Second Best

by Carol Hess on December 4, 2011

What have you let go of this year and how has it affected you?

This is today’s thinking/writing prompt from Reverb11.  What’s Reverb11?  It’s about reflecting upon 2011 and then looking forward to 2012.  A community of bloggers are sending out prompts every day in December to get us thinking/writing.  And this is the December 4th prompt from the list I’m on.

So, back to the question at hand.

What have you let go of this year and how has it affected you?

My answer to today’s prompt came quickly and easily this morning.  Why?  Because three days ago I found myself shouting into the phone at my weight loss coach, “I’m not going to f**king settle for second best any more!”  (Sorry, Christine.  I hope your hearing has been restored by now.)

I’ve known about this pattern of mine for some time.  It’s about as obvious as the nose on my face.  So are the results it’s produced in my life.  And trust me.  The results are in every single nook and cranny of my life.  It’s like some kind of fine gray volcanic dust that seeped in everywhere and covered up the color of my life.

Well, at some point this year I got tired of settling for second best.  I got tired of living gray.  I got tired of less than what I deserved.  I deserved a technicolor life.  And that’s damned well what I was going to create!

So I decided to take on the Second Best Beast.  And it does feel like a beast.  Stronger, more powerful than I.  Smarter, sneakier than I.  (And I can be pretty sneaky.)  And patient.  OMG, this Second Best Beast is very, very patient and very, very good at biding its time.

And then the blankety blank beast has so many heads.  Just when I think I’ve chopped off one head, I see another head I hadn’t seen before.  I keep chopping and chopping, but there are always more heads to chop.

Sorry, this imagery is getting a little violent, isn’t it?  But that’s how pissed off I am at this monster that has sat on top of me for most of my life.  Once I managed to wiggle out from under it just enough to be able to breathe a little bit, I realized I wasn’t getting what I deserved in life.  And it was the Second Best Beast’s fault.  And time was ticking.

And that’s when I really started to fight.  No more settling for second best!  On April 1st, I closed the business that felt better than anything I’d done before and that kind of, sort of fed my soul in a second best kind of way.

And I waited.  And I waited.  And I waited until I had figured out what it was that really fed my soul in a first best kind of way.

What was it?


About what?

Personal development, spiritual seeking, transformation stuff.  (Stuff?  Surely there’s a better word than that, oh muse of mine?)

Writing for whom?  To whom?

The overweight woman.  Me.  You.  Us.


To empower her — me — you — us to live our lives to the fullest.


Because we have been settling for second best our whole lives.


Because we’re fat.

And that’s gotta stop.  We’ve got to stop thinking that second best is all we deserve just because we’re fat.

Life is too valuable, too magnificent, and way too f**king short to live second best or twentieth best or hundredth best lives.

Besides, I think I’ve just discovered the secret to weight loss.

It’s not about how much you eat.  It’s about how much you live.