A Whole New Day

Eating Well is a Weighty Issue

These Many Gifts

on December 24, 2011

If you had asked me ten years ago what the greatest gift was I might have said riches. I might have said love. Honestly I am not sure what I would have said other than it would not be health, which is my answer now.

Many people have pivotal moments in their lives. Perhaps the birth of a child, surviving a car wreck, or meeting the eyes of their future spouse from across a crowded room.  Mine came in May of 2008 and my life changed.

From that moment on my already tumultuous life became a roller coaster of epic proportions. Of having the will but not the strength. Of hating myself. Of hating everyone. Living in a dark world of self-pity, silent desperation and misunderstanding.

Thanks to many people , animals, and the Grace of God, I made it. But the biggest thanks goes to myself and my determination. I gave up once and was thrown back in the pond and I wasn’t doing it again though I was sorely tested.

So all of that has brought me to where I am now. The worst I can say is that I am fat. Not in scooter/special chair territory, but enough so that I don’t want to be fat anymore. I want my outside to reflect how I feel inside. After years of stormy weather the sun is now in my heart and I want to shine. I want to make up for lost time. I want to climb mountains. Or at least walk the easier hiking trails….

And that is why I say health is the greatest gift. A Kia and a Mercedes will both get you to the same place. A Wal-Mart purse and a Coach purse will carry the same things. A meal at Waffle House or at Peddler will both fill your stomach. But without health the will to do any of those things is gone. I would rather be the poorest healthy person than the richest sick person any day.

The second greatest gift is appreciation. Without my trials of the last few years I think I would still be focused more on what I don’t have versus what I do. Not to say I don’t covet – I do. I am human and have human failings. But what I do have is much more important and the things that matter have changed as well.

Every day that I wake up and can actually get out of bed I appreciate.

Every time I walk without back pain I appreciate.

Every time I smell my shampoo instead of cigarette smoke I appreciate.

Every time I think to myself “It is possible with time” I appreciate.

I still want things. I still like “stuff”. I still wish I could go to any store and be able to walk in and buy whatever I want. For years I did that and that’s how I ended out bankrupt. Though I wouldn’t say everyone should do that, Janis Joplin was kind of right when she said that freedom is another word for nothing left to lose.

I have no credit cards now. Everything I have is mine. Bought with cold hard cash. If I can’t afford it I don’t buy it and I wish to hell I would have done that from the time I was 18 but I am a stubborn fool and have to learn my lessons the hard way unfortunately.

The third thing I am thankful for is realization. In America we are inundated with fantasy. There is nothing wrong with escapism in small doses but all we see is the glitter and not the glue holding it in place. All those beautiful Hollywood bodies? They take a lot of work and none of us is going to get one by eating cheesesteaks and Little Debbies. Maybe in our 20’s but definitely not afterwards.

All those big television apartments rented by waitresses? That isn’t reality. Real people can’t live like that and you end out over extended if you try.

In short, you have to make your own reality and be PROUD of it. Own who you are. Why should you be ashamed that your rent or mortgage payment is affordable. That’s something to be proud of.

Why should you be ashamed that your clothes, bag, shoes, whatever was sold by Target and not Prada? You shouldn’t be – that’s what you can afford and you look damned sexy.

The other part of realization is understanding the albatross. What in your life weighs you down? Find it. Excise it. Move on. If you have people or situations in your life that don’t enrich it let them go. It may leave a scar and it may hurt but time wasted is time you will never get back. You are doing them a favor as well.

And the reverse of that is realizing when to hold on . I almost lost someone quite precious to me and I stepped down off my pride and said “I don’t want this to happen”. Every moment that goes by we as people change and though things will never be as they were they will be as they are and if we allow that – that isn’t all that bad.

The last thing I am thankful for is LAUGHTER. I thank God that even in my darkest moments I have been able to laugh. I know I use humor as escapism and I was once told I hide a lot of pain there but I am still glad for it. In the hospital, on the unemployment line, writing bad checks for groceries – I was always able to laugh. It was the cushion that kept me from hitting rock bottom. My life jacket. I always say if it scares you laugh at it and I will say that till the day I die. Nothing makes the big smaller than a joke at its expense.

Much love to all and many hopes for a successful 2012!





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