Put Your Mind To It, Go For It

Confessions of a Diet-a-Holic

Posted on: April 6, 2010

I have always considered myself to be an overweight person. I’m not sure when this identity trait infiltrated my thinking but I can not remember a time when who I am as a person was not closely aligned with what I weighed on the scale.

In college, I had a friend suffering from bulimia. In order to convince her to get professional help, I recommended that we both take advantage of the free counseling offered in our university health center. Knowing that she wouldn’t walk in the door unless I were going with her, I made an appointment for her and another for myself. What I didn’t know is that I would walk out of my own counseling session with a question I have yet to be able to answer for myself.

While my friend discussed her disease with a counselor in a nearby room, I breezily explained to my own counselor that I was just there as a decoy for my friend. But without realizing it the conversation quickly turned to my own struggles with weight and my desire to gain control over my own body. I explained how I’d tried dozens of diets but still was unable to make one stick. I could lose 20+ pounds but would always revert back to unhealthy eating habits and gain the weight back.

The counselor asked me a question that sticks with me to this day: “Other than actual pounds, what would you lose by losing the weight?”

Even now, at a healthy BMI and with a decent grasp on my eating habits, I will find myself fighting against self-sabotage. When that happens I think of the counselor’s question. My only answer is that by finally losing the weight, I would lose my identity.

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Hot Sundae

Fictional girl singing group, Hot Sundae, sang "Put your mind to it, go for it, get down and break a sweat!"

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