One evening over vacation, my family was dining together (as usual), and my mom posed a question to my dad. I can’t recall exactly how it fit into our conversation, but the query was made. “How much do you weigh now?”
I am usually a very soft spoken person. I choose my words carefully, always think before I speak. So, I surprised myself when I unabashedly blurted, “Who cares?”
But those words were the truth.
I’ve just enjoyed eight nights of vacationing. Eight nights of restaurant meals. Eight desserts, many glasses of wine, pieces of bread, tastes of heavenly food.
It has nothing to do with weight. Weight is irrelevant.
It wasn’t always this easy for me. [Sometimes it still isn’t]. But as I’ve often said, and hopefully demonstrated, food is one of life’s pleasures and privileges, and I never want to associate it with weight again. I never want to associate it with “should” or “shouldn’t.” I never want to associate it with guilt.
I’ve struggled to determine my feelings on the popular philosophy of moderation. I’ve been far from it, forbidding a list of foods that only became longer as time went on. I very, very slowly learned to practice it. And since I found a healthier balance, I’ve started to wonder if I really believe in moderation at all.
Sometimes, I think it’s necessary to eat an ice cream cone the size of your head. It’s necessary to eat pancakes in the morning, even if you ate pasta for dinner. It’s necessary to eat a salad so big that your stomach hurts from all the fiber. It’s necessary to scoop hummus liberally, even if the serving size is two tablespoons. It’s necessary to be the exact opposite of moderate, and go completely over the top.
Balance is eating breakfast in the morning, even if I had a big meal the night before. It’s eating two bites of dessert when that’s all I want, but also knowing I can clean the plate when I desire that as well. It’s eating fruits and vegetables in any quantity I choose, never apologizing for being “too healthy.” It’s eating a bit lighter during the day when I know I’ll be eating more at night. But it is never allowing one day of “light” to become habit or restriction.
Balance is appreciating the view on a vacation, rather than obsessing about the image in the mirror. It’s treasuring the moments with my favorite people in the world, not adding up the calories of the plates we are sharing. It’s savoring the memories I’ve created, and it’s realizing that measurements and numbers don’t exist in those memories.
I had a wonderful vacation. And now, I’ll go back to normal. Has my weight changed? Will it change? I don’t know. My jeans still fit, and really, it doesn’t matter.
Do you believe in moderation?