The Grape


I dropped a grape on the floor while I was making myself dessert tonight. Normally, this wouldn’t even register as a blip on my problem radar, but tonight I had no choice but to roll my eyes and sigh.

Not because it’s January in Alberta and grapes are four bucks a pound.

Not because I was very carefully measuring out my healthy dessert–more on that in a minute.

The sigh and the eye roll resulted from the simple fact that there is no way on this earth I could bend over to pick the grape up or crouch down to grab it. Simply not happening.

The Electrician claims I overshare. That may be somewhat true, but here we go anyway.

I am committed to a wellness program called the 21 Day Fix. This is not a plug for the program, although I do think it’s well-designed and I plan to succeed in using it. I’m currently on the third day of dedication to taking better care of myself, and today I am hurting. Oh man, am I hurting.

A heap of people start eating and exercise programs when we roll over to a new year. While the calendar may say otherwise, I’m not technically a New Year resolutioner. There are lots of jokes about the gym being full January 1st and empty by January 30th for a reason: resolutions don’t typically stick. People, in general, suck at making major changes. I’m a person, and I definitely have been struggling to care for my physical health.

Part of it, definitely, is the whole infertility thing. I don’t mean that as an excuse, but I think it’s important to acknowledge that parachuting again and again into uncharted (for us) territory has been remarkably stressful. The stats on couples who struggle to have a child are very clear on the physical and mental strain created by infertility. For someone as tender-hearted as me, the last 2.5 years of working toward a surrogacy have been brutal.

Another part is the fact that I have crappy ovaries. Yes, they did their thing beautifully during our IVF cycle and produced 22 lovely eggs. The rest of the time, my Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) contributes to a host of issues, including painful cysts, pimples (seriously, I’m way too adulty for that) and weight gain. Again, not an excuse, but there are lots of reasons why the pounds have crept up on me.

Splitting off in the direction of things I can control, I have some bad habits around food. Like many people, I tend to eat my feelings and cut corners on nutrition when I’m stressed or busy. We eat too many delicious, starchy things and not enough veggies. I’m lucky to be a good cook; I’m unfortunate in that I know how to make most of my favourite treats. And, lucky me, I have a killer sweet tooth.

I used to be very fit and wear a size 2-4. Right now, I’m out of shape and wearing a 12-14. I don’t feel good about myself and it’s time for significant, lasting changes. I have formal training in physical fitness and used to specialize in weightlifting, and I am going to use that knowledge to get me back on track.

The key catalyst here is our hope to be parents in the next year or so. I don’t want to struggle to keep up with my family or avoid being photographed because I’m not feeling confident about my appearance. I also want to be as healthy as I can be and live for as long as possible with the people I love. Period.

So here we are. I am a long way from my goal but feeling so determined. I acknowledge that the only one who can get me out of these extra layers of me is me. I’m doing The 21 Day Fix, which incorporates a daily exercise program on DVDs and an eating plan where food is measured into colour-coded containers.

I was so sore from the first day’s workout, and I know exactly which exercise did me in, that I when I woke up this morning I could barely manage the stairs to our basement. Well done, quadriceps. To make things even more exciting, today I was scheduled for a lower body strengthening workout. We are talking squats, lunges, calf raises, and other good stuff that made me holler bad words. It sucked, but I did it and I’m really proud of myself for powering on through.

Until I dropped that stupid grape. By tonight, everything is seizing up again. I’d already dropped a piece of chicken and a couple chunks of cucumber, but I don’t need to worry about our dogs eating those. Grapes, however, are toxic to the mutts and I couldn’t just leave it there.

So, in the spirit of the “I can do it” attitude I am working hard to adopt, I dealt with it. It’s probably the only time in my life I’ll ever need to pick up a grape with my toes, but the problem is solved.

As for me, I’m drinking more water and getting to bed early. There’s another workout waiting for me tomorrow.



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