Monday, August 22, 2011
My mother in law was always heavy. From the day I met her she has fluctuated in her weight but she was always what you'd affectianately call "heavy". She's tried fad diets and occasional exercise but for the most part she loved to eat and most of the activities she did were on the sedentary side. Food was a part of everything she did. She had grown accustomed to finding pleasure in going out to eat, in the eating itself! When there was nothing to do she & her friends would pull out a bag of chips and watch "the soaps" or have appetizers & play cards. There was food involved in EVERYTHING she did. Food and ciggarettes. She'd forget she had one lit in the ash tray & light another one. At one point she was up to 2 packs a day! She was so big at one point that the doctors refused to do surgery on her knee because they said she was too heavy for anesthesia. Something HAD to change.
This past year she had gastric bypass surgery. She HATED the diet they put her on. 1st it was liquid meals such as broth and juice, then jello and pureed food. Then, when she could eat real meals they were tiny and certain foods were restricted. She got depressed because she needed to change her behavior, not just her diet. Her whole life was turned upside down! No more smoking, no more eating for the sake of eating. It was like re-learning how to be an adult all over again without a ciggarette in one hand and a piece of junk food in the other.
Then my father in law got sick again. Last year he had stage 4 cancer and had massive surgery, chemo and radiation to save his life. It was very hard on her then but now it was in his lungs. It was even more dangerous. The stress caused her to eat more then she should and take up smoking again. My father in laws surgery went well, all the cancer was removed and he did not need radiation or chemo this time. 6 weeks after what the doctors called a miraculous recovery everything was getting back to normal.
Then my mother in law had a massive heart attach that killed her almost instantly.
We dropped everything and drove to Florida that night. In the midst of putting together a poster of pictures to remember her by a neighbor stopped by with a picture she had just taken the week before. I barely recognized my precious mother in law! She had lost so much weight! If it weren't for that tell tale smile of her's I would never have known it was her.
She was comfortable with who she was and how she lived her life but ultimately it killed her. I am NOWHERE near her size but I do feel winded when I put on shoes or heavily winded when I climb stairs. My feet are swollen every night as if I'm pregnant and I have no energy whatsoever. I've finally admitted to myself that I am depressed. I know this is the 1st step to making changes in my life and lifestyle and I'm trying to deal with it and move on. I live in a state park so there's no reason not to walk somewhere- ANYWHERE- for exercise. I started today. It was only 15 minutes and although I started out running and made it only about 20 or 30 feet I TRIED. I ended up walking very fast and that's good enough for now.
Peg- You are my inspiration. Stay in my head and keep reminding me that choosing to sit on the couch with that bag of chips or at the computer with that bag of popcorn is easy but it's NOT going to make me feel good. I love you like a mother and I will miss you...