Saturday, July 9, 2016

I Can’t Lose Weight, because …

Copyright 2016 by Lori-Ann Willey

I’ve been meaning to write this blog entry for a long while now, and every time I think of it, I giggle bigly inside myself.    People who know me quite well have heard, what they call an “evil laugh”, and then, hear me spout those very same words, “I can’t lose weight because …” (followed by an example or two).  Some of you may call my examples as nothing more than “excuses”.  Both would be correct.  And, yes, I did say that with a smirk.

Though the title sounds a bit ridiculous, in all honesty, I really could stand to lose about a 100 pounds …and my body would probably thank me for doing just that.  I really don’t mind being “this size” at all.  Quite honestly, my weight comes in relatively handy at times.  My size not only comes from the love of food, but from my lifestyle, too.  I’ll attempt to explain why I just can’t lose 100 pounds and why I don’t want to.

Some of you are already shaking your heads with such grumbling thoughts as, “I don’t want to read about diets and exercise”.  I don’t blame you.  Me either.   Others, knowing some of my injuries in the past and my childish and playful ways, will probably chuckle and think, “How is she going to spin THIS around?”

It is no secret that I have an appointment with a neurosurgeon on August 1st.  It’ll be then, that he will go over my back history and MRI readings and reports, too.    With that appointment just a few weeks away, I have an envelope sitting next to me that houses nine sheets of paperwork for me to read, fill out, and probably send back well before my appointment date, but I have not gotten that far yet to know for sure.

I have had a few back injuries over the years, but only sought medical attention for the one that happened in the winter of 2010.  I figure I go to the doctors with Paul often enough to avoid them for myself if I can.  Even then, I have to be prodded pretty hard before I make an appointment. I’m not going to get into how I have injured my back in the past, because I have already written about a couple of those injuries in previous blogs, books, or postings on social media.  Besides, this is about another topic -my weight.

When updating family on my back a couple of weeks ago, I told them, “He’ll (Dr. Weitman) probably tell me to lose 50 pounds and then come back to see him in 6 months.”  The room laughed, and then agreed that I was probably quite correct with that assumption.  Then, I started to go into why I could not lose much weight.  I was quick to agree that I would be willing to lose those 50 pounds, but that would be about all I’d be willing to give. 

For those of you who may not know, I am a 50-year old woman married to a disabled man who spends much of his time in a wheelchair. We have a house on the grid that is two hours away from our camp.   However, we choose to spend most of our time at our camp off the grid in the Maine wilderness.  So much of our time is spent here, in fact, that I say, “We live here”.  Camp is located eight miles from pavement.  Travel to camp is via logging roads that are maintained only if the logging companies in the area are using them.  During the winter time, those roads become official ITS (Snowmobile Only) trails.   We have snowmobiles and a couple of side-by-side cabbed and tracked 4-wheelers that we register as snowmobiles.  That is the extent of our winter travel in and out of camp …what I call, “the 16-mile loop”.

My weight comes in very handy with our off the grid lifestyle.  I pride myself in being a strong, determined woman, and part of that strength is my weight.  I need my weight almost as much as I need my strength and determination.  Here are examples why I appreciate my weight, and why sometimes, I wished I was even heavier than I am.

GETTING STUCK -  There have been times when the road way is too icy to climb a small, steep hill.  My weight comes in handy when I can get out, stand on the tailgate and have Paul ease the truck from the slippery spot. My weight in the back allows us to move forward, backwards …and sideways, too.  So far, my weight is about right for those situations.
A couple of years ago, we actually got stuck trying to climb a freshly plowed snowbank with one of the tracked wheelers.  The trail out to town crossed another logging road that had been freshly plowed.  The snowmobile groomers hadn’t groomed the trails yet, so that snowbank was as tall as the rooftop of “The Beast” itself.  As we approached, I told Paul that I didn’t think we’d make it over, but he insisted we would.  Guess who was right?  Yep.  
Once on top, we sank. Both sets of tracks were off the ground, both doors were pressed closed by the snow, and there we sat, literally teetering on top of the snowbank.  To make it worse, due to the snow depth that winter, the plow “winged” back the snowbanks.   The “trail” and new snowbank was filled with huge chunks of boulder-sized compacted ice/snow chunks that rested beneath the new fluffy snow.   Thankfully, after a great deal of effort, I was able to push my door open enough to squeeze through.  Ok, so then is when I wished I weighed less.  I’ll give the doctor that one. 
I stood thigh deep atop the snowbank and hoped that with weighted pressure I could help tip the beast in one direction or the other. I mean, we were literally teetering, so why not give that a try?  That idea was futile to say the least.  Shoveling didn’t help either.  After I accidently slid down the snowbank on my butt, I made sure Paul knew when I was about to step onto the extended hitch so he would have the tracks already or ready to spin when they hit the ground. When he was ready, I climbed on top of the hitch and stood with all my weight.  The Beast bobbed a bit, but the tracks still hovered in mid-air. I had no choice but to trust the latches of the tailgate door and lean hard.    I was not heavy enough!  I needed more weight.  I bounced up and down to the point I thought the tailgate would cut me in half.  With each bounce (and it really did remind me of riding a see-saw) the back tracks came closer and closer to the ground until they finally touched enough for Paul to try to back up while the tracks touched the ground for a second or two.  There is more to that story, but here is not the time.
THE HITCHES -  We own several different kinds of tow behind trailers.  Though we like to keep both the hitch receivers and the balls lubricated, while sitting for months on end, they still “catch”.  There have been times when I have to stand and bounce on one or the other to help aid in the release or attachment.  It is the releasing process is when I wished I weighed a couple hundred pounds more than I already do!
THE BOAT DANCE -  I’m not a fan of dancing, per se, but if we adventure up a certain shallow stream, the boat “dance” comes in very handy.  We’ve had family members that have also learned the boat dance over the years, too. Their weight, light or heavy are needed in addition to my own.  The stream I reference has a bottom that is mostly sand that shifts with the currents.  Because the stream runs off the mountain, the bottom is always shifting and is like a sand dune that changes quickly in the winds.
Often, my “job” is to do the boat dance and each dance starts in the very middle of the boat.  With pontoons that float in shallow waters anyways, a step in either direction helps lift the boat sometimes just enough to float over some very shallow-shallow areas. Sometimes, a big step is needed.  Sometimes a little step is needed.  Then, there are times when my body is literally hanging over the edge of the boat.  Of course, sometimes, then, too, I wished I weighed more …especially when we come to a halt …otherwise known as “We’re stuck!”  You’ll have to read my books to learn more about the boat dance if you are interested in learning of some of our experiences up that stream or doing the boat dance.
SNOWMOBILING -  As stated before, Paul is disabled and uses a wheelchair much of the time.  It is not easy for him to walk in the snow or to use any machine that takes more than a little effort. Stuff like that is my “job”.  Another reason why I need my strength.  When riding on a sled with Paul, even if he drives, steering is not easy for him, but if he is feeling up to the task, I do not discourage him from feeling that bit of independence.  However, that means, I do a lot of leaning into the corners to help him out a bit.  My weight comes in very handy then, too.
ICE SHACK -  There are times when moving the ice shack, that it gets stuck in deep unseen slush pockets upon the lake.  That is where both my strength and weight come in quite nicely.  I can push like hell and once the shack starts to budge, my weight is literally pushed onto the walls giving that added push.  I know that sounds crazy, but trust me.  Weight is not just an upright gravity thing. It is a great force when needed, too.
HELPING PAUL UP -  When Paul sits or lays on the ground to work on something, I am often needed to help him stand again. Trust me, when his body says enough is enough, he is pretty much dead weight.  By pressing my foot against his, I use it as leverage to pull Paul into a sitting or standing position whenever needed.  Most times he can help, but as mentioned above, other times, he is “dead weight” and it takes all my strength and body weight to get him upright again.  This means that once he is in motion, I often lean backwards and use my weight as added strength.  I also hope that I am quick enough to keep him balanced once upright, too!  Often times, I am thankful for my weight.
There are other examples, but this is a blog entry and not a book. Besides, those are the most common reasons that I wanted to mention.  Though, those situations are real and quite regular, I have convinced myself that I cannot become a Skinny Mini.  Each time I use my weight to help us do tasks, get certain things done, or just to get ourselves out of a “pickle”, I laugh and say, “See, I can’t lose weight!”

Factual is the above as they are perfect examples of how convenient it is to be a heavier set woman.  I’m not one for show, or pride myself by wearing a certain size or style clothing.  I am a realist. I love my lifestyle. I love being able to “rescue” us in the time of need (so far), and I love the taste of food, too.   Though, it would do me good to lose 50 pounds on my own without waiting for a possible suggestion from a doctor-doc, I’ll wait and see what HE has to say.  That’s my thought process and I’m sticking with it.

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