Are You Losing Weight... Or Your Mind? Which Weighs More?     
by Marjorie Dorfman

Have you just about had it with that extra ten or fifteen pounds that you can't seem to lose? Give up and adjust to appendages. Maybe you'll learn to laugh and appreciate yourself a bit more.

Whoever said that: "the journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step" was not talking about going on a diet. That begins with a promise, however tenuous, to one's heart and mind which usually occurs soon after trying on some clothes that haven't been worn for a while. Speaking for myself, twenty pounds have made themselves a not so comfortable home upon my person; coming and going over the years like the endless ocean tide. Having been the same small size most of my adult life, I was hit hard emotionally by my weight gain which began after I gave up cigarettes about ten years ago and ended when my hormones gave up on me a year or two later. My heart told me to accept myself, do the mature thing and throw out the bathroom scale from the highest window in my house. I opted instead for the lunacy of a structured diet.

Unfortunately, one of the biggest problems with a diet coincides with one of the biggest problems with life in general: consistency. I went to Weight Watchers every Monday night for about three months and found their program to be very helpful. I even lost a few pounds in the process. It's probably because I no longer go to the meetings that those extra pounds have come home to roost even though their room isn't ready and they weren't invited in the first place. Should I return with my head down and chins extended? Of course I should. Will I? Weäläl, there's a question with a rub all its own. Part of me (the smaller part) wants to do "it" on my own. I guess that "fat" fools (the other part) rush in where dieters fear to tread.

So go back into a program or do it on your own, you say. You're right and I am doing just that (sort of). Right this moment I am living a life of low fat substitutes, sweet and lowly powders and not even considering I-can't-believe-it's-not-you-know-what. But no happy camper am I! I never eat sweets or junk food, and it's rare to find either at my house. I exercise only intermittently and The Great Adeposian Master is obviously unhappy with my food choices. I wonder how much I would weigh without my mind? Are the "little gray cells" Hercule Poirot speaks so fondly of in a fight for their chubby lives against a fatty residue that must meet a poly-unsaturated end? Surely it's no mystery, (A&E or otherwise), that only one will reign supreme in the universe. Isn't that the name of a margarine? Or is it just a ghostly reference to those thin singers from the sixties who wore dresses I couldn't get my left toe nail into today? (Maybe they couldn't either. Still, that only makes me feel a teeny bit better.)

I could say, "Love me, love my twenty pounds," but it's not the same as "Love me, love my dog." The extra weight is far from an adorable puppy or kitten. I am like a soldier in the field at all times, covering my rear with long shirts that get longer with each passing year. I'm five foot one inch tall. If they get much longer I'll be tripping over them! Things are starting to sag anyway. At the rate I'm going, I should be level with the ground in another year or so. I may not be obese by most standards, but I am still very unhappy with my current weight. The question is: Is my weight unhappy with me? Maybe that's not quite right. Me being unhappy with me sounds a bit more reasonable. (I guess my mind does weigh a bit more, after all.)

Perhaps the key to some sort of serenity lies in one's attitude towards the problem. It is only we ourselves who own the weight and the attitude (right or otherwise) attached to it. I can honestly say that I am unhappy because I feel that I could and should look better. Is appearance, though, really the issue? The house of my soul may weigh more than it used to or even more than yours does, but does that make it any the less pure? Is it better or less because it weighs more or less? These and other questions abound and should be addressed because not to do so creates a smoke screen. We are besieged with the media's hold on youth, beauty and fitness. There can be no question about that, but is that all there is? (I can't even ask Peggy Lee.)

If there really were a just and loving God, a shrinking of consciousness would automatically accompany the waistline. Look your best certainly, but know whom it is really all for. Twenty pounds off would sure make me feel better, but no one else can do it for me. Only setting my own priorities can help me achieve my goal. I can't blame my extra poundage on society, bad genes or menopause. It comes from not doing enough with my body so that it can catch up with my mouth. Slim Fast isn't so bad. Close your eyes and pretend it's a Dove chocolate bar. This whole thing is all in our minds anyway. In the end we must strive to look good, but feel even better!

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Copyright 2002