"I'm not overweight, I'm just nine inches too short"....Shelly Winters
I have spent almost my entire life battling some sort of weight thing. As a child I battled to gain weight...if there is a wise ass crack comment out there about that trust me I have thought of it already....because I had a terrible time with my tonsils. They were always infected, and since in lovely Communist Romania the government did not always want to buy medicines there was also a shortage of oral antibiotics. I spent many a day listening for the nurse that used to come and hiding under any piece of furniture that had a hard reach for an adult arm...my father had long arms. The needles were much bigger than today but the anticipation of the pain was giant for a child under 3. They reused needles too...sterilized (much later this would cause an AIDS epidemic in many of these countries where AIDS got reported at 0 cases) ...but that made them dull. Yes it was as unpleasant and painful as it sounds...with my father (long and strong arms) often holding me over the toilet to pee since my small behind was bruised from these shots. As soon as winter hit this was the routine of many of my weeks - coupled with ear infections. Needless to say food and I ...well not the best of friends. So I existed on a diet of mainly mashed potatoes with a soft boiled egg beaten into them. Small portions ...still a comfort food for me. I was skinny...not scrawny ...but skinny. My father had amazing metabolism...he could eat and eat again ...carbs not foe but an addition. My mother...well let's just say she did not have the same and knew how to work with it.
If these phrases send a shiver up your spine then you know how I have felt; "oh she has a pretty face", "have you tried (insert diet here)?", and the famous "umm you look different". The battle I wage is hard because I like food and particularly good food. I do not like fast food, now that I can have it without parental admonishment, or diet fake food but real butter food. I want to eat like the French, Italian, Spanish...and look as though I live there rather than that I ate those countries. I have tried the bagel a day diet, the protein diet, the tea with lemon diet, the low carb diet...oh the list is long and yes they all work. I went to see a great doctor who told me that all diets work until you stop dieting..but even she has yet to inspire me to give up carbs the way she tried and I have yet to like doing weights at the gym enough to allow her advice to help me. I am not one to tell you I have no idea why I gain weight -- it's just that even when I lose it the brain tells me I don't look different until I get a little tired and lapse (lapses turn into habits cycle starts again). I yo-yo and have all my life and through it all I found that my best way to lose weight is Weight Watchers who seems to understand that I rather eat less of a good thing than loads of a "diet" food. I do not buy into the whole, very American, purge and deny method...let's face it Americans are FAT (not all but too many) so their Puritan approach to extremes like giving up whole food groups seems at best like flagellation. I do not buy the crazy things some of my friends in Europe do, the cabbage soup diet comes to mind, but do like that they seem to not diet with any sort of obsession like the Americans...and let's be honest they are in better shape.
Portions..portions...portions....eat real food, in season, less processed. Yes I know it ...but as I hit 40 I find it harder and harder to lose any pounds...and not comforted by the fact that I am not gaining any either.
I am trying to teach my boys how to eat in portions so that they do not have this battle. If you have never had to deal with this well I applaud you. For those of us who have it is time consuming and in some ways can stop you from achieving your best. If you have never stopped a lover from touching you because you are embarrassed by the fat they are touching or if you could not deflect the touch then obsessed about how they felt when they touched that area, afraid to be undressed in bright light because you can only hold your breath so long, bought pretty underwear and hoped it detracted from your body, changed outfits multiple times in the hope that one will be magically the one that you like and settling for the one that you can live with ...well you are lucky. There are health benefits to being an ideal weight but unless you are morbidly obese let's be honest the driving factor is how you look....and what you cannot look like. I made some peace with my body when I realized it was the place that gave life to my 2 very amazing children but it is a fragile peace...shattered easily and often daily. It always amuses me when people think that I am tough woman, self-assured...this probably comes from the fact that with the exception of a select few ..and now all of you..I do not spend my time moaning about my insecurities. I have learned to let my ability to be funny deflect from anyone's ability to wound me with a remark since I already made it...I am surrounded by friends who accept me for the non-size 2 that I will always be (when I decompose I know my bones will not even be that size)....I am beautiful in my sons' eyes (and dread the day the look around our very fit, skinny, obsessed community and realize oh yeah...Mommy does not look like that in her Not My Daughter's Jeans), and mostly I know that this battle will go on and have come to appreciate some of my other attributes (am a good friend, funny, fairly smart, inquisitive, kind, open minded...and yet as I write these am tempted to question these too). I will still continue to like food and continue to count points. I will continue to battle ...and my inner super model well she will live in there forever...because there are health benefits to managing weight which I need to be able to be in sons' lives for many years. Maybe, who knows, there may even be a day when it will All Quiet on the Waistline Front ...and I will be happy with the image in the mirror....