Yeah, I'm back. I'll fill you in on last week a bit below the fold, in the meantime, this is the WHEE Diary series!

WHEE (Weight, Health, Eating and Exercise) is a community support diary for Kossacks who are currently or planning to start losing, gaining or maintaining their weight through diet and exercise or fitness. Any supportive comments, suggestions or positive distractions are appreciated. If you are working on your weight or fitness, please -- join us! You can also click the WHEE tag to view all diary posts.

I was possibly missed by a few of you last Sunday, because I was completely absorbed in trying to accomplish the impossible: get terminated with no notice whatsoever  from a job I thought was permanent but was really a short-term contract, and find a new job that would keep me from losing house, home, what remaining credit I have, and not entail having to threaten my fragile recovery from my auto accident.

The good news is: I did it.  The bad news is: a whole bunch of things I had SLATED for last week, including sending the final galleys of the first book in my detective series to print - went right down the chute.  And so did the Turtle Diary, which I never even thought about till sometime Tuesday when I was finalizing paperwork and getting MRI's and x-rays and such completed before leaving Washington.

Yeah, I left Washington.  But not for good (I don't think, anyway).  I have two return flights paid for by my new contractor, as well as per diem for my current assignment, which starts today.  And I'm presently in the velvety deep red country of eastern Idaho, which is otherwise known as the northern suburbs of Salt Lake City.  I didn't even get off the PLANE before getting into one of THOSE arguments about taxes with a self-proclaimed Libertarian wife of a "physician"in town here, who told me that no one should be FORCED to either pay taxes or to have to foot the bill for charity for helping the poor becuase THEY ALREADY GIVE PLENTY TO THE POOR KTHXBAI.  Unfortunately for Mrs. Physician, she was not concealing the barely restrained sneer in her voice when she referred to "the poor."  As if they are a species of animal indigenous to blue states who suck good upstanding (she didn't use the term Christian because she is 85% likely to be a Mormon) religious believer in Jesus, letsjustsay.

So there is an overhead expense to being in Velvety Red Territory.  But I found a lovely houseshare with a young couple and their roommate and their new baby, and they are rather eyes-open about their heritage being born into the Latter Day Saints.  I think they're even going to let me drink coffee in the house!

So that's where I've been  - landing contract work, interviewing for permanent work which will bring me either to Denver (the one that doesn't pay all that great), or the one that may pay spectacularly but has a huge future job potential.  I've reset my next employment expectations to mid-late June.  And tomorrow I start a new project which promises to be both challenging and exciting.

But I wanted to talk about what it was like to travel by airplane five sizes smaller than I was.  The worst thing about being balloon-sized is of course, not fitting into seats, especially airplane seats which are cramped for the norms as it is, and is excruciating for anyone over the size, say, 18.

I'm still over size 18 on the bottom, and it's the worst time of the month bloating-wise, so I'm at least one size larger during that week as a result of water retention.  So a couple of the seats on the small 48-person jets were snug at best.  And I'm still on pain medicine and set my clock back too far getting into Dallas and missed my flight, and through the extraordinary assistance of American Airlines, got put in the first row bulkhead (ow ow ow!) to Denver on the next flight out which got in early.  And it pinched, and it hurt in that bulkhead seat.  And arrived miraculously 15 minutes early.  15 minutes less pain in my thighs.

But the second-worst thing about being balloon-sized is how others look at you and treat you, particularly if they are unfortunate enough to have to sit down next to you on the plane.  The frank glares of "how dare you be MORBIDLY OBESE" that I got when I went to Australia (to be fair to me, though, I did buy two seats for my extraness, so they utterly no reason to either complain or to glare since I wasn't taking up THEIR seat space.  I did go the final leg on this flight on "No Fatties" United Airlines.  So my challenges are not over yet, though a bit more dedication to my physical therapy, great activity levels, and getting my thyroid levels up to optimal will all help to get the last of the fluid out of my low body while I'm working up here in East Bumfuck.  And then I'll be able to get on those puddle-jumper jets and sit in any seat they crowd me into and I won't have to wince in pain from the seat restriction on my balloonable thighs.

There is one thing that has helped me to deal with the glares, the disapproval, and the downright discomfort of being a VERY LARGE PERSON on the road and in the air: the fact that I have a rare disease that is not my fault, that I was born with, and which I struggled with all my strength and resources to identify and to defeat.  And I wouldn't BE five sizes thinner if I hadn't done this.  And I would not have had a chance to have a normal life free of the medical threats of hypertension, stroke, heart disease and exacerbated arthritis and injury, if I hadn't mounted this struggle over the past 10 months.

And that is the message to those of you who are struggling to maintain or to establish a fitness plan and lifestyle that will prolong your life and restore your health:  IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT.  You don't need to be born with a devastating mutation to absolve yourself of this guilt.  But it is a huge weight that does NOT help you to regain and recover your health.  It is not your fault.  Even if the only "problem"you suffer from is an unquenchable passion for cheesy fries and chili at Taco Johns.  There is a way to deal with it, and the way to deal with it is not to heap recriminations, loathing and blame on yourself.  Don't we all get enough of that from other people, from doctors, from other health practitioners and from our colleagues and family?

Yeah.  We do.  So let's  cut that out.  And happy Sunday everyone, I'm going to attend Mormon church with my new housemates just to find out what it's like (and as research for the current novel which is about Mormons in Arizona.)  Can't write what I don't know, right?

I'd like to hear from people particularly about how you deal with blaming yourself for your health and/or weight and eating problems.

   Scheduled WHEE diaries

     April 18

       Sun PM - WHEE Open

     April 19
       Mon AM - NC Dem
       Mon PM - WHEE Open

     April 20
       Tues AM - WHEE Open
       Tues PM - debbieleft

     April 21
       Weds AM - WHEE Open
       Weds PM - Edward Spurlock (Kolata, Ch. 7)

     April 22
       Thur AM - WHEE Open
       Thur PM - bloomin
   April 23
       Friday AM - WHEE Open
       Friday PM - Wee Mama (weekly diary)

   April 23
       Sat AM - ?
       Sat PM - ?

     April 18
       Sun AM - louisev Turtle Diary
       Sun PM - WHEE Open

Originally posted to louisev on Sun Apr 18, 2010 at 07:26 AM PDT.

Your Email has been sent.