Monthly Archives: June 2014

Finding What Works for me to Lose Weight

I weigh two ounces less than yesterday so I’m just going to say it’s still 199. But last night I did something very difficult.

I had been working for days on a video I’m putting together for my dad for his 80th birthday. Scanning hundreds of pics, tweaking them in Photoshop, and then trying to use iMovie, which I’m a novice at. It is grueling work and I don’t think I can finish it by his birthday, tomorrow. I should have started earlier.

I didn’t exercise this weekend, which felt really weird, but I had been engrossed in this birthday project on Saturday, the only day the pool is open on the weekend.

I was getting too tired to continue working on it last night and was going to go veg out and watch some tv. It must have been near 9 p.m. But instead I put comfortable sandals on and took a 20 minute brisk walk. It felt really good.

When I got home I turned on the television and began to channel search. A few times I found myself in the kitchen staring at what’s in the fridge or checking out my parent’s snack food. Finally I sat down in my chair and just thought, No, don’t do it. You’re not hungry. For this night only, don’t eat after dinner. Somehow I did it and I was so proud. It’s been ages since I was able to do that. Now I just pray I can do it again tonight. THAT is the only way I will get the rest of this weight off — to control my nighttime eating.

When I was first in shock about my separation and about my husband’s cheating, I was so depressed my stomach was in knots and it was not at all hard not to eat. In fact even eating meals was hard. Those days are behind me, thank goodness. I’d rather be struggling with weight than feeling that degree of pain, and that’s saying something.

So the truth is, even though I don’t want to admit it, my true weight loss has only begun now. My first goal is to gain no weight as I try to figure this out. The second goal is to find out how to eat to allow myself a small weight loss each week.

I’m not sure how I’ll do. In the early days of this journey I knew I’d get to my desired weight. I knew it without a doubt. Now that I’ve struggled for two months more or less at the same weight, I’m not so sure. In the end if I stop losing weight at around 165, I could handle that and it would be about a 100 pound weight loss.

Time will tell.

Last night I was writing a comment on the Chump Lady website when I suddenly knew that I had been conned by my husband. He’d never admit it, of course, and he’d be greatly insulted that I would think that, but he did.

We met in a chatroom and he began calling me every day several times a day. I don’t know where he got the money for the long distance phone bill between London and Oregon. He knew every move I made and pried into every detail of my life all the while making himself out to be a success. I never had a chance to mourn my marriage or gain any independence. Even though he was thousands of miles away, he was with me every moment.

And here I was a newly divorced woman with half the assets from an 18 year marriage in my hands. Within a few months he flew to meet me and we were together since then.

Last night I wanted to write to him and tell him that I can’t trust him to give me half his settlement because it’d just be so easy for him to take the money and go and I can’t see him resisting that opportunity.

I’m glad I didn’t send him one of my famous late night emails.

This morning I have reminded myself that his attorney is holding that agreement we both signed and he also wants to be my attorney when my husband’s case is over. If he thought my husband was going to take the funds and go, he would not offer to be my attorney. I hope that makes sense.

Yes, I wish I had my own attorney, but I’ve written and called and can’t find anyone who will help me without a large deposit. Yes, there is legal aid, I’ve used them for my financial woes, but they are too over taxed to help with issues like this.

I’m having to rely on faith and gut instinct, which isn’t great knowing how naive I can be and have been. And I need this money desperately to save myself, my daughter, and ultimately my parents. I FUCKING NEED THIS MONEY.

On a lighter note, it’s beautiful and sunny. I’m going to go for a swim and then come home and work on my dad’s birthday video.

 

 

 

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Weighday and Family Troubles

Doing terrible with eating. Nervous about my dad’s health. My daughter called and can’t pay her July rent. I wonder constantly if I’ll get any of this settlement money.

I weigh 199 today, so no weight loss this week. This daily weighing is really annoying. I’m very discouraged but it is that evening and nighttime eating that is my downfall.

My dad has COPD and he’s seeming very frail the last two days. Last night he went to bed early which is uncharacteristic for him. He had a bad stomach ache before that. I pray he’s feeling better today. He over does it. My mom still has him doing too much around the house, plus it’s his nature to keep busy. And it is important for him to walk and be physically active, but he should not over do.

I’m frightened. On Tuesday he’ll be 80 years old. It’s sort of a miracle he’s lived this long since he’s smoked since he was twelve or so. I’m so grateful he has lived this long. I need him for much longer.

That’s my dad and I below at my wedding to the good husband back in 1989 or so. Neither of us look like that anymore! But I love him so much.

kathi dad

When one of my parents pass away the other parent won’t be able to afford to stay in this house, that is why I am desperate to either get a job or start a business so that I can help the surviving parent stay here. Their home still hasn’t recovered the equity it lost in the crash of 2006 and so they can’t even sell right now.

On Friday my daughter called me crying. She said, “Mom I can’t pay my rent. I don’t know what to do.”

She has made some sort of dumb decisions in the last year that might have put her in a bad position financially, but I can hardly blame her. First, she had the money to buy her car outright, but the guy at the dealership asked her if she wanted to finance some of it to increase her credit strength. She recalled that my ex-ex husband, her good stepfather, had told her that it would be a wise way to increase your credit score.

But I was sitting next to her thinking, “Oh no. Don’t finance it. Don’t.” And yet I fucking said nothing. I could kick myself. Of course the money is all gone now so no way to pay it off now.

Then her boyfriend (who won’t commit to her) who comes from a family of academics convinces her that at all costs she should complete her bachelor’s degree. So she took two classes last month and had to get financial aid to make it happen. By the end of term she was buying her food from the dollar store.

She is 38 and I can’t help but feel a degree in astronomy or physics will not help her get a job. If the point is to simply get a degree, any degree, well, I would have chosen something more practical.

I did TRY to inspire her to take something reasonable, something that will teach her a skill and allow her to get out of the food/alcohol serving business and into a “real” job, but she didn’t like any of my ideas.

So now she is in debt and struggling to meet her basic needs. I could hear utter panic in her voice and I told her to keep calm and we’d figure it out, but I really had no idea how.

She called me the next day and said she’s up to about $400 towards her $700 rent and I said her grandfather had slipped me $100 for her so that makes $500, and the rest will be raised by her tips in the next few days and whatever I can scrape up through selling some jewelry.

I have three gold rings left. They are all the proper jewelry I have left. In fact last year I sold all my silver jewelry and that brought in next to nothing. Silver is almost worthless! And many of those rings were sentimental. Fuck, I get so sad when I think that I do not have one piece of jewelry from my last marriage. He bought me jewelry!

I didn’t want to have to sell these rings. I was saving them, especially the really nice one, for MY own emergency. But I have my 18k wedding band which is thin, so probably not worth too much. And a 22k victorian ring with tiny diamonds and diamond shaped piece of turquoise, very unique and lays close to the finger so it’s comfortable. It’s way too big for me to wear these days, though, since I lost weight.

The last ring is “fancy” and I don’t know if I love it or not. I doubt I’ll ever have such a nice ring again and when I dress up I put it on to make myself feel like a grown up. It’s 18k and rather heavy. Two tiny diamonds on the sides and a large square cut tourmaline on top. Then there is some modern filigree work in gold. It’s a one of a kind ring made locally. I paid $4,300 for it four years ago. I shudder to think of what I’d get for it if I sold it. Probably not more than $1,000. So sad.

I think I can tighten my belt if all she ends up needing is $200 and then I won’t sell my rings yet. But we’ll see. She’s coming here tomorrow to see her grandfather for his birthday. Poor thing. She’s been on her own for a long time and it’s so fucking expensive to live on your own as a woman. I’m resentful that her boyfriend who has had other women live with him, doesn’t suggest moving in together. It would make all the difference in the world. Asshole.

She was talking about selling her car and I said no, don’t make any rash decisions like that. You’d be miserable without a car. I told her to do all she can to keep up with bills until I get this settlement in the fall. If it’s big enough, I’ll pay off her car loan at the very least.

She sounded ready for a meltdown, which happens to her now and then. Overall she is strong and independent, something I’ve never been, so I don’t fault her for becoming overwhelmed by life at times. My mom, dad, and I all feel really helpless that this is where we’ve ended up in life, unable to help our loved ones.

As an example of the difference between my mom and dad, who love my daughter as much as you can love a grandchild (she was their first). When I told them about her financial woes my dad said, “We’ll have to give her some money.” My mom said, “Oh no. We can’t. We have no cushion right now. We can’t. I’m sorry.” And I told them both not to worry, that she and I would figure it out and I don’t want them giving her money.

Then my dad slipped me $100 cash and put his finger to his lips.

It took my mom a full 24 hours before she was talking about helping her out.

So you see that my mom’s thought process is different, but in the end, on her own terms, she does want to help. It just needs to sink in, I guess. I don’t know.

My parents are from working class families, and they have always been hard workers. All of us kids started working very young and have followed in their footsteps. My mom was in a career where smart women (even without a degree) could end up making a lot of money and she did. They moved into nicer and nicer homes and took trips and my mom had a Cadillac and a couple of furs.

Then my dad cheated and they divorced and they divided their assets and then they both went through them like water. Part of the issue is my sister and her five kids were draining my dad. He was giving them every spare cent he had to keep them from being evicted. They had already lost the house they owned.

So my dad ended up moving in with my mother to be able to help her by paying rent to her, and to free up more money so that he could continue to help my sister. In the end my sister and her family couldn’t be helped. Her inlaws came and rented a u-haul and took all seven members of the family to Louisiana. Ugh. And she’s been stuck there ever since.

My good husband and I had already moved to Oregon, so my parents found themselves in Southern California with only my brother who was so engrossed in his career they hardly saw him or his kids. So they visited us in Oregon and then asked if I’d mind if they moved here. I said, “Of course not!” And now Oregon is very much their home.

My dad had a second career both in Southern California and Oregon as a school custodian and wherever he goes the students and staff adore him. He only retired last year at 79 because with his COPD it was simply too hard for him. And my mom, now at age 77 still works as a notary signing agent. They should both be able to fucking retire.

Our family has had setbacks and the occasional bad decision, but overall we are honest and hard working and deserve better. I am just praying that I can start a business and help the family out.

And I feel a clock is ticking.

I am probably only dreaming that I could save my family, but I’m going to try anyway. If given the opportunity, I will start my own business and then convince my daughter to move back down here and help me run it. She can’t get out of her industry, and I can’t get hired, so let’s pool our talent and make this business work. I don’t know if she’ll take me up on it, but if I were her, I’d give her boyfriend a “shit or get off the pot” speech and if he won’t make some sort of commitment to her, she should leave Portland. A shame. She really loves it there.

As usual this is far too long and I’m sorry. I don’t expect anyone to actually be reading this. I am highly discouraged about my weight but will keep trying my best.

Sunday Stats
Starting weight: 267 (mid October 2013)
Today’s weight: 199 (same as last week, so no weight loss)
Total weight loss to date: 68 pounds
Height: 5’8″
Goal weight: about 150 (about 30-50 pounds to go)

 

 

Realizations

Yesterday I did swim with much gratitude, then I put on a dress and went to the kids center to finish some paperwork. After that I went to two charity shops and spent $1.99 just for fun. Later my parents took me to dinner and because they don’t have exotic tastes I couldn’t go where I’d prefer to go, and we just had pizza and salad.

I was aware that my husband didn’t acknowledge my birthday and I really didn’t expect him to. I didn’t acknowledge his in May. But I was reminded of how I spent the last cent I had last year taking him to a very nice restaurant and then out for drinks afterwards. And when my birthday came along a month later, nothing for me. This was what happened for birthdays and Christmas year after year yet he constantly told me he was not materialistic and that I was.

I ate poorly yesterday and today I weigh 200.4 — can you believe that? I’m going to give it a really good effort today and tomorrow in the hopes that on Sunday it’s back to the dumb 199s again. My dad’s 80th birthday is next week so there will be more temptations so I have to prepare for that.

Last night dad asked me if I had told my sister about my weight loss. I told him no because we simply don’t communicate very much. He said he had spoken to her and told her that I was doing great on my weight loss and she said, “Oh is she losing weight?” And he said, “Yeah, about 50 pounds.” I looked at him and said, “Seventy.” He said, “Wow.”

It does sound impressive. And to be honest, any item of clothing that I try to wear from that period of my life looks bad on me now.

My sister is taller than I am at 6 feet. Several years ago she got up to 350 pounds and began to have health problems. She eventually had gastric bypass and was one of those people who had a very hard time adjusting to it even though she did everything they told her to do. She seems to be okay now and is quite thin, but she does smoke a lot. She says she’ll never be naked in front of a man again because of a lot of extra skin.

Sometimes I’m envious of the fact that she doesn’t have to struggle with every food decision. She simply can’t eat that much. And she will never be fat again, which I cannot say will be true for me. I considered the bypass surgeries but in the end decided against it because I’ve had enough surgeries and couldn’t handle the idea of a voluntary one. I also feared that I’d end up with lifelong complications from it and didn’t want to risk that.

The long term effects of this surgery are still unknown and I kept having this horrible fantasy that I would end up with NO stomach! I also thought, since they demand that you lose a good 20 pounds before the surgery, that if I can lose 20 pounds I can lose more, and that’s been true. True but hard, as you can see.

The truth is, especially because of my sister’s smoking (and for a while drinking too much), I am fitter than she is even while still being 40 pounds or so overweight.

My sister has always been a bit of a flake but I need to reach out to her more. She ended up in a horrible city in the South because her ex-husband moved them there when they ran out of money and she’s been stuck ever since. She used to talk to my mom weekly or more, in fact they had very long conversations, but some things happened between my mom and her a few years ago that made my sister stop calling very often and to keep my mom at arm’s length.

Even now, my sister loves my dad, but never calls to find out how his health is. So my dad picks up the phone and calls her because my mom is doing her pouting routine because it’s all about her. My sister will tell my dad, “Have mom call me if she wants.” And dad will pass that on to my mom, and my mom won’t pick up the phone. She is incredibly petty.

Perhaps I can be incredibly petty as well, but I have always drawn the line at pettiness with my own daughter.  I won’t play games with her or risk losing my relationship with her.

I get resentful that my sister doesn’t answer my emails or my Facebook messages. And when we do talk she is often distracted by something else going on in her house so she’s not all there. Oh, and she rarely asks me how I am. It’s a very one sided relationship. Nevertheless, I don’t know what hell she’s going through and how she manages to pay her own rent and deal with the problems that come up in the lives of her five grown children so I must give her some slack.

She didn’t acknowledge my birthday and that’s sort of typical her. Jeez, you don’t need to spend any money to wish your sister a happy birthday on Facebook!

I romanticize my sisterly relationship and it’ll never be as good as I want it to be. I can accept that and still reach out to her.

Ah, family dynamics. Our family is odd, but still better than most families.

My parents bought me a month pass for the pool which I really appreciate. I am pretty sure I don’t have $35 in the bank right now and my pass just ran out, so whew.

I keep revising (in my mind) my latest business idea and I’m unbelievably excited about it. My newest plan is to be less focussed on the student population which can be so fickle, but to have a warehouse-y location which can also be open to the public and then have a really nice website and sell online.

Several months ago I spoke about what my “perfect” job would be which is to travel throughout Europe, the UK, and other places, like Turkey, and buy stuff to bring home and sell. I generally laugh it off as something I could never pull off but lately I realized I can make that happen if I start really small.

Obviously I can’t go travel to buy goods, but thanks to the Internet, I can find the goods and buy them online. If I do things right, I will eventually be able to take one or two buying trips a year. That is my dream job. That is what I am going to strive for. But in the beginning I have to start very small and make the right decisions.

I basically decided that if I have a dream job, I should do that instead of something else. Especially while I have the support of my family. So, even if I don’t get any settlement money, I will still try to launch this tiny business by selling the one nice piece of jewelry I have left and going from there. That’s not a huge risk, is it? That ring will not help me to fix my car or rent an apartment. It’s lovely but it reminds me of my marriage so I have mixed feelings about it. And yes, I bought it for myself. I even paid for our wedding bands.

My husband has been suspiciously quiet these last few days. He honestly feels there’s no reason for us to communicate and is annoyed when I touch base with him. He is so fucking lucky he was able to simply wash his hands of me! If the settlement wasn’t looming I’d pull away too, believe me, but when he’s quiet for more than three days at a time I fear he may have left the area.

Several days ago I sent him a brief email asking for any image files he might still have regarding the domain name for my new business idea. It took him three days to respond via text that he’d check to see what he had. I’ve heard nothing since. I am simply not on his mind. When he decided he was done with me he really was done with me. Fuck, that hurts so, so much.

He can’t even acknowledge that we had something, no matter how dysfunctional and co-dependent it was. It makes me think he probably didn’t actually love me after all. These narcissistic types are so lucky with their on and off switches.

I know by now that he’ll never acknowledge that I sacrificed everything for him because he is convinced he sacrificed an equal amount for me, which he certainly did not.

When the settlement is in my hands I will immediately begin divorce proceedings and get that behind me once and for all. It’ll probably be around October or November, which will be about a year since we split up.

I finally feel that when the divorce is behind me I will not find it hard to let him go once and for all. In fact, I look forward to it. I think I’m finally done romanticizing our awful marriage. I just realized how profound this is; that I am getting to a point where I want him out of my life as much as he wants me out of his. It’s a relief.

I haven’t spoken to his daughters in a few weeks. It’s hard with the time difference and because I’m at the pool when they feel like talking. I’m getting the feeling I won’t have much of a relationship with them, but the younger one will keep in touch. If they do move to Oregon, I can see her hoping on the train to visit me from time to time. I hope she does, anyway.

Well, some of the realizations I’ve had this morning are surprising me. I will reach out to my sister more. I am looking forward to having my husband out of my life. These are good things. I never thought I’d get to this place.

 

 

Happy Birthday to Me

Today is my 57th birthday and I don’t quite know how to express how I feel. I think I’ll go with “grateful” because I never thought I’d be in the okay place I am today. I’m closer to “meh” than I ever thought possible, and I don’t regard “meh” as a lesser place than being great. I actually prefer the realistic and dependable meh because life will always be full of surprises and meh is the best to be prepared for any eventuality. And frankly, if down and depressed is what you’ve known pretty much forever, than meh actually feels really great.

Yes, I could be depressed tomorrow, of course I’ll be depressed, but it will pass, I know that now.

To say that it was inconceivable even three or four months ago to believe I’d be in this place is an understatement. And the bottom line, I feel, is that if I can do this, after a lifetime of giving in to my depression with countless suicide attempts and hospital stays, (and four marriages!) anyone can. Truly.

And perhaps I need to give myself credit for making that decision to better myself. It was clear to me eight months ago that I was right on the fence of being physically disabled due to complications from my weight. I felt much older than my years. I was about to give in to it.

I didn’t know I had this fight in me, and yet somehow I did. I never acknowledged before that I am competitive and it’s quite freeing to realize that.

I mention the Chump Lady website often and can say without reservation that it’s brought my recovery forward by months. There are men at the site, but the overwhelming majority of commenters are women who for the most part put the usual forum bickering aside and truly support one another. I have never known sisterhood like this in my life.

Chump Lady has helped me to see that my situation is as painful as I thought it was and not just magnified by me and all my “issues.” Being betrayed by your significant other truly is one of the worst things a person can go through.

I have been telling myself since day one of this journey that I can rise above this experience of betrayal, but Chump Lady has cemented that belief for me.

One of the regular commenters on CL is retired from the world of psychology. A few times she has “heard” me when I posted meaning she got me, she understood how difficult this is for me after living through 20+ years of diagnoses, pharmaceutical drugs, and even, I’m ashamed to say, a few sessions of electro shock therapy.

To know that a perfect stranger has taken the time to understand what I’ve tried to convey and praised me for my actions is so special I can barely put it to words.

In the comment section of a post from yesterday’s Chump Lady website the topic segued to the use of psychiatric drugs which can be a pretty divisive issue. The woman I referred to above added this to the bottom of her comment:

“I hope this won’t embarrass her, but there is a contributor here who is doing just that in the face of some pretty strong diagnoses, having taken some pretty hard knocks due to her own personal problems in conjunction with a previously poor “picker.” She continues to push ahead and through her pain by making her behavioral interventions a consistent part of her life. She has completely owned her shit and is determined to eliminate it. Swimming is her game; progress is the name. She will be more than just a survivor, she will have achieved the damn near impossible. And she ain’t backing off of it one bit.”

I read that and immediately began to cry. And they were not tears of joy or of sorrow, really, but an indescribable sense of gratitude for being understood and acknowledged. I’m in this war, this battle, and I’m not backing down and someone has witnessed it and praised me for it. That’s not something I’m used to in my life. Worst still, I don’t often acknowledged it myself.

When she writes that I will be more than a survivor but will have achieved the damn near impossible, I agree (on my good days). I struggle with the knowledge that I am the one who put myself in this situation and so often don’t feel I can rightly praise myself for getting myself out of it, but the truth is, this is not a 10 or 20 year struggle. This has been a struggle and a war since I was born prematurely into a volatile and largely unhappy family.

Okay there’s a little bit of regret that life has gone so fast and I still feel like I have incredible amount of living to do (time to make up for), but I’m okay with that too. And I am more or less comfortable in my own skin these days, which is in itself sort of a miracle. And even underneath my self doubt and lifetime of low self esteem and bad decisions, I somehow feel that I am still an interesting person and that if another man comes into my life, he will be lucky to have me.

There was such shame in the early days following d-day and one of the biggest areas of shame was that I was 56 and not married. It took me months just to stop wearing my wedding band. I felt as though there was a spotlight on the ringless finger. I thought there was shame in not having a lover. It took a long time, but that shame is lifting and there is such relief in that. If I had ever given myself time to purposefully be alone and get to know myself, I might have discovered some of this earlier. It’s okay to not have a partner constantly — there is no shame in that.

Six or eight months ago I would have sold my soul for the devil to stave off this birthday but today, I’m just fine with it. I can cry again just writing that because I did not think I’d ever be happy again. This morning when I swim I am just going to feel gratitude for my life, my family, and the tribe of people from my GP and counselor, to the people who read this blog, to Chump Lady and the commenters there who have come together to try to get me to a better place.

Thank you, all of you, from the bottom of my heart.

From BMI to The Four Agreements

Okay, weighing everyday is sort of ridiculous, really. I weigh a full two pounds less today than I did yesterday. Hello? There must be so much more going on inside, particularly having to do with water retention and maybe even the last time one had a bowel movement.

If I had my eating under control I’d switch back to weighing only on Sunday. You certainly get a bigger picture of the overall trend. But because I’m struggling so much, I will keep weighing daily for now.

The scale says I weigh 197.9 — what is it with me and these point nine weights? I’ll call it 198 knowing that tomorrow it could read 198.5 or higher. At any rate, this is the first time I have seen that number so, yay.

Interestingly I am nearing the 70 pound weight loss mark, which would be 197. So yay again.

This reminds me of how my mother, who several times a year gets these horrible “attacks” of vomiting and diarrhea that can last for hours. It’s horrendous, really, and the doctors haven’t pinpointed what’s causing it. They removed her gallbladder but she still has the attacks. Anyway, after an hours long battle on the bathroom floor and a day or two of feeling uncomfortable after that, she will always say, and you can bank on it, “Well, at least I lost five pounds.”

And a couple of times I tried to convince her that she didn’t “lose five pounds” of fat. That more than likely it was almost every liquid and solid in her body. But no. In her view, she lost five pounds. But then always puts in the caveat, “But I wouldn’t recommend doing it this way.”

I don’t bother to try to convince her any longer. But the fact that after these horrendous bouts she has, she has to talk about, “Well, at least I lost five pounds.” is really spooky considering she’s got something wrong in there and can’t be motivated to go back to the doctor for more tests. And believe me, those attacks are not just hard on her. Dad and I can barely get ten seconds to use the toilet when she’s in that state!

My mother is the reason I have a lifelong battle with my weight, even far before I was actually overweight.

The other day we were talking about weak ankles for some reason. She has them, so does my daughter, but not me. I said, “It could just be genetics, but I’ve also heard that swimming makes your ankles really strong.” And I was not referring to the swimming I do now, but the swimming I did my entire childhood.

She said, “Oh I haven’t done much of that except when I was swimming at the pool…” And she let it drop.

Maybe she thought about how absurd it was to say she “swam at the pool” because she can’t swim and has never swum in her entire life. She did, a couple of years ago, put on a foam belt and get in the water and do a few weeks of water aerobics. But that isn’t swimming.

She constantly refers back to the days when she did water aerobics as though it was a huge chunk of her life (and she’s an expert) and not merely six or eight sessions over a period of six or eight weeks.

Interesting mindset.

I spoke about my mom quite a bit yesterday with my counselor. I told her my biggest fear is to discover that I’m not a good or kind person as my mother is not. This would crush my mother to learn, but thankfully, she will never realize that she is for the most part, a miserable and sometimes an unkind person.

My counselor said, a.) you are not your mother; and b.) if you were you wouldn’t be wondering if you are that way, because you’d be unable to, like she is. That makes sense.

I don’t hate my mother as I did as a child, but I think the strongest emotion I have for her is pity. There’s a part of her that wants to not be this way, but she’s like an out of control train; she can’t stop it. She takes my oversensitivity to a whole new level, an absurd one.

On rare occasion she’ll say a sentence or two about wishing she could be different, but always ends with, “but I can’t.” (Can’t lives on Won’t Street, mom!) She never actually puts any effort in. If she does go to this counselor appointment she’s trying to get, she won’t put effort into bettering herself. She simply isn’t capable.

Back to the subject of weight, I’m just a pound or two from having a BMI that indicates I’m merely overweight as opposed to obese. Using this BMI calculator I am apparently at 30.1 BMI.

BMI Categories:

Underweight = <18.5
Normal weight = 18.5–24.9
Overweight = 25–29.9
Obesity = BMI of 30 or greater

It’s my understanding that the definition of morbidly obese is being at least 100 pounds overweight with a BMI of 40 or greater, which I was.

I generally stop and read most articles I come across having to do with obesity in the world and it truly is alarming. This one in the Guardian yesterday made such a good point, that back in the 50s a kid was considered perfectly healthy if his ribs showed, but these days he would be considered skinny.

Part of what keeps me on this fitness journey is that I don’t like being one of the masses, I never have. I hate fitting in that way; being part of the obesity epidemic. I want to be different and I so wish I had lost this weight years ago, or never gained it in the first place. It really took away my quality of life.

Yesterday I went to that used bookstore in an old building downtown. It has a very long and steep flight of stairs to get up to the second floor and I just basically ran up it and felt no ill effects whatsoever. That feels so fucking good.

What denial I was in. I bought two pairs of expensive shoes a couple of years ago and it took me a year to break them in! I thought, my god expensive shoes are ill-fitting. Only now when I put them on and they no longer fit me did I realize it wasn’t the shoes fault that my feet were fat! There are some shoes I have that I can no longer keep on my feet now, I literally walk out of them.

I envision myself as a trim, strong, energetic older woman. I see myself wearing dresses and feeling feminine, and standing tall, not slouching. That is what I want for myself.

Yesterday at my counselor’s office we talked a lot about my very low self esteem. She reminded me of a book I used to read over and over called The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, which I’m sure everyone has heard of by now.

As a reminder, the four agreements are:

  1. Be impeccable with your word.
  2. Don’t take anything personally.
  3. Don’t make assumptions.
  4. Always do your best.

So simple, yet what a challenge! I know I have a copy in storage but knew I’d never find it, so I went to buy a new copy. I plan to re-read it and then read it again and perhaps read it daily for the rest of my life.

When I fretted over the fact that I need to read this sort of book and then begin again on page one immediately to remind myself, she said that’s not unusual and perfectly okay. If I were twenty years younger I’d tattoo the four agreements on my arm just to be able to remind myself.

Tomorrow is my 57th birthday. It seems inconceivable to me. I’m far from my ideal self but at least I’ve made great strides since mid October of last year, when I could barely walk from problems due to my weight.

I had a choice to live or die and I chose to live and I’m doing my best now to live on my terms for the first time in my life.

I Was Smug, I Admit that in Hindsight

Have I mentioned how much I hate weighing every day? Today I weigh 199.9, a full pound more than the scale said on Sunday, two days ago. I’m not eating great, but I’m not eating weight gaining quantities — I PROMISE. The truth is, I did NOT lose 2.6 pounds last week, I haven’t lost that much weight in a week in months.

BUT, I am not doing well enough, and I’ll be really sad if tomorrow it reads 200 again. I just can’t get away from 200.

That’s all I’ll write on that for now. It causes too much anxiety and depression. But I will not give up.

I was smug about my weight loss because I KNEW there would be loss and there always was. Now that it’s a battle, I’m not smug. I’m terrified.

I will swim hard this morning and later on I’ll go to my counselor. I need to make firm plans to do more with my time. On days when I volunteer, my schedule is full and I don’t get into trouble because of having too much time on my  hands. This week I don’t have a volunteer schedule yet because they didn’t have any kids coming in for forensic interviews.

And you can’t complain about that because that means that perhaps this week there were less opportunities for kids to witness domestic violence or less kids being sexually abused. So, no cases is a good thing.

I really feel like giving up and coming down hard on myself and I am trying to resist it. I’m still reeling from the emotions of talking to my husband twice over the weekend.

I like talking to him. I always have. I hate depriving myself of it. I wish he were totally unlikeable.

I am happy to report that my business idea keeps on gelling and that excites me very much. The problem with that is that I have no money to act on it and I may never! But I’ve gotten to a place of being more realistic about starting small and then growing rather than throwing it all away at once. I’m cautiously optimistic. I’m sure it will continue to evolve in my mind.

And the domain name has been transferred to me and it’s a great name. I’m considering learning how to create/upload? a WordPress template from scratch rather than having anyone else do it and then taking it over. It would be an interesting learning experience. I would rather learn it from a human, though, and not from watching 25 YouTube videos on how it’s done. Also I fear it may be too technical.

And speaking of technical, I applied for a job with the city that I feel I’d be perfect for. It took me three hours to complete their online application. I’ve never seen anything like it before. Utterly painstaking. I suppose that process weeds out the men from the boys. But it’s the sort of position, especially because it does not require a degree, that they will probably get a thousand applicants for. I did my best and clicked send and will now try not to think about it again.

Sadly, the odds of me even getting an interview are almost as  tough as winning any lottery. Back in the day I got almost every job I ever applied for. I was really lucky. Those days are gone.

And to be fair, I am not fully qualified for the position, although certainly I could be trained in the areas I’m weakest. But in this town, in this economy, fully qualified people will be lining up.

As far as my website goes, I’ve really slowed up on it. It’s unbelievably time consuming and I am so tired of being a slave to this computer. I love the internet and most social media, but too much is too much. I’ll keep up on it minimally since I’ve put it on my application and resume and maybe some potential employer will take a quick look at it.

I haven’t worked outside the home in about ten years, so that looks really bad on a resume yet I know in that time I’ve learned many useful skills that would benefit many employers. I just don’t seem to have the opportunity to show them.

I’ll apply for interesting jobs like this one and who knows, I may land one, but they are few and far between and the chances aren’t good. It’s hard for anyone scanning resumes to grasp that I can be 56 and really on top of this internety-pop-culturey-thing when people half my age aren’t.

I was going to say ‘I truly have given myself an education’ but you know what? My husband gave it to me. He taught me almost everything I know about the internet and websites, and he taught me how to find out what I don’t know. I appreciate that. He was a good teacher.

I’m disillusioned about my women’s transition group because it’s now feeling too small. One woman will only speak if directly asked a question — she never volunteers information. Then there’s me, an open book, and the two leaders. This feels too small and I don’t know what to do about it. I’ll give it a session or two more and then decide. There are, after all other groups I can join. I probably need to join some group doing something physical more than I need more chatting and fucking self reflection.

Or perhaps that’s just me quitting. I do that. I quit.

Being me really wears me out. I can only imagine how wearing it would be on anyone reading this. I’m sorry.

My dad just got up to use the restroom. He’s so fragile, but more so in the mornings. It sounds like it’s just a chore to wake up and get moving. He groans a lot. This breaks my heart.

The clock is ticking and I hate that I have to be in this waiting mode.

My Progress Reverses and I Lose Hope

Shit. I ate okay in the day yesterday, but then blew it in the evening. I weigh more today than yesterday, 199.4 which doesn’t surprise me because there was no way I actually lost 2.6 pounds last week. Sigh.

I’m in a bad place because a.) my husband called yesterday and asked for “sexual favors,” and b.) my mom is particularly jumpy and obnoxious today. I wish so much I had my own place right now! I’m not ungrateful, I really am not, but honestly I can’t see why dad stayed with mom all these years.

So I decided I didn’t like the new domain name I bought for my new business and I wrote to my husband to ask about another domain name we owned (I bought) and found out that we still own it. So I asked him if he’d call the hosting company and transfer that domain name to my account. He said he would. Then he typed, “Call me.”

So, being a chump, I did.

He said he’d help me with the website thing if I’d give him sexual favors. It fucking breaks my heart because I love sex with him. I said, “No thanks. It’s not that I don’t miss it, but no.” I told him that all I need him to do is transfer ownership to me and when it came time to build the site, I’d pay someone to do it and not ask him for help.

He said that was a shame.

I suppose I should be grateful he fucked someone else. If he didn’t I would still be very tempted to go back to him. I miss him so much. Yet for most of a given day I am imagining my future completely without him. Why does he have this hold on me? I still wonder if it’s just that my ego is so incredibly bruised from him simply discarding me like yesterday’s trash.

He doesn’t seem to have a full time woman in his life. She probably lives up in Portland or something. He probably sees her once a week and has lots of juicy phone sex with her. Asking for something from me is supposed to make me feel flattered, I guess, but it’s just insulting. Especially given that I fear I’ll never make love again.

I was about to say, “I’m his wife. How dare he insult me that way.” And then I realized he’s already insulted me in the worst way a spouse can. Being his wife means very little to him in the end.

And him attempting to behave as though he doesn’t have anyone is also insulting because of course he does. He’d never admit it, but he has to have someone to help look after him financially. I am such a naive chump to still feel affection for him.

I forced myself to remember some of the ways he really sucked at marriage and the list is long, but then the things that were good kept interfering with my thought process. He did love me. He did show me a lot of affection. He did stimulate my mind. And yes, he’s an abusive asshole. I’m so mad at myself for longing for him. I thought those days were behind me.

Today I sent him a very short email saying we need to stick to email and text and if we have to talk on the phone to keep it short. He is not affected by these conversations, I AM. I have to protect myself.

Anyway, off of that topic. I’ve changed my business idea again slightly as I mentioned, but it’s no big deal because I haven’t spent any money on my flip flopping. When I swim today I hope things get clearer for me. That’s when clarity comes to me, in the pool after about 20 minutes of swimming. It’s heaven.

My swim suit is a total embarrassment. I’m waiting until the first of July to buy another one. When I get out of the pool the outer layer of the suit is so stretched out that it hangs down and makes the suit look like it’s skirted! Luckily I’m not out to impress anybody there. I wonder if the increased drag on that suit is making swimming harder!?

To be honest I feel more depressed today than I have in weeks. I’m so glad I have a counseling appointment tomorrow. After swimming I am going to read some of my self help book, The Happiness Trap, to get some focus.

I’m so disappointed in myself. Why can’t I harden my heart?