Greetings, all. This may be my last entry for a few days, as I am currently in Peoria - the little city on the mighty Illinois River - my home town (sort of). I took my two kids to go visit my father and stepmom (we call her "S'mom" - she loves it). My two sisters, from California and Tennessee, and their husbands are coming too, so we're all converging on P-Town for a grand reunion and an early birthday celebration for Dad. It should be great. Really.
Now let me say this - I have a fantastic, loving family. They are wonderful people and it truely does pain me that we're all so spread out. I miss them and wish we could get together more often, especially so my children could develop deeper ties with them all. That being said, I always feel anxious around the time of family visits. (I feel even more anxious writing this at my father's desk!) I've never felt I quite measure up to everyone else, plain and simple. These feelings are my own; I'm not blaming the family for my anxiety. My father ("Dr. MacPherson," let's call him .....) is a brilliant, somewhat celebrated cardiologist, my older sister is a successful school psychologist living in San Juan Capistrano, and my younger sister is also a doctor, doing her pediatric cardiology residency at Vanderbuilt in Nashville. They are all happily married, gorgeous, and ... not fat. Hmpf.
I don't write these things for sympathy or calls for encouragement. I'm older now, much better adjusted, and pretty darned happy with the person I've turned out to be (on most days). But there's this residual discomfort.... again, that Shadow of Fat, which encompasses not only weight but every other shortcoming I've seen in myself for my entire life. I'll be 50 years old in a couple years, but when put back in the old environment, I start seeing that moping, tormented adolescent in the mirror. So instead of getting all quiet and withdrawn, or looking around for some cookies (and believe me, there are tons of cookies in this house - arghh!!), I'll just give that young girl a hug and tell her she's just fine. You are you and they are they. It's all good.
After all, if I wasn't scared by the white-knuckle flight from Chicago to Peoria through a thunderstorm in tiny little prop jet, I can weather my own family, for God's sake. A big plus for me here is the beautiful pool in Dad's backyard. I adore swimming. It's no G-Ball workout, but it feels wonderful. I'll be jumping in immediately after finishing this. Even better, my sisters won't get here until tomorrow night, so I get the pool all to myself!! hahahahahaaaa!! :P
Which reminds me, while on the plane I read in the latest TIME magazine that exercise, while great for overall health, wasn't that helpful for weight loss. (I knew it!!) The article said that people who workout hard to lose weight tend to go overboard on compensatory eating: e.g. I deserve this T-Bone steak and baked potato! I wonder how much of that I've done over the years - probably more than I think. Overweight people are notorious for under-reporting what they eat, and without even meaning to. The article also said that people who hit the gym for a straining sweat-fest tend to be less active and lazier the rest of the day. Interestingly, findings showed that just being active throughout the day and "moving around more" helped people lose more weight than serious exercise. Something to think about. Bottom line, what matters most in weight loss is simply what goes into one's mouth. End of story. The buzzkills.
Well, I will mull all this around as I focus on light eating and daily swims/walks while I'm here. Most importantly, I'll keep listening to the hypnosis tapes, especially the one that targets the habit of comparing oneself to others. Perhaps I can keep it on a continuous loop. God bless my iPod. Thanks for reading - more on Sunday night, if not sooner.