5 days ago
Sunday, June 26, 2011
WALK A MILE
I wondered if she felt a bit uncomfortable to see me next in line - large and unfit as I am.. She certainly was not chatty as she usually is. I left without saying anything.
But this is what has been going through my head: Walk a mile in the shoes of those of us who do struggle with our weight, with overeating, with the things that may lead us to overeat. I am not one to attach addiction status to each overweight person - but I do attach a reason, physical, psychological, emotional or learned behavior.
Just last night I had eaten my dinner of whole wheat pasta with spinach and walnuts and some wonderful watermelon. I was full. I could feel the food in my stomach for some time after I ate, yet I wanted more to eat. It was quiet at work, I was bored. I finished the book I brought to read and I felt restless and I wanted to eat.
Hungry? No, I was full. Hungry for food? Yes, eating would occupy me, sooth me, . Did I eat? No, because I am learning to be more mindful about what my "hunger pangs" are about and find other things to divert myself, redirect the feelings. I will say that there have been times in my life when I had feelings akin to panic attacks which seemed to be resolved by eating something. Times I thought I would fall to pieces without eating something. Of course, in reality that wouldn't happen - but the feeling is real, too.
So that is what it is like in my shoes at times. Hard to fathom? I don't get smoking or drinking beer or being Catholic or enjoying boxing. I don't get the need to be mean, I don't know why people fear mice or bugs, why people can't eat meat or like rides at the fair that make them dizzy. We are all different in our tastes and reactions and beliefs and the things we need.
And the other thing - those young recruits? Those kids are probably away from home for the first time. Away from family and friends and the safety and comfort they inspire. They also, many of them, come from schools that didn't offer much in the way of physical education and come from neighborhoods which were not especially safe to run and play in. There were probably not many pools or tennis courts or baseball fields where they came from - not to mention organized leagues and coaches to teach them. So those recruits who are out of shape and maybe overeating? Perhaps some counseling or a little compassion would go a long way.
Okay - getting off my soapbox now.