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Graduation. Will I make it this time?

Posted Feb 01 2009 12:00am
My senior year of high school I had a bad case of senioritis. I was not a fan of homework and my mandatory -in-order-to-graduate science class grade reflected that. I know now that homework is part of the teaching process and without it, it is difficult to grasp more complex ideas and methods. I learned this my senior year when I could no longer ace science exams because I had not completed the learning process.

In danger of not graduating, my mom hired a tutor from the local university. I would spend countless hours that second semester of senior year in this woman's kitchen reviewing the theories and processes I hadn't bothered to learn all year. It was a hard four month battle where I would sometimes break down at night, fearing I would not have my name called in the football stadium where graduation was held in June. After four months of incredible pain and misery and self discovering and tough love, I did graduate with my peers. It was both an incredible triumph, but also a sad recognition that I had caused myself the four months of pain and discovery.

I am a dieter. I have been a dieter since senior year of high school when my mom took me to my first Weight Watcher meeting. I didn't take it very seriously. I knew I was heavy, had been heavy since I quit dancing but didn't quit eating. I began to moderate my food intake then.

This is the ten year anniversary of my graduation from high school. In June when the graduates of the class of 2009 walk across thousands of stages nationwide, I am aspiring to graduate from a stage of my life as well. I will graduate from my self-titled life as a perpetual dieter. I will enroll in life as someone who views food as a fuel, and not a friend.

I am overweight. I am an emotional eater. I am a stress eater. I eat when I am bored. I eat when I am tired. I usually don't eat unhealthy food but I love food. I love the feeling of the different textures of food in my mouth. The sensation of swallowing the food. The fullness I feel when the food expands my stomach. My life as a dieter is a secure life. I can lose a couple pounds, but reward myself by eating. It is a vicious 20-lb cycle, in a world that says I am 60lbs too heavy. But it is a familiar cycle and one that will be difficult to break.

Someday remind me to reflect on my historical relationship with food. A history that will better explain how I have gotten to the present. But today, know that I am breaking up with this history. And sometimes, when the break up is fresh in our hearts and minds, we don't want to reflect. Although at some point a reflection will be necessary, because we have to learn from our past mistakes.

So what does one do when they see food as a fuel and not a friend? How do they deal with stress? Emotion? Exhaustion? Boredom?

It is bound to be an exciting adventure. I invite you to hop in for the ride. Buckle your seat belts and keep your hands and feet inside the vehicle at all times. Four months until graduation... will I make it to the celebratory Pomp and Circumstance by June? I am determined.
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