Grief reveals so much about a person. It reveals how precious life, family and health really are, and it reveals to you the people in your life that you need to let go. Grief can also reveal you in a much more literal way. I know it did for me. Life is starting to reveal the healthy person who has been buried in this fat body for so many years.
My sister passed away 82 days ago, and before she died, I promised her that I would lose weight and become more healthy, so my family wouldn’t have to be back in this position again — losing a daughter, sister, mother and friend at a young age. I knew that if I kept the weight on, or kept overeating, I would eventually die from a heart attack, stroke or some other weight-related illness. I realized that if I ended up in a hospital bed because of an issue relating to my morbid obesity, it would be for a very selfish reason — because I thought it was “too hard” to lose weight. It wasn’t hard — I was just lazy, and afraid of failing if I tried. But, I promised Becky — I didn’t have a choice anymore. I had to try.
So, on June 24, I started tracking my calories on MyFitnessPal. That was 60 days ago. I weighed 392 at the time. Today, I weigh 342 lbs. I have made it to the 50 lb mark. 11 more pounds, and I will be a quarter of the way to my weight loss goal. That is pretty exciting. It is a great milestone for me — and it hasn’t been without trials.
I’ll be completely honest — the last two weeks, I’ve wanted nothing more than to just give up and forget all about this journey. I haven’t been working out, and I’ve been eating things that I shouldn’t. Granted, I’ve been staying within my calories most days, but I haven’t been watching my food intake as closely as I normally would. Why did I want to give up? Well, as you may have read in an earlier blog, my ex came back about 3-4 weeks ago, and we tried again. I realized a week ago Sunday that it just wasn’t working out, and I didn’t feel the same way about him anymore. My caretaker personality was dragging myself away from my own goals to take care of him and our relationship, and I put my goals and dreams on the back burner. That isn’t healthy, and I didn’t want it for my life anymore. So, he left. I took the last week to hang out around the house and feel conflicted. Now, I’m recommitting to my weight loss, and I’m so happy that instead of seeing a gain, I’m actually down another 11 pounds!
I know that life is always going to throw you a curveball when you have your sights set on a goal. I just need to keep pushing through it, and do my best to shut out the negativity that may drag me back down into my depressive state. So, where are my sights set right now? They’re set on my quarter of the way milestone and getting under 300 lbs.
I just have to remember what is important. I need to put myself and my health first. If I do, everything else in my life will fall into line.
Week 9 — August 19, 2014 — 342 lbs
Author’s Note: Please remember that this rant is a work of nonfiction, but it is told from my side of the story. There are two sides to every story. If you want the other one…go find it.
How do you tell the end of a love story that wasn’t ever really a love story to begin with? Looking back, I liken my relationship with my soon-to-be-ex husband (from this point forward referred to as “the ex”) to that of Heathcliff and Catherine from Wuthering Heights. And for those of you who think that is a love story for the ages, you couldn’t be more wrong. The relationship between Heathcliff and Catherine was a pool of codependency and toxicity — a relationship that was destined to fail. Once again, how do I tell the end of that story fairly? The ex isn’t going to weep for my ghost on the moors, but I think we do hate each other with the same passion that Heathcliff and Catherine did (sorry for the spoilers, but if you were going to read it, don’t you think you would have by now?).
All that being said, where do I now begin? Well, this story has several endings — much like the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Let me first start this by saying that during the course of our marriage, and especially after the start of 2014, the ex had started calling me names during fights. Granted, all couples say things that they regret, things that are hurtful, during confrontations. And because I am fair (and I admit my flaws), I will admit that I know how to push buttons and use my words bitterly, when needed. But, I never called him names. It didn’t stop, and the apologies started to mean nothing when the actions didn’t change. The constant tension that lived in our house drove me into a deep depression that I still haven’t completely recovered from. I felt like I was tiptoeing through a minefield half the time. Like I said, our contempt for each other was much like Heathcliff and Catherine.
What was all the tension about? It was simple — I was an adult, and he wasn’t…at least not emotionally. I expected him to get a job, keep a job and contribute to the household. I expected him to help around the house. I expected to have a partner that would support me while I supported him. What I got was a man who sat on my couch for the majority of our relationship playing video games or running off to be with his friends. He was basically a teenager disguised as a 33-year-old man.
The first ending was in March 2014. We had been married since Sept. 2013, and after a bad fight, the ex went on a bit of a rage, breaking things in the house before he left. This made me question my safety, and I felt the need to flee the house and have time to get my head straight. I decided to take a bus to somewhere to get some distance from the ex. So, I went to stay with my friend (my male friend of almost 10 years — which is important later) for a week. The ex had no problem with this when I left. He said he understood, helped me pack, drove me to the bus station and waited with me for my bus to come. I slept in my friend’s bedroom while I was there (he took the couch), and I spent a week sitting on his bed, writing, talking to my family and friends for advice and meditating. I left the room to eat, shower and use the restroom. That was about it. My friend went on with his life — school, work, women, etc.
The ex picked me up from NC and drove me home a week later. Not too long after, I realized that he had taken up a habit that he said he would never take up again, and because of the lies and everything else that had went on, I threw him out. He went to NC for a week to see his family, and then, we decided to work things out.
Then, things really broke bad during the hospitalization and death of my sister. He was hit or miss when it came to being supportive. He would criticize me one day for using the car to go to the hospital and see her one day, and then offer to drive me the next. We had a fight one night and decided it was over, and 10 minutes later, the doctors called us in to tell us my sister had taken a turn for the worse. Our parting was put on hold. But, it kept bubbling up at inappropriate times. It bubbled up when I was writing my sister’s obituary. It bubbled up that morning before the funeral, and on the ride home from the cemetery. When I got home from the funeral, it exploded, and I told him he needed to leave. We went back and forth for two weeks about whether or not it was over while he stayed somewhere else. But, by mid-June, we knew it was time to part ways. He moved back to NC, and I stayed here in Ohio. Ending number two.
However, once we split, the hateful nature of the beast kept on raging. I would get text messages calling me a whore and asking why I cheated on him while we were together — asking how many guys I had been with while we were together. The answer — zero. Why was he suspicious? You guessed it…because of my trip to NC to see my friend. If I didn’t want to be with the ex anymore, it HAD to be because I was cheating on him, right? Wrong.
One night about three weeks ago, he called me in tears. He was hysterical. He loved me. He missed me. He needed me. He wanted to come home. He got to me. I told him to come home. He showed up the next night, begging for another chance. This time, there was very little yelling or name calling. There was very little arguing. He would help around the house. He was good with the kids, and he tried to be good to me. But, I realized that it just wasn’t the same anymore. There wasn’t that connection. I didn’t feel toward him the way a wife should feel toward her husband. I felt like he was someone I cared about, but not someone I was in love with. And, no matter what he did to show he was “trying”, he wasn’t capable of being the person I needed him to be. If he tried to be that person, he would have hated it, and began resenting me, which would have led to our separation later down the road.
So, on to ending number three: I told him everything I wrote in that last paragraph. I broke his heart. I had to — if I didn’t, then he wouldn’t have agreed to leave and stop trying. I had to show him there was no hope. And there really isn’t. People like to think that Catherine and Heathcliff end up together — and they do…in death. But, in life, they are always in other relationships. I don’t want to wait that long. I don’t want to live my life unhappy and hope for happiness in the afterlife. So, I cast off my Heathcliff. He left yesterday for NC, never to return to the North. He left a confetti of text insults and accusations along the way, calling me terrible names, assuring me that I was a whore and probably cheated on him constantly. He even disparaged the name of my late sister as a way to get at me. He demonstrated the true vengeful nature of his heart, and how Heathcliff-esque he really is. Thankfully, this Catherine knows that the third departure will be the last, and that she is lucky to have let go before her soul was left in tatters on the floor.
So, how does a love story that isn’t really a love story end? It ends with happiness for the one who got away.
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