Saying Goodbye and the Last Meal

This is my Grandpa.

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I took this picture when we were butchering hogs this past winter.  Butchering is a time-honored tradition my family has done for decades.  We all gather, even the youngest kids, to process and prepare the meat from hogs and cattle raised on our family farms.  The meat goes in our freezer to be used throughout the year.

Butchering with Grandpa is one of my favorite things to do by his side.  And now it’s tucked safely away as a great memory.

We lost Grandpa a few weeks ago.  While he hadn’t been in the best of health, I never expected him to be gone.  Grandpa was very solid in his faith and I have no doubt that he is in the presence of God now.  Yet, I long for a hug, kiss on the cheek or a chat with him.

Grandpa called me Jammer.  It was a nickname he gave me when I was quite small.  I loved hearing him holler “Jammer” at me.  I’m not sure I ever really heard him call me Jeanette.

The last time I saw Grandpa was just two weeks before he passed away.  As we were enjoying the day, I had a fleeting thought that I should take a picture of him and I.  It had been some time since I took a picture of us together.  But the negative voices in my head talked me out of it.  Because I look terrible in pictures.  Because I’m fat, my butt is big, my face is too round, my hips are ugly.  So I didn’t take the picture.  And now the moment is gone.  I can’t get rid of that horrible, negative selftalk and blame placed squarely at my feet.

I am the oldest grandchild on this side of the family.  I was blessed to have him for 41 years.  Who actually gets to say that anymore?  He lived a great life, worked hard, and enjoyed the simpler things in life.  I treasure every memory, but long for so much more.

Since he passed away, I’ve been feeding the empty feelings and pain with food.  I already was overweight, but the number on the scale is approaching a ridiculous amount and I’ve gone into panic mode.  I never want to eat again.  I want to try some crazy quick-fix diet plan to get the weight off.  I want to go explore bariatric surgery and subject myself to something that truly scares me.

Instead, I’m trying to take a deep breath and make a plan.

Starting with looking back.  This was my last crazy meal.


I ate this one night after a very long day at our Indiana State Fair.  It’s high fat, extremely tasty cajun food.  Complete with cheese bread that is so very yummy.  Yet I know my arteries were clogging as I enjoyed it.

So what changes are going to be made? Small ones, baby steps, one at a time changes.  Anytime I’ve tried to lose weight, I’ve jumped in feet first and end up falling on my butt. So I’m going to take it little by little.  This week, I’m starting with ending my affair with Diet Pepsi.  I drink a 32 ounce Diet Pepsi every morning on my 85 minute commute to work.  I know those are not good for me.  So this morning I drank water.  And a bit of coffee.  Let’s not lie, I still want caffeine.  But only a small cup of coffee.

I’m also going to start lifting weights this week.  I’ve found a plan that is a 12-week lifting/cardio plan.  But there aren’t rest days built in and I’m a bit hesitant to once again jump in feet first.  So I’m going to modify it to include a few days of rest and see what kind of progress I will make.

I’ve often wondered if I would have more friends if I was skinnier.  Are people ashamed to be seen next to the girls with big hips?  Do we only want to hang out with people who make us look good?  Don’t get me wrong.  I have a big group of friends and a few who I know are by my side through thick or thin.  I love them immensely.  But have you ever wondered if someone would talk to you if you were thinner? I guess I have.

Want to join me?  I could use some accountability!  Now, for my local friends who may see me drinking a Diet Pepsi at an early morning cross country meet or basketball game, feel free to question me!  Just be prepared to step back. I  may bark at you!

I’ll blog my ups and downs.  The good and bad.  And will hopefully be able to show an improved me in about 6 months.  Maybe then I’ll share my weight and what I’ve lost.  But until then, that number is too embarrassing to share!  I’ll also tweet my progress.  Find me on Twitter as @indianawinebabe.  Follow #healthyfencerows to link to the blog and let’s share the journey together!

Loosing Grandpa was a big wake up call.  I miss him so much.  But I can’t keep feeding the emotions with food.  I’ve always fed my emotions.  And it’s taking its toll on my body.  Time for a change.

Now I’m off to find my workout clothes.






  1. Oh my dear one! My heart aches for you as I walk in similar shoes on many fronts. Decades of my life undocumented because of shame, wondering if my aloneness is because I’m not pretty and petite, negative self-talk that has sabotaged efforts both personally and professionally. As you know, I’ve been working on myself this year. I am still working hard to regain ground lost to illness this summer. I want to be an accountability partner with you.

    • You are so sweet! As you know, I’ve been impressed with your steady pace to lose the weight and find your happy. And I’m taking you up on the accountability partner deal!!

  2. This must be my week to join in the blogger plans. Already signed up to try out Jent’s meal planning, and now, after just returning from my weight loss doctor, I need to recommit to the program. The good news from the doctor is that I didn’t gain any weight between the last time we saw each other (right before the fair) and today, but the number on the scale is, as you said, “ridiculously unacceptable!” I’m in! Are you going somewhere to do your weight lifting program or are you doing it at home. I need to add that to the mix of diet and walking, but I’m not sure how to go at it out here in the middle of nowhere. Running to Lafayette 3-4 times a week just isn’t an option, especially with harvest just around the corner. Maybe trying to haul mu butt straight up a grain bin 3-4 or one time would be a start. 🙂 Love yourself Jeanette, and this comes from one who needs to do the same. We are the only ones who can fix this specific emptiness in ourselves.

    • I told Jent I was going to get motivated to meal plan as well! I am only 6 minutes from the closest small town. There is a small gym in town that I belong to. Nothing too fancy but has weight machines and free weights. Plus a few treadmills and ellipticals – all of which I hate! I’d rather run in 20 below zero than to get on a treadmill! Know I’m here for you cheering you on too.

      • We have a treadmill and an elliptical….. I also have resistance bans I might blow the dust off of and use. One day at a time, and if you and your grandpa are like me and my grandma, you can always have a conversation from the heart. Hugs

  3. Jeanette,
    This brought tears to my eyes. You are such a beautiful woman and I love your new commitment! You are setting the bar and that it where all the magic of reaching your goals begins. Keep up those baby steps and remember that it really IS just ONE step at a time! It’s OK if we falter…it happens to everyone. The important thing is to keep getting back up. There is no failure in trying and achieving! I’m with you!!

  4. So proud of you!! I know exactly what you mean about the selftalk. But with the more successes you achieve, the smaller that voice will get.
    So excited to watch your progress and just know that you aren’t doing it alone!!
    So proud to call you a friend 🙂

  5. Get it girl! You can do it! I was addicted to Dt. Mt. Dew and enjoyed a 32 oz fountain drink on my work commute too. I took the Advocare 24-day challenge and kicked my Dew habit to the curb. I replaced the Dew with Advocare’s Spark and I highly recommend it. It gives me the energy and boost that I need in the morning and it tastes great too! I am not all about a quick fix by any means – but Spark really did change my life! And I’m not even saying that because I sell it because I don’t LOL! Small changes make the difference! Good luck – you have a lot of wonderful friends cheering you on!

    • Thanks! I think my energy is going to come back just by getting out and moving. At least I hope so! Glad you are having success!

  6. Thank you so much for having the courage to post this! We after go through life feeling like we are the only ones who struggle with this problem. Now that my girls are getting older i want to be healthy and fit and worry if they are embarrassed of my weight. I here myself say all the time. “If I was smaller I could wear that or I could do that”. I am so disappointed in myself for allowing my weight to get so out of hand. My energy level is so low sometimes it’s hard to get up of the couch. thanks again for your courage and I pray it will help to motivate me. I will keep you in my prayers.

    • You are beautiful Tina!! But I do understand the struggle with energy. it’s hard to want to workout when you are exhausted!

  7. You definitely aren’t alone in wondering if you’d have more friends and/or if people would like you more if you were thinner. That is exactly why I never got involved in anything and didn’t try to make friends the first time I lived in Indiana. I figured no one would like me if I wasn’t skinny so I didn’t even try. You are awesome!! I know how hard it is to deal with that negative self talk. Too bad the livestock can’t just chase those thoughts away LOL. Best of luck with the early morning workouts!!

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