You've Got the Power

by Helen M. Ryan

You find yourself sitting there, a box of cookies in your lap, an empty bag of chips at your feet, a gallon of ice cream half gone. And you wonder, “What happened to my desire to lose weight? What happened to me?”

You might ask yourself where you went wrong (honey, where did you go wrong?) or how you ended up on this eating binge. “Why didn’t I say no?” you question. “Why wasn’t I stronger?”

The reason, simply and honestly, is that you didn’t feel like being strong at that moment. And maybe you don’t believe in your own inner strength.

Sometimes we let life beat us down. Our day-to-day routines take away a lot of what is intrinsically “us.” It is our core that is vibrant, strong, healthy; full of life, love, and passion. Sometimes our core beings get buried (help, I’m buried and I can’t get up) and we forget who we are, or how strong we are.

Take a moment to look back at your life. Think of all the things you did do. Maybe you’ve survived a serious childhood illness, lost a furbaby, experienced crushing heartbreak, aced a test you thought you’d fail, or finished college while working full-time.

Maybe you’ve experienced a firing or a layoff, carried and borne children, gone through an ugly divorce, lost a parent or a spouse, received an unexpected promotion, walked away from a car accident, or lived through unimaginable things. Maybe you’ve excelled at a sport, learned a new hobby, survived a surgery, or cried with happiness (and relief, oh sweet relief) at your child’s graduation.

Grab that little moment and reflect on your gains and losses. Maybe make a list of things you’ve overcome and accomplished.

Then look at the cookies—directly into their beady, evil (yummy) chocolate chip eyes—and ask yourself, “I did all of that and I can’t do this? I can’t say ‘no, not right now?’ I can’t lose weight? Really???”

Answer that question for yourself. If you can remember the feelings of empowerment or the relief after surviving something traumatic you will realize that you can say no…that you really are as strong and capable now as you were then.

And you’ve got the power again, baby. Game on. 

Published January 28, 2011