Being Fat

You do not choose to be overweight, you become overweight through a process of putting others before yourself, potentially depression, and an over-commitment to everything else in your life. In my case, I did not become overweight because I didn't care, but because I didn't care about myself enough. It could easily be due to self-esteem issues, but even when you're not perceptibly fat it can become a weight around your neck if you are labelled fat, out of shape, etc. Your slight departure from the perfect world of a B.M.I. safe weight becomes an anchor, or worse.

It's a journey you don't know you're on, until it's too late. You may the the sort that can rope in that stray 5 pounds, or you may be like me and simply be too involved with life to notice you've gained 20, 40, or 60 pounds... it can sneak up on you.

I was a big kid, not overly fat or obese, but it seems that family told me I was, though it may have been someone projecting their own struggle with their weight on me. My family is full of big people, men and women that have descended from big people. I recall one picture of my great grandmother on my Dad's side who looked like my Uncle Ed, in a dress. The big nose, the weight problem, the battle is ages old. Is it heredity? Yes, but it's more than that. Society has given us a jobs, roles, and responsibilities that are sedentary in nature. I developed software solutions for 15 years, this means you sit at a computer and coerce a machine to do what you want it to. There's not much movement in that. I gained 230 pounds in that same time. I could suggest that my problems started before that, when I married someone who really didn't share my interest in cycling, something that was keeping my mind clear and my body salvageable.

As I focused on salvaging my failing marriage I tried to bring my wife into the realm of cycling, riding to the point of being tired, past the limit you think you have, and she was not a fan. This ended fairly quickly, and after 7 years of stress and trying to change me so she would be happy with me, so was the marriage. The stress had only just begun.

Eating as an anti-depressant is not new for me, I'd gained about 30 pounds over my marriage, and divorce doesn't make it any easier, but this was nothing compared to my life after the "dot com" crash (~2000). I had a couple of good years in a world of technology under-my belt, but when the tech jobs dried up, I was looking for work and I tried "Roadside Assistance" (towing) on... That's a low-paying job if you're honest. While making  next-to-nothing I was granted an audience with the Ontario Courts courtesy of my ex-wife and the Family Responsibility office. You don't know stress until you're told you'll lose your license if you don't pay the full-amount of child support ($1200+)... I barely earned that as it was. That was the end of driving, and the beginning of weight-gain... I went from ~250 to ~300 pounds in a few months while trying to work without a license. I had a very supportive girlfriend who drove my to a dispatch job with the towing company, and a boss who did all she could to help me earn a living. It wasn't until I got the case heard and settled that I was able to leave towing. I was back to development, a favour from a friend, and then a job (~2003). I was back in technology, but the stress was over.

In retrospect I could have spent my time working out, but that seemed self-serving and I was trying to provide for my kids, work was it. I stabilized, but found myself out of work again, and trying to maintain support payments, without my parents that wouldn't have been possible, but work came my way again, though I weighted ~330 now in 2006. In 2009 I was again out of work... my weight increased to ~360... then last year on another hiatus from employment I peaked just above 380 pounds.

Three Hundred Eighty!

Then I took a new job, but not as a programmer, as desktop support. This job has me on my toes!

Have I solved anything though? No, not about me, my curse. No, I've created a scenario when I must be active to succeed in my role. This serves a purpose, but it is not solution, but a side affect, an affect of a loss of ~10 pounds in a month.

What needs to happen is a more drastic change, but consider this...

My day [ideally] begins at 4:40AM, waking up and getting out to walk the dog (the dog is a new addition too), this is a short walk because I need to be in the shower by 5:45AM and I need breakfast. By 6:05 I'm out of the bathroom and I'm out the door at 6:20AM... I return home ~6:10pm, make dinner for myself, my daughter, and spend an hour catching up with external-to-job things (~7:30pm). I walk the dog, then head for by ~9pm.

I live by the motto, "Happy to help, any time." I really need to find time to help me.

I need to make "me" a priority.


Employed! Now to Fix My Child Support.

Child support, I have always maintained, is a responsibility. If you are not the primary custodial parent you owe it to your kids to work hard to ensure your kids have what they deserve. The issue is some people have a problem with that word "deserve."

I don't, but I do have concerns about the attitude of the courts. In fact I can safely say I am wary of and distrustful of judges, but still I try to work out a support amount that's fair and reasonable based on my income, something I am honest about with my ex-wife, and the Canada Revenue Agency. So I truly resent when a judge tells me I haven't earned enough money when I dedicated my life to earning as much as I possibly could.

That aside, I am very happy to be employed again. Three weeks in and I'm getting my bearings and making a difference. It's a busy office, and a demanding role, and I'm not telling my ex-wife where I work, period. She's played games before, filing court actions rather than discussing things. The FRO knows I'm working and I'm paying the last agreed-upon amount reliably and I am 1 month ahead for safety's sake, but I do need to address my recent changes.

I'd like to get my finances in order, then look at the new value as one based on last year's income rather than some interim amount. My income last year (while on Employment Insurance) dropped by 27%, I reduced my support by much less than that when you factor that my daughter moved back in with me last September, but that doesn't matter much, what will matter is coming up with a fair deal this year, and not letting my ex-wife try to steam-roll the deal with unexpected expenses for my daughters, such as Hypnotherapy or Dental work that I simply cannot afford. This year, no deal unless I'm satisfied that the expenses are reasonable and necessary.

So, the deal I'm looking at is based upon my income last year, period. There's been no discussion of extra-ordinary expenses to date, so I will disregard them. I'm waiting on my tax forms to arrive (due by February 28th) and from that I can put together an arrangement. She can take it or leave it, and leaving it means we head back to court. My intent is to be fair.

Neither of us want this, but If I need to take that path I'll start with a new Form 15.