Last Tuesday I joined Weight Watchers. Things have gotten out of hand (and by “things” I mean, me). Just promising myself I’d eat better wasn’t cutting it. Throwing in some exercise wasn’t cutting it. I needed a plan and I needed to be held accountable. I’ll admit, I felt very self-conscious when I walked through the door. I was thinking to myself, ” People who go to weight watchers are in their 50’s and are obese. I am going to feel so out of place.” I felt pretty uncomfortable doing it, but I opened the door and went in and launched myself into a new lifestyle.
I know I set this up to sound like I was completely wrong about Weight Watchers being the hangout of women of a certain age and a certain build. Actually, I was pretty spot-on. I attended my first meeting and of the more than 50 women present I was one of about 10 who looked younger than 40 and one of about 4 who looked younger than 30. What did surprise me was how much I enjoyed the meeting in spite of that. It was such a non-judgmental environment. No one cared that I’ve gone up three pants sizes in the last 8 months, not did anyone look at me and say, “Oh, you’re so young and skinny, you don’t need to be here!” (which sounds like a nice thing to say, but can be very frustrating when your good enough at excusing yourself without someone else’s help.) They accepted that I was one of them, a woman seeking to take care of her body and live and healthy lifestyle, and for that I was embraced.
I am a week into this journey and have done well so far, largely due to a book I read over the past week. It’s called Made to Crave and deals with developing and sustaining the godly desire to be healthy and to keep food in it’s proper place in our lives. The author talks about using the apostle Paul’s words, “Everything is permissable for me, but not everything is beneficial,” as a guide and I can honestly say that I find it very helpful. I am often tempted (about food or anything else I know I shouldn’t do) to feel that it’s just not fair that I can’t just have or do what I want, but this verse really changes my perspective. No one’s restricting me. I’m allowed to eat whatever I want. I am just making a choice that’s more beneficial. I think my mother would say that is called maturity. Ha.
I have come to realize that one of the reasons I’ve been struggling so much in this area over the past few months has to do with my adjustment to marriage. I have an overwhelming desire to be an amazing wife. I don’t just want to be good and loving, I want my husband to feel love oozing out of every piece of housework I do and every meal I cook. I deeply desire for my husband to think I am the best cook, the best homemaker, the best lover, the best friend, etc he could ever have imagined. The truth is…I am just me…and my husband already thinks all of these things are true. But that doesn’t stop me from feeling like I have to earn them sometimes. Consequently, I put a lot of pressure on myself most nights to create either elaborate meals, or at least meals that I know my husband really enjoys. The problem is, my husband’s favorite foods are delicious, but also tend to be pretty unhealthy. Even though I know intellectually it is better for both of us if I don’t make fettucine alfredo and stuffed potato skins every night, I so crave his praise that I had been unable to make a change.
One afternoon last week as I left work Sami called after me, “Goodbye, Lily! And you be good to Jonathan!” She cracks me up. I thought, “Of course I’ll be good to Jonathan. Goofball. I try all the time to be good to Jonathan.” Today I am thinking, maybe actually being good to Jonathan means not always doing the thing that will earn me the most praise. Maybe it means doing the thing that will truly be best for him and for myself, even if it doesn’t make him jump for joy. It amazes me how often I do things out of selfishness, even when I think my motives are completely other-centered.
So…here’s a new chapter in my life. A journey towards a healthier life, for my body and for my spirit.