Monday, January 8, 2018

Jan 8 - It’s Not Easy Living with Diseases and Stuff.

Daily Report
Lesson: Why I Joined Weight Watchers in 2000

I suffer from many ailments and discomforts, all caused by an autoimmune disease – Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome, also called Lupus Anticoagulation or Hughes Syndrome. I fight for a quality of life.  There are somethings we have to live with, but there are still steps we can take to make our lives better. Here’s an excerpt from my unedited book. 

Unlike most, the Ebony Fashion Fair, of 1999 was a changing moment for me.  Mother and I entered the Music Hall venue with 1000 or more of our best dressed friends, outfitted to impress, or perhaps compete against the rather tall, slender fashion models.  At the door, I was pulled aside, and the ticket handler noted my name and commented on my outfit.  I thought nothing of it. 

Mother suggested it was because I was dressed differently than the other attendees.  I had reached under my bed, and pulled out the one African dress garb that I had.  It was like a one dish casserole.  It was a tent over my distended belly and growing body, and it came with its own headdress for my bad hair day, which were becoming more frequent. Remind you, many attendees were clothed in their best St. John’s suits, or Sunday hatted suits that I have yet to figure out where people buy those brightly colored outfits.  I’ve never seen them on the racks of Nordstrom or at my favorite Kansas City store, Halls.  But I decided this was a great chance to wear this African dress for the second time.  The first being at my godchild’s baptism in Washington D. C.  It was an African baptism and theme, and I had purchased this inexpensive outfit at the River Market in KC. 

My dress and the matching headdress was stunning and full of gold, and maroon.  I carried a fan in my hand.  It was necessary, functional, and not part of the outfit, but a comfort for hot-flashes which were God’s way, I was convinced, of reminding me that I was unworthy of a life of comfort. 

Seated during the last act before intermission, I pulled out the fan.  I was hot and miserable from sitting and watching people march around half naked in outfits that I would never buy, when a woman slid up to the aisle and beckoned for me to follow her.  I glanced to mother, but it was one of her best friends, Mrs. Helen Boswell, that gave me a nod as to say, follow her.  Mrs. Boswell was an Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority sister.  It was this group that was sponsoring the Ebony Fashion Fair.  I got up and followed the woman who escorted me to a back room.  There was a panel of judges that asked me a few questions, and made me walk, turn around, and walk some more.  If you’ve ever been to the Ebony Fashion Fair, this scene might be familiar to you.  Somewhere in the fashion show they habitually highlight regular shaped people from the audience to model their own fashion. I was chosen to model my $65.00 outfit on stage in front of the crowd.  I was embarrassed and miserable. 

The others who were chosen were hams.  I was shy and unsure of myself, knowing that at any time I would break out in a sweat.  And actually, the hot - flash that began when I got on stage, did not end until I strolled offstage.  So I modeled my African garb while nervously fanning myself and praying for a quick exit.  I did not enjoy my fifteen “seconds” of fame.  But, I did join weight watchers the next day.  First meeting was Jan 2, 2000. Just because I was sick, was no excuse for me to be ashamed of my weight.

Take charge of the small things and seize the moment. It wasn't an easy 9 months to get to my goal weight, but I reached it, and have maintained for seventeen years. One of the best gifts I ever gave myself. 

Kathleen Brandt
Put It Into Action Series

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