Beliefnet
Beyond Gorgeous

“Grandma — There’s a black bear in your closet!” three-year-old Sylvia shrieked.  “Come and see.”

I sighed. I was really getting tired of that bear.

“There are no bears in my closet,” I said firmly.

“But Grandma, I can see him, too,” said her cousin Justin, who was also three on that long-ago day. “If you will just come and look.”

They kept on going into the closet on tiptoe and then coming out screaming in enjoyable terror.  Finally, I gave in.

“I’m going in the closet,” I said. “There is NO BEAR in my closet.  After this we are through playing ‘bear.’”

I threw open the door and walked in with the look-alike cousins hot on my heels and hiding behind my skirt.  They pointed to a dark corner. “There he IS,” they shouted.

I looked behind the clothes and saw — a black bear.  I saw him clearly — the dark, furry mass of his body, his smooth black snout, and his gleaming, piggy eye.  After the first initial panic and urge to flee, I stood my ground.  There could not be a black bear in my closet, no matter what my eyes told me. I stepped forward and pushed back the clothes.  The bear body suddenly transformed into a sleeping bag.  The black snout became a black plastic suit hanger and the eye nothing more than the light gleaming on the metal hook of the hanger.

How had I been persuaded that I saw a black bear?  My grandchildren believed in it so vividly, that I found myself seeing what they saw — even though I knew it couldn’t be.

How does this apply to our quest for a healthy lifestyle?  Be wary of the people who talk you into seeing black bears where none exist.  Friends and family will tell you that you are trapped.  That everybody gains back the weight they lost.  That there is no cure for “middle-aged spread.”  If you believe them and their negative “bear” talk, your healthy eating and exercise plan will never get off the ground.  There IS something you can do.  If you make wise choices, you WILL lose weight and you will see a difference in your health. If you are still alive and kicking, it isn’t too late for you.

There isn’t a black bear in the closet.  Don’t be fooled!

Eating to live and living for Christ,

Susan Jordan Brown

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