How often I've thought and even uttered those words...I surrender. But how many times have I actually been able to follow through with that threat?
Answer: Very few.
Surrender, for me, used to be the equivalent of giving up and since giving up meant I was weak and society tells us to never give up...surrendering was never an option. It was what cowards and weak willed, wishy-washy people did. I was strong, stubborn and brave...surrendering was not an option.
The world was very black and white to me when I was young. I've since learned that there are many (at least 50? Ooops...sorry) shades of gray.
I've learned that the act of surrendering is not, necessarily, giving up. It can be a very brave and wise thing to do. In fact, a sign of a good military leader is one that knows when to surrender and when to keep fighting. When to save the lives of good men and women and when to risk them. Surrendering is the act of letting it all go and turning it over to another power.
I guess that's the key for me. It's how I came to grips with the term when I first entered recovery. I wasn't weak or a coward or giving up. In actuality I was strong and brave. I knew it was time to turn it over to another power. For me that was God. The words look easy...the act was not. I had to fight years and years of conditioning in order to just begin to surrender. I'm still not sure I've completely accomplished it - but I try every day to let go and turn it over to Him and that's progress.
Progress not perfection.
I wasn't able to do this when I first got sober. For the first year or so I clenched and white knuckled my way through, convinced that sheer willpower would be enough. It wasn't. I entered the AA rooms, learned a new way and embarked on that journey...that's when I entered true recovery and began to surrender. I don't attend AA anymore but I value what it taught me and I carry those lessons to as many needy souls as God places in my path.
So now I've decided to surrender to the food thing. The fact is that I just can't do it alone. If I were at a more healthy weight it wouldn't be a big deal but I'm not - my BMI is way too high (almost in the obese range) and although my blood work is good, I know for a fact that it won't stay there long.
And the absolute, most important reason I need to take off this weight is so that I can get back into my stillettos without them hurting my feet and my knees. I am just carrying too much weight to wear those shoes. I'm getting hammer toes and bunions and it's all coming from the weight. How can I buy a pair of black Louboutins and not be able to wear them.
Answer: I can't.
So I surrender. I've made an appointment with Jenny Craig for this Saturday and I'm going in and this time (I've done Jenny twice - it doesn't work too well when you're slurping down two bottles of wine a night) I'm going to actually work with the counselor and do everything they tell me to do. My particular issues with eating and food (portion control and sugar triggers) are very conducive to this kind of plan. Plus the food actually tastes good.
So I surrender. I'm turning it over to God and Jenny and we'll see where it takes me. I'm excited and scared all at the same time. I'm excited because I know surrender can work. I'm scared because I've failed so many times.
Progress not perfection. I think that will be my new mantra.
"The essential surrender happens within you, it has nothing to do with anybody outside you. The basic surrender is a relaxation, a trust — so don’t be misguided by the word. Linguistically, surrender means to surrender to somebody, but religiously, surrender simply means trust, relaxing. It is an attitude rather than an act: you live through trust."