Just prior to the beginning of the pandemic, I was ready to completely give up, scratch that — I had completely given up. I was trapped in an unhealthy, and unfit, and unwell body. The trap impacted all aspects of my life. On a faithful day, Ash Wednesday 2020, at 55 years of age, I made the decision to once again do battle with the bastard that is obesity. At that time, to adjust my mindset, I re-read, “Sometimes The Bastard Returns,” which I wrote after my previous obesity relapse.
I wasn’t sure if I had it in me, but I knew I couldn’t go on weighing nearly 400 pounds. I had scored victories in previous battles, however the war with the bastard rages on. At age 56, I competed and completed, three sprint-distance triathlons.
This year, at age 57, I had planned five. Right now, I will be lucky for two. The first was canceled, the second my lodging fell through, and now, with a spate of injuries and a promise of work hours that was broken, I am dejected, and worse, in an almost constant state of fatigue.
Again, I feel like giving up. The question is, Will I? The answer is, I endeavor to not!
The despair is caused by, to paraphrase Hemingway, the world trying to break us. The comfort is provided by foods that are the friends who are never too busy and the lovers who never have headaches. Those carb-crammed, sugar-laden foods stimulate the pleasure centers of the brain, making us feel emotionally satiated again and again and again.
When we are sad or depressed, struggling with despair, we desire comfort. Those certain foods, for better or worse; usually worse, have a way of transporting us to times in our lives when we were children. In my case, the smell of spaghetti sauce simmering on the stove brings back the security of being home with my mother or grandmother. The aroma transfers to the taste, and then to the fullness of the belly. The emptiness has been filled and seemingly and magically all the stressors, and the anxieties, and sadness momentarily disappear. With larger problems — we become hungrier; not physically, but emotionally hungry for that comforted feeling.
Therefore, we indulge over and over and over. As the brain’s pleasure center adapts, it requires more and more and more of the sugary drug. The numbers on the scale to go up and up and up. We switch to wearing larger sized clothing.
The momentary comfort is replaced with greater sadness and greater hopelessness and even greater despair. It is then, too late — almost. It is at this point; we realize how out of control we have become. It is at this point; we realize that depression is not only the effect; but also, the cause. It is at this point; we realize the decision is ours; we pick ourselves up, and we fight back.
We can decide we are not ready for the world to break us. We can decide we will become stronger at the broken points. We can decide that existing in the comfort of despair is anything but comforting. Thank you to all who have been in my corner, success is not achieved alone.
Review: Agnes Oquendo 5.0 out of 5 stars An eye opening, honest, inspirational read Reviewed in the United States on May 2, 2021 Verified Purchase This, tell it just like it is, book on the ups and downs of maintaining one’s health, weight goals and sanity is truly an eye opener. We all struggle with something. After reading, “Sometimes The Bastard Returns,” I realized just how vulnerable we can be when we are mentally down regardless of our strengths. I found the raw honesty, inspiration and motivation to be a defining quality that kept my attention alive throughout that can be applied in many matters. Thank you for sharing this with us. https://shortstoryscribe.com/