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I learned a lot in April. Specifically, that the only thing I can control is myself, and more importantly, that I can control myself. The end result (thus far), I am 13 or 16 pounds lighter depending on what time of day it is (my scale doubles as a sundial).

I grapple constantly with how shallow obsessing about weight loss is especially given all of the worthwhile causes (child soldiers, child brideschild labor)  more deserving of full-on obsessing than anyone’s body size.

My desire to reconcile the two extremes: 1) keeping myself alive i.e. unencumbering my internal organs from the globs of fat that have encased them after years of neglect and 2) doing “the right thing” with my life, recently made for a disturbing albeit thought provoking dream.

I had a heart attack, was plucked from an outing with my family, and plopped down on a deserted dirt road in the middle of nowhere.
With the hopes of sounding less crazy for writing about a dream, I’ll skip
the Byzantine stairway that went in circles, the grassy mound of wise elder folk, the area beyond the door for the lost souls,

and get right to the gist of my dream:
The Wall of Small Deaths. On a brick wall, a series of three dimensional images flashed, one after another, maps of how my own acts, or lack of, affected people in the world. . . .
*

Fortunately, I woke up.

And fortunately, not only do I have the freedom to reflect on how my actions and/or inactions are affecting others, I also have the power to control my actions. In other words, unlike the children featured in the links above or the demographics (people) in the flashing maps, the only thing stopping me from doing exactly what I want is me.

There are no excuses for failing to accomplish anything one sets one’s mind to do.

All one has to do

is

do

it.

I had a lot of success in April accomplishing the superficial and unearthshattering (yet seemingly impossible) task of moving the scale needle to the left an inch and a half by simply coming up with a plan and sticking to it:

chart2

I have a new plan for May:

chart3

I had to deal with some stuff (really serious stuff) in April that was really hard for a worrywart (aka control freak) like me to deal with. However, I did not use the crisis as an excuse to give up on my plan.

Instead, I focused on what I could control.

Me.

And with this tiny accomplishment came a big reward.

I did not give up, and in staying strong; in crushing.this. goal., day after day, I realized how powerful one’s will can be.

One more time:

I did not give up, and in staying strong; in crushing.this. goal., day after day, I realized how powerful one’s will can be.

I’m starting small;
month by month,
day by day,
pound by pound,
mouth by mouth,
word by word,
byte by byte. . . .

Please visit these sites which have nothing to do with weight loss, but everything to do with the health of our collective heart.
Do Some Children Matter More Than Others? an excellent post by Creating Reciprocity about child soldiers.
Justice is What Love Looks Like in Public Creating Reciprocity’s post on child brides.
When Chocolate Disturbs Year-Struck’s post on child labor.
Common Humanity Another post by Creating Reciprocity (truly one of my blogging heroes) featuring an excellent video interview of Romeo Dallaire, author of They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die like Children
Child Soldiers a post on the enlightening blog Sarvodaya.

* I’m thinking this dream has video game potential!