February 2, 2006
Oh wonderful, oh wonderful, oh wonderful, I am food, I am food! I am an eater of food, I am an eater of food, I am an eater of food!
— The Upanishads
Today I assembled my Big Box of Weight Loss Stuff. As I mentioned, I’ve been at this for a while. I’ve even been online with it before, tearing down three different versions of a weight loss journal. I have books about weight loss and body image, about how to eat naturally, intuitively, spiritually, and abstemiously, about loving the body you have or letting go of the desire for a way you’ll never be. I have photo album materials for an abandoned (maybe just stalled) project to showcase the way I was, the way I am, and the way I’m changing. I have folders full of clipped articles and collected cartoons (the Cathy comic strip has provided so much material it has its own binder), as well as the essays I wrote for other incarnations of this site and notes on where in the 17 volumes of handwritten journals I’ve addressed my “weight problem.”
I had to pull out the notebook from 1996 to find my Weight Loss Manifesto. Evidently I had the same motivation then that I have now. In 1996 I wanted to have a “This Is What 50 Looks Like” picture taken a year from the date I was writing. The other day I told myself that I have one year to get ready for a “This Is What 60 Looks Like” portrait. And the ironic thing I that I can have that picture taken no matter what. I could call up the most respected maker of executive portraits in town and make that appointment today, and whatever I look like that day will be what 60 looks like. I just don’t want to look like this.
I wrote the Manifesto because I wanted to outline my intentions, motives, and beliefs regarding weight loss. I wanted to make it clear that certain clichés offend me (I don’t believe, for example, that “nothing tastes as good as thin feels,” possibly because I don’t know, exactly, what thin actually feels like) and that I will pick and choose elements from the assorted weight loss strategies available to find a regimen that suits me.
This, then, is My Weight Loss Manifesto:
- I, Margaret DeAngelis, about to enter my sixtieth year, weigh more than I want to. I weigh the same as Michael Jordan, a man hailed as the greatest basketball player of all time, a powerful athlete who is more than a foot taller than I am. Michael Jordan’s body is toned, strong muscle and his body, even with a BMI of 25 (technically in the “overweight” category), is useful, functional, and aesthetically pleasing to a vast number of people.
- My body mass is not serving me, my family, or God in the way I want it to. I am having increasing difficulty moving and maintaining energy and focus. I do not feel comfortable in my skin. I want to change.
- To be useful and appropriate for me, a program of nourishment leading to weight loss must not use such words as sin, addict, battle, combat, reject, forbid, and bad. It must instead use words such as health, vigor, energy, nourishment, nutrition, honor, accept, and enjoy.
- It must have a spiritual component. Buying, preparing, storing, and consuming food are sacred acts, acts of prayer.
- Only real foods are allowed. There must be no ersatz bread, butter, coffee cream, or the like. All food choices are the right ones.
- On February 2, 2006, I weigh 217 pounds. On February 2, 2007, I will weigh 135 pounds and be a Lifetime Member of Weight Watchers.
And there you are!
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margaretdeangelis [at] gmail [dot] com (replace the brackets with @ and a period)