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The Clarion Call: Hope

When I was fat I could not possibly have imagined passing by a Cinnabon or one of the other food outlets that offered tempting indulgences at the mall food court. As I said in Tuesday’s blog, why would I?!

I felt completely hopeless about ever losing weight because I had tried every conceivable diet, only to fail at each one. That hopelessness undermined any small effort I made.

Hopelessness gave way to futility, which meant I gave in to those temptations over and over again.

Like many of you, I was constantly pulled in many directions with demands on my time. I was always running on empty and allowed myself almost no personal leisure. I had no interests or activities outside of the responsibilities and obligations I had to fulfill every day. Sound familiar?

And even though I loved my husband and my children, even though I was good at my job and committed to my volunteer activities, there was very little pleasure in any of it. Nearly everything I did was because somebody else wanted me to do it.

And do it right now!

There was no urgency to take care of myself; I was last on the list. Eventually I wasn’t even on the list. I ran at a self-care deficit for many, many years.

Overindulging in food became a way to stuff down that unhappiness and allow myself a small pleasure, an instant gratification.

Not only was this destructive to my health, it crushed my self-esteem. Not all at once of course, but slowly like an unknown water source flowing under the foundation of a house, undermining its structural integrity.

What I was left with was a hopelessness that my situation would never get better. That I would never get better.

When everything came crashing down around me one day in 2007, it was my turning point.

Hope is a funny thing. It doesn’t always come from a bright, sunny place. Sometimes it comes from a pile of rubble. Amid the wreckage I was forced to ask myself what I knew for sure.

What I knew for sure was that I was worth fixing.

That realization was a clarion call.

A clarion call is a pivotal moment in your life when the answer to something you needed to know becomes brilliantly clear. When the clarion sounds, you have the choice to take action or not.

I chose action.

I talked to my family and my doctor. I had lap band surgery, but even before the surgery I started eating much better.

I seized control and I have never let go.

In seizing control – of the big decisions about how I spend my time and the smaller decisions about eating well and moving my body every day – I found hope.

The book I’m writing is called “Eat Like It Matters,” because it really does.

Eating like it matters is part of how I live like it matters.

I don’t feel the pull to indulge at those food court restaurants anymore because I now have a reason not to.

That reason is hope. I have hope that my future is mine to determine. I am optimistic that I can seize control.

So that’s my plan for the rest of my life.

Losing weight is hard, but it gets easier when you are hopeful and optimistic about the future. I now know that I’m worth the considerable time and effort to see my goals realized. Know what else? You are too.

Let’s go get it!

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