I was the little girl who pigged out at church potlucks every weekend. I was the middle schooler who ate chips and pizza for lunch every single day for two years. I was the high schooler who went to Chili’s and Olive Garden and Applebee’s and … well, pretty much all the restaurants within a ten-mile radius. I have always been thin.
Except lately. It seems that these years of reckless eating have finally caught up to me. Not only has my physical appearance changed, but my body image has also suffered dramatically. (Just between us, I blame it on my first boyfriend, who was never tactful enough to ignore the little pudge around my waist or the perfect curve of other girls’ you-know-whats.) So, the dieting cycle began.
I tried all sorts of weird things—from monounsaturated fats to tea. But the one thing that remained constant throughout these diets (other than those fifteen extra pounds) was my attitude. I obsessed about calories and fat, let calculations consume every spare thought, and drove myself insane with my fantasies about five-cheese pizza and half-bake ice cream. Inevitably, I would binge on whatever I could find—not even things I really wanted, but just something to fill the emotional void. There was no purging (thankfully), but there was the, “I’m not hungry” excuse to compensate by not eating. Then I would binge again, and starve again. And so on … Consequently, I berated myself endlessly for lacking the self-control and the determination to eat like a normal, sane human being and not like a starving cow.
As far as I know, there’s no medical term coined for this sort of thing. It’s human nature, at least for females, I guess. But that doesn’t mean it’s right. Real self-control is freakish and unnatural, so I have to give myself the time and leniency to learn it. My days of being able to eat whatever and not tell the difference in my waistline are over, and I need to readjust my thinking to accommodate. Now I realize that this readjustment should not involve any sort of compulsive binging/starving, neurotic calculating of calories, or self-deprecation.
Losing weight is no longer about the pounds, but about maintaining a healthy lifestyle. If I eat nutritious foods, exercise regularly, sleep enough, keep a positive attitude, and those extra pounds still won’t come off, then too bad. I’d rather live long and be pudgy than die young, thin, and miserable.