Saturday, February 6, 2010

He's A Keeper. I'm A Keeper. Wouldn't You Like To Be A Keeper, Too?

Love is…my husband, who moved my weight bench to the living room and brought down my favorite chair from the upstairs bedroom and set it up in my exercise room because it’s the brightest room in the house and because I’m sick with a stomach bug, fever and headache and can’t stand the thought of sitting in a dark living room because I’ve had it up to my neck with Seasonal Affective Disorder and because the exercise room is closer to the bathroom. Oh, and he shoveled a path covered with nearly a foot of snow to get to the car to dig it out to go to the store to buy me Vitamin Water and Canada Dry Ginger Ale.


He’s a keeper.

I’ve been ruminating this week on a quote by Rowan Williams, the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury.

“Being human,” he wrote, “is learning how to ask critical questions of your habits and compulsions, and it’s learning how to adjust them against a model of human behavior and idealized truth about the purpose of our humanity.”

So what is the model of human behavior and purpose of our humanity? And what is the best space in which to ask critical questions about our habits and compulsions? In my experience – at least in terms of what I’ve learned these last five years of weight loss and maintenance – it’s to always try to act from a place of compassion and love.

It takes self love and compassion just to ask the question, “What are my habits and compulsions?” and even more self love and compassion to adjust your answers to reflect that love and compassion.

Take my thighs (please…yuck, yuck, yuck). But seriously, it used to be that when I’d look at my thighs, my habit was to say, “Gross! Look at the dimples and loose skin! I can’t wear shorts!” By implementing a bit of compassion and love, I now (usually) see how strong they are. They get me from point A to point B without much complaint. I take care of them, they take care of me, and the dimples and skin are part of the scenery.

Like Robert Frost’s road less traveled, viewing my body through the lens of compassion and love has made all the difference. It was the gateway for finding the commitment to lose weight and it’s the guiding force that keeps my commitment strong in maintenance.

But you know and I know commitment is not easy. Whether it’s weight loss, marriage, career, or even writing a blog, commitment takes nothing less than everything we’ve got and we can use all the positive tools we can find to remember our goals.

I’ve said before how when I contemplate eating something I’m not sure about I ask, “How will I feel five minutes after eating this?” Just contemplating the question gives me space in which to think about my choice rather than mindlessly shoving something in my mouth. Lately I’ve expanded that question to include compassion and love, and I ask it in broader circumstances.

This might seem corny or uncomfortable at first, but ask yourself every morning, “How will I treat myself with compassion and love today?” When you are confronted with a choice of food or something else that’s not part of your plan for the day, ask yourself, “Would eating/doing this be an act of personal love and compassion?” Sometimes the answer will be yes and sometimes the answer will be no, but it’s the act of asking and contemplating that will bring your original intentions – whether that’s to lose weight or any other goal you’ve set for yourself – back to the forefront. Your ultimate choice might not always be compassionate (self sabotage is one of my unhealthy patterns), but I really believe that the more we confront them, the less power our habits and compulsions will have.

I had plans today, and being sick wasn’t one of them. But instead of sitting around in the less-bright living room and adding to my own suffering by wishing things weren’t what they are, I asked Larry to bring down my chair so I could be in the room that’s brightest. I took care of me and in turn, he took care of me. Love and compassion.

I’m a keeper. You’re a keeper.

And now I must get my face out of this computer and take a nap.

By the way, do you remember that Dr. Pepper commercial to which the title eludes? When the heck did that come out? My memory isn't what it used to be.

15 comments:

Ali said...

Great post, Lynn. Sorry you aren't feeling well! That's a cool chair! Do you lie down in it?

Feel better soon!

Susans Journey To Stay Fit said...

Feel better soon and continue to take good care of yourself. Thanks for this post.

Laura I. (G.G.) said...

The commercial was from the '70's?

Hope you feel better soon.

val said...

1980? on the pepper? i hope you feel better soon. i am sick too, so we can be miserable together. loveyou so,V

Sunny said...

I'm a Pepper. She's a Pepper. Wouldn't you like to be a Pepper too?

:)

Hope you feel better soon.

Shelley said...

Great, now that song is running through my head! Actually, it was a fun song to sing along with...:)

Glad you have Larry in your life! What a sweetie to help make the best of a bad situation for you. Hope you are feeling better, my friend.

P.S. I am still in the "eek!" stage of acceptance when it comes to the backs of my thighs.

Mary said...

It is so much easier (for me) to offer love, acceptance and compassion to others than to offer it to myself.
Thank you for this great post.

Lori said...

Wonderful post. I see too much self berating on blogs and not near enough support and loving towards ourselves. The same people who are so supportive of others on blogs don't always do the same for themselves.

Hope you feel better soon! You sure are a keeper :D

Weighting Around said...

Thanks for the inspiration! I'll be back for more.

Vickie said...

The "Be a Pepper" series referred to fans of Dr Pepper as "Peppers," and often featured crowd dance scenes with elaborate, over-the-top choreography. One popular ad jingle was:

“ I'm a Pepper, he's a Pepper,
She's a Pepper, we're a Pepper,
Wouldn't you like to be a Pepper, too?
Be a Pepper. Drink Dr Pepper.


This became grist for a number of pop culture references and parodies.

One of the first was a sketch on the program SCTV, in which an overly-excited injured man (Eugene Levy) extols the work of a "Dr. Shekter" (Rick Moranis) who's been treating him. Levy and a group of patients wearing casts and crutches engage in their own elaborate dancing and singing (Would not you like to have my doctor, too?), all to the alarm of Shekter (These people should not be dancing!).

After appearing in a commercial, David Naughton had his breakthrough film role as the main character in the John Landis film An American Werewolf in London.

Another famous "I'm a Pepper" dancer was Ray Bolger, the actor who played the Scarecrow in the film The Wizard of Oz.

1978, Jake Holmes wrote the lyrics to "Be a Pepper".

Later Randy Newman wrote another jingle "The Most Original Soft Drink ever".

Manilow performed Jake's jingle in concerts and on albums under the inclusion of "VSM - very strange medley".

A TV commercial was also created using the jingle and ran from 1977–1985.

Vickie said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dr_pepper

hope you are feeling better -
how is your daughter and grandbabies?
did her hubby get it too?

debby said...

Had to laugh at Shelley's comment. I can love and accept my thighs (and other assorted areas) as long as they are covered with clothes...

Take it easy!! Comfy chair!

Mary said...

Lynn, I am not sure of the etiquette of quoting another blogger, but I did use one of your quotes in my blog and linked it to this post. If that is a problem please let me know and I will remove it...thanks.

Barry said...

I like the piece of advice you gave when you said that you used to ask yourself...“How will I feel five minutes after eating this?”

Probably only good common sense but an "Aha" moment for me.

Larkspur said...

A good husband is worth his weight in rubies-- actually rubies don't make dinner, build furniture, and wake you up in the pleasantest way possible at one in the morning. I'll take the husband :)