Back at the beginning of October, my coworkers decided that we would all wear pink to support Breast Cancer Awareness, and we took a couple of group pictures. We had a lot of fun with the pictures, and one of them showed us in our Charlie's Angels poses. There was a lot of laughter and good natured ribbing. Later that day, the pictures were emailed to all of us, and I enjoyed looking at them. I thought to myself, "Who is that big job in the middle?" And then, to my great chagrin, I realized that the unknown big job was ME. Nah, it couldn't be.... but it was. I guess I look at my face to wash it and never get past my shoulders. I knew I was big, but I truly didn't realize how big I was. That was Friday.
On Saturday morning, I was still pondering my thunder thighs and belly and decided to weigh myself, something I hadn't done in a very, very long time. I nearly fainted when I saw a horrifying number that I have never seen before. How depressing, but also how liberating, because I understood why my back hurts and my knees hurt and my ankles hurt and my feet hurt. OF COURSE, my joints would hurt at that weight!!! I felt the immediate need for pretzels dipped in chocolate.
On Sunday, dear daughter telephoned me. She is an old, sensitive soul - not really fey, but definitely very sensitive. She told me about the dream that she had the night prior. "Mom, Grandma (my mother) came to me in a dream. We were sitting in the old house (where I'm living now) chatting about nothing important, but I had such a warm feeling being with Grandma again. At some point, I said to her, 'This isn't real, is it, Gram? This is a dream, right?' and she replied 'Yes, it's a dream.' Then she pointed her finger at me and said, 'You tell your mother that enough is enough. She cannot do this on her own. She needs help. Enough is enough. Promise me that you will tell your mother.' So, Mom, obviously you are crazy and you need a shrink. I want you to pay attention to what Gram said and see someone because you really need help. Gram said so."
I kind of laughed, because it was funny, but also, what a kick in the gut! I believe that my mother and my daughter are able, from time to time, pierce that veil that separates the living and the dead. It has happened in the past, and I believe that it happened last month. However, I believe that my mother, who was always very concerned about my weight affecting my health and longevity, was not talking about my emotional health, but my physical health. And if your mother tells you something like that from beyond the grave, then surely it is so, right?
I pondered all the failed diets and exercise schedules in my past. Yes, some worked more or less, but eventually, life would intervene, a catastrophic problem would enter my life, and all my energies would be focused on dealing with life and all its tragedy and joy. I deal with these stressors by eating. I don't eat a lot of food-like substances, processed foods or junk food, but I do eat large amounts. I love salty/crunchy and sweet/creamy foods. Oh, and cheese. Oh yeah., cheese.
Anyway, Mom, I love you and miss you so much, and I got the message. Its true, I cannot become healthy alone. I need help. I need prayer. I need for my family and friends to pray for me, and I need to pray for myself. God made me a body to house that little spark of Him, and I have not loved the beauty of His house, have I? I've neglected and trashed it. I need forgiveness for that, as well as the strength to rebuild this body, this house, so that it once more can become what God intended it to be.
And all of these things happening one on top of another created a health crisis of sorts - a perfect storm.
That was last month. Four weeks later, I'm nearly 10 lbs lighter and my joints don't hurt quite as much. Thanks for the wake up call, Mom. Thank you Weight Watchers. And thank you, my beautiful cousin Roseanne for endlessly praying for me. I love you so much. Pretty soon, I'll have a date with the beginning stretching/yoga dvd.