Inciting incident.

When I read Don Miller’s book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, it kinda changed my life. Great books will do that. I would insert about fifty quotes here if my copy of the book wasn’t in some storage unit on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. [Books are heavy. Very few made the trip to Scotland.]

But the one quote from Don that doesn’t leave my mind is the quote about an inciting incident.

“…the inciting incident is how you get (characters) to do something. It’s the doorway through which they can’t return, you know. The story takes care of the rest.”

Because my dear friend Bianca was brave yesterday, and because it’s been on my heart a while, I’m gonna talk about it.

I am so not good at this eating healthy, working out, treating my body well thing. I mean, I am SO not good at it.

And I think about it every day.

I worry about fitting into bridesmaid dresses that are already hanging in my closet and I worry about caring too much that it becomes an obsession. The scale calls my name from across the apartment and yet when I avoid it for months at a time, well, NO good comes of that.

I try and I fail and I try and I fail and I go to a counselor and I try and I fail.

But I don’t quit. Maybe I’ll fight this every day for the rest of my life, but I will fight it. I won’t quit.

It stinks.

One of the best parts of living in Edinburgh is that fast food and eating out isn’t as much of an option here. It’s just not the culture. People eat at home. And I, well, since I don’t have a car [I wouldn’t know what to do with it even if I did] and don’t really know my way around this neighborhood, I have an inciting incident on my hands.

I am being forced to cook.

No more Baja Burrito. No more Coke icees from Burger King. No more Frothy Monkey.

It’s just me. My kitchen. And my Tesco Metro.

Being taken out of my drive-around-eat-out-with-your-friends life and set in this walk-around-and-eat-at-home life has forced me through a doorway, as Don says.

And I’m grateful.

I’m not getting all crazy and diet-y. That doesn’t work for my soul. It’s not healthy.

I just want to be healthy.

I love to cook and I’m pretty good at it. I just have, in the last few years, untrained myself. I have created an eat-out habit, and that’s not super healthy. And by golly, Edinburgh is gonna break it.

The cool thing? I can only buy what I can carry [I am such a city girl]. So I stop by my Tesco Metro about once every other day. Fresh fruits and veggies. Less processed stuff. And my budget is squeezed tight, so I’m careful not to buy ridiculous things.

We had some foibles the first few days, but I’m in the swing now.

Today’s masterpiece? Marisa‘s chicken and gnocchi.

For a learning-to-cook-again girl like me, this was perfect. I grabbed a roasted chicken, a head of broccoli, potato gnocchi, Parmesan cheese, and low fat tomato sauce [I just read that as “tom-AH-to”- the Scottish girl that lives in my head is back].

Shred the chicken. Cook the gnocchi. Steam the broccoli. Combine everything and eat.


It’s a good start. It’s not life changing. I’m not a cooking caterpillar that will soon become a butterfly.

I’m just a real girl who has real issues, even after she has written a book about loving yourself and living a well-rounded healthy life. [Sheesh.] But just like Bianca, and maybe just like you, the issue of eating right and choosing exercise follows me from meal to meal and city to city and country to country and there are wins and there are losses.

But here in Edinburgh, things are a changin’.

I’m grateful for this inciting incident. More grateful than I can say.

Help! Got any food blogs that you love to read? Or any recipes on your own blog that you want to share? Link on, linkers. I’d love to read!

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