A food addict's travels on the road to recovery.

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Christmas That Wasn't

I'm going to share a Christmas story with you that has been on my heart this season, as it is every holiday season. I promise I'll mention weight loss somewhere later in this post, lol.

I have the most generous, loving, sacrificing parents in the entire world. My Dad is just as loving, supportive, positive, and sacrificing as Mom, but tonight, the story is about Mom. There was a time when Mom was forgotten...and I vowed it would never happen again. But every year as the holidays roll around I remember the story so I decided to share it tonight. (We also forgot Dad once on his birthday, but I'll save that for another time, since this is a Christmas story, lol.)

One Christmas, many years ago (I think I was in my early 20's), money was tight. Tighter than tight. It was completely non-existent. The unfortunate thing about this particular year is that not only me, but also my two sisters were absolutely flat broke. Now my parents have said for as many years as I can remember, "You girls don't have to get us anything...don't spend your money on us...our joy comes from having you home with us on the holidays". Yeah, yeah, we know, but you're our parents, we love you, and you know we're going to get you something.

Well not this particular year. There's been times all through life when one of us 3 girls were having a hard time financially and it was no big deal. The other 2 knew it, and they just picked up the slack for the rest of the family. I think this year I'm referring to, a couple of us lived out of state, and it was all we could do just to afford to get home for Christmas. We didn't bring any gifts, only I don't think that any of us realized it beforehand. My memory is a little foggy, but the one thing that I do remember, and will never forget, is that when Christmas morning came, and we were all opening gifts from our parents, etc.....someone noticed that Mom only had one gift. I don't remember it being that way for Dad...someone must of managed to give him a couple of small things. But Mom only had one.....and I'm guessing it came from Dad.

Well one of us pointed it out (I think it was me), and my Dad started crying. Oh dear Lord. That was it. The whole family crumbled. Me and my sisters just boo-hoo'd like you wouldn't believe. Mom was a little shocked and kind of started laughing, thinking we were being silly....telling us that her gift was all of us being there with her on Christmas morning. So selfless, so full of love for us....so, MOM. That just made us cry even harder.

My mom is the best mom in the entire world. Seriously. I've only found one other mom that comes close to mirroring her in my entire 37 years of living, and that's Pam's mom. I call her my 2nd mom, and have since high school.

Mom's just done so much for our family. She's the glue that holds it together. I don't want to give specific details of all the circumstances that she's had to deal with through the years, but trust me.....she is just amazing. She gives so much of herself.....all of herself, really. Life has thrown her some crazy curve balls, and she's fielded every one of them. She still is. Every day.

That Christmas morning, so many years ago, I vowed that from then on, no matter HOW BAD things got financially, as long as I have breath in me, Mom will always have Christmas gifts. It doesn't matter how small or how inexpensive....heck, I think I've even wrapped her up a couple of candy bars before, lol. But I will always make sure Mom has an exciting Christmas morning unwrapping gifts. Everyone deserves gifts, but no one more than her. My sisters share the same sentiment, especially my sister Brandy, and every year since then, there's been a kind of unspoken competition to see who can get mom the best gift. The way we judge who's is better is by which one makes her smile the brightest, or better yet, which one makes her cry, lol.

Brandy thought she had me beat one year, by having some woman she knew make a couple of beautiful poinsettia candle rings, and crochet an afghan for her. What Brandy didn't know is that I had been working on Mom's gift for MONTHS ahead of time. I sewed Mom a memory quilt, got my sister Amy to help me steal some photographs out of the family photo album from when we were each around 4-5 years old, and I transferred the images onto the quilts. At the top in the center, I had Mom and Dad's wedding photo.

I watched as Mom opened Brandy's gift first, and she gushed over them while Brandy gave me a smug smile. I just smiled back and waited patiently for my turn. Mom opened my gift.....and there came the tears. YES!! YES!! YES!! Another successful Christmas, lol. The look of jealous rage on Brandy's face was almost worth more than my dear Mother's tear-stained smile, lol.

So....time to tie this into the weight loss, lol. I haven't bought groceries in the last 2 weeks. Mom found out yesterday, and brought $50 over here for me, and my sister and I went to store today and bought some meats on sale. I was trying to stretch the money as far as I can, and meats last longer in the freezer than fresh produce does. I've been spending every spare dime I have on Christmas gifts for my family and a couple of close friends, like Shane and Billie.

I know my sweet mother is going to read this tomorrow morning and it's going to be Guilt City....but I don't care. There will always be gifts on Christmas!! I've managed to get each of my parents, my 2 sisters, my bro-in-law, and my 4 nieces and nephews a couple of inexpensive gifts each. And one thing each for Shane and Billie. But the eating has TOTALLY suffered.

Since I haven't had any fresh produce or dairy in the house in a couple of weeks, I've been eating from the stockpile in the freezer and the pantry.....which means what? Meats and carbs...pasta, rice, etc. The carb group is a major trigger for me, and something I normally eat very little of since I started losing weight 6 months ago. I've been eating more than I should of them.

I'm afraid it's going to be a rough month for weight loss, but not for the normal reasons that everyone else in Blogland has been freaking out about. It's not due to too many holiday parties (not going to any), or too many baked goods (I haven't been given any & I haven't eaten any of what I've baked for family members). I'm just broke, and I'm off my game right now. I haven't stopped caring, I'm not bingeing, it's not like that.

I am still sad over Dwayne. I guess it's been about 3 weeks now since the break-up, and the truth is, at some point during the day (usually at night), I find myself in tears. I haven't gone a whole day yet without crying. But I have noticed that the frequency is diminishing. In other words, I'm not sobbing ALL DAY LONG, like I was doing. So I guess that means things are a little better. I'm just trying to get through the holidays without him, and it's just the saddest thing. That probably has something to do with not focusing on more creative meals this month. I know I saw a bag of broccoli and a bag of brussel sprouts in the freezer. Those are veggies I could and should be eating. Maybe some time this week.

There is one thing that I'm clinging to and that's my gym membership. I am totally getting my $15 monthly dues-worth out of those people. I didn't go last week due to being so sick. But I went back Friday and have been there all 4 days so far this week. My workouts have been at least 1 1/2 hours long each time. So at least I'm getting half of the equation right. I'm glad about that.

So I guess I'm just putting it on cruise control, trying to navigate through the sadness of being without Dwayne and everything that goes along with that during the holidays. I don't think I'll have any serious gains, because as I said, I'm not bingeing or eating like a complete and total moron. Things are just a little off. Naturally, I'll still be reporting my weigh-ins on Friday morning and we'll just see what happens. I'm looking forward to brighter days ahead, possibly new job openings come January, new beginnings all the way around. :)


  1. It's great to hear that you're doing a bit better regarding your break-up. It will get to where you're normal again, where you can go through a day without crying. :)

    Your situation sounds like the one in my house right now, with the money I mean. We're keeping the money super tight so that we can afford to buy gifts and are just lucky that we both have food service jobs where we can get a cheap meal at each day. I hope that not being able to buy the food you want doesn't affect your weight loss too negatively. Happy Holidays!

  2. This is a lovely tribute to your mother!

    Sorry things are still rough and that the finances are not helping you with the eating right now. I know it's tough, but I know you are tougher. You'll get through this!

  3. hugs to you! I'm sure you make your mom very proud to call you her child. I totally understand how money related to the weight lose. Healthy foods cost so much more than the junk.

  4. What can I say Tammy, but 'you raise me up' and you girls are the 'wind beneath my wings'. Of course Dad and Jesus too! You getting healthy is the best Christmas present I could have. It takes such a weight of worry off me knowing that you are taking care of yourself. Thanks for all the compliments. I love you so much!
    Mom O.

  5. Oh no. I feel terrible. I didn't realize that you and Dwayne had broken up. Oh Lord. I'm going to have to back up and read the entries I've missed. I'm so, so, so very sorry Tammy. But I know you have an amazing strength, a gift of power given to you by God. You will overcome heartache, weight loss, and any other hurdles life throws your way.

    Love you!

  6. What a sweet story about your mom. Sounds like you have a good attitude about everything, hang in there *hugs*.

  7. I admire your commitment to making sure your mom has a great Christmas, even when times are hard. And that was sweet of your mom to help with the grocery money - I'm getting a "gift of the magi" vibe here!

  8. Hi Tammy. Such a sweet story about your mom! If you can't make em laugh, make em cry eh?!

    As far as the food goes - as long as you're not bingeing you're doing OK. That's the bottom line. And you're doing great on the exercise. If you maintain over the festive season then that's still a win.

    Great to hear you being so positive about the new year!

    Bearfriend xx

  9. For me, the key to feeling like I'm still being successful even when my eating isn't the greatest is continuing to exercise and continuing to track my food. Even if tracking means watching myself eat well beyond what I'd ideally eat, at least I know what the damage is and often it's not as bad as I think! I think it sounds like you are doing great under the circumstances!

  10. I think a lot of people are feeling the financial crunch this year. I am sorry things are so rough for you during this holiday season. Hang in there!

  11. Hi Tammy,
    Glad to hear that you feeling *better*. I'm sure the holidays will bring some difficult moments, I wish you strength and peace and hope.

  12. Love your story, your mom must be very proud of you Tammy. I am so sorry you are having such a
    struggle financially as well as emotionally.

    I pray you stay strong and your situation improves very soon.

    Sending loving hugs