“Play it out…”

There is always a moment of clarity that is revealed just before the fruition of a lust driven decision.  Think of it like this:  Wylie E. Coyote is flying toward the edge of the cliff on his rocket skates.  He looks over his shoulder at the mischievous Road Runner who has already stopped and is “Beep,Beep”-ing in the other direction.  His head swivels around and he sees his impending doom.  The rocket skates shoot him over the edge, he glances at the camera and gulps.  He seems to hang in the air for a few seconds before he drops to the canyon bottom.  [OUCH!!]

Both the glances over the shoulder and to the camera are the epitome of a moment of clarity.  Your Illusions of Grandeur are set to implode any second, and if you act quickly enough you may be able to thwart the inevitable.  Maybe not.  The initial moment of clarity is rarely heeded because it is usually clouded with the irrational smoke and mirrors, much like a child jumping from the roof using a 250 thread-count sheet as a para-shoot; it is awesome until gravity pulls the helpless body to the very hard dirt.

I recently had a conversation  with a friend who told me about his “Play it out”-Theory:  before you do something you may regret, play it out in your mind to the tune of the worst case scenario.  If you do that and you are still sure that you want to make that choice, and if you can live with the consequences then go ahead with it…but if you can’t, you had better not put on the rocket skates.  I can go ahead and tell you that you aren’t going to catch the truly wily Road Runner.

If we continue with the scenario, and you do have a bail out or an exit strategy, it is going to cost you some physical, emotional, and mental pain.  Wylie may get the skates off, and he might just keep himself from going over the edge but he is going to get a lot of scrapes and strawberries.  You won’t be the same person that you were, not that you won’t heal, but it will forever change your life…and if you don’t get the rocket skates off, your healing may take much longer; just be sure to take your [OUCH!!] sign with you.

These decisions are out of the same motivation, whether it is an extra piece of pie, being lazy at work, drinking yourself into a stupor, lusting/cheating while in a relationship, lying, disobeying parents, etc.  They are born out of a lack of self-control and enabling our indulgences.  Because no matter how much you want those extra brownies, they are going to cost you extra hours working out to get the calories off or they will kill you with hypertension, obesity, diabetes, cholesterol, heart attack, cancer, etc.  As the wise old sage said, “There is no free lunch.”  The same goes with the opposite sex; there is no one out there without issues, baggage, and problems.  You are simply trading  one set of issues for another.

That is why the initial decision to enter a relationship shouldn’t be taken lightly.  I can say that there is no relationship that cannot be fixed, but it takes both people to make changes.  I heard it said best that marriage is not about finding the right person but becoming the right person.But we won’t go in to anything really deep today, let’s keep it light but serious.

I recently lost 40 pounds.  Before we went to Ethiopia in January I weighed in at around 238 pounds.  I am 6’1″ so it is not that bad, but I got winded easy and I felt like a blob.  My shirts were all XLT and my pants were a 38″ waist.  I knew that I was over weight.  Even though I didn’t look horrible, I felt horrible; I was sick all the time.  Even though I was bigger than I had ever been in my life, I continued to reach for the extra cookies.  I ordered more for lunch than I eat in an entire day now and there was no slowing down; One 12″ meatball sub, a bag of chips, a 20 oz. soda, and one or two candy bars.

Since I am now under 200 pounds, I feel so much better.  I decided that I still wanted to be able to play sports with my children when they are young adults.  I run and shoot basketball a couple times a week and I love it.  I must confess though, that the first 30 pounds were lost in Ethiopia.  The last 10 pounds have been the hardest but the most satisfying.  It was not hard to eat healthy in Africa; there are little preservatives and less junk food.  The portion sizes are huge but the food is nearly all natural, so they are good calories and nutrients.  In the U.S. it is much harder to keep your appetite in control.  But I know that if I don’t continue this trend that I am headed back to 230+ again, and all the problems that come with being overweight.  I have “played it out” and realized that being healthy is the only scenario that “plays out” correctly.

So, before you reach for the extra cake, act on that infatuation, or grab those rocket skates, ask yourself what is the worst case scenario, and if you feel like you can handle the outcome, go for it.  Make sure you have packed your running shoes/yoga mat, your sleeping bag, and your [OUCH!!] sign; it could be a long drop to the bottom.

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