I have spent my entire life fighting fat – whether it was in my mind or on my body. I fought it as a young woman through anorexia and bulimia. I fought it as a compulsive runner – 5 miles a day 5 days a week. I fought it through work. Working two jobs – anything to keep from going home and facing the rawness of living. Now, in menopause, I’m fighting it and blaming it on my hormones and thyroid.
But, it was at lunch with a good friend that gave me pause. I sat in amazement at her weight loss. Having lost 50 pounds, she hardly looked like her old self. Sitting across the table from me, I sat staring into the depth and stillness of her eyes. “You know Pat, I thought it would be about the weight loss itself, the getting into my old clothes and buying some things new, but it isn’t that at all. It is the power of discipline. The empowerment of control that I have over myself. It’s kindness. Being kind to myself.”
And, my heart flipped. I’ve come to know when you get the heart flip – that sudden burst of joy – energy – that happens so many times throughout the day – you must pay attention. God is trying to speak to you.
Kindness. I never thought of being kind to myself before. There is no kindness when you binge and purge until you have retched your stomach empty. Where is the kindness when mile after mile your knees are killing you as your feet continue to hit the pavement? Talk to me about the kindness that comes from working relentlessly – even when your child has waited all day at home.
It’s been 4 days since I had lunch with Debbie and her words still resonate with me. Instead of eating the left over Halloween candy, I decided to be kind to myself and say no. Instead of a handful of nuts, I only had a few. And, that elliptical glider at the gym? Looks a lot like kindness to me.
Be kind to yourself today and everyday. And, always, my friends. Watch for the heart flip. Listen for the knock on the door of your soul.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Colossians 3:12