If there was ever a surprise defender of junk food, sleeping in and being slightly over weight, it’s me.
I’m the work-out-every-damn-day girl, even when I have the flu, I’m the one who thinks that drinking decaf coffee or eating an egg is a big treat, that my house has to be perfect before someone walks in and that an inch of extra flesh reflects some personal weakness.
To that I now say, loud and clear—fuck it.
If there is something that gets my dander up more than extremism, I’d be hard pressed to tell you what it was. Okay, fear and hatred do—but extremists are always working from one or the other, so it’s all the same thing to me.
I take this stand as a closet extremist trying to reform myself into a balanced individual.
I’m the sort of person who is afraid that if I eat one more grape than a serving size, all hell’s going to break loose. That is not to say I don’t ever eat a larger than recommended amount of grapes—I do, and frequently too. (Take that, paranoia!) But deep in my heart I believe that I must exert militant control over myself or I will become an obese lay-about with no goals bigger than making it from my bed to the bathroom and then back to bed.
In fairness, there was a time in my life when my goals were hardly more than that. I allowed myself, at the behest of a guy, to fall off the rails and go AWOL for five years. If there was something bad to be involved in, I was involved in it.
After I decided to act human again, I understood that I had let down everyone who ever knew me, including myself, and that it would take a heroic effort just to get back to square one.
So I fought and I battled and I whipped myself into shape, vowing to never be what we in my family call, that P.O.S. (piece of shit) person again.
And I’m not—but I’m still beating myself up.
I think it’s time to start phase two of being an adult.
These are some new guidelines I am going to give myself and I’ll promise you right here, right now that I will try to abide by them without feelings of guilt or inadequacy.
First, I am going to weigh five more pounds than I think I should. I am going to welcome these five pounds because I need to learn that they are meaningless.
Second, I am going to sleep in whenever and wherever I can. Granted this won’t happen often between my kids and my dogs, but if I have the opportunity, and my body allows it, I’m catching zzz’s.
Third, I am going to eat chocolate. Not diet fudgesicles or a piece of hard candy—real chocolate, preferably Swiss.
Fourth, I am going to, as was suggested by a reader of mine after another of my several articles bemoaning my lack of self control “relax and enjoy my wine.” This reader also suggested I move to France which, while appealing, I can’t pull off right now. Nevertheless, I like his style and would like it to be mine.
If these mandates don’t seem like a big deal to you, then you are not the neurotic freak I am. Allow me to emulate you. I welcome any and all suggestions, including taking up residence in foreign countries.
If they do seem like a big deal, it’s possible you need a nap and a Toblerone.
Maybe you are ready to let go of your vise-like grip on every impulse great and small—maybe you’re not. Either way I ask you to consider the possibility that there is life after fear, and that since we’re all imperfect anyway we might as well embrace it.
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