Along time ago I weighed 245lbs. Stuff happened and so I then lost 35lbs. Around that time a new acquaintance of mine, a very elegant, pretty but seriously overweight lady, invited me to see the musical 'Hairspray' in Las Vegas. She and I arrived a bit late to the theatre where three of her girlfriends were already waiting in their seats. They too were lovely looking ladies but also considerably overweight. While standing before them, amidst a packed theatre, my acquaintance excitedly and proudly introduced me to her friends. She said something like this, "Hey girls, I want you to meet Eric." Together they responded, 'Hiii Eric!" She continued not by telling them where I was from or what my profession was or how we met but simply said, "Eric's lost over 35 pounds!" Like a choir of angels the ladies reacted with an extended "Wow." Mind you this was all happening before we were even seated, with other nearby audience members observing and listening in. Of course, I was rather surprised by the unusual, somewhat awkward introduction and just smiled politely. Then one of the ladies, looked me squarely in the eyes and promptly inquired, "How did you do it?"
(oops.. being interrupted.. will continue, promise!)
A Meaningful Musical (continued)
Ok I'm back to finish the story: So the nice lady totally caught me off-guard when she asked me how I lost the weight. Without missing a beat, I instinctively said what quickly came to mind. Truth is always at hand. With a clear voice I said, "I got happy.” As those three words departed my lips, I immediately realized how difficult that response might be for her and her friends, not to mention the one who invited me to the show in the first place. "Did I just make a huge blunder!?" I asked myself. What did she think I would say? Perhaps she thought I would have a doctor or trendy diet to endorse, a workout routine, a secret island to escape to, a sorcerer… ugh, I had no idea. It’s amazing how fast the mind spins when you think you may have done some innocent person wrong. Maybe I hurt one or even all of their feelings. How could I know? In fact, until that instant, I had not even thought about it! I had not given much meaningful thought about my own physio-psychological, not to mention spiritual transformation. A process that began one year before when I finally forged the courage to exit a nearly six year, extremely stressful and depressing relationship, that twice sent me to the hospital for heart attack symptoms. Yes, this story is chunky and long. The core of it, however, the one I would like to share is simply that peace and joy heals. It’s true, I did restart my exercise habits a bit and I did curb my sugar addiction but the essential root to the weight loss and my regained sense of freedom came from peace and joy. None of that self-improvement would have been possible without breaking free from a miserable situation. After giving our challenges serious effort, there comes a time to accept that it may be time to ‘reboot’. Rebooting should not always be confused with retreating. It can be, as it was for me, a resurrection of sorts. Sometimes, we must brave a change of environments and take a step in a new direction.
So, why have I chosen to write about this? Well, I went to this musical in 2006. A year later I let go of another twenty in addition to the first thirty-five pounds. Last week, I did something I don’t regularly do, I weighed myself. I am still nearly sixty pounds lighter than I was in 2005. More importantly, I am happier than ever.
By the way, the musical was great and I remained good friends with all the ladies after the show.