Category Archives: Weight

Stressed Out

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I have a spoon and a jar of Nutella. Don’t mess with me.

What do you do when you’re stressed? Try to find ways to de-stress? Is there really such a thing? I’ve been wanting (for a long time now) to try and learn to meditate. I’m stressed out by the fact that I don’t think that I can meditate properly. I’ve tried, very briefly, and I get so anxious that I’m not sitting correctly or breathing correctly that I starting panicking. Lately, my headaches have gotten so bad from stress and I have no way to relieve them… and the more stressed I am, the worse the headache is, and the worse the headache gets, the worse the stress gets. Definitely not a winning scenario.

There are many reasons for the stress… Trying to have too many goals and not having immediate gratification is part of it. Main goals at the moment (not in order of importance):

1. Lose weight. Nutella needs to be pried from my hands.

2. Blog.

3. Take and pass the NCIDQ. What’s the NCIDQ? It’s the National Council of Interior Design Qualification. (It’s like the bar exam for interior designers and is damn near impossible to pass for the first time.)

4. Help the perinatal hospice group, “The Corner,” that I’m involved in.

I feel like I’m pulled in many different directions. The first goal, losing weight, is sort of an on-going goal. We are signed up for our first 5k this June and we need to get our bodies conditioned to walk/run it. I haven’t done much in the way of starting to accomplish this goal, other than signing up for the 5k, which is a start. We’re eating healthy, making all of our own foods. We make wheat free bread and focaccia, make our egg bakes for the week so breakfast is ready, and also make our own granola and strawberry jam. We don’t eat anything processed and follow the Wheat Belly diet pretty strictly. Minus the Nutella. Ok, so I haven’t done “nothing,” but as far as working out and training for the 5k–Haven’t started that yet.

The second goal, blog, well. Clearly I’m working on that. I feel so much better after I’ve hashed things out on “paper.” It helps me relieve some of that stress.

Goal three: Take and pass the NCIDQ. This test is so difficult that most people fail it on the first try. It’s a two day test comprised of three sections. I signed up for one of the sections and that test is mid April. Again, I haven’t done anything in the way of studying for it, but I signed up. Guess I’m good at something… I’m 1% of the way there on both the 5K and the NCIDQ. The hard part is the follow-through on both fronts. I need to start studying ASAP. There are people who study for years and don’t pass.

The fourth goal… Helping The Corner… I’m trying to knit and crochet blankets and help them in anyway that I can. This gives me a sense of satisfaction that I can’t replicate with anything else. Knowing that my losses are helping others is a good feeling. It makes me feel like my losses happened for a reason. Sort of. It’s still complicated.

Another goal has been added, as well, but I’m trying to ignore it and treat it like it doesn’t exist:

5. Try to make a baby.

Why do I want to pretend that this goal doesn’t exist. Well, if I don’t put it down as a goal, I won’t be disappointed when if it doesn’t happen. Also, most people conceive when they aren’t “trying,” so I’m going to try not to think that I’m trying and try to conceive and pretend that I’m not agonizing over my menstrual cycle and my cervical mucus. It’s a trying situation. So, what all of this means is, yes, we are going to try this cycle and see what happens. Hopefully something will stick… but if it doesn’t, I’m going to try not to be upset.

I say that in jest. I’ve already had two mini heartaches today in regards to others being pregnant. I saw pictures of my sister-in-law on Facebook and she looks pregnant again. I sent my husband the pictures and said, “Does she look pregnant?” I thought maybe it was just weight gain from already having the six kids. He said yes, he thought she looked pregnant, too, and I asked him to find out from his mom. His mom said, no, she wasn’t pregnant (she asked her) and that it was in fact weight gain from the last few babies. I wasn’t ready for them to have another yet. They do want more children, apparently she’s not pregnant yet. Several hours later I logged back into Facebook and someone else is pregnant with their, “Baby XYZ coming October 1, 2014!–feeling excited!” It was the first post in my news feed. I immediately checked to see how far along is she… 9 weeks, 2 days. She’s newly pregnant… Probably already had her first ultrasound picture. Probably already has names picked out. Probably thinks she knows what she’s having. Her pregnancy will last.

Every day is a struggle. Every goal is always in the back of my mind. Obviously, there are other struggles of money and our jobs. I’m always thinking that we don’t know what others struggle with. Maybe they can get pregnant easily, but their marriage struggles greatly. We never know. I’m thankful that I have a great husband and a happy marriage. Would a baby complete that equation? Would I be happy then. I think I’ve put too much pressure on trying to become a mom. I need to be happy with the person who I have become without being a mom. Being a mom is what I want, but it’s not the end-all, be-all. I’m happy with my life regardless of whether or not we can become parents. It’s not a dream I’m willing to give up on, but I can be happy knowing that it’s still a potential future.

It’s the thought that counts when giving gifts, not the actual gift that’s important. If that’s true, is the thought and prospect of being a mother what counts… and not actually having the child? Is the dream better than the reality?

Somehow, I doubt it.

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Happy Birthday, Baby

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Today, February 13th, I should be giving birth to my third baby. Instead, I sit hear remembering the short while that I was pregnant with this little kiddo. I was only six and a half weeks. Hardly pregnant. Barely pregnant.

I hate those terms. You’re either pregnant or you’re not.

This day hasn’t been as difficult as past “birth days”… I’m sad and reminiscing, but I’m still functional, unlike before.  I wish things could be different… Wish that I could be holding a new born and showing my soon to be one year old (my second baby would have been one this April) their new brother or sister. The hardest part is the what-if’s and what-should-have-beens. My heart aches for the these babies. I believe one day I will be able to meet them, but for now, I have to wait until that moment. The most difficult part of this is not not having them here… it’s that I didn’t know them. I have nothing to miss or remember them by. The wondering what they would have been and what they would have been like. What their school pictures would have looked like. Would they be a mama’s boy or a daddy’s girl? Never getting to know those little souls are far worse.

One thing that I find ironic… I wrote about Joe in a post a while back called, “It just ain’t fittin.” On Saturday, we received a phone call from my mother-in-law. She was hysterical; Joe died. It from what they can tell, he died from a heart attack, possibly an aneurism. Apparently, it looked like he just went to sleep. What I find ironic is how much I missed him, even though I didn’t know him (hardly at all)… just like my babies. I knew more about Joe than I knew about any of my babies, but it still wasn’t a lot of information.

The memorial service for Joe is tonight, in my husband’s home state. We aren’t able to go to the memorial service, but still sent a card to the family letting them know we’re thinking of them. I wish we had gotten to know Joe more. I wish we had been more aggressive. I wish we could have helped him. Apparently, he only tried to do our “plan” for three weeks and then became frustrated. If we had tried to help him sooner, would it have helped? Could we have done something? Would it have made a difference? Again, the what-if’s start to consume you and all you can do is hope that you did enough.

We’re all only here for such a short while. I’m tired of thinking I could have done more. I need to believe that I did the best I could, and my best was good enough even if the outcome wasn’t what I thought it should be. I should have been at the birth of  my baby today and I should have been at a memorial service… the birth and death of two people I barely got the chance to know. But they both touched my life… just for a moment. And that’s good enough, because all we have are moments.

It just ain’t fittin’.

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One reason I haven’t written a lot here is that I’ve been struggling with how to bring this blog full circle. How do I incorporate weight loss and miscarriage? How do they relate? How can I make sense of all this?

This past weekend my husband and I went to Ohio to see his family. We had Thanksgiving/Christmas/birthday’s all rolled into one visit. I enjoy going there to see his family and we try to get there four times a year. This year was special because we were there to see his mom’s friend’s son. I’ll call him Joe.

Joe is a unique individual because he weighs 667 lbs. The reason we went to go see him was because my mother-in-law has been showing pictures of my husband to all of her friends since he has lost over 125lbs since our wedding, which was a year and a half ago. She’s proud of my husband, and rightfully so. I’ve lost 42 lbs since the wedding (for a total of 104 lbs since April of 2010), but his weight loss has been more dramatic than mine. He looks so different, and since his family only sees him four times a year, he always appears very differently.

My husband’s mom was telling her best friend about my husband and her friend confided in her that her son was 667lbs. He’s home bound, doesn’t work and is on oxygen. Joe’s mom asked my husband’s mom if he wouldn’t mind talking to Joe to see if he could help him. Joe didn’t want to have anything to do with the plan. He didn’t want anyone to see him. But, after seeing my husband’s photos and his dramatic weight loss, he agreed to speak to my husband.

Before getting to his house, we put together a plan for Joe. The plan was basic… He was going to eat a little less and move a little more. We didn’t know what to expect or what we were getting into. Up until the moment we were in his house, I didn’t believe I was going to get to talk to Joe. I was upset that I wasn’t going to get to meet him. I wanted to help. But when were in his house, his mom allowed me to come into the room, and I was surprised that he was ok with me seeing him.

Meeting Joe will probably live in my memory as one of the most pivotal moments of my life. He was genuine, sincere and honest. What struck me the most was how real he was. I would assume, most people would be awe struck from just knowing his weight and that we were talking to someone that could have been on one of those morbidly obese television shows. Most people would have assumed he was gross and that he lived in a disgusting home. That’s how morbidly obese people are portrayed on TV. His home was cleaner than ours. He was just like us.

Originally this blog was going to be a book… here’s an exert from what I had written many years ago…

“You have a pretty face.” The doctor, who was going to help perform her gastric bypass surgery, told her that while taking an evaluation of her. No diabetes, no high blood pressure, she was in practically perfect health… Except for the fact that she weighted almost 850lbs. Can you image? What he really meant was that you’re pretty under that gluttonous mouth. I watched the show in awe, disgust and hoped that I would never be like her. She was a side show who was shoveled out of her home by many men. Why would anyone want to be like her?

But I was like her. I wanted to be like her. I was jealous of the fact that she had two beautiful daughters. Her life could have just as easily been mine. It still could be.

She died a few days after her surgery. I still wonder what happened to her daughters.

While we were talking to Joe, I was thinking about this woman. “You have a pretty face.” I was thinking about how it applied to Joe. He had a very handsome face. Period. Not if he lost a bunch of weight, but right now. He was one of the sweetest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of talking to and it was definitely one of the most real conversations I’ve ever had. I could have been that woman. I could have been Joe. At my heaviest weight, I was 482.8 lbs. Why didn’t I become home-bound. Why did I find the strength? How? Where?

I was thinking how ironic it was that I, a 380 lb woman was trying to teach this man how to eat. What foods were bad and what foods were good; how to know the difference and how to succeed on this journey that he was about to take. Ironic.

There are many things that I wish I could fix in this world. I wish I could help all the people who can’t have babies who want one. I wish I could give everyone healthy food, a warm bed and a warm shower. I wish I could take away the bad and give more good.

I think about Joe every day and wonder how his journey is going. I think about all those women who can’t have children easily and without complication. I think about myself and how I want to help others and I haven’t even helped myself yet. Or maybe I have… Maybe this is my “help”… Maybe this is my journey. And that doesn’t mean that I can’t bring others along with me. I’m still trying to make it all fit together.

Friend or Foe

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Over the years, I have become and awful friend. I used to be the kind of friend that knew all the birthdays, sent the card and gave the best gifts. I don’t like to brag, but I did give some pretty stellar gifts. In retrospect, it was all an attempt to purchase the friendship… Keep them close. I always wanted to be the one giving the best gift out of all others received. I had to be the best at that. After the first miscarriage, I started pulling away from friends. I didn’t go to a baby shower for over two years. And the first one I went to was very difficult. Even going into Target was hard. There’s always a child there. The baby department is central to the store, mocking your every move. Our virtual world has made it increasingly difficult to stay a part of that environment. Daily (pretty much hourly even), people are posting pictures of their children. I am constantly watching everyone’s kids grow up online. Watching from afar, comparing how old my child would have been to theirs. It’s a constant reminder that my babies aren’t here, but theirs are.

So far I know this blog is looking more and more like it’s dedicated to miscarriage and the babies I don’t have. And I can tell you right now, there’s no planned structure or grand plan in mind. I do want to get into my weight loss and go more into what the blog was initially titled for. We’ll get there… but for now miscarriage and babies are in the forefront of my mind.

Yup, he called it.

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The first time that I heard it I was in sixth grade. Of course, when you’re in sixth grade anything that anyone says about you is always life altering, especially when it comes from the boy that you like. But he wasn’t just any boy. He was the boy. Every boy wanted to be him and all the girls wanted to be his girlfriend. Looking back on it, my small group of friends was the popular girls. I had always had a habit of making the pretty girls my friends, although I didn’t realize that until much later in life. Maybe it was a lot easier for them to be friends with me because I wasn’t a threat for them. They could like the boy and they could get the boy without having me as the competition. I was the friend that could give them the confidence and self esteem they needed to pursue that boy… And when he reciprocated, I could hang around them and still remain a non-threat. I was the perfect friend for just that reason. He wouldn’t ever want me. And when that boy turned her down, I was the friend to tell her how beautiful she was. How thin she was even though she insisted she was fat. And, of course, I would be able to tell her with confidence that the boy didn’t know what he wasn’t talking about and he was stupid for not wanting her. I was that friend.
I remember it well. We were hanging out in the back of the classroom before school started. We, my group of pretty, popular friends, were hanging out with the boy, Josh. Of course, Josh had his group of cronies who hung around with him; they were considered part of his small elite group. Josh was the All-American boy. Clean cut, well-mannered, sweet, and of course, drop-dead gorgeous. He had sandy, light-brown hair, the perfect face and dimples to die for that went along with his perfect smile. I don’t remember if he was one of the smarter kids, but I would imagine so. On the few occasions that I had talked to him, he never made me feel like I wasn’t good enough to be talking to him… even though I wasn’t. On this particular morning one of his friends made a comment about me and my weight. I do not recall what he had said to Josh, I don’t even know if I actually heard what he told Josh. What he told Josh was something having to do with poking fun at me… Probably something about how heavy I was or how I would never have a boyfriend. I clearly remember what Josh’s response was. “She’s alright. She has a pretty face. If she just lost some weight she’d be pretty.” That moment, changed my life forever. I heard it as if he were saying it to me directly. Everything that Josh said lingered in the air like sweet cigar smoke. I didn’t need his friend to tell me later that day what Josh had said, but he excitedly told me anyway. “Just thought you should know, Josh thinks you’d be pretty if you lost weight.” Yeah, I knew that. I knew then that I could never have this Josh or any other “Josh’s” of the world. What I didn’t know then, was that I didn’t need them or want them.
To this very day, those words have been etched into my memory. If only I could lose weight, then I’d be pretty. Finally! Pretty was a great thing to be… and I had never been it. In sixth grade, I would have given the world to be able to lose weight so that I could finally be the girl that the boy would finally want. I wanted to be pretty. I tried to lose weight that year. And every year thereafter. I was holding on to some ray of hope that would never come. I would never have Josh, and that was something that I would have to deal with. If I wanted him, I needed to become something that I wasn’t and would never be. He didn’t want me for me, he wanted me only if I were pretty.
“Pretty” and I have a love-hate relationship.
In retrospect, you can’t blame the kid. At an early age we learn what is good and bad, what is pretty and what is ugly. Fat was ugly. My face was pretty. That equation never adds up.