Friday, May 18, 2007

Welcome to the Pork Farm

Upon facing another day where my jeans size is 18 (okay, 20 comfortably), I walked into the health club that I have been a member of since its doors first cracked open during the Johnson Administration. I went consistently before I was married, before I had kids, before my life spun totally and completely out of control. However, several years have passed by since I plucked up the courage to cross the threshold. I don’t know what I thought would happen. I mean there were times when I would actually drive to the health club, sit in parking lot for 10 minutes and leave to go get a donut and coffee (with extra cream and sugar). But this time I actually walked in and nothing happened, except that I realized my married name was still on the membership card and that ferry had crossed like 6 years ago. Of course, that’s a whole other story….abuse, infidelity, kids, divorce, suicide attempt….but let’s hold off on all the really juicy stuff until I tell you what happened on my first venture into the health club in probably 10 years.

I didn’t die.

Didn’t die of embarrassment or humiliation or from the fact that my major muscle groups haven’t moved like that in near decades. No one looked at me like I was the worn-out, ugly, stupid hag that I thought I was. Well, maybe they thought it -- but if they did, they hid it well.

I hear and read so many stories about women stuggling with weight and self esteem. I married a man who thought that you should just shut the hell up and move. Get to the club you lazy ass…and there’s golf, karate, running, bowling, this, that, etc. However, he said this in the same breath as “where’s my dinner, how come there’s no fruit in the house and I need my baseball pants washed by tomorrow.” Followed by “see you later…I’ve got a fantasy football meeting….say hi to the kids for me. Bye.” So you can see where some of my issues lay. However, I will take total responsibility for my tonage. No one held me at gunpoint and wouldn’t release me until I shoved a Big Mac and large Chocolate Shake down my throat.

Anyway, it would be lovely if we could all get to the healthclub and go for a manicure and maybe stop at the mall for a little shopping, maybe ring up the Queen to see if she’d like to join us for an afternoon cup of Earl Grey…but you know, there’s like…life. There’s kids and shopping and laundry and cooking and homework and the PTA….and dishes and the cats and the gardening and social obligations and and and. Oh, and working full time. Finding any time for anything is an undertaking of monumental consequences. When a mom wants to do something, she needs to consult: her kids and their schedules including piano lessons, guitar lessons, soccer, pre-set playdates, birthday parties, school parties; any commitments all ready in place to co-workers, family, neighbors, local church. Are there any upcoming: dental appointments, doctor appointments for children, mother, father, grandparents? When is registration for school, baseball, field hockey and the YMCA summer camp? Oh, and what about work? Any projects coming up? Any promises made to cover for a co-worker? You get my drift. Never mind the stuff that blindsides you like your car won't start in the morning or you hear your youngest throwing up at 3 am.

I think as moms, single or married, we struggle with alot and honestly benefit from sharing our journeys. I struggled through 15 years of a bad marriage, I struggled through divorce and depression, I struggled with getting fat, I struggled with bad health, I struggled with isolation and having no family other than my children. The only thing I never struggled with was wonderful friends and wonderful kids. God blessed me completely, total and unequivocally when it comes to that. They have kept me afloat when all I wanted to do was check out permanently.

But that's another story for another day....


Susan Helene Gottfried said...

You know, a lot of people don't get this about me, but a priority in my life is those two hours (or less) I spend at the gym every weekday morning. Part of it my insistence is because I've got these orthopedic issues from hell that feel better with exercise. And part of it is that the exercise clears my brain and restores my equilibrium.

Don't let anyone tell you that exercise should be farther down the totem pole. You can't be a good person or a good mother if you aren't taking care of yourself.

Krystle said...

Wow, you are once strong lady... I read your first post prior to this one, and I'm moving my way right up the blog to the next post...

You're an inspiration... You know that?