Random Thoughts of a Disordered Mind


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The Parents are Already Home

Mom and Dad at Mystic SeaportI had a wonderful visit with my parents this last week.  They arrived late due to a flight cancellation, so we ended up missing 1.5 days.  We didn’t have big sight-seeing things lined up, since we did so much on their last visit.  More of our time was spent catching up and talking about everything, having computer lessons, watching movies, and going over family genealogy (I’m the record keeper in the family).  Our biggest outing was to Mystic Seaport, which was celebrating an 1876 anniversary commemoration of the

We lived in New Jersey when I was growing up, and my mom grew up there as well.  We moved away in 1970, which is a really long time.  But Mom and Dad have stayed in touch with friends from their days there, and on this trip we visited with two of them – Phyllis from NJ (last seen 39 years ago) and JoAnn who was in K-12 with my mom (last seen 61 years ago).  It was fun to see them pick up almost as though they’d seen each other yesterday.

As for me, I always worry about managing my food when I have company.  I sometimes eat weirdo off-cycle meals, with bigger lunches than dinner, and I didn’t know how that would work with the parents here.  But it actually was fine.  I found my way to a Friday WW meeting, since the Saturday ones were cancelled because of the July 4th holiday, and that helped me reinforce eating carefully.  Which didn’t stop me from having a Friendly’s happy ending sundae when we went to Mystic on Saturday.  It was yummy but not as good as I remembered and I don’t really want another. That’s progress.

I was aware as we talked this weekend that I was probably more honest with my parents than I’d ever been about my weight and life as a fat person.  It wasn’t defensive or argument, just not hiding who I am anymore.  I told my mom when we went out to lunch and looked at eating on the patio, that I was afraid I would get stuck in the flimsy chair.  On another day, my worry that I wasn’t sure I could actually walk from the distant parking down to the dock where we’d hoped to get on a harbor cruise.  My honesty about how hard it was to find clothes that fit that I actually liked, and that I wouldn’t be wearing shorts out in public because my legs are so lumpy.

We also spent time talking about weight loss surgery.  My packet of information arrived from the surgeon’s office in response to my doctor’s referral.  I am to be assessed by a clinical nutritionist and a psychologist, and answer a long questionnaire from the surgeon.  I also picked up a copy of Weight Loss Surgery for Dummies (thanks, C, for the recommendation!) which will already be a good resource.  My parents are 100% behind me in making this choice and understand the need to lose weight before I can have the knee surgery I also need (Dad had a double-knee replacement 8 years ago so he really gets it).

When I got home from the airport after seeing the parents off, I ran around doing laundry, tidying up, changing the bed, paying bills, cuddling with Tessie.  Some of that was done through tears.  I never know when I see my parents if I will see them again.  I’m almost 55 years old and incredibly blessed to have both of them alive, active, healthy and aware.  But time marches on and I know there will come a time when I won’t have them to hold and love and support.  Now matters.  So do they.

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Quick Vacation Check-in

My parents arrived at 6:30pm, a day and a half after their original schedule.  We had a nice visit in the car (they loved my new little Prius and I was shocked to find out that Dad thought I had a blue one) and a late dinner of Crockpot Salsa Chicken.  Yesterday was a lazy day with lots of visiting and a driving tour that included a stop at the Union Station, where  Dad got a dry run for today’s train trip to D.C.  Word is that he was reassured and found today easy.  Good thing, coz we could just drop him off and keep going.

Mom and I drove down to meet an old high school friend of hers that she hadn’t seen in 61 years.  They met each other in kindergarten, which kind of boggles my mind.  They reminisced and told stories and had a great time.  It was fun to watch them.

The kitty is still pretty spooked by the company, spending a lot of time under the bed or crouched in meatloaf position on the floor of the bedroom listening to voices and checking out the situation.  I hope she gets comfortable soon coz they’re dying to cuddle her and I need a pic of us together!


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My Nephew Will Play Pro Ball!

I iz Reddy to Play Nao CoachLast weekend was the NFL Draft, where 32 players worked there way through 7 rounds of selections to tap players to join their professional football teams. I even watched some of it, not that it meant a whole lot since I didn’t know any of the players and the only team I knew anything about was the Patriots.

My nephew, my awesome college football playing nephew, was realistic about his prospects going into the draft.  Because of his injuries, he didn’t expect to be drafted – but thought he had a good chance to be picked as an undrafted free agent.

He was right – and signed with the New York Jets last night, a few hours after the draft ended.  He flies to NY later this week.  Of course, there’s no guarantee that he’ll make the final roster, but he’s taken this whole journey one step at a time and will carry that focus and determination into training camp.

I’m thrilled for him and pinching myself that someone I know – am related to! – will be one of those players I watch on TV.   Way to go, Rob!


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Update on Pro Day

Thanks, everyone, for your interest in my nephew and how he did last week on Pro Day. He did very well, catching 6 of 9 passes and running the 40 in 4.63 and 4.58, which seems very speedy to me.  He did 22 reps on the bench press, and had a 30½-inch vertical with a 9-foot, 9-inch broad jump and times of 4.23 in the short shuttle and 7.15 in the three-cone drill. I have no idea what that last stuff means but hope it’s good.

The only bad news is that he strained his left hamstring in the final workout but it wasn’t serious.  There were scouts from about 18 NFL teams at the stadium, and he got good feedback from them about his performance.  One team took him to lunch to continue talking and he has plans to fly to three different cities to workout for a day with other teams. I don’t want to name names so I don’t jinx anything, but let me just say that I’m impressed.

The draft comes up at the end of the month and at this point he doesn’t expect that he will be drafted; given his injuries, there is a risk of being seen as injury prone and teams may not want to use a draft pick on that.  But there’s been good feedback about being picked up as a free agent.  It’s all good and we’re happy to follow his lead and take one thing at a time.  I’ll give you an update when something develops 🙂


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Pro Day for my Nephew Tomorrow

Rob in UniformPlease think good thoughts tomorrow for my nephew.  He has a chance to get into the NFL draft for a spot on a professional football team which is all kinds of awesome.  Last month he went to the NFL Combine in Indianapolis (silly me, I thought a combine was a farm implement) where he went through rigorous medical tests, psych tests, and interviews with all the NFL teams.   Only some 320 college kids from around the country are invited to the Combine so it’s a Big Deal.

My nephew was coming off of a foot injury that sidelined him his entire senior year following surgery.  So the fact that he even got a Combine invitation, in spite of missing an entire season, speaks volumes.  Because he was still finishing rehab, he postponed the drills and weight lifting sections of the Combine until Pro Day.

If you’re not a football fan, you may not know that that is. I know I didn’t, any more than I knew what a combine was.  Apparently NFL scouts visit colleges and universities all over the country, several a day, five days a week for six weeks.  They watch draft prosects work out on their home field, and that information is added to the results of the Combine, helping teams made decisions on who they want to draft.  The draft takes place in late April.

Rob’s Pro Day is tomorrow.  He is an incredibly disciplined athlete who has been taking this whole amazing ride one step, one workout, one play at a time.  He has a dream to play professional football.  He may or may not make it but he’s understood all along that you can’t get to the goal without putting in endless hours of work, planning, and sacrifice.  I expect that he will be awesome but no matter what, he’s a winner in my book.


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I’m Not in a Very Good Place Now

Buddha on the rocksIt’s been hard for me to read most of the weight/diet/exercise blogs these last few weeks.  Although you are all writing about yourselves and your own lives, I read and feel judged and lacking – and realized today that it was because (duh) I was judging myself against your successes and ripping myself up inside for not measuring up.

I am morbidly obese.  I’ve gained and lost pounds so many times and am just so sad that I’ve gained back enough that I finally gave away four winter coats in smaller sizes – so that other people can stay warm and so there’s room in the closet for something that covers me.  My knees are bad and I drink too much diet soda.  I don’t exercise as much as I should.  I’m in reasonably good health, all things considered, but it could be better.  I don’t expect to live as long as the thin women my age, and frankly, that’s okay with me; but I want the kitty to be cared for, so that’s a motivator to take care of myself.

I’m not saying this because I want your pity, your sympathy, or most especially your advice.  I could write the book on how to lose weight because I’ve lost it so many times.  I just haven’t found the *click* inside that lets me keep it off.  I hold myself to ridiculously high standards of perfection that set me up to fail, then feed myself comfort food to feel better.  Yes, counseling is a good idea.  I know it, and you’ve told me a dozen times.  Please don’t tell me again; we’ll consider that advice already given.

My Christmas trip to visit family, which should bring joy, has me tied up in knots.  I know we’ll have the Weight Conversation, the Diet Conversation, the Health Conversation, and of course the Church Conversation – and, given the election results, probably the Political Conversation.  The morbidly obese non-churchgoing liberal Democrat is on her way, crying inside that the people who most understand me aren’t related to me and won’t be part of my celebration.

But it’s not just about me.  Christmas is about family and tradition and being there for them in their lives, even if being there stresses me out.  I can deal with it for a week and come home to my small world, my routine, my solitary-ness, my kitty.

I’m a good person, a good friend, an excellent librarian, a loving cat-mama.  I’m smart enough to work at Yale and if I’m old enough to belong to AARP, I’m old enough to make my own choices.  I just need to own them.

I don’t want to diet. I want to eat sensibly in moderation, to enjoy a variety of food, to ease the stress on my knees, to be comfortable in my body and with myself.  That may be mutually exclusive.  All I can do is try and take things one small step at a time.


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Update on my Houston Family

Donate to the American Red Cross — your help is urgently needed.

The post-Ike situation in Houston is getting very bad.  We hear so much about hurrican preparations but don’t think about what it would be like to live in a place after a major hurricane has whirled through, leaving destruction in its wake.  But we saw all of this in 2005 with Katrina in poor New Orleans, which is still recovering from its devastation.  People suffered from no food, no water, no power, sewage spilling into the streets, debris and damage everywhere.

The same thing is happening in Houston.  Parts of the city are destroyed; others have debris to be cleared but not so much property destruction.  But millions of people have no power under that humid Texas heat.  Food is rotting, tempers are flaring, and energy is sapped.  Relief workers need supplies themselves so they can take care of those who need their help.  Many areas in southeast Texas still are flooded.

I’m grateful that my family is safe.  My brother has a ranch (a fancy name for a house in the middle of nowhere that needs a lot of work) about two hours outside of Houston.  The whole family has retreated there and are enjoying AC, water, power, and literally time to relax.  My nephew’s foot surgery, originally scheduled for last Friday and rescheduled for tomorrow, has been rescheduled again along with all elective surgeries.  All Houston schools are closed for the week at least, so my sister-in-law doesn’t have the pressure of getting back for her teaching job.  And my brother’s office is still powerless so there’s no point in his even trying to work, though there are things he can do on the laptop even without the internet.

They have me and my mom to relay information and news updates while they wait for power to be restored and they venture a return.

They’re very lucky.