Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “A Bird in the Hand is Worth Two in the Bush” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/10/08)
By annie mclean
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Drenched in sweat, her pulse racing, Ellie knew her life was hanging in the balance. The pain was incredible. It felt like an elephant sitting on her chest. She could hear the siren in the distance. Lying on the floor clinging to the phone, she could hear the 911 operator’s reassuring voice telling her help was on the way. Ellie could not believe this was really happening to her. She was 55 years old and was planning to retire this spring. She had worked as a nurse in the emergency ward for years and could recite the symptoms of a heart attack in her sleep. She had seen far too often the devastation that came with heart disease. Through the fogginess of her pain, Ellie knew that heart disease was now her reality.
She had struggled for years with being extremely overweight and had turned a blind eye to the elevated cholesterol numbers. The pounds had stealthily crept onto her once slim frame. It was a shock when she had stepped on the scales and saw the numbers ‘300’ flashing at her. However, she had convinced herself the scales were not accurate.
Ellie had entertained herself with diets for years…she lost a few pounds…gained a few back, and so on. She had a lovely assortment of before and after pictures. The ones where you try to look as fat as you can, so when you lose a few pounds and then suck in your stomach and pose for a picture, you look so much slimmer. This of course leaves you with very impressive before and after pictures. She had an abundance of BEFORE pictures. Often as she ran around the ER taking care of patients, she would be aware of the fact that she was huffing and puffing like an old locomotive. Bending over and tying up her shoelaces was a major workout. Dreams of being slim and trim were but a faded memory.
She had some friends at work that had been losing weight and she had joined them for a while. They had successfully made lifestyle changes and had been able to eat healthy, exercise and now they looked fabulous. They would float around the ER unit with that ‘healthy’ glow that Ellie so desperately wanted. She of course was SO happy for them….not. It was so hard to see them succeed in their lifestyle change while she continued to watch the numbers on her scale get higher, rather than lower. She felt the ugly green monster of jealousy grip her spirit whenever the others would chat about their weight loss success.
Ellie was actually overwhelmed with the fruitlessness of her diets. She knew her body was a gift from God and that she should take care of it. However, there was a lot of stress and heartache in her life and whenever loneliness crept in…she would reach for the cookie jar. She would convince herself that she would truly begin to eat healthy TOMORROW. However, one pound led to 2 pounds…days to months and months to years of being overweight. Her body had suffered and now here she was lying on the floor with unimaginable chest pain. She felt like she was slipping away from reality. The room was spinning and each breath felt as if she was sucking through a straw. Vaguely she heard the front door being opened and voices that sounded a million miles away….
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