I stepped on the bathroom scale today and did not like what I saw staring back at me. I now weigh 210 pounds, which is a lot of weight for my 5-foot-7-inch frame to carry.
I am 44 and this is more than what I have ever weighed in my entire life. That is stating a lot.
I began struggling with my weight while in elementary school. The weight gain then, much like now, was triggered by stress.
My maternal grandfather was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer while I was in the fifth grade. He died by the end of my sixth-grade year of school.
My mom was an only child. She did have a half-sister through her father’s previous marriage, who was a few years older than her, but my grandfather’s primary care fell to my mom.
Also, my mom’s mom, my grandmother, did not drive. So, I went on plenty of trips to doctors and treatments with my mom and grandfather during that time.
I grew up a lot and ate a lot due to my feelings and gained a lot of weight.
Two years after my grandfather died, and a lot of middle school bullying, I stopped eating to lose all the weight I gained. My mom and dad worried. I had traded in one obsession, eating all the time, with not eating at all.
I got skinny in high school. Then the cycle of weight gain began again when I entered college. I started going to parties and drinking. My freshman year dorm roommate smoked cigarettes, so I started smoking cigarettes too.
I went through a tumultuous relationship that resulted in moving halfway across the country, going to graduate school and then getting married for six months before my wife filed for divorce.
Long-ish story short, after the trauma of that situation, I moved back home to the Greater Cincinnati area. I quit smoking, curtailed drinking alcohol, discovered I enjoyed marathon training and used a smartphone app to manage my caloric intake and again lost a lot of weight.
But at least I was healthy. That’s what I told myself anyway. I did put four stress fractures on my tibia the first season I trained to run a marathon because I tried to do too much too fast.
And now, going back to the beginning of this post where I confessed I weigh more than I ever have.
After completing 15 marathons, numerous half-marathons and averaging more than 1,000 miles running a year for eight years, I burned out and backed off on the intensity. I kept eating and drinking as I always had, though.
Then the pandemic happened. I quit running and now work alone from home, where I read the news and stress myself out regularly.
The funny thing about this current cycle, though, is this: Three years ago, a woman drew me to her the moment I met her. We bought a house together last year and got married in our backyard this past August.
In turn, I sold the house I owned for 13 years, paid off all debt and socked some cashback in savings with the money I made off of it.
I am sharing all of this here because, well, this is my blog. And another constant of the ups-and-downs in my life cycles is this: Writing and sharing my feelings helps me when I get like this.
I could do it in a personal journal, but that is not how writing works for me. I am a writer by trade. By not putting my words out into the ether, my struggles feel dirty, dark little secrets if they do not see the light. And yes, I want the audience and community interaction.
It is good to know you are not alone.