The Best Laid Plans

… of determined fat women can still be derailed in tumultuous situations.

I remain with my parents trying to get them packing to move back home permanently to the Dallas area. Dad’s vertebral fractures require extensive surgery, and he wishes to return home for treatment and recovery. Suddenly, what had been an exercise in familial, loving, care-taking has become a MOVE. I hate moving; my parents are procrastinators; they must be at the airport in 72 hours; food keeps pouring in from their community; I can’t find my skim milk; last night I ate M&M’s without thinking.

Clearly family issues and old trauma (I promised no emotional dumping syndrome on this blog) trump my eating plan at this early point in my road to better health.

Thank God my sister came to help and the other sis is working to receive them back home, or I might have regressed more than just by eating off plan a bit. (OK, so I did toss something across the living room after my coffee plummeted to the carpet.)

Reminds me that I need to reschedule a visit with my favorite psychiatrist.

From my iTouch.iTouch

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Fat Tuesday – Yee Haw!

Mardi Gras maskDespite years living in Southeast Texas and spending many a Mardi Gras on Galveston Island, I was never a Fat Tuesday observer. Not that I don’t love pancakes or any excuse for hedonism as it relates to food… It’s just that my Protestant upbringing was devoid of liturgical observances, and thus, I missed out on the road from Epiphany to Shrove Tuesday to Ash Wednesday through Lent.

In fact, the entire Lenten season was a mystery to me until recently when I started connecting saying “no” to my appetite with the concepts of fasting and world hunger. Those of you who want to bail now because this sounds a bit too religious or spiritual, bear with me; there is a link between Lent and my journey to better health and increased social consciousness. This has to do with being attuned to what is important in my life, core even, and what it might take to get there. The somber season of Lent is an individual, non-showy pact with oneself that requires actions (giving to the poor, prayer, fasting) to heighten spiritual awareness. I have made a pact with myself to do many new things (see post on behavior change) – maybe the blog is a bit demonstrative, but I use it as a tool to help my family and close friends support me and if others gain from reading about my journey, even better. By focusing on health rather than on food, I have found more time to consider other areas of my life that I want to address – my need/want to help others, especially my family; my desire to reclaim a more spiritual aspect to my life; and exploring the meaning of food and wanting to help the hungry.

Does this mean that I’m running out to get “ashed”, work in a food bank, fast, and give money to homeless? No – but I’m trying to be more contemplative and seeking health that goes beyond eating well and exercising.

Peace.

My Biggest Test Yet (This Time)

Being a yo-yo’er, I always feel the need to qualify statements about my weight loss endeavors, especially since the big plunge down to a size 6-8 in 1991/92 and subsequent regain, and loss, and gain, and loss… Fodder for another post.

Next week I will be staying with my parents in a drastic role reversal of care taking while my father gets ready for back surgery, and my mother recovers from an acute episode of G.O.K (a technical term for “god only knows”) when she became acutely disoriented requiring intensive family intervention – thank you my sister Denise. Visits “home” to family usually are fraught with food temptations that are beyond challenging. My parents are known for a strong propensity for sweets, and fried foods, and fat, and yummies lying everywhere.

My usual response for dealing with the stress of returning to their house and the mixture of all types of emotions often results in stuffing my brain with carbs, soothing myself into sweet oblivion, reassuring some part of me that all is o.k. (I promise this blog will not delve into childhood sh!t, so don’t worry.)  Since college, visits home always resulted in quick weight gains as I was unable and refused to say no to food offered by my family. I am an emotional eater and have little stimulus control. This upcoming visit is already provoking much emotion, mostly negative.  Who wants to see their vibrant parents aging? And HEY, I became a doctor, not a damn nurse; care taking is NOT my forte. But, love of my parents is never wavering.

So in the quest to plan for staying “on plan” in my new way of life, I must anticipate this challenge. OK, I can talk to my sisters and very close friends (this is a warning) about the angst I have while there. I can express my feelings in a journal to get out all the crud that will undoubtedly surface. I can commit to write in the blog – but since I limit my soul bearing here, this will be more monitoring of how the visit is going. I will keep monitoring my food and physical activity on my iTouch and use the computer at their apartment. I will walk or use the treadmill. I will shop so “my” food is in abundance while staying away from the candy, cookies, and assorted things I no longer eat, or really want. I hope that habit is truly squelched – but it’s only been 5 months since I quit eating sweets and red meat and breads, etc. Oh god, I need to make a longer list…

botero the letter

The Measure of a Woman…

Is not the readout on a digital scale; is not the value of a tape measure lying against the skin of her waist; is not the size jeans that she wears; is not in the judgmental eyes of strangers; is not her income or her education or her occupation or those factors combined in some method.

The measure of this woman is her connection with her family, her friends, her community, herself. Immeasurable.