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Date

March 19, 2009

The Dreaded “Before” Picture

I’ve been looking around for something to use for my “before” picture, and boy did I find it. Last spring we were in Hawaii and my daughter took a picture of me from the beach, while I was bouncing around in the beautiful turquoise water. In the photo, I am a little speck and didn’t think much of it. But we happen to have a very powerful camera and when I cropped myself and zoomed in, I was… stunned.

You know how anorexics who weigh 85 lbs look in the mirror and see themselves as fat? I feel like I’ve had an opposite sort of distorted body image; I looked in the mirror and thought, “That’s not so bad.” I bought bigger and bigger clothes and as long as they were baggy and I was sort of swimming around in them, I felt comfortable because they were loose. I really had NO CONCEPT of how fat I had gotten.

I’m actually dying to show these two photos side by side: one of me, a week or so before giving birth. My face is pretty slender, my arms and legs are skinny but I have this huge bowling-ball belly. Then the one of me in the water in Hawaii. SAME EXACT WEIGHT, except in the second one, those extra pounds are in my face, my chin(s), my hamhock arms, and my torso. Aghhh!

It is really interesting to me, how I managed to get so overweight and didn’t really know it. On one level. Of course on another level I totally knew it and it made me miserable. But I tried to say “I don’t care.” Like this interesting post I read today.

Anyway, for now I am just using the Before pic as a personal reminder. When I look at it, Fleetwood Mac’s “Never Going Back Again” pops into my head, very Pavlovian like. No, no, no, no…

Because My Mouth Wants It

I may have been a little overconfident with that St. Patrick’s Day post. Last night I realized that it’s easy to stop eating foods I don’t particularly like. But what if it’s food that I really, really like? That’s a different story.

Last night I had to go find dinner out because my daughter was at a school play and it was just wasting gas to drive allllllll the way home and back. Plus, the theater was about two blocks from the famed Gourmet Ghetto. It took me a while to decide where to eat but settled on Saul’s Deli, which I love but haven’t gone to in years.

I ordered the falafel platter, which was a yummy combo of baba ganouj, hummus, tabouleh, three crispy falafels and fresh, hot pita bread. Mmmmm!! My PLAN was to eat slowly, mindfully, in very small amounts. But I was hungry. Probably way too hungry. That didn’t help.

Then: everything was SO GOOD. There was nothing on that plate that wasn’t absolutely wonderful.

I tried to eat slowly. But I did pretty much have a death-grip on that fork. I tried to close my eyes and breathe and think of olive groves and sunshine. But you know, it all came down to, that food was so good. And I did not want the experience of having that yummy goodness to stop.

I tried mentally dividing up my plate. I tried many tricks. But it was really like trying to hold back the tide. I think I finally stopped when the plate had about 1/3 left.

That’s when I sorta noticed that I was full. REALLY full. I remembered one of the comments from an earlier post, and grabbed the sugar dispenser. I poured sugar over the last remaining falafel, the lovely puddle of hummus and tabouleh (the baba ganouj was GONE) and the nice warm pita. I pushed the plate away. The waitress came by, gave me a quizzical look and asked if I wanted a box to take it home. I shook my head. I was weirdly sad.

I was sad because I’d not been able to stop myself, slow down earlier, and I was sad because that lovely food was going away.

And I’m just beginning to see that this is no simple thing (ha).

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