4 Comments

Good Riddance to Ten Pounds of Grief

muffintopA year ago today, my Dad passed away. While he had Alzheimer’s, he died from a tumor on the back of his tongue. It was a harrowing experience, but I knew it was a blessing that the cancer seemed to take him so swiftly. I miss him, but I missed him when he was still here but the Alzheimer’s began to steal parts of him away. When he was here, I could visit him, chat and even get a hug.

A few months after his death, I was suddenly ten pounds heavier. I don’t gain weight easily and have a pretty solid tennis habit with regular weekly exercise. The swift change surprised me. I started to count calories and charted my exercise. Nothing changed. I started to think about the weight as my “grief fat.” I desperately wanted to have both the fat and grief gone.

It hung around my middle and plagued me, seeping out at inconvenient times, just like my grief.

Some girlfriends were chatting about a “metabolism” diet and I figured I would give it a try. I had moved into a period where I was just too busy to eat well, regularly. I would eat breakfast early, then lunch at 3 PM ruining dinner and then would graze before bed on dinner. Had I messed up my metabolism or was it just age sneaking up on me in inconvenient ways? We started the diet together and doing it with others definitely helped me. I started to pack meals and snacks and made sure I ate every 3 hours. I made it through the four-week plan and emerged ten pounds lighter. I’m pleased that even after the diet ended, I continued to lose a few more pounds.

I’m relieved to have lost my “grief fat” before the anniversary of my Dad’s death. As I hit the one-year marker, my grief lingers, but I’m quicker to recover as I reflect on his legacy and all the wonderful attributes of him that live on in me. Encouraged. 

4 comments on “Good Riddance to Ten Pounds of Grief

  1. The first anniversary of a loved one’s death is difficult to bear, but you seem to have a good perspective on things, all things considered. That’s interesting about the grief fat. Congrats on the weight loss!

  2. Yes congrats! I have the opposite problem – the harder it is to deal with dementia, the lower my weight falls (historical eating disorder). Am at the lowest I’ve been since age 16, and am 33 now – so I suppose that’s something to thank MIL for, in a sick and twisted sort of way.

  3. Oh no! You have a lot on your shoulders and having that extra complication just makes things harder I’m sure. Gotta take care of the caregiver first!

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