It's after midnight and as I do on most Monday evenings, I'm writing my column while the rest of the family and/or New England is sleeping. I love this time of night when I can sit quietly at the computer and write about this crazy world, from my little corner in Webster, Massachusetts.
In a couple of hours our commonwealth will be joining the rest of the 12 Super Tuesday States and nominate three presidential candidates. Then we'll spend the next eight months anxiously waiting for the political nonsense, attack ads and debates to become a fading memory. I'm willing to bet that by June even a television commercial for Bob's Discount Furniture Stores will be a welcomed break from the insanity.
As my mind settles in on the topic for this column, I find it rather perplexing how much tomorrow's election has in common with my current involvement in the Bariatric Surgery program.
Giving up old habits is difficult at best and tomorrow Webster voters will learn just how hard our Town Clerk, Bob Craver, has been working to make sure our precincts reflect the new federal population redistricting mandates. Additionally, he has also been busy making sure our voter registration list is up to date.
Confused? It's really rather simple. All precincts must have an equal amount of the represented population. Therefore, with precincts four and five having the largest number of registered voters, they needed to trim back on the number of voters they have and move them into precincts two and three.
For those of you who can't remember whether you're in four or five, you might have to factor in precincts two and three for consideration.
Plus, if you haven't voted in some time and never bothered to complete the federal or state census forms, you may have a few extra steps to take when you find you need to reactivate your voting status as well. Knowing how difficult it can be to change an established habit, tomorrow's changes might be just as difficult to remember as the ones I'm learning about in the weight loss program.
As I mentioned in my February 15 column, in 1981 all I had to do was raise my hand and say, "I want my stomach stapled so I can lose weight." Surprisingly, that was the easy part. Changing a lifetime of eating habits has been by far the most difficult, if not impossible, step.
Obviously I wasn't born this size, but it didn't take long to get a firm hold onto the path of obesity. With our mothers and grandmothers being taught that a fat baby was a healthy baby, our size was established before we could even walk.
Also, being a "Baby Boomer," we were taught to respect and appreciate our hard working parents by not wasting food and eating everything on our plates. If that didn't work, the guilt card was dealt with horror stories about poor starving children. If only my mother had boxed up all the food I had to eat to keep those kids from starving in China or Africa.
For the life of me, I couldn't understand how my eating everything on my plate kept a hungry child somewhere in another country from starving. I must have kept thousands of children alive over the years because to this day, I have a real problem not finishing everything on my plate.
I'm from the generation that learned there isn't any event or emotion that can't be enhanced, numbed, forgotten or remembered better with food. Fall off your bicycle? Here, have a cookie. Bump your head? Have two cookies. Get a raise? Let's go out and celebrate. Someone die in the family? Bring in the food. There wasn't an emotion, event, or celebration that food wasn't right there.
Happy? Have something to eat. Sad? Fix yourself another plate. Bored, angry, hurt, afraid... yep there's food for that. Tired? Can't think? Need energy? Yep, you got it! Food is the answer. No cigarettes, alcohol or drugs. Well that's not true. I had my fair share of diet pills.
So if eating isn't the answer; what is? What did I do when I suddenly had no coping skills?
Well, it was easy. If eating was the problem... just stop eating. And for weeks and months; that's just what I did - or didn't do. Day after day, I'd eat 12 sunflower seeds a day. That's it. No more, no less. The fear of dying didn't mean half as much as the fear of being fat again.
So why do I want to go down this path again? Because of what we've learned that works for this program.
Now, before you can see a surgeon and discuss the surgery, there are group classes, individual therapy, exercise boot camp, more group therapy. There are nutrition classes and individual goals and skill sessions. I guess someone realized that to make the surgery work, they too need to look at all the body's precincts and redistribute the overall importance of the population.
Losing weight isn't the problem; it's finding it back again that needs to be fixed.
So tomorrow, or actually in three hours the polls will be open and I'll be up on stage with my fellow Webster Board of Registrars ready to handle any and all problems as they come our way. By the end of the evening we'll be exhausted, but gratified that we're there helping to make sure that every registered Webster voter gets to have their voice heard.
As the secretary, I'll be at my lap top writing everything down to be sure there's documentation that we did everything the right way - the way we've learned over the years that it should be done... just like in the Bariatric program. Oh, and I've lost 45 pounds and I'm almost ready for surgery.
- Friday, 09 March 2012
- Posted in Categories: : Ginger Costen's From This Corner