Thursday, July 24, 2014

Growing Out, Growing Up

Sharing a kitchen table with a growing, carb-loving, teenaged boy and a man twice my size had its effect on me. Or maybe it was eating off those hefty, 100-square-inch plates we got with department-store gift cards. And leaving behind the community rec. center and the beautiful running trail by the river. At any rate, in the early days of my marriage I traded in old habits for new ones that did not suit my slighter frame and thereby gained 30 pounds in 18 months.

Got to the point I'd had enough of that. I found a doctor to confirm what I knew to be true, lecture me on health and nutrition, and threaten me with a prescription for statins. Yeah, high cholesterol. Went home that afternoon and signed up with a bossy, legalistic, calorie-counting web service to train me how to eat less and tell me how I was doing.

Looks like it did the trick. It's been nine months, and I've just about lost those 30 pounds. Might not be able to get into my wedding dress, but, well, no need to. And can wear most of the other clothes packed away after that first summer.

I may gain it all back, it's true. But now I think I know how to keep the pounds off and have the will to do it. That's a good feeling. I don't have total control of this situation but nor am I completely powerless; I have choices to make but can make them and live with the results.  

People of any age can struggle with weight, I know. Yet in my mind the whole weight-watching thing is very much associated with middle-aged women. So this whole experience, along with all I've encountered as a step-in parent to a couple of almost-grown-up children, has helped me recognize and accept my new place in the human community. No longer a young person, but a member of the society of parents (and other grown-ups).

Funny that it should take so long.

"I am still every age that I have been. Because I was once a child, I am always a child. Because I was once a searching adolescent, given to moods and ecstasies, these are still part of me, and always will be... This does not mean that I ought to be trapped or enclosed in any of these ages...the delayed adolescent, the childish adult, but that they are in me to be drawn on." - Madeleine L'Engle

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