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Label VS. Behavior

Is there a difference between skinny and thin? What about trim? Where does normal or average fit into the mix? The other day I talked about the fact that being below average in terms of weight is a good thing.

Two thirds of the American population is overweight; one third being classified as obese. It feels good not to be lumped in the statistics even if I don’t know who exactly formulates Body Mass Index (BMI). I haven’t seen numbers at the low end of my BMI range since before the chart even existed. I lingered at the low-midrange when I lost weight back in the late 80s, but mostly I teeter on the high end.

When I first started losing weight, I looked at those charts in the doctor’s office and thought the designers were obviously from another planet. But, instead of focusing on a number that I felt I would never see again, I decided to just keep losing weight until I could lose no more.

It is not to say that I obsessed with a DIET, I simply decided to focus on my behavior. As long as I was accountable and eating in a healthy way, that would serve as a reliable barometer. It worked. I lost the weight. It may not have always been at a rate that I wished, but it did come off.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately because I’ve been struggling again with the idea of finding a perfect number. Recently, I found myself using the excuse that my body likes to maintain at a little higher weight than when I first reached goal. I tell myself this is where I am most comfortable.

But what I have to look at is whether or not that number is really where my body NEEDS to be, or is that where I like to be so I can play around with mini binges. These quasi mouth parties are not full blown uncontrolled eating sessions that leave me feeling dirty and unworthy like they did years ago, but the eating can’t really be classified as snacks either.

If I’m honest with myself, I have to look at this behavior when I consider a realistic weight to maintain. Is it any wonder that I experience small yo-yos when I let this kind of activity creep into my regular existence? It is not a healthy coping mechanism, but it is one that is easily accessible, and takes no thought whatsoever. I can tune out briefly and tell myself that I will worry about consequences later.

I wanted to go to that place last night, and I had a perfect opportunity. I struggled with food all afternoon and then Lyle and Russell decided to go to a hockey game. An empty house with no witnesses provided a perfect backdrop.

I waffled back and forth with the idea. Thankfully, I had not baked the cookies that I wanted earlier in the day – that would have sealed the deal. Coupled with the fact that I don’t keep a lot of tempting stuff in my cabinets I was immediately confronted with what I contemplated as soon I began to prowl the kitchen.

Have I been putting too much emphasis on the label and not enough focus on the behavior? If I simply act in a responsible way, won’t the rest take care of itself? What do you think?


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