I was influenced from a very young age by the ubiquitous Barbie Doll. She isn’t as popular today, and that may be a good thing, because as a little girl Barbie became the standard, the body by which I measured myself constantly. Her lithe shape was my dream. And I wasn’t the only girl who strove for the Barbie figure. Girls in the 60’s-on dieted for that thin shape. Some starved themselves

I even wanted to look like Vera Ellen in White Christmas, which our family watched every year. She was even thinner in that film than in her earlier movies. I was well into my adult years before I found out Vera had developed anorexia. She looked like Barbie, but likely paid a price with her health.

And so did I…almost. I never did become anorexic; I loved food too much. However, I did try bulimia. Once was all it took for me to realize the folly of that decision.

I tried sticking my finger down my throat but my gag reflex didn’t bring anything up. Then I had the brilliant idea of buying Ipecac Syrup. It’s the stuff you give to people who have ingested something poisonous, to force vomiting. Well, that did work, but the feeling and duration of the episode was miserable enough to make sure I never did it again.

Through various diets I have managed to lose weight and become thin, as thin as my metabolism and my five-foot frame would allow. At one point I made it to 107 pounds. I admit I did look pretty good, but again there was a price to pay.

It was very hard for me to hold that line. I was always hungry, and, I don’t know quite how to describe it, I didn’t feel well. I didn’t feel right in my skin. I couldn’t put y finger on it, but I just felt off, ill. Of course, when I gained back what I intended to be a just a few pounds, I went too far. I couldn’t stop.There I was again, my old, pudgy self. I decided to learn what was going on in my body; I needed to find the right balance.

A Clinical Nutritionist was born. I still have ups and downs but now I know why. If I choose to ingest the wrong foods, it’s with full knowledge of what that will do. Sometimes I just remember a food from my childhood that tastes so darn good, or maybe it reminds me of simpler times, so it’s an emotional treat as well as a gustatory one. Whatever the case, I continue my quest for knowledge, and am slowly weaning myself off the foods that don’t serve me well.

For example, I have come to lose my taste for beef and pork. I used to love a good steak and oh boy, I could really dive into the pulled pork and bacon! I refrained from eating them long enough, experimenting with what did and did not work for my body. When I tried them once more I felt heavy, awakened in the middle of the night with a lump in my gut and I knew my food choices that evening did not serve me well.

So, no—I am not skinny like my little-girl Barbie. I am, however, much healthier, and ultimately happier. But that doesn’t mean I don’t mess up on occasion and give in to my longings for the Old Foods.

So life is a roller coaster, but I have to say it’s getting to be a smoother ride over time. I hope that’s the way it is with you as well! Let me know what your experiences have been below. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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