A 5 pound bag of potatoes

Someday (maybe) I will actually finish things I start. Oh who am I kidding – I am not even sure what that means. I have little ceramic Christmas ornaments that we bought and painted for a baby shower when my cousin Anne was pregnant with my now-Goddaughter Kayla. We had several left over and I said, “I’ll paint the rest and keep them for myself.”

Kayla is now 26 years old.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I don’t want to finish things. It’s not that I don’t like whatever it is I’m working on so that’s why I don’t finish. Most of the time I’m really into it when I’m doing it. But it fades. Sometimes remarkably fast. I can’t explain it. I’ve tried. It’s been suggested to me that this hamster-filled head of mine becomes bored with things easily, even if it’s something that I really like to do. It makes sense really. There are some nights when I find myself so restless with not being able to find something to “keep me busy”, that I feel like I’m losing my mind. It probably doesn’t help that I’m alone – with two cats.

Usually at some point I get back around to something I was working on and finish it. Sometimes. Unless we’re talking about ceramic Christmas ornaments. I’ve been spending a lot of time around my house “downsizing”. Last weekend I found a box of wax. Yes, you read that correctly. A box of wax. How many of you can say that? I also found a box of uncleaned stamps – that is, over the years cutting around unique stamps on letters received at the office for my collection and putting them in a box to later be cleaned off of the envelopes.

I also have what I like to call “the closet from Hell” which has all the containers I moved from my last place and haven’t even opened or touched since I moved into this current house – 6 years ago. What’s in it? Your guess is as good as mine.

If I had to guess though, I would say that it likely contains the following:

  • those pesky unfinished ceramic Christmas ornaments
  • candle making supplies (to go with my box of wax)
  • cross-stitch kits
  • soap making supplies
  • a wood-burning kit
  • craft paints and pieces of wood
  • yarn (I don’t know how to knit or crochet)
  • molding clay
  • beads

Well you get the point. I have no doubt that once I get to “downsizing” the closet from Hell that I will find things I wasn’t even aware I still had. It will be like Christmas all over again!

Bear with me, please…I am actually heading somewhere with this. So my point is that while I love to “do crafts”, I’m not particularly good at them but they were fun to do and kept me busy (and therefore, my hands out of the chip bags). They also kept my mind busy. While I was doing them, I wasn’t worrying about the crap in my life that was causing me stress. I wasn’t thinking about all the projects at work I was falling behind because of the limited help I had. I wasn’t thinking about how my ex-husband had “done me wrong” (and subsequently my real willingness to somehow precipitate his life to implode, but I refrained). And I wasn’t thinking about how absolutely alone I felt most of the time.

And yet, invariably as with everything else, I grew tired of these things. They couldn’t keep my interest. I’m not sure how someone can enjoy doing something and become “bored” with it – but that’s basically what happened. Even now, having not touched any of those projects, I still have things that I’ve started and haven’t finished or I’ve put aside for another day and haven’t gotten back to them, like my family tree project or worse, the writing of my novels.  I’m not even sure what ever possessed me to buy a paint-by-number two weeks ago while in Michaels.


But I have to be honest here. It actually upsets me that I can’t keep the interest up in anything. Including my writing. I had the intention of finishing my current book Kiwi Kiss before the end of the year. I have ten chapters done. I’ve had ten chapters done now for 4 damn years. I love the story. I love the characters. When I’m reading it over in order to get motivated to pick up where I left off, I remember how much I love the story and the characters. I will even think about it during the day at work and think to myself: when I get home I want to write for an hour or two. But then I get home and I don’t touch it. I might even decide to watch a movie and 10 minutes in find I’m not that interested in it – even if it’s one of my favorite movies. Or I’ll listen to music for a while, or play a game on the computer, and then get restless and move onto something else. Some nights, I don’t find anything to keep my mind and hands busy, and that’s when I get that sense of going out of my mind.

So just with all of the above, I struggle to keep up with all of the things I have to do to lose weight. Keep a food diary – what you eat and how much – is always recommended by whomever I speak with about my struggles. And I might do it for a day or two, but then I stop. As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, as a kid when the rage was to have a little diary with a little lock and key, I would write in it – keep in mind I LOVE to write – but after a few days, I’d become bored and stop. Sure, I’d go back to it in a few weeks or months, but in the end, I’d just stop.

Other times I am in the grocery store and I have my healthy food list. I buy everything on my list with the intention of making some good-for-me meals. I might even have gone so far as to pick out recipes of some meals I want to make and have bought the things I need to make them. And I don’t. I might make one that day – while the enthusiasm is higher, but usually I end up throwing out a lot of expensive food.

And this bothers me. Greatly.

Some might say it’s laziness. Dr. S has said it’s not that. That I’m not lazy.

I sometimes would refer to myself as lazy for why I can’t just get up and exercise, but the truth is that I have ZERO energy most days. Even with sitting on my ass all day at work, by the time I get home, I’m so mentally exhausted from the stress and over-loading at work that I’m physically exhausted. I know that some people won’t believe that and might say that I am indeed lazy. And maybe in some ways, sometimes, I just might be, but I don’t have the answers to how I can find that energy. How can I find it so that I can get up and exercise?

Do you know that on a weekend when I decide I am going to do some housework that I actually have to plan out what to do and when? That I have to account for my feet giving out on me quickly and the pain being too much to remain on them for very long (both because of my weight but also the numbness in my feet) so I have to make sure I had plenty that I can do while sitting? That I know that many times I will have to sit anyway, not because of my feet but because of my lower back and the pain I feel there?

Now I’ve said this from the beginning of starting this blog – nothing I say here is in any way an attempt to gain your sympathies or your pity. I’m well aware that I’m in this situation because of my own actions – not anyone else’s – so I don’t write this to cry and whine about my awful situation. Sometimes I’m sure it sounds like it, but I do so more so that you all have a bit more of an understanding of what I’m going through, and I hope – I pray – none of you or anyone you love ends up like this. That you’ll catch yourself before you get this far. Because it’s a horrible way to live your life. And because it’s a horrible way to end your life.

So back to my previous comments…

It’s a physical struggle for me every day to just move. To then have to do things such as take out the garbage, clean the house, walk up some stairs, or even just do the dishes – there is a constant struggle to push myself in order that I not just give up. To not sit down and think “why bother?”

This is what I recently told my cousin Linda, who is also struggling with getting motivated:

I will tell you that one thing that has worked for me that I just need to get consistent with is to try to do a little at a time. So for example, I’m tired and don’t feel like cooking dinner or doing the dishes. I talk to myself for several minutes. I remind myself why I need to get up and do it. I tell myself that it’ll be good if I just do one thing. So I talk to myself until I feel like it’s a good idea to get up and I go and do it. Then I talk to myself again and congratulate myself on doing that one thing. Then i say, why don’t you try x next…maybe take a short break, read a chapter or something (non-food related) and then go and do x. Sometimes I have to spend a few minutes to talk myself into it again but sometimes I love that I feel proud of myself so I just get up and do it. So I start small and just build up, making sure that I remind myself how good I’m going, how good I’ll feel because I did something and honestly it really works.

And this really does work for me. Not all the time but most times. It’s why I’ve been able to clean more around my house and “downsize” recently. The reason I’ve found boxes of stamps and wax. The reason I’ve felt less “lazy” and more like I am actually accomplishing something rather than just sitting around and feeling useless.

Many of you won’t understand this struggle but for those of us who are living it, it’s small things like that that make us want to keep going. It’s our reason to not give up. Baby steps.

So after all of this gibber-jabber, the one thing I wanted to talk about was more of a “picture this” game I want to play with you right now.

Whatever your weight is right now, I’ll assume that most of you are of average weight. Even those of you who are a bit over-weight will “see” where I’m going with this. So here goes:

Imagine a 5 pound bag of potatoes (or whatever you’re used to that would be a 5 pound bag of something that you can easily picture). Pick up that 5 pound bag and put it on your back. Now if you are of a bigger frame, you might not notice the extra 5 pounds of weight. Those of you who are smaller surely would.

Now add another 5 pound bag. Ten pounds of extra weight on your frame. Are you noticing it now? Are you feeling the difference that 10 pounds makes? Do your joints hurt more? Your knees? Maybe your lower back?

Now add another 5 pound bag. That’s 15 extra pounds. How do you think you feel now? Studies show that even a gain in 5-15 pounds can increase your blood pressure.

Now imagine if you had 50 extra pounds – 10 extra bags of potatoes. What about 100 – 20 more bags? 150?

If you’ve ever gained any weight, even a small amount, you can tell can’t you? Not just because your clothes are suddenly tighter but because you feel it when you walk, or when you climb the stairs. You might even have gained enough to get winded walking up a slight incline. Or maybe you feel sluggish with absolutely zero energy to do anything, even to walk. Your knees ache, your feet hurt to the point of tears and your back screams in pain.

Now imagine how it would feel if you had over 200 extra pounds on your body. That’s FORTY bags of 5# potatoes. Forty.

Do you think that if someone put you in a bodysuit that weighed more than 200 pounds that you could even stand up in it, let alone walk? Do you think you could drive a car, walk through a mall, climb a set of stairs?

Can you imagine?  Most can’t. It’s hard to imagine anyone being even able to move with that much weight on them. But I do it. Every day. And it’s painful. It’s a struggle to fight both the pain and the amount of energy it takes to do the simplest of things. But I do them.

Every day.

And for all that, for my size/weight, I’m actually fairly mobile. And I struggle all the time so I can’t even imagine getting so bad that I wouldn’t be able to get out of bed. And one of the thoughts that keeps me from ever allowing myself to get that much worse is that I don’t want to be a burden to anyone. And if you are so big that you can’t get out of bed – that’s exactly what happens and suddenly you need help to even go to the bathroom. And I don’t want to be like that. I want to cry just thinking about it.

So I desperately need to get rid of those forty 5# bags of potatoes.

I’m not sure at what point I will really feel the difference. How much weight loss will it take to feel more energetic where just taking out the garbage isn’t a work-out, leaving me out of breath and gasping for air? How much weight loss will it take where my knees don’t feel like they are going to give out when I’m walking across the parking lot?

Again, I didn’t do this exercise to get sympathy – but I did want to share an idea of what it’s like for someone like me to carry around this amount of weight – both on my body and my mind – and how it definitely does contribute to not only my over-all health risks but also to my physical capabilities – or in-capabilities in most cases. I wanted to give you a glimpse to why I struggle every day and how – and why I really, desperately need to do this. And why I really really need your help to do so.

And why it’s not necessarily that I’m “lazy” but I just can’t always push my body to move because there’s just too much of it.

See what happens when I don’t write often enough? You get a very long-winded post. 🙂  So sorry!  But I do hope you enjoyed it and have been given some further insight into my situation and those others who struggle every day with trying to put their life back on the right track.

Your continued support means the world to me. I can’t thank you enough.

Love and blessings to all.

Dani xo


2 thoughts on “A 5 pound bag of potatoes

  1. Hi Dani – Thanks for the blog, imagine how better we will feel when we rid ourselves of those bags of potatoes. Your blog reminds me of the numerous baby outfits I didn’t complete for my kids, and my youngest is now 37 years old!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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