Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Believing in Myself

Had an amazing meal last night with my friend and former-but-always-will-be Weight Watchers leader.  I scarfed more sashimi than I've had for awhile.  Must have needed my lean protein fix.  We talked about how I need to stick to my convictions about what motivates people to get healthy.  I believe in appealing to their intellect.  I believe we all have that.  I don't buy this 'lowest common denominator' crap and I won't stoop to cheap tricks.  I frequently quote Robert Browning on how "a man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for."  We need to stretch a bit to get things working, and this can mean the mind as well as the body.  I don't think Browning is too high brow, nor is any other literary source.  It's the message that works for me. 

Everything in my life relates to weight loss and vice versa.  I see my life and my interests as one big metaphor that relates to how I view my lifestyle choices.  For example, I've been thinking a lot this week about the great novels of our time which I studied here and at UCLA and have begun to re-read them.  What does Robertson Davies have to say to me at this time?  Does Margaret Drabble still resonate?  Will Iris Murdoch have a different message nowadays?  I want to re-visit the me that read those books back in the 80's and understand where she's coming from these days and what has changed.  If I can use my response to literature as a gauge it may help me to understand how I've grown as a person and how well I've managed to re-wire my attitudes towards food and life in general.

So far, I've learned that great books are still great but my level of concentration is not as good as it once was.  Still, the message is there and I am learning that who I was when I first read these books has only been made stronger by going through the fire that has been my life.  Just like steel, as referenced in 'David Copperfield'.  I reflected on that concept this week as I remembered the 38th anniversary of the death of my father.  It was an incomprehensible loss to a 19 year old girl just starting her adult life.  I doubt my father would even recognise me today if it weren't for the fact that my nose is still frequently stuck in a book.  He sure wouldn't recognise the boot camp me, even though he instilled the seeds of that discipline in me as he did my brother with his deep, abiding respect of the military.  I miss you, Dad.  Rest well.

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