Take Me As I Am
Nothing says ‘New Year’ quite like the abundance of weight loss commercials. They assault us as we vegetate in front of the television, soft drinks and chips in hand. They shout at us, ” NEW YEAR, NEW YOU!” We are made to feel worthless by the ads that try to brainwash us into believing that we can shed pounds quickly with just a little pill, a special powder, a body squeezer, etc.
I recently came across a group of random photos. Why they were grouped together, I have no idea. Included among these pictures was a small time capsule of my life.
I was holding my oldest son as a toddler. My joy shone from my eyes. But I distinctly remember seeing that picture at the time and thinking that I needed to shed a few of those baby pounds. I remember feeling like a failure when I couldn’t fit into my size 6 jeans and was forced to size up to an 8.
I was at a wedding. The dress I wore did me no favors. Ruffles and patterns were a distraction to the eye. I remember that Hubs hated that dress. I remember buying it, knowing it was in style. My girlfriend urged me to get one that was just a bit shorter and less patterned but I was stubborn. As I was at the wedding, I knew they were both right and I was uncomfortable.
Son2’s prom. I was standing beside my tall, dark and handsome son beaming with pride. I had on a blouse with stripes. Ugh. They pointed out how wide my waist was and how big my chest was.
Holly’s graduation. A sleeveless dress. God, my upper arms are flabby!
I put down the pictures. There was a thought niggling at the back of my mind. I didn’t know what it was. The more I tried to pull it forward, the more elusive it became. I folded laundry and went back to the pictures.
The thought crashed into my consciousness.
No matter how my weight rose, the body shape was still the same.
In high school, I had no waist. I had an “athletic build”. After the kids were born, no waist. I had “baby fat”. I needed to tone up those abdominal muscles. As I approached middle age, I had no waist. I was “unfit” because I didn’t exercise.
Were all of these things true? To some extent, they were. Now I look at these pictures and think that I would give a million dollars to be that small again. I would switch things around a bit. I would show more cleavage then and less now. I would be more revealing in a bathing suit and less now. The difference?
I now know that I was MADE this way. I will NEVER have a clearly defined waist. I will always be built like a box with legs. That is my BODY TYPE. With age comes wisdom. Sure, I will try to lose weight, but for health reasons, not vanity. I will dress better. ( I hope!) But because I am paying more attention to what is right for ME, not what society dictates is ‘fashion’.
I will be more forgiving with myself.
THIS is my resolution.
As soon as I promised to write more, I fall off the planet again.
Actually I am coming to terms with news from my doctor. I went to the office last Wednesday for a checkup on my numbers, my weight and my horrible allergies. I have lost five pounds and more than five inches on my waist. This was good news.
By the time I got into the examining room, however, my allergy-pressure-migraine was ready to peak. I was afraid of throwing up or worse-passing out. The doc looked at me and handed me a prescription to deal with it. The last time I discussed pills for this, I was told that it would be something that I would take every day to keep migraines at bay. Not wanting to deal with that, I just dealt with them the best way that I could-ice packs, caffeine, and peppermint oil. Those three combined do a bang up job, but I have to be home for them. This pill, however, was bliss. I love my doctor!
And then we discussed my cholesterol. It seems that a summer of parties, party cake, potato salad, and of course alcohol has finally caught up with me. If I had avoided those things, my weight loss would have been more than five pounds. Instead it made my cholesterol spike. I have one month to fix this before he says I will need medication. Not thrilled.
Since I have done so well with my half hour of walking every day, he now wants me to raise it to one hour. This is doable. The next step is two fresh or frozen fruits and two vegetables a day. One fish a week and more beans. This is a very simple step for me to incorporate. I am so freaking happy that he is encouraging me with very tiny steps.
Oh it is showing. I had a pair of jeans that were so comfortable. I gained weight and put them away hoping that ‘someday’ I would fit in them again. Finally, I resigned myself to the fact that they could be doing someone else some good and so I put them in the Goodwill pile in the basement. While looking for something different last week, I came upon them and pulled them on….just for shits and giggles. Lo and behold!! They fit me again!!!
And there you have it. Nothing is new….except my attitude!
The Gauntlet Is Thrown
I have a new doctor. Actually it is a practice of four and I can choose to stick with one or see whoever is on call. I am sticking with Dr R.
I went to see him in February and he treated me for a sinus infection that I didn’t even know I had. He told me to have some blood work done for my thyroid and liver and come back in a few months. Well, the blood work that should have been done in March was just accomplished two days ago. Since Babygirl needed a physical, I went in too.
First, he scolded me for waiting. I should know better! I’m a grown-ass woman after all! And he told me exactly WHY I need the blood work. Well, I knew why I needed it, I just didn’t know what would happen without it. (Medications could be ‘too much’ or ‘too little’) Now I could scold myself and I did-internally.
Then, he said “You need to lose 20 pounds”
I know this. I have tried, albeit half-heartedly, for a while. I exercise for a few days, start aching and quit. Or the weather is too hot, too cold, too wet, too whatever and I quit. Or I get busy with projects and I skip a day or two or three and I quit. My old doctor used to tell me I needed to ‘exercise more’ or that I needed to ‘watch my diet’. Those are vague things to me. But being told “You need to lose 20 pounds” is pretty specific. I found myself listening. Not hearing….but LISTENING. I am of ‘a certain age’. I am ‘post menopausal’. My body is different now. I ‘need to act now.’
“Walk 15 minutes in any direction and then turn around and go home. You can do that, can’t you?”
Well, yes, but….
“You have two dogs to walk. You don’t have to run or power walk. Just walk. Doable?”
“You need to cut the carbs – not OUT of your diet, just cut back. Instead of a sandwich with two sides, eat one with an open face. Stick with a baked potato. You don’t need butter or sour cream. Try salsa, or some broccoli and a little bit of cheese. Enjoy an egg or two a week for breakfast. Just skip the sausage or bacon or switch to turkey. You can do that can’t you?”
“Okay then. I’ll see you in a couple of months.”
I walked out of the office feeling like an ass. I have never been given such tiny little things to work on. I am a douche if I can’t manage those tiny little changes. Whenever I left the old doc’s office, I would leave crestfallen at the thought of ‘exercise’. He would suggest joining a gym or pool to do ‘workouts’. They were never an option for me. Dr R never mentioned either to me. He didn’t give me a ‘low fat’, ‘no carb’, or ‘diet regimen’. Just a few changes that were within the realm of possibility without buying special foods that were separate from what I would buy my whole family.
Now I feel like I have been dared. As if he has said “I DARE YOU TO COME BACK HERE WITHOUT AT LEAST TWO POUNDS GONE.” The gauntlet has been thrown.
No one dares me, motherfucker.
Three Little Things
I learned three things this weekend that may seem little to most of you, but that are kinda big to me……
Three…..I was told by a teenage boy–who is not related to me–that it was fun shopping with me. I was in Claire’s with his mom and sister. (Shopping for an eleven year old girl who is overwhelmed by the number of sparklies is a joy I have gladly given up!) We giggled together over the stupid sunglasses and furry hats. I threatened to tell a girl that he liked her. He threatened to act like I was a cougar hunting young cubs. This is a kid that only a few short months ago, was more annoying than the sound of nails on a blackboard. It made me smile….a lot.
Two….I found out that my exercising is starting to pay off again. I have gone from a 44D to 42C. This was somewhat exasperating. I needed to return two bras that I had bought last month and I only expected to exchange them. My friend talked me into trying on two different styles. They didn’t fit me for some odd reason and she begged to see what the problem was. Before I knew it, she was throwing bra after bra over the dressing room door. “Humor me”, she said over and over again. I was getting pissed and I felt like a teenager bra shopping with her mom. I was fed up. She said “humor me” one more and time and I told her that this was the last time. She handed me three more bras that were smaller. They cupped my boobs firmly and yet cradled them way above my belly button. They are pretty. They are floral. They are silky. And she said “I told you so.” Bitch. Yeah, I’ll let her get away with it….this time.
One….Hubs woke up in one of those rare moods. He was playful and I wasn’t. I got dressed to go out, and as I started to put on my coat, I noticed I had a spot on my blouse. And so, I changed. He thought it was funny that I was getting ticked off about the spot. Whatever. Oh and before I put my coat back on, I wanted to rinse my mouth with mouthwash. As I did, I dribbled down the front of the new shirt. He roared with laughter. It was at this point that I was ready to pull on my pajamas and go back to bed. I was still sleepy and not in the mood for playing around. He came to the bathroom door and hugged me. “Why are you getting so upset?” he asked me. “I feel like an ass and you’re laughing.” And then he said….
“I love the way you make me laugh. I love you and you’re so cute.”
Yeah, that one was the number one thing…….That and the french toast he bought me for breakfast.
Something Old, Something New…..
A few things are happening….just a few ….but they are the type of things that keep me from you, my friends.
Something old…..That would be me. Hubs whisked me away for two nights at the beach. We relaxed, met up with my kids for a day on the beach and dinner, and we shared some drinks and smooches. One morning, we rented bicycles and rode them…..and rode them….and-well you get the drift. We rode for forty-five minutes in one direction, turned around and rode back. Lemme tell you, halfway back, I damn near died. My muscles burned, my body spewed off sweat and I could see my thighs twitch with overuse. Yeppers, kids, I am sadly out of shape. Even though I have been exercising, I have been more about the cardio and abs. Apparently, I must learn to do it all.
Something new…..My laptop needs a new fanbelt. It had been overheating a bit and after ruling out overuse and a recalled battery, I discovered that that was what I needed. And so, my beloved is off for two weeks getting repaired. Which brings me to….
Something borrowed…..In the meantime, I am typing this post on Babygirl’s laptop. This won’t happen very often, I’m sure. I am afraid of doing anything that would compromise this back-to-school purchase. So….if anything needs to be spilled on here, I will most likely be borrowing the business computer. Ugh! You know how I feel about that!
And lastly, we have something blue…..That would be me. My cousin is not doing very well with her battle against stomach cancer. We only learned of it shortly before Christmas, and she has already nosedived very quickly. I can only hope that she is spared from too much pain. Life is not very fair.
There is also the ‘countdown’ to August 26. That is the day that Babygirl leaves us for her dorm. Yes, I’m blue but also tickled pink–for her. She is excited and so I am, but damn, I will miss her…..
And there you have it. That’s what’s happening. It’s what keeps me from you all. I hope to catch up with my blog reading because I want to see what YOU’RE doing this summer!!
It Only Took Five Years!
Wanna know what I’ve been doing? Huh? Are you on pins and needles?
Don’t lie, motherfuckers.
On Saturday morning, while I started to clean the inside of my windows, Hubs decided to clean the gutters. The debris in them was starting to sprout roots. I got the bright idea to use the ladder after him to clean the outside of the windows. I’ve only been begging him to let me use the ladder for about five years. He seems to think that I’ll kill myself, so I can’t use the ladder without supervision and he won’t supervise. IMPASSE! But this Saturday, since he took it out, I used it, cleaning windows and screens. I was happy.
As I began to wash the front window, I heard a saw. I looked down and there he was, hunched over, sawing away at the mostly dead bushes. I was worried that he would hurt his back, but I held my tongue. I was excited that the bushes were going. I’ve only been begging him to get rid of them for the past five years. By 3pm on Saturday, this is what my house looked like:
Naked house front.
It was hot out and humid. We worked our asses off. After showering, all I wanted was a burger and a beer. I went into his office to suggest a trip to Wendy’s but before I could say a word, he suggested a trip to Charlie Brown’s for some drinks and maybe some appetizers. I jumped at the chance. I ended up eating a huge sirloin burger and washing it down with Sam Adams Cherry Wheat. Yum. Then we went home and I watched Union defeat Houston. Woo Hoo!
Debris lines the side of the house.
On Sunday, we went to Home Depot, picked up a few things and got started again. I was finally going to get a garden! And it only took five years of begging!! We tied up our debris, marked out where we wanted our garden and Hubs began to dig it up. I pulled out some ivy on the other side of the house. Eventually, it was too hot and we quit.
Some of our plant purchases.
Monday, we put down some top soil, fertilized, and began placing our plants. It was hot. We decided to take it easier than we had been but not until we had added a layer of black mulch. Lostmahead stopped in and I asked her to help me sort my basement. I knew there were curtains that I could be using but I couldn’t find them. We sorted for roughly an hour. I found curtains that I had forgotten that I had! SCORE! I was so happy. After she left, I began washing the curtains and packing up some stuff for Goodwill that had been buried. This was a productive weekend.
This is not the finished result. We still have more flowers to put in. That’s a lot for two old farts with bad backs!
Tuesday, I ironed and then hung curtains in every room on the first floor. All of the curtains matched! And it only took five years!!
Wednesday, I cleaned a few closets, packed stuff away (in the empty bins that I discovered in the basement) and found a brand new needlepoint kit that I didn’t know that I had! As I passed through the room, I noticed our scale. So I stepped on it, expecting to see the same old-same old. Imagine my surprise when I saw that I have broken through a target weight!
And it only took five years!
The thing that I wanted the most
Was to write an exciting new post
I need energizing
and some exercising
or I’d have nothing of which to boast.
I first had to shut my front door
And then I got down on the floor
I wanted to do
a push up or two
I did two and I couldn’t do more.
I walked for three days in a row. That isn’t a big deal, really. Once or twice a week, I manage to do beginner’s pilates. Basically, it is lots of stretching. Two or three times a month, I throw in a shot at the treadmill. This is not a lot of exercise and it looks like even less when I see it printed out in front of my eyes likes this.
When I do the pilates, I feel great. Even the stiffness is good because I feel like I accomplished something. But then, Hubs has a day or two at home and I cannot do it. I cannot roll around on the floor without the comments like “Oh yeah, baby! It looks good from here!” or “See? I knew you could bend like that!” It makes me laugh, and then I lose my concentration, and then I feel self-concious. I ask him to stop and I can see that I’ve hurt his feelings. “I just wanted to let you know that I appreciate the way you look.” or “I’m just trying to encourage you.” There is a better way to do that, but coming from him, it would sound fake, forced.
Walking – on the treadmill, or on the street – makes me sweat. I hate the feeling of sweat but I have learned to tolerate it. Walking also gives me different pains. An ache in the hip, a pinch in the back, and then my shins. It makes me stop because the hip pain makes sleep difficult. The back pain could escalate into months of shit. The shins? Well….
I’ve mentioned it to my doctor. He tells me to be sure to stretch. Take some ibuprophen. I have done that and still the ache. I last walked on Thursday and even now, on Saturday I can feel the pain. It is almost like a constant leg cramp. If I walk it out, it gets worse or it spreads to my ankles. Is it shin splints? I think so, but I still don’t know what to do about it.
I feel so weak. Why don’t I have the fortitude to go on? As a kid, and even as a young adult, I played hard. I played softball, ran track, walked for miles. I moved from a town that used to laugh at walkers and joggers to a town where they are a constant presence- rain or shine. I now have a dog for company. Why can’t I get motivated? Why can’t I get past the fear of pain? I know that exercising can help get rid of so many of my problems and yet, just the thought cripples me. I think of the people I know who lost weight due to heart problems, the people who soldier on through chemo treatments, the people who have been through physical therapy to learn to move all over again. And then I feel ashamed of my weakness.
I need a partner. I have no problem doing anything – exercise, walking, dieting- with a partner. I’ve asked a few friends and it just hasn’t worked out. A gym is not an option.
How do I get motivated? I can think of a million reasons why I can’t exercise today. And I can also think of a million reasons why I should get off my ass. How do I get rid of this defeatist attitude?
I went to the doctor’s tonight and it was good and bad.
He agrees that my depression is just a tad worse, so he upped the dosage on my meds. This has been working just fine for the past few days so I am happy about that. I lost one pound. This is good and bad. It’s good because it is a pound lost. It is bad because it should be more than that. He thinks that my lack of exercise is tied in with the depression. (My doctor is such a genius. He went to med school just so he could tell me that!) Ugh. So I should suddenly be happier about exercise. Well….we’ll see….
Since we are also keeping tabs on my thyroid, I had blood taken. I’ll let you in on a little secret. If you’re having blood drawn after a ‘fast’, schedule that appointment early! In my infinite wisdom, I made my appointment for 5pm. That means nothing to eat…well I ate a small bowl of oatmeal and half a banana…but it’s hard! No lunch! I had turkey in the fridge! I had fruit in the house! Son2 made a fresh pot of coffee! I was dying, I tell you! I was wasting away….in my mind, anyway….
So the doc takes out a needle and wraps that rubber strap on my arm. I would have been a happy junkie if I used heroin. My veins popped like a teenager’s boner. He jabbed me with the needle and quickly filled the syringe with my blood. (Don’t imagine it, DB! You’ll faint!) Quickly, he rubbed an alcohol-soaked cotton ball on my arm and proceded to cut off tape.
“STOP! Please don’t tape it. My arm is so hairy and that tape hurts when I pull it off. I’ll bruise.”
“Your arm will bruise twice as bad if I don’t put a bandaid on it. Let me just tape it up for you”
Before I could say, “You asshole” , he had put a strip of tape over the crease of my arm. I couldn’t wait to get into the car so I could remove it. Hubs and I left his office, went to CVS and a couple other places, and finally home. I had forgotten about the tape but it pulled on my skin while I took my sweater off. I lifted my sleeve and tried to ease the strip off. Son2 said, “You always told us not to be pussies. Just give it a good yank, like this.”
With that, he yanked the tape off.
See the circle? That is the needle spot. The rest is the tape!
I am wiritng this at 9:10 am. I have been awake since 5am. I have been out of bed since 5:45am. This is my day so far:
I am expecting kids today that will be dropped off at 8:30. I have to get a few things done first. I fold some laundry. I take a shower and I iron a few things that Babygirl will need tonight. And I eat breakfast. I manage to answer a few emails and stop into Facebook. So far so good.
Today Purple Heart will show up (Don’t know Purple Heart? Think Salvation Army) They tell me to have my bags “outside of the house before 7am.” It’s out there. It’s foggy, so the moisture is gathering quickly. The bags have condensation now. It is supposed to rain soon. It’s after 9am and they are still out there. Ugh. Can you imagine the mold and mildew that these clothes are being subjected to?? And all because I decided to recycle clothes.
At 8:45 I look around my house. It’s clean. I only need to dust but who gives a shit. The dog is fed and walked. The only thing I have to do all day is play with the kids. That’s it. Did I say it was 8:45? Hmm..those kids were due at 8:30….
My phone finally rings at 9. Since it is raining, Jeff cannot work. (He works outdoors) He will be staying home with the kids. I’m sorry, but I knew at 11 last night that it was going to rain today. WTF! So in reality, he could have had an idea that this would happen. His wife is up and at work by 7am. Are you telling me that there is no way to find out a weather report??? FUCK!!!
This happened last Wednesday too. His ride to work went home early because he was sick. Therefore Jeff used that as an excuse to go home too. He got home as his wife was leaving to drop the kids off to me. After they argued for a bit and after she drove all the way into work, she finally called me almost an hour late to tell me “no kids”. FUCK!!!
It’s not like there is so much work out there that I can afford to give them the kiss-off. Besides, I feel bad for Jen. she works as many hours as she can squeeze in. She is spread thin, and on top of all that she deals with that loser. I’m not saying that she is blameless, just that when others are involved-others who are helping you out- at least make a phone call in a timely manner. You don’t need to explain your life. Just tell me at the earliest you can. There is alot that gets put on a back burner when I am expecting kids. Now I have a whole day at my disposal with nothing planned to do. If I had known, I’d have planned some painting, or baking, or basement cleaning. These things take some prep for me. FUCK!!!
I’m still going to watch her kids when she needs me. I’ll just need to have a chat with her and maybe charge her a cancellation fee. It sucks because I know they can’t afford it but still…. I will suck it up. I will listen to Hubs tell me that I am being taken advantage of.
But I will still have some income that I can handle with my back and all the doctor appointments and scheduling. I will have several more kids in the summer. I just have to suck it up.
Suck it up.
Suck it up.
You know, just ‘cuz I say it, doesn’t mean it’s gonna be easy.
FUCK!!! It’s only 9:45.