Thursday, June 11, 2009

"It's called Friendship,

ya' know: poor people's therapy." I heard this line on a rerun of Without a Trace and I laughed. Probably because of the actor's delivery which was appropriately sarcastic and because it's true! My earliest friends have mostly become social workers and therapists. I wonder if that is a coincidence or if even at that age I knew I needed help :)! But friendship is therapy, especially for women. Not sure what guys do when they get together. My husband swears that men bond around activity - doing, making or building something. I wouldn't know. Me and my friends bond around food. And if it has been an extremely stressful week, around alcohol. So it is not surprising that over breakfast this morning a friend shared some truly illuminating insights. I was blown over having realized that my 100th Angel in my quest for cracking this particular life nut had arrived.

The life nut - me and my true issue with food. I've known long before Oprah that my weight is not about the food but about the comfort food has always given me. When I was young and feeling neglected and isolated I would eat. Food was a comfort to me and since my life has been so difficult I deserved to indulge that comfort whenever I wanted. I deserved to feel better. My friend told me that she has an inner rebel. A little person inside her who doesn't want to go with convention. Who wants to buck the rules and wants to do what she wants to do - because she deserves it. I got that so clearly. Whenever I go on a new life path I last for a short period of time and then my little rebel who apparently speaks with a bullhorn, shows up and tells me that I am smart, sassy and perfectly capable of taking care of this issue on my own. I don't need no stinkin' help. And me and the little rebel jump ship. What's the definition of crazy - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome? Well, when it comes to me and food, I am crazy! Truly certifiable. What makes me think I can do this on my own? I haven't done a great job in the last 37 years! That is not to disparage me, because at some things I am brilliant, and at this, not so much.

What really stopped me in my tracks was when my friend said: "do what works." So simple. Of course! Do what works. Does me guesstimating how much I've eaten work? Does my not exercising work? Does my not eating at all work? NO! None of these things work. What does work is my planning my food so I keep my blood sugar level and making sure I eat balanced meals with few to no processed foods. What works is for me to workout - strenuously and to sweat. What works is for me to get enough sleep so I can get up leisurely in the morning and not rush through my routine so I don't have time to eat. Those things work. Yet, I continue to stop doing them. So, what to do about my little rebel?

Well, she is a lot like me and does not respond to harshness. She is, I have come to realize, the main character in a section of a play I wrote called "Blue Cohosh." She is "The Little Girl with the Patent Leather Shoes"

There is a girl I know
younger than me, smaller than me
with black patent leather shoes that reflect Up
she sits in the corner without making a sound
without disturbing the air in the room

The poem goes on to talk about how Vega, the main character, takes up so much space. How she can't even breathe without making noise. And she wants this child to teach her how to be invisible. Maybe she should yell at her. Maybe ignore her. She decides to invite the little girl for tea.

That's what I am going to do with my little rebel. Invite her in. Ask her to be my friend. Make her know she is loved and give her some tea. So that she becomes one with the tribe instead of in opposition to it. Gotta go, kettle's whistling.

We are blessed may we recognize the blessing

in peace

Photo:Candy Pop (I love that name!)

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