adoptedwriter: (Swallowtail Butterfly)
[personal profile] adoptedwriter
I am not really an overweight person, however in the last 7-8 or so years, I have gained weight, and there’s been no good explanation why. Well, perhaps there is:
In 2007-08 I lost 15 pounds. My niece was getting married, and I had to buy a formal dress plus pay airfare for my kids and me to fly to this wedding. I wasn’t going to miss a chance to celebrate and be happy with my sisters for anything in the world. The problem was, I was short on money.
One way to save a little was to diet down and fit into a dress I had in my closet. It was burgundy, shimmery and lovely. I was extremely motivated, plus dieting meant less spending on groceries and lunch at work. It took four weeks before I lost my first pound. Four lousy weeks! Luckily I started early enough that I still had time, but wow! Four weeks! Really? WTF? What The Fat?
I had to starve and deprive myself of a lot of eating. I avoided going anywhere but my job for three months, but by Christmas break, I did have 11 pounds off and could wear the pretty dress just fine. Four more pounds came off after that.
I was pretty good at keeping the weight off with intense exercise and lots of saying, “No” for a few more months.
My daughter had a classmate die tragically in a car accident in late April. She was devastated, and honestly so was the entire school community. Then I was laid off due to cut backs and had to find a new teaching or aide position. I found one, but it was not an easy workplace in which to function. I was laid off again and began substitute teaching. (No school wants to hire an over-experienced 50-year-old when they can hire a 22-year-old cheaper.)
I also took some grad school classes, but that was stressful because I feared failing. The cost was ridiculous too.
My mother returned from Florida to Ohio to live near me, and within weeks of her arrival had a severe car crash. She could have died, and her recovery was arduous. I missed a lot of work time and ate a lot of meals out of hospital vending machines and puddings out of the “family kitchens” at the rehab place.
Then my father-in-law fell ill and passed away. He was the pillar of my husband’s family, but after he was gone, the family unit broke apart. There was a lot of bitterness and disagreement, and things got ugly. Suddenly hanging out with my recovering, persnickety, cranky mother was more pleasant than feeling judged and rejected by the in-law clan.
My brother in Florida was in big-time legal trouble and had to do prison time. (Think the guy version of Orange is the New Black). Going to jail is stressful on everyone. Among other deeds, he’d conned our mom out of some money, and she was pretty much broke, aside from her social security check, so we had, (and still have to), help out with some of her expenses, and my mom, being old-school, had, (and still has), a hard time understanding why I work three jobs.
My husband had some outpatient surgery that did not heal in 2013, had to have the procedure redone in 2014, and it still did not take. He was beginning to panic but would not do anything proactive. Finally one day he called me at work and asked me to come home. He was in tears. I drive him to an ER because he was either that physically sick or having a mental break down or both. Two hours later he was DXed with APL leukemia! It’s a curable form, but the 12 months of hospitalization, chemo and doctor appointments were challenging. My mother fell the day he was released from UCMC, and I was torn between bringing my husband home from a 4-week stay and leaving my mother bleeding on her living room floor.
I survived on more hospital food and wine.
Then my mother fell twice in 2015. Both were serious falls requiring months of hospital skin surgeries and in-and-out-rehab facilities. She battled the nasty side effects of MRSA and C-Diff. Thanks to great efforts on the part of several hospital staffs, a very kind wound care doctor, my friend, “L” and myself, she has recovered. The Mothership carries on.
Also, in 2015, my birth father died. Throat / tongue cancer is evil, ugly and hideous. The feelings of loss and anxiety over that hit me harder than I expected. My birth sisters had never been through a huge family loss before, and I grieved both with them and for them. I’d already lost two other dads.
During these years of difficulty, the one thing I did for myself was to become a fitness instructor. It’s income and exercise all in one. I don’t have to pay for gym / sports club memberships, which is a sweet perk. I work out 3-5 times a week.
I should be a twig. Right?
But I’m not. I’m not fat, but I’m not slender. I can’t wear that pretty, shiny wine-colored dress anymore. It’s not out of style, so it’s still hanging in my closet for just in case.
I know what I need to do, but now I have bad habits. I eat dinner too late at night. I sip wine and snack more than I should. I need to break these patterns, and it’s super-hard.
I’m still a healthy person and pretty damn fit compared to how my parents were at the same age, (55). Most people don’t think I am as old as I am. I have more energy than a lot of people in their 40s.
I just need to clean up my habits and try to figure out how to get 10 pounds off without starving myself.
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