I think that it is interesting that this die-ting (I love that, YP, thanks!) somehow feels different. My mom was morbidly obese, and it limited her life in the end. To see myself beginning to look like her just made me feel as if I were heading down that same path. While I am not morbidly obese, those extra pounds bothered me.
I am still sticking to that 1200 calorie diet. It does not feel all that restrictive to me in actuality. I have my 6 oz. of homemade yogurt in the morning with 1/3 cup of granola and a cup of coffee. I am surprised that this 'holds me', but it does. I have a choice of 3 go-to meals for lunch that are all less than 300 calories. I drink 20 0z. of water. That holds me until supper. I fix Tim a regular supper, and usually take whatever meat we are having and chop it up and add it to a salad. I drink another 20 oz of water. If I feel like eating a meal, I do but just give myself very limited portions. It's easier to stick to the salads though, because I do love salad.
I do not eat between meals at all, aside from the birthday cake I had for William's birthday last week.
It's been nearly three weeks now. I have lost 7 lbs, although the official weigh in isn't until Monday morning. Out of curiosity, I stepped on the scales early and surprised myself. I suppose it won't feel like a real achievement until I reach a double digit loss though.
I do not feel deprived. As a matter of fact at this very moment, to my right, on a table in the office, there is a box of chocolates from Valentine's Day. I look at it sometimes. I know that I could have one if I wanted it. The idea flits through my mind and I look at the box and make a conscious decision that I don't actually want it which is very interesting to me. I haven't had even one.
What I see is my mom, unhappy, in her recliner, angry with the world. Angry with me. Her favorite place to go was the all you can eat Chinese buffet in town. It was hard for her to eat supper at home alone, so she went out to eat a lot. Looking back on it, there was no right way to handle the situation. Me, being me, tried to anyway. She often wanted us all to go out to eat with her, and I said, "Mom, I just worry about you," and that was the truth. I did. I suggested some alternative ideas.
This went over like the proverbial lead balloon.
My mother angrily demanded to know why I was worried about her. I told her. I told that I worried about her health, about her increasingly difficult time getting around, about her bad knees, about the fact that she wasn't a candidate for surgery to get anything done with those knees. About her heart. After all those years of tailoring her life around my father's rules, it was her chance to decide what SHE wanted and she was physically unable to. It bothered me.
Her response was extremely emotional, and it was angry, and it was bitter. In her mind, I was suggesting that her life with my father was less than perfect. In her mind, I was judging her weight. She took it as just another sign that I hated her and was disgusted by her. She felt that I was unkind.
In hindsight, a conversation like that requires trust. We did not have that. A smarter person would have realized that before the screaming and crying started. So....there it is. I am hella smart after the fact. In the midst of things, not so much, maybe.
My mom is gone now. She's been gone for almost 10 years. She went to her grave with that anger at me intact. I never wanted to fight with her and that episode was just one incident among a long line of incidents. It wasn't the first incident, It wasn't the last incident. It had gone on for years. No matter what was in my heart, she always certain in hers that my motivations were always malicious and cruel and spiteful.
So here I am, looking in the mirror and seeing glimpses of my mother. It was a galvanizing moment. I looked squarely at the fact that I've gained weight since I quit work, since this pandemic, since my own torn meniscus has kept me less active than usual.
Looking at it squarely, I had to make a conscious decision about how I was going to handle it.
Become angry and defensive? No.
Accept it and allow it to define the parameters of my life? No.
Isolate myself and refuse to acknowledge it? No.
You know, I quit smoking 20 years ago after watching my father die of lung cancer. I made the decision that I wanted to spare my children the helpless agony of watching me suffocate slowly over the course of 3 days, and not. be. able. to. do. one. thing to ease that struggle. It was excruciating.
Although I had quit smoking many times in my life, I walked away from that hospital room and I quit again. This time it felt different. I lost all craving for a cigarette. It never came back. The smell of smoke made me actually sick. I saw my father's face over and over again, a big man, panicked and crying out because he could not get enough oxygen into his lungs.
I lost the desire for a cigarette, There was no withdrawal from the nicotine. I was done, and I knew that. There was no going back.
20 years later, it seems to have happened again, but this time it is food.
It feels different and I can't explain it, but it will be three weeks on Monday and I have lost 7 pounds.
You write such honest posts and I really admire you for that. Food is not a problem for me. I can have one chocolate, enjoy it, and have no more. My partner eats the rest of the packet. People don't understand addictions to what they are not not addicted to.ReplyDelete
Just because they are our parents, that doesn't mean they are any smarter or wiser and have better relationship skills than we do. Anger is such a futile emotion and it is sad that your mother died with such anger.
Said it before Debby you are a very good writer. I can relate to giving up smoking. Twenty nine years this year since I quit.ReplyDelete
I can, sadly, recognise a lot of echoes of my own life in your post Debby. Our relationships with our parents can leave a lasting effect on us.ReplyDelete
Life and emotions are complicated. All the best on your path.ReplyDelete
Good for you, Debby.ReplyDelete
So many people can't manage this because they see a diet as what you don't eat, whereas it is what you do eat. Good to be positive.
It is sad not to get on with relations. But we don't choose them...I think!!
Thanks for sharing these intensely private thoughts Debby. With regard to your mother and how things were between you, a little hindsight might have given you the wisdom to act differently and more effectively but it is very clear that your heart was always in the right place. Congratulations on the loss of seven pounds of lard! I doubt that you will be mourning their passing.ReplyDelete
I guess the key is motivation, and you have it, having seen the way excess weight made your mom suffer.ReplyDelete
Well done, thats a great achievement! I'm still at the talking about my pandemic weight gain stage and I'm hoping as the weather improves I'll move more and eat less again!ReplyDelete
I'm sorry things were so volatile with your mum. My mum takes offence very easily and usually its me that causes it - unintentionally! However maybe you could look at it that your mum is now helping you to live a healthier life! x
Of course you can do it. If you quit smoking you can do anything. Tell anyone who asks, your superpower is taking you through. And the superpower: I quit smoking.ReplyDelete
You are to be Congratulated!ReplyDelete
Your strength is inspiring.
Keep doing just what you are doing.
Well, with more water... My view is that we should consume half our body weight, in ounces of water, daily. If a person weighs 180 pounds, they would drink 90 ounces of water daily.
I happen to love to drink water, and know, that not all do. But.... You are so strong, I'm sure you could make it.
Too much food has always been a struggle for me at times. But I've been fortunate in that I have never smoked, rarely drink, and don't have a lot of other things many people consider vises. It lets me focus on the one vice and not let it rule my life.ReplyDelete
It sounds like you've had a shift(several actually) in perspective, and that it's helping you make healthy decisions, while finding happiness in what you're eating/doing. You're not eating salads because you're on a "diet," you're doing so because you like them. You're not denying yourself chocolate, instead you don't feel like having one. It's power. Way to go!ReplyDelete