Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – November 1, 2004
Whatever Happened To Tiger Living?
Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – November 1, 2004 – Just in case you think my great plans for Tiger Living have evaporated like frost on a sunny windowpane, I’m here to tell you that is not the case. Originally Tiger Living was just about my weight – but seeing as this is my story – I can change it any time I want to, and change it I have.
I’ve expanded the concept of Tiger Living, to life choices, not just ones related to health. Living like a tiger means being brave in every aspect of life. Can you imagine a tiger who loved to run but was afraid of the dark? Hardly. Tigers get out there in the jungle and quite simply own their world. Everyone takes notice when they appear. They are strong, commanding and confident.
So in my quest to leave my chicken-self behind, and roar into life as a tiger – I’ve been to the opera, the museum, out for dinner with friends, facing out in restaurants (I know this sounds ridiculous but it’s not for someone with panic attacks) and I’ve just re-joined the art gallery. So in spite of the extreme anxiety I endure when I’m out and about – for reasons personal – as opposed to ones professional, I’m going and doing. Kudos for me!
As to the health bit – that’s a bit trickier! I haven’t weighed myself, but I know I haven’t lost an ounce. I am watching what I eat, some days successfully and others not so much so. The exercise routine continues to be a nightmare – lack of sleep – lack of motivation – getting used to my chubby self – fighting with Howard my treadmill (he’s totally unreasonable and expects to go walking every day) – trying not to be rigid in my thinking and then feeling defeated by the sheer enormity of trying to be competent at everything. It’s very difficult for me to just let loose and fly. I want to – I have great plans to – I can see myself accomplishing all my goals and then “bam” – I crash to earth and burn.
So what would a tiger do if she had been chasing down a particularly fleet of foot antelope who leapt to safety at the last possible minute? Well, she would stop to catch her breath and try again. Or maybe enlist the help of another tiger buddy and then return to the hunt. So what does this mean to me? The message appears to be “re-group” – hum – I may have done this before. I don’t have to change everything in my life all at once. In fact, I’ve done more in the last year than I’ve done in the previous five, so that in itself is a cause for celebration.
Now that Tiger Living is encompassing my entire chicken life, not just my health, I can look at the incredible commitment I made, and have kept, to write every day. I sometimes wonder if Rosemary has been snatched and some other being from a nether world is inhabiting her body. Can this really be me tapping away on the keyboard? The answer is “you bet” it’s me. I made a decision and stuck with it.
I was at a seminar last week where the word “can’t” was discussed. I understand that word completely and I’m familiar with how often I’ve used it to justify my choices. The truth about “can’t ” 99% of the time is “I choose not to”. I can’t exercise, go out, entertain, improve my nutrition, take a vacation, go on a date, make new friends, go to the theatre or keep a commitment. I can do any of the above if I want to. Can you imagine a tiger perplexed by a missed opportunity? I think not.
So this is the deal . I’m going to keep on challenging my chicken life with tiger decisions until it gets easier to be brave. I know I’m a big talker – you know I’m a big talker – hell even my chicken alter ego recognizes the blarney when she hears it, but just wait and see. I really am making progress. Little courages – little victories. These are not trivial things. A life changes in the instant that a decision is made. Chicken be gone – tiger emerge. Transformation complete. Okay, okay maybe not quite that fast for me – but Tiger Living is alive and well in my house. Go Tigers!