Fear of Dying by Diet

When I think of dying, I am not afraid.  After a very low spot (physical) several years ago, I lost that fear. Or I thought I had.

Once again I must honor the presence of my convoluted thinking.

Weight has always been an issue for me.  As a chubby child, I took a lot of ribbing.  There’s no doubt that I carried that child within me for years and failed to appreciate my perfectly acceptable body through my younger years.

In my parenting years I’m not sure that I could blame my increased weight on child-bearing, although it definitely had an effect.  My subjugation of self for the benefit of others probably had more to do with it.  I ate my way through exhaustion, anger, grief, overwhelm, and you-name-it! Then, as I gained more of a sense of myself, I began to shed the worst of my pudgy pounds.

Although I have never been (what I would call) obese, I carried some extra weight with me for a long time – both psychically and physically.  Then several years ago I decided that my looks were not at issue – it was my health that was at issue.  I changed my diet and my lifestyle in order to age as a lean machine.

It just didn’t work.

I have lost enough to feel better but those last pounds won’t go away. Although I eat an exemplary diet, I continue to hover around the same weight.  I exercise more.  I eat less.  I lose.  I gain.  The result is healthy but static and more than I’d like  to carry into my coming years.

Recently, I began having a few health issues. Nothing serious (I hope), just a mystery fever that comes and goes at will. While the doctors are puzzling, my sisters and I talk and question and scare ourselves looking up symptoms on the internet. Yesterday I admitted to her that I am losing weight.

“I hope I’m not dying”, I said.

My sister began snorting with laughter. She couldn’t catch her breath. Mystified, I chuckled along with her, waiting for an explanation. “OMG,” she said, “that’s just what I would think!”

When she caught her breath we talked aobut it. It became a serious conversation. We have watched friends and even our own parents stop eating and decline. Our dear sister who died of cancere become emaciated and resembled a holocaust survivor when she died. Our true feelings around being thin have some grim memories attached.

It does seem a bit silly to think that I cling to those last 15 pounds so that I can feel robust when I look in the mirror. Ultimately, I can laugh with her. We acknowledge our unconscious fear of weight loss as an unexplored aspect of our fear of dying.

Who knew?

The Student

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Filed under Self-examination, You Become What You Believe

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