People often ask me how I eat and stay “thin”, what I eat to stay “thin” and how much.
The interesting thing is there was a time in my life when I did know exactly what I ate, in what amounts, and with what condiments. A time when the preciseness of dieting overwhelmed the desire to tear into a bag of tortilla chips while I watch t.v. at night.
And, for many women and men, that desire to diet, to control, to shape their body into the perfect man/woman form, overwhelms all.
The desire to eat a big plate of nachos.
The need to curl up with a couple of cookies on a really bad day.
The fun of licking brownie batter right before you make a batch.
All along, Mom Eat tried to talk some sense into me.
You are thin enough.
You are beautiful.
Eat a little more. It won’t hurt you.
But, like the mule, I was stubborn. Hard-headed. Insolent.
Until, I realized, over time, over pizza, over thought, that sometimes a little brownie batter, or a couple of cookies, or even a big huge plate of cheesy cheesy nachos might not hurt. Might just be fun.
And, I tried it. I tried everything, again. Over and over again. Cupcakes. Pizza. I let go of the fact that being thin was this wonderful goal and realized that being thin did not outweigh the bigger picture-life.
And, at the end, I did not want to look back and think of all the salads I ate, or all the lifeless meals.
I wanted to remember the taste of fresh baked chocolate chip cookies.
I wanted to treasure the birthday dinners at my favorite pizza restaurant.
I wanted to enjoy food, with the people whose company I enjoy most in the world.
And, I wanted to be happy. Food seemed like a really silly reason not to be.
Today, I remembered what it was like not to enjoy food as I watched a student drink a diet shake for lunch. I never resorted to diet shakes but I remember what it was like to eat so healthy you forget how much fun eating can be, and should be. Sure, a diet shake might be fine, if she’s not that hungry (maybe not even then, depending on the shake) but if, just if she is eating that because she is staying thin (oh yes she was very very thin already) or because she doesn’t mind feeling hungry most of the day, well then, it’s not okay.
So, this holiday, or maybe the next, perhaps in April this year, ditch your own personal diet hell and join me. At the very very least take the first step, a giant leap of faith.
listen to your body and enjoy food again. Trust me, it will be okay. In fact, it’ll be better than okay. It’ll even be better than fresh baked chocolate chip cookies. I think I’ll make myself one now.