Weighty thoughts on my last day in the Hot and Dry


Yes, this is generally the view in the area where my sister lives.
All that pesky desert sand insists on flying through the air.
I suppose that should be expected when you live in a wind tunnel

This is my last day in the Hot and Dry with only 1 Dog.  Said dog and I completed one last daily ritual together:  Sharing my breakfast.  

The ritual goes something like this:  One piece for me, one piece for the dog, one piece for me, half the egg white for the dog, a piece for me, the other half of the egg white for the dog, a piece for me…    

As we sat in my sister’s back yard looking out at the mountains, I began to think about the fact that–for most people in the Western world–the breakfast in front of us would be considered a snack. 

Having endured several hours of pins-and-needles stomach, leg cramps and intestinal cramps last evening and into the early morning as the 2 tablespoons of steak I ate last night traveled down the gastric system, I contemplated whether or not the extraordinarily delicious fire-grilled masterpiece had been worth the price of the pain.

Damn, that was a long sentence. 

Breathe, Floridaborne….OW….Breathe.

I have gastroparesis, the ultimate weight loss program.  No, it’s not really a diet–it’s a medical problem.  No one wakes up and says, “I think I’ll live on Ensure and yogurt while I endure really bad stomach pain so I can lose weight.”   At least no one with an ounce of sanity. 

I didn’t just go from heavy to skinny.  Not that easily.  I was heavy in my late 20’s and again in my early 50’s with shades of overweight in between.  When I was heavy, I used to say things like,   “She thinks she’s so hot!  If she says, ‘I just can’t seem to gain weight’ one more time, I’m going to punch her!”

Now?  There are times when I slip up and say “I just can’t seem to gain weight.”  I have come to recognize the signs that tell me when I should run before I become a murder statistic.

When I did have a weight problem I found that the best advice was the simplest:   “Eat less, exercise more.” But then there are people with hormonal problems that couldn’t lose weight if they starved for 2 months.  The journey for people with hormonal problems is not a diet plan—it has to include a doctor, a lab test, and a nutritionist who doesn’t think fruit loops are part of a healthy diet.

No, I wasn’t always a mantis stick.  Many woman balloon out when they get pregnant.  I was no exception, going from a size 10 to size 20 in 9 months.  What kind of obstetrician tells you to eat for 2?  One that was in practice before 1960 and didn’t believe in vitamins.

My son was 6 pounds 5 ounces.  After I gave birth, guess how much I weighed?  6 pounds 5 ounces less than what I weighed shortly before giving birth.  You would think a placenta, water and birth sack would weigh at least 50 pounds.  If I didn’t want to continue wearing maternity clothes, I had to go shopping.

Remember Christopher Reeve in Superman?  Who doesn’t?  He was the first one cast in the part who actually had muscles.  Remember Margot Kidder as Lois Lane?  If she were any thinner, there’d be nothing left of her but bone.  My BAID (In case you haven’t read my other blogs, this is short for “My but alas I digress” as I tend to do it often.  Yes, it’s a snark on the phrase, “My bad.”). 

Back to shopping.  I wandered into the store past the 30 racks of size 5 – 12, past the rack of size 14 – 18 and found the 4 pair of pants in a corner that were size 20.  This was the polyester period, the time when it seemed that nothing was made out of cotton.  My choices were the black stretch pants with 6 inch wide orange and pink flowers or the only 2 pair of slacks that didn’t have a design.  That’s what I wore for the months it took to fit into a size 12.

In contrast to this. to the 21st century.  My daughter was married almost 2 years ago.  The plus size racks in the bridal shop were plentiful, but the number of size 4 dresses were scarce.  I believe there were 4 to choose from.

The irony doesn’t escape me.  

As I grew older, I became aware of 2 ugly truths:

  1.  If you’re plump when the apocalypse comes, you won’t starve to death in a week.
  2. If you’re plump and the apocalypse doesn’t come, the additional padding will fill in the wrinkles and you won’t look old as quickly.

So enjoy that steak, munch on those spare ribs, and share that butter-rich cinnamon bun with a doggie you love.   If you want to lose weight, see your doctor, your lab vampire, and your nutritionist.  Then eat less and exercise more—if the doctor says you won’t drop dead from the effort.

Oh, and remember that at any time and without warning you, too, could be relegated to the gastroparesis diet.