Broken Chairs and Broken Hearts

I’ve been struggling a lot with the food addiction posts, mainly because my weight loss went on a hiatus for a while. If you didn’t already know, my mother passed away back in April. She suffered from cancer for a couple of years. But before she died I went to Florida where she was staying in a hospice. My wife and I basically lived there for over two weeks to help with her care and just be there with her until the end. That was a very stressful time for me. I ate a lot. We practically lived out of a vending machine for the most part and survived off of fast food the rest of the time. I can’t tell you how many times I had a double-decker oatmeal cream pie for breakfast.

Through circumstances that I have no control over, it was decided that my mother’s funeral should wait a few weeks after her passing. She was cremated, so some of the family didn’t feel that there was a hurry to have a service. This has made my stress level a little higher for the past month or so. I don’t have a lot of experience in losing someone close to me. But I realize now why people have a funeral so quickly after death. It’s because we have a need to get the event behind us. We need to be able to move on, which is something that I haven’t been able to do. We will be having the memorial service a week from today.

A week or so after I came home, I went back on my food plan. I haven’t said this before, but I am trying to be sugar abstinent. I’ve come to a realization that a lot of my health issues are stemming from an addiction to sugar. This doesn’t mean that I’m addicted to eating candy bars and honey buns. This means that I eat way too much processed food. I eat too much bread, rice, potatoes, and the like. So, the plan is to cut that stuff out as much as possible and rely on protein more. Your body can not hold protein which means that it has to burn it. Foods that are high in carbohydrates turn to sugar in your stomach as you digest them.

Since going back on plan I’ve already lost over 10 pounds. My energy level has gone up and my blood pressure is a lot closer to normal than it was. My pants are looser and I was even able to put on a pair of shorts yesterday that hadn’t fit in a long time.

Yesterday being Memorial Day, we planned on spending the day with some of my wife’s family on the lake. We did some swimming and went for a ride on the pontoon boat. We were having a great time. Then we all started to sit down for lunch. I made a plate, just a pork chop and a breadless hot dog, and sat down to eat. It doesn’t take me long to eat so by the time I was done my wife had made her plate and was looking for a seat. I got up and let her have my chair and I went to get one of the plastic patio chairs. I put it next to my wife and sat in it.

The chair exploded.

When I say that it exploded I mean that the legs broke. And I don’t mean they cracked a little. I mean that I was lying on my back and the legs went in every direction. I pulled myself up as quickly as I could. I assured everyone that I was alright. I sat somewhere else as everyone seemed to keep asking if I was okay when all I wanted to do was jump in the lake and sink to the bottom. People kept saying that the chair was old and the sun made it brittle and all of that. But in my mind I was being laughed at. I was thanking the heavens that I was wearing sunglasses and they couldn’t see my eyes. I was mortified. Of course I wasn’t going to eat another bite in front of them.

I tried to let it go. We were there for several more hours and the family had a good time. Then we went home and I had to deal with my van. It has a broken window switch and I had to cover the window in plastic in case it rained today while I was at work. I got mad at the stupid thing and the thought of driving around like that.

I finished up and went home. I went toward my bedroom to get a shower and get ready for bed. I passed my kids’ room and saw that it was a complete wreck.

This time I exploded.

All my frustration from a broken chair, a broken window switch, my weight, my mom’s funeral just washed over me and unleashed like a flame thrower on my kids. They got mad at me, of course, which made it worse. Now I was feeling disrespected and the flames got hotter.

Then I went to my room, took a few breaths, let out a few sobs, and apologized to everyone.

I struggled a while to decide whether or not to share this story. It’s not a side of myself that I’m proud of. My temper has cost me some good memories with my family over the years. But I usually stand my ground no matter what. Last night was the first time in a while that I admitted that I messed up. I looked at myself in the mirror and said, “What the h*** is wrong with you, man?”

My kids mean a lot to me and I don’t like to see them unhappy. And knowing that I caused some of their unhappiness eats me up. Especially since I know it’s not the first time. I wouldn’t blame them for holding it against me, though I hope they don’t.

I’m not going to be ending this with some “moral of the story” or a life lesson learned. It’s just a story about something that happened. It’s another way that my food addiction has hurt me and others around me.

When I mention food addiction I get eye rolls. I get chuckles and smirks. I know that people don’t think that it’s as serious as being addicted to things like alcohol or drugs. But you’ll never convince me that it’s not. Just because my addiction doesn’t affect my motor skills or my mental capacity doesn’t mean it can’t devastate a life. It can still leave you feeling like nothing.

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