On The Struggle Bus

I weigh more today than I’ve weighed in ten years.  

Just before Dominic graduated high school in 2008, I decided that being “fluffy” was not good for my health, not good for my joints and for the first time in my married life I had the extra energy, time and attention to work on losing weight.  

I lost over fifty pounds.  

Still not skinny, but definitely a much smaller version of me than had existed since I started having children.

IMG_0744 (1)
June 2013

But after Dom left us,  a series of choices and out-of-my-control health issues combined to make it harder and harder to maintain the weight loss I had (fairly) effortlessly maintained for six years.

I’m scheduled to see my GP tomorrow and you know what makes me more nervous than all the bloodwork they will have to do?  Stepping on the scales!

Why is it more deplorable to be fat than to be mean?

Why is it considered a greater moral failure to lug around extra pounds than to lug around a hateful heart?

I feel more like a failure because I’ve allowed pounds to creep back up on my backside than for so many other things that are so much more important.  

Menopause, middle age and many sleepless nights which increase my cortisol levels have conspired to make it harder this time than last time to rid my body of excess weight.

family fionas grad (2)

I’m active, eat well and in limited amounts (no Twinkies or high fructose corn syrup!) but my hips refuse to get smaller.

I try hard not to blame everything on child loss. 

But I’m pretty sure a significant portion of responsibility sits squarely on the fact that my heart is broken.  I am exercising so much self-control every. single. day. that I don’t have any left over.

I rarely cry any more in public. 

Goodness!  I rarely cry any more in private.  

I can return a cheery, “Have a nice day!” to any and everyone I meet.  

But that means I am constantly running a tape in my head that goes something like this:  “Don’t take it out on her.  She has no idea. Keep smiling.  People don’t know that you were about to cry just a minute ago. Don’t let that person’s ugly attitude unleash the beast inside you.”  

Can I be honest here?  

I’m tired.  

I’m tired of everything being hard.  

please be aware i am trying

I don’t know if or when I’ll lose weight (please don’t inbox me with your latest, greatest sales pitch).

I’m trying most days.  

But sometimes I just don’t have it in me to try.  Sometimes I just want to be normal-whatever THAT is.  Sometimes I just want to have one corner of life where things are easy and don’t require constant vigilance or extreme restraint.  Sometimes I want to eat ALL the things and not give a hoot if it adds inches to my waist.

the struggle bus

I won’t do it.  

Because I know it’s not what’s best.  

But I want to.  

eat whatever you want

Author: Melanie

I am a shepherd, wife and mother of four amazing children, three that walk the earth with me and one who lives with Jesus. This is a record of my grief journey and a look into the life I didn't choose. If you are interested in joining a community of bereaved parents leaning on the promises of God in Christ, please like the public Facebook page, "Heartache and Hope: Life After Losing a Child" and join the conversation.

18 thoughts on “On The Struggle Bus”

  1. Hugs. This is hard. The one thought that blew into my mind at some point in the first year or so after I lost my son, Joseph, has helped me tremendously. “I will forever have to carry this burden of losing my son. It is a burden I have no choice in. But, I am too tired to also continue to carry this burden of my weight.”
    Somedays, or even months, that looks like eating very healthy and even getting to the gym. Other times, it looks like eating whatever I need to get me through. But I give myself grace regardless of the scale or tighter pants.


    1. And. Just FYI. I have found keto and intermittent fasting to have almost miraculous effect on my joint pain and my craving for junk food.


  2. Hi Melaine, I’ve been off tge radar a little for a few days so I’m just catching up.
    Over a period of time I had managed to lose five stone under my own steam and a furher three having joined Skimming World. I was still not a lightweight. I too have health problems which include arthris almost everywhere and a non existent thyroid…oh the joys but I did manage to triumph….until Luke died.
    The furniture was lucky it didn’t get eaten as I devoured everything in sight. I’d stopped going to Slimming World, it all seemed pointless. However, this time last year I started going again having put a stone and half back on. It is just a slog….I keep shedding a few pounds here and there and then I get a wibble and put some back on…I can’t even get to losing the first stone. Having said that I get so much encouragement from the class…I try not to miss it.
    I love the food and you can eat loads. I can get a bit lazy and samey with what I cook but when I am adventurous I find it easier. I have my chocolate stash and have been know to eat three cream cakes in one go now and then but who cares?
    We have enough going on in our heads without beating ourselves up about not being 100% on track.
    I hope you find a way to lose a few pounds and recommend Slimming World…perhaps have a look onlone at their plan and see what you think xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. In the two weeks immediately following Hans’ departure, I had a ravenous appetite and LOST four pounds. I was seriously hungry all the time and ate constantly. After the adrenaline wore off, my appetite dwindled and the pounds began to accumulate. I have yet found a way to boost my metabolism that does not also make me feel anxious. I suspect exercise would do it but, unless compelled, I tend to not expend the effort. Like childbirth, child loss has had a profound impact on my physiology.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you nailed it Kim. Just like childbirth seems to change us on a very basic level, so does child loss. I actually enjoy exercise and am active most days, all day. But my joints won’t allow the kind of exercise that promotes much weight loss. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I too lost my son Jacob except he’s not lost he’s in heaven.7 long years ago. I struggle with weight as well.up and down… Up and down. I do know when it’s up it just adds to my sadness and makes me depressed….moreso. If you have even heard of trim healthy Mama it sure is with a try.I still have my ” fall off the wagon times” Chistmas holidays…Tgiving thru New Years😝🤪but I know I had to get back at it ..or be more depressed… Which is hard when you have that forever underlying sadness.It may seem over whelming to get started at first but it is so doable. People’s testimony’s are amazing..It really works for me too keep my weight gain in check… Because honestly I still go off plan and get back with it.Im not as thin as I would like to be but I feel healthy. Hardest part for me is my Starbucks mocha coffeevwithdrawals.Im too much of a SB coffee fan but there are some good frappe alternatives. Anyway I digress! I took go to the Dr tomorrow and I also think THE WORST thing about going is stepping on the scale… But when I see that balance struggling and then settling in ” THAT” number I will remind myself…it could be worse!! This appt could of been Jan 1 getting on the scale.No it won’t be where I would like it to ultimately be but I will remind myself the Lord has helped me and can help me as I journey on to that end! BTW my snack last night was Choc covered almonds.. Just a few and 2 tiny no bake cookies.OH SO YUMMY!! Made with on plan healthy sweeteners!! I’m a Chocolate addict!! Check it out…if you have any questions and are inspired to try feel free it out pm me! Saying a prayer for you… Child loss is hard enough without having to deal with this.. It’s a constant struggle!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I appreciate your thoughts and your struggle. I am familiar with THM. Nutritional guidance on good eating isn’t really what is holding me back. As a slow-burner with other health issues, I have to limit caloric intake drastically below what it takes for others to see the pounds fall off. That kind of dedication, level of constant hunger and self-denial are just beyond me right now. ❤


  5. I’ve gained 30 pounds since David died. I badly need to go to the doctor but I don’t want to be told all my health problems could be cured if I would lose weight and exercise. Maybe. Maybe they can figure out how to allow me to sleep more than 4 hours a night. So far they haven’t. Maybe they can find me a friend willing to slowly walk with me in the neighborhood. It’s too hard to go to the nearby track and think of not being able to make it all the way around. When I started this journey my doctor made fun of some patients whose child had died 4 years previously. He said they were blaming their weight gain on grief and that was ridiculous. Little does he know that 4 years of grief feels like 4 months. I’m not sure i can go back to him again. I desperately want to lose weight and be able to walk 6 miles a day. I have a goal. I want to visit China in October but I lay on my couch and don’t step a foot outside. I don’t eat well at all and weigh the most I’ve ever weighted. Losing 50 pounds would be a miracle. I need to figure out how to become my own miracle worker.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Well, I’m fat and proud of it (sarcasm). But, I’ve noticed that my weight goes up and then later goes down…alot. Not just a couple pounds but by 10 pounds or more. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Roger! I vacillate between “I don’t care” and “I am such a deplorable slouch”. Truth is, I’m reasonably healthy but it feels like defeat to “find” pounds I lost years ago.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. You really nailed so much of my experience and how I feel. I want desperately to be the “thinner” version of myself and everyone tells me I look great, but I kind of know they’re just saying that because they feel sorry for me. Sometimes to be disciplined is just too hard and I just want what I want since I can’t get my son back.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am absolutely convinced that one of the reasons it’s so hard to exercise self-control in this area is because I’m exercising self-control in so many areas already. And they are nonnegotiable. I feel you, mama. ❤


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