Monday, April 30, 2012

The Zen of Weight Watchers

I joined weight watchers in October of 2010.  My dear friend, Tai, called me and told me that she had just joined.  (thank you, Tai!) They were having a special and maybe we could try together.  I bit the bullet and joined (very half-heartedly, I might add).  I had already lost all of my pregnancy weight, but was still morbidly obese at 238.2 pounds.  I made myself lose 5 pounds before I went to weigh in for the first time.  Looking back, that seems so silly, but I was ashamed.  I went to that first meeting on October 5, 2010 and really learned how to do the program.  Shortly thereafter, I re-injured my back and it was severe.  I ended up having my second back surgery on November 19, 2010.  in spite of all of that pain, a fire had been lit.  I marched over to the weight watcher center in my walker to weigh in every single week.  I learned to be accountable and take responsibility for my weight.  

As soon as I was able to sit for an hour, I started going to meetings.  I went with quite a bit of judgment, skepticism and trepidation.  I found a leader who I liked and went to meetings weekly on Wednesday mornings.  Once I went back to work, just before Christmas, I had to find a new meeting.  I chose the 8:30am Saturday meeting.  My leader, Robert, like most weight watchers, has had a life-long struggle with his weight.  He is a platinum-haired, fabulous, kind, funny character who is very easy to relate to.  He makes each meeting an event.  Since January 2011, I've missed maybe 4 meetings (usually due to work).  Needless to say, I drank the kool aid and I'm a believer.  

As of this past Saturday, I've lost 80 pounds.  I'm less than 3 pounds away from being a "normal" weight for my height.  More than the weight loss, I can honestly say that I've found a particular kind of peace that I don't think I've ever known before (at least not in the same way as I am currently experiencing it.)  I've formed bonds with several members of the group.  I find inspiration in those lifetime members that come each week and share their stories.  I enjoy supporting my fellow ww members and sharing my stories.  That hour each Saturday morning has become a kind of therapy for me.  

This past Saturday, I was really jonesing for a meeting.  I had missed the 4-14 meeting because of the flood and our trip upstate.  I missed last weekend, since I had to work.  I arrived early as usual, got my Starbucks and reconnected with my ww pals.  The topic this week was about taking care of yourself and being a friend to yourself first.  It was very timely, considering my foul mood over the past week.  

Sitting through that meeting, I realized how quickly and willingly I will congratulate and lift up people around me.  I'm a damned good cheerleader to everyone - with one glaring omission - me! Why is that?  Why am I so quick to forgive and support others while I judge myself so harshly.  I suppose many of us do that, but I have made a conscious choice to be sure to celebrate my successes.  I start today by stating that I am proud of the changes I've made since I joined weight watchers.  

My weight watchers journey has been about so much more than weight loss.  I found my fire again.  When I walked into Banana Republic last week (I haven't been able to shop there for over 5 years, since they only go up to a size 14.  When I started ww I was a 22) and tried on a size 8 dress, I didn't feel like a fraud as I had the first few times I walked into that store. I looked in that mirror and I was proud.  I was just happy.  I was able to congratulate myself without thinking about how much more I want to lose, or about how I wish I could change x about myself.  I just felt a profound love and respect for myself that I'm not sure I ever have before. 

I can't imagine how I'd be able to shoulder the burdens we have been faced with over these past months had it not been for these internal changes.  Weight Watchers has been a saving force in my life.  I may have a lot to contend with, but I know that I can handle whatever comes my way - and I know things could always be worse.  I'll continue to go each Saturday.  I may not be an official lifetime member yet, but I will say that I'm a member for life. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

What else?

Let me preface this by saying that I'm having a moment of feeling very sorry for myself.  I'm usually very good about keeping perspective and always seeing the upside, but I honestly feel like I've been pushed to my limit. 

Two weeks ago today, I went to soak Kannon's soiled pants in the sink.  Kannon came into the bathroom and I got distracted.  I thought I had turned off the sink, but I guess I hadn't turned off both handles.  20 minutes later - major flood that destroyed our floors that were installed in December.  It destroyed both bedrooms, the hallway and half of the living room.  BAD.  5 hours later, as I was still panicking and trying to dry the floors, I was about to go to sleep and stepped into the kitchen into a giant puddle of water.  Yes - another flood.  Our dishwasher had overflowed and ruined the kitchen floor, dining room floor and remaining living room floor.  At least we caught it with enough time to prevent damage to our downstairs neighbor.  

Our insurance is mercifully covering both instances, but we had so many fans and dehumidifiers in our apartment that we had to flee to Syracuse.  We stayed in my dad's house (but he and Barb were in FL, so we didn't even get to see them).  We returned on Sunday, 4-15 and stayed in Queens that night.  A woman I work with graciously has given us her 1 BR apartment to stay in free of charge while repairs are happening.  The next day, I dropped K off at school, went home, met with the water mitigation people, who confirmed that everything was dry and tried to rearrange the furniture to have some sort of normalcy for Kannon.  It's really times like these when I realize how much he truly thrives on routine. 
We have the old ugly tiles again, covered by paper and approximately 70  one and a half inch holes in the wall.  We also lost a 12' x 2" piece of sheet rock in the living room and two large chunks of sheet rock behind the stove and the dishwasher. 

That Tuesday, Kannon had a play date (read "interview") at the Stephen Gaynor School.  Up until that point, the admissions process for that school had been rather off-putting.  We had to submit a huge application with a tremendous amount of information, including evaluations from all of his therapists.  He had also already had an observation at his current school by the head of admissions.  After he passed those two checks, he was scheduled for a "play date" with a speech therapist and OT from the school.  Needless to say, that did not go so well.  He was not himself, thanks to my stupidity and leaving the water on.  We got a call shortly thereafter asking to speak to Kannon's SEIT and asking if we'd be willing to bring him back in with Stephanie.  (of course we are).  She is on vacation this week and we haven't even started the work yet, so who knows when this magical visit will take place.  All of that said, the school is incredible and in my opinion, by far the most appropriate setting for Kannon.  The price tag, not so much, but  at this point, we may just sue the district for placement.  (not sure if I mentioned this last time, but YAI essentially said he's too gifted to be in the special class they have next year and needs to much attention to be in the integrated class). 

Backtracking - the only school (other than his current school) that he was accepted into was the Quad School (an integrated school for gifted children).  It would have been perfect, except for the $23K tuition.  He was offered a 25% scholarship, but we just couldn't swing that.  That kind of setting would be perfect for him - small, lots of attention and with other brilliant minds.  He is a bit of a conundrum, which is making placement incredibly difficult.

This past Saturday, I had to work all day and as I was leaving, I checked my messages.  Glenn had called in a panic.  We received a letter from the IRS saying that our 2010 returns were wrong and that we owe close to $5,000.  It's incorrect (I had filed an amendment, which was not reflected in this letter), however, there was a dividend payment from a stock which I don't own.  Long story short, someone used my ss number, maiden name and former address (which I had moved from 5 years earlier) to open an account in 2007.  Now, on top of everything else, it looks as though I have some identity fraud to deal with.  What did I do in this life that was so horrible?   I don't understand why. I really don't.  I just need to catch a break.  The last 5 years have been more to contend with than anyone should ever have to and I'm at my breaking point. 

It gets better - so I also had to go to an ophthalmologist yesterday. When I had my eyes checked just before my birthday, they couldn't dilate me, since my "angles are too narrow".  Also, my left eyelid has been droopy and I've been feeling a weird pain/pressure in my left eye area.  She couldn't find anything wrong with my eyes, but wants to do some blood work to see if she can figure out what is going on.  If the blood work comes back normal, I need to get an MRI.  Another f***ing MRI. UNCLE - UNCLE Do you hear me life?  I'm crying uncle!  I can't take any more.  I really can't take anymore.  Please give me a little break.  Please let me feel a day of relaxation.  Please give me  a little taste of normal. 

Today, feeling beaten down, I came into work.  I received a call from our last chance for CPSE placement for Kannon (and my top choice).  He was "strongly wait listed".  Not at all what I wanted to hear.  I broke down with the admissions director on the phone.  I'm just so damned frustrated.  If he were a 3 instead of a 4, he would be in.  They only have three spots for 4 year olds this year.  So because he was born in December, he gets the shaft.  We were too late for this year, since he wouldn't have been allowed in any programs until he turned 3 anyway and now we're screwed next year since all of the programs for 4's will be filled with their current 3's population.  I'm just ready to lose it.  I feel like I'm failing my child right and left.  If I made more money, I could afford to send him to wherever I wanted.  If I hadn't flooded the bathroom, maybe he would have done better at Stephen Gaynor.  If I hadn't tried to do my own taxes last year, we wouldn't be in this stupid IRS mix up situation.  Someone give me a do over.  Please.  I just want someone to be able to tell me honestly that Kannon will end up in the best possible place for him next year.  At this point, it doesn't look like that is happening and I'm heart sick.  I don't know what else to do except maybe scream or kick something.