Ever since I was a wee young thing, come January 1st, my mother would say to me “Katharine, today I start my new program!”
Honey and her best friend Mimi would then take themselves to our local Y.W.H.A, where they would slowly saunter around the track for 10 minutes before retreating to the sauna. Honey’s ‘program’ would continue for a few days, along with the ubiquitous black coffee and grapefruit; before my mother would begin to complain about feeling weak and insist my father take her to Moishe’s for a steak dinner.
When I was in my twenties my girlfriends and I were always trying the latest diet craze. Because at 5’2 and 115 lbs, I thought I was fat. Not just zaftig; I actually believed that I was very heavy and ergo very unattractive. We starved our way through The Cabbage Soup Diet, The Scarsdale Diet, and my personal favourite; The Eat Nothing But Drink A Disgusting Concoction Of Lemon Juice, Maple Syrup And Cayenne Pepper Diet. I would mix all these delightful ingredients with water, and force myself to drink 8 glasses of this mixture each day. This concoction was supposed to cleanse my filthy body and bring it back to purity and alignment. Blech!
Whilst in the midst of one such cleanse; I went on a date with a woman I had desperately desired . She chose the venue, my favourite Greek restaurant. While she ate her beautiful grilled trout dinner, I stared ravenously at her fish dish; instead of gazing into her intense gray eyes; insisting that my hot water and lemon tea would satisfy. Suffice to say that was our first and sadly last, date.
As I approach my 60th year here on planet Earth; I am still riding that streetcar named self abnegation, hoping that when I eventually disembark, I will step into my very own lavender land of Oz. Honey will great me with a bouquet of purple roses, the Mayor will give me the keys to his city and K.D Lang will give me the keys to her home.
However; everyone here knows what happened for Dorothy when she landed up in Oz. Dorothy needed to learn that there is no place like home, and that she had the knowledge all along – yada yada.
So what is this lesbian jewess to do?
I know for sure what I won’t be doing:
I will not be starting ‘my new program’.
This is the first time in my adult life that I will not be starting the new year with a resolve to diet. I am done with diets forever. I believe there is a reaon the word ‘die’ is in diet, for each time I began a new diet, a small part of me died.
I have now come to realize there is no ‘there’.
No mythical land to travel to, no good witch to give me ruby slippers (damn it!)
There is just ‘here’ and just ‘now’ and just ‘me’.
I am the only one that can give ‘me’ any lasting benediction. Beginning now; I am going to try loving my aging wrinkled chubster body and be grateful that my body allows me to walk with my puppy Lucille at Kew Beach in Toronto, the very same body that allows me to feel pleasure when I eat fresh red snapper at Milo’s in Montreal , and pancakes at The Ritz in Palm Beach. I shall enjoy eating those delicious home made donuts, and rejoice, for now I am eating mindfully, meaning that when I check in with my body, I realize that eating two donut is actually okay; the donut police will not come and take me away.
I am profoundly grateful that despite all the abuse I have heaped on my body; I am still here to delight in long slow delicious kisses; to enjoy reading a new J.M Redmann novel in front of a roaring fireplace, a soft blanket covering my always cold feet.
No more New Year’s diet resolutions; resolutions are so 2015!
2016 is the year of the mantra. Here is mine:
Be kind to myself. Be kind to myself. Be kind to myself. Be kind to myself.
Thin or heavy. Happy or sad. Productive or sloth like. Brilliant or dull. Beautiful or plain.Single or coupled.
Just be kind to yourself, Katharine.
And if you are still here with me;
please be kind to yourself