Monthly Archives: April 2016

What a difference a day makes…

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Large, cute, fat round bird is the description of that clip art beginning this post!
It is definitely cute as am I except that I am a small, cute, fat round woman! I can’t
believe that I can actually write that and accept it as being the objective reality right
now of my physical manifestation. The inside of me feels exactly the same at this age and
weight as it did 40 years ago when I was normal weight and very young! Wow, it is so
refreshing to feel at peace with this, a new normal I hope to pursue.

I’ve been quite busy these days, helping my customers navigate the different processes
that allow them to remain permanent residents in the country. It is always fun to meet
new people who have other concerns on their mind besides whether or not I look the part
I am about to play in their lives (competent consultant!). It’s an incredible rush when
someone hugs me at the end of a complicated translation ordeal and tells me the words that
I have always responded to (more than money!) “I/We could not have done this without you!”
Although I know they could have (it would have taken longer, not been as much fun, etc.),
it is always nice to be acknowledged and recognized for having expertise in something.
From now on, I will stop pretending that my skills just came with me when my parents
“ordered” me from the stork. My skills are a result of my dedication, ability and desire
to help people. It’s been a great week!

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Being present

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Being in the moment is something that is a bit difficult for me to accomplish since my tendency towards being scattered is ever present. Yesterday and today have been good changes from the normal in terms of my being able to focus on the activity or task at hand. I am not sure why it is happening but rather than question it, I will strive to make it a new, good habit.

Yesterday was laundry day, most Mondays are. In between laundry though, I thought I would begin the overwhelming task of looking in our garage to determine what bag or box I should tackle first. I should back up and explain that we have been ’empty-nesters’ for almost three full years and yet many of our rooms still house the toys, the clothes, the posters, etc. that our three children have left behind…they are all over the age of 20 now and so is much of their stuff. I suppose if I were meaner, I would call myself a hoarder…but I won’t, what’s the point? Gentle is my code word these days.

So, back to the laundry. I decided I would just pick one bag, it was a really large and heavy bag which I asked our gardener to bring to the laundry room for me. In the laundry room, I carefully opened it since years of being on the garage shelf might render anything possible! Instead I was presented with dozens of jeans (circa my sons at age 10!), socks, pajamas, t-shirts, etc. I inspected everything and made two piles: one for the garbage, another to be laundered and packed up for charity.

I asked my gardener to take the discarded stuff to the garbage and he peered inside the bag and asked if he could take it to his home and see if there was anything that could be used by them…of course, I agreed and decided that as long as it was no longer cluttering my home, all was well. Today, as I finish the folding of the last load of usable clothing, I feel tremendously light and happy that I was able to concentrate on this one task (which took more than 4 hours) without giving up, getting upset, beating myself up, or eating from the stress. Two good days!

Graphic from Bing.com public domain graphic

Not just fat, obese!

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I weighed over 8 lbs. when I was born. That’s a big baby! All through
my childhood and adolescence I remained overweight much to my mother’s
chagrin. You see, Mom was a social worker and she was well-versed in the
ramifications of obesity. Not only was she embarrassed by my weight, she
carried the unfair burden of supposing it was all caused by her lack of
attention to me because she was a working mother who on top of all that,
went to university at night to continue her studies and obtain her Master’s
degree…in of all things: family practice!

Eventually, at age 19 as a result of some negative remark I heard from a
mean co-worker, I decide to go on a crash diet which left me hungry but I
did manage to lose weight which I kept off for the better part of 25 years.

16 years ago, I was hospitalized for a bacterial infection which required
massive doses of a antibiotic which also required me to eat a very high calorie
diet until I was released from the hospital a few days later. I gained 6 lbs.
and ever since then, have been gaining steadily until I am now not only fat
but obese. I guess seeing that word and applying it to myself is something that
has taken a bit of time to sink in.

In the last year, I have not gained any additional weight. When I look at
pictures of myself, I cannot accept that it is really me. I resemble my much
more obese sister which is hardly any consolation. I look at my body from
all angles, they equally disgust me. Then I read stories about young people
who are born with horrible diseases, or who die tragically and unexpectedly and
I chide myself for being so superficial. I just read earlier today that a
successful and beautiful actress might be suffering from anorexia and I scold
myself yet again that with all my blessings, I make the issue of weight one
that brings me such shame.

I have successfully lost weight in the past…often. I know what to do, I have
more than a passing interest in health and nutrition. Each morning, I wake up
with renewed commitment to eat only when hungry and try to eat healthily because
I actually enjoy having a plan and sticking to it. The last few months have been
horribly painful in terms of all the losses (of people near and dear to me) that I
have had. Although I have never considered myself a binge eater or even an emotional
eater, I feel today that I have grossly misled myself.

Because food is necessary for our survival, it is near impossible for people with
eating issues to successfully and permanently navigate the complex world of weight.
Today, I stood in front of my mirror. I almost cried when I beheld the folds in
my back, the dimples in my thighs and the way my stomach bulges. I felt sadness
and anger in turns. Sadness that I let myself get this big, anger that I let myself
get this big. And then I took a deep breath and remembered the words of a diet guru
who says we should be happy with the body we have now while working toward obtaining
the body we want/deserve/need. So I put aside all blame and anger and came to the
kitchen to eat a tiny bit of healthy food which has served to nourish my body and my
soul. For today, that is enough; tomorrow will be another today and will take care
of itself.

Graphic from Bing.com free to use and share image

Bird nests…

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I am not by nature a violent person but when I see bird droppings on a newly
cleaned surface around my home, I confess I become extremely annoyed. Such is
the case recently when I have allowed bird nests to overtake my beams and then
find that it is too late to do anything about it until the baby birds are born
and eventually fly away…only to return the next season and start the process
all over again.

This year, I have been vigilant. The beginning of every nest construction has
been interrupted by my actively removing the structure as soon as I am able to
see it. I feel terrible about this but I cannot stand the messy droppings that
invade my terrace. Next construction: no beams! Right now I hear the insistent
calls of the birds to each other, probably saying it is not a good time to build
a nest on this property. So long little fellows. Although my bird watching is
definitely becoming a passion, I prefer to look at you from miles away!