Those Last Ten Pounds Have Something to Tell You

Weight loss has to be one of the most popular topics in North America these days.  And if you can give people hints, tips, sure-fire action plans for getting that hated weight off their bodies, never to return, well, popularity and riches are assuredly yours.

By now, you probably realize that I look at things just a little differently.  I don’t do wholesale systems for anything, so I’m not going to start when talking about weight.  Besides, it still comes down to the dreaded “eat less and exercise more”  which is simple to say and kinda hard to do. And not something that I want to spend a lot of time writing about.

But what gets me is the fact that we hate our extra weight so much.  We hate our bodies for putting it on and keeping it on without ever stopping to think about the process that allows this to happen.   Because that process, unhealthy as it might be in excess, is kind of amazing.

Our bodies remember things that our minds know nothing of.  They are tied to memories of the past, to our ancestors who lived through repeated cycles of famine, times that killed off so many people.  We read that history and we think that because it was so long ago, because humanity as a whole survived, that the story was inevitable, that it doesn’t really matter.  But to our ancestors, it wasn’t a story, the outcome wasn’t inevitable.  It was real life, with real people and very real losses.  Our bodies connect us to that past and to a community of people we will never know.

The ability to store up weight is a miracle, one that our ancestors bodies learned through trial and error.  One that they passed through millennia down to us.  One that, like Great Aunt Harriet’s good china, we don’t really want now.

But storing weight is how our bodies protect us.  And it may be inconvenient, like small dogs barking at imagined intruders, but it is protection, it is our bodies just trying to help.  And if you look at it that way, it’s maybe a little easier to deal with. 

So maybe say thank you.  And remember our ancestors who worked so hard just to live, whose bodies learned a trick for making survival more sure.

We are part of a continuum.  A community.

And yes, we want to be healthy.  And extra weight can be unhealthy.  So we try to eat better and take ourselves out for a walk and learn to be a little more healthy. 

But don’t hate that extra weight.  Shed it if you must, but thank it first, for reminding you that you’re connected to a past you never knew, to ancestors who lived and suffered and died and made the incremental changes to give your life a chance.

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14 Responses to Those Last Ten Pounds Have Something to Tell You

  1. Douglass St.Christian says:


  2. Barb McMahon says:

    Good wow, or I-really-wish-you-were-in-my-class-so-I-could-fail-you-for-totally-misunderstand-the-historical-aspect-it’s-a-good-thing-you’re-high-on-painkillers-Missy wow?

  3. fiona says:

    You have touched a topic which interests me especially as I grow older and allow myself time to really ponder. My awareness of celtic roots is revealing itself more and more and often quite specifically when I truly listen, and my closeness to nature and awareness of connection is awakening spectacularly as a relevant link to long past time. Your theory is true of trees and I am thrilled by the examples cited and thoroughly explained in”The Global Forest’ by Diane Beresford Kroeger. Thank you for today’s timely(for me too) blog postig.

  4. Douglass says:

    Outstanding WOW. I want you in my class so you can show they little buggers what thoughtful passion looks like!

  5. Barb McMahon says:

    Thank you Douglass. Your good opinion means a lot to me!

  6. Jane Marusaik says:

    When I read the title I immediately thought you might be telling us how much a gallbladder weighs, and you could lose weight by having it removed. I cracked myself up at least.

  7. Barb McMahon says:

    Hahaha! Swimming out of the anaesthetic, I did ask the sugeon how much it weighed. He said, “A coupla grams” Booooo.

  8. sandy says:

    I’ve always thought that my body misinterpreted chemotherapy as famine… and over-reacted…

    Now I can survive the apocalypse, I’m sure. Unless one of the Zombie Undead decide I am just too tasty to overlook…

    Thanks for the wonderful post. Any kind of healing needs to come from a place of compassion. You’ve described it beautifully.

  9. Barb McMahon says:

    Thank you Sandy. That means a lot.

    Does garlic work as well for the Zombie Undead as it does for vampires? Or maybe they’re put off by cheese?

  10. Beth E says:

    You need flame throwers for zombies, and that is why you should always have a lighter and a can of hairspray in the cupboard. You know, just in case. 😉

  11. Barb McMahon says:

    Hee hee

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