When I was a kid, I saw myself as a fat outsider. Looking back, I wasn't that fat. Now--I was never the skinniest kid on the playground, but I have pictures of myself running relay races, taking ballet classes, doing synchronized swimming competitively, and winning, and it certainly is a far cry from anything you see on one of those America's Childhood Obesity Epidemic documentaries that make me want to puke. Normally, i was a kid with a tummy. In junior high I was the same height I am now and 168 pounds. Overweight yes, but what I pictured was so awful. It was so humiliating that it was the last time in my life, before my husband, that I voluntarily told anyone my weight. I mean--sure, I had to tell the lady who weighed me in at weight watchers, and then at a different weight watchers, and then at the other one, but I was reluctant.
It was important to me to identify that a "fat" person is one wh ois always on the outside. I didn't have fat friends, and I ate by myself. I didn't really like fat people. I wasn't going to be in a group of people, pigging out and takling up how much we hated the skinnies. I wasn't going to have baking parties. I longed to be thin. I lived a longing with a zeal that I should have saved for something, anything more worthy. I despised myself for this one thing, and focused on how I was a "genius" otherwise...a trapped light, waiting to shine. I've seen my adolescent poetry. It's actually hard for me to imagine a fat person as lazy, as I have always been slightly obsessive about things like personal hygeine, and ambitious, intense and a little bit "type A". And of course, chubby.
I have lost and gained, but never lost enough to be verifiably thin. I have never been an ideal wieght, I guess. But I'll tell you what...the one thing that ever gave me any hope was overeaters Anonymous. I walked in--my life a big, pent up mess of self-hatred and ended up believing in the possibility not just of losing weight, but healing. I never got skinny in OA (at least I should say I haven't yet) but I felt beautiful for the first time.
Now, if you ask me, everyone should do a 12 step program. Everyine. It's all about believing there is something bigger than you, admitting you can't really control your life or the lives of others, figuring out the wrong stuff you do, making amends and letting it go, and then serving other people. I have no idea why this is limited to "addicts" I have yet to meet a person who wouldn't be a better person after this.
For years I have been a part of those rooms. Want to know why?
Because I don't believe in the phrase: "nothing tastes as good as thin feels."
Firstly, they're wrong because thin feels amazing at the beginning, and then it just feels normal. And there's something new to work on. The same resentments are there. It just feels normal. Can you honestly say that at the end of the worst day of your life it feels better to be thin than to drown yourself in ice cream? No way. Also, how can you make that point to someon who has never felt thin. Who may never feel thin. Who doesn't know what number would get you there.
But here's the answer. Are you listening?
Nothing tastes as good as peace feels.
I have known peace. I have my doubts if I will ever be thin. I have doubts if I will ever love my body, if I will ever be able to run fast or get in a bikini, or wear a size medium (or, God help me, small) but I do know that not running to food, not using it, exercising to make myself strong, and writing it all down, the resentments, the addiction, even the food itself, and then handing it off to a higher power that i believe can save me from it, has bruoght me peace.
A day when everything goes wrong actually feels pretty freaking good when you make peace with it, and admit that you're not in control. That day that you don't escape into "I feel fat" because it's a comfortable phrase to beat yourelf up with....it's better than ice cream. I know you don't believe me, but it's true.
Just for today, I will live through this day only
and not set far-reaching goals and try to overcome all my problems at once.
I know I can do something for 24 hours that would overwhelm me if I thought I had to
keep it up for a lifetime.
Just for today, I will be happy.
Abraham Lincoln said, "most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be."
He was right. I will not dwell on thoughts that depress me.
I will chase them out of my mind and replace them with happy thoughts.
Just for today, I will adjust myself to what is.
I will face reality. I will correct those things that I can correct, and accept those I cannot.
Just for today I will do something positive to improve my health.
If I'm a smoker, I'll make an honest effort to quit.
If I'm overweight, i'll eat nothing I know to be fattening
I will walk around the block or use the stairs.
I'll force myelf to exercise in some way.
Just for today, i'll try not to improve anybody except myself.
We know so much more about nurition and how much exercise and sensible living
can extend life and make it more enjoyable.
So just for today, I'll take good care of my body so I can celebrate more happy new years.
Just for today, I will gather the courage to do what is right
and take the responsibility for my own actions.
Just for today, I will have a program.
I may not follow it exactly, but i will have it.
Thereby saving myself from two pests: hurry and indecision.
Just for today, I will not fight it.