I am rewatching the series LOST. It is one of my all-time favorite shows and in some ways I feel like I’m discovering it all over again.
A few days ago I watched the episode called “Dave” in which Hurley, the likeable, fun-loving, morbidly obese lottery winner, encounters a figure from his past. Hurley had been in a mental institution for a while, and while there he met Dave. (If you haven’t seen the show, you should know that the island of the castaways tended to expose baggage from their past in disturbing ways.)
Now Dave was the one person who kept telling Hurley he was fine the way he was. Everyone else was urging Hurley to change and supporting him in his positive behaviors, but Dave insisted that Hurley didn’t need to change. He even encouraged his dysfunctional relationship with food, regardless of the fact that Hurley himself had acknowledged it and was doing something about it.
Here’s the kicker. (Spoiler alert, just in case.) Dave doesn’t exist. He’s all in Hurley’s head, a figment of his imagination, the part of himself that believes he is meant to be the way he is and doesn’t need to change.
I was struck by something as I watched the show. I may not have an imaginary friend with me, approving of every cupcake or milkshake. I may not see someone who isn’t there, patting me on the back as I gorge myself on a bag of chips.
But there is a part of me that protests every time I make a healthier choice. There’s a voice deep inside that whispers words of comfort when I lament my current condition and am motivated to change. It tells me it’s ok to indulge and to put off my workout. It tells me I’m just fine the way that I am, and whoever doesn’t like it can just….well, you get the idea.
Sometimes that voice gets really loud.
But I’m learning to recognize that voice for what it is – a remnant of the old Amanda, “Fat Amanda”, the me that got me into this predicament. Look where listening to that voice landed me. (Yes, I’m still fat, but “Fat Amanda” is a state of mind, not a body size.)
It’s time to pay attention to someone else for a while. New “Healthy Amanda” is here, and she takes her cues from God, who loves me exactly as I am, but loves me too much to stay this way.
“Healthy Amanda” is taking over. “Fat Amanda” can take a hike.