H is for…
I’ve had weight issues for almost my entire life, except for a few years over high school and the first few years at university. I don’t really know why. My family was not big on sports, although we did swim when we could (my Dad won trophies when he was in college) or rode horses. I personally walked and rode my bike a lot. And starting in 7th grade through my junior year in high school I played basketball and soccer and was on the track team — none of which I did well, by the way. My sister never did any sports. One brother didn’t. The youngest brother played football. I don’t think my mom has ever done any sports… So, no real tradition of it in my family. And we’ve all struggled with weight, from my parents to all of us and now our children.
But that can’t explain it completely.
What about food? I don’t remember food being a reward, but GOOD food was part of family celebrations — glazed ham for Christmas, my grandmother’s potato salad and watermelon rind pickles, roast beef, steaks, Beef Wellington, fresh fruit in cream, a variety of cakes and cookies at my grandparents. Food at home was a different matter. Often money was tight. I remember spaghetti with canned tuna in the sauce. Boiled wheat berries with sliced hot dogs. Liver and onions ~yuck yuck yuck~ And I remember my mom always being on one diet or another, which surely bled over into how we were all taught to relate to food. To this day, I have issues with realizing I don’t have to eat it all, that leaving some is good, that I can always get/make/buy more of whatever it is tomorrow, or next week, or whenever.
And as the years have passed, and I’ve given birth and raised three children, and worked long sedentary hours, had stresses over money and children and my marriage – my body, my health, have suffered. There is diabetes on my father’s side, cancer on both sides (breast, pancreatic, multiple myeloma, skin). These are serious concerns. As of my last physical, I’m not diabetic, no breast cancer, but my cholesterol and triglycerides are high, my blood pressure can be erratic. I also have lordosis, a curve of my lower spine to the left which affects my entire back but primarily my low back, right hip and right leg. My neck is all wonky — x-rays a few years ago showed that the vertebrae no longer form a nice curve but are stacked straight and bone spurs are growing.
Losing weight, gaining health will certainly help with all of these.
But will it make me happy, or happier I should say? Hopefully. I already have so many things that make me happy — a beautiful home, family, pets, nature, books, musics, etc. But I know good health would help. It would reduce or remove not only physical stressors, but also emotional and mental ones. I know my husband would like it if I lost weight — although he does tend to be a major saboteur when I try. I worry that my kids are embarrassed by my appearance. I hate shopping for clothes. Those are things that could get better if I were healthier.
Everyday I just have to keep trying.
P.S. Please don’t take this as an opportunity to advise me on what I should be doing. Believe me when I say “I know”. I have read massive amounts of literature on the subjects of weight loss and health. I know what I should and should not be doing, the issue is putting it in to consistent practice. Feel free to encourage me in my efforts, but don’t preach at me.