The Writing Mamas Daily BlogEach day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.
If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.
And for that, you are a goddess.
Sunday, February 08, 2009
Big Mama Gets "It" & Wants to Lose IT
I was sitting in a café with another woman having coffee when she told me she had something she wanted to share.
“I used to weigh twenty-five pounds more than I do now. And I’ve kept it off ever since,” she said with a self-satisfied nod.
“R-e-a-l-l-y?” I said. “That’s, that’s great!”
Another time, in this same café, a younger woman who I was having coffee with said, “I lost twenty-five pounds on Weight Watchers. I’ve kept it off ever since.”
“R-e-a-l-l-y?” I replied. “That’s, that’s great!”
If one more woman shares her weight-loss success story with me ever again I’m going to tell her to, well, I’m afraid what I’m going to tell her.
I get the sharing. I appreciate the encouragement. But it’s not like I don’t know that I’m fat. I used the F word. Let me say it few more times; fat, fat, fat, fat, fat, fat, fat.
I’m a big mama.
When my daughter lays on me she says there is more to love. She has also said hurtful things about my weight, which have led to long talks about accepting people for who they are, not what they look like.
My son has never said anything negative about my weight and has told me that it doesn’t matter. He has been heavy himself and is now thin. He claims that he doesn’t feel better or worse about himself. He feels the same.
I came by my weight gain honestly. First by having a baby when I was older. Then I lost the weight. Gained some back. Lost some more. I exercised like crazy. I took long, intense walks.
Then I was diagnosed with cancer, insanely volunteered for a clinical medical trial that nearly drove me insane. During the course of it I gained 40 pounds. One might think one of the doctors -- I’m being kind here, they were not doctors, they were researchers and I was not a patient, I was a research subject -- might have said something? No, they just gave me more medication to apply to my now larger body.
My blood pressure steadily increased over the 18-month long study. Twice, nurses jumped back at the high numbers. I said it was just nervous. Who wouldn’t be afraid when the outside of the building says, Advanced Cancer Care. Just that word.
The researchers never said anything about my high blood pressure, either. Gotta get results!
The study finally ended. Today I take a variety of medications. Some can cause weight gain. Last year I finally had long-put off foot surgery. I stupidly thought I would be up and about in a month. I slowly learned that it takes about a year to fully heal. But the original problem has led to other troubles. I sometimes fall. I fell two weeks ago outside the mall. Last week my ankle caved and l landed on my desk, papers flying, pain going wah-wah.
My husband pines for my former, thin self. He gently suggests that maybe, perhaps, um, if I just lost a little weight, my foot problems would disappear. My surgeon and physical therapists disagree. It would help, they say, but it’s not the cause.
The other day my nephew, Alex, in Chicago, asked how I was doing. Then he abruptly said, “Have you lost weight?” I was crushed. My sister asked when I was coming to visit. “Not for a while,” I said. I used the cold as an excuse.
That’s my last pretext. It IS time to lose weight. Today I began eating healthy. It’s not a diet. I won’t ever diet again. I tried Jenny Craig and actually gained weight on it. Can you imagine? And I didn’t even cheat! Basically I paid hundreds of dollars to get fatter (that word again!).
I’ve been a vegetarian, though an irresponsible one, for more than twenty-five years. I know how to eat well. I realize that Cheetos and Dreyer’s Slow Churned Rich & Creamy Cookie Dough ice cream do not count as vegetables. But, oh, are they ever delicious!
My exercise simply can no longer be at the same intensity as it once was. I can’t walk up or down hills. I’ll have to find flat areas. I will have to start at the gym with an exercise bicycle and see what else I can use. I tire easily. I know I will watch longingly as I see others exercising hard, while I do my “soft” routines.
My hope is that by eating healthy, not going near the scale, and exercising and walking as I can, I will be able to drop a few sizes.
Minorities and certain religions experience the greatest prejudice. I might also argue that it is the overweight that suffer, as well. They are ignored, made fun of, and pre-judged. As a formerly thin person, I can attest to this – because I am guilty of those things, too.
A few months from now, just as my son said about himself, I will still be the same person. Only I will be smaller. When people see me they won’t do so with fear. Afraid that if I gained weight, so might they. For some, nothing is more frightening. I’ve already experienced greater horrors.
For me, losing weight will mean meeting a simple goal: I want to be able to tuck.
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