J < 260

Imagine our surprise when, after a few days of inactivity and laziness due to his bout with the pesky common cold, we weighed J and he rang in at under 260 pounds (or 117 kg.)  Here we were, after giving him a rather long-winded but kind speech about falling back into his old habits (because he wanted Pringles, and I said “ok, yes, but…”,) ready to go See????  You can’t go back to resorting to food for entertainment because THIS is what happens…and the Wii (an apparatus that has, in fact, been very accurate with J’s weight) made us look like overreacting ninnies…

Serves us right.

We seem to have developed a certain degree of the anxiety we didn’t want to develop regarding J’s weight loss.  We started out just wanting him to lose weight in a “change your lifestyle” sort of way, and we panicked because he had a cold and had some comfort food, and didn’t exercise since Thursday.  Shame on us.  That was unfair and pretty silly…

J has learned to eat right.  He still gets his little luxuries, but he no longer fights about them, and he knows when he’s had his proper serving size.  A few months ago it would have been impossible for me to negotiate with J, and now it’s par for the course.  For example: he wanted his pasta with cheddar cheese today, but he wasn’t interested in having the cheese sauce I make with veggie broth and pumpkin…he wanted his pasta straight up with the cheddar cheese, and I served him a small amount of cheese, a small amount of pasta and plenty of leftover roast chicken.  When he had three forkfuls of pasta left, the cheese was basically gone, and he moved to ask for more.  Flashback to October and this would have been a long, drawn-out argument with an intractable, stubborn individual.  Today it played completely different: J, if I’d made the sauce, you’d have had better coverage with the cheese, but since you wanted just the shredded, that’s all you’re getting.  He looked at his plate, considered what I was saying, sighed and said THANK YOU before finishing his pasta.

Why wouldn’t he want the pumpkin sauce???  Well…for the same reason that I sometimes want Catalina dressing on my salad rather than a simple vinaigrette; it just wasn’t what he wanted at the time!  This is what we have to keep reminding ourselves: J is not that different from us when it comes to food.  Eating right is not a struggle, but it also isn’t something that he will want to do without fail. We all want the cookie or the ice cream from time to time; we want butter, chips or French fries.  The trick is to just not make them the only thing we eat.  If they sneak in there among the good, healthy stuff then we’re going in the right direction…and J, I’m happy to report, is definitely on the right track.

Now that we know that J uses the band-aids for comfort we can better gauge what his day will be like.  There are mornings when it’s easy to tell that he’s preparing himself for a slightly more emotionally hectic day at school.  It is the equivalent of our having that second cup of coffee before we tackle a long to-do list at home or at work.  That J can now recognize this, and that he understands we are supporting him and letting him ride out his displeasure with the little things that make life more difficult, is an awesome development.  J used to get frustrated because, as people tend to do from time to time, he thought he was in this alone, that no one understood he was struggling with people and situations that irritate him.

I like to think that we have proactively contributed to this new way of living that J has adopted.  I think, however, that it is as much feeling our support and accepting our guidance as it is the natural course of maturing that every individual ultimately follows.  Why J has been more willing to listen and be guided than TGG was at the same age is anyone’s guess.  Maybe we are each wired differently in that department?  At the age of 19 TGG knew everything.  I kid you not…TGG was the wisest, most-knowing and knowledgeable individual on the face of the Earth.  That this was in his own mind and not perceived by the rest of us mortals is completely beside the point.  When the fall came, immediately after pride because that’s how it’s timed, TGG’s newfound humility was nowhere near as malleable as J’s.  For every NO, J has resisted, but he has learned from the times we’ve said YES…TGG has, as a rule, been pretty obstinate in this department.  If we had to describe them in some way, TGG would be the happiest happy-go-lucky Eeyore ever known to man, and J would be the most observant and serious Tigger.  That Dada and I haven’t developed a drinking problem is a minor miracle…

Since we decided, with the doctors’ encouragement and the mutual support we provide each other, to grab the proverbial bull by the horns, we seem to be inching forward with a little less melodrama.  This morning I spent the better part of two hours calling the child support agency back home, the local child support agency, and the Social Security Administration and everything I heard was, to put it mildly, contradictory, frustrating, confusing and overwhelming.  J walked in and out of our office area (oh, it’s a snow day, people…again…for three inches of snow…so…yeah…) without once getting the impression that I was near a meltdown.  I was, I was definitely near meltdown point, and -for the first time in a long time, I decided to take it as yet another string of administrative messes that won’t be easily untangled, and will -ultimately- take a very long, long time, and won’t be untangled to satisfaction regardless of how much effort we put into this.

If J can, with two band-aids, gird his loins for a rough and frustrating interaction at school then so can I.  Maybe it’s because of all the vegetables, but I’m calmer…even when I don’t seem to be.  Maybe it’s because of the fact that we’re all getting enough fiber, and drinking plenty of water.  Maybe we’re all just getting older and figuring things out.  Maybe TGG’s obstinate nature is inherited and, of all the people in this household, I have been slowest to pare off that layer in spite of my strong conviction that I don’t have that layer…maybe I’m just repurposing that layer, not really shedding it…

But the thing is that J, with his occasional serving of Pringles and the laziness that came attached to his recent grappling with the common cold, continues to slowly shed the weight that had been impeding so many things for him.  And, of course, even though his abdomen is still rather large, I know it’s because of the med, and I know that once we go down another .25 milligram, it’ll get better.

That’s the thing…it’s all getting better.  Little by little.  Some days we don’t notice it.  Some days we don’t see it.  Some days we can’t believe it…but it’s happening.  And even though it snowed last night, and Kierkegaard called this morning, Spring is just around the corner…two days, twenty-one hours and counting…




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