All I Need to Know I Learned from “Sorry”…

This Christmas Day was the first my son and I have ever celebrated with just the two of us. After breakfast and gifts, we started playing board games.  One of our favorites is Sorry.  I loved it as a kid and it’s one of the few I can enjoy as an adult.  We had a couple of riveting rounds of close calls and several times one of us came up from behind to win it all. It was exciting enough I realized how much I learned about life from playing the game as a kid.

There is no single card in Sorry that is always good or bad.  It all depends on where you are positioned at any given moment and where the other pieces are on the board in relation to you.  ‘Backwards 4’ can be a terrible thing if it takes you out of the ‘safe zone’ right before the other person gets a SORRY card they can use.  But it can also be a golden ticket if you have a piece in start and pull a ‘2 draw again’ card right before it.  The exact same card can mean being taken out next turn or closer to ‘home’ than you’ve ever been.  It’s not the card itself that makes the difference.  Such is life.

There is an itty bitty bit of strategy to the game but most of it isn’t controllable.  How much the cards got shuffled between rounds, who went first, what colors were chosen to play, etc. all add their own element of chance.  Every little detail impacts the end result but none of the details really matter that much.  Everyone playing with enough knowledge to understand the rules has the same chance of winning.  Such is life.

The high numbers of 10, 11 and 12 are WONDERFUL if you are trying to get around the board but they are worthless if you are almost ‘home’.  The ‘Sorry’ card is WONDERFUL if you have a piece at the start and the other person has a piece close to your safety zone but it can mean losing the game if you have all your pieces in play and the next card is exactly what the other person needed to win.  Only a few decisions are clearly ‘right’; everything else is just your best guess with the knowledge and understanding you have at the time.  Sometimes it works out in your favor; sometimes it doesn’t.  Such is life.

Today, my son and I had a game where I went through almost an entire deck without getting out of ‘start’.  I couldn’t use card after card after card.  I remembered how panicked I would get when that happened to me as a kid.  I hated losing.  I hated being stuck.  The thought of it was emotionally traumatic (can’t say I have completely overcome that (Ha!) but I’m much better at coping than I was as a child).  In the end, after some cards ended up in my favor and some cards held my son back, I won that game with a significant margin.  There was no way to tell at the start of the game how it would end up.  Such is life.

The last round we played inspired this post because I realized every moment we draw a figurative card.  None of those cards are inherently good or bad.  We all just make the best decisions we can with what we see at the time.  Sometimes what seems like a setback is actually setting us up for a win and sometimes what seems like a sure thing won’t be.  The best chance we have at living the lives we want is to let go of what we can’t control and do our best to position our energy in the direction we want to go.  Whatever this moment brings, another moment is on it’s way immediately following.  If life doesn’t seem to be going our way, let’s not stress. Let’s just breathe through it and pull the next card, it might be exactly what we are looking for.

Please affirm with me: I am open to receiving the best I can imagine and anything better.

Wishing you all a peaceful and joyous Winter!

 

From my heart to yours,

Thanks for reading

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3 years ago today…

Food is my drug of choice.  I can pass on beer, wine, liquors, smokes, no problem.  Ice cream, fries, rice krispie treats (especially the ones with chocolate on top or M&Ms inside), Mike&Ike, Starburst, that’s a different story…

Three years ago today, like an alcoholic recording day 1 of sobriety, I recorded day 1 of my own “food coma sobriety”.  I’d been working a recovery program for about 3 years, was in a great relationship (Still am, thanks, God!), work stress was high but more manageable than it had been, I was starting to worry less about my son…  My sister in law had posted a candid photo of me in an orange and brown flowered dress on Facebook.  I knew what the scale said but I didn’t know I looked like THAT!  I knew I was abusing my body by overeating and also knew that with JUST portion control, it was possible to lose weight (my cat had).  In my journal, I recorded June 4, 2009 as the day I stopped overeating.

Every year since, I have taken time to revisit how far I’ve come, thank God for giving me strength and tools to succeed and celebrating my accomplishments on the anniversary of that day.

This morning, I spent some time reading journal entries from 2004 (first year of recovery journey) and the summer of 2009 (early stages of sustained weight loss).  Common themes back then were self hatred, anger, fear and failure.  Reading some of the entries still brings a heavy feeling in my chest and tightness in my throat.  I was in so much pain.  So conflicted.  So lonely.  So ashamed.  I’m so grateful to have survived all that!

If you are in that place now, I hope my experience gives you encouragement.  You CAN CHANGE!  You DESERVE to be healthy!  Success isn’t just for other people, it’s for you too.

I reached a healthy weight by November 2009 and have maintained that weight within 7lbs since that time.  I am not perfect.  I have eaten more than I need on several days in the past 3 years but not consistently.  I get off track; I get back on track.  I refuse to beat myself up about what I’ve done in the past.  Every minute is a fresh start, a chance to make a better choice.

My philosophy is I workout to live, I don’t live to workout.  I aim to eat more healthy than unhealthy.  I like me.  I accept me…wrinkles and stretch marks too.  I’m not without faults and I’ve stopped trying so hard to be.  I want to keep being a better person.  Tomorrow, I aim to make better choices than I did today.  My best at this moment is enough.

I still see a professional, certified, trainer 1-2 times a month.  I might not forever but I still need the accountability.  I need someone to reach out to for advice that I trust and is educated.  The way I see it, personal trainer bills are cheaper than doctor/medication bills from continuing down a self-destructive path.   The fear of weight coming back is getting less intense although I aim to keep where I have been fresh enough I don’t get over confident and lose my way.

From my heart to yours,

thanks for reading