I believe the phrase, “I grow because you make me” came out of my mouth shortly after our first date. Very early in our relationship you let me know, in no uncertain terms, that it was either date you or smoke cigarettes. Not both. And, truthfully, I needed that kind of ultimatum because I knew I never would have quit for myself. Maybe if Nick had asked me, but not for myself. The saying came in handy again just before we got married and I knew how much you wanted me to scuba dive with you in Jamaica. Although I hated every single second of being in the pool with that god-awful heavy equipment, I was driven to get certified and dive with you on our honeymoon. I have to say the Jamaican water and ocean life was unbelievable compared to my certification dive in that cold Wisconsin quarry. Very worth the effort.
Not long after that, we moved to California. Leaving family and friends for the first time to move across the country was definitely a growth experience for me. Your quest for adventure and spontaneity are just two of the qualities I love best about you.
There have been many times I have grown because of your initiative to prompt change in our lives. Whether a big change like buying a new house, a job transfer, adding a family member or even the more mundane like trying a new restaurant, I grow because you make me. And growth and change are good.
This new endeavor will be no different, and as we embark on this journey together, I know we will both grow because of, and in spite of, the changes we will make in the coming 10 days. For we will challenge ourselves in a way we haven’t before. This is what our menu will look like (in liquid form only)…
We are choosing to do this for different reasons. For you it’s the number on the scale as well as a desire to rid yourself of medications you don’t want to be taking and to have a clean start. I have watched you since the beginning of the year and because of your will power (as well as the Lenten season) I have great respect for what you have done so far just by changing your diet and upping your workouts. After viewing several documentaries with you about healthy eating (“Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” and “Food Matters” both on Netflix) I can see a real value in changing our eating habits for life. Not that I’m going to completely give up cheeseburgers or pizza, just eat them less often.
I would like to say I am motivated solely in supporting you, but that would be a lie. I need and want to do this because I am scared to death I can’t. Even though at this point in my life I probably eat better than I ever have, there are some things that concern me about my daily intake. Not the Chobani mixed with granola I eat every morning, or the dry Cheerios I eat mid-morning or the cheese crackers and fruit I eat for lunch, but the energy water I feel compelled to drink all day long because I am sluggish, the handfuls of M&Ms or candy bars or chips I nonchalantly toss in my mouth mid-afternoon….and, especially the wine and Cheetos I end every single day with. The wine and Cheetos…well, in brutal honesty, the wine. It’s the wine that scares me the most.
When one says “I always end the day with a glass of white wine” it seems harmless enough. (At least it always has to me). I mean, what’s the big deal, right? It’s no secret that a glass of wine and a bowl of Cheetos has been the cornerstone of my mental health off and on (mostly on) for the last 25 years. But when you really begin to think about it, 25 years is a LONG time. And although my health at 43 is great, and 115 lbs. after having 5 kids sounds completely reasonable, drinking wine every night is beginning to scare me. I have talked to myself about this on and off for some time now. My internal justification is quite logical. But there is a gnawing at the back of my brain. A tiny whisper that just won’t go away. And for me, these 10 days are much more pivotal than I can express to you here. And so on this mission we will grow again. Together, because growth and change are good.
I am making this public to hold myself accountable. Will power is not my strong suit. This is likely going to be one of the most personally challenging (and potentially bitchiest) times of my life. I hope at the end of this 10 days to look back and think it wasn’t that bad. To think, now I can start off on the right foot, my body cleansed of processed crap, my mind ready to make better choices for myself and for our kids. (If the kids are still around….they may choose to call Grandma and ask for an extended sleepover…you and I on an only veggie and fruit juice cleansing for 10 days may just start World War III, who knows…). One thing I do know is that I cannot do this without you.
So here is my April 9, 2012 physical reality (115.8)…I don’t know what it will be on April 19th, maybe a few pounds lighter, maybe not…I really hope though that I will sleep better, feel more alert, and be able to look you in the eye and say with all honesty, “I don’t NEED the wine tonight.”
Thanks Tom, for helping me to grow over the years, and for loving me!
PS: Hopefully I will be able to crack a smile at the end of this;o)