Tag Archives: middle age


I am not making any progress in any good direction. Neither am I having huge setbacks. Is that success for me? Maybe it is. Status quo.

I joined a gym two weeks ago and haven’t gone yet. I realized I have no clothes to wear to a public place to work out in. So I spent $100 on some shit at Old Navy and it hasn’t come yet. I’m wondering if it got stolen off my front porch. People do that.

I’m coming up on a year in my own home. It’s been a really interesting adventure. I did buy a lot of new stuff when I moved here because I had to. I had no couch, bed, etc. But then I stopped buying and made do and during that time I had time to settle in and really think about what I want instead of just buying it because I had to. A month ago I ordered blinds for two windows and installed them myself. I still have several other windows to deal with.

I’m struggling to deal with end of year bills PLUS Christmas. I will have to go into savings to make it through. Next year I’ll plan better. It took me seven or eight months of living here before I didn’t have to transfer from my small savings just to get by. I have definitely learned that I feel horribly panicked when finances are out of control. So if it means eating burritos or peanut butter sandwiches to make ends meet, it’s so worth it for me.

But it does suck to deal with this all on my own. I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to that. In the past it didn’t really matter if my job didn’t pay that well because there was always another income (except my last marriage, who provided no income). So, yes, it’s empowering to manage on my own. But it’s also scary. I applied for a better paying job and got an email for an interview, then I decided I didn’t want that job so I cancelled. I am just not ready. I feel secure at my job for the most part.

And I look at my little snug house and want to do SO many fun things to it to make it perfect. But there is no disposable income for that. I’ve decided that I can only do my best and that, in the end, this is a good investment. I have a fantasy that in ten years (when I’m 70) my daughter and her partner will invite me to their home and I’ll turn over what I have to them and have them fix up the room in their backyard for me.

I called this post “Seven” because I am once again, endeavoring to get a grip on my health/weight/sleep. I keep telling myself and others that my diet isn’t “so bad” throughout the day, but at night I just can’t stop eating. So, I’m doing my best not to eat after seven. That’s it. That’s the only change I’m making.

At 6:45 tonight I brushed my teeth, then I used my Waterpik, then i put in my mouth guard that I recently got. My mouth generally hurts and feels tight. I thought it might help. So far I can’t tell if it is helping. Then I used my Netipot because my sinuses are a mess, then washed my face and put lotion on. I hope to make this a routine and part of winding down, which aids in sleep preparation. We’ll see.

I do know that I really do not like eating after I’ve brushed my teeth for quite some time, so I feel optimistic in that regard.

I just had a five day weekend and don’t have much to show for it. Saw my parents a few times, but that’s it. I try not to think about how solitary my life is. Most of the time I don’t really mind, but sometimes I do. I think about how I will probably be alone the rest of my life and when I ponder why that is, it is totally due to my weight. I cannot believe anyone could see past it. Sometimes I feel I can accept that I could be without a romantic partner, after all, I’ve had four husbands and many, many lovers. But I think it’s sad that I have no real female friends. I honestly don’t know why that is. Sometimes I think people my age already have all the friendships they need. Sometimes I just think I must be too weird for most people. But I don’t really mind being different.

On a positive note, I took part of my spare room, which is rarely used, and put up my easel and began a painting. I’m super rusty holding a brush but I do hope that I’ll begin to spend more time doing that. I’ve also collected a few houseplants which feel sort of like a poor girl’s cat… I made myself laugh there. But yes, I say hi to them now and then and I stroke their leaves. I have one I’ve moved away from the others because it seems to have a bug.

I am also discovering jazz which is an enormous endeavor. I can’t put my finger on what I like but sometimes I know what I don’t like, and of course it also depends on my mood and what I’m doing. After the cheater and I split up I could not listen to the music I used to like and turned to Bach. Not classical music, just Bach. And I really loved it and still do, but I decided for my painting, it was time to discover jazz.

Here we are, a month away from Christmas and the shortest day of the year. I always like to get that day behind me because it’s so horribly dark here in Oregon at this time of year. Time really does fly and it’ll soon be getting lighter again.



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.


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.



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?



Stop. Just Stop.

I spun my wheels again today and I didn’t hear from the imaging center. Tried to get my taxes done and that fell through. Then I had a fight with my mother and afterwards, in tears, I called my  husband.

We had a fairly long talk. He’s trying to help me bring my old website back to life. It’s not a very simple process. We bickered about things and we also were real with one another. He asked me again not to make any definitive decisions regarding my career, my life, our marriage. Just to put it on hold until his lawsuit is resolved. I said okay because I love him.

If you read that with disgust, I’m sorry. I never thought I could ever consider taking back a man who has and still is treating me so disrespectfully. He seems to be actually living with her, in my apartment, filled with my things. The slap in the face is so outrageous I can’t process it.

He is using her for rides, for sex, for who knows what else. But it’s clear he also has feelings for me. His life is in ruins in pretty much every conceivable way. He’s in survival mode.

I thought my living here was good for my parents. Almost as good for them as it was for me. I’m very helpful. I constantly do dishes and offer to shop and do errands. I do yard work. I take the dogs out. I spend a lot of money on food. But my mother is a very bitter, sad person and it’s clear she feels I’m making things worse by being here and not better.

I’m ashamed that I have no place to go. I’m also aware that there are no circumstances under which I would ever ask my own daughter to leave my home, but then I do love her unconditionally.

The problem started today when, stupidly thinking I might be able to reach her, I tried to talk to her about the silent treatment she gives to my father. I told her that I wasn’t speaking as a daughter, but just woman to woman, and that I feel she will really regret even 30 seconds of silent treatment after he is gone.

To my horror she responded, “You could have a heart attack and die before he does, or I could. You don’t know what I put up with.” And that’s when I realized she probably won’t feel any guilt at all when my father dies. She will still be the victim.

I said, “Mom, he’s dying. He uses an oxygen tank. He can’t do anything. He will more than likely be going before you or I go. This is the man who, in spite of all your problems with him, you’ve known him and loved him since he was a child.”

I won’t vomit up the remainder of the argument, but this is quintessentially my mother. She’s 100% selfish and incapable of putting herself in another person’s shoes and she is always a victim.

When she told me I had been rude to her when I told her that she was making me feel defensive about how I’m handling my health issues, I lost it. I yelled at her and told her I’d get out as soon as possible. I’d tell them I’m homeless if I have to. And I left.

Completely the wrong thing to do. But my god. Family dynamics. You go right back to those old childhood roles. I have grown up a bit, but my mother never has and never will. So now I don’t know what to do. I can’t afford to move out. And the wait lists for affordable housing is 9 to 12 months.

Oh, she did say, “Why can’t we just acknowledge that you and I can’t have these types of conversations. I get upset about what you say to me and you get upset about what I say to you.”

I said, “Actually you’re wrong about that. I have been that way in the past, but not now. If you or anybody else wants to tell me how I’ve been stupid or wrong, please do it and I will stand there with open eyes, ears, and heart and I will process it because I’m growing and changing and you can too.”

I called her within an hour of storming out and told her I was very sorry for losing control of my anger. She mumbled something and said she had to go. I was not sorry for what I said, only how I said it.

Meanwhile it hurts to sit here because my pelvis area throbs when I sit straight up.

I love my husband. I want to be back in my home. I want this lawsuit over with so that we can move on and have a life together. I need space from my mother.

I hate to abandon my father this way, but he knows it can’t be any other way. Mom is the saddest bitterest person we have ever known. My mother is the hot potato. Do I want to get stuck holding her? Her negativity truly sucks the life out of you. I’m not exaggerating.

I’ve decided to do what I can, which isn’t much. Do my taxes. Meet with the attorney about my horrible finances. Get on a waiting list for affordable housing. Write here. Get my website up and running again. Deal with all my health concerns, and hopefully keep swimming, which I haven’t done since Saturday.

I’ve decided not to decide anything since almost all of it is out of my control anyway. I’ve made so many impulsive decisions in my life and for once I just want to do the opposite. I’m going to wait and see. I’m going to stop. Just stop.

Life on Hold

I got so uptight last night worrying about my discomfort and bloating that I called my doctor’s office first thing this morning. The receptionist said I might want to go to urgent care or the ER. I opted for urgent care where I waited 1.5 hours to be seen only to be told that they want to find out what the results are on my STD test before they decide the next step.

And that’s sort of what my doctor said on Friday so I just spun my wheels, I guess. But I feel so helpless and I’m so worried. I feel as though I have cramps, yet I have no uterus.

The good news is that my STD results will be known in just a few hours. If it’s positive, they’ll treat that. If it’s negative they’ll order the ultrasound. Frankly, I think they should do both since I have so many pains all throughout my torso.

For anyone reading this blog for the first time, please know that I can’t recall the last time I had to have any sort of test for sexually transmitted diseases but I recently found out that while I was with my husband, he had other relationship(s) and that I overlapped with them. I just wanted to be safe rather than sorry.

I would almost find it funny if I did have an STD. I’d send him a text, “You and your girlfriend need to get down to Planned Parenthood. Tell your girlfriend I said thanks.”

Still, my heart is broken, since I still love him and I find none of this funny at all.


I wish so much I were sitting across the table from my daughter right now, enjoying her company and eating the Indian food we were going to go have. I’d rather be with her right now than any other person on earth. Thankfully she’s being fully understanding and supportive, unlike my mother.

I don’t want to be disrespectful about my mom by saying too much, but she’s quite a piece of work. She has made it clear this weekend and today that she thinks I’m faking and thinks it’s silly that I went to urgent care.

She kept giving me the 3rd degree and I tried to explain why I went until finally I said, “Mom, I don’t understand why you’re so concerned with how I am doing this. It’s starting to make me feel defensive.” She said, “Oh. Okay.” And she walked away. My mother will now ignore me and pout for a few days because I dared to talk back to her. I didn’t even speak loudly or have a rude tone, I just felt she was really being the opposite of loving and supportive. Why on earth would she have to second guess my course of action? I didn’t ask her to accompany me. I didn’t ask her to pay for it. Why can’t she just be a loving mother?

That is a question that is far too big for this little blog. But it is why I have often withdrawn considerably from my mother over my lifetime. I’m a lot like her, I admit it, but I have worked on being able to face when I’ve been wrong and I’ve worked hard to improve. She on the other hand, never sees her bad behavior.

The doctor at the urgent care suggested I tone down my exercise for a few days. I think that’s a good idea and I was going to do that anyway. I plan to just do laps the rest of this week and skip all the heavy ab work.

I have spent a lot of time thinking about grave illness and death this weekend and it really does make you realize your priorities in life. If/when I get through this, whatever it is, I plan to bring my website back to life, only this time it will be a regional magazine. I have huge plans for it and it won’t cost me much to get started. I pray I get the opportunity.

I just had a small glass of carrot juice and a piece of avocado toast sprinkled with flax seeds. I was starving and hadn’t eaten since dinner last night.

This is one of those moments when I realize how dire my situation is and how pathetic my life is right now. Fifty-six, living with parents, no friends whatsoever. Extreme debt. Cheating husband, possible STD or worse. The only thing that would put me right over the edge right now is if my car broke down.

In spite of all my troubles and worry, I am absolutely convinced that I would be far worse if I hadn’t been eating well, working out, losing weight, and getting the emotional help I need. If I can beat whatever is making me feel ill right now, I will still feel hopeful about my future.

A couple of hours later — STD test came out negative. I was actually disappointed. It would have been so simple if that is all it had been, plus now I don’t get to send that snarky message to my husband. Of course, if I wanted to be really devilish, I’d send him that message anyway. Ah, it’s nice to laugh.

And my life is still on hold.

Weighday and Extreme Paranoia

I weighed 221 (220.9) this morning and that seems about right considering the week I’ve had. I think that’s a bit under a 2 pound weight loss this week. That means that with hard work, I’ll get into the teens by next Sunday.

I can’t write much today because last night I suddenly became profoundly worried that I have a serious health problem. I am prone to worrying and I’ve tried so hard not to dwell on my concerns, but I’m losing the battle.

I am simply terrified about all the many symptoms I am having in my abdomen and pelvic area and have now convinced myself that I have ovarian or pancreatic cancer or both.

I should know better than to look up symptoms on the internet. It’s a huge mistake. But I did and it’s done and I’m miserable.

The bloating, pain, and constipation I’ve been feeling no doubt mean something and I’m terrified. I’ve convinced myself that after all this work to improve myself and stay optimistic about a better future, that I have no future at all.

And I have to wait until tomorrow morning to call the doctor and beg for that scan to happen earlier.

Plus I’m supposed to drive two hours to Portland to spend a cheerful day with my daughter tomorrow and I really don’t feel like it now. I can’t believe I’m working myself up like this!

The good news is that I did not text, email or call my husband yesterday, bringing the total days of leaving him alone to 2. I think I can manage not to contact him today as well. Of course all I can think of is that I won’t have his comfort as I fight the battle ahead of me.

Please don’t laugh at me. I know it’s ridiculous.

But when your stomach has been huge for years, you really do begin to wonder what’s going on in there. Obviously it’s mostly fat, but what other damage did my diet do? What damage did years and years of strong psychiatric drugs do? Not to mention that my older cousin just died last year of pancreatic cancer.


I know there’s only so much we can do to protect ourselves from cancers and serious illnesses but it is really hard not to blame yourself when you’ve done little or nothing to prevent it. (Good Lord, I’m not even diagnosed yet!)

I snapped at my mother today because as she walked by she tried to take my plate. I pulled it away from her and said, “Mom, I’m going in there in 60 seconds to do the dishes.” And she said, “I am going to the kitchen. I’m just trying to take your plate.” And I wanted to say, “FUCK MY PLATE, MOM. LEAVE ME ALONE.” But I didn’t. I know she’s silly, but she doesn’t deserve me being snippy or rude to her.

The pool is closed and I’m sort of glad. I needed a day off. But still I feel at loose ends. It looks cold and gray outside, but if the sun makes an appearance at all, I plan to go outside and do some raking on my parent’s front lawn.

Hopefully I can talk myself into driving to Portland tomorrow because I’m sure the doctor won’t schedule an ultrasound for me that quickly.

If you’ve been ignoring pains and hoping they’ll go away on their own, stop it. Make an appointment to see your doctor.

There’s a really sad irony here. All the times I have taken overdoses because the world was too much for me, and here I am wanting only to live.

Starting weight: 267 (mid October 2013)
Today’s weight: 221
Total weight loss to date: 46 pounds
Height: 5’8″
Goal weight: about 150

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