I was up early this morning walking along the beach and feeling so alive and connected to myself and beyond. I have walked this very beach over and over for the past 40-something years and it always tugs at my heart. I have so many memories of where I was and where I am.

Last night my youngest son and I watched old videos we recorded 11 years ago. My have we changed! He was so little with a sweet young voice. My hair was long, blond and flowing. I remember back then thinking how fat I was and yet, looking at the video I was not.

The lesson is to be present rather than thinking about where I was or where I want to be…how about just sitting with the now. Sometimes, even today, I think I am fat or ugly, or some other negative kind of thinking. It would be sad to look at a video 11 years from now and think I looked pretty darn good then…but now do not. On and on that negative cycle of thinking could go. I am okay right now in this very moment. I have all I need and I am able to bask in it.

At this moment, writing this blog, I am looking out at the dock that I painted red wood with turquoise benches. Mom would like the “art deco” look if she were here. It is such a beautiful view. A window she looked out many times herself. The same window Ma (my grandmother) looked out. Both women obese and both women suffered from strokes. I wonder what their dreams were as they stared off onto the blue sparkly waters. Did they have regrets of yesterday or hopes and dreams for tomorrow?

Last night, watching the videos there was one with Mom after her stroke. We (all my siblings) were gathered around her talking and laughing and exchanging quibbles of nothing. It was beautiful to see us all congregated around her. I think about her stroke and how maybe it did not have to be. She was significantly over weight, did not exercise, and ate high fat foods. The “what ifs” start to sprout as I ponder. Would she still be here if she had eaten free of sugar, flour, wheat, and high fat foods? Do I go there in my thoughts? Perhaps not. I need to stay present.

My lesson this morning, while walking the beach I had traveled on hundreds of mornings when life was younger and simpler ( or was it?), was to stay in the now. To be where I am. And where I am, is sitting looking out the window seeing a boat or two passing by, big egrets sauntering by, pelicans diving for a treat… and me experiencing the pure joy of being in paradise.

One of the videos we watched was of a 4Th of July celebration in 2001. We were gathered with dear friends sharing a meal and watched the fire works. Benjamin (my son) had the camera on me and was commenting on how I was breaking my “diet.” And I responded so defensively on how it was all worked in my plan. I was still in the diet defensive mode. I did not learn yet that life would be simpler, more spiritual, and the diet clenched attitude would be released. I did not know I would find an answer to my own obesity, binge eating, and food addiction.

As our video movie night continued to unfold there also was footage of our oldest son wearing a great deal of weight. He was darn right obese. Watching me eat clean and healthy for years has rubbed off on him. He is now lean and healthy and moving in a positive direction. Videos can teach us a great deal. I learned to live now but take the nuggets of treasures from what I learned watching me in the past.

I am blessed and fortunate right now. Not last year…and not tomorrow…right now. My body is healthy, thin, and I can walk for very long distances…just as I did 11 years ago…and 11 years before that. The difference is today I don’t binge and I don’t harbor “crazy” diet talks. The difference is I am free of sugar, flour, and wheat and my weight is “normal” and my thoughts are clear.

Life today is good. Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow is not here yet. My body is thin and strong. I don’t binge. Food cravings are nonexistent. This morning I was up early walking the very beach I had wishes, hopes, and dreams when I was barely 12 years of age. Now, 40 years later I still have wishes, hopes, and dreams but they are not about my body, my weight, my newest diet, or latest binge. I dream of living more in the present and experiencing this beach, this dock, this paradise that I love so.

Photos taken by: Dr. Lisa Ortigara Crego

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