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A Weighty Issue

So I wanted a better title than this…something a little less cliche, but I couldn’t think of one so I stuck with this one. In light of my quick trip to the grocery store just moments ago, I felt the desire to tackle this touchy subject.

I’ve battled weight for as long as I can remember, which, to me, is all my life. And when I wasn’t, I should have been, if you know what I mean. I know my parents didn’t feed me horribly when I was a child. They didn’t let me gorge on sweets, desserts, and other horrible foods. We ate rather sensibly, though we ate out quite often since my mom and dad worked a lot and often long hours. I was an active child and teenager though. I took dance. I played tag and hide and seek, and I was on the swimteam.  I even did track in highschool.

I’ve always been the big girl, the one everyone says has a beautiful face. And I’ve always had a love affair with food. It’s taken me many many years to come to terms with my body – it’s shape, what I can change, and what I can’t. I don’t love it, but I certainly don’t hate myself because of it as I once did. I have to work harder and longer and have to restrict myself more than many others. Or do I?

As I was walking through the grocery store this evening for simple items such as milk and eggs, I watched the other people shopping, meandering through the store, and I wondered if they, too, battled with themselves to not (or to) buy certain items as they passed them. In a 5 minute shopping trip I battled buying cupcakes, yummy smelling fresh baked bread, Lindt chocolates, ice cream, some new kind of pudding cups, and cheese doodles. As I walked out of the store, having once again fought the temptation to buy what I ought not, I thought this continuous process can not possibly be normal. Do many women have this same battle? Thin women? Does it consume them? Is it a constant battle and struggle to watch what they eat, exercise, lose weight and/or maintain? Is this my destiny – to constantly battle this desire to eat wonderful foods to excess? Is it like the alcoholic who may always battle the urge to buy another drink or the drug addict who will always struggle with the desire to once again take drugs?

When I was in highschool, it was easier.  I was on the track team.  I could eat what I wanted as long as I ran my 3-4 (or more) miles per day.  But now, three children later, it’s not so easy.  My body is different, but my desire for food is not.  When I see women who are bigger than me, I wonder what circumstances brought them to that size.  When I see women who are smaller than me, I often wonder if they can gorge on what they like mindlessly or if they, too, maybe have the same issues as me and the other larger women.  Is it an unspoken language of struggle? Or is it all in my head?

Right now, my desire to lose the weight, be healthy and thinner is stronger than my desire for food.  I’m just wondering how long my desire will hold out….just like the alcoholic or the drug addict.  When will I decide that food is better than health?  Or will I ever decide?  There must be a way for me to continue to have both the foods that I love and gain the body that I want.  I guess I’ll keep exercising and eating until I figure it out.

“I know a man who gave up smoking, drinking, sex, and rich food. He was healthy right up to the day he killed himself.”

Johnny Carson