Friday, November 5, 2010

Weight Loss Psychology: Romanticizing

My son is in love with Michael Jackson right now.  Every time we're in the car he says, "Michael Jackson, Mommy.  Put on Michael Jackson."  His introduction to the music of MJ came after Michael's death, when Bboy's father and I spent the entire weekend watching back to back videos.  It amused me how as they showed Michael as a little boy and then moved through to his final videos, Bboy would constantly ask, "Is that Michael Jackson?"

It took MJ's death for me to actually be recaptured by his music.  I had become less of a fan as his life outside of the studio took strange and deranged turns.  But, my son's obsession has reignited my love for his music and an appreciation for his musicianship.  His ability to fuse different genres of music within a song; making your heart pound with pulsating drums and your head thrust back and forth with strong rock guitar riffs while your mind is moved to and fro by the opera-influenced background vocals as the emotions drip from every word that Mike belts out.  

Here's the pickle though.  The other day as we drove and listened to "Bad" for the millionth time (that morning!) and Bboy began to ask me questions about MJ's life, I had to pause about how much of the life of Michael Jackson I wanted to divulge.  My son so enjoys the music...I mean he really is listening to the songs and wondering about the stories being told  Yesterday, as we listened to "Who Is It" , my son said, "He's got me sad, mommy."  I asked him why and he said, "Because he loves his girlfriend and she won't love him back!" Bboy knew the song was sad because Michael emoted it.  OK, I helped it a little because I explained to Bboy that he was singing about a friend who didn't want to be his friend anymore b/c she found another friend.  But, he asked me was Michael sad to start the discussion (a warning to those of you who think that kids just listen to the beat).  Anyway, back to the pickle, I started to think about how much of MJ I have been ignoring since his death.  How I have just focused on the things that were wonderful about his contribution to the world.

I guess you're wondering how the hell all this fits into weight loss.  Well, there are many times when I think about the way I used to eat, correction: the stuff I used to eat, with a certain longing.  I go into a supermarket and at the check out is that Reese's Cup that was so perfect during TOM, or I see a NEW! cookie flavor on the shelf and wonder why they couldn't have just come out with it before I started my weight loss program.  There are times when I think about some kind of food that I will enjoy when "I'm done" my program only to remind myself that I'll never be done.

So, around the same time that I was thinking about the romantification (yeah, I know it's not a word) of Michael Jackson, I started to think about how I have also romanticized food.  Instead of thinking about the taste of something yummy, I began to ask myself what did I get out of eating it.  OK, it tasted good but compared to how amazing I feel now...compared to how wonderful it feels to be able to play with my son without needing a break or a nap...compared to the sense of accomplishment that I feel having lost 131+ pounds...compared to the pride I feel when people ask me "How are you doing it...I could never" or "What's your secret?" like I'm in some exclusive club...compared to how in control I feel MOST of the time...compared to how my mother looks at me...compared to how the man I love, who I thought would be an obstacle, cheers me on and tells me that I inspire him!, compared to all of that, I had to ask myself what the fuck a Reese's Cup could do for me!  Yes, I had to ask myself that and in that way.

Those Reese's Cups were leading me to a slow death...frightening moments where I wouldn't know if I would be able to catch my son if he ran into the street...a life unfulfilled...a destructive example of health for my son...boring out of control, unhappy and reclusive existence.  I know that I can't become my best self and have the Reese's Cups.  They are mutually exclusive.  I don't know if it takes getting to a certain point in your journey to be able to see the rose-colored glasses that we tend to put on when we wish to justify our own destructive behaviors, but I'm really trying to put mine down...on the I can stomp on them!

As for MJ, Imma let that one stand cause even though I'm really tired of listening to "Bad", I love dancing in the living room with my son and hearing him sing "Because I'm bad, I'm bad, I'm bad, I'm bad....mumble, mumble, mumble, mumble...I'M BAD!"


  1. This post was over the top awesome. I totally get what you are saying about romanticizing food. That is me to a tee. I know I would think about a food, think and think and think. Sometimes I would dream about it. Then I'd finally give in and, guess what? It didn't do it. On to the next food.

    It's so weird because I just don't feel that now. I used to see a cheeseburger on TV and WTF go out at 9pm and get one? I don't miss that.

    I also know what you mean about MJ. My almost 13y old son really wanted to explore his music when he died and he was all over the news, which was fine with me. Listening to all those great songs was fun. The other issues I had to explain and skirt around, not so much fun. And at 13...well it's not like I could NOT answer some of those questions. All he has to do is google and I'd rather he hear it from me. I think you are so awesome. I am inspired by you. And I'd love to see your little guy dancing to "Bad".

  2. Thanks so much for this. I asked one of my friends to read this before I posted it because I wasn't sure if it was making sense:-) Can I tell you that the feeling is mutual. I read your blog somedays and after I pick myself off the floor from laughing at how you've described something, I dust myself off and get back to the grind because you've inspired me to push myself. Thanks.