Posted by: cmittermeier | August 18, 2011

Calorie Budgeting

Credit Card dept is something our parents (or grandparents depending on how old you are) would likely not understand.  If you didn’t have the money, you didn’t buy it was the motto for many generations.  They were not interested in paying interest, pun intended.  As I look back over this week that idea keeps coming to mind… what if every time I overate I had to look directly at the “interest” I was being charged?  What would it be like to face well before the damage became noticeable the eventual heart disease, the diabetes, the strokes that come with being overweight?  It is a sobering thought that has stopped me from eating a few things I shouldn’t.

This summer I faced in a different way my Father’s death – this summer I faced it in relation to my own life.  My Father died of a single massive heart attack at 53.  He was overweight, in poor physical health and yes, he smoked.  At one point in the year after his death, while talking with a teacher to help me grieve I spontaneously said that while I was glad he was able to make it to heaven so young, I know he committed suicide.  If it shocked the teacher he didn’t show it, but he did ask me to explain it.

I told him how I knew that my Dad never took care of himself.  I talked about families I knew that exercised together and how my family just read books.  I talked about how my Dad ate out for lunch at greasy spoons (name that decade folks!) and how he smoked.  I knew what it did to him.

“Suicide is painless, it brings on many changes” was a lyric from a song I grew up with, from the TV show M.A.S.H.  and while its haunting melody is universally recognized few of us every think about its lyrics.  My father’s death was preventable, though not inevitable.  This summer I turned the age my father was when I was born – 40.  I faced the conversation I had so long ago not from the view of a grieving child, but as the parent.  I look at food differently.  Am I choosing an early death when I indulge my senses?

What will it take for people who are overweight to realize the debt they are creating when they take in too many calories?  You are taking years out of your life, you are committing a very slow form of suicide.  Is it really worth it?  Not to me.  Facing my own death this summer was not fun folks.  I do not want to put my kids through life without me, I have been there and if it means I have to learn to say no to my favourite food I am going to have to learn how to do that.   As parents we often say we’d do anything for our kids, that we’d die for them.  This summer I made a choice to do something for them – I choose to LIVE for them.

Through early morning fog I see
visions of the things to be
the pains that are withheld for me
I realize and I can see...
that suicide is painless
it brings on many changes
and I can take or leave it if I please.
I try to find a way to make
all our little joys relate
without that ever-present hate
but now I know that it's too late, and...
The game of life is hard to play
I'm gonna lose it anyway
The losing card I'll someday lay
so this is all I have to say.
The only way to win is cheat
And lay it down before I'm beat
and to another give my seat
for that's the only painless feat.
The sword of time will pierce our skins
It doesn't hurt when it begins
But as it works its way on in
The pain grows it grin, but...
A brave man once requested me
to answer questions that are key
is it to be or not to be
and I replied 'oh why ask me?'
'Cause suicide is painless
it brings on many changes
and I can take or leave it if I please.
...and you can do the same thing if you please.

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