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April 7, 2006 - 6:33 am

I was reading a post on weight control over at a href=”http://www.janegalt.net/blog/archives/005748.html”Jane Galt’s blog /athat got me thinking about my own weight control issues. My disgust with my weight started at the age of 12 when I was deep into puberty and realized my body was changing. My mother had always had weight issues and attended a weight watcher’s-like group called,”Sure Losers.” I should have realized by the name alone that this was a meeting for a 12-year old to stay from–but no such luck. My older sister and I begged my mom to take us with her to the meetings.br /br /I will never forget the first time I walked into a group of 20 or so ladies who were of all age ranges–their only commonality seemed to be excess weight and a need to obsess over calories. The group leader’s name was “Babe” and she was a short 70-year old who wore long gowns that would have been more appropriate at the Opera than at a weight watcher’s meeting in the basement of her home. At my first weigh-in, I got on the scale and it tipped to 130 pounds–I was only five foot four at that point. “Wow, I used to weigh a lot less,” I said, to which Babe replied, “when was that–when you were four? and gave a hearty laugh. Rather than pack up in disgust, I attended the meetings faithfully and listened to all that Babe spouted about how to eat. The tidbit I picked up most readily and held onto like it was gold instead of poison was, “You never need to eat another piece of candy as long as you live.” I actively avoided all sugar and was already a vegetarian and thought somehow, I would always be healthy if I just avoided candy. Boy, was I wrong. br /br /I spent the next years watching what I ate and exercising and running to keep myself healthy. I thought that eating sugar was a sign of weakness and only when my body would be so desperate for calories that I would crack and eat Tofutti during graduate school did I realize what I had been missing. I eventually became fairly plump from this endeavor–take a look at the calorie count on Tofutti and you will know why–especially if you eat a whole carton. The stuff is loaded with fat and calories. My family always looked at me with dismay when I would join them for a meal. I only had certain things I would eat that were healthy, fat free and vegetarian. Later on, after I stopped all of this foolishness, I told my mother how I had listened to Babe and thought I was never supposed to eat candy again. She gave me a puzzled look and said, “Why did you listen, no one else did!” br /br /She was right–I never should have listened. I cannot say that any of the calorie restriction or dedicated exercise really helped my health. In fact, I sometimes wonder secretly if I ruined it. After all, at 37, I had a heart attack. The doctors say that this would not be caused by anything except bad luck, but I am not always sure. After my heart attack, I never tried to diet again. I am 5 feet 6 inches and weighed about 110 pounds at the time of my heart attack. I now weigh about 124. I swore that I would never let myself get hungry again and I don’t. I eat candy when I feel like it–just had some really good peppermints last night-Yum! br /br /I don’t know why it took me so long to realize that no food in the world can make me immune to disease, aging and dying. Maybe I am just a “Sure Loser.” However, with my new found knowledge, I feel disgusted when people talk about fat people being so unhealthy–they are not necessarily. I have seen overweight people in the past fly by me in a race, live into old age and generally do better in a lot of ways. I am not saying obesity is the answer, but then neither is being a twig.

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