This morning, I walked downstairs to find Avi sitting on the sofa with one of my cookies in her mouth and a few others sitting next to her, waiting. I asked what was going on, and she responded, “I’m eating my sadness.” It dawned on me–we all are.
My periods of depression aren’t always stereotypical or textbook. Sometimes when I’m down, I’ll eat very little, I’ll skip meals, I just won’t have any appetite. I think my weight loss a few years ago, when I got to the lowest weight I’ve been since high school, was triggered by such a wave of depression. Now, there were other things I did at the time to help maintain the weight loss–I didn’t refuse to eat for months or anything nearly as unhealthy as that, but the catalyst was being sad/depressed for a while.
Losing Micah has triggered an ongoing low-level state of depression that has lasted for three months now, and I don’t see ending anytime soon. Sure, I’ve had my happy moments over the last three months, but they’ve been tinged with sadness. I sat at Wrigley Field for Opening Night with a good friend, but somewhere back in my mind, I thought about how much I would have wanted to share that moment with Micah someday. I guess it helped to quell that feeling knowing that Micah was not a big baseball fan, and would have likely only been at something like Opening Night because he knew it would have made me happy.
The one consistent thing over the past three months has been my weight fluctuation, usually pushing upward. Before Micah passed, my weight was around maybe 255, occasionally as low as the high 240s, sometimes cresting up around 260. Since he passed, I’ve been bouncing between 265-270. I want to be 220-230. I look at the pictures from that time a few years ago, and see what my face looked like at 230. I looked healthy. I remember looking down in the morning and not having my gut block my view of my feet. I remember going to Six Flags over Labor Day Weekend 2013 and not having trouble fitting into roller coaster safety harnesses.
I know Cynthia and Avi are struggling with weight issues also. I know we’ve all been turning to food to address our sorrow. I don’t know what we can do about it.
Sure, yeah, it’s easy to say, “We know this is a problem–we should be able to do something about it.” BUT…we’ve tried health clubs with no success–we’ll go regularly for a few weeks, then it will become once a week…then once every couple weeks…and then not at all. We’ve tried diets–but Avi and I are too picky of eaters to stomach some of the “options” for the diets. I’ve had various “supplement” diets suggested, but $150/mo for “shake powder” for each of us seems pretty drastic–and everything I’ve read about those diets is that as soon as you stop using them, the weight comes back. I’ve tried healthier snacks–but I guess it doesn’t matter how healthy it is in moderation if you don’t eat them in moderation. I used to do hot yoga, but again, the $140/mo for my individual membership combined with all the other demands on my time killed that within six months.
I need to come up with something that I can do without adding to my or my family’s stress level. Something that doesn’t financially jeopardize our chances of getting a new house. Something that doesn’t leave me wanting to supplement my diet with things that sabotage its effects.
I’m going to start today going back on a soda fast–no more Coke, Pepsi, root beer, ginger ale, etcetera. That might help to start. I’ve been able to maintain that in the past–I think at one point I gave up soda for about six or seven months. I’m thinking about taking a nightly walk, maybe trying to encourage my family to join me. I need to find a solution before I’m starting to look in the mirror and see my father. I loved my father dearly, but not his weight (well over 300 pounds for most of his adult life)–and not how that weight led to the health problems that eventually took his life.
I can’t help but think a healthier me will lead to a healthier we will lead to a happier we.