Thursday, November 28, 2013

Obey the Rules of the Road

The other night, I was catching up on one of my favorite TV Shows —Elementary— and Jonny Lee Miller’s “Sherlock” said something in regards to his own recovery from drug addiction that really hit close to home: It’s all about structure- recognizing what is working and sticking with it. And it was like a light came on, Angels started singing and I had a “d-oh” moment all rolled into one. Structure is foundation. I know, I told you it was a “d-oh” moment! I've really been thinking a lot about the meaning of today, not only because I need to give thanks to those who inspire me, but also because I have to make sure to maintain my structure. I have to think about what has worked over the last two years, make sure that I continue strengthening my foundation and not fall back into old habits. Now, that’s not to say that I can’t enjoy my self...believe me, I've got some “Santa’s White Christmas” ice cream with my name all over it! But, I have learned that there are more important things to life than eating just to eat.
Eating nourishes my body so that I can go outside to walk and enjoy the gift of another sunrise, eating nourishes my mind so that I can sit at my computer and come up with insightful, sometimes snarky, but (hopefully) always entertaining snippets of my journey. On the other hand, eating doesn't mean that I gorge myself on carbs and sugar because I've nothing better to do, eating isn't the sole focus of my existence, which is tough to admit on a day seems to be all about food and just how much of it you can eat. Structure helps me keep my eyes on the road and avoid (or at least navigate with a certain deftness) the potholes that are along the way.
Think about this the next time you are in a car. Why do you use a blinker? Why do you drive (close to) the speed limit? Why do you wear your seat-belt? Why do you drive on the right side of the road (here in the States)? Because those are the rules of the road. You know that if you want to safely arrive at your destination, you must follow the rules. Now, I understand that not everyone plays by the rules, but I bet those people follow more rules than they realize. Why? Because life is structured. If a building doesn't have the right structure, it falls. If a person doesn't have the right structure, he’ll fall too.
Just remember, you will be challenged when your structure is disrupted. Challenges don’t have to be huge, sweeping changes, they can be minor tweaks that take you out of your comfort zone. Think about going to Great Britain and driving over there. The concept is the same, but the rules are different. It doesn't mean it’s harder or easier, it just means your structure and your thought process will have to be different. Adjusting to the new rules will help you continue to succeed, not adjusting will probably land you in trouble. The best thing you can do for yourself is obey the rules of the road, no matter where the road takes you. Just don’t let yourself get stagnate, because stagnate is boring.

So, on this Thanksgiving morning, I want to say that I am grateful to all of you who have been reading and following along on my Road Trip! Thank you for letting me tell my story! And thank you to my friends and family for being in my life and keeping me entertained while I am on my Road Trip!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Keep Moving Forward to Get Where You're Going

I’ve never driven a big rig, so what I’m about to say is going to be pure speculation. I would think that if you are on the road for endless hours in a day, endless days in a week and endless weeks in a month that eventually, you would start to see and hear things that aren’t there. If there are any truck drivers out there to confirm, or clarify, my suspicions, I welcome the correction. The reason I bring this up is because after being on this road trip for over two years now, there are times when I question my sanity and if I am doing the right thing. Then, something really cool happens: a phone call out of the blue to congratulate me on my success, a perfect stranger hearing about my journey and asking me questions, or— and this is truly telling of how far I have come— my new-found desire to reach out to others who are trying to start their own journey. There was a time where I could barely speak to small groups of people, now I am more outgoing and willing to share my story. I don’t generally like to talk about myself, but I’ve found that people are curious, fascinated even, by what I have to say.

When I was overweight, I hid behind my inability (or rather, lack of desire) to lose weight by saying that “tall or short, fat or thin, blonde or brunette, I’m the same person. If people don’t like me, it’s their problem, not mine.” And to a certain extent, that is a true statement and still holds water. However, what I have discovered about me is that even though I still have blonde hair and blue eyes, I’m still the same height as I was before, I am not the same person. And it doesn’t really have to do with being fat or being healthy (I don’t like the word thin because A) I’m not and B) it’s not an accurate description of a human body. Air is thin, fabric is thin, paper is thin, hair is thin...people are not!), but rather it has to do with being comfortable in my own skin. I just have a better quality of life all the way around and it is due to a healthier lifestyle, not just losing weight. Yes, it sucks that we are a country obsessed with skinny celebrities, but skinny can be as unhealthy as fat (I know, I shouldn’t use the “F” word! Margie the Magnificent would probably scold me.) I can’t wait for the day in America where “healthy” is the look of choice for cover girls and runway models rather than grown women masquerading as 8-year old boys. 

So, yes, I often times wonder if being on this road trip has made me see and hear things, twisted my train of thought. But then I realize that what has really happened is that my reality has changed and my view of the world is different. Long road trips will do that to you and you really only have two choices: hold on and adjust to the curves in the road or stop the car and wait for things to calm down. Me, I’ll hold on for the ride, it’s much more interesting than sitting on the side watching other people pass you by. 

Don’t let life suck the life out of you, keep moving forward or you’ll never get to the end.