Saturday, January 25, 2014
There is an old saying that once you turn into a pickle, you can never go back to being a cucumber.
When I was little, my mother gave us 3 squares a day (small by today's standards, normal at the time) and all 3 of us kids were normal weight. Somewhere in my early teens, who knows why, I began to eat between meals. I saved my allowance and bought pretzels and Tastykakes. I snuck the food into the house, and snuck the trash out. No one ever saw me eat, but they sure saw the result. I had a half a front tooth and Mom wouldn't let me get it fixed until I was nearly 17. I was shunned at school, so food was my comfort, and somewhere along the way my reliance on food, my seeing food as more than what it is, as solace and comfort and entertainment, became part of who I am.
Roll forward all these years, and I cannot undo those all thoughts about food, but rather overlay something new and different. I was hoping when I went to WW in 1970 that one day I'd wake up and it would be as if I had never gained weight. I would be like my sister and brother, intuitively thin. But that never happened. They are still cucumbers, I am a pickle.
But that doesn't mean I can't overcome those thoughts and attitudes. I can, and I have. But I have to overcome them every day. It's like my great grandmother who came to this country from Germany. She learned English, became completely competent in English, I'm told she claimed to dream in English, but she still spoke with the old accent to the day she died. It was there, a constant reminder of where she had been and how far she had come. My incipient attitude toward food is like GGrandma's accent.
That is how I see my daily discipline to maintain my loss. As a pickle, I will always have to be careful with portions, always write it down (I still have that selective memory) and I know that as long as I do those things I can remain thin. The day will never come when I will be a cucumber, but that's OK. I know what to do.
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
I have read a couple of blogs and posts today about accepting the realities of life as an adult rather than that of a child. "But I want it!" or "That's not fair!" are the attitudes of children.
We celebrate childhood these days. Everything I needed to know in life I learned in kindergarten? Really? I had to learn self discipline, it wasn't something I was born with, and I sure hadn't learned it by kindergarten.
Maybe I was just lucky to have been raised in a happy, loving home, one where our parents tried to give us everything they hadn't had as children growing up in the depression. But it wasn't until I was well into adulthood that I was able to appreciate that what they had given me was just that: a gift, not an entitlement based on some idea that I deserved more happiness and ease than anyone else.
Children expect others to give them the things they need, which is natural for children. Someone else feeds them, provides shelter and clothing. Someone else reminds them to do their homework and clean up their rooms. We spend our teenage years yearning for the freedom of adulthood, then when we become adults, we wonder why it isn't as free and fabulous as we wanted it to be. Somewhere along the line, we had to become responsible for our own happiness.
We are supposed to "Find our Inner Child", as if only a child can enjoy life. Frankly, I like being an adult. I like the idea that if I am unhappy, I don't have to find someone to fix it. I don't have to control other people (good luck with that!) in order to control myself. Happiness and success are within myself, if only I can channel my Inner Adult.
Wednesday, January 08, 2014
Amazing. Where did the years go? I remember sitting on a plane with Ron the previous March, looking at a calendar and selecting a date.
Then the planning. Unlike weddings today, we were doing it on the cheap. It was a second marriage for us both, and back in 1983, most churches still wouldn't marry divorced people. Etiquette instructions for second marriages were no wedding dresses, no bridesmaids, no fancy anything. The theory was, I guess, that if you failed in a first marriage you would fail in a second. I wore a long white silk skirt, a silk blouse, and a sapphire blue silk velvet jacket, all hand made. A few years back I succumbed to the "if you haven't used it in a year, get rid of it", so I gave away the skirt and blouse. I wish I had kept them. I still have the jacket, though, and I am SO glad!
So here we are, 31 years later. His son and my three sons are all grown and gone, and parents of our grandchildren. We have lived in the same house for 28 1/2 years, and are surrounded by things that we acquired together, with just a couple of pieces from our first marriages.
My husband looks a lot older than he did then: what hair he has left is white, he walks with a stoop. I still look pretty much the same, but with glasses and highlighted hair. I was thin when I married him and weigh a few pounds less now.
Where do the years go?
Wednesday, December 25, 2013
I actually don't remember the exact day, but it was December of 1970. I just picked Christmas Day because it's a joyous day for so many other reasons.
My life has changed in a million ways since 1970. I'm older, of course. I had two more kids, divorced and re-married (for 32 years now), acquired a wonderful step-son. Three of those sons are now married with children of their own. I have moved 7 times; I live in a different state than where I lost my weight.
Time goes by and stuff keeps happening, yet I stay on top of my food plan just as I did when I was losing. I have had to say No to food countless times over the years, yet it has all been worth it. I got up this morning about 10 pounds less than that original 1970 goal.
I never feel deprived, I always have something wonderful to eat. I learned to cook on WW, and am grateful every day that I learned to love cooking. Actually, as Emeril Lagasse said, I love to eat, therefore I love to cook. I eat differently now than I did in 1970. Who knew that a whole world of international (who ever hear of jicima or tomatillos or lemon grass?) and non-seasonal foods (strawberries in winter?) would be available for me to enjoy? We always hear about how ubiquitous industrial food has become, yet so are all the other wonderful foods no one ever heard of in 1970.
So a Merry Christmas to us all!!! 2014 will be another year in which to succeed!!
Monday, November 11, 2013
I miss him every day. He was the wisest, kindest man in the world, and he loved me without reservation. My mother was the critical one, my father was the accepting one. He was firm about certain things, though, like frugality, perseverance, kindness. He taught me about caring about the natural environment long before that was a social concern. We used to go for long walks in the woods and he made me learn birds by sight and song, and to identify trees by bark and leaf. He taught me about the constellations, how to read the night sky. He was a chemist, having put himself through three degrees. Every night after dinner he'd start writing equations on napkins, teaching us what he loved, and it all made sense. He could say in 10 words what others took pages to say. He passed on the wisdom of his father and grandfather, and the words they had learned from their grandparents. He had a hard life. He was stricken with polio when he was 3, and he could never use his withered left arm. That was back in the day when employers didn't have to deal with "cripples", but DuPont was happy to hire him, and he spent 35 years with the company, years he enjoyed immensely. We take that kind of opportunity for granted today, but he was grateful and taught me gratitude.
I am grateful every day that he was my father. I remember his words every day in one context or another, and have passed them on to my children and their children.
And oh how I miss him!!
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