Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Starvation Has Life-Long Effects

As a child I was starved when my father didn't have enough work to get money for food.

One winter after I turned 10 years old and my brother was six, my father found a 100-lb sack of potatoes for $2.00.  For several weeks that was all we had to eat. 

Later on there were several periods of time when we coped with food shortages but that was the worst.

My father had taken my brother and me away from our mother and moved us across the country and took us out of school so we couldn't be traced.  He had studied "living off the grid."  When you're off the grid you can't take a regular job and get paid by check.  You have to find menial labor that pays cash and no social security number needed.  Some weeks he earned no more than $5. 

In 1963, five dollars bought more that it would now but it still wasn't enough for two growing children.

Finally he was able to falsify his birth certificate and change his name.  He got a job with regular pay and we began eating somewhat better.  Sometimes we had cornbread with creases (greens) which we gathered on the riverbank.  Sometimes we had a plateful of sweet potatoes and that was it.  There was never what you could call a balanced diet.  He considered our life to be good enough and his conscience never bothered him.

Now at nearly 60 years old, I am morbidly obese, at nearly 300 pounds.  I have tried various theories and methods to lose weight.  Currently I'm attending Weight Watchers meetings and have hope of learning how to apply their points system.  But the memory of those months of living without enough to eat often drive me to the kitchen convinced that I've got to get something to eat.

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