I have food issues.
I turn 50 in less than a month. On March 26th I’ll have arrived at a pivotal middle-aged birthday, and I’ll still be fighting fat, still fighting food.
In fact, I’ve fought with food for my entire life.
I love to eat more than I enjoy reading or writing or making art. And that’s saying a lot, since I’m pretty crazy about each of these pursuits. But I’m even crazier about cake—white cake with white, butter cream icing. I’m also a big fan of shortbread and French bread with lots and lots of butter—cheese, as well, gouda or extra sharp cheddar.
Sometimes I feel like I am all mouth. That I am all devour. That I am all consume.
I come by this issue honestly, however. My mother has issues with eating, as well—though hers have more to do with not eating. In fact, I never remember my mother not being on a diet. Her conversation has almost always been about what she can’t eat, what she won’t eat, what foods are unhealthy, what foods will make you fat.
And, sadly, fat is what I’ve become. My partner Sara says I’m not. And it’s true that I am not as fat as I was three months ago, but it’s obvious, as well, that I am still significantly over-weight—that I have a long way to go before I become anything approaching normal.
Yes, I know “normal” isn’t easy to define. I know using that word poses a semantic problem, not to mention a problem in terms of tonnage. But by “normal” I really mean my ideal weight—which, in fact, has “evolved” over the years, as what was once “ideal” gets further and further out of reach. 105 ain’t what it used to be.
I haven’t weighed myself in ages, so I’m not certain where I stand today. I gauge weight now mostly by my clothes, as our scales are broken, and I haven’t replaced them. I don’t want to begin obsessing over numbers again. I want to take a less strident approach to weight loss.
In fact, I’ve been dieting and exercising religiously for three months now. And though my goal was to have lost lots of weight by my 50th birthday, I know now (as that day is less than a month away), that I’m not going to achieve it.
I’d say it’s fairly official now—that I will still be fat when I turn 50. I won’t look the way I want to look—the way I thought I needed to look to be able to take turning 50 in stride.
50 and fit and 50 and fat are drastically different.
Which will you be?
(How do you manage your weight?)