Get Out of Line

By Kara Richardson Whitely, author of Gorge

I’ve been reading Extreme You, a book by Sarah Robb O’Hagan. It is designed to help readers “Step Up. Stand Out. Kick Ass. Repeat.” I met Sarah, who hails from New Zealand, long ago.

In the book, Sarah, who is now CEO of Flywheel, shares how we can learn from our epic failures, or what we thought were epic failures at the time. I thought about this in terms of my journey to wellness.

I thought about the second time I hiked Kilimanjaro. How I so desperately wanted to be in the same place as I was the first time I climbed Africa’s highest peak, when I rocked Weight Watchers and felt so in control of my body. But I didn’t do the work. I didn’t train. I didn’t figure out why I was still eating for my emotions.

At the time I had a baby, and was still sleep-deprived. Eating was a mechanical way of getting by, not something I did for pleasure. In many ways it was punishment for how bad I felt, which, of course, made me feel even worse.

One of my favorite pieces of advice in Extreme You is about “Getting out of line.” Knowing when you can break the rules a bit to get what you really need.

Again, a lot of Sarah’s advice pertains to your career. But I could see it relating to living my best life. It gave me permission to do something even if it meant not quite following the rules.

I must admit, sometimes old habits creep back in. One that is the easiest, because of the traveling-working-mom life I lead, is fast food.

One day, I was by myself. My kids were with their grandparents so I could finish a project and take a work call. I had an afternoon to myself. I was sick of leftovers so I thought I’d pop over to a fast-food-chain-that-shall-not-be-named. It wasn’t because I liked this type of food but because they had a drive-through. I could just get something quick and get on my way without anyone seeing me get out of the car.

But after placing my order, I immediately regretted my decision. I should have just popped into the grocery store and got some fresh stuff that would make me feel good.

However, there I was. I placed an order for something that I didn’t really want. Luckily, this was the slowest drive-through line I’d ever been in. I had time to think about what I really wanted. I didn’t want this meal. I wanted to feel good about me and my choices. Instead of just staying there like a lemming, I turned my wheel to the right and got out of line.

Now, I admit, I must have confused the cashier, but surely the car behind me would share that I abandoned ship. I did it for my own good. I got out of line and steered myself toward healthier choices.  

Follow Kara on Connect @gorgegirl15
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