Correcting the Course

Hi, there. Did you miss me? I’m back here for some accountability.

It’s no secret that I’ve gained weight. I’m doing some deep dives into why I’ve let myself do that, and while I’m still sorting through the mental stumbles I took when I thought I had all this figured out, it occurred to me this morning that what I’ve lacked has been diligence. And not just over how I feed my body, but in letting negatives in that have set back my mental attitude.

I thought going on vacation with good friends might give me some clarity, and it did, but not in the way I thought it would reveal itself to me. Three things happened that slapped me in the face and challenged me to do better.

One was the simple actions of people being in no hurry to sit next to me on planes; I flew Southwest, where seats aren’t reserved. Three legs of my five-leg journey (there and back) were full flights; for two of those three, the spot next to me remained empty until nearly the last passenger. The third was filled by a lovely couple I chatted with for the duration, and thank goodness for them! When I traveled before this most recent gain, I didn’t go through this. It was subtle but most definitely there.

Another was me, joking around on social media, posting a pic of a fat seal with the comment “me, not saying no to cruise food”. It was meant to be funny, but instead, I got more of a sympathetic reaction. People, the day I lose my sense of humor about anything is the day I have no remaining brain activity. Goodness. But that, too, was telling. Oddly enough, a friend who has lost a great deal of weight made a very similar joke a couple of days ago, and people laughed. Perhaps the difference is that he’s a man? We tend to accept weight gain more in men than women, for whatever reason, but that’s a rabbit hole for another day.

Finally, the worst was at the airport for my return trip. As a double knee replacement recipient, I know that I will have to submit to a pat down and munitions residue check any time I fly. It’s rare that I don’t go through that on cruise ships, although they pass a wand over me instead of patting me down. In any case, I know the routine, and because it’s generally a pat down up and down my legs and sometimes my arms, I don’t request a private room for the sake of time. I am (usually) not easily embarrassed.

This time, I wish I had accepted the private room option — because the area of concern was my groin, and the pat down was invasive and mortifying. I know the agent was just doing her job, but for a couple of minutes I had to stand with legs spread and her feeling the insides of my thighs both back and front, I felt like there was a spotlight on me.

After getting home and googling it, I read comments from former TSA agents that state that body sweat/moisture in certain locations of our bodies can show as “hot” on the TSA screening equipment. I am currently a large woman, and I had been lugging heavy bags, just coming in from Florida heat. So yes, there were parts of my body that were sweaty. And yes again, that’s MUCH more likely to happen when I am at a higher weight.

While I am far from regaining all the weight I’ve lost, my gains have been substantial. For now, that’s my admission for accountability, and I’m throwing it out there.

Unlike previous times, while I had stopped journaling this time (in the belief that I had said all I really had to say on the subject), I have continued to weigh in and I have had a clear picture of my gains. I know why. I know how to change it. But I’ve not stuck with it.

That changed once I returned home from my trip. I’m a week in and feeling somewhat better about my situation, reminding myself that punishing and beating myself up for failure tends to result in more punishment and then eating in defiance. My emotions are controlling my eating and I need to get back to where my logic is in charge. I’m working on it. And I’m here to admit it.

I don’t want sympathy or even acknowledgment; this blog is for me and you are invited along, but my purpose here isn’t to ask for sympathy or compassion; it’s for me to accept where I have failed and correct my course.

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