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  • Writer's picturewendymaekirk

Waxing and Waning

Picture of a young Twiggy, when she was modelling, and very thin, wearing a shift.

I have been through several incarnations of body size. There have been times in my life where I’ve been extremely thin, to the point of being unhealthy. There have also been times where I’ve been overweight for a variety of reasons. I grew up in the 1960s, when the model, Twiggy, was an icon. At that time, she was extremely thin. I also grew up in a home with a father who was obsessed with weight and a mother who kept milk chocolate chipits in the cupboard, and for any emotional occasion, a handful was doled out.

There was a lot of stress in our home, and a lot of emotion, and always too much to do. Food became the way that I dealt with those emotions. I also ate too much because we had to clear everything on our plates to get dessert. There was a lot of competition around this issue. I didn’t learn how to eat until I was full, or even know when I was hungry. As an adult, when I eat alone, which is frequently, I usually do something else while I eat – reading, email, bookkeeping, listening to books, ….. Whatever my weight, I’m still the same person inside as I have always been.

Sometimes, I have chosen to look away because I’ve been going through difficult times – sister, father, sister-in-law dying, tax audits, housing issues, work issues, health issues. My life tends to have a lot going on that I’m trying to handle, many times all by myself. Sometimes I’ve been so focussed on weight and how I eat that I cannot look away when I need to.

Last spring, I fell and hurt my back. I had finally been getting back into shape because of the dancing I had wanted to do for many years. It’s 9 months later, and after months of chiropractic, treatment, massage, and a little acupuncture, I’m just about able to start back on the treadmill. After that, I hope that I will be able to start doing some strength training again, and eating better, and maybe dancing again in the fall. In my experience, life doesn’t usually go the way I hope it will, but we’ll see what happens. At the moment, I’m away visiting very generous friends who’ve made this time possible. I’m reading and writing and trying to do work for things I never can get to. When I get home, there will be more tax stuff to deal with, and I am blessed with a friend who’s working on that for me while I am away, and only texting me 8 – 10 times a day with questions, and still loves me. I have another friend, who’s an accountant, who’s going to meet with me when I’m back to explain some things I cannot figure out on my own. All these folks make it possible for me to do what I have to do, and save me enormous amounts of money.

Picture of Twiggy today, smiling, with longer hair, and a little more weight.

So, back to weight – I was enormously relieved to see the second picture of Twiggy, which is obviously closer to my current age, and to see that we look somewhat similar. I have been reading Geneen Roth’s books about food, and am trying to develop a different relationship with food. I keep trying to remind myself that I didn’t get where I am overnight, and that it will take time to lose what I have gained, and find a healthy place for me to be. I am not happy with my body at the moment, and I avoid looking in the mirror most of the time. I have better liked what I saw at times in the past.

I am forgiving of myself, more than I used to be. I know that I am human, and that I do not do everything perfectly. I need to make space in my life for exercise, and time to eat more reasonably, and time for food preparation. I need to think things through more thoroughly, and I need to make sure there is time in my life for that. My younger daughter has left a pair of size 8 jeans in my bedroom, and says she’s confident I’ll fit in them again someday. I guess we’ll see. That may not happen, but it may.

Anyway, I’m hoping to move forward into this new year, with a more positive attitude, and working toward being healthier and taking better care of myself. Since I preach this to other people all the time, I need to be a better example myself. I need to start eating and tasting food, and enjoying life a bit more, and enjoying the things in life that are better for me.

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