Different paths, same journeys

Weighing scale

Weighing scale (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My weight is up this week, but I expected it because it’s ovulation week again.   It has been nothing short of hell with regards to pain.  So I walked in knowing that I would be disappointed with my weigh in.  That’s not to say I wasn’t discouraged.  Some part of me feels cheated whenever I’ve worked all week to be good and I don’t see it reflected on the scale.

Lynn promised a great meeting and she delivered.  Four of our members got up today to share their weight loss journeys with us.  They were all such inspiring folks.  Of course, I cried.    I felt a kinship with each of them because their journeys are so much like mine.  They certainly made me feel less alone.

They also made me think long and hard about how I got where I am.  Yes, I have PCOS and, yes, it is a giant obstacle I have to deal with, but it’s a slice of the Miranda pie, so to speak.  Another slice of that pie has to do with the behaviors I learned–and let’s face it, still cling to–when I was a child.  I had a father who was addicted to alcohol.  It consumed his life for a very long time and changed him into someone I feared more than I loved.  While the violence I experienced at home kept me from using and abusing alcohol, I think it also taught me a great deal about finding something outside myself to soothe what ailed me.  What’s more soothing than a big piece of cake, or ice cream or chocolate?

I absolutely learned to find comfort in food right out of the gate.  I come from a long line of overweight people.  No one on my father’s side is thin.  No one.  My mom was overweight when I was growing up.  She could go on crash diets and lose extraordinary amounts of weight, but would always gain it back.

I’ve got a theory as to why my parents had the problems they had.

I think my dad was depressed.  Mom was, too.  He self-medicated with alcohol, and she did with food.  As an adult, I did the same.  The difference between me and them is that I recognized I had a problem.  My husband helped me see that.  Ten years ago I went to therapy to find that I have dysthymia, a form of depression that basically makes you always a quart low when it comes to mood.  I also have post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety issues.  For these problems I take loads of medication so I can live like a normal human being.  The problem is that some of those meds actually hinder weight loss.  As if I needed any more help in that arena, right?

Since joining Weight Watchers I’ve had to evaluate my relationship with food.  When you grow up poor like I did most of your extra money went to food, so food became the ultimate treat.  When we were happy, we ate.  When we were sad, we ate.  When we were bored, we ate.  Well, that has had to stop.  And, Lord have mercy, it ain’t easy.

I’ve had to find other things that I can do when I’m happy.  My big addiction outside of food is reading.  I’ll do a little dance for you if you promise me a book at the end.  So I’ve decided that I will make buying a book something I can do when I’m happy.  When I’m sad I’ve decided to reach out to those around me.  You see, in addition to my other problems, I suffer from an inability to ask for help when I need it.  I’ve got to stop that.  Asking for help, to me, has always been a sign that I’m too weak to handle my own crap, but I’ve come to realize slowly, over time, that some problems were never meant to be hurdled alone.

Weight loss, for me, is that kind of hurdle.

So, thank you Lynn, for choosing the people you did.  They were awesome.

Thank you Stacy for telling me that you liked my blog!  You set my little writer heart all aflutter.  I sincerely appreciate it!

Thanks Stacy, Dan, Donna and Laura for sharing your stories with us.  I hope you know you touched at least one soul out there today:  Mine.



About Miranda Gargasz

Miranda Gargasz is a freelance writer. Many of her essays can be found on sites like ScaryMommy, The Christian Science Monitor and The Huffington Post. In 2014, she published Lemonade and Holy Stuff and in 2016 she published Plus Size Mama: An overweight mom gets real about weight loss. She is also a contributor to Only Trollops Shave Above the Knee, and Lose the Cape: Never Will I Ever. Her debut novel, Haunting Suspicion, is being sent to agents for representation. She is currently working on her second novel, Dragonfly, about learning to love what you have before it's gone.
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4 Responses to Different paths, same journeys

  1. stacy worden says:

    Thank you for your kind words. Thank you for always sharing your journey with us. I want you to know that you inspire me 🙂 and I am here anytime you need me!

  2. This is such a beautifully honest reflection, Sista! You have great insight. So many of us use food. God, I know I do.

    I’m delighted you have this group. Sounds like you are getting support–even from Stacy above. Sorry you gained weight this week. It will come off, my friend. We love you here in Cuenca! And using reading as a reward is brilliant!

    Hugs from Ecuador,

    • I told Jim about my plan and he said, “No offense, but do you really NEED another reason to buy books?” He made me giggle. I am very glad I have this group, too. Weight loss feels so very lonely and it makes it a lot less so……..I miss my Cuenca Ladies! I love reading about your adventures down there, though. So interesting!

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