When I was a child, I thought very little about my body and how well it functioned.  It just “did”.  As long as it gave me no discomfort, I didn’t pay attention to it.  I took for granted that it worked well, I was healthy, nothing hurt, and my weight and height were in good proportion.  Honestly – I didn’t think twice about what I ate, and whether I was eating too many carbs, sweets, or not enough fruits and vegetables.  I “maintained”, so it was rarely in my consciousness. 

My mom was in charge of meals, so, in general, my diet was healthy.  I was forced to finish at least 1/2 of the particular – dreaded – vegetables or there would be no dessert!  I was rarely permitted more than 2 cookies at a time, and portions of other desserts always left with me “wanting more”.  Though there was usually “seconds” on the main course, “balance” in eating was enforced and modeled throughout my childhood.  However, my parents could not control what I did when I wasn’t home and when I had my own money to burn, and I remember a few “pig-outs” on candy.  The idea of “filling up with abandon” was a huge treat, and I didn’t think back then about the ramifications to my health, because my body didn’t rebel – probably because I didn’t get the opportunity to do it all that much. 

During my childhood, I also didn’t have to think about scheduling into my day a formal “exercise” plan.  In fact, “exercise”, per se, wasn’t part of my consciousness.  What I normally did during my day was sufficient.  Yes – we probably spent too much time watching TV, but many hours were also spent outside “running around”

Fast forward about 50 years, and things have surely changed.  My body frame is not as I’d like it.  Yep – I’m too heavy, and I know I don’t always eat correctly, nor exercise enough.  When I see the doctor, she seems to find small things going wrong – – beginnings of blood sugar issues, beginnings of higher blood pressure, bad knees…  Clearly my body isn’t “adjusting” in the same way it used to when I’d occasionally “abuse” it during my childhood.  It’s requiring more “TLC” from it’s “owner” – – me – – requiring me to actually *think* about how I care for it.  In other words, what has been unconscious – what I feed my body and how I exercise it – must be made conscious.  

All that I learned from my mother about “balance in eating”, I’ve kind of put on the back burner in favor of “eating with abandon” until I’m not just “full”, but over full.  I’ve lost all sense of portion control.  For the most part, with some exceptions, my food choices are *fairly* healthy, in that I make sure  vegetables, salads and fruits are in my diet.  But – it’s more about how MUCH I eat of these things – i.e. – portion control.  Besides that, my weakness is **pasta pasta pasta**, and too much cheese, either on the pasta or on Mexican dishes – or wherever!.  Oh how I love it!  This, in itself, and in healthy portions, is not unhealthy – but it’s where I lose the balance I was taught growing up.

I’m not the only one concerned about this, as I’ve watched friends take stock and begin diet and exercise programs.  In my private blogging group on Live Journal, I read about their daily concerns, and decisions and activities concerning this issue.  Two of my friends have begun public “diet / exercise” blogs to monitor their progress and to have a place to vent their feelings and frustrations – and successes – as they go about living a more healthy lifestyle.  Read!  They are great blogs!  🙂

http://losingit-connie.blogspot.com/

http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal.asp?id=SLY_REDUX

But – – here I sit.  Doing nothing.  Feeling guilty.  But still doing nothing.  Tomorrow I’ll think about it.  The next day I’ll do it.  Next week.  Just – – Later.  *finding some sand to bury my head…*  But – the topic is gnawing at me – nudging me – reminding me of it’s vital importance – pulling my head out of the comfortable sand. 

WHAT is holding me back?  I suspect I could write an entire blog entry on this – but I think the bottom line is one word:  Addiction – – to food.  It’s also what “food” and “eating” means to me emotionally and psychologically – AND – what it’s replacing or “blotting out” in my life which I don’t want to see or confront.  It’s a way of hiding and “avoiding”.

Back in the mid 1970’s I’d also gained some weight.  However, at that time I dieted, and lost it, then maintained that weight loss for a few years until I got pregnant with my son.  I remember that dieting process, and the feelings of “hunger” that you just had to “live with” and “accept”.  I would figure out ways distract myself from those hunger pains.  I ask myself now:  was it true hunger, or “emotional hunger”?  I honestly can’t remember, but it probably was a combination of both.

After my son was born, I gained it all back.  All bets were off and I never dieted again.  I loved raising my son, but at the same time, I was lonely and starved for adult activities and companionship.  I know that food was a replacement for those empty feelings, and there was no distracting myself during those years.

I think about starting the program – and what it will mean to my life.  Only good things can happen if I choose this route – at least to my health.  But – emotionally, do I *want* to do this?  Can I handle life without this crutch?  Of course I *can* – but do I want to?   I can envision a sense of “loss” – of sadness – from not being able to ever “eat with abandon” again.  I will SO miss that.  Do I want to deal with those feelings?  “Balance” is so “boring”!  “Balance” doesn’t give you that “rush” or distraction from “emptiness”.

It’s also about living my life consciously – making daily, healthy choices for it when I might otherwise not want to do those things, but doing them anyway.  I just want to EAT and enjoy, without all that discernment, which feels like it’ll ruin the experience for me.

In reading some of the blogs on this, I realize that when one begins new healthy habits, the thrill of success erodes the desire for that old behavior, and you are energized by the motivation from this.  I sort of remember this from that one successful weight loss program prior to my pregnancy.

Then there’s exercise.  Why – when it was just a part of my daily life as a child has it become boring and arduous now?  When I was a child, I used to get all “sweaty” and run around until I was out of breath, and it was ok and even fun!  But now it’s the last thing I want.  At various times over my adult life I’ve started walking programs, only to end them when I’d “had it” (or it got too hot, too cold, I was bored, it was just plain “inconvenient”, and / or it was “no fun” anymore)  I fear commitment to these kinds of things, for fear of failing in that resolve.   (But – I know the response to this:  the bottom line is that I’ve already failed by not starting to at all!)

So – – here I am – – yet again, talking about it but not doing.  We’ll see what transpires.  A commitment has not yet been made, but the healthy part of me hopes it will.  I just have to bring around the “other” side of me….!

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