Yes, S-u-z-y. An online friend of mine, but I have no doubt we would enjoy many things together were we to meet in real life. Suzy’s Going Public Post spoke about her ongoing issues with weight and you can read about it here.
I, Siouxsie, have also had ongoing issues with weight. Now, I’m not talking about the little ups and downs that everyone has. Nor do I have the extremes of bulimia, eating entire cartons of ice cream, or weighing several hundred pounds. No, I have managed to hide my weight issues pretty well (I think). Most people wouldn’t guess my weight correctly, being quite surprised that the number is so high.
But it’s a secret burden, and a source of shame. Not my weight, per se, but the depth to which I plunge my heart into loss and grief by choices I make about what I put in my mouth. How many times have I gobbled up all the [insert junk food name here] for “the last time,” thinking that going ahead and eating it and not having anymore would somehow make the slightest difference? Hello? There are four Kroger stores three miles in any direction from me. I have a car. I have a drivers license. I do not hesitate to use them.
Over the years, I have dulled my senses and my conscience about food.
When I was a girl, my dad and I used to go to Bonnie Lynn Bakery for “emergency rations,” doughnuts to have along “just in case.” But it was really just for fun. I would go along with him on his drapery installations and hand him things as he stood on the ladder putting up the beautiful drapery rods and draperies that would beautify the homes of his customers. I felt like his Princess Assistant, so important, so treasured, so loved. Doughnuts from Bonnie Lynn were part of that experience.
Always, special times with Dad included food and meals. Grabbing lunch at the now-defunct “Burger Chef.” Running up to the United Dairy Farmers for a mid-afternoon chocolate malt (for him) and shake (for me). We had the “lunch bunch” with extended family members once a week. Thousands of visits to the pizza joints after Sunday evening church, and later in place of Sunday evening church. Lunches with just me and Dad. Chips and Pepsi shared companionably during thousands of quarters of football games. Trips to the Aglamesis Brothers ice cream parlor where we laughed and joked and told stories and felt happy.
My faithful mother was in the background, serving meals that included vegetables, cooking us hot breakfasts of healthy foods, whipping up huge meals for guests who would stop by. She is an amazing cook. The bar was set high in my mind.
Along came scientific research. Look long enough, and you’ll find the pro and con research about every food and drink known to man. Yes, eat more of this! No, don’t eat any of it! You know how Steve Jobs wore the same clothes every day because he didn’t want to use his energy on such a small decision? I’m like that. And when the decision doesn’t seem to have any clear answer, as is the case for me with food, I get paralyzed with inaction, and then eventually just say the hell with it and I get a pizza.
Suzy’s going public post put it out there that she was going to do something about her weight issues. And she did and she has. She lost 50 pounds and has kept all but 5 off for over two years. Clearly, she has made a lifestyle change.
That’s what this post ostensibly is about. Making a lifestyle change. But what the change needs to be is the question. What does the change need to be? I don’t know the answer to that yet, but I am sharing this with the world — I want to be healthy and vibrant. My current food choices are not making that a reality.
Besides the “putting into my mouth” aspect, there is also the “what to do instead” aspect, and the “letting go of the belief that changing my eating habits could ever alter the sweet, sweet times I had with Dad.”
This is going to have to be an ongoing process. I don’t have the answers at this time. As a matter of fact, I think I need to just allow myself to be lost in the wilderness of this right now. Accept that I am lost in the wilderness right now.
|photo credit: Greg Taylor|
There are benchmarks and signs in the wilderness that help one navigate, even if one only has a topographical map. Using a map and compass means taking the next steps and then stopping again to figure out where to go next. My map today says to acknowledge the trees that surround me and the darkness that seems to be most evident on the path ahead. My heart says to take the next step. Therefore, I create this post and share it, knowing that doing so is the courageous step that will help me find my way out of this dark forest.