Have you ever tried to squeeze into too-small jeans, managed to get them over your hips, sucked in and zipped up only to realize that all that extra “you” is now spilling out over the top of the waistband?
Sometimes that’s how life after loss feels.
Too much emotion, too much baggage, too much EVERYTHING that has to fit inside a very narrow set of other people’s expectations and tolerance for self-expression.
I find that I CAN squeeze my words and actions into that skinny space-for awhile.
But then sure as anything, the real me pops out the top and there I am-exposed to the world- warts and all.
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.
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.
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 of everything being hard.
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.