“I hate to workout. I hate gyms. I don’t really want to be here. But here,” she thrusts an open palm stacked with bills in my face, “Now I have to come.” Tears glisten her eyes. I gently lower her hand, guide her to the couch in the gyms make-shift lounge.
“Sue, is it?” She nods.
“Sue”, I begin again, “what exactly are you looking for?”
She heaves a sigh, plops down next to me.
“I’m fat and I haven’t worked out in over three years since I fell and tore my shoulder.” She rubs her hands together in her lap. “I know how to eat and work out and all of that, but I just won’t do it. So, my therapist told me to see you.” We live in a small town, and I’ve connected with therapists, dietitians and other professionals who regularly send clients my way. Though I’m curious as to who sent her, I respect her privacy.
Sue is nearly six feet tall and likely considered morbidly obese though I hate that term. She’s had bariatric surgery but gained back all the weight and more. Her level of fitness is bleak at best. I take her to the elliptical which I know will be the easiest on her joints. As happens so often once a client’s blood gets flowing, she begins to tell me her story.
Her job in law enforcement is predominantly male dominated and she feels she must be abrasive in her manner to be heard, and it wears on her.
“At times I shut the door to my office and cry,” she dabs at her eye with her knuckle. She’s never been married and her best friend, her father, died almost a year ago to the day. She pauses the elliptical, faces me.
“Honestly I don’t see much reason to go on living.” Our eyes lock briefly before she averts her gaze to the ground; I can physically feel her pain. These are the moments when I am certain, I should have obtained a degree in psychology. I swallow, take a deep breath.
“Sue, you have fifteen one-hour sessions with me. If you promise me, you will make it to every single one, I promise you we will find at least one reason for you to stay alive,” I stick out my hand, “Deal?”
Slowly she lifts her eyes back to me. The corners of her mouth lift into a barely perceptible smile and finally she takes my hand.
“From the very first pages, Lorinda Boyer’s pile of confessions moved me. Lorinda is a master with a pen. She incomparably describes what it feels like to be a Christian woman who must comply with fulfilling the role of being a perfect, dutiful wife and mother at any cost. No saints exist in the pages of this exceptionally written memoir, yet what stands out is the way Lorinda writes about how much her beliefs, confusion, and other people’s actions or lack of them affected her behavior. Overall, Straight Enough by Lorinda Boyer is a triumph of embracing one’s identity, redefining love, expressing one true self, and freeing oneself from feeling unworthy of love. It portrays a flawed, loving woman who repetitively struggles with excruciating guilt and thoughts that say she deserves to be punished by God.”
Emma Megan, Reader’s Favorite