A Single Step

I read somewhere the other day that (to paraphrase): “Guys think that all women want is Mr. Right, but they’re wrong; all women want is to be able to eat anything they want and not gain weight.” I agreed with this statement wholeheartedly, because I have also read that in a recent survey the majority of men interviewed stated that if they had to choose between a woman twenty years older than them or twenty pounds overweight, they’d choose the old lady.

These two things have been much on my mind lately, along with the fact that on my summer family vacation, I almost died (no, not really, but I’m a little dramatic) because of all the walking we had to do, and it was hot and it was hard and I was the only one that couldn’t keep up. I have fought the weight battle all of my life; I’ve always been the big girl and the girl with the pretty face and good personality. I have lost and gained at least 150 pounds over the last 20 years, but when I quit smoking almost 12 years ago, then it was on. I got married, fat and happy, 3 babies in 5 years, and I looked around and thought, “How did this happen?” I feel like the people on the show “Hoarders”, who when asked about the huge mess around them, just say, “I don’t remember when it got this bad.” I really don’t. But it doesn’t matter how I got here, it matters what happens next.

Even though I have been heavy all my life, I never had the problems associated with weight, until now. High BP, swelling, and unfortunately, Diabetes type 2. I was floored, even though I was gestationally diabetic with all 3 pregnancies, and insulin dependent with Caboose, but I decided to live in LALA land and ignored my 60% higher probability of contracting diabetes, having had it while pregnant. WHAT IN THE WORLD??? I had tears in my eyes when the doctor told me, and was not happy knowing I was going to have to take a daily medication for the first time in my 42 years. What next, bifocals?

So my AHA moment came about a month ago. My hubs’ dream vacation was a trip to Washington, D.C., which he spent hours planning and plotting and questioning. I secretly dreaded it, even though I looked forward to the time there and being with our family. My dread stemmed from: 1. How much walking would be involved and 2. how hot it was going to be. The last day, we had to walk from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial, and I did not think I was going to make it. Little old ladies with walkers were going faster than me and didn’t have to stop to catch their breath. I had sweat in my eyes, my armpits, my sides, everywhere, and was desperate to go to the hotel and collapse. I finally caught up with Hubs and told him I would make it to the Memorial and then go to the train station and to the room. I was done. Hubs looked at me, grabbed my hand and with tears in his voice said “I don’t want to do this without you”. It was the Fourth of July and we wanted to see the fireworks from the Mall. My heart collapsed. I gulped, raised my head, and said “I won’t leave you, I’ll go”. That was my turning point. And by the way, those fireworks were a Bucket List item that we will never forget.

I have begun this journey. The decision to write about it has been tough, because what if I fail? I have not succeeded at this endeavor before, and it scares me to put this out there. But here’s why: Weatherman has heard me talk of the dr’s visits and meds, and knows the score. He is super analytical and thoughtful, and asked me yesterday out of the blue, “Mom, can diabetes kill you?” I looked at him for a moment and replied, “Not if you take care of it.” He visibly relaxed and said, “And you’re taking care of it, right?” Yes, I am, my firstborn heart outside my body, my love, my son, I am doing this for you, for Monkey, for Caboose, for your dad, for your Grands, for your Uncles and Aunts and cousins, and my friends and family. I know I am not all that and a bag of chips (okay, not a bag of chips, how about a handful of pecans, my new favorite snack), but to some people, my absence would be sorely felt. So this Journey is beginning with a single step, and My God knows what I need. “My strength and my flesh may fail, but the Lord is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (I paraphrased, too lazy to get up and check)

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