Going home for the Holidays is rough, isn’t it? We primp, preen, slap on some sassy heels and apply the mascara *just* so only to walk into a spitting image of ourselves 10 or twenty years younger and cringing in the corner. Family gathers around us and smile. Fingers poke, prod and pretend.
They say “you’re family you belong to us….Dar Williams
Sometimes it feels like a never ending trip down memory lane except the memories are bad, misleading and full of the kind of angst Emo Elmo(tm) could admire. REmember the first diet book your mother gave you? The first time you were put on a scale? That time the measuring tape was pulled out? The first bargain for a new wardrobe/car/cd player/phone/necklace, etc.??j I do. I remember it like it was twelve minutes ago. I remember pining away at the scale, sucking myself into pants two sizes too small, fearing releasing my clothing size to family intending to purchase sweaters or dresses, avoiding the mirror from the neck down. I remember the sighs at mealtimes. Do you really really need that second helping? That large scoop?
The media likes to show pictures of happy white families gathered around some white meat smiling and eating on white china with silver ware. Fine. But how many of us got to smile through a meal and actually eat? Did you get to pull a slab of juicy red meat off the serving platter during a meal without grandma pointing your double or triple chin(s) out? I didn’t think so.
We brace to face our loved ones. It’s a matter of fact. But do we brace to face the mirror, the history, the fact of the food in front of us? We should. I should. This year my boss bought food for the office as a going-away to 2008. It was a tough year. We were all hungry. I stood at the doorway of a huge decision – feed my face or pretend not to be hungry. The choice was the same fat choice I make every single tim I’m at the dinner table. As a thin co-worker leaned in and whispered “I’m a fatty, I’ll take a chicken wing” I smiled. Me too. I’m a fatty, I’ll eat.
I’ll eat. I’ll eat the food you cook. It’s not a crime. We pass off on food like it was brick and mortar fruitcake, like our insides weren’t shrinking and our bodies weren’t screaming for nourishment and I for one can’t last it. I want to eat that fruitcake and I want to enjoy it.
Eat. And don’t promise you’ll start a diet after the holidays. Don’t promise to hit the gym in 2009 to make up for the extra mashed potatoes. Don’t tell yourself the belt better fit before grandma sees you. Eat. Eat every single day regardless of the reason. Eat because your body needs and wants and loves it.
And look in the mirror from the top of your head to the tips of your toes.
Happy Holidays fatties.
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