Authenticity And Eating Disorders

Someone asked me recently why I’ve had an eating disorder. This was a loaded question. I immediately felt a tightening in my chest and a surge of insecurity as I struggled to find the words to defend my disease and its thirty year presence. I quickly sifted through my brain and started rattling off a bunch of predisposing factors that were in my life. I felt this pressure to come up with a good enough answer that validated why I had been so obsessed with this evil thing for so long. I’m pretty sure I did a good job answering the question because I hit most of the known bullet points that I have spent countless hours in therapy going over. Honestly, I felt a little vulnerable just answering the question as I let this person have a view of the building blocks of this disease and what that looked like for me…..

Later on I sat down with my thoughts, cracked open my journal and began to dissect my answer a bit. I wrote down the key words like “control”, “perfectionism”, “insecurity”… and things of the like. However, when I got to the bottom of the page I scanned back through my writing. I realized a major theme throughout my words. I deeply cared about what other’s thought of me and how I was perceived. It’s as if I have cared entirely more about what other’s think of me than what I think of myself. There was a bit of an epiphany there. I can attack and lock down on my eating disorder habits all day long until I’m blue in the face. But, if I don’t go after what I fundamentally believe to be true about myself then this thing can disappear out of sight all it wants. It will truly only be waiting in the wings for me for the day that I crack. I know that now.

That said, I am a little bit obsessed these days with talking about our internal dialogue. I am a little bit preoccupied with the narrative that we let run through our minds both actively and passively. We have GOT to be incredibly vigilant about owning what we think of OURSELVES. I have lived my lifetime thus far with a poor self image. I realize that I have actually used others and ultimately my eating disorder as a vehicle to harness some self acceptance. My eating disorder has stuck around as long as it has because without it I am just left with my own thoughts about my worth…. And as long as that narrative has been a crappy one I’ve needed to dip into my bag of tricks to survive feeling so shitty about myself. Pardon my French.

It makes so much sense to me now.

Authenticity Defined: of undisputed origin, genuine

We get one shot. We get one life where we get to express ourselves and to live out of who we truly are. Self doubt meets us at the door and offers us an escort into any situation. Doubt sticks out its grimy hand, rifles through its bag, and offers us masks and barriers, and vices, and, for me eating disorders. It takes its gangly finger, lifts it to our mouth and tells us to hush. That bag of tricks only serves to hide our authentic selves. We become too afraid to be authentic because we care too much about what others think of us and we often have a poor view of how we see ourselves.

Instead of complimenting one another on how we look all the time maybe we could start to practice complimenting one another for WHO we are. Maybe we could start with doing this for ourselves. Maybe we could take the time to see that magic in our character and personality and call that out a time or two. Maybe if you see something someone has done that is a really beautiful gesture you could take the time to remark on it. Maybe we raise our sons and daughters to believe they are of inherent value. Maybe we compliment them out loud when we see things like kindness, determination at basketball practice, stellar commitment with their homework, etc.. Maybe we can alter just a tiny bit the way we see one another and the way we talk to one another. Maybe we can alter just a tiny bit the way we see ourselves and the way we talk to ourselves.

I believe with everything in my core that our deepest hunger is to feel seen, to be heard and to know that we matter to this world and to the people in it. I believe that when those fundamental needs aren’t met we let things like self doubt in the door. We welcome its ugly presence and we hide behind things. How about we get about the business of locking the door guys. How about we open our hearts to our worth and we let that in. Maybe we become a haven for our own worth. A home for our hearts. DO NOT let yourself tear yourself down anymore. It literally kills you slowly and calls for a deep slumber over your genuine origin, your authenticity.

I hear you.

I see you.

You matter to this world and to the people in it.

 

Finding Joy

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Finding joy is sometimes akin to a kid picking through their spaghetti dinner and finding the one, minuscule, green fleck of parsley and mistaking it for lettuce. It’s hidden sometimes beneath the noise of our day-to-day lives.

The clamoring sound of the obligations in our day-to-day call desperately for our attention. We have to slow down, catch our breath for just a moment and count our blessings. Literally count them. Acknowledge them. Shine a light on them as if they were the star of the show. Our days are FILLED with competing emotions. We can name our to-do lists like a bunch of bosses. But can we find our daily silver lining? I suppose that’s what the gratitude movement is all about. It’s a charge to grind life to a halt just long enough to see the concentration of its goodness.

When we see something we have to say something. We have to train our minds to connect with our hearts and to then feel the pleasures of this one, beautiful life. Joy is found in simply lighting your favorite candle or watering your stupid huge collection of houseplants. Joy is found in deliberately sipping your hot coffee slow. Joy is the smell of freshly mopped floors. Joy is watching the sunrise and taking in its beauty. Joy is listening for that fleeting moment to the laughter of a child. Joy is scoring that clearance item at the end of the Target aisle. Joy is your favorite song popping on the radio in that seventeenth car ride of the day. It’s a moment found mixed with the pleasure of LIVING. It’s everywhere you want to be. Acknowledging the joy-filled moments strengthens our resolve to withstand the chaos of our days. It softens our hearts and preps us to weather the storms.

Slow down. Slow way down. The hustle and grind of life will wait for you as you pick through the moments and name the joy. Life is full of them. It takes a deliberate attempt to find them and call them to the forefront. It just does. It requires a choice and a cultivated practice to see the silver lining.

I believe in us and the power to harness joy.

Failure Is Our Friend

I am allowed to be BOTH a work in progress AND to help others grow at the same time. I refuse to wait until I believe I’m perfect or someone else has deemed me worthy of impacting others. I am unapologetically accepting a life of massive growth & improvement.

I couldn’t love this quote more and I am nearly stumped for words after reading it…. Nearly 😉

So many of us fear failure. So many of us struggle, to some degree, with perfectionism. We live with the pressure of presenting ourselves as fairly put together. We think that as an adult we’re supposed to know more and to do more and to be better than we are. We take our strengths and push them to the forefront so we appear as shiny little objects. The reality is we are all in a constant state of growth and change. The whole of our lives will be filled with one learning curve after another. The opportunity for change just NEVER stops. With that in mind what if we considered failure as our friend? What if we decided our failures and struggles were our companion that leads us into growth and improvement? What if we took failure and mixed it with a little vulnerability and showed the world our humanity versus the image that we have it all together all the time? What then? I imagine it would look like a bunch of deeply accessible people helping one another become who they long to be. I bet we would feel like home to one another.

I’d give anything for my 40 year old self to have an opportunity to speak to my 20 or 30 year old self. I would open wide my arms, wrap them gently around and tenderly give myself a hug. I would sit myself down, stare straight into my eyes and whisper intently: “It’s ok. You’re gonna be ok. This failure and this need to appear perfect is in vain, dear girl. Let it go. Let go of the desire to have it all together because the reality of life is that you will never ever stop growing and improving. Your failings are the cliff edge, your tipping point into something beautiful. It’s the catalyst into change and once you step straight off the cliff and skydive into change the view is breathtaking. Every time. Embrace it. Yield to it. You are not disqualified by failures you are validated by them. You are validated as an evolving seeker of truth. Do not listen to the clamoring noise of discontentment over who you are and who you are yet to be. Break bread with others, share who you are, as is, because they are in the same boat as you. No one has it all together. Breathe and unapologetically accept a life of massive growth and improvement. ”

We need to be kinder to ourselves in my opinion. We need to speak to ourselves words of encouragement. We need to deal tenderly with our areas of growth and change and give ourselves room to mend and to breathe and to become who we long to be. The world doesn’t need more shiny objects. The world needs people committed to a life of massive opportunity for growth and change and copious amounts of grace to cover it all.

I believe in us and all our imperfections.

 

Dear Trampoline Inventor

Dear Trampoline Inventor,

I both thank you and simultaneously regret your ingenuity.  This thing of yours is a bouncing portal for intermittent urine if I ever saw one. Four children out of this body…. You do the math on how things function “down there” before you go judging my bladder control. What is the deal?  You literally step foot on this thing and you have an instant headache. Our children are the Pied Piper to this experience waiting to happen, however our spine is literally screaming at us “don’t you dare… you’re 40 you idiot.” But, alas we go at their whim. We go because they call for us to show up as “fun mom” and we don’t want to go down in their memories as the opposite of that. Ever.  (SIDE NOTE to you kids: this is not the jarring, pee-soaked underwear kind of fun we moms want. I have an idea….. wait for it: Let’s play “Resort”. How about that? I’ll lie right here on this couch and you can bring me things like orange juice. Only, let’s have fun and ramp up the OJ with some adult bubbles. Sure – you can rub my feet. That’s what happens in “resort land”…. How about that? I can fun-mom that all freakin day long) Trampoline Guy, no-one wants to play “Resort” they want you to “bounce them down”, “crack the egg” and “flip the mummy” on a big black stretch of pee producing woven material on a thousand springs that occasionally pop off.

Life is a blast sometimes. Kids are the best sometimes. I love this contraption of a trampoline sometimes because they’ll play on it all day long. But, when they call for me – when they call for “fun mom”….. there is great sacrifice at play here. I mean it.  Don’t think my 100 “not right now’s” is easy for me. It’s hard to say no to their plea for me to be amazing. Believe me. It’s just that I want to show up for them in seventy-two other ways outside of bouncing my way to a headache and wet undergarments and a fight over who purposely tackled whom.

You are a billionaire. No question…. And so is a Chiropractor. You guys had a meeting of the minds didn’t you? You guys are in cahoots with the roller coaster inventor and the paint gun inventor and the person who suggested reading books to kids at night at the end of a long day. Now that’s another super touching moment as I glance at the clock twelve times guessing how many more minutes until I’m finally alone with my thoughts. I feel awesome as I wonder if I can sneak in a flip of a couple extra pages with this next turn.

I’m a good mom. A great one. I promise. I just need you to know that “fun moms” all over the world have a love hate relationship with you, trampoline inventor.  We feel the pressure to show up on this thing when all we intended to do was to stuff our kids inside and zip the thing close and….. walk away.

Cheers to you though! Thank you for your contribution to the American family nationwide. You have done wonders for boring summers because you’re always an option for play. You have done wonders for birthday parties and neighbor kids coming to our house and for moms all across the land who get to say “just go jump on the trampoline” when we’re told there’s “nothing” to do. But, I tell you what.  You snuck this one in on us. We didn’t know we’d be required to be a part of your equation. So, here’s the thing. Can you go back to the drafting room and invent some stadium seating INSIDE the trampoline for the “fun moms”?  This way- we’ll technically be on it, but our underwear will be dry, our heads won’t ache and that non-insurance taking Chiropractor will quit getting all my money after we experience your “fun”. Get to work guys.  You can do better than just a flat piece of fabric on a thousand springs. Get us the Mom Seat please. We beg of you.

Sincerly-

Changing my Clothes Now Mother

Lycra

I’m getting ready to take a trip to Florida over Christmas. I am pretty stoked for many reasons. This is my native state. I am a beach obsessed, sun worshipping Florida girl living land locked in Minnesota with temperature highs in the single digits these days. The escape from this tundra is just days away. With that escape comes a two year planned trip to Disney World finally coming to fruition. My children are the absolute best ages right now to hit Disney. They are old enough to assert some independence, but young enough to still care about the characters and rides and Paw Patrol. This will be epic! If Disney wasn’t enough my parents live in Cocoa Beach directly on the beach. You can hear the waves crashing and feel the wind blowing salty air as you sip your morning coffee. My siblings are all gathering together to celebrate Christmas. This too will be an epic feat as fourteen children and ten adults jam ourselves into a two bedroom condo space. (Can anyone get to Costco fast enough?)

With all this excitement ahead I found myself attempting…. a crash diet. A crash diet because with Florida comes bathing suits and pools and beach time. It finally dawned on me recently that this crash diet was just plain stupid. I had to ask myself: “why am I trading my peace and security and confidence for a piece of lycra?” Why was I foregoing calories in anticipation of someone else’s judgement of me? Why was I projecting discomfort onto a moment that was yet to come. Why was I obsessing about what I look like when I have shells to collect and castles to build and evening strolls in the warm sun to take? I have spent so many years letting my joy and contentment be overshadowed by how I felt about my body image. I’m so getting over this.

The diet culture of our society thrives on people like me. I don’t even have anything more brilliant to say than that. It thrives on my obsession with what other people might think of me. If perhaps I decided that this body is “enough” right now, today, as is then what kind of freedom would that bring? It would allow me to anticipate a lot of great memories made with my children. It would allow me to do a cannon ball or two in the pool. It would allow me to stand proud next to Cinderella and actually smile for the camera versus getting the heck out of the frame (I’ve spent decades dodging pictures).  If I decided that I am enough and other people’s opinions can just be theirs then that leaves a lot more room in my heart and mind for joy and engagement and the real stuff that trips like these are made of.

We have got to ditch the anticipation of judgement from others. We have got to decide that we are enough, today, as is. We have to decide that what we bring to the table as a person far outweighs how stellar we look in our lycra. We have to get busy anticipating connection with others not rejection of our image. I mean really- why do I care what Sue Ellen from Canada thinks I look like in my suit? I’ve got memories to make, and kids to laugh with, and family members to love on. This engrained habit of projecting rejection or ridicule can be traded. It can be traded in for the solid decision that I’m pretty stinking awesome no matter what I look like in my suit and I can get about the business of living life more fully. One mental shift at a time.

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Turn Up The Volume

Shame defined by Webster: the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of being loved and belonging- something we’ve experienced, done, or failed to do that make us unworthy of connection.

Quit waiting for the shame-filled voices to merely go away.  Actively turn up the volume on the soul building, spirit filling voices that course through you.

I haven’t dedicated my life’s work and research to shame resilience. But, I do know all too well what shame sounds like: Failure, embarrassed, stuck, flawed, behind, I’ll forever be trying to become better than I am right now, I need to become good, your body doesn’t work right, you’re totally screwing up at this life, etc.

If even a thread of those sound familiar chances are you identify with the shame struggle. I’ve surrendered to the fact that shame is a bit of an achilles heel for me. However, I’m not rolling over and playing dead any time soon. I’m fighting. I’m fighting for truth in my innermost parts. I’m fighting to turn up the volume on the truth that resides within me that sounds a little like this: you are a hero to your children, your body is capable of doing all that it was intended to do, you are the best version of you right now flaws and all, you are committed to growth and change, you have evolved beautifully, you are smart, funny and gosh darnit people like you, etc.

We cannot sit idle by and let the background music of our lives play a song that tears us down. We cannot sit still while bricks are being thrown at our character. We have to stand tall and strong and declare an end to the tear down. We have to say NO MORE To the onslaught and antics of shame. We need to practice radical forgiveness toward ourselves. That’s right: radical forgiveness. If it’s true that we attract what we feel inside- then we best get to work feeling pretty stinking amazing. There is only ONE you. There’s no replacement. There’s no alternative. You are the best you around. No argument. No one can do life better than you. Sure, there are some genius’ out there (like Brene Brown), but no one shows up for this life more ready to make it amazing than you. We have to shut down and silence the doubt that we are not a valuable contribution to this time and the people we encounter. Take a deep breath. Practice some self care. Turn down the volume on the voices that spend their energy filling you with shame. Turn up the volume on the voices that coach you into the greatness that you are.  It’s a battle for sure. One worth fighting.

Per Mel Robbins…. TIP: Post an anchor thought.

“Sometimes life is hard. It’s part of being human. For those times, I want you to cheer for yourself. Post your favorite quote where you can see it and read it aloud every time you pass by.”

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It’s In The Waiting

The waiting phase. All of life’s experiences are accompanied by some element of waiting. All of them. Waiting for a cake to bake. Waiting for the baby to come. Waiting for your car while you get an oil change. Waiting in line at Starbucks. Waiting for your turn in the doctor’s office. Waiting for a check in the mail. Waiting for your kids to come to the carpool line at after school pick up (because they’re inside raiding the vending machine or something super important like that). Waiting for your loved ones to arrive from out of town. Waiting for the job interview. Waiting for 8pm when the kids go to bed. Waiting for the diagnosis. Waiting for the healing. Waiting for the breakthrough. Waiting for the miracle…. and on and on and on.

The waiting phase can be filled with so many deep emotions both of elation and pure agony. We get so eager for the “thing” to arrive that we often miss the beauty of the waiting period. We often look right over what that phase is actually producing in us.

Waiting defined: the action of staying where one is until a particular time.

Simple definition, I know. But, I remember years ago asking God to come and literally take my eating disorder away from me. The mental turmoil was and often is more than I could bear. I would ask him to just scoop it right out of my life like a hot spoon to a bowl of ice cream. Just take it away. Make it disappear. I have been waiting for years for God to push some sort of release valve in me or to stir whatever it was I was missing in order for me to make a better choice for my health. I was waiting for the strength and resolve to change to literally visit me in some miraculous fashion. I needed a miracle because this mental disorder had literally overtaken my entire mind like an unwelcome vine in a garden that chokes out all the fruit in its path. I needed God to come and show up and help me get to work. I was often extremely frustrated because I believe in a God that can speak and move mountains. Why not move this mountain of mine I so often wondered? Why not just say the word and we can get on our way? I was waiting. Waiting for freedom. Waiting for healing. Waiting for breakthrough. Waiting for the miracle.

In the waiting phase I attended therapy in copious amounts. Read books left and right. I attended self-care classes with the hope that the scales would tip and I’d start living out of my worth instead of my disease. I remember the ache- the literal ache in my heart for change to come. I would weep with desperation for God to rescue me, and my mind, and my body and to make me whole again. As I look back down the corridors of this waiting period, I realize I have learned more lessons than I could ever count. He used my own desperation to cause me to learn a thing or two. I was gaining insight every opportunity I could get. In the waiting phase He SO softened my heart. Now, when I see weakness in others my knee jerk reaction no longer is to judge their position in life, but rather to wonder deeply what their life has contained that led them to the place they are in. I wonder with empathy and compassion and tears and desire for their breakthrough. God didn’t so much scoop out my eating disorder as He did my ability to judge others. And for that, I am eternally grateful. God did not wave a wand and make this disease just disappear, but He opened my eyes so wide to my worth and to the power He gave me to choose to live out of that. He didn’t simply eliminate my toxic, choking vine of a disorder, but He did carve out a space in me that has more room for myself and others than I have words to describe.

The waiting phase. What it produces in us is something miraculous. Maybe the miracle is cultivated inside of the waiting. Maybe the healing is produced inside of the waiting. Maybe the breakthrough is coming little by little inside of the waiting. I’m now convinced that it’s in the waiting that we find our freedom. Do not overlook the value of this phase and the day of small beginnings.

I believe in us and the power to stay right where we are until a particular time.

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Mother Of The Year

I’m gonna keep this one short and sweet. Today, I just want to share that I am clearly killing it in all things parenting! No really, Mother Of The Year right here you guys. I’ll prove it…..

I have four beautiful children. They all came into this world packing a punch as each of them weighed around nine pounds or more with my “baby” tipping the scale at 10.8 pounds. They barreled down the hatch in the short span of five years. I’m not sure how to describe that level of stellar planning. But, I’ll tell you this: My house is not quiet. Ever. The laundry is never done. Ne-ver. I clean seventy-two million times a day. There is never a meal that appeases everyone at the same time except cereal. I find snack bags intended only for school hidden in the darndest places. Someone outgrows their shoes once a week it seems. I spend my entire week carpooling to sports practices, sometimes three in one night. And the homework…. oh the homework. My entire weekend is consumed with games that all seem to occur within five minutes of one another at precisely opposite venues. They play games with one another. Prank one another. And fight like cats and dogs. They leave wet towels all over kingdom come and toys out from one end of the yard to another. My girls are super crafty which means I can never find my tape or scissors. Their favorite medium is slime (which I am 100% so over!). They watch tutorials on braiding hair and fight over who used the hairbrush last because it’s nowhere to be found. My boys watch random football games together on You Tube so they can learn a thing or two (They are 6 and 10). They are four years apart, but wear the same size clothing. Their favorite word is undoubtedly any variation that describes a fart or uses a body part as a joke.  Someone is always hungry, but unfortunately there is “never” anything “good” to eat around here…. except the snacks I find hidden. My husband is super loving and works his butt off. Thank God for him for many reasons, but he pretty much rules the roost when it comes to homework. I promise I’m smart, but apparently I’m not “smarter than a 5th grader”.

All that said, life is beautiful. And chaotic. And fun. And frustrating. And mesmerizing. And endearing. And challenging. And worth every second…. ESPECIALLY when your children come from grandma’s house having made the MOST beautiful gingerbread houses you ever did see….IMG_7569.jpg

What’s that? You need a closer look?

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I TOLD you I am killing it as a parent. Proved it right there!

Happy Holidays!

 

The Valley Of The Shadow Of Death

This is a road traveled by many. So many that my mind floods with examples…. and empathy. From failed marriages, to the loss of a loved one, paralyzation, disease, miscarriage, loss of a job, and so on. Life can be so cruel and dark and lonely at times. Life can bring great joy, but it also serves us with tear-jerking, soul-wringing, gut-wrenching pain and trauma. We wonder how we survive at all sometimes.

I think of the heartache we encounter. And I can’t help but weep. I think of our response to it all. I think of our process through it all. How do we get from Point A to Point B when the bottom has simply dropped out? I don’t even feel like I have the authority to answer that question. So, I won’t. But, I do know what deep, dark places feel like. I know what the vultures of our joy sound like over head. I know what starvation for saving and a longing for hope’s rescue to come feels like. There’s a crazed desperation inside. A cavern so deep that it simply can’t be filled with one wave of the wand. The valley…. is a valley. It’s a deep dip in life’s surface that carves you out hollow. It’s cold and vacant and void of life at every turn. It’s a dark pace and you long so deeply to see a bright red exit sign. Only, there’s no exit sign, just a dimly lit path ahead. A  path that must be taken.

The valley of the shadow of death is real. So real.  There’s an accompanying white knuckle grip that circumstantial change will come. That a miracle will occur and life will begin again… whole and untouched by adversity. Why does a God so great and kind stir such torrential desperate waters in our soul? How does a God so powerful and all-knowing allow such ailments to visit us? Again, I don’t know the full answer to this, but I do know what resilience and hope looks like. It looks hot like a fire in a desert that warms your coldest places. It tastes sweet and bitter simultaneously. And the cry inside for rescue raises an octave or two as we throw our hands in surrender admitting our weakness to prevail. Adversity brings us to our knees, to the end of ourselves.

How do we begin again out of the hollow places where hope has been deferred?

We choose.

We choose to take the next, best, right step forward down that dimly lit path. We choose to believe in our worth and we anchor strong in our destiny. We sometimes get a tattoo or six to remind us who we are. We brand our hearts with truth that no matter how deep the valley we can RISE. In one, small step at a time forward we can find ourselves through the valley and at the base of a mountain ready to climb. We are weakened by tragedy, but ready to climb because we know now what surrender feels like and what slow motion looks like.

We choose.

We choose to believe in the power that resides within us to write our own story. To turn the page when the time is right. To put pen to paper and script our way forward. To write our way out. Hope is a powerful driver for the way forward. Hope in ourselves. Hope in a God that’s orchestrating all things for our good. Hope in our neighbor and friend and even enemy. Hope that the view on the top of that mountain to climb was worth every second in the valley of death.

Hope is the path forward. It’s a cold and broken hallelujah. With HOPE we can choose to rise. Be stirred today. The path may be dimly lit, but take one, small step forward at a time. You are WORTH the rising. The sun is coming for you. The mountain top is waiting for you. There are beautiful things to see just ahead for you. There is a filling of joy and peace and resolve and strength coming to fill the hollow places. Stir your hope today. This world is a better place so long as you are in it.

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life” -Proverbs 13:12

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I Am A Scale

I am a Scale.

I am blind as a bat, but I manage well to tell you how good you look and therefore how good you should feel about yourself. I am cunning like that.

I am ignorant. But, I’m good at pretending I’m wise and all-knowing. I know nothing of your strength or potential or stamina. I have no clue what you are capable of. I don’t know if you can run a marathon or leap hurdles or lift heavy things. I don’t actually care about those things. I’m ignorant to your stature, yet I flash you with my LED screen and can sum you up in three numbers. This is one of my favorite tricks.

I am a servant. I serve you best with a sense of defeat or that you’re missing the mark. That is my greatest ploy that, in turn, causes you to question what you should enjoy.

I am rude. I constantly compare you to others. If I can get you to do the same then I will keep you coming back to me until you measure up. You see, I’m all about creating an on-going relationship with you.

I am cold-hearted. I truly do not care what sustains you. I don’t care what you need. I don’t actually know what healthy is. I don’t care if you just worked out or ate a salad or gorged on donuts. My job is to convince you that your efforts are in vain and you need to do more to be more.

I lack awareness. I have absolutely no clue what schedule you keep or the demands of your day. But, I convince you to forego food and insert exercise because my three numbers are the key to your contentment.

I am a buzzkill. I have a dispiriting effect. I convince you to skip participating fully in birthday celebrations, parties and gatherings of any kind. You don’t take me with you, but I burn my three numbers in the corridors of your mind and convince you to skip the cake and stay out of the pool.

I am a dictator. I call your closet into question. Nevermind your style or personality… you can’t get away with wearing that and don’t go getting mad at me I’m saving you from embarrassing yourself. By the way, black is my favorite color and pretty much your best look across the board.

I am lonely. I don’t have many friends. I have co-workers though and their names are shame, insecurity and dissatisfaction. You will meet them. They are my caseworkers and when we are apart they are in the field doing my bidding.

I get around. I have permeated your culture. I show up in hotels, your friend’s bathrooms and gym class in 5th grade. I wouldn’t want you to forget that I exist. I’m everywhere you want to be. I know that if I can introduce myself to you when you’re young we just might have a partnership for life.

I am smart. I’ve joined forces with the diet industry and together we are a force to be reckoned with. We are worth 66 billion dollars to date. We have trends and franchises and even life long members across the globe. That said, dare I suggest that we’ve created community and togetherness and…. you’re welcome.

I am arrogant. I hold power OVER you though I am positioned UNDER your feet. I am dependent on you though somehow I’ve convinced you that you’re dependent on me for information about yourself.  I’m pretty magical like that.

I am a scale. I may be a blind, ignorant, unaware, cold-hearted, lonely, rude, dictating, arrogant thing, but I measure and weigh and I can make your day or break it… and don’t you forget it.