Each year when Halloween arrives I make an effort to reacquaint myself with the following concepts: temperance, restraint, and common sense. In my yearly calendar, Halloween is an incendiary kick-off for nearly four months of perpetual food crimes that wraps-up mid-February on the day after Valentine’s Day. During this third of the year I write a daily post-it note-to-self with the following reminder: the human stomach is the size of a closed fist. This sobering fact helps provide the jolt that I need to assess the quantity of virtually everything I eat and decide whether or not I have the space to accommodate it. I would be lying if I said I always measure correctly or fill the container with the best stuff. However, I am relieved to say that common sense eventually prevails and surely must have contributed to my keeping off 50 lbs. or so that I lost over 13 years ago. What I cannot understand is why it isn’t helping me lose more which I would definitely benefit from. Now in my late 50’s, I feel the burdens of excess weight on my joints and have evidence of early insulin resistance. For some it is “the salty, crunchy stuff” that renders them reckless. For me, it is a sweet tooth which falls deaf to the rational voice of my sensible self. My sweet tooth is a kind-of indiscriminant Mob Boss, ordering one hit after another while I, her first lieutenant, runs scared and follows orders regardless.
I am on an odyssey; I am in search of the reasons why some of us have a more active shut-off valve when it comes to food while others do not. I work on this every day for myself and for my patients, many of whom are well over 300 lbs. I admit that I am relieved to have stayed in the low 200’s for the past 13 years but I would like to weigh less and would benefit from it. I know my patients in the “300 Club” would like to weigh less too but none of us seem able to get there and I need and want to know more about why.
With the cockamamie logic of Fun Size Halloween candy behind me, I am soon to be entering the Master’s League of eating; the Thanksgiving menu! Then, the holiday parties will start and Christmas will arrive with its own script of delicious holiday sweets (including toffees and Peppermint Bark – YUM!) and then comes New Years’ and MANY left-over gifts of candy and “special” baked goods brought by thoughtful and generous people, many of whom are generous but not fat. I am bracing myself.
I know that I will have days in combat where I will lose the battle but will always have a chance of winning the war. But I am too old and experienced to believe this will not go on for the rest of my life. I know I will always search for inspiration to keep exercising, eat in moderation, and keep the original 50 lbs. off.
I suspect I will always be one of the fat(ter) women in the room. But I want to be less fat and successfully help my patients become less fat, too.