I sat on the edge of my unmade bed staring into the bathroom knowing what I had to do. For months I’d been avoiding it, many months, too many months. Excuses had been made time after time until finally there were no more excuses, no more getting around it, no more denying the inevitable.
Already my day had been full and it was only 8:00 a.m. I’d made breakfast for the kids, gotten them both off to school, done a 45 minute workout, put in a second load of laundry in the washing machine, and had one drying in the dryer, put the breakfast dishes in the dishwasher, taken out some meat for dinner and set it on the counter to defrost, and wrote three things on my daily to do list in the hopes it would motivate me to actually do them. Surely such a productive morning could be rewarded, surely this would warrant the governors reprieve from what I knew was waiting for me in the bathroom.
A new excuse — Hooray!
But alas, I knew this lame excuse would not be enough to thwart the guilt I would carry with me, as I had been for months, if I didn’t just bite the bullet and do what had to be done. It wasn’t like it was going to take me any time. In fact it would all be over in just seconds. The trouble was I didn’t want to face the ugly truth. It was far too easy to ignore the situation than to walk that lonely mile, or ten or so feet in this case, and deal with what was absolutely necessary if anything I did the rest of the day, week, or month was going to make any difference.
Yes, the time had come and as much as I really wanted to just shut the bathroom door, walk away, forget all about it, and go on living in blissful ignorance, I knew I just could not do it. Not and be able to look at myself in the mirror again.
Mirrors! That was all part of the problem. Every morning when I look in the mirror I see what I want to see. I have gotten very good at fooling myself, brainwashing almost, into believing that everything was fine and there was no reason to do it. No reason to rock the boat. But there were tell-tale signs everywhere beyond the fun-house mirrors I’d convinced myself were real that even if I wanted to ignore them, I couldn’t.
No, there was nothing I could do, nothing I could say, nothing I could dream up as a reasonable excuse to delay walking into the black hole that surely would destroy the false sense of complacency I’d spent months building, designing, engineering to justify my actions.
Slowly I slid my feet onto the cold floor and with my hands firmly on the bed, pushed myself to a standing position. Halfway there. Not really. Standing was surely not half the battle here. Actually it was just the first step to the many it was going to take to actually do this deed.
Sucking in a deep breath I closed my eyes and took a step. My feet felt like lead. The natural spring in my step was now nothing more than a mere dragging of cinder blocks across the floor. My heart began to race.
“Maybe I’ll have a heart attack before I get there,” I thought to myself. “Then I’d really have an excuse worthy of listening to.”
The cinder blocks dragged on, slowly closing the distance between me and my nemesis. Sweat began to stream down the back of my neck and drip into my eyes from my forehead. Why was this so darn stressful? People do it all the time. In fact, some people do it everyday and think nothing of it. Why oh why had I put this off so long? Why had I spent so much time trying to avoid this when I knew it would only make matters worse? Ignorance is a wonderful thing, until reality smacks you upside the head and tells you “You’re only hurting yourself.”
I crossed the threshold into hell — I mean the bathroom, and the cold ceramic tile made me wince. A mere pat on the back compared to the slap in the face I knew was waiting for me just a few feet away. Reaching the end of the road I stood staring aimlessly at the wall in front of me, refusing to look anywhere else.
Closing my eyes I sucked in one last breath of air and stepped up with one foot and then the other. Firmly positioned at my destination I squeezed my eyes tighter, willing them to glue themselves shut. No luck. I opened my eyes and looked up, then to the right, then to the left. I looked everywhere and anywhere I could except where I needed to look — down.
For hours (actually minutes, but it sure felt like hours) I stood there, enjoying every last-minute of life as I knew it, as I had convinced myself it was okay to be, before I finally let out the breath I’d been holding and looked at my feet. There it was. I could no longer go on telling myself nothing had changed. It was right there in front of me, in black and white — literally.
How could this have happened? How could I possibly have let things get this far out of hand? Panic began to set in. How was I ever going to fix this? It was worse than thought, worse than I imagined, although to be honest my alternate reality had really convinced nothing was wrong so thinking and imagining were rarely, if ever, done.
I jumped back onto the hard floor and quickly retreated back to the bed. It was done! I’d finally done that which I hate doing the most. That which causes me more stress and anxiety than it should because I put it off rather than deal with it. That which in order for any changes I make to mean anything needs to be faced and addressed. It was over and now I could move on, make plans, deal with it. None of this gave me any comfort. No, the writing was right there on the wall, well not exactly the wall but close, and it was time to face the music.
Yep — 155! That’s what the scale said. ONE FIVE FIVE! ONE HUNDRED FIFTY-FIVE. ONE WITH TWO FIVES AFTER IT. FIFTY PLUS FIVE PLUS ONE HUNDRED. TWO HUNDRED LESS FORTY-FIVE. ONE HUNDRED, FIVE TENS, AND FIVE ONES.
My heart was in my throat. Sure the holidays had been full of wonderful food and lots and lots of sweets, but that’s what the holidays are for. But this has started long before the holidays were even a line on my to do list. I’d been ignoring the ever tightening jeans, the rolls that formed on my back between my bra straps, and the ever-increasing chins that formed when I lowered my head toward my chest (actually lately I’m not sure I even have to lower my head for this to happen!).
Yes, I’d finally gotten myself back down to the gym and was making great strides at maintaining a regiment, adding more reps, increasing the weight, and getting my heart rate going three or four times a week — but this was almost too much to bear. How was I possibly ever going to get back into shape, lose the weight, have the will power not to eat chocolate, sweets, sugar — basically everything I love to eat and cook with. No, this was just too much for any one person to deal with.
So without looking back into that horrid place that houses that tortuous contraption called “a scale,” I threw on some clothes, grabbed my coat and keys, opened the garage door, and got in the car. There was only one thing that was going to change my mood, give me hope, make that ugly memory of what will be forever referred to as “the bathroom incident” forgotten. I tore out of the driveway, flew down the street (stopping only when absolutely necessary), and headed to the hairdresser.
Yep, nothing like cutting off 8 inches of hair to bring that scale down an ounce or two. Hey, and if your hair is really thick like mine, you might actually be looking at nearly a whole half pound. Then, on my way home I stopped off and bought myself a candy bar to celebrate. No point in letting my well-intentioned efforts go unrewarded now, is there?
So, that was my morning. How’s yours been? I’m home now, planning on how to continue making all the sweet concoctions I want to share with the family and somehow be able to show restraint and not eat them myself, and working on menus of salads, yogurt, cottage cheese, and fresh vegetables for myself while the family still gets to enjoy loads of mashed potatoes and gravy, vegetables in cream sauce, and other gazillion calorie entrees that can no longer be on my plate. But I’m not bitter. No, I got myself in this mess and it’s up to me to do the time and get myself out of it.
I sure am hungry though. What I wouldn’t give for a fresh slice of garlic cheese bread right about now — but instead I’m going to go make a fresh salad for lunch, and for this I am (sort of) — Simply Grateful.