This is an old Mother Lode column….thought I’d run it again for those of us (ahem) need to address some (ahem-ahem) issues.
So I’m standing in the Franklin Wal-Mart customer service line when my eye wanders up to a framed poster of Faith Hill. Next to it is the sweater she wore in the photo. I squinted and studied the garment.
The last time I’d worn something that size, Nixon was in office. If I wasn’t retaining water, it might fit my calf, I mused.
Later at home, I acknowledged I was feeling a bit prickly about my weight.
But I was going to face my fear: the scale. Tightly closing my eyes, I stepped onto it, hoping that my light-footedness would somehow help. I unclenched one eye to take a peek.
“Mom, are you okay?” I could hear my children’s’ concerned voices from the other side of the bathroom door. Guess they never heard me screech before. (Well, truthfully, they have heard me screech but that’s another column.)
I’m not saying that my weight was that bad, if, for instance, I had just given birth to octuplets. Or if there were three Faith Hills on the scale with me. But I couldn’t console myself out of this one. Not since my control-top pantyhose lost control have I been this depressed about my weight. I needed help.
“International Ministries Birthed in God,” that’s “I’M BIG” was said to be an exciting new faith-based weight loss ministry with a unique bent that involves Subway sandwiches and Scripture. I took the bait. I searched the community section of the newspaper to find meeting times and made plans to attend.
“Welcome to ‘I’M BIG,’” stated the meeting moderator. I eyeballed her suspiciously. She was simply too thin. I glanced around the room hoping to spot someone who was bigger than I.
I sat next to “Trudy,” and smiled. “How long have you been attending ‘I’M BIG?” I inquired. “Four years,” came the reply. “Oh.”
At least I didn’t look as big sitting next to her.
“How many of you have sat across from your thin friends as they pushed away their plate of half eaten food?” the moderator inquired. A few hands went up. One woman, burdened with the need to confess blurted out, “I’ve even asked them if I could finish the food.” Heads nodded up and down in acknowledgement. A few bit their lips, trembling with emotion.
“Tonight we’re going to deal with that issue. We’re also going to deal with something of a much more, forgive the pun, weighty matter. We are going to discuss victory over chocolate.” Miss Skin and Bones wasted no time getting to the heart of the issue, I noted. “How many of you have lost the battle over chocolate?” she inquired. A few meekly raised their hands.
I clutched my purse. It held a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. I was quite proud I had only eaten half of it. Stay away from my chocolate, lady, I thought to myself.
“Chocolate is icky!” She said. “Chocolate is not your friend.” A few heads nodded. A quiet “amen” was voiced from the back corner. “How many of you ate chocolate today?” she spoke, leaning over the podium with a pointed finger. I tried to keep from squirming and wondered if she could discern the awful truth about what was in my bag. Not only was I a terrible chocolate addict, the evidence was all over me.
“I’M BIG is here to help you! I’M BIG is going to help you say “no” to chocolate and every other form of ungodliness! I’M BIG will set you free from those stretch pants! Free from oversized shirts!” The atmosphere took on an evangelistic fervor. A grumble from my tummy interrupted my thought and I remembered I hadn’t eaten dinner.
Lost in my thoughts, I didn’t realize the room had quieted down and everyone was looking at me. Everyone was standing except for me. Trudy nudged me and whispered, “Everyone is taking a chocolate abstinence vow.” Whew! Was it hot in here?
I glanced down at my hand. My knuckles were white from clutching my purse with the contraband. I glanced up at all the earnest faces looking at me. “Ummmm, I thought this was an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting,” I squeaked.
I slipped out of the meeting, cheeks afire. I cleared the front door and ran to the safety of my car. I was even hungrier now. I took the Reese’s out of my purse and popped the whole thing in my mouth. I nearly purred with pleasure and concluded “I’M BIG” just wasn’t my cup of cocoa.
And I faced the truth. Work all I want on my weight, I’ll never be a Faith Hill. Which is a good thing–my sweater would look terrible in a frame.