I was just reading a blog for the first time, and trying to 'get to know' the blogger by reading back through a month or so before committing to being a regular reader....and, what? Is that weird? Am I the only one who borderline blog-stalks someone on the first visit to their blog? ;-)
ANYWAY...I was looking at some pics of her and her family...all of them (frankly, quite more than) pleasantly plump...yet, all looking very happy and beautiful...sitting at a table eating some yummy (yet very fattening) food, all with very full plates and joyful smiles on their faces. I didn't judge them for any of this, quite the opposite actually, I found myself feeling almost envious of them. Wishing I could just sit down and eat with abandon all the yummy foods that I crave. Go back for seconds, thirds, dessert, ect. and not feel bad about it. Just enjoy what I want to enjoy in whatever portion I feel like eating. Envious of their freedom.
I mean, they LOOKED so happy! Big, yet still beautiful. Enjoying their food, enjoying their lives.
Yet, I really have no idea whatsoever if they actually FELT happy or if they felt regretful after that meal. I have no idea if they are sick in their bodies, with high blood pressure or diabetes. I have no clue if they have trouble walking or going up stairs, if they are short of breath or achy all over. I don't know if they are actively trying to lose weight and this meal was a fluke, a failure, or if they eat that way all of the time and have no regrets. I don't know anything at all about the people in the photo. Did they really FEEL free??
I do however, know myself pretty darn well. I know that I'd be happy for awhile as I ate that wonderful meal, but terribly regretful later. I know that I would be so miserable if I gained that much weight, no longer able to run with my husband or practice volleyball with my daughter. I know I'd be ashamed of every pair of jeans in a larger size that I'd have to go and buy, and every ten pounds I'd gain would feel like putting on chains. My knees would ache again, my back would be strained, I'd be constantly out of breath...and those were just all the things only 40 extra pounds brought me...imagine my condition after two hundred extra. I don't think I'd be smiling much, honestly. Doesn't really sound like freedom, really.
So I have to ask myself, is food worth it to me? Is that kind of 'freedom' worth the price I'd ultimately pay?
Dark, ugly confession: I am a person who constantly feels like I'm missing out on something other people have. I feel like I'm being cheated...of a nicer house, a nicer car, better clothes, more friends, family living nearby, disposable income, vacations, better hair-nails-skin-legs-whathaveyou....get the picture? I struggle with discontent in almost every area of my life. I think that is what I'm actually feeling when I see pics like that...that I'm somehow being cheated of eating all the cake I want to eat, all the pasta my stomach can hold, cheated of a freedom they have that I don't. Simply put, I'm feeling like it's not fair!
How silly. How embarrassing to admit, yet strangely empowering to realize. I have to find my contentment where I am, in every area of my life, not just food. As a Christian, this is extremely important to me, and I've been working on it (off and on) for many years. I believe I should have joy (which is different from happiness) in all things at all times! This should include when I'm turning down a stupid cupcake or only having one piece of chicken. I am NOT being cheated, I'm choosing a different path, a different outcome, perhaps even a different life. Every choice, no matter how big or small, has impact...be it big or small...and I can be content in my choices if I remember the BIGGER picture.
I still have freedom, but my freedom LOOKS different than theirs. I am free to run/walk/ride/skip/climb, free to breathe deeply, free to live longer and healthier perhaps. No, I can't go eat an entire box of cookies every day like I may wish I could, but I am free of the guilt and shame it would bring, free of the inevitable chains that would accompany it eventually. This is a freedom of a different color, a freedom that I choose. And, for now this very minute, I am content in that!
Just a lot of heavy thoughts on a Tuesday morning...sorry about that. Working stuff out, I suppose!