Will Power?


It’s Canadian Thanksgiving weekend! I’m not entirely sure what the deal with this holiday is, but I’m certain it’s not quite as entrenched in revisionist history as is the Thanksgiving of my childhood, a.k.a. American Thanksgiving. That being said, it is still a great opportunity for remembering to be grateful, spending time with family or friends, and best of all, eating until muscular failure.

The only problem here, of course, is that I’m trying to lose weight.

For the record, I’m always trying to lose weight. I think I was born on a diet. The last time I was in my healthy weight range was probably when I was 17, for about a day, and that was after a summer of life guarding and right before the Freshman 15 (40). Sadly, a semester or two of cheap Molson Ex and takeout chicken souvlaki with cheesy garlic bread made short work of my perfect figure, turning me into the squeezable (but lovable?) person some of you know me as today.

Last night we ate dinner with Hubby’s family, forgoing the traditional turkey and opting instead for some gorgeous Lebanese fare. I piously ate some tabouleh and other veggies, but only to balance out all the shish taouk, kefta, pita bread, wine, baklava, and mango flip I inhaled, not to mention about a metric tonne (Canada doesn’t do the Imperial system) of salmon mousse and crackers before dinner. I left their house feeling incredibly stuffed, sleepy, and full of goodwill towards my fellow beings.

Until this morning, when I stepped on the scale.

Up until yesterday I had been making such progress, slowly but surely getting back to a point where I was comfortable in my own skin. This morning’s numbers threw me off, making me want to give up, ditch the salads and stock up on dirty ol’ Pop Tarts. Why was I so incapable of controlling myself? Why did I make such bad decisions? Why was I born into a skinny family as its only round member? I felt like a failure.

Fortunately, this feeling only lasted a little while. I reminded myself that a) most of that weight gain was water, salt, and poop, and b) I am an active, human-shaped person who generally eats healthily but loves to discover the world through the food it produces. I’ll probably have to remind myself of this 100 more times before bed, but it’s what I’m hanging onto to get me through, and for now, it’s working.

Does this mean I suddenly love my body and feel great about myself? Of course not. I wish I were thinner, prettier, stronger, less ravaged by gravity and gravy, and more like the beautiful people of the world. But I also know that wishing and comparing get me nowhere.

There will always be people who eat better than I do, who choose to work out instead of veg out, who skip dessert but not the gym, and as a result have the abs and arms I only dream of. I admire these people, and though I will try not to compare myself to them, I’ll definitely look to them for inspiration the next time I’m faced with the choice between kettlebells and kettle chips.


I might even make the right choice.


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