Wednesday, October 15, 2014

How to Quit Worrying About How You Feel About Yourself

(Borrowed from my Hub Pages articles...)

“If I see myself today as I was in the past, my past must resurrect itself and become my future.” William James
(This is a very long article, more than 2700 words, so you may want to take it in pieces. Get a cookie, something to drink, and dig in…)
The Child with a Chunky Challenge
I am a true Fat Head. That means that even though I am not overweight anymore, I still see myself as a fat person. I’ve made the decision to be OK with it. There are those who say that seeing myself that way is not healthy. But I tell you this: Trying to eliminate the internal sense of being a fat person is even less healthy. It produces more anxiety than dieting. I know.
Here’s my story and I’m sticking to it…
Picture it. The year is 1954. Southern California. Cars have gotten huge; suburban houses are getting huge; TV screens are getting huge; grocery stores are getting huge. Everything in America is getting bigger and bigger—including the people. I was no exception. (You can get an idea from my picture, above. I don't seem too happy about it, either!)
Even though I was only nine in 1954 and my family was always on the verge of financial collapse, still my mother found ways to feed my father, two brothers and I the most fattening foods she could find. Her motto? “Feed ‘em full on what we can afford.” And that included cheap cuts of meat, especially hamburger, and lots of potatoes, pasta, pan-fried chicken (in lard), biscuits, floury gravies, and of course, cheese—cheap cheese. She made a kind of goulash out of macaroni, hamburger, and Hunt’s Tomato Sauce that we kids thought was the highest of gourmet delicacies. (Later, when I tried to make that stuff as an adult, I realized how awful it actually was!)

I grew up on simple carbs, fatty meats, and desperate love (Mom was fat, too). At nine, I was short and 25 pounds overweight. The kids in school teased me mercilessly. I was the ‘fat kid.’ They weren’t about to let me forget it. I cried on the way home almost every day. (I was the fat kid until my junior year in high school.)
One day, Mom took me aside, knowing I was miserable, and told me, “Son, just suck in your tummy and hold it. That way, you will look thinner.”