Maybe it’s because we are on the cusp of summer, and all my flowers are starting to bloom and the butterflies are floating and flitting around……that my mind drifts to thoughts of metamorphosis. Wouldn’t it be great if I could just roll up into a comfy chrysalis and bake for a few months, and just pop out CHANGED and ready to run the marathon? Metamorphosis complete!!!
Ahhh, but that’s not how metamorphosis works for people Diane. Well why not?? Somebody should do something about that! So my misunderstanding of metamorphosis made me go looking to see what that word really means.
Metamorphosis: the process of transformation from an immature form to an adult form in 2 or more distinct stages.
What? Where is my comfy warm chrysalis blanket to wrap myself in, and my few months of rest?? You know, the warm blanket of sleep where the change just happens?. Voila. Changed!! No??
It was then that I had to accept …… That was the butterfly’s fate. Diane, your fate, your metamorphosis lives along a different road. No blanket. No warm restful cocoon. But change is out there. You just have to accept your human fate, and go claim it.
So I went back to the definition and words starting jumping out at me. Does that happen to you? I have this thing where, when I am looking for something….when I am seeking….I let my eyes roam across the possibilities…and then out of no where, the ONE catches my eye. Don’t laugh, but this happens with people, it happens with shopping. Let’s say I’m in the grocery store, and Peter sends me to pick out 2 red onions. I walk up to an enormous pile of red onions….and begin to look at them. It might take a minute, it might take 2 or 3 minutes, but at one point, it WILL happen. The ONE red onion I’m supposed to select will just glow/shimmer. My eyes will lock in on it, and I can’t shake it. That’s the ONE. It happened with our puppies, it happens with salespeople. But more than anything, it happens with objects, and words, and ideas. So when I go back to look at the definition of metamorphosis….. These words start dancing in my head.
Part of my metamorphosis has been around food. When I force myself to be brutally honest about my relationship with food most of my life….frankly the word immature seems pretty perfect. I had knowledge that I wasn’t supposed to eat an entire box of twinkies in one day. I knew that eating 6 strawberry shortcake ice cream bars “so they would be gone and not tempt me anymore” wasn’t the best way to remove temptations. I was also keenly aware that my weight was on an upward trajectory most of my life, and the hours, days, years of tears I shed over it wasn’t helping me. So why didn’t I stop and do something differently?
I was immature.
Yeah, I was a 40 year old professional woman, wife and mother of two, and I had a holistically immature attitude toward food and my weight problem. Why do something about it, why work at it….if you can convince yourself it’s not a big deal, and avoid it.
Well, we all know that this was an unhealthy, immature attitude born out of something deeper….but that’s where my metamorphosis started. Turns out I had to Wake Myself Up and Climb Out Of that Home Made Cocoon……and start transforming into an adult. An adult with a realistic, informed, healthy awareness of food, and how to use it (and NOT use it) in my life. This was going to be hard work…..but it was necessary and long over due.
When I went looking for the definition of metamorphosis….the answer I found was a 2-parter. Here is the other definition…..which is kind cool too.
Metamorphosis -2: Change of the form of nature of a thing or person into a completely different one, by natural or supernatural means.
Ok, so did that glimmer and shine for you when you read it in the same way it did for me when I read it?
Change to a completely different person
Hey, I don’t know about you but that definition is just dripping with two of my favorite things……no, not peanut butter and coconut cake…….its dripping with Hope and Faith!
When I think back to the WHYs around my life…..I often dwell on this one…..Why did you wait so long to get serious about your weight, Diane? Why didn’t you lose weight when you were younger, it would have saved us so much self inflicted pain?”
I make myself stop asking questions like that now, because I answered it once for myself….and I don’t want to revisit it again. Because the truth is harsh. And in admitting it, I had to make myself a promise. So let me tell you the answer, and then share my promise….because we’re only going here ONCE. Then we are closing the door. For good. And losing the key.
I held myself close, and in my best compassionate voice, I said, “Diane, we didn’t lose weight FOR REAL before because I thought you were Hopeless. I had given up on you.”
Allowing the reality of those words to sink into my brain and into my heart caused some of the most significant pain of my life. I think I knew in that moment the true meaning of “heart break”. My heart came as close to breaking as one can get, and still live through it. At this stage, I think I had already lost close to 50 pounds. But even then, I felt like I was perched on a tenuous precipice. Able to fall either way. On one side….I would fall back to my old ways, and gain 50, 60, 70 pounds more. There was no end to what was possible. On the other side, I would fall into the unknown. To a place where I might lose 1 more pound, or 10, or 50, or none. Deciding which was I would fall is something I do every day. I think it’s in this “deciding”‘ in this “choice making” where the real metamorphosis happens. It’s where I am becoming an adult, and facing the reprocussions of my choices.
Hold on Diane. You’re forgetting something. The promise? What was the promise you made to yourself? Ahhhh, right. You don’t let me get away with anything!!!! GOOD!! Well, after I pieced my heart back together as best could…..and emptied the buckets of tears I shed for myself…….I sat on my Couch, and googled Learn to Run.
Everything that came after that moment. The C25k, the sneakers, the Hill, the bike, the first race, the Unite Half…..every bit of it…..came from that promise….and it was very simple.
“Diane, for as long as your heart is beating, I will never give up on you again. Together we are Hope-Full!”
In that promise came the belief that I could change from a Couch Potato into something completely different. Hope was born. In that promise came the supernatural power that propelled me up the street day after day. And believe me, some days it felt supernatural! But since that promise, I will share this with you…..sweating as I run up and down the streets has never felt so good. Every drip of sweat is a reminder of how I Believe in myself, and we are never going back to the Couch.
Ciao for now….Diane