Friday, May 13, 2011

Reflections on an emergency

After every trip up there to help, it's days before I can close my eyes without seeing hay and straw stuck on or through everything, twisted metal, broken trees and glass everywhere. What's almost worse, though, are the ghost images, where memory fills in the missing buildings, and seeing an object, or rather, parts of it, makes you remember where it used to sit. I could almost hear the sound of the wind when I stood in the midst of what used to be a beautiful grove of trees, like an echo of the tornado that ripped through the farm.

I can't imagine what it must be like to go through that every single day.

My biggest heroes are my aunt Paula, my uncle Jim, and my parents for helping take care of them and the mess. I have no idea how they have made it through the past five weeks, except that it is an Iowa-thing. I only wish I could send them all on a vacation somewhere tropical and quiet, as I know they are exhausted, and have all of the work finished by the time they come back.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Day 8 - Weight Watchers, and my complicated relationship with food.

Nearly every day at 3:30 pm, I find myself heading down to the vending machines, hungry for a snack. The vending machines don't have a large selection of healthy foods, obviously, so I would usually settle for a rice krispy treat (60 oz), or Chex Mix (1/2 cup bag), or both.

I didn't realize exactly how much damage I was doing with those two choices.

Try 6 points each.


Added to this is the fact that I would quite often get a sugar-low about 30 minutes later, leaving me scurrying for yet another bit of something to eat, so that I wouldn't get sicker. And then there was the after-dinner ice cream, and the chocolate bars (the big ones), and the chips and dip, and sometimes all three, and it's no wonder that I gained 20 pounds last year. I can't say it snuck up on me, because I knew perfectly well that it was a bad idea to snack like that. I just couldn't stop eating once I started. It was so much easier to sit and eat while reading a book, than to examine why I was unhappy.

Because I spent this past year profoundly unhappy.

I justified what I was eating by telling myself that I deserved a treat. Fridays started out as "bacon-cheeseburger days". Pretty soon, that was expanded to Mondays as well, then Wednesdays, with a little stop by Little Caesar's for a deep-dish on Monday evenings, while Ian was at Jazz Band.

Eating out, eating fast food, eating, eating, eating.

Sure, I noticed that my clothes were tighter. I took to wearing long scarves to cover up the fat rolls that apparently decided the only place they wanted to be was my front mid-section, and my chest. Favorite button-down shirts were out, as they were the first to become too tight (I gain weight in areas that some women pay to enhance). I kept putting off buying new clothes. I was completely in denial.

Then, last Wednesday morning, I got on the scale, and noticed the numbers hit exactly what I weighed right before Ian was born.

Yes, my secret is out. Last Wednesday, I weighed as much as I did when I was 8 months, 1 week along with my 8.5 pound son, nearly 17 years ago.

It wasn't exactly a WTF moment. I felt a deep sense of anger at myself, but no real surprise. After all, I knew what I had been shoving in my mouth for the last 12 months.

The next day, I decided that I just needed to make a change. I logged back into my Weight Watchers Online account, and entered my new weight (cringing the whole time). I reset the Week count to Week 1.

As of the end of week 1, I have lost 6 pounds.

Now, the healthy rate of weight loss is less than 3 pounds a week. However, when one is NOT stuffing oneself with well more than a thousand extra calories a day, it tends to make just a bit of a difference. I know that this is a fluke week. I'll just be happy with any loss on my way to my goal.

The only nagging problem is that this whole house of cards could come crashing down unless I tackle the reason WHY this happened.

I knew something was off, but it really took just a small thing to help me pinpoint what was wrong. It took laughing until I nearly cried, and being around friends to make me realize that it had literally been months since I had felt that good. MONTHS. My son even commented later that he was happy I was able to laugh again. I guess I had been so miserable that I didn't even know how unhappy I truly was until that evening. I had laughed, yes, but not like that.

Part of my weight loss quest will be finding ways to get that feeling back.