Saturday, June 9, 2012

In My House, Diet is a Swear Word

Lately, in my house, DIET has become one of those four letter swear words, like . . . well, you know. I try not to use swear words, but occasionally one slips out especially when I'm dieting. Oops. Not eating things I like makes me cranky, but then so does trying to slip into a too-tight pairs of pants or skirt.

 I've always hated people who say they forgot to eat. I enjoy food. I look forward to deciding what to eat. My family's favorite pastime is going out to eat. Most of our traditions revolve around food. Even so, throughout my childhood, teenage years, even in my twenties and after having children, I was thin. The pounds didn't start to pile on until my late thirties when my body suddenly turned against me.

In spite of eating exactly the same amount of food, it began to store fat. So naturally, I cut back. The less I ate, the less my body required, therefore allowing it to continue to store more fat, as if it were preparing for an inevitable famine. Nor did my activity level suddenly decrease. Once my children were all in school, I went back to work. Yes, I sat on my butt for a period of time each day, but then I hurried home, made dinner, cleaned house, did laundry, chauffeured children to various events and even did yard work on the weekends. Not exactly a sedentary lifestyle.

As the years wore on, the problem only got worse. I cut back on calories, joined a gym, took up running, tried over the counter appetite suppressants and each time I lost weight until my body adjusted. Then however little I'd been eating became the new norm. Not only did I stop losing weight, but the minute I ate more, the pounds came back a lot faster than they had come off. I even tried crash diets, like drinking liquid protein instead of eating. Again, I lost weight but I could only gag that stuff down for a short period of time before my mouth absolutely refused to swallow any more. When the weight came back, it brought with it friends and relatives. I once read that you can shrink fat cells, but they don't go away. I could swear that any time I ate something that tasted good, I could hear the fat cells in my thighs saying, "Cmon down. We've got just the place for you."

When I retired, I decided to stop worrying about how much I weighed.. After all, no one but my husband looks at me anyway and he doesn't seem to care, until I reached the critical dress size. You know the one you swear you will never buy. I can disregard the scale, but the closet gets me every time. When everything becomes too tight and I can't bring myself to buy bigger, the only choice left is  . . .

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