Sunday, July 12, 2009

Fat of July

My father was the first person I remember who told me I was fat. Coming home from my first week of second grade at a new school, frustrated by my social ineptitude that I learned from my chronically-depressed dad, I shyly mentioned that I hadn’t made friends yet.

“Yeah, it’s hard being the chubby kid,” my dad remembered from his childhood. “Does anyone else have a few extra pounds in your class?”

My dad was the first one to tell me I was fat, but that time in second grade was not the last time. He made frequent references to the fact that I was “chubby”. It wasn’t until I grew older and looked back on school pictures that I realized it wasn’t until years later – after my self-esteemed around my body had been entirely eliminated – that my cheeks became much rounder.

But it’s not my father’s fault I’m fat. I’m fat because food is my addiction.

Over the 4th of July I went to a party my parents’ friends were throwing. I’ve never been the best at socializing (see above), and don’t know how to relate to all these older parents. I calmed and distracted myself by frequent trips to go get something to eat, despite the fact that I was the opposite of hungry.

I have to count calories to contain my eating habits. Eating as I should has trained my body in new ways. I now feel sick after binging on ice cream, which is a completely new phenomenon. The moment I stop counting calories, though, I often go over the top. I had four hotdogs during the Fourth of July, along with all the potato salads, noodle salads, chips, etc. Nervous and without anything to do, I choose my addiction – eating.

When I count calories, I most often stay under the 1500 calorie limit. I often stop doing this because I don’t know how to correctly enter the food I’m eating into Spark People. Or because I don’t want to know. My mother can eat whatever she wants practically, because of her weight-loss surgery, so when I come home we eat delicious home cooked dishes that I could never make at home. In my excitement to have something so luscious in my mouth, I overeat.

My relationship with food is unhealthy at best, and part of this adventure is to learn new ways of approaching food. Shelia is an inspiration. She has been able to control her appetite by slowly transitioning her relationship with food and easing her body into enjoying the healthy stuff. I look forward to the day where – not only do I get sick from the bad food, as I do now, but – I want the good food in portion-controlled measurements.

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