Thursday, March 13, 2014

me, the bag lady. aka, what have you got to lose?


It's Thursday, aka, risk-taking day. And I've got one no lady ever talks about. I weigh 160 pounds. There—it's out there. Said. In public. In Bold. On the internet for eternity with no way of ever, ever making it “not there.” Like those pictures of you in college.

I talk a lot about body image. I talk a lot about how damaging it is to girls in particular for society to hold up its perfect strange and unrealistic ideal to them and demand their worship. I absolutely believe no one should feel inferior to anyone else based on a 3-digit number that pops up when they step on that scale demonic instrument of mental torture. That's just dumb. And any and all other synonyms of dumb. 

Numbers don't verify your worth--on a scale, in a bank account, or on your birthday cake. [tweet this].

But how much do I believe it? Enough to tell the world (or that small portion of it that reads this) what those numbers are?

Yes. Because if I can't do that, you shouldn't believe me. Period.

1-6-0.

But---the risk today is not just telling you how much I weigh. Because honestly, why should you care? It's not going to cure cancer. (Neither is anything else I say, but there is more important stuff here. I promise.) The risk is—I'm going to do something about it, and I want people to join me. And hold me accountable.

These bags are heavy, people. That smile is
totally a grimace of "I want to put this
down now!"
I've come up with (what I consider) a genius way to motivate me to lose the last thirty pounds I'd like to shed. Here it is. See that picture? That's 30 pounds of food. Beans, chili, pasta, oatmeal, tuna, etc. No, I am not going to eat it. That is not the genius idea. That would be a counterproductive idea.

What I am going to do is donate five pounds of this food to the Food Pantry for every five pounds I drop. So when I reach my goal, hey—I helped myself and a whole bunch of hungry people! It's a win-win from my vantage point.

See, I've tried a lot of other things. A LOT. And I have dropped 20 pounds since my transplant surgery. But that was some years ago, and it's time to get real. The rest is not going to melt off in some Swedish sauna somewhere. It's going to take work. I'm not good at work. Physical work, that is. Let's just say, if gym class had been part of our high school GPA, that valedictorian speech would have been someone else's, not mine.

But---I think this one may just be a winner, because 1) I am motivated, 2) I love to give things to people, and 3) I am risking public humiliation if I don't at least make a respectable showing. I mean, you know now. That's powerful motivation.

I have no idea if I can make this goal. It would represent something I haven't seen since Lindsay Lohan was still adorable and sober. (No, I'm not dissing Lindsay. I actually pray for her. I hate seeing lost kids destroy themselves.) The medical profession is skeptical, since they say folks on prednisone can't lose weight. But trying is better than not trying, and something is better than nothing.

And if you're going to aim for something, why not make it what you'd really like, rather than what you think you'd settle for? 

I mean, I have three daughters. Suppose one of them comes home one day and says, “Hey, mom, I'm going to marry this guy. I'd like to do better, but I'm not sure I can, so why not take what I can get and call it good?” 

I would not say, “Oh, that makes total sense to me. Go forth and be blessed.” I would say...well, I probably should not print what I might say. Suffice it to say, it would not go over well in the Richardson household. Because we aim for what we want. So if I fall short on this, so be it. At least the goal wasn't too short.

Here's where you come in. I think this could catch on. I think a lot of us love to give to people. I think many, many of us would love the idea of taking our extra pounds and using it to feed people who are hungry. (NOT literally. Gross. I am not going all Sweeney Todd here.) And, I think a lot of us would like to be healthier. Not skinnier. I am not promoting unhealthy body images. Not ever. Healthy. Healthy is a worthy goal, and an attainable one, and one too many of us disregard on the way to the donut table at church.

So, would you like to join me? It's easy.

  1. Go buy as many pounds of food as you would like to lose to be healthy (not skinny). (I weighed some cans and boxes of pasta I already had at home to get an idea of how much that was.) Look on the website of your local food pantry to find out what their biggest needs are first.
  2. Lift those bags. Feel all that extra weight? Do you want to carry that around? I don't either. That's an eye-opener right there.
  3. For every five pounds you lose, or one pound even, move that amount of food to another bag to donate. I'm probably going to bring mine in all at once, but you can do it any time you want.
  4. Share this post around so other people can join in the giving and the conversation.
  5. Comment here, or keep the conversation going here on my Facebook page. Tell us what your goals are, your concerns, your joys in the journey.


I would love to know how you're doing. And I would love (seriously, I would) to have you ask me how it's going. To keep me on track. We need each other. I do. Because let's face it. I'm a self-control wuss who folds at the smell of a chocolate chip cookie. I NEED you. 

Let's do healthy together. And bless hungry people. I see win all over this.



4 comments:

PinkStripeySocks said...

What a cool idea. Cheering you on from over here!

Jen said...

Brilliance! I just might have to join you!

Mariah Magagnotti said...

Way to be brave! Excited for you!

Amy Sullivan said...

You are awesome. You are a motivator. I, of course, love this idea.