Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Get Out Of Jail Free card

Several years ago, I started a new game. Losing weight.

Like Monopoly, it goes on and on. A long game. A game with some objectives, but most times I have no idea how it’ll turn out. It’s familiar, though, not only to me but to everyone I know. It’s sometimes mundane, sometimes fun.

I picked my favorite playing piece, the shoe.

I like the shoe, not because of the implied exercise and health associated with it, but because it’s easy to hold. I simply like it. Reminds me to move in my own way, one little step at a time. I gathered my stash of cash: two $500s, two $100s, two $50s, six $20s, five $10s, five $5s and five $1s. The play money, like the weight loss training, support systems, healthy food and exercise plan, will buy me long-term investment in this weight loss game. I put the shoe on GO. It’s a new beginning; a chance at a healthy life.

I rolled the dice quickly and headed for Reading Railroad.

Full steam ahead. Gotta love those railroads. Like new habits, the more railroads I own, the better the results. I learned new ways to eat, cooked food differently, and enjoyed fruits and vegetables again.

Rolled the dice again. Landed me in a spot where I’m “Just visiting” jail.

I’m somewhat safe. The prison that I call a binge is a mental barrier that sees no light. All that can be seen is food and more food. All that can be done is the consumption of it. Since I’m just visiting, I can see what it’s like to be stuck in old habits, but still have the energy to move on. I survived a few events where old habits of overeating could have taken over but instead I managed: weddings, family holiday gatherings, picnic buffets, restaurant outings.

Rolled again. Headed down the stretch to Free Parking.

I stayed and rested a bit. I re-evaluated my new eating habits. I enlisted the help of friends and family to support me on this weight loss ride. I researched food information: calories, fat, fiber, nutrients.

Rolled again. Down the last corner, heading towards ‘GO’ again. Passing GO, I collected my $200 of new motivation to go around again. Time for a CHANCE card this time.

Ugh. Go to Jail, Go Directly To Jail, Do Not Pass GO, Do Not Collect $200. JAIL. The binge begins. I start to eat some food, then some more, then more and more until I decide to eat whatever I can find that doesn’t walk away from me. Stuck in the prison of my mind, I chew until I can’t think anymore.

This is the time for Get Out of Jail Free card. This is the time to simply throw down that yellow card and move on. No waiting three turns until a possible double shows on the dice. No paying my way out. Simply place the card and move on. It is the same “free” card I get with the gift of salvation. By accepting it, I get the chance to live my life differently. I’m so thankful.

Here I am, several years after starting this game, and I still need the reminder of this card. It’s worthless unless I use it, so I motivate myself to remember it exists and simply allow the freedom it provides.

I like this card.


Where Books Begin said...

Lisa, This is great! I love your metaphors but when I got to salvation = Get Out of Jail Free, I really got what you are saying. Did you write this after the retreat? It has a wonderful tone and moves right along to where we want to get--binge-free serenity.

Anonymous said...

Way to go're doing a great job with these blogs (Much better than Ellen and I did, lol.) Great comparisons with this one. Nice work.

- Chad Jarrah, Where Books Begin

Anonymous said...

fasinating that you chose Monopoly. I will look at this game differently from now on.