My Struggle.

@postaday 370; #postaday2011.

My struggle isn’t really just my struggle. It’s a struggle for many of us. And I’m not talking about the teeny weenie size 0-1-3-5-7-9s, and all sizes in between, who lament how fat they are. Time out to those self-centered, self-absorbed, secretly mocking-the-rest-of-us-types who live charmed, skinny lives. We know you know that you’ve got it good. Now focus on something other than yourself.

New York Times writer Tara Parker-Pope has an eight-take story online called “The Fat Trap.” Eight takes is kind of long, but, I found it was possible to get through it while I was having lunch today at my desk — one of my favorite places to eat. Parker-Pope talks about her own struggle, but her article is more about how our bodies, no matter how hard we try, want to be heavy.

A reward for an evening run is a spectacular sunset. I always take a few minutes to take some pics with my iPhone.

It is weird. It is ridiculous. Being fat, being heavy, being sloth like, is dangerous. But the body, after one too many diets, clings to fat as a defense mechanism. It is an evolution of sorts, it is something the body does no matter what we think we will try to achieve. I don’t understand it. Neither does Parker-Pope. We try, we long to be what we think we are supposed to be.

And yet, I am trying really, really, hard to be healthy and strong and vital and somebody’s hero. The other day at work, someone said that on Monday they saw my husband John and me out for a run on Kalanianaole Highway. We were doing my #5kin100days week 13×3 workout. I was doing alright. I am not fast, but I am in motion, my breathing is rhythmic, my pace is consistent. I won’t break records. I know that it’s more about completion than it is about competition.

“You looked like you were in a lot of pain.”

I wasn’t, but, that’s how I looked. Sure, it was after I had finished my 23.3 mile bike ride from volcano to volcano. It was late in the morning, so the sun was up. There was a lot of traffic, so maybe I had a concerned look on my face, beneath my sunglasses. Sigh.

When I read an 8-take article in the New York Times about how fat is here to stay, I look down at my soft creamy center and say WTPho? Why? Who looks at me anyway? I’m north of 50. I’m not a hot babe anymore. What am I struggling so hard for? Why not relax, enjoy life and be myself? Why not concentrate on being a mom, baking my famous oatmeal-chocolate-chip cookies, cooking fabulous meals and drinking wine every night? And when I hug someone, why be self conscious about my soft jiggles and rolls? I’m a whole lotta Rosie, as the old ACDC song says.

Why try to be a runner? Why ride a bicycle weekend after weekend? Why throw myself into a swimming pool (starting next week again, I promise!)? Why care? Because I cannot give myself permission to be fat.

It’s OK to want to be healthy, but I want to throw something else into the mix here. My mother put me on my first diet when I was 13. Atkins. It worked. and ever since, I’ve struggled. Now she’s telling me about my girls and how I have to keep them from being fat. It makes me sick inside.This entitlement that older people seem to have when it comes to saying anything and everything without regard to couching words gently is all part of the psychosomatic mess that perpetuates itself for generations. It’s one of the reasons I live more than 5,000 miles away from where I grew up. There has to be a better way to nurture a healthy family. I will find it.

By lavagal

Hawaii Kai wife and mom. Melanoma Stage 3a Cancer survivor. English Language Arts teacher, English Learners Coordinator, and Paraprofessional Tutor. Super sub teacher. Dormant triathlete. Road cyclist and Masters swimmer. Gardener. Mrs. Fixit. Random dancer. Music Curator. A teenager trapped in an aging body. Did you know 60 is the new 40? It is.


  1. leading by example, as you’re doing, is a better way to nurture a healthy family. as far as weight, even if your metabolism fights you and pounds don’t come off, being active feels lots better than the alternative. you just need to work on the grimace/smile to make it look like you’re having fun, even when the good feeling hasn’t kicked in yet.

  2. ARGH! Who said you looked like you were in pain? Yes, perhaps you did. Perhaps that’s becaue you are a thinking creature, one who can workout and think and worry and plan and be complex at the same time. To that person, I say “pppppffffftttttt” (my raspberry sound). Paula, you are who you are and it’s just fine. It’s perfect, in fact. There’s no one like YOU. So you are very much needed, needed just the way you are. Seriously. I’m not saying don’t workout or take care of you, but I personally think you are active and healthy and whoever is loving you should feel the same way. BTW, send your inner critic on vay-kay, somewhere far away. Like NJ. xo

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