Tuesday, March 25, 2008


It occurred to me yesterday that I have never in my life been more obsessed with my weight. When I was 18 and might have done myself some good by getting terribly committed about diet and exercise, I couldn't be bothered. Well, that's probably not fair; it's more that the lure of emotional eating, food as comfort, an evening with a book and a pizza, had more of an immediate lure than anything else. It's hard to look that far back and remember how it could have made sense. But in those days, really losing a lot of weight would probably have changed my life in fundamental ways. Today it won't, but it might make it longer and better, I suppose. Nonetheless, it's become an obsession.

There's some tremendous irony here somewhere. I feel, often, haunted by the past in one way or another, by things done wrong, by different paths I could have taken, by things that eat me up with sick regret, by things and times and people lost forever. If I could change only one thing about myself, I think it would be this... the propensity for regret, the apparent inability to come to terms with the past. But the thing that doesn't do this, that doesn't bring that sick regret feeling, is weight. And, ironically, it's been the thing that's dogged and haunted my life, more than any other. But, I suppose... it's not like I didn't know. It's not like it wasn't in my control. Not like I couldn't have changed it. The other things... these seem to me more failures of information, or things outside of my control... things that I could have made better decisions about if only I had had more information or had been allowed to choose. Now... now when I choose to do this, when I've worked at this harder and better than ever before, when I'm really committed to it... well, now it seems out of my control in some way. Nothing I do seems to help that much.

If I had lost only a pound a week since I started working on this hard, two years ago... I would be near my goal weight. Ok, I suppose that's not really fair, but still. I resent the year and a half spent eating food pyramid low fat high carb and doing nothing but making my stomach fatter. I resent the simple equation I was taught for all my life, just reduce calories and exercise. It's not that it's without truth, but it's sure as hell not the whole truth.

Anyway. At the end of the day, all you can do is dust yourself off and start over again. And that starting over again can't be changing everything. So, this week, I go on with my master plan of the moment. Whatever it is.

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