Sunday, June 12, 2011

My Diet Story, short version

One of my earliest memories regarding weight was when i was 11. I had injured my knee in a bicycle wreck and when i was telling my grandmother that it hurt she said it was because i was so fat and heavy, that my knees couldn't handle the strain. Later, as a grown woman, I saw a pic of myself from that time and i was skinny as a rail. I asked my grandmother why she had said that, and she said it was because she was worried I would gain weight in puberty. Her comment was to try to prevent that from happening. (we put the 'fun' in dysfunctional!)
I don't remember being particularly concerned about my weight until after I had my son at 22yo. Up until that point I had a general feeling that I was overweight, but that it wasn't really a problem and it wasn't worth any extra effort. I was about 155 lbs and a sz 10-12 in college, 175 lbs when i had my son.
After I had my son, i made many half-hearted attempts at dieting. My first really serious effort came in 2008, with my enrollment in Jenny Craig. That diet was working, though i see now it wouldn't have lasted long-term because of my mindset and lack of knowledge. That diet was cut short with an emergency hospital stay and diagnosis of Crohn's Disease. I feel the quantity of preservatives in the shelf-stable foods (I took the cheaper route on the Jenny Craig meals) led to the flare that hospitalized me. Needless to say, I did not resume the program when i got home. I promptly gained back the 20+ lbs I had lost.
By 2010 I was weighing around 200 lbs, I had resigned myself to being fat. I made fat jokes about myself, which further degraded my self esteem, not to mention it made people uncomfortable.
My best friend had been dieting in 2010, and perhaps that got me thinking about it. When she moved I was bored and depressed. Maybe for a distraction, or maybe because I was 'on my own' now, but i started seriously considering dieting. I decided I would start the day after my birthday - my own personal 'New Year'. I read all I could in the 3 weeks of waiting. Coincidentally, i got a new phone and discovered apps, and then Fat Secret.
I also decided that since i had always told myself that i shouldn't eat whatever, that while waiting for the start i would all I wanted of anything. The good side of that was that I realized that food didn't make me happy. In fact, I was disgusted with myself. The bad side of the plan was that I gained up to 207, so I had extra to lose. Oh, well!
So, on August 13th (a Friday!), i started my diet. I have counted calories, and unlike with Jenny Craig, I have exercised. My plan was to eat anything i wanted, but in moderation. I learned quickly that some foods aren't worth having because of the deprivation i will face later in the day. Along the same lines, some foods aren't worth the miles I would have to walk to burn the calories.
This has been very rewarding, but ironically i worry all the time that I will gain the weight back. I still think of myself as fat (my mom calls this ghost fat), and I wonder how long that will last.
Since I've almost reached my goal, mt next effort is to figure out how to increase my muscle mass and be really fit, not just smaller.

Monday, May 2, 2011

. . . I Don't Know If I Can Do Right

Tracy Chapman's song reverberates in my mind. . .

At this point in my life
I’ve done so many things wrong I don’t know if I can do right
If you put your trust in me I hope I won’t let you down
If you give me a chance I’ll try
You see it’s been a hard road the road I’m traveling on
And if I take your hand I might lead you down the path to ruin
I’ve had a hard life I’m just saying it so you’ll understand
That right now, right now, I’m doing the best I can

At this point in my life
Although I’ve mostly walked in the shadows
I’m still searching for the light
Won’t you put your faith in me
We both know that’s what matters
If you give me a chance I’ll try
You see I’ve been climbing stairs but mostly stumbling down
I’ve been reaching high but always losing ground
You see I’ve conquered hills but I still have mountains to climb
And right now right now I’m doing the best I can
At this point in my life

Before we take a step
Before we walk down that path
Before I make any promises
Before you have regrets
Before we talk commitment
Let me tell you of my past
All I’ve seen and all I’ve done
The things I’d like to forget

At this point in my life
I’d like to live as if only love mattered
As if redemption was in sight
As if the search to live honestly
Is all that anyone needs
No matter if you find it

You see when I’ve touched the sky
The earth’s gravity has pulled me down
But now I’ve reconciled that in this world
Birds and angels get the wings to fly
If you can believe in this heart of mine
If you can give it a try
Then I’ll reach inside and find and give you
All the sweetness that I have
At this point in my life
At this point in my life

I just feel so sad. I don't know why, really. I know that I'm blessed, I don't deny that. It's just a pervasive sadness that's always in the background of my thoughts and feelings. Maybe it's worse because I'm exhausted.

Last weekend co-workers Michael and Leigh were talking about their respective proposals and marriages. So, they were talking and reliving and comparing. Michael is even going to repropose because he doesn't think his wife had a good-enough proposal experience the first time.

I always eagerly listen to these stories from people, per chance to find the magic formula that worked for them, and perhaps may work for me? I want details of how they met, how long they dated, when they knew this person was "The One" and how the details of the proposal went. I guess you could say that for that moment i live vicariously through them.

Then the conversation is over and they walk away, and I'm right back in my lonely confused world. I was so sad. I ~am~ so sad. I'm sad every time (why do continue to torture myself?), but i was overwhelmingly sad last week. I had to get busy and distract myself, and yet, it was there - sadness. I wanted to go to the bathroom and cry. But why? To wallow in pity? To question God? To blame my mother? To hate myself? What's the point?

I want to be child-like and beg God day and night for a wonderful husband and companion. And i want to point out that's it's not entirely selfish. I want to be a good wife to someone, no matter how hard it may be. But what if it's not God's plan for me? What if i beg and whine so he gives it to me? Will I be happy then?

Or what if it ~is~ God's plan but I'm such a distrusting screw-up that I've passed him by? Do you get a second (or 22nd) chance?

I really try not to think about it. Ever. And when I do, I'm trying to have an attitude of trust and faith. But does that mean I do nothing to pursue? I don't think so, but how far is too far for me to try to make it happen? Do I join an Internet dating site? If so, do I just have an ad, but never contact anyone, instead waiting for God to direct them to me? Or can I contact people? I don't have a great track record, so maybe I should just wait. On the other hand, I don't attract the best sort. . . All so confusing.

I have no answers. And I don't think anyone does. And about that time that have my emotions tidied up something hits me out of the clear blue. Like Karen talking about a funeral, and who she knows that knows this person. And how the girl got pregnant. Then that reminds me of something related to my experience. And then i think about how i should have married Daniel. HE obviously has the ability to stay married, seemingly happy. I obviously have problems. And if i had married him, Matthew would have his daddy.

And there it is - my overwhelming sadness.

And I wouldn't have all these issues with my family in my face, b/c married people have someone in their corner. They get more respect, on an individual basis, and from society as a whole.

Michael posted a quote for his wife on FB -

The fundamental guarantee of marriage is the feeling that you are worthwhile, that you cannot be replaced, that your partner needs you, that you are acting well, you are a fellow human being and a true friend. But comrades must be equal, for when people are equal they will always find a way to settle their difficulties. - Alfred Adler.

That's what's missing. I have nobody to take up for me, nobody that finds me irreplaceable. I don't feel that basic human validation of marriage that says I'm worth committing to and sacrificing for, that I'm worthwhile.

I hate that I need it so desperately.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

But Wait, There's More!

As if my life weren't emotional and dramatic enough already. . .

Tonight I finally told my son that his father and I were never married.

speechless. . .

I've cried and laughed and cried some more for 2 days. I may cry now.

Today is Wednesday. I found out Monday that my father loved me after all.