I think he taught us how BIG the world could seem to a little guy like Linus, and that sometimes (ok, most times) a person might need a little help making it through the day. To Linus, he learned that he could go anywhere, be anybody, and endure what ever came — if he had his little blue blanket with him for Security. Chuck Schultz never told us exactly when Linus learned that his blanket gave him courage, provided him cover, made him braver — but we can imagine that he was just a little boy when it happened. We can imagine that somehow , somewhere along the line, Linus felt a little scared, a little vulnerable, and needed something to wrap himself up in that could become part of who he was — to help him be out in that world, all alone, and be able to survive.
Linus had a blanket. He wore it on his head as a turban, wore it as the cloak of a shepherd, flipped a letter into the mailbox with it, cuddled it and kept warm within it out in the Pumpkin Patch. Somehow, somewhere Linus developed a dependency on that little blue blanket, so much so that he didn’t notice it happening, and in no time at all, he couldn’t put it down. He couldn’t imagine being without it, without a lump forming in his throat. Linus without his blanket?? Who would he be without it?
Just as Linus had a blanket, and he wrapped himself in it — I had food, and I wrapped myself in it too. Twinkies, cupcakes, chips, ice cream. All the comforting foods that became my blanket. When I was nervous, I turned to food. When I was lonely, I turned to food. When I was [fill in the blank], I turned to food — because just like Linus, I couldn’t imagine putting it down. Who would I be without it? How would I live life without my blanket of food? I’m not sure I would know how to do it.
Comforting myself with food is how I have spent my life. I write this without any shame or embarrassment in that fact. Heck, it’s just food. And just like Linus, I’m a likeable, friendly person, worthy of love. I just learned really early on in my life to cling to an object, a warm, abundant object that comforted me. Food. It could have just as easily been a blanket. And I would not have looked as adorable as Linus wearing a little blue blanket as a turban, I assure you! But do you see what I mean about the object of food not needing to be so shamefully charged? If I had learned early on to cling to a blanket and obsessively needed it……someone in my life would have helped me learn to live without my blanket. But because it’s food, and we all NEED food….I never learned to give food its proper place in my life. As Fuel. As an energy source. Instead it became my comfort, my security blanket, my warm go-to place. I attached my emotions to it, allowed it ultimate control over my feelings — but Linus and I were after the same thing — we needed a warm, safe place to land.
So, my weight loss journey amounts to learning. Learning. Learning to cling to other things besides food when I am in need. When I need company, I need to find a friend to talk to, not find chips to eat. When I’m bored, I need to go play a game with my kids, not eat cookies. When I’m stressed, I need to go for a run, not eat ice cream. And when I’m sad, I need to find a shoulder to cry on, not eat Twinkies. I’m learning to comfort myself without food. I’m learning to put down my blanket, and my body is shedding the fat suit I’ve been hiding in my whole life.
So what did Linus teach us? I think he teaches us to be kind to ourselves, while we are learning to go without our blanket. I think he also teaches us to have faith — faith that there can be a new normal without the food blanket. We could always see that Linus was stronger than he seemed, blanket or no blanket. So, I’m going to choose No Blanket, and see how that feels for a while.
Ciao for now…..Diane