Monday, July 27, 2009

You won't see me in shorts!

Looking at this photo of our anniversary dinner in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin (that's spaetzle and rouladin) you can see why I am now on a diet, attempting to lose the weight gained on our trip through the midwest.

For years -- well into my 30's -- I was a scrawny little thing: 5'9" and weighing around 127 pounds. I used to say I was a fat person in a skinny body, because I loved to eat; I just never seemed to gain any weight (largely, I suspect, because of all the stress in my first marriage; at one point I was eating daily hot fudge sundaes and my weight STILL dropped to 122!).

But then I remarried, and within 5 years I had gained two children and about 50 pounds. You still couldn't call me fat, but I am definitely NOT scrawny, and I still love to eat, so finally, about 5 years ago, I did the South Beach diet, relearned how to eat wisely, and dropped 30 pounds. It was fabulous, to have my first real attempt at dieting be so successful, and I noticed a lot of minor physical problems disappeared right along with the weight. Although the pounds began to creep up again about a year later, it was pretty easy to keep the creep to a slow crawl, and I was perfectly content to hover around 165, feeling pretty skinny in a loose size 12.

But around Christmas this past year, four years into my new body, I started slipping, and though I was okay with 170, the five pounds I put on in Wisconsin have put me over the top, so I'm taking advantage of my husband's absence to embark on another round of South Beach.

For some reason, though, it's not so easy this time: I'm not gaining, but I'm not really losing either -- though perhaps it's too early to tell. And I'm realizing that what eating I do outside the allowable amounts is driven by a hunger that is somehow connected with this feeling of not having felt centered in recent months.

It's easy, when my stomach is hungry, to tell myself that's the feeling of my stomach shrinking, to drink a glass of water and go do something productive. But for some reason when my MOUTH is hungry, for a particular flavor, it's way harder to resist. So I'm working on telling myself that that particular weakness, just like all the other weaknesses we encounter in ourselves as we walk mindfully down the spiritual path, is ALSO a whetstone; that the hunger, and the lack of resistance, is something I need to listen to, to pay attention to; that I need to listen for the need or hunger that lies beneath the craving and stop using food as a palliative.

Easier said than done, of course. But if you are one of the many folks who, like me, find summer, with its hot days and minimal clothing, a time to grow severely discontented with your weight, well -- I guess this is me saying you're not alone. And, like everything else, I suspect this issue has some spiritual roots, and I am determined to explore them.

But just so you know: even if I drop the 10 pounds I am determined to lose -- well, you still won't ever see me in shorts!


Gberger said...

Amen, Sister! I love skorts, capris and Bermudas - to the knee, at least! Swimsuits? NAH...board shorts!

Katherine W. said...

excuse me while I drool over the ROULADINNNNN *drool*

Ahem, uh, it is funny, I just know I'll be in your shoes someday, but for now I have a trim and even fit body, and I try and eat as much as I can (with my small budget of course) and I don't do any exercise. I know I will miss these years. But it's nice! I'm running around the house in the swimsuit we got together, super fun in this weather XD

Diane Walker said...

Ah, little grasshopper, do not drool too prodigiously. Unlike your mother's rouladin this was filled with some sort of breading... and the gravy was just gravy, not your mother's heady blend of red wine and baconfat...

I'm glad to hear you're not afraid to be seen in your swimsuit: Hurray!

Kimberly Mason said...

Hurrah for good healthy eating!