I remember so clearly sitting there on the tall barstool inside of Starbucks, with my tea in one hand and my journal in front of me. I looked at the table right outside the window where a woman sat. Her morbidly obese torso overflowed the sides of the chair.
Her swollen feet whether by disease or design or nature barely stayed trapped within the confines of her sandals of her orthopedic-type black sandals. She wore black pants with the pink blouse, the long type of blouse designed to hide the large tummies of the overweight.
But they really hide nothing, not even from the woman herself. I know. I’ve been there. I am that woman. She is me. Rather, I was that woman. I’m not her anymore.
The woman sat there, reading her book, Over the Counter Natural Cures as she sipped her sugary coffee drink. I know what’s in that drink. I used to be her. I still am her. I have days where I want to drink my pumpkin spice lattes. I restrained myself to just having a couple during the season. I’ve tried making pumpkin drinks on my own but but they seem to be missing something. Actually, what they seem to be missing sugar!
Studies of shown that sugar is more addictive than cocaine. I’ve never tried cocaine so I can’t attest personally to the findings, but this I can tell you: sugar pulls and claws at you over and over and over again, and if the body is denied the gratification that comes from sugar then a price will be paid.
I’ve paid that price. I’ve lived with the crying jags, the emotional mood swings. I’ve lived through it all. And I’ll live through it again. I’m worth the battle, and it is a battle. It’s a battle that takes more strength than most people realize. Sugar knows how to get you.
So I sat there watching that woman, realizing I was her, and I am I am her. But the difference, the real difference is that I know better now. I know now what I need to do, I know now what I can do, and I know now what I am capable of doing.
As I watch the woman, I feel for her. I feel her pain. The pain she does not yet feel. The over the counter natural cures that she reads about, well I know what they are: the kale, the carrots, the bananas, the bell peppers, the fresh fruits and vegetables and the list goes on……..
Curing what ails me requires so much. Movement: hiking, walking, yoga, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking at the end of the lot. Any kind of movement matters. Meditating. Finding time with myself. I’m still trying to figure out who I am.
Sitting alone being alone without distractions, without social media, without Phones, without technology, without computers. Just being. That’s so hard. That’s why people have such a hard time recovering from eating disorders. They have a hard time just sitting and being with themselves. I know this as I have a hard time sitting with myself.
But I’m learning. Somehow I’m learning. I’m taking the moments that life gives me. The moments like right now where I’ve moved from Starbucks to lying on my red couch writing via Dictation, writing into my iPhone, telling my life story into that little piece of technology. I’m using it. It’s not using me.
I’m lying here with myself. Facing my demons. Looking for that love. That self-love that requires nothing but myself. Where is that self? Where is that soul? Find the answer and you’ll have found the over the counter natural cure.
While at Starbucks earlier, I watched her read her book for about a half hour. I watched the look on her face. It reminded me so much of me and who I was, who I’m still capable of being. It reminded me that I want people to have hope. I want them to see that one moment at a time the natural cure isn’t in a Starbucks cup. It’s not in the book on natural cures. It’s in being, in sitting there, sitting somewhere, sitting without your cellphone finding a scoop of nature and embracing that nature.
I am that woman I saw. I wanted to walk up and hug her and tell her everything would be okay. I wanted to tell her she had that cure inside of her. But what I really needed to do was say that to myself. It’s in saving myself that I can help others, and that’s what I want to do more than anything.
I don’t want to go back to where I was. I won’t go back to where I was. I don’t want to be that woman, but there’s a part of her that will always reside within me, and that’s the part that keeps me going, keeps me know there’s so much more out there than I ever dreamed possible!
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