This is the blog post I don’t want to write
This blog was never intended to be a confessional. Nor did I bring it into being as an act of catharsis. This is not therapy for me. It certainly can be therapeutic and affect the air of a kiss-and-tell, but that is not the goal. I always intended Fat Girls Can Run to be an inspiration for myself (and others perhaps), and to serve as a witness to the absurdity that is my own thought process. First and foremost, this blog is a creative tool for self-expression. I like making myself laugh.
And perhaps this blog is agent of change, no, a tool of transformation. I’m going to circle back to this, so stick with me.
Decide = Dead?
“Choice”. Stop a minute and consider what it means, what it REALLY means to choose. Choice is a heady concept, powerful and really really scary. Or amazingly freeing, depending on how you choose (wakka wakka) to look at it. I’m sort of in the “scary” camp at the moment, but that in and of itself is a choice.
Choice is not a decision. They are two different concepts. When you decide, you evaluation options, eliminating the less desirable and what you have left is your decision. When you decide, you are intentionally picking the least crappy option and knowing dealing with the consequences.
Example Of How to Make a Decision
I don’t want to use certain chemicals in my hair. Yeah, I’m vain like that, so don’t hate me because I have beautiful hair. I’ve only recently unlocked the secret to not having the White Girl Fro so I’m OK with being obnoxious about it. This now means that shopping for hair care products is an adventure. I go down the shampoo aisle, picking up every bottle and putting it down if I encounter one of the yuckie ingredients on the list. I’m typically left with 2 to 3 potentials which go into the next round of decisions, an elimination wherein price, smell and yes, bottle and logo design come into play. It’s like a great caged death match where the last man standing is your decision. DECIDE does have the Latin root for kill after all.
Choice is easy, sort of
One of my favorite tweeps, @FatGirlVsWorld once said “Will power implies that struggling against the way you’ve chosen to live your life vs letting your choice guide you” or something to that effect. I rushed to write it down, forgetting that I could just copy and past it. Yeah, sometimes I’m smart like that. Anyhoo….
Choice is not decision making. Choice is powerfully embracing a way of being, an idea, a flavor of ice cream, whatever. It is not eliminating options dealing with what’s left. Choice is not dependent reasons and rationalizations, although you can spew all the reasons and rationalizations you want. Choice simply is. and since it simply is, when you are true to the choices you make, all obstacles can be treated like irrelevant white noise.
Here’s what choice vs. decision making means in practice
I made the decision to stop smoking. My options were 1) enjoy an expensive addiction that will eventually kill me 2) endure the gruesome, painful experience of going through withdrawal and facing a life without an addiction that served often as my best friend and entertainment source. That’s exactly how I saw my options. And truth be told, the “expensive” part was more worrisome than the “kill me” part. This has been a struggle for the better part of a year that I’ve been really quiet about. I’ve done acupuncture, hypnosis, two different prescriptions, the last being more successful in the ‘I want to kill myself and take you with me’ emotions. But it was a decision, not a choice. I never fully embraced the concept of being a person who doesn’t smoke. I never said “I quit smoking”, but rather used a cute turn of phrase “I’m just not smoking right now”. Yeah, I know, you’re about to say “grow some balls”.
I realize that I’m doing this mamby-pamby nonsense with fitness and weight loss right now too, allowing decisions that are not consistent with who I say I am.
About two years ago now, I choose to be a runner. I did not need reasons, I didn’t even need proof that I could actually run. I choose it, I made the declaration “I am a runner” and that was it. All the mamby-pamby nonsense went away because it was inconsistent with who I was being. Runners do not scheme to figure out excuses to not run. Runners run. End of story.
Yup, I’m a whiny little girl
Whew, that was a lot just to get back to the original idea of why I don’t want to write this post. There is a small (sometimes large) part of me that doesn’t want to commit to being fit and healthy. It’s that voice that whines that it’s too tough, that just wants to sit in my jammies with a smoke in one hand and a Ring Ding in the other. And that voice is all Venus-like rising gloriously out of the clam shell of fear. It’s the voice of the Inner Fat Girl. I don’t know what my life looks like at a healthy weight. And I don’t know what it means to be a non smoker. I get this flutter of panic starting in my chest just thinking about how I’m going to screw it all up when the next great drama smacks into my life. That’s what I do – something will happen that will send me running into the comforting arms of old, albeit destructive, behavior patterns and I’m back at that lovely place of Square meeting One.
No. That’s what I DID. That’s who I WAS.
Today I choose different.
Today, I am a runner.
Today, I am healthy and fit.
Today, I am a non smoker.
And yup, it scares the pants off me.