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And So We'll Argue and We'll Compromise

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Like many, many other Sparkers, I am about to embark upon Thanksgiving. Tomorrow, my husband and I depart for Manhattan, to have the meal at his parents' apartment. We'll return on Friday. I have no idea if/how much I'll spark between now and Saturday.

In the meantime, it's time to confront some demons. Well, maybe not demons. But to confront some different situations. Now, I have been on diets during holidays before, and the reaction of other family members -- despite how much I tell them that I am fine, I'm doing this for my health, etc., is often either a conscious or unconscious effort to get me to eat more or eat something I don't want, or to look at me with pitying eyes as if I were a starving child in Biafra.

Sheesh, people, get a grip.

I am eating as healthfully as possible. And after a lot of trimming and digging and requesting, I've gotten the meal down to under 1,000 calories and under 19 grams of fat. The fat grams are important because I am going to roll the dice and take alli. I hope there's no hidden fat lurking around. I don't enjoy treatment effects.

It's not an effort to sabotage me or anything. It's nothing malicious. It's more like a lot of details have to be attended to and I'm just another detail. I fully expect something to be forgotten or somehow altered. Again, this is not done to hurt me, it's more because there's so much going on and it's so overwhelming.

Oh, I will help as I can. But you need to recognize that this is a prewar Manhattan apartment. It doesn't have much of a proper kitchen with modern appliances. It's more like a toy kitchen, and the stove may very well be almost as old as my husband. Plus the stove is unreliable in terms of temperatures so cooking times are going to vary according to, I dunno, the phases of the moon.

The stove is so small that a good third of the meal is being prepared across the hall in a neighbor's apartment. As for where the neighbors are preparing their own meal, I have no idea. Perhaps there's some sort of Manhattan cultural exchange program, where everyone makes some of their dinner elsewhere in one cosmic, eight million-plus linked culinary daisy chain. Somewhere in Bensonhurst, someone is making their stuffing in the Bronx and their cranberry sauce is being constructed as far North as Poughkeepsie.

But I digress. It will work. It always does, although there's stress involved. I am bringing oatmeal, and flavor sticks for water, and my water bottle and some dried fruit snacks if I really get stumped. I've planned out my eats anyway, though it's possible that some of it will alter as we go along. I'm bringing the resistance bands and the small wristlet weights, and will hunt around for heavier weights while there. There is Riverside Park down the street. Columbia is close, too, so there are lots of places to walk (with hills!). The weather is supposed to be clear and somewhere in the 40s. My husband is psyched to walk around with me.

And, I have some major things to be thankful for. I don't know how many remember, but months ago I reported that a very close relative was ill. That relative has finished treatment and seems better. Doctors hesitate to use words like "cured" (and they kind of can't, as this was a second recurrence already), but everything is very optimistic, and no followup is scheduled until after the first of the year.

I am, of course, grateful to be so far along on this journey, and feeling so good doing it. I fret and I overanalyze and I rationalize but the truth is that I kind of like all of the mechanics of it and also am pleased with how seamlessly I think it will eventually work with Maintenance, although Maintenance is still many months from now. But it seems plausible and eminently doable.

I am grateful for the support my family has given me. My husband has been very good about not only walking with me but also about not pushing me to overdo it. This is a level of patience that perhaps was absent earlier. I don't know if it's that I've become more assertive in making sure that the pace fits what I need or that he's better at reading what's needed and responding to it but, either way, it works. My folks and inlaws have consistently cheered every milestone. Smaller clothes magically appear ("Oops, I bought this but didn't like it. Maybe you'd like it?") with all sorts of odd little pretexts but I accept them all gratefully.

I am grateful for my friends and their support. For M__, who listens and makes me laugh and keeps my spirits up. For A__, who asks her friends for clothes for me. For the other A__, who told me (at 246 lbs.) that I didn't even look like I was 200. For the other M__, who can't stop raving about how I look. For V__, who gets a little inspired to watch a bit for himself. For S__, who watches even more. For R__, who I swear was checking me out. For D__, who wants to walk with me. For the folks on my site who share their food journals and their exercise diaries and who encourage not only me, but each other.

And for all of you, you wily ole Sparkers. For the Scandinavian and Floridian connections. For the Pi Phis. For the Quirk Universe. For the Done Girls and Guys. For the 80s Music Lovers. For the Yammies. For the Sudoku folks. For the Bostonians. For Red Sox Nation. For the Kind Buddies. For the many sweet people who've commented on my page and blogs, and who have inspired and pushed and cared for me (and for each other) on their own pages and blogs.

Who knows what the weigh-in after will bring? Maybe it'll all pay off. Maybe it won't. Maybe I won't be able to stick to it. Maybe I will, but there will be something unaccounted for. Maybe I'll stick to it and it'll be exactly as advertized. Maybe the exercise won't happen. Maybe there will be too much. Maybe a lack of rest or too much rest or sunspots or whoever wins the big football game will decide on how that goes. Take it as it comes. It's all you can do.

Because, on balance --

It's either sadness or euphoria ...
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Oh my.

    Thank you both.

    Emma, I'm glad things are fitting.

    And thanks, LL.

    Got home after a very nasty TOM and a lot of exercising (mainly to avert seriously bad crampage).

    I kept more or less in range. Gotta run and get me some dinnah.

    Monday will tell the tale.

    In the meantime, I am soooooo beat.
    4378 days ago
    You remember the blank pants with the elastic in the back. They are finally fitting. So Thank you for doing that. Once by one I will fit into the treasures you have sent. I am ever so slowly bringing up the rear (Heh heh) So today I am thankful for YOU!

    4379 days ago
    Ah you've picked one of my favorite songs... "and so we stand upon the ledges of our lives, with our respective similarities..."

    Good luck with the family turkeys -- I MEAN family AND turkeys tomorrow. This journey is truly one day... one meal... one choice at a time!

    4380 days ago
    Thanks! You have a good time, too.

    Actually, I'm enjoying (that's a rather loose use of that word) a bout of PMS.

    This is gonna be an interesting time.

    4380 days ago
  • KARBIE18
    Hey Jes,

    Great blog, as usual. Have a wonderful holiday, and try not to worry TOO much about the weight loss. Enjoy your time with family.

    Have fun!
    4381 days ago
    Thank you all. I'm truly overcome.

    Moe -- my inlaws are 10 blocks from where you lived. Check your microwave. They might be cooking the squash in there.
    4381 days ago
    I love your blogs!! I've told you before, I relish each word and you always always have something wonderful to say! Love the culinary daisy-chain! We had our version of that last Saturday when our neighbors borrowed our stove (and invited us for dinner). Great fun!
    And YOU my friend, I'm grateful for you and I hope your holiday goes BETTER than planned, like VEEJAY says. Enjoy and see you when you get back!
    - Marit
    4381 days ago
    Jes... always a good thought...always something to ponder...always relishing each word as a delectable morsel... leaving us with the requisite..."please sir...can I have some more?"

    this one...the Manhattan cultural exchange program...as far as Bensonhurst and somewhere in Poughkeepsie...

    woman...I was laughing so hard you brought tears to my eyes

    I lived at 94th and riverside...and walking the paths of that park...some of the joys of my life

    thank you jes

    happy and joyous holiday to you and your family

    you are a blessing to us all
    4381 days ago
    You're a great writer! I just loved this blog. And laughed out loud at the daisy-chain of holiday food preparation. You're a riot.
    I hope your holiday goes as you planned -- BETTER than you planned.

    And PS: My daughter's a Pi Phi. And my neighbor. And two of my best friends. Every Pi Phi I know is a stellar woman.
    4381 days ago
    I recall when my husband went to his first family event with me (he was still the future Mr. Jespah then) and my mother pointed out my cousins, uncles and aunts to him and said, "These are the thin ones. The rest died young.". And those people were not so thin.

    But I knew what she was talking about. Her uncles had all been these 5 x 5 guys, as wide as they were tall and probably wider. It wasn't until one of them was wasted away from pancreatic cancer that I realized that he was tall.

    Tragic, and oh so preventable.

    I think they're getting it.
    4381 days ago
    well above all have a good time! i love the bit about the cosmic daisy chain! i can sooo see that happenning!

    as for pushing you to eat more, food is a love language for many families. I know it was in mine (as the size of my tuchus shows). it sounds though like you may be well on your way to changing that with your inlaws and parents.
    4381 days ago
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