This year has tested my strength, faith and character like they’ve never been tested before. I never experienced grief like this.
On January 30th, 2018 I lost my dad to renal cancer. If your life has been touched in any way by the c word, you’ll understand the emotional roller coaster that encompasses the entire process.
The testing, the waiting, the diagnosis, the treatments, the last breath.
Today I’m enduring my first fathers day without him and even 5 months later it doesn’t seem real. Some days I surprise myself and can laugh and talk about him like he’s still with us, other days reality hits in a new way and the pain is so sharp I can’t function. This year I’ve learned grief looks different for everyone. I’ve also learned it’s okay to have my moments today, tomorrow and any other day it hits between now and when I see him again.
I don’t really feel like I’m in a position to give advice on staying the course during a rough time considering I gained almost 15 pounds over the last few months.
What I can do is tell my story and hope it helps you through yours.
In the weeks that followed my dad’s passing, I barely ate a crumb. Personally, I’m a stress starver. If I’m stressed out or upset about anything, I don’t have an appetite – TOTAL blessing considering I know most people stuff themselves stupid. Because of this, I lost somewhere around 10lbs in the matter of a couple of weeks. Once I gained my appetite back, I then stuffed myself stupid and ate whatever the heck I wanted, and I continued to stuff without much exercise at all for months. I would tinker, but the consistency just wasn’t there.
This continued until April when me and a co worker made an agreement to workout on certain days of the week. If we missed a day, we put a $5 in an envelope in the break room. We started strong but the excitement quickly dissolved. In hindsight, I think my mind was still shocked and incapable of the discipline needed to start exercising again.
Every day life changed for me, and getting back to losing weight was no different.
My life now has two timelines: before my dad passed, and after my dad passed. It’s how I look at life as a whole, from buying a laptop and starting this very blog to scrolling through my phone and seeing an old picture. Before my dad passed, I would email him from the gym to tell him good morning and were I was at in my workout. After my dad passed, I’m there alone. Before my dad passed, I would call him for our nightly talks and we’d cover our entire day. After my dad passed, I sit in silence.
I now know that relearning my new normal was the turning point.
Once I finally began to accept the life I’m forced to lead, I felt more in control and eventually the desire to regulate my eating again. I felt like I was breaking free from the chains of continuous heartache. I hadn’t stepped on the scale a couple weeks after he had passed, and I just knew it was gonna be bad – and it was. On May 1st, I stepped on the scale and it read 248. 2. 4. 8. You want to talk about back tracking? This was my weight a year and a half ago. Angry, sad, disappointed – this is where feeling sorry for myself brought me.
I dusted myself off and the next day I was on it and on it hard. As far as I see it, it’s my job to use the time I have on Earth collecting discussion material for our reunion. As of June 16, I’m down to 233 and more determined than ever to keep the momentum going.
When I see him again, I want to be able to tell him that I finally reached the goal he watched me work so hard to meet. It’s how I’m operating every day for the rest of my life.
It’s always darkest before the dawn, and baby my sun is shining.