The Moment to Change

When the doctor says, “It would help your blood pressure and a few other things if you could lose some weight” I have to hold back the quip. “No problem! I’ve done it dozens of times.”

Part of my internal rejoinder is protection and excuse. “Yeah, tell me something I don’t know. I’ve tried. I’m a veteran dieter! Would you like to see my bookshelf?”

Part of it is reassurance that I’m not all bad. “I know I’m killing myself with these eating habits but at least I still have a sense of humour!”

And part of it, most of it, is simply delay and denial. Who knows, maybe after a chuckle the doctor will see the numbers in a new light and grant me a reprieve, even a false one.

Denial is highly under-rated.

A small part of me wonders if this will be a moment where transformation seems possible.

I have had them in the past. A series of seemingly unrelated events, encounters, stories, images come together and create a moment when change, even transformation, is possible.

Sometimes when people talk of change and transformation the impression is that all one has to do is to sit down and decide to be different and away you go. Not my experience.

What I have found, however, is that moments seem to form, like pieces of drifting debris drawn together after a ship wreck. A version of a raft forms upon which I can pull myself up and begin to move toward something different.

At first these intervals – call them moments of grace – feel fragile. Because they are. A discouraging word, a milk shake, a bowl of french fries offered at the wrong time can pry the raft apart. And yet, if I can catch the wave, I can ride it for a long time. Pounds will drop and I will no longer curse the scale because, even if it is broken, it tilts in my favour!

What I have discovered during these moments of grace is that it is critically important to put in place certain practices and follow them with rigorous discipline. As if my life depends upon them because, in truth, it does.

The wave can last weeks, even longer. Eventually though its power will disperse, perhaps crashing upon a rock or hidden reef or simply petering out on a pleasant stretch of beach. Then it is the practices that allow me to continue, to survive the siren call of the false victories – “See you’ve made it. You’ve beaten this sucker!”

I’ve been lured onto the rocks by that voice too many times.

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