Grief and Grocery Lists

Favorite Photo of Dad

If you’re like me and half the people I know, Labor Day signifies the unofficial end to The Summer of Suck. Every other day I see another friend in my Facebook feed facing trials in his or her life. My own Summer of Suck goes a little something like this.

Our Sweet Baby Girl, Domino 2000-2014

July: Our 13-year-old shepherd/collie mix we’ve had since she was 5 weeks old had a horrible weekend and only made it another week before we had to put her to sleep on Monday, July 28th.

August: My dad went into the hospital for a nasty urinary tract infection, but his body was so weak from radiation and chemo treatments for lymphoma that he also developed pneumonia and passed away in the early morning hours of Sunday the 24th.

Later on that morning, as he drove us over to my parents’ house, my husband asked, “Should we grab some food for lunch?”

I looked at him and said, “Honey, we are in South Carolina, and I grew up Southern Baptist. We will be fine.”

I think the first round of food actually beat us to the house — Krispy Kreme donuts. From there, it was fried chicken tenders, creamed corn (fresh from the garden, no less), rolls (um, not whole wheat), green beans, macaroni and cheese, potato salad, and desserts — homemade pound cake, homemade carrot cake, homemade peanut butter pound cake, homemade coconut cream pie, and a Strossner’s (people of Greenville, SC, will understand) chocolate cake with fudge icing.

As an emotional eater, I could have stayed in a food coma all week long, and on Sunday and Monday, I did my fair share of snacking. What most likely kept me from complete binging was the fact that people brought more ham than fried chicken. If chicken ever becomes revered as a sacred animal, you will eventually be able to count my ribs. Ham, however, I’ve never been that fond of. I don’t mind it in stuff or on stuff, but I’m not one to stick a fork in a slice and chow down.

By Wednesday, I was craving a salad, and by Thursday, my brother admitted, “If I eat any more ham, I’m gonna grow a snout and a curly tail, and y’all will find me rooting around in the trash.” So then it was about where we would eat for lunch or dinner, because none of us were up for cooking.

I didn’t get back to the gym for two weeks, and I know that’s okay. I didn’t eat enough vegetables or drink enough water, and I’m not feeling guilty about it. I refuse to feel guilty about it, actually, and you can’t make me. You can try, but I have a southern mom and 42 years of building a tolerance to guilt trips. Just sayin’…

Life is going to throw you curveballs. Sometimes they’re going to smack you upside the head and you’ll have to wander and stumble to find your way to first base. Last week life went on — back to work, back to the grocery store, back to cooking, back to the gym. I took my curveball and made it to first base. Considering that I don’t play baseball — heck, I really don’t even care to watch it — I’d say I’m doing okay.

Carla Grant Kilpatrick

Carla Grant Kilpatrick is a writer and veteran dieter residing in Greenville, SC. Starting in the fourth grade, she has made dozens of attempts to lose weight throughout her 42 years, but it took a nurse practitioner telling her she was staring down a diabetes diagnosis to actually kick her ass in gear. Since March 15, 2014, Carla has lost 38 pounds (of a 90-pound goal), two pants sizes, and one (maybe one and a half) shirt size. You can read more about her weight loss journey <a href="">here</a> or read more about all the other crap going on in her life <a href="">here</a>.

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