His kind blue eyes looked into mine. In a gentle voice, my doctor said, “May want to lose a few pounds, but take small steps.” A couple of days later he emailed me the Mediterranean diet. For three days I ate salads, roast chicken, grilled salmon and tons of olive oil.
This regimen didn’t last. While eating a yummy chocolate dessert, guilt interfered with my enjoyment of the treat until I suddenly remembered an Erma Bombeck quote: “I’ve been on a constant diet for the last two decades. I’ve lost a total of 789 pounds. By all accounts, I should be hanging from a charm bracelet.”
How many of us understand this quote? How many times can one person fail? Or am I failing? Maybe my body doesn’t want to weigh less.
My weight gain began when my ex-husband and I stopped smoking. To help us stop smoking, we joined a 12-step program, which met every Friday night. On the way to the meeting we’d have dinner. On the way home, we’d stop for ice cream. Eating became our drug of choice. A few years later we joined another 12-step program to lose the weight. Each weight loss success was followed by binging, depression and despair. Would this ever end?
I’d read a book titled “The Devil Made Me Fat.” For months I thought of writing one called “My Husband Made Me Fat.” Have to blame someone!
When my husband and I separated, I could no longer rationalize that my weight gain was his fault. Soon I moved to Albuquerque, hoping a new environment would miraculously make me thin. That was a delusion. And I couldn’t blame the Los Angeles lifestyle either.
A few of us gals in Albuquerque decided to change our way of eating and walk more. I joined a gym. I hired a trainer. I gave up bread, pasta, sweets and everything else I loved. I lost 30 pounds. Ecstatic, I was determined to never gain another pound. Alas and alack, my resolve faded, and the weight came back because I love barbecued ribs, I love chocolate, I love bread. I equate a good dinner with a good time. Am I doomed to a life of chubbiness?
In my imagination, I wake up one morning, take a five-mile run, eat very little and lose three pounds a day. If I ran five miles in the shape I’m in, I’d probably have a heart attack. Better to accept myself and stop driving myself crazy.
I’m not looking forward to my next doctor’s appointment. Although I know my physician will be compassionate, encouraging and all the things you hope for in a doctor, I feel sad that I’ve disappointed him — not to mention disappointing myself.
But who knows? Perhaps one of these days I will change my ways. Miracles do happen, don’t they?