Random Thoughts of a Disordered Mind


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Visits and Leaks and Weight Loss, Oh My!

My nephew came down for a quick visit this weekend from the New England Patriots training camp.  I saw him last November when I went up for a quick visit to see him and my brother.  His muscles in his arms and legs have muscles that are as hard as rocks, and he’s in wonderful shape.  As he said during the visit, it’s his job to eat healthy and work out in one way or another 5+ hours a day.  After practice and after some supper, he heads back to the gym for additional time.

I made him a home cooked meal (the most exotic thing in it was green bean casserole, which he loves) and was astounded by the amount of food he eats – but then, he has to fuel that body for hard physical work.  For a special treat, I made a sour cream coffee cake using an old family recipe.  My mom makes these for holidays and special family gatherings, and he was shocked that I not only knew how to make it, but had been doing so since before he was born.

We spent Friday night looking at boxes of old family pictures and telling stories.  On Saturday after a leisurely breakfast of coffee and an enormous pile of scrambled eggs, we went out to explore Yale.  It is over 300 years old and the buildings and campus layout are totally different from anything he’d seen in Texas or Utah.  We wandered the law school, old campus, the main library (which he recognized from the Indiana Jones movie that filmed there just as I started working), and checked out Skull and Bones.

We finished the visit with a relaxed lunch at an Irish pub before he had to hit the road to get back for a charity event that night.   We are the only family members in this part of the world and being able to get together without the hassle and expense of plane tickets is priceless.

While he was here, we discovered a water leak from the apartment above.  The toilet tank seal had broken and water was flooding their bathroom and dripping down through my ceiling and down the walls, getting the carpet and pad beneath it soaking wet.  It happened fast and having Rob here was a blessing, since he found the damage more quickly than I would have here on my own.

Maintenance came and fixed the upstairs problem, wet vac-ed my rug and carpet pad, and set up a dehumidifier to suck water out of the walls and carpet as well as fans to help dry things out.  They’re coming back this morning to do some repairs and I’m sitting here waiting for them, since I want to be sure I know what they’re doing.

Last but not least, I’ve now reached the 100 lb milestone and am only 10 lbs away from entering ONEderland for the first time in over 25 years.  I’m not there yet and am not celebrating in advance.  But I know I can do it now and am content to let it arrive when I’m ready.

I’m very happy with my progress and accomplishment.  I am also painfully aware that people who don’t know me see a fat woman who needs to lose a ton of weight, has no tone and obvious fat pockets.  I’m lumpy from the saggy skin, though people don’t necessarily know that’s the reason when I’m covered up.  Time is running out for that as the temps rise.

Sometimes it’s hard to remember when reading other people’s weight loss blogs that we are in very different places in our journeys and that their words and observations are not about me at all, since they’ve never met or even seen me.  They just hold up a big mirror to the things I still have to deal with – or not.  My goal is not to have a lean, trim, toned body. My goal is to be healthier, fitter, smaller, but it also needs to be a place where I know I can maintain without looking out for the fitness police to knock me into a different place just because it works for them.  I have enough to process for now.


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Avoiding Trouble Isn’t Always Painless

StressedOur campus is invaded every summer by groups of high school students  from around the world, here as part of two 3-week programs designed to give them first-hand experience of life at a ivy league university. Great experience for them if they actually take advantage of it.  Mostly I see them walking the campus in packs, clogging the sidewalks, wearing tight t-shirts and barely-there shorts that show off their tans and blonde hair.

Individually they don’t bother me, but when they travel in packs, something twists inside my stomach and I want to cross the street to avoid them.  I don’t, but I do step out of the way; when I say they travel in packs, I mean 3-4 across, 2-3 rows deep.  They form a big clot moving down the sidewalk that way, pushing aside everything in their path, talking up a storm, and commenting about the other people (i.e., us) being in their way.

The other day on the way to the parking lot after work, a car of them drove by and one of the girls yelled something out at me and made faces in a kind of viscious way.  I thought I would either cry or throw up or both; it felt very personal and came so fast that I was unprepared

I was running late today and didn’t bring a lunch.  And I couldn’t bear to be out on the sidewalk alone, avoiding the clogs of thoughtless young people looking at me and making comments about my size, or the joy of finding almost every chair in the local restaurants full of them.   So instead of going out to lunch, I stayed in the office and just worked on projects and had a Fiber 1 peanut bar on my break.  I wasn’t particularly hungry so it wasn’t hard, but I was annoyed and ashamed of not doing what I wanted just to avoid dealing with those kids.  On the other hand, I didn’t eat junk.

It will be a real relief when the real students are back where they belong.


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Quiet Thanksgiving Eve

Pilgrim holding a turkey

The campus was deserted today. Students were already gone with no classes to attend, and the only people I saw around on the streets were staff and there weren’t many of us; faculty were MIA. The air was still and quiet under a gray sky and the leaves still hanging around on the trees and fluttering to the ground below were translucent and almost watered down yellow instead of brilliant gold. Winter is coming.

They released us early and people scattered to the four winds promptly at the stroke of 1:00 to head out of town or home to whip up mountains of food. I needed to kill time before my 5:00 Weight Watchers meeting and knew that if I went home, I would just stay there and not leave again.

So I filled the time with an amble over to the campus bookstore to look at Christmas cards and new books all shiny and interesting, then continued walking on to the health center to pick up my sleep meds, then on to the parking garage. This didn’t eat up a lot of time but it was progress.

Next stop was Home Goods where I found a cute pair of silver Christmas tree earrings long enough to be seen beneath my hair (I rarely wear small earrings now), then happily poked around in the spa products and napped a few Christmas presents. Shhh, don’t tell. Sitting on top of a fancy basket of lotions was a black shearling hat with leopard lining. Miracle of miracles, it fit like a glove – not too tight, not too loose. In just a few weeks, this will come in very handy when I’m out shivering at the bus stop.

There was an Asian mother and child in front of me in line, speaking something exotic and laughing with their friends, and I was reminded how much we take for granted that everyone here will speak English while we rarely bother to learn the languages of anyone else. I don’t think I’m quite up for Chinese but it sounded fun.

I wasted more time at the drug store and then picked up a bottle of Baileys Irish Cream to take tomorrow to my Thanksgiving hostess. The liquor store is three doors down from the WW Center, so I was getting closer to my goal. At 5:00 the waiting — not hordes, but there were at least a few of us — ran in to weigh before skipping the meeting to head for grandmother’s house. I was among them, pleased to have lost 0.6 lbs after some mini-meltdowns this week, but anxious to get home to put my trusty frozen peas on my sore knee.

Tomorrow I can sleep until Tessie insists I get up to show her the food already in her bowl. There’s the Macy’s parade to watch and family to call before I head out to share Thanksgiving with my friends. I’m not going to obsess over the food; I’ll do my best to be reasonable but after all, this is only one meal out of 21 this week. Why let myself get bent out of shape?

I wish you a happy and grace-filled Thanksgiving, wherever you are and however you spend it.