches and curly fries in the car, spilling horsey sauce down my shirt? Missing out on being too exhausted to even play with her in our yard, much less at the playground? Would I trade it back, for a fry??
No! I had romanticized the eating of fries and ice cream with my child, when, in fact, it was no better to her than coming home and eating a sandwich and a banana. In fact, she would RATHER sit at the table with me and a dish of hummus and drink juice from her tea set than sit in her car seat eating fries while I shove roast beef in my face in the front seat.
Now I play with her. I get up on the slide and I swing with her. We take long walks together. I have a lap for her to sit on. I can fit on the rides at the fair with her, no problem, and we ride them ALL. I can take her shopping at several stores in a row without pain. I can clean the house, sit down on the floor to play My Little Ponies with her, and get up and dance with her. I can go down the stairs to kiss my other children goodnight. I can walk her to school and volunteer in her classroom. All things I could not do before. All things far better than sharing a bag of curly fries and spilling cheese dip down the insides of my car and then coming home and turning on the TV so I could "rest."
I am not missing out on ANYTHING. I have traded a life where my happiest moments were spent in the car with my daughter strapped in her carseat in a parking lot for a life of rich experiences *outside* of the food-focused bubble I was living in. And I am so, so thankful I made that change. One step at a time, one foot in front of the other, I walked away from that life and into this one and I am never going back.