Wednesday, October 17, 2012

What's My Excuse? // Jen J.

Recently, Mama posted a blog about why she was fat.  This post prompted a immediate discussion of why other Fit Campers also have had a life long battle with food.  Many shared deep heart wrenching reasons for emotional eating.  Me, I've thought about this question for years and honestly, I still can't come up with an answer.

I grew up in a wonderful setting.  I can not say enough good things about my parents, two sisters, or the community I was raised in.  I grew up very active, loved, and never went without.  And to this day I have been SO blessed because I have yet to experience great tragedy.

I am the middle sister but have always been the biggest of the three of us.  This includes tallest, biggest shoe size, and of course heaviest.  And from my earliest memory I've also been the one to enjoy food the most.  When we were super little my dad would sing us a song in the mornings to help us get up and going.  It went like this......"What do we do in the mornings?  Brush our teeth, comb our hair, wash our face - that's what we do in the mornings."  And then he would sing a personalized verse for each of us.  Mine went like this....."What does Jenny do in the mornings?, that's what Jenny does in the morning".  Apparently, I'd get up and the first thing I'd reach for was the cereal box.  Gawd, I still love me some Cinnamon Toast Crunch.     

I also remember coming home from school and being there myself (just for a few minutes because my dad was a teacher and was never far behind) and I would sneak in a few snacks while watching  Duck Tails.  I would always hide the evidence.  I have no idea where I learned this from, I guess it came naturally.

All this sneaking around caught up to me because when I was 15, I had viral meningitis and was hospitalized.  I was so sick that I could not stand to be weighed so the nurses hoisted me up on this crane like apparatus and weighed me.  I weighed 155 pounds.  I have no idea how tall I was then but now I am 5' 8".  At the time I remember my mom being upset I weighed that much.  Obviously, my mom's reaction upset me too, because I remember it like it was yesterday.  In retrospect, I am sure that was fairly heavy for a 15 year old.  Especially, considering 17 years later, I am "only" 19 pounds heavier and I am now a fully developed woman.

My only saving grace (if there is one) was that I was really active in high school and played softball and basketball.  And this is where I can really related to mama.  I was always decent at sports, could hold my own, but honestly, I never really excelled.  But the good news is that the lessons I learned through sports have helped me throughout my life and really have given me a baseline of athleticism.  To this day, I am still very active.  I continue to play softball and I now run, practice yoga, hang out with Jillian....etc.  And thank God, because I often wonder how big I would have gotten had I been a complete sloth.

So I guess the moral of my story is that I don't really have one when it comes to why I've struggled with food.  I've always loved it and probably always will.  At times I seriously feel like food talks to me - calling me from the pantry, telling me to eat it.  And you know what, I honestly don't think I am that weird.  A lot of people have vices they struggle with; including food (obviously, otherwise some of you probably wouldn't be reading this), booze, cancer sticks and gambling. Food just happens to be mine and seeing as it's not like other vices where I can't just give it up cold turkey - it's time I tell that voice in the pantry to shut the fuck up.  And that my friends, is exactly what I am trying to accomplish here.

Totally sad, but this is the most recent picture I could find of me and my sisters - June 2011 on Father's Day.  Me, my eldest sister (and nephew), and my youngest sister.  It isn't the best, but this was taken after a boot camp workout.  


  1. Love this. I can totally relate to food being my vice.

  2. I believe that so many people (myself included) struggle with food for two reasons: one, it's DELICIOUS. And two, it's not like smoking, or booze, or internet porn - you can't just give it up completely and continue to live your life. You MUST eat to live. And there's so much noise out there about what's good for you or bad for you, or what works and what doesn't. There's no clear answer and no clear path. We're all just figuring it out as we go, but I think that the decision to THINK about it is the first step to a healthier life. Keep on keepin' on!

  3. Oh my, how i can relate to you! I do know my yo yo dieting is probably inspired by my mom, God bless her my best friend who passed away from a blood clot in 2004. She was always thin but somewhere in her late 30's early 40's it became harder for her to loose weight. She tried everything but then I know she liked "treats" but by no means was she "big", she could probably stand to loose 30 lbs. She loved goign to Curves, so much so they hired her, lol and she loved it! She never smoked ever and drank wine, in moderation, but she loved "treats" I remember these. I know she maybe the reason I have issues, she was on this diet and that in my teenage years and maybe it affectd me more than i thought. I thought my mom was gorgeous, inside and out, so did everyone who met her. Since her passing life still hard for me, I miss her that much, sometimes I eat food that reminds me of her and I sneak food too and then hide the wrappers from my family. It is dumb. I spin 3 days a week, do Jillian, run and ride my bike to work, some days I don't do anything cuz I'm like EFF this I'm tired. But I'm up 20lbs again, sigh, I don't want to be obsessed with eating and working out, I just want to be happy, and I want my kids to see me happy and healthy and most of all I want to be around to see their kids grow up. I am trying so hard to see food as fuel and not fun but gees life is short and I want to live it, so moderation I guess. Sorry for the rant but your post hit home for me.............and M&Ms are Constantly calling my name from the damn pantry, they are evil ;-)

  4. I saw a quote a while ago from NJ Governor Chris Christie, who is obviously very obese, and it really hit home with me.

    “I guess the best analogy to make is some people drink too much. Some people take drugs. Some people eat too much. See, you can go live every day without drinking. You can live every day without taking drugs. You can’t live every without eating.”

    All of those other vices you mentioned are not part of everyday living, 3x a day. So those of us who have food weaknesses/addictions are faced with trying to practice moderation day in and day out….its hard. And invariably, we cave. :-/ I’ve come to the conclusion that I will be ‘battling’ this every day of my life…


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