Thanksgiving musings



In 1986, I shared an apartment and living expenses with a woman who was a
compulsive overeater. By that time, I had been able to maintain a normal weight
for over 10 years. I did not own a scale because I could tell by the way my
clothes fit me when I had gained a few pounds and quickly (and healthily) lost
the weight so that I could look and feel my best, which has always been very
important to me, no matter what my weight.

Since the idea of sharing expenses included groceries, we usually did our food
shopping together. I always reached for the skim milk, the yogurts, the fruits,
the vegetables (faithful weight watcher follower even then) but somehow our
cupboards were always filled with cookies and other junk food which I never would
have stocked in my apartment if I were living alone. If I wanted those things, I
would purchase a single serving while out of the house rather than have the temptation
permanently brought in.

I am not sure what prompted me to become lax in my eating habits. Perhaps watching
her eat all the time, and knowing that I had contributed my money to the purchase
made me reluctant not to eat some of it, so I indulged. Years of dieting had by
this time made my metabolism very slow and my weight began an upward climb that
alarmed me and made me uncomfortable because I had a closet filled with nice
clothes in small sizes that I had worked hard to maintain. I was merciless with
myself, angry that I was doing this but unable to stop because I felt that I did
not want my apartment mate to feel like I was ‘superior’ because I could exercise
self-control. Since I had no scale, I never knew how much weight I gained in that
year but it was probably close to 20 lbs. I refused to buy new clothes, so every-
thing felt tight and disgusting and I had that dreaded ‘muffin’ top for a long time.

People who have problems in one area often have problems in other areas of their lives
and my apartment mate was unable to keep her commitment of a 2-year lease and left me
stranded after one year. Twenty-nine years of hindsight have allowed me to come to a
point in my life (today) where I can be grateful for what happened afterwards. I was
forced to move to a smaller, affordable apartment and gradually resumed my healthy
eating habits until I reached my normal, comfortable weight again. I maintained that
weight until about 10 years ago when I used the pretext of life and its challenges
to eat rather mindlessly and put on 2 to 3 pounds per year. That doesn’t sound like
much until you multiply by 10 and realize it’s 20-30 lbs.

The pictures don’t lie. I used to love to have my picture taken, mostly thinking of
my kids and how important it is for them to have pictures of their parents. I still
allow my picture to be taken, and often, but I usually don’t look at them. When I do,
I don’t recognize the person in the pictures as me, I have not come to terms with this
new size…I have a battle with my scale every single day (why have I not gotten rid of it?)…

But today, I found a lovely pair of slacks that fit me, a simple but elegant blouse and
I am making an effort to show myself the kindness I would offer someone else if they
confessed that they felt bad about gaining weight. I would say to them, “So, you gained
a little weight. What’s the big deal? Take control of the eating and soon you will
fit into those other clothes again.” For this wisdom, I am thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving!

About marisundays

Commitment to living the best life I can has always driven me to seek out a personal development path. I believe in the power we each have to make a difference in the world but I also accept that most people are not interested or courageous enough to travel unfamiliar paths. I am motivated to help others see their own power so that together we can build a world we can be proud of and happy to live in.

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