“It’s not what you’re eating, it’s what’s eating you” and other shite we want to believe…


The first time I heard, “It’s not what you’re eating, it’s what’s eating you” I admit I really wanted to believe it.

Sounded good. To just think that something inside my psyche was making me fat sounded a lot better than taking responsibility for the fact that my car turns right at the Sonic drive thru without me even steering. I’ve been there so much I know the carhops by name.

I think whoever invented the whole “it’s not what you’re eating…” crapola, was probably the same person that came up with “It’s not you, it’s me.” In an attempt to placate someone they were breaking up with, when in reality it IS what I’m eating and most likely on all accounts was indeed “me” that caused any problems in relationships I’ve had in the past…long before my husband and I made a life of wedded bliss… long before the oceans drank Atlantis.

It was both satifsying and frustrating to imagine that someone else eating this same high fat  food that was happy, well adjusted and free of  mental skeletons in their closet would gain no calories from the same chili cheeseburger, while I would blossom just by licking the cheese from the wrapper.  And it made me have an excuse to eat two.

Then I could feel free to blame my burgeoning hips on the fact that it was probably because my “inner child” wasn’ t being nurtured. So just to be sure, I better follow that meal up with a Chocolate Malt, just to please little Margie. That should surely put a  smile on my tiny psyche and bring my world closer to my size 12 jeans waiting for years on hangers for their turn to ride in our new economy car drivers seat.

But alas, I still remained fat, wide and spread to the side. Even with Little Me safely tucked in at night with a chocolate milk mustache, my jeans never became loose and my middle never became medium.

Over the years, I have tried hard to figure out life. What makes me who I am. Why I act and react the way I do to life’s challenges, why food is my friend. Why even the most wasted drug addicts have more willpower than I do when it comes to decadent no-no’s covered in ketchup and mustard with gravy on the side and I guess there is no other answer than…

 I’m just lazy.

I am. I may be the powerhouse when it comes to cooking, cleaning, raising kids, running errands and keeping a tight ship, but when it comes to myself, what my needs are…I guess I just have decided I’m addicted to food.

Now that I’m aware of my basis for overeating…I should be holding meetings. Some type of UFA (United Food Addicts) gathering at a local pub or cafe’…not sure where, but they should definitely be known for their good pie and extra crispy bacon just in case we get hungry afterwards.

Hello, my name is Margie…and I’m a food addict. I’ll be passing the big Arby’s hat around in a moment, feel free to place your McDonalds coupons and BOGO’s for Steak and Shake inside. Our deacons, Hamburglar, Big Boy and  The Colonel will be passing by your aisle soon. Don’t be shy, dig deep, you know you’ve got a half-depleted gift card in there somewhere.”

But seriously, I wish I could believe all the BS out there that claims to help us lose weight by surrendering massive amounts of money and filling up our feezers or our medicine cabinets…”Take this pill, drink this shake, buy these frozen meals for the rest of your life, drink this instead of food”…it’s just not that easy…I know because I’ve done all those things.

More than once.

I was just ready to surrender and go Lo-carb again when I decided to pick up my gym bag and head back to the gym today. For the first time in months, I made it there. No excuses I had used in the past worked on me today. I ignored my inner child who wanted to stay home and play Words with Friends on the computer and grabbed a bottle of water and headed out the door.

It felt good.

I even went in and walked a mile. But that’s all I did. Then I talked with a friend, committed to a program they were offering and went on my merry way. Carrying that good “gymmin'” feeling with me all day long.

For some reason that “It’s not what you’re eating, it’s what’s eating you.” mantra I had carried for years just didn’t make sense anymore. It was just an excuse. It was just another reason to surrender to being fat, forty-ish and frustrated. Just another reason to give creedence to the fact I rarely let my husband see me naked in the light of day or pay much attention to the mirror in the morning. Both reminders of the fact, that I have indeed failed.

At being me.

But in reality I haven’t failed. I’ve only taken a very unhealhty detour. In no time I think I will be back on the road to wellness if I can keep my damn car out of the drive thru windows and my grocery cart away from the cookies and chip aisle.

 And maybe, my new mantra should be, “It is what you’re eating…and your inner child needs a bypass.”

I admit that I still believe eating more than necessary does indeed stem from emotional triggers,  because let’s face it, cookie dough ice cream had to be invented by someone with raging PMS. But I hope to use that excuse less.

So in sticky sweet conclusion I sit here happy. Not because I’m full or satisfied with a napkin draped across my chest, but happy that life gives us so many second chances…third chances and even…fiftieth…because I love my life. I love my family and maybe, this time I will take a chance…

… on me.


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