"I've decided that perhaps I'm bulimic and just keep forgetting to purge."

-- Paula Poundstone

Friday, April 16, 2010

And now, a lesson from Elmo

Elmo is a pretty big deal in our house.

Our 18-month-old walks around saying his name 40-50 times a day.

Heck, our laptop computer is broken right now because he thinks it’s The Elmo Machine.

We showed him a few Elmo videos on the laptop, so he got to where he’d pick it up and “carry” it across the room to us, shouting “Elmo! Elmo!” and dropping it a few times along the way.

Now if we want to see the screen, we have to hook the laptop to our T.V.

Anyway, Elmo DVDs and VHS tapes are filling the void while The Elmo Machine is broken.

One I watched recently (and again and again and …) was “Elmo Saves Christmas.”

After Elmo helps save Christmas for all little boys and girls, Santa grants him three wishes. One of his wishes is that every day is Christmas.

Sounds great, right? Wrong.

Christmas every day causes all kinds of problems. The carolers go hoarse from singing all the time, a nice Sesame Street couple goes broke and has to start selling crack because their family business isn’t open on Christmas, etc.

I might have embellished part of that.

Probably the biggest problem of Christmas every day is that it just isn’t special anymore.

It really got me thinking (damn you, Elmo).

What is special?

We live in a world of instant gratification these days. We don’t have to wait for anything.

We’re constantly connected to anyone and everyone via our mobile phones. The Internet has all the answers all the time.

So, what does this have to do with weight loss?

For some reason, “Elmo Saves Christmas” made me think about brownies.

Before we buckled down on our diet, we got to where we’d eat whatever we wanted whenever we wanted.

We were baking pans of brownies and eating them in two days. We’d do that a couple times a week.

I guess in some ways, I’ve had the mentality that if I can’t have what I want, when I want it, I’m deprived in some way.

But I’m realizing that what I was really doing is depriving myself of the life I really deserve: one that is active and healthy and, Lord willing, longer.

Isn’t that better than brownies?

So, I’m learning to make things special again.

Will I ever eat a brownie again? Yes. But not a whole pan, and not every week.

When it’s just one – and something you don’t get all the time – it really is more special. Just like Christmas.

Thanks, Elmo.

Check back Monday and see if I’m still feeling all special after my next weigh-in. See you then.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, I've seen that Elmo and it does teach an important lesson... it reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from Chapel, back at my Christian College.
    "Liberty is disciplined living." I think of this quote often when my clothes are too tight... you know, if I could show some discipline in what I eat and excercise, I could experience freedom from muffin top... I'm not there yet... maybe when I know longer have any pants that fit me I'll realize I have to do something... thanks for getting me thinking... it's up to me to get me doing.