My sister came to visit this weekend. We've been best friends, buds, partners in crime for almost sixty years and I can always count on her to bring out the fun.
That's why the weekend wouldn't have been the same if we had munched on celery sticks, clinked our milk glasses together in a toast-and did sit-ups in the living room floor instead of watching reruns of Everybody Loves Raymond.
For this weekend, all barriers were down. I didn't measure, weigh or stress out over what what going into my mouth.
All I cared about was what was going into my heart.
Memories. Sweet, gentle, small, miraculous memories that we will both remember when we are old ladies, reminiscing about the past.
I made home made chicken and dumplings. At the time it didn't matter to me that they were laden with carbs and would add a few ounces on the scale. I didn't consider the calories in that margarita that my sister handed me with a smile. I didn't freak out that my treadmill was lonely or that I quit counting fat grams in my head.
I know, we've got to stay strong. Not be derailed. Not make insane excuses to pig out or flip out or opt out. But we can be a part of the party. And then, when it's over, clean up, clear out, and get back on that train to a better you!
There's nothing more depressing than to be invited to a family dinner in a restaurant, only to feel like you have to hide in the corner eating rice cakes while the family dines on steak and ribs and potatoes smothered in fifteen kinds of butter. Appetizers, crackers, and that slice of pie oozing with sugary fruit. What's worse is that you know they are watching you from the corners of their eyes. They inspect your choices, your portions. They secretly criticize your self control, the size of your bites...the way you sit in in your chair like a puffin.
But, just smile. Be a part of that group. They are your tribe. They are your memories. They are the most important thing you will ever have in your entire life.
Laugh with them. Eat with them. And then- go back to doing the things you know must be done.
I suppose it's a lot like telling an alcoholic to enjoy a few drinks. But if it effects you in that way, by all means, avoid those dinners. Or at least skip the fattening parts.
Only you know where you've set your boundaries. Keep yourself on a leash, but enjoy a little romp
once in awhile or things will lose their luster.
I'm telling you now, even if I gained a few pounds, I don't care. I enjoyed my weekend and all the laughter, love and looniness that it brought to these cold January days.
But today, I'm boarding that diet train and heading back down the track on my journey. I see myself
way off in the distance. Over that river, across that mountain, through that woods and beyond...there
is a better me.
But my heart isn't starving. It's full of love and memories.
And that has made all the difference.