Loss of Judgment

pant metal buttonA pair of my pants would not button this morning. Through the holiday food gauntlet and new baby chaos, which eliminates time to exercise, I have gained a few pounds. Not to mention the pregnancy weight gain – which is real in men (she snacks, I snack – a gentleman does not want his wife to feel self-conscience). But the thought of buying new clothes is motivation. Actually it is the cost of buying new clothes. I buy clothes with the intention of retiring in them1 and our money is needed other places.

1 Styles go out, but inevitably return. So I constantly fade in and out of style. (For instance, I am still wearing high school flannels, and now flannels are back. I might argue I was leading this trend.)

So weight loss must begin. Which starts with finding a plan. There are some fascinating plans out there – including Always Hungry. The author writes, “Overeating hasn’t made our fat cells grow; our fat cells have been programmed to grow, and that has made us overeat.” He explains, our fats cell have become overactive. They actively seek out nutrients, so, rather than taking excess nutrients, our fat cells are programmed to take first. This leads us to be Always Hungry, because the rest of the body is actually starved for nutrients. (Here is the SciFri Podcast and excerpt.)

My plan is not so scientific. I will cut out snacks and hit the treadmill. Looking in the mirror today, I will window crayon my target and current weights. This is my favorite stage of any diet. Before any actual work, I can imagine my plan’s accomplishment. My current mirror image is about to change. I am committed. My soon to be future is ripped and miraculously resists Sunday donuts…

You and I both know reality will prove a little different than my imagination. I won’t be as successful as I envision or as sculpted. Granted, I will get back to buttoning all of my pants, because preaching without pants is a nightmare to avoid. But I love donuts… so my plan will not be smooth.

It is easy to imagine a plan’s perfection – difficult to live it.

This isn’t just true of diets. In every area of life we imagine a great scenario. From parenting moments to job tasks, we envision success. This is a great thing when it comes to our own lives. It encourages and helps us overcome defeat – because we can see success.

But it is a terrible thing when we start envisioning how we would handle someone else’s life. “Well if I was his parent…” or “If I was doing his job…” In these visions we are always our best self, not our donut eating self.

Lets be honest. Our best self isn’t real. We are the donut eating self. The parent who loses his cool, the worker who forgets a task…  the person who judges rather than helps. And when we concern ourselves with others, we starve our own potential. Like Always Hungry, when fat cells starve the rest of the body, when we set plans for others, we miss the plans to change ourself.

But I am the only person I need to worry about. I can see a better version of myself. Not just a fitter version, but a kinder … wiser … more generous … more honest version of myself.

Now I just need to follow the plan.

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