A disclaimer - this one's a little raw, if your sensibilities are easily offended, move on.
You who know me, and love me anyway, which, by the by, I appreciate immensely, know that there are two "Johnnys."
The difference between Johnny 1 and Johnny 2 is about 50lbs.
Last week, as I stepped on the scale (more about that in a minute) it was clear which Johnny I was dealing with.
It's not like I didn't know it already.
The clothes in my closet I can't wear right now told me.
The physical disgust I feel when I look in the mirror, and my efforts to avoid doing that told me.
The blood pressure meds I take everyday told me.
Trying to avoid having pictures taken of me, told me.
Or, taking that typical approach that I have so many times before that, when someone dared ask me about my weight, and start with, "what do you weigh? 2what?" My pat response, "2damned much."
I recently viewed a rough cut of web-video we're preparing to tell Saint John's story. There's a jolt - watching what the video tells you.
And last week, my wife told me.
She did it in love, of course. But as she is prone to do, it was clear, it was of concern, and it was something she shared with me as well as her plan.
First of the year she started one of those famous weight loss programs (the name of the program and Jesus Christ share the same initials). Having never fully lost all of Jack's baby weight, and with a major age milestone inside a year away, her motivations were clear.
And she's done great, and she feels so much better.
So, with the aforementioned, or at least alluded to, program - there's a spouse rate.
Perfect. (some sarcasm here)
I don't need no stinkin' program, I can do that for myself, as I have every other time in my life. For that story, go here.
What she told me, in so many words, was that line from Dr. Phil that's made it's way into the pop culture vernacular - "How's that working for ya?"
Dammit, I hate it when she's right.
Is it a character deficiency on my part?
A sign of failure?
Lack of discipline?
Do I really want the answers to those questions?
So, I went, reluctantly.
Signed in, and was assured, that, despite all the adverstisements to the contrary, many men do this program.
Fine. At this point, just show me where to sign and let's get on with our lives.
From there we went to the back of the room and onto the scale.
Nothing like the truth, in numbers, to reveal and confront what we deny.
I cannot believe I've let myself do this again.
I'm mad at myself - my periodic visitation with serious self-loathing is just around the corner. I am pissed off, disappointed, and pretty sure I'm am an abject failure on this matter.
I was purely stunned by what I saw. I didn't have a clue. Really.
And then it occured to me that I have not been on a scale at all in years. Maybe 4 or 5 years?
Hmmm. Wonder why?
For all the talk I do about accountability, and even the ways I seek to practice it in the matters of the spirit, why, then, do I avoid it so deliberatley in the physical realm?
What is it they say about the truth? It is saying aloud what everyone else knows but dare not say.
Well there it was, as big as life - numbers that did not lie - a truth that could not be avoided.
And I freakin' hate it. If the humiliation was not complete enough, the person guiding me through pulled out her Polaroid camera for the "before" shot.
Oh, hell no. But before I knew it, it was done.
At this point, go ahead, make the biggest poster you can and put me up next to the "Cheers" girl and the "One Day at a Time" girl.
I got nothing left to fight this.
So for the foreseeable future, I'm going do this thing - God knows I need to.
No really, God knows I need to -
And on this matter I will be held accountable, weekly.
The one discovery that has hit me again is simply this - we are never ever too far removed from the capacity to slip into patterns of life, of body and/or spirit, that make us less that what we're meant to be.
This thing - is mine.
Oh, I have a few others - but this one is mine for right now.
And just as Jacob wrestled with the Divine, daring not to let go, neither will I.
I may end up limping when it's all said and done, but I ain't a lettin' go.