I love food and I’ve fought being overweight my entire life. I was the only girl in my first grade class who went behind the cafeteria counter to get lunch in the back, where a special plate was prepared according to my doctor’s dietary instructions. It was embarrassing. I was bullied (they called it teasing then). And it made me a total introvert in those days.
The odd thing is I wasn’t obese, I didn’t have a strange illness, and I don’t remember anything unusual about the “special” food. But it was a small town—about 700 people—and everyone knew everyone else, including their kids. Accommodations were made when asked.
I still love food and I’m still overweight, but now it’s by choice. When someone asks me to dinner and inquires if there’s anything I don’t eat, I shake my head. Wish there were.
I remember my lean and fit husband carefully suggesting that perhaps I would enjoy a bit more exercise. Sure. I’d love to raise my wrist from plate to mouth more often, especially if chocolate is involved. He had to find another way, like a trip in a small boat that kept me away from snacks for eight months. I lost ten pounds and didn’t miss a meal.
But I’m home now, the land of unlimited access to grocery stores just a few blocks away, full sized refrigerators, and holidays. The menu for Thanksgiving is growing. Even with fourteen people and eight drop-ins for dessert, there’s bound to be leftovers. When that eating orgy ends, there will be another one in a few short weeks.
The upcoming holidays are about family and traditions. For me that means baking my mother’s coffee cake that takes two and a half hours to prepare, at least five types of cookies, my sister’s peanut butter candy, and a new favorite, orange rolls my sister in law made for me in Alabama. And all the while I’ll be tasting as I go and testing the final product.
In January I’ll be squeezing into my pants and wondering if my shirts shrank in the dryer. But I’ll be living back on the boat by then, hiking to supermarkets, cramming essentials into my tiny refrigerator, eating only at mealtime.
And maybe if I’m lucky my clothes will fit again.