With all due respect to Elizabeth Gilbert
About three years ago my life changed dramatically. My husband called to tell me he was leaving his job at the university. I was three hundred miles away, standing outside a crematorium in Queens. My cousin's husband died suddenly and I made the trip to be with her.
John's decision meant financial uncertainty. I understood why he had to do it and was totally in agreement, but I was scared. What we had talked about for months had become a reality. After putting away my cell phone, I cried and cried. I cried for my cousin, for her loss, and for John and me. It was a confusing mess. Sadly or fortunately, crying was expected at a funeral so no one took much notice. After the ceremony, my cousin invited close friends and family to a lovely Italian restaurant for dinner. We proceeded to comfort ourselves with the world's most comforting food.
Thus began several years of eating my way through the stress of building two new businesses, one with my husband and another by myself. As long as porcini mushroom ravioli calmed my nerves, I didn't need Valium.
During this time trips to the barn to see Annie became more and more infrequent. Not taking the time to indulge in my favorite exercise, riding, meant I wasn't burning near as many calories. During the winter I hardly saw Annie at all. The less I rode, the more I ate, the bigger I got.Efforts to gain control over my need to feed came and went and are well documented on this blog. I knew diets weren't the answer but I struggled with what was. So I did the logical thing. I gave up and just let my stress have its way with me. It wasn't all bad. My hard work did pay off. But as the businesses grew, so did my waist line. Thank God for elastic.
Two months ago, after a long day at work, I dragged myself up the stairs to change. At four in the afternoon I was tired. I felt weighed down, like someone had stuffed a bunch of rocks in my underwear. I reached the top of the stairs and thought, this cannot be healthy.