Monthly Archives: June 2017

Weight is a Tricky Thing Indeed

I made brownies on Father’s Day for dad and ate a lot of them and am not losing weight. In the past I’d give up, shove the scale aside and binge for months until I decided to tackle my weight again.

Not now. I’m still getting up and weighing every day. I don’t want to have my head in the sand. I don’t want to pretend I don’t weigh 252 pounds.

I spend most nights alone, although I do spend several early evenings a week at my folk’s house having dinner and maybe watching Antiques Roadshow, so I have really been aware lately that the way I eat is similar to the way an alcoholic drinks. Without control. Helpless to it. Ashamed.

When I was in my early twenties, and not even overweight but thought I was, I went to an Overeater’s Anonymous meeting in Newport Beach, California. I was preyed upon by an older man who went to those meetings for one purpose: to pick up young women with self esteem issues. I later found out he just went from one newbie to another. How despicable.

So I don’t recall much about it, although I am familiar with the 12 Steps. I may look into it again — I haven’t decided. But I do feel that my “habit” is out of my control and has always been out of my control.

I feel my attempts to eat healthier foods is fairly successful, though — my primary issue is the between meal snacks. But hey, this is a small victory.

I looked at that scale this morning and thought I could be happy if, very slowly, I could get ten pounds off and then maintain it. My biggest fear is losing all the weight (haha) and then gaining it all back.

When I lost 70 pounds after the ex dumped me I read all I could on ways to keep it off because I knew it would be very difficult. Over and over again I read that the only way to (most likely) keep it off is with bariatric surgery and I do not want to go there.

My sister had that surgery over ten years ago, and she’s emaciated, malnourished, lost her teeth and much of her hair. I would not like her health, appearance, and quality of life, but to her, it is worth being skinny.

Speaking of The Sister, she never got back to me about getting together for Father’s Day. She wished him a happy father’s day on FB and never called him. I’m in such shock over that. This is the first Father’s Day she’s had in Oregon and she couldn’t even be bothered to call her father, let alone visit him. He’s 82 with COPD — I wonder how many more Father’s Days he has.

I said to him, “Dad, I’m mystified by her behavior, but there’s no excuse for her not calling you.” He agreed which was amazing because he’s usually so understanding. That’s sort of what made this worse — he’s the one who always reaches out to her. He’s the one she should reach out to.

I don’t know what to do about my sister so for now I’m doing nothing. But last year she dominated my Fall and Winter and I won’t let that happen again. Last year we “must” come to her house for her birthday slash Labor Day. And we “must” come to her house for Thanksgiving. And we “must” come to her house for Christmas.

So I did, but hated every minute of it. I went out of guilt and suffered through her children. By the time New Years came I realized she didn’t give a shit if I was there or not! What a relief! I won’t be missed if I decline her invitation!

Mom, dad, and I really don’t know if she’s pissed off, oblivious, too burdened with her own problems, or what, and nobody has the nerve to ask her what the heck is going on. I wish I had the nerve to say, “What they hell? You didn’t call dad on Father’s Day!” But my family just doesn’t do confrontation — we just wonder what’s gone wrong and never know the truth.

So my goal this Fall and Winter will be to learn how to handle the guilt for not going. I feel more sorry for my mother, who hates being over there, but as a grandparent feels she has to.

This is just incredibly sad because my sister did say to me she wanted to be here in Oregon because dad’s health was so bad. But I have been reminded that I have never really known my sister and never been close to her.

I wish there were a way to deal with my ACES (Adverse Childhood Experiences) so that I could easily get to the reason I overeat. I don’t have the money for therapy, and I don’t know that it would work anyway. Maybe I should put it into God’s hands, but that’s a conversation for another day. I haven’t been to church in nearly two months and it’s making me sad.

I welcome input about weight loss, but I am not interested in Weight Watchers.

xox

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Summer Has Finally Come to Oregon

I love my little home, all 888 square feet of it. When you stand in the living room you can pretty much see the whole house. There’s the guest bedroom, there’s my bedroom, there’s the bathroom, there’s the kitchen, and off the kitchen is the laundry room and garage. That’s it, there aint no more.

I started laundry last night and finished it this morning. Then I swept, vacuumed, cleaned the bathroom, rearranged a few things, then ran to the store because I had invited my folks over for veggie burgers. My little home is pretty spotless and uncluttered and I have windows open and fans going. It’s a lovely early summer day. I feel really lucky.

This house is not without its challenges, in particular the mortgage each month, and the overgrown trees and shrubs that need to be taken out or seriously trimmed, but I bought myself a battery powered lawnmower and I “mow my weeds” like a boss. That reminds me, I need to plug that in tonight. The battery weighs more than the mower!

One challenge is telling myself that I don’t have to have the yard perfect in a year, or even five or ten years. I can keep it under control, more or less. But most people can look ahead to a day when they can put money into a long awaited project. I can’t see that happening for me. Except maybe a small project if I get a tax refund. That’s another time when having a life partner can make things easier. You can plan those projects together and make your home your own.

But I looked for so, so many months until I found this place and I know that it was meant for me. The inside was refinished and is almost all new. New kitchen cabinets that silently close. New subway tiles. A decent aggregate type counter top and the vinyl floors in kitchen and bathroom aren’t bad. I don’t like the carpet in the living room and bedrooms, but at least it was new carpet.

I didn’t have to do much — I paid for two new windows in my bedroom because they were the old metal ones and the rest of the house had replacement windows. I bought a used washer and dryer. Then the old fridge that came with the place died and I had to buy a new fridge. I didn’t really mind because the old fridge was the only old thing in the kitchen.

Because I’m a “creative type” I love to set things up to be pleasing to me. Small, uncluttered vignettes that just make me feel good to look at them. I bought a brand new couch and living room chair — had to wait six weeks for it to be made in Portland. It may be the last couch I ever buy. There are certain things I don’t like to cut corners on.

But I can walk around my house and point at all the things I bought at thrift stores, both in the USA and England. I can recall where I bought stuff — I really loved living in England, except for the poverty, mental torture, and missing my family back home. I could have stayed there forever if my ex could have only found a way to make some money.

I could have probably found a job, but I was never there legally. He never had the means to sponsor me.

Ironically, the vicar who married us in London has become an Instagram friend and she’s nearing retirement and has invited me to come to her home anytime. They will be moving to a village not far from Stonehenge. That’s the part of England that Christianity came to very early on. I really hope I can go. I’d rather use a tax return for that trip than take out a tree in my yard. Priorities!

So my parents came and we ate and they left. I washed all the dishes and here I sit. I played some David Bowie and whistled loudly as I washed the dishes, not worrying about what anybody thinks of that.

I’ll get together with them again tomorrow for Father’s Day — I’m making tacos at their house. I bought dad a sweet little yellow bird feeder with seed for small birds. I invited my sister but she hasn’t responded if she can come or not. Don’t get me started on that.

My life is pretty simple. There are few outings. I’d like to do more, but I’m such an introvert and I am pretty socially awkward. It’s a good thing that I just love being in my home, puttering around, or watching something on Netflix and I’m comfortable just being alone. When the clock hits 9:30 or so, I brush my teeth and go to bed. I know, I’m a wild woman.

But I’m pretty contented and it’s all mine.

xox

TGIF

The scale read 248.6 this morning and I thought, ‘my gosh this weight loss thing is easy’ but then I remembered WATER WEIGHT. Oh well, at least it got me into the 40s.

For a long time now I’ve been eating a ton at night, so that’s when things are the hardest for me. But right now, with just a middling effort I will probably lose weight simply because my body is used to so, so many extra calories.

It’s only been a few days but already I feel more energized and that I’m sleeping better. I woke with my alarm this morning which I never do. I’m trying to spend a couple of hours puttering around the house before I settle into to Midsomer Murders (Netflix) and that feels good too. I forget that we work nine hours and sleep 8 hours, but that does leave some time for things other than watching TV.

And I’ve started the habit of coming home on Friday and doing chores and laundry to get a jump start on the weekend. That way I don’t feel like I’m spending half of Saturday doing that. Of course I’ll probably do the yard work tomorrow, but that’s okay — it’s EXERCISE.

I discovered well after I moved in here that my walls are plaster, not drywall. I love the look of them, but I’m having a hard time hanging heavier things — I’m fearful it’ll just fall off the wall and take the plaster with it. I’ve watched a lot of youtube vids, but still feel timid. This is a time I wish I had a man in my life. But not all men know how to do stuff like that — my recent ex would not have known.

My father says, “I can help! I’m not crippled.” But he is awfully frail. I have a shelf I assembled from Ikea that I just don’t know how to get up. I feel sort of ridiculous about that.

Speaking of dad, this Sunday is Father’s Day. I’ve been acutely aware the last couple of years that every birthday, Christmas, Father’s Day, could be his last. I don’t want him to go anywhere not only because I love him and will miss him, but also because that will leave me with my mom.

My sister moved to town about a year ago. It took her several years of planning because she had to bring her other adult children with her — she has a grandchild she did not want to leave behind in Louisiana. We were never close as kids but I really did look forward to her coming here and doing things with her now and then.

Well, that’s not happening, not even a little. Last November we planned to meet at a holiday fair and I got there and texted her and started walking around. About thirty minutes later I ran into her, her daughter, and grandchild and my sister hits her daughter on the arm and declares, “I told you to remind me!”

So I was a complete and utter afterthought for her. She basically forgot she was meeting me. I can’t fathom such behavior. We are nothing alike.

I bring her up because I had at least hoped that she’d spend some time with our folks so that I don’t have to feel so guilty when I’m not over there. But no, she really can’t be bothered to do that either, and she rarely calls them. She is simply consumed with her five kids and all their drama. Outsiders can’t compete.

And my parents are pretty confused about how to deal with her and her brood. Her offspring are adults and they are jobless potheads (okay, one is on methadone), they smell, they are overly opinionated, they feel like utter strangers, and we don’t know how to deal with family get togethers.

When they come to my parent’s house, it’s awkward. When my parents offer to take them out they feel embarrassed by their appearance, smell, and behavior. I feel guilty that I don’t really want to get to know them. I can’t tell my sister that her kids are strangers to me and I don’t really care for them. I really don’t know how to handle it.

But my mom really hates them. She makes an ugly face when she talks about them. I really hate hearing her speak that way about her own grandchildren. It’s awful. So I’m sort of curious about how her opinions on my sister and her family change or don’t change when she becomes a widow.

At least I’m assuming dad will go first. It’s a miracle that a man who has smoked since he was 12 is still alive at 82. He’ll be 83 next month. Mom’s health isn’t bad, and she’s 80.

When I first moved to my place this winter I asked my sister to come over several times. She didn’t respond or didn’t feel well. I finally stopped asking her because I was beginning to feel embarrassed about it. I really feel she just doesn’t need anyone in her life. It’s not that she is envious that I have a house and she doesn’t — It’s that she just doesn’t care about anyone but herself and her kids and grandkids.

But I’m oversimplifying the situation. She does have bad health. She does have her hands full with her kids. I would not trade places with her for anything. I never should have thought we could be close since we never have been. I tell my parents that it’s not like I lost anything because she’s never been a part of my life. But I’ll admit to you that I’m disappointed. I really thought I’d have an adult friend to do something with on a Friday night.

No need to feel bad for me. I’m on my second load of laundry and I’m about to vacuum. I know how to have a good time on Friday night!

xox

Any advice on what you do when faced with relatives you don’t really want to spend time with?

 

252

This morning I stepped on to my new scale, naked and with an empty bladder and the result was 252 exactly. So, now I know what I’m up against and it’s the official number I will start with.

Right now, the main thing I am trying to do is a.) not gain, and b.) add healthy food to my diet. For now I’m going to weigh daily — if I don’t do that on the day that I skip it, I’ll throw it all alway and not step on that scale again. I know myself pretty well.

I came straight home from work today. I don’t always do that because I often stop at my parent’s house to eat with them or just hang out for a bit. Coming straight home is nice. I am still not quite used to the feeling that this place is all mine. I even like its messes. I have all the windows open now to air out the place. Today I walked in and said, “Honey, I’m home” to no one.

I’ve considered a pet. I’d really like a dog. But I’m just not sure I can afford one. Also being gone for nine+ hours a day isn’t fair to a dog. I like cats, but they’ve damaged my homes in the past so I’m probably not going to go that route.

I didn’t move into my house until after Christmas. It was a very long search for a home that I could afford and could imagine living in. I’m still not sure I can afford it, to be honest. And I don’t have window coverings on two windows still. I’ve got a little bit of savings, but I’m afraid to let it go too low. I’ve got no one to rely on if I have an emergency. Plumbing or a roof issue, for example. Oh, I’m a two minute drive to my parent’s house and a 9 minute drive to work, which I also love.

As a natural born worrier I could spend a lot of time worrying about the what if’s, but to be honest I enjoy being here so much that I don’t fret about it too long. This place is mine — it’s not his. Very little of what I own now reminds me of him.

When I began to unpack all of my belongings after 3+ years in storage I found myself cursing the ex because he packed all the boxes for me — he would not let me back into our apartment since it was already his love nest. I had to trust he’d give me things I’ve had long, long before I ever met him. I have found that two kitchen knives I’ve had for 15 years never made it to me, and the toolbox he packed for me was nearly empty. That made me pissed because my dad had given me a lot of what was in there. The list is long, and that’s only the stuff I can remember.

I was feeling super pissed about all the stuff I now knew was missing. Eventually I had to remind myself that I wouldn’t want that stuff now that it’s been part of their household for so long. One of the last emails I sent to him was expressing my anger about what I was missing. He wrote back asking me another question, not addressing my concern. I never responded to him again. Fuck them both. I’ve since blocked his phone number so that he can’t message or call me.

My heart is broken again today. As a lover of all things British I saw late last night how a 24 story apartment building in West London with over 300 residents was consumed by flames within fifteen minutes. Women were throwing their babies out the windows. The fire started on the lower floors. The people in upper floors couldn’t get out. People on the grass below heard their screams. Of course it is because it was a low income building. No one cared that it wasn’t a safe building. They have no idea how many are dead, but it will be a lot. Why, God? Why?

Londoners came out to help house and feed the survivors. Londoners are great at that. But this is so horrifying — I simply can’t imagine experiencing that. What good are “thoughts and prayers” anyway?

xox

 

One Year Later

So, so much has happened. But here’s the remarkable part. Only today did I feel like I might dust off this blog and post a little here and there and when I went to see what was left of it, it had been exactly a year to the day since I’d last posted.

I find coincidences like that to be proof of something although I’m not sure what exactly. But for now I’ll call it proof that I should begin to blog a little since I’m preparing to improve myself.

In the last year what has happened? Here are some basics. a.) I bought a home of my own, b.) I’m continuing to gain weight, and c.) I’m pretty much no contact with the ex. and feel he doesn’t deserve much space here so will try to limit myself — after all, we have been apart for 3.5 years now which is about half of our marriage! He’s been with his young girlfriend for all that time, and I am pretty sure they’ve moved two hours away, at least that’s what I’m really hoping.

There are two main things I’d like to accomplish by beginning to write again, 1.) I really want to get healthier and that includes losing weight and exercising, and 2.) I have a very tight budget in which to live on and could use inspiration there.

Okay I reluctantly will add a third: In the midst of Trumpland I am very dismayed by my fellow Christians and have been in a quandary about how to reconcile that right wing Christians don’t seem to care about their fellow man at all. Not even a little. Not only that, but they are mean and horrible. I saw a video of a man at an airport screaming at a man who had been talking to his mother in Spanish because that is the language she converses in the easiest. The racist said the most horrific things and all I could focus on was the gold cross on a chain around his neck and I felt such shame. Shame and confusion. I truly believe that such things would sadden God as well.

I am a liberal. If you’re new to this blog, please know that and if you don’t like it, block me now — I have no time for you. I mean it.

I am struggling with God as well. I haven’t been to church in nearly two months, which makes me sad, and I need to take someone aside and ask them if God exists, why does he/she let so many terrible things happen? There must be some quaint response to that, right? I probably should just Google it.

I don’t feel I have anything to offer anyone and wouldn’t recommend anyone read my blog for insight. I write for mostly selfish reasons — to help me see what I can’t see so that I can cope better in the world.

I bought a scale today. I’ve never owned one before. I can’t be bothered to look back on this blog to find it, but I believe I weigh about nine pounds (or is it 19lbs?) less than my maximum weight when the shit hit the fan and my ex-husband cheated on me and abandoned me.

I really thought owning a home would keep me so busy that I wouldn’t have time to eat but that’s not the case. Well, it could have me that busy, I’m just not letting it. I thought I’d be gardening for hours each week and, while I do garden, it’s pretty minimal. I moved here in the dead of winter and it was a cold winter. I spent my time figuring out how to pay the least for cable and getting used to not being frightened to be on my own after living with my elderly parents for over three years.

Speaking of elderly, I will be 60 years old in about ten days. I have a big mortgage which I probably won’t come close to paying off, so I must take better care of my health so that I can work and pay my bills for as long as possible.

I don’t feel old and I’m pretty sure most people would be surprised to hear I’m almost 60. But I probably only look a few years younger since I have almost no gray hair. My mother, who will be 81 has only about half a head of gray hair. I used to dye my hair blonde but then began to feel it was aging me, plus my hair wasn’t very healthily looking. I thought I had more gray and decided to stop dying it so I could embrace it, but turns out there’s not much there.

I also stopped wearing any makeup this last year. I felt it was also aging me and I thought that I’d end up being one of those women who draw their eyebrows on unevenly and so I decided to just go natural. I’m still getting used to it, but my gosh it makes getting out the door easy, plus it saves a lot of money. It’s also nice not to have makeup ruin a white blouse, etc.

So yeah, the PTSD of my entire life eats at me and makes me eat and eat and eat. That’s all due to ACES (Adverse Childhood Experiences) and I could continue to eat myself to death or I could try to figure some of these feelings out. We’ll see. This has been a lifetime struggle.

Tonight I unwrapped my new scale and stood on it w/ clothes on and it showed 254. I feel fairly confident that the fattest I’ve ever been before was 270 ish so I haven’t quite gained it all back, but may as well have. I’m sure the young people I work with are more than a little horrified by how fast I have gained weight in the last couple of years. I am not very vain but I do feel shame in how I’m forced to dress to accommodate this weight. I also don’t like that my bum can barely fit in my office chair now.

I suppose I deserve this because in the midst of my 70 pound weight loss I was so smug. I said things like, “People can lose weight, they just choose not to.” Ouch. What an asshole.

I have been eating a little bit better the last week or so, trying to put the breaks on my night time binging which is the main time I overeat. The weather is improving so I should be able to get moving, but I also am not a big sun lover so it can quickly become too hot for me. For the most part I feel I will have to find ways to get exercise indoors (gardening not withstanding).

I have a lot of work ahead of me. If you have inspirational blogs to recommend, by all means share them with me.

It’s good to be back, I think.

xox