Sunday, October 21, 2012
I was inspired to go for a walk this morning. Sunday is not a day for the gym, but I added some mileage to the day. I walked from my house, to the park and back. I created this route on the handy dandy Spark route tracking feature. I also created a route that I walk at lunch time. While I was walking, I was thinking about each decade of my life, and it's relationship to food.
For my first decade, 0-10, I was pretty oblivious to food, but my mother wasn't. One of my first memories was , at about 3, asking for an ice cream cone like my sister was eating and being told no, I was to chunky and ice cream was for skinny girls. I remember loving candy. Self esteem was a problem, and I was not a happy child. Family dynamics being what they were, I didn't have a happy go lucky childhood. I remember feeling suicidal in the 5th grade, and this started my adventures with mental health therapists. It didn't go well, but I learned the type of therapist I would not become.
For my second decade, my mother and I decided that the problem was my weight. I was a tall girl, 5' 6'' in sixth grade and developed early. My first official diet was a low carb diet that the pediatrician put me on. From there, I tried every fad diet that came along. Nothing worked, and I steadily gained weight through my adolescents. I also discovered cooking, and a love of food that went behind body image. I finished high school just under 200 lbs, and was determined to leave my family, and the body image behind. I remember, after yet more therapy, telling my mother that I was done with diets, that she needed to learn to love me for who I was. That conversation didn't go well, and I tried an all liquid diet that my parents paid for.
For my twenties, I tried to find my own healthy way. I dieted, joined gyms, and bounced around a 200 lbs. I had started my own career, and was focused on that. I was angry at my parents, my God and I left both the church and my family, estranged and lonely. In the midst of this, I became a single parent and met my future husband. Becoming a parent was the start of healing for me, and I was comfortable with my self, my body and my relationship with food. It also brought me back to the church and helped reconcile with my mom.
My thirties, I was focused on being a working parent, and graduate student. I left the feeding of the kids up to the stay at home dad, who really has a limited diet and hates vegetables. I found internet dieting, and tried e-diets, south beach, atkins, and weight watchers. I developed some pretty bad habits, and gained weight with each pregnancy. I never lost the baby weight.
In my early forties, I tired to get skinny. I have continued to try various diets; I have been on weight watchers 5 times, have spent money on every gimmick and gadget that promises weight loss. Each one, I would tell my mom, and loss a few. I wouldn't really change my life, and would go back to pizza, fast food, chicken nuggets and french fires to gain the weight back. This ended when my mom passed away from lung cancer. She asked me, in one of the few real conversations we have had, to stop dieting, and get healthy. I promised I would try.
So here I am, halfway through my forties, and I am finally figuring out what health means. For me, it's not the number on the scale ( although having that go down is NICE), it's the other measurements I have blogged about. It's a good A1C, it's being able to walk a 12 K, it's having the energy and self control to eat for fuel.