The Great Health v. Fat Debate

OK. Having accepted myself as fat, in a radical way – without judgment or malice aforethought – is it incumbent upon me to think about health? Is that a euphemism for “you fat pig, get a grip on yourself? Stop eating so much crap! What the hell is wrong with you?” Or is it, instead, a wholly separate issue – I can be fat and healthy, or I can be fat and unhealthy. I can exercise and be mindful of what I put in my body, knowing that I have a limited number of years left on this earth, and I’d like them to be fruitful and multiply (as it were).

These are my choices.

Yesterday, I had a viciously triggering day. Took care of something that’s been (metaphorically) weighing me down for years. Got up my nerve, pulled things together that needed pulling together, made some copies at Staples, went to the Post Office in Boston – the one that’s open til midnight – and mailed what needed to be mailed. Then I got back in my car and cried for a really long time. I gave myself permission to be unhealthy in my food choices. Self-medicating. Numbing. God I felt awful. Truly awful. Through the night, and into today.

This afternoon, I went shopping at Wegman’s. It’s a great place to shop – lots of veggies and fruit, healthy choices. LOTs of not healthy food – great donuts, pastries, cakes, chips, etc. A food court filled with healthy and very unhealthy choices. For the faint of heart, it can be deadly. Today, I went for fruits and veggies. Organic nectarines and peaches, a mango, organic baby spinach, basil. I’m good. I can feel my arteries unclogging. My body is a temple.My body is a temple. My body is a temple.

Oh no…it’s the donuts. Temple of doom. Argggghhhhhh. I resist. Listen to my body, which is not feeling so great about donuts. Sending me the message “Nope. We don’t want this inside – it’s gonna make us feel really bad. Remember? The last time you ate two of them in short order? How we felt after?” I remember, and move on. Feeling good now.

And there it is. A whoopie pie. In all its glory. I mean…A friggin’ WHOOPIE PIE! WhoopiePie-800Oh no. Be still my unhealthy heart. I stop. Look. Walk away. Walk back. Three or four times. I lose the battle. Put the damned thing in my cart. Go back to the fruit section to get a watermelon – they were putting fresh ones out – and look at that damned whoopie pie looking up adoringly at me. I know I’ll feel awful if I eat it, even as it would fill a need in me. I wonder how else I can fill that need. Not with food. Not by substituting something. By honoring myself. Fat and all.

I put it back on the shelf. Pick up the watermelon. Swagger all the way to the checkout line and back to my car. Smile all the way home.

My body is a temple. At least for today.


About armsakimbobook

I'm a mother, a lawyer, a feminist, a writer, a potter, and an inveterate and unapologetic New Yorker. My book, Arms Akimbo: A Journey of Healing, tells of my journey of healing over a number of years, learning to live a full life after I was molested by my father at a very young age. I live in Maynard, MA, with my wife and and our two moose-cats, Samson and Hercules. My daughter used to live with me part-time, but she's all grown up now and in her junior year of college, which I can't quite fathom, since she was born about five minutes ago...
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2 Responses to The Great Health v. Fat Debate

  1. Maria says:

    Good for you, for listening to your body! When I eat junk these days I feel awful, physically. Too much fat or sugar makes me feel sick, so I avoid. I think that’s a good thing and I don’t feel like I’m depriving myself when I don’t have these things – starting to think of them more as poisons than food. If I do have a cookie or ice cream, no longer a sleeve or pint – just two cookies or a mini-scoop. Because I know more will make me feel sick. On the flip side, dreaming of salads more – with cut up fruit or whole grains and a good (read expensive, lol) vinegar. I still hate exercise though – although like having done it 😉


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