Opinion | Sexuality

Why a Big Stomach Belongs at Thanksgiving

And how my own appetite went from enemy to dear friend.
Why a Big Stomach Belongs at Thanksgiving

The first time I remember feeling uncomfortable from overeating was at a Thanksgiving meal at my grandparents'. Between the main course and the dessert that I still hoped to eat, I went on a walk around their property to relieve my discomfort and make room for just a bit more. Perhaps every child has such an encounter with the stomach's limits, but that meal also foreshadowed many years of struggling with food. During those years, my sense of taste seemed more curse than blessing.

By my freshman year of college, I could balance my healthy, six-foot tall father in the scales, a fact that scared me. I'd been trying to "fix" my weight since late junior high, but to no avail. Each time my latest strategy failed (whether cutting out dessert or seconds or trying to get more exercise), the high weight for that lapse inched further upward. These numbers were always in the realm of mere overweight, but seemed doomed to end in obesity. When I saw Dad's weight on my scale ...

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