Wednesday, 30 April 2008

The Stress of It All

I find the human response to stress quite interesting. We are all individuals, and we all respond differently to different types of stress.

When I was going through the breakup of my first marriage, I lost about 20 pounds in half an hour. I had no appetite whatsoever, and went through each day in a giddy state of hunger denied.

Now, with my mother's health and life in a state of flux and hubby's job gone, I do not deny my hunger. In fact I cherish it, nurture it, feed it lots and lots. I have gained 7 pounds in about two weeks. Hubby has lost about 10-14 pounds over the last two months. Neither one of us can afford to gain or lose much. Six pounds is what separates our weights now. He looks more and more like a resident of Belsen as my waistline and hips bloom over the tops and out the sides of my jeans.

I am trying to fix this weight disparity, but it is difficult. I need to feed hubby more and me less. When he eats, he eats heartily. And when he drinks, which is an everyday occurrence now, he drinks excessively. I want to bake and baste and fry and fricasee for him, but my scales tell me that I shouldn't for my own sake. So what to do?

Exercise is an option. I went to the gym yesterday for the first time since the beginning of March. I ran and walked 5K on the treadmill, not exactly thrilled with my performance, but not too disappointed either. I only have a week and a half till the Race for Life. This is my third time running in this 5K race, and I'm in my worst shape yet. Still, I managed 3.5K before slowing my pace to a quick walk, then ran some more after .5K.

With all that unaccustomed exercise, I expected to sleep like a baby. And at 10:15 last night, it was lights out. But at 4 this morning I was up with the birds, worrying, worrying. Worrying about my mother. Will she be made homeless by her stepdaughters? Worrying about hubby's jobless state, which is creating many problems at home. He and daughter clash daily when he and I aren't. He has upset our domestic routine greatly, then gets angry at us when we tell him this. We are supposed to bend to his needs and wishes without any bending on his part to us. Worrying about arrangements for the kids this weekend while we are at a wedding and what am I going to wear to this event since nothing fits. Worrying about the excess baggage I am carrying all of a sudden.

I speak to my mother daily now. I listen for what isn't said. I try to discourage her paranoia about the stepdaughters and encourage her to have a social life again. Her tone is lighter. Her biggest need is to know that someone cares about her, which I am trying to show. My sister has too many soap operas going on in her life to do this. And she and my mother have too much baggage from the past. So do I but I try to overcome it. I am practical. I try to come up with plans of action.

And when I cannot, I eat. And sleep fitfully.


Flowerpot said...

this is a really difficult one and I guess we all react differently. I tend to be like your husband in tims of stress - I can never eat if I'm upset or worried, and an extra glass or two slips down all too easily. But s to your problem - maybe cook healthy stuff that won't put the pounds on for you and give him a bigger portion with added spuds?

Vi said...

STEP AWAY from the deep fat fryer!

Hon, I deeply sympathise.

As of the wedding outfit? Grab a pair of those magic knickers Gok always goes on about to hold in the flabby bits so you can get back into your outfits (cheaper than buying a whole new outfit!)

Kaycie said...

I remember putting food into my mouth, chewing, and not wanting to swallow. Vaguely. Now, I tend to eat my stress away. I wonder if it has to do with age at all? I didn't start feeding my stress after 30. Hmmmmm.

Sorry to hear things are so rocky for you right now. The only way I can diet when hubby isn't is by planning my meals separate from the family's. A pain in the butt, but worth it.

Take care of yourself first. You're the one who seems to be keeping it all together. I'll be thinking about you.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

Thanks flowerpot. I am trying to cook healthfully.

vi: No need to worry.I don't own a deep fat fryer. And I bought some magic knickers today.

kaycie: If I only had myself to cook for, I'd be tiny. I will take care of myself. Thanks.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.