I wrote this a few days before Christmas, but I think it still applies. In fact, Iíve read this several times since writing it, and itís helped me realize just how far Iíve come. Here’s hoping that 2005 brings you all closer to your goals, whatever they may be.
For the first time in at least 4 years, Iím making chocolates for the familyís Christmas celebration. Delectable, eagerly anticipated, made with love and the best ingredients I can find, itís always been a process Iíve enjoyed on every level: the sensuousness, the alchemy, the smell, and most of all the TASTE. But last night, I surveyed the wreckage of pans, spoons, bowls, and molds, and the little mountains of paper towels smeared with chocolate left on every kitchen surface, and fought the urge to give it all up and run out of the kitchen. What happened?
Well, for the first time in my life, I wasnít licking my hands, or the spoons or the bowls!!!! I forced myself to dip the tiniest little tip of my finger into a warm ganache of peanut butter chips, heavy cream, and peanut butter to see if it was too peanutty, and YUCK! And grabbing some paper towels to wipe off my fingers, I swore never to do that again. I checked the temperature of the chocolate with a finger, and instinctively went to lick it off, and found it too gross. And grabbed more paper towels. And so it went, with each type of candy, until I had to change the roll of paper towels and took a moment to survey the scene.
It took a couple of minutes for it to sink into my consciousness. After all, a person doesnít get to a high weight of 500 pounds by consciously eating or being aware of her body! And then I realized what an important moment this was: Iíve changed dramatically. Things donít always taste the way I think they will. Iím more conscious of what Iím eating, and I stop eating when I donít like it anymore, or, amazingly, I donít even start! And wouldnít a nice hot bubble bath, surrounded by candles, be a more relaxing choice than food after a long hard day at work and the stress of all that cooking? And itís all OK.
My point is this: Those of you who have made ANY changes in your life over the past year Ė 6 months Ė 2 days Ė whatever Ė be proud of what youíve done. And hold onto it. Even if itís as small as switching from regular soda to diet, or walking for 5 more minutes every couple of weeks, look at the progress youíve made. The pessimists among you are saying, ďBut I have so much farther to go!Ē Maybe you do. But I promise you, every single tiny change you make and sustain is progress and worth keeping, even during this season of too much.
Instead of celebrating the season with food, celebrate with pride in your progress, and hope for future accomplishments.
PS. The story ended in a hot bubble bath, where I promptly fell asleep [and please note: 500 pound people do not fit into bathtubs!]. This morning, I packed up some samples for my oh-so-willing tasting panel at work. After all, SOMEONE has to tell me if these are any good! And so far, itís been rave reviews. Iím drinking tea and avoiding the treats in the office kitchen. Just not interested. Itís hard to believe that this is ME talking, but itís true!