The Bridge

All I wanted was something to eat.

I decided to leave Atlanta, hungry, and drive to Chattanooga, the half way point to home, find me a vegan restaurant and eat.  I searched for one, found it, turned on the GPS and headed out.

Well, my GPS didn’t account for the construction so I was led to the wrong exit.  I had to rely on intuition to read signs in a town I didn’t know anything about and try to find a restaurant I had never visited. I was driving down the road slowly, looking for “109”.  I got to 2nd Street, “assuming” that “109” would be between 1st and 2nd, even though I hadn’t seen it.  I then realized I was right in the heart of downtown Chattanooga, in the middle of a bunch of tourist where I didn’t want to be after I had been working out all weekend with puffy hair and sweaty workout clothes.  I pulled into a parking lot, realized they were charging me to park, cursed under my breath and got out to walk to 109.
I walked around and didn’t see the restaurant.  I looked across the street, on the backside of the parking lot.  No restaurant.  I went in my purse for my cell phone.  No cell phone.  Did I mention how hot it was outside?  I walked back to my car and got my cell phone to call the restaurant.  Maybe they moved? 

When the young lady answered the phone and I told her where I was she said, “oh, you are on the OTHER side of the bridge.  You have to cross over.”  I had just paid for parking so I didn’t want to drive but I surely didn’t want to walk over a bridge.  I don’t like heights or water.  She assured me I wasn’t that far.  Swinging arms, sweaty clothes, puffy hair and all, I set across the bridge. 

I was doing o.k. until the bridge turned into wooden planks and I looked down and realized that I was wearing flip flops.  I got more tired, more irritated, more scared.  I kept thinking about what my childrens’ lives would be like if I died if one of those planks fell apart and I fell in that water and died because I didn’t keep up with my swim lessons or because I was too heavy because I insisted on having dessert the night before.  I had stuck my keys WAY deep in my purse because I was afraid my swinging arms would hurl those suckers right over the top. I was starting to sweat even more.  I was hungry.  I wanted to be away from tourists.  I was thinking about what other people were thinking seeing me walk across that bridge in a bright pink shirt with a messed pedicure and puffy hair?

And as I started to go downhill, things change.

My breathing change.  The scenery became different.  It looked like a different town.  There was very little traffic.  My steps became more confident.  As I walked over the wooden planks, I walked with authority.  I held my head up.  I stopped looking at the time.  I didn’t feel suffocated by the heat.  I made it all the way down and to the restaurant without a long wait and had a delicious dinner.  I even got to meet some friends of a co-worker who gave me a ride back over the bridge to my car.

Isn’t this the path we take to our weight goals?

We pay money to park and be a “tourist” to someone else’s dream of how we should operate our own body.  When we realize the answer is not there, we must walk the bridge, face our fears and find our answer.  We either collapse under the pressure, start thinking about the “what ifs”, turn back, go park somewhere else and INSIST that what we are looking for is not where it really is, or we keep walking, face our fears and find our answer.

Yes, it IS that simple.  Sort of.

There is no ONE “diet” plan that suits every person.  I hate to be the bearer of bad news but there is NOTHING MAGICAL about a meal plan that consists of only chicken breast, broccoli, brown rice and sweet potatoes.  Those are awesome foods but that is not a “diet” plan and you should not eat that every day for every meal.  Eating after 8:00 p.m. doesn’t work if you get off work at 1:00 A.M. 

Do not be afraid to investigate what works for YOU.  Go against the norm.  You are WORTH IT.  You will never have to buy another “diet book” again.

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