Anyway, yesterday's swearing in left me reflecting on the nature of "home" and national identity. I feel at home in Barbados, Paris, New York and London, yet when I'm in the UK people assume I'm American or Canadian(no one I've ever met here can differentiate between these two accents), in the USA they think I'm British, in France they think I'm continental African and in my birth place Barbados, they ask me where I'm from (even though my family swears my accent hasn't changed one iota).
We are educated and encouraged to put people into all sorts of little boxes which amount to a "us" and "them" kind of world, but in my experience most people don't fit neatly into their little boxes, simply because we are richer, more complexed and fascinating than any little box can ever accommodate. What do you think?
On to another topic ... do you ever feel that it's so unfair that you have to watch what you eat and exercise mucho just to achieve a body size you are happy with?
I used to feel that way all the time, but I've had a huge shift in my attitude (thanks I have to say to the mind work I've been doing). According to Dr. Beck the percentage of people who can eat anything they like and be naturally thin is quite small. Most people who are slender maintain their size because they move more and habitually watch what they eat. This was news to me. I though most thin people had the best of both worlds, meaning I thought they were eating with wild abandon and not really exercising but were remaining thin because of genetics. Then I thought back to all my slim relatives, friends and even my husband and I realised that she was right.
For example, my husband is tall and slender and I'm always telling him how much I envy him because he can eat whatever he likes and not put on weight, but the fact is that without consciously trying to, he doesn't overeat or eat a ton of sweet, fatty stuff on a daily basis. He eats a balanced breakfast, lunch and dinner (i.e. carbs, protein, fruit and vegetables) almost never snacks and only has a sweet treat occasionally. So theoretically thought he is not "on a diet" he actually eats as though he is. I can't believe I never noticed this.
Noticing it now made me realise that where I use to think there was genetic unfairness involved in body size differences, it's less to do with that and more to do with learning and maintaining healthy and self-responsible habits of diet and exercise. In other words if my husband ate the way I've been eating for years, he too would be overweight and come to think of it, he sometimes puts on a little weight (usually no more than 2kg/5lbs)when we go on a holiday because we're eating richer food, but drops back to his regular size within a week or two of coming back home because he goes back to his regular eating. In addition, in a normal day he walks far more than I use to. Where I was taking the bus at every opportunity, he would opt to walk instead.
This realisation has done wonders for my attitude to diet and exercise. That lingering sense of resentment of the "naturally thin" has dissipated and has been replaced by a more realistic understand of the reality of things. If I want to have Jennifer Aniston's body then I have to make Jennifer Aniston food and exercise choices ... maybe not a good example, I'm NOT eating baby food for anything ... and if I want to retain my Rubens body then I can go back to my old choices. It's really as simple as that. My choice!!!
Another .5kgs/1lb gone this week.