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How I Thought It Would Be

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After being a slightly obese little girl growing up, many times I imagined myself growing up to be a very beautiful thin woman. But to my surprise, here I am, at fifty-one years of age and very much overweight. I guess you could say that it (obesity) has “run” in my family.

Both of my parents were overweight, along with an obese sister and a brother that would fight his weight (at age sixty) constantly. I remember being young, probably six or seven in the early sixties, and my dad driving all of us to Topp’s Department Store. It was a Wal-Mart type store. This didn’t happen all the time, after all, it was a whole fifteen minutes away from our home! When we got into that store, it was like heaven to me. We didn’t have much. I can remember the clothing and the shoes. Everything was so pretty! But then, there it was, the candy aisle. The three of us were told to pick out any treat from that aisle that we wanted. I would always pick out the Reese’s peanut butter cups. Everyone is familiar with Reese’s. But if you don’t know what they looked like then, let me explain.

Reese’s came in a box maybe, oh, 6’‘ x 5’‘. There were two layers of Reese’s in that box only separated by a piece of black cardboard. I can remember salivating just thinking about the ride home! That entire box was mine! I didn’t have to share it (until my brother threatened to beat me up) and there were no rules about MY own candy. It was MINE.  “Eat as you wish,” my mother would say. Why, my mom even had the cashier bag each pick of the day for each of us. There was no digging or grabbing or fighting over that bag. No sir. You had your own bag in your own lap for the ride home.

And we did “eat as you wish.” And my love for Reese’s carried on into my middle age. I’ve had way too many of those puppies in my lifetime and wish that someone had intervened in my childhood and taught me how to set up boundaries for myself.
But, here I am. Fifty-one, sick with diabetes, and still wondering what day I will wake up and NOT think about any chocolate—including Reese’s. I fight the weight battle along with a lot of women and men. But there is a peace about me now that I’ve started to get older. I know that my weight is not a good thing, and that my habits are poor. But, I also have started to recognize that I am not all consumed about how I look anymore. It’s one of the beautiful parts of getting older. Not caring what others think of me or how they judge me. Really, my eating habits are nobody’s business, nor is how I look, what I wear, etc. I’ve finally come to a really, nice place in my life that I feel like, “If you don’t like what you see, don’t look!”

So on I go, waking up starving everyday. I never feel full, never feel satisfied. And some days, I would just love to walk into a store and buy the bag of Reese’s and finish them off by myself. Instead, I must stay completely away from the candy aisle much like that of an alcoholic avoiding a package store.

But at least now, I don’t worry about what others think or feel about me. The way I see it, they’ve probably got plenty of issues of their own and shouldn’t be involved in other people’s problems. Getting older has one, really, big plus about it. You learn that what others think of what you look like is not always important. It’s about me—the real me—my heart and soul me. The really “sweet” part of me.


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