PEN&INKee^POSSIBILITIES: Dealing with a head full of false ideas

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By Kirsten Laskey

When I was in middle school a friend of mine, who lived across the street, once commented that she could eat whatever she wanted and not gain a pound.

I was engulfed in jealousy when I heard this – how could it be so easy for some people to maintain a tiny physique when others are faced with a lifelong, seemingly impossible challenge to get thin? I’ve tried to convince myself that I am like my middle school friend; however, no matter how hard I twist the facts, the truth is I am not a part of the same group.

This should be an easy truth for me to accept since no one else in my family shares the same delusions. I have family members who express honest opinions about their and everyone else’s bodies. Some relatives, my grandmother, for one, have never been overweight. The scale has always been a good friend to them. Whereas I refer to my scale as the devil’s invention and it sits ignored and coated in dust on the top shelf in the bathroom.

There are other family members who are diet gurus.  They have the food pyramid memorized and all the fat and sugar they consume fits neatly into that small, top pier of the triangle. We share blood but yet it appears something different is running through my veins.

For instance, I love soda. Despite all the e-mails and articles my mother has sent in my direction that cry out the horrible things soda can do to you including leach calcium out of your bones, I still drink the coffee colored, fizzy beverage.

It’s a deep loyalty. In the past, I’ve shunned Pepsi and Coca-Cola for weeks at a time but I eventually let those soda cans back into my fridge.

It’s also a tough love because sooner or later when I try on clothes in a department store’s dressing room or go through items hanging in my closet, I’ll gasp with a sinking heart with what I see in the mirror.

Perhaps my motivation to toss out any inaccurate thoughts about my body, to free myself from addiction to sugar drinks and to welcome back the bathroom scale to my circle of friends needs to change.

I’m too concerned with the image in the mirror. I strive for the perfect reflection, which is looking more and more superficial.

I prefer having a goal similar to the one a current friend of mine once stated. She wants to lose weight so she will be fit and healthy enough to join the Los Alamos Mountaineers in their hiking and other outdoor adventures.

Similar to my childhood friend, her statement left a big impression. I realized I’ve been following yet another false idea. I reform my diet to change the mirror image when I should be correcting my diet to modify my life. I guess it’s all about making changes to gain something new and better.