Monday, March 2, 2009

The painful truth

I woke up Sunday with a headache, a really bad one that started at the back of my head and radiated up and out until my whole head throbbed. I must have taken 10-12 Advil during the course of the day (including 3 Advil Migraine tablets) but it never even took the edge off.

Around noon, I went back to bed. When I wasn't sleeping — fitfully — I was doing some not-so-pleasant thinking about why I felt so bad. See, I wake up almost every morning with a headache. Most days they fade not long after breakfast, but sometimes they stick around for the rest of the day, or even days. I've seen my doctor about it and she's prescribed Treximet, but the pills are incredibly expensive. But she also told me something I didn't want to hear — I'm fat and out of shape and I won't feel better until I do something about it.

Just writing that is embarrassing, although I can't imagine that anyone who's ever seen me would argue (and if you would, that is very sweet of you, but it's not honest). Since I moved to Birmingham 10 years ago, I've struggled with my weight. Well, "struggled" wouldn't be the right word since that assumes that I actually put some effort into it. I did try to work on it for a couple of years, going to the gym for 2-3 hours a day, drinking Slim Fast and falling into bed every night before 9 pm, exhausted but hungry. It was hard, hard work and my tantrum-throwing inner child would show up at least once a week demanding a cheeseburger and cocktails, which I would overindulge in and ruin my progress for the week.

I achieved nirvana while Royal and I were in Germany for a year. Bored, I spent lots of time at the gym. We only had one car, which Royal took to work, so I walked everywhere. We ate the good, hearty German food with gusto, but I managed to lose weight from all the activity. I came back to the US lighter than when I'd left (and, for the first time in years, quite infatuated with my toned body).

Unfortunately, it didn't last. Our first meal back in Alabama was at Hamburger Heaven. You just can't get a good cheeseburger in Germany. Then I had to have Mexican about four nights in a row, as that's not popular in Bavaria, either. A few months of this and no activity later, and I was back in the fat clothes.

Fast forward a few years, and things have only gotten worse. I no longer even pretend to eat healthily. When I have a craving — which is often — I dispatch Royal to the Pig for our crack of choice, Little Debbie snack cakes. We can polish off a box of Swiss cake rolls or fudge rounds in a matter of hours. Royal is definitely an enabler, but only because I allow him to be. He only wants me to be happy, bless his heart. And being unhappy is what got me to this point in the first place. I have been depressed for many, many years and was officially diagnosed last summer. I am taking Wellbutrin, which helps tremendously, and seeing a therapist. But while those things give me the tools I need to make a change, they can't actually make the change for me. I have to do the work. And that's where I've been stuck ever since.

Anyway, confessional blog posts like this always make me cringe a little bit, but if everyone in the world — or, the five people who occasionally read this blog — knows about my problem, then I can't pretend there isn't one any more. I am not so vain as to worry about the number on the tag inside my jeans, but I do worry that, at 35, I'm experiencing the pain and discomfort of someone 20 years older (and also out of shape). It's keeping me from doing the things I want to do and it has to stop. Today.


  1. Yay Tina!!

    I could have written this post myself, except for the Germany part.

    I have my first meeting with the gym trainer tomorrow, so I'm right there with you.

    Go girl go!!!

  2. Little Debbie is a cruel, cruel mistress. But when things with her are good, they're so very, very good.

  3. When we get a little older (talking about myself here) we tend to relax on the exercise front. So inevitably we gain a little weight why can't we just enjoy life without being looked down on for it. If we work hard but the job leads to inactivity (8 hours a day at a desk- no room for movement there) then leave us to it we will be okay.
    Hope your headaches improve try not worrying about the weight I am sure it will help...