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16 December 2010

Life is More than Food

Watching old home movies is sometimes more than I can bear. The memories in and of themselves are happy ones, seeing the joy on my children's faces ... just seeing them at those young ages makes me smile. What I cannot stand to see are the images of myself on those tapes. After seeing those pictures, I look in a mirror and ask myself "What happened?"

As a nurse, I see the evidence of self-destructive behavior every day. What hurts even more is to look in the mirror and see the evidence of my own such behavior. How do you stop the vicious cycle? Only one who has never been through such a thing can even remotely begin to understand. My own personal problem? Food. I love it. Even when I see the evidence of how much I love it, I eat anyway. Do I really enjoy it? How can I when I've gained nearly 80 pounds in the last ten years? I'm effectively carrying around an elementary school child every day!

I've weighed all the alternatives, considered the surgical route, tried nearly every diet known to man. What it all boils down to is the simple fact that I eat what I shouldn't eat and often, when I shouldn't. How do I change that? I have been successful on various diets, but as the old joke says "ever notice that most of the word diet is the word die?" Funny in a not so funny way. I am not sure that you can be successful over the long term if you always consider yourself on a diet. I'm not sure who started using the phrase "lifestyle change," but in reality that it what it will take for weight loss to be successful for me. I have no desire to spend the rest of my life counting calories or feeling guilty for eating a piece of cake. What I do have a desire to do is be able to move without becoming short of breath, be able to sit down on the ground without requiring a crane to pick me up, and shop for clothes that do not have an X on the tag.

At my last doctor's visit, I brought up the subject of bariatric surgery, and my physician didn't even blink before he said no. Why? "Eat less, move more. Surgery isn't a cure, it's a crutch." While realistically I can understand his point of view, the little fat girl sitting in the chair thought scornfully "easy for a skinny person to say." I wish I could just unzip the fat and let the smaller me out. Inside this fat chick is a smaller woman screaming. Usually, I shut her up with potato chips.

I have to find the strength within myself to stick with a healthier lifestyle when it comes to food. Denying myself certain foods won't work for longer than a short while, and will probably end up backfiring. Two words that need to be remembered? In moderation!

Tomorrow is another day. Maybe I can take the first step on a road to better health. I am certainly going to try. I can't do it on my own, but at least I have a huge support system behind me!

Jesus, I ask once more for your help. Sometimes I wonder if you get tired of me asking. Thank you for blessing me with abundant food, the skill and knowledge to prepare that food, and the ability to know when enough is enough. With you, I can do anything.

Then Jesus said to his disciples: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes."~Luke 12:22-23 NIV

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