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Staying on Program While Chaos Reigns

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mia'smom

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Everything is a mess.  On Friday evening, while my father was still hospitalized, not stable, and, well, dying, I flew back home to NYC from the Caribbean.  I knew there was little more I could do for him.  I had said my good-byes.  Played his favorite music for him on my iPhone.  Had long conversations with him about everything and nothing in particular.  His condition was not improving, not getting worse, and I knew, in my heart, it was time to go.

 

When I weighed in on Saturday morning, I almost laughed.  Between my mother's (non) cooking (lots of random take-out) and the hospital cafeteria food, I had gained back all of the weight I had lost my first week on Jenny Craig (plus two ounces, because the body is cruel that way).  OK, time to buckle down and work the program.  

 

Yes, my father is dying (he was sent from the hospital to home care, back to the hospital and, finally, into hospice).  Yes, my mother is being, by turns, passive-aggressive and condescending (she is also losing her husband, the love of her life, and is in pain, sad, and terrified, so there's all that).  Yes, I am, at times, beyond grief myself.  Functioning from some remote place within myself that seems to operate without need of me, somehow.  Wondering if I feel this way now, how will I feel when my father passes?

 

And through it all, I get through the day by sticking to a schedule: alarm, meditation, look at the JC menu, breakfast (with tea), water, wash up, morning errands, JC menu, lunch (with Diet Coke), more water, take a break, more errands, JC nutrition bar, another break (YouTube or Hulu), JC menu, dinner (with Diet Coke or water, depending on mood), eat treat, more water, wash up and shower, chill out.  Jenny Craig is giving my life a certain routine and stability.  Where normally I would be eating while watching television or reading, I am making each meal a bit of a pause, an event in itself, and it is much easier to stick to the program knowing that each meal is special, important, and, for the most part, kind of yummy (there have been notable -- and noted -- exceptions).  

 

On the one hand, I feel selfish for focusing on weight loss at this time, when my father is in hospice and his life is definitively ending.  On the other hand, I feel more at ease having something of a schedule to count on, knowing what comes next, not having to think about what to eat.  And the good health that comes with it is invaluable.  My father, I think, would be pleased.  He ran the NY Marathon about a dozen times, always finishing it.  He played tennis and swam regularly.  He ate what was healthy for him, not what was trendy (always indulging in treats like ice cream in moderation because he knew, at his level of fitness, he could).

 

I don't know that there is a point or a lesson to any of this.  Only that it is possible to stay on program in the midst of chaos.  I have lost weight since returning from the Caribbean.  Sticking to the RR menu has worked for me.  We'll see how long the weight loss continues, but for now, it's going well.

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