Change has to happen – Wednesday 9 May – 31 weeks and 4 days

Life is returning to some form of normality.  Well, as normal a life as I am able to muster.  Jay has been told that she will now more than likely reach 34 weeks or beyond, and has decided to return home.  Whilst I miss the company, I am happy about this.  I need space.  Time to organise my own life which seems to have been put on hold for the last 6 months.  This is evidenced by the bomb that is currently my home.

Ignoring the housework, I indulge myself a little bit.  I read and read.  The Hunger Games trilogy has me gripped.  In less than two weeks, I have almost finished all three books.  The social message that I interpret to be in the book really speaks to me.  I wonder if we, as a human race, are destined for a similar scenario – a world controlled by the elite, with the rest of us on the brink of starvation, kept weak, too weak to fight back.  I admit this worries me a bit, especially with the imminent arrival of my grandson.  An egalitarian society is important to me.

In an attempt to stop worrying about a war that may never happen, I also go out for coffee.  I am having a coffee and a muffin when my mobile rings.  It is a number I don’t recognise.  “Hello,” I say.

“Hello, Sarah?”

“Yes?”

“This is the doctor’s rooms.  Your blood results have come back.  The doctor would like to see you.”

I have continued to feel very exhausted and last week, I decided to return to the doctor to have my anti-depressants looked at.  She was not convinced that they were the problem and ordered an entire battery of blood tests.  I didn’t expect to find anything wrong, but now there clearly is something wrong.  I panic.  I don’t want to panic, but it kind of wells up inside of me.  Slowly at first, then like a raging torrent.  Am I going to die?  Yes, people, I get that panicked!

I meet the doctor.  All is well.  I have slightly elevated cholesterol, mildly elevated liver enzymes and slightly inflammatory markers indicating I have an inflammation somewhere in my body despite not feeling ill or having any pain.  The doctor is not concerned though and orders me to seriously look at my diet.  I am thirty kilograms overweight.  I don’t want to hear I need to alter my diet.  I like my food.  It comforts me.  I am the proverbial, cliched emotional eater.

I call Dee.  “Sarah, you need to change your diet.  You have to work on it.  You have now been through every single test known to man.  The only thing you have not done is address your diet.”  I am angry.  I do not want to hear these words.  I do not want to change my food.  I think to my muffin this morning and imagine giving it up.  I just can’t do it.

“I know,” I say reluctantly.  Far easier to agree, then do my own thing.

“When I get home tonight, I am going to go through a diet with you – maybe Weight Watchers – and you are going to do this.”

I am not good at being told what to do.  I know that being overweight is not a good thing for me.  Carrying around an extra 30 kilograms is clearly having an affect on my quality of life.  I am well in the obese range according to my Body Mass Index and I am exhausted all the time.  My cholesterol is elevated and that is not good news for my heart.  I know what Dee says is right.  But I don’t like being told what to do.  As ridiculous as it sounds, I feel that if I go on diet and lose weight then that will vindicate what everyone has been saying to me for the last ten years.  They will be right and I should have listened all along, making me wrong.  This thinking, of course, is slowly killing me, and not just physically.

If I had lost the weight when I started putting it on after JC was born (yes, I put on weight AFTER he was born), I would have had a much better run of the last 14 years.  I would have coped with JC’s autism better, moving countries twice, the family feud, my mother’s death, Jay’s rebellion and subsequent pregnancy and even my own sobriety.  I know I cannot deny that these would have all been smoother had I not been carrying the equivalent of a small child around with me.  Yet, my brain (and stomach) do not care.

I want to dig my heals in.  I do not eat a lot.  Yes, but you eat total crap!  Shut up inner voice!  Alas, it is true, I do eat crap.  Take today for instance, I have the coffee and muffin and then do not eat again until I meet a new friend for coffee and cake.  As I write this at 6pm I have had two cups of coffee and two cakes!  It is pretty pitiful.  Some days I manage a piece of fruit, and I do eat dinner, but I know my portion control is all over the place.

I am one of those who watch the Biggest Loser avidly, wishing like hell I could be like them whilst noshing on a huge bowl of ice cream.  Dee has threatened to enter me into the Biggest Loser next year, but I just laugh.  I have no desire to publicly humiliate myself.  There is no way I am stripping down to my underwear in the front of Australia.

I do dream of a life of feeling strong, physically and mentally, but am one of those that just cannot do it.  I simply do not have the motivation.  I despise exercise.  I always have.  Even at a very young age, and I mean like 6 years of age, when my friends were outside playing on the green, I was inside with my nose in a book.  Can I change now, at the age of 44?  Do I want to change?  What if I have to change? My body has been playing up lately – exhaustion, severe heartburn that has required hospitalisation, lack of sleep, even dizzy spells.  Are these DNA messages telling me that if I don’t do something now, my worst fear of dying early will come true.

Change has to happen.  I know this.  Deep, very deep down, in the core of my being, I know this.  I just have to convince myself to make it happen.

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