Polar Bear

Polar Bear
My Boy

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Year and a Goal-come and gone

One year ago tomorrow, I lost my boy.

One year ago I was sitting on the floor of his room, covered in white hair and pee, because he was stress shedding as he was peeing himself and could not stand anymore.

I was cramping and crying.  I remember what I was wearing, not just because I still look at the pictures. I don't need the pictures to take me back to that day.  
I have not worn that shirt since.
The last day
After he was gone, I cried and hugged him for about a half hour-watching the color of his nose turn from blood-perfused pink to hypoxic purple.  I covered him in a sheet, stood up and accidentally stepped on his foot.  I actually apologized, but he didn't pull it away-it all became more real with each passing second.

While trying to lift his body into transport to the crematorium, I threw out my back-just desserts in my opinion.

I clipped some of his hair which I still carry in a ziplock baggie in my wallet.  Hair and ashes are all I have left.  Or so I thought...

I was 250+ pounds (still harboring a $10K lapband that I failed to use), depressed, and totally uninterested in life.  After he was gone, life held even less meaning.
Before Polar's Death:  March 2010-I actually felt thin that night, I'm hiding behind a plant in the dark , and I'm still HUGE.
My husband didn't know what to do, bless his heart.  I cried everyday for 3.5 months.  I tried really hard not to cry in front of anyone, except Pauli, my brown furry therapist...
In March 2010 prior to losing Polar: with the Fudger

And I tried to understand why I was so upset over the death of a DOG.  Then I stopped looking at the pictures of his last day, and started to remember him this way...
 And this way...
And I realized why I was grieving so hard-
Polar WAS what little zeal I had for life-the sliver of optimism and motivation and perseverance that I was struggling to find and hold-he had it in spades.

He was my role model.  Deaf and partially blind, doing everything he wanted to do, and trying everything even though he often failed.  He never stopped trying new things, repeatedly finding the joy in life.


I didn't have to look far to find my joy, because he gave it to me.  I received the sliver of everything positive I needed in him, as well as in bits of everyone and everything else-except for myself.  

I had stopped trying to push myself to find my own fire, when or why exactly I don't know... But I was living off of Polar.  When he died, I had no choice-my silver lining was gone.  I hibernated, slept away my free time, retreated into grief, ate even more.  I am sure I was clinically depressed, and at times I still feel the all-consuming grief.


When I lost Polar, I realized that alot had changed, and that I was the only one not changing.  If I wasn't going to change and acknowledge what he gave me-respect his memory-then I may as well check out-permanently.  Because I was not living, not really.


Two weeks later I went to Medifast-walked in on a Saturday morning.  Plopped down my credit card, and a thousand dollars or so later, I chose my path.


For me, it was the road less traveled.  I chose change, to push myself, find my fire.  In part because I knew Polar would never forgive me for giving up, since he did so much more with so much less.  But mostly because I knew if I didn't take a risk to change my life, then his lessons would be for naught, and it would be as if he never existed-and what a loss that would be.  Let's face it-I was on a path with an early death.

So I sit here today, 160 pounds.  Shattering my goal of 161 by a whole pound.
When I think I still have a fat body in this pic from last weekend, I look at it in reference to my hand size...
Sure I would like to lose 15 more, if that is even possible with my body type.  

But I am going to Turks and Caicos in two weeks with my wonderful husband, and for the first time, I am enthusiastic about sitting on the beach in a bathing suit.


Now I can cross my legs without having to squeeze them to stay that way, I have no cankles, and I don't feel like my arms are stuffed sausage casings...and apparently I have collarbones and shoulder blades.  I walk down a hallway and look passersby in the EYE.  Who knew?!


I still see a fat girl in the mirror, and that may take years to reverse, but I am starting to believe the compliments.  Or at least I am not immediately refuting them...


But for once, I am happy and hope actually seems possible...And I know Polar is proud of me.
Three weeks ago in San Antonio
Thank you to everyone who has been with me on this journey.  I love you guys.

26 comments:

Jo said...

You have come so far in a short (although it doesn't seem so to you, I'm sure) time. Polar would be proud.

Jennifer said...

What an amazing post! Thanks so much for sharing. Although I dont know you, I have enjoyed reading your blog, and I am so proud of you!!!! And, you look great!!!!

Jennifer

Waisting Time said...

I was just thinking about you today, wondering what was going on in your life since it seemed you had not posted in a while. What a beautiful tribute to Polar. And your smile in that last photo warms my heart:)

Amy @ Findingfitme said...

Amazing post with great insight. You glow now. So happy to hear from you. I too have been wondering how you are. 160 is amazing. Great job.

Sarah said...

You look fantastic.
I'm so sorry for your doggy, even though it's been a year.
I hope you keep up the good work.

Sarah
notaneffingdiet.blogspot.com

Jeanette said...

(hugs and love) I love this post, I happened upon your page today for the first time and am glad this is the post I saw.

I cried for you and Polar. I lost my best friend, Loki, last year. It took months before I could stop thinking about how he looked in the end. But he was full of life and happiness and I try to remember that most of all.

I just wanted to say how much I relate to this post (with the dog and the weight loss both) and am so happy for you. That last picture of you and your husband is adorable and that smile is infectious.

Shine on!

Ann said...

Wow - I haven't been a reader for a year, and I had no idea the whole story. My heart breaks for what you've gone through, and Polar would love you JUST as much today - he'd be SO PROUD of what you've accomplished. Keep up the awesmoe work, you are truly an inspiration!!

The Fat Mom said...

Such an amazing post! You've come a long way chicka.

Sarah G said...

Your transformation is nothing short of amazing! Congratulations!!

Mom to the Fourth Power said...

That is one AMAZING story girl! From despair and mourning and defeat to courage and conquering and triumph! Polar would be proud. Kudo's to you for not letting it lick you but for making that choice to live your life! You are unstoppable girl!!! Life it GOOD!

~Margene

birchgirl said...

Good to see your post, and that pic of you and your husband is AWESOME. You look great.

Auntie Mandy said...

What did you say to me when I hit 159.6? Well, you are there now! Good job! You make Auntie Mandy proud!

Tim said...

Congratulations! This was an amazing post! So sorry to hear the story about Polar.

Dawn said...

What an achievement - you look fantastic.
I know losing Polar was dreadful for you. Nothing we can say can help make any of it any less painful. I'm sorry to read the story, so sad.
You have so much to remember happily despite the pain, and looks like you have many other good things in life. Enjoy them all
Dawn

The Ninja said...

Hey PM, Where ya Been? We are all missing you.

This was an amazing post and it has made me tear up all three times I read it. You look amazing and happy in that last picture, what an amazing tribute to your furry friend, your happiness will be his legacy.

Trisha said...

As I wipe away the tears streaming down my face, I just wanted to say, that you are such an amazing person! such a big heart and you are doing an amazing job. Polar would be beyond proud of his mommy.

MissMommie said...

Wonderful tribute to Polar. My Gracie, I tell my children that she is my favorite child, turned 10 yesterday and I dread when her day comes. You do look happy in the picture with your husband.

Michele said...

There is such growing self awareness in every sentence of this post. You have been to hell and back in many ways in this past year. Life is a journey and this post illustrates that point in many ways. You may have lost close to a 100 pounds. but, you have gained insight and hope. I am so very happy for you. Bravo! Enjoy the beach and swimsuit!

Susie said...

what a beautiful post! What a beautiful memory of Polar! Polar is so proud of you! You are beautiful!!!

fatgirlwearingthin said...

I was thinking about you this morning and am so glad that I popped on over, despite the fact that I'm practically a month behind on such a beautiful post. Nonetheless, I wanted you to know 3 things: one, sometimes the only comfort we have when we think of our dogs leaving us is the way we know they were loved. Your tribute to Polar brings me less sadness about him these days and more joy, because of the special way you loved him.
Two, I loved the quote where you wrote that everything around you was changing but you. I have issues with that and need to be reminded that I can't just put on the brakes whenever I feel like something is moving somewhere that I don't like. Thank you.
Three, you are a beautiful woman and these are the first photos of you I've ever seen. Thank you for sharing those as well.
On another note, 5 weeks ago we rescued a female golden from a puppy mill in Missouri - four years old and had never seen the outside of her cage before. I've posted about it a few times and always think of you when I do. Hope you're doing well. Miss you.

Natasha said...

Reading about Polar brought tears to my eyes. He will always be your baby. He would be so proud of you and I'm happy for you, you look great and you look happy. Have a wonderful trip :)

Katie J said...

Just thinking about you and wanted to say hello! Hope all is well with you.

Michele said...

Just thinking of you, too. I hope you are doing okay. We miss your presence on blogger. Michele

Call Me Ishmael said...

Beautiful Polar pics. He looks gorgeous and happy. And you look great :-)

Monique said...

Beautiful, just beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing. You look amazing and happy and I am grateful always for your blog :-)

Lyn said...

Would love to hear an update on how you are doing now! Hugs, you made Polar proud.