Goals

This morning, as I was doing an abdominal workout, I realized that this is the first time in a very long time that I’ve continued to exercise after starting to see results. And then came the realization that I really want to have a 6 pack, be in the best physical shape possible, which means that I once again am starting to have goals and dreams, instead of settling for mediocrity.

The last time I had any sort of goals for my body or my life was 5 years ago. But then my dad died and I wanted to simply eat myself into oblivion. I was also dealing with an emotionally and verbally abusive husband as well. I am sure that if I had stayed in the marriage or house any longer, he would have become physically abusive as well. Add to that the fact that I am both mom & dad to my third child. So I slipped into autopilot/survival mode, and stayed there for a few years.

I was trapped in a cycle of emotional eating and depression that I knew I didn’t have the strength to get out of, and although I was and am a Christian, didn’t care enough about myself to accept help, Divine or otherwise. I was thankfully able to function enough to hold down a job, provide for my kids, and was blessed with an amazing metabolism so my struggles weren’t obvious to the casual observer.

But now, with my addictions confronted and dealt with (food, attention, approval), I am starting to have a sense of self-worth and realize that I’m worth deeper goals than just surviving each day while fitting into a single digit pants size.

The best (or worst) of online dating stories

Yesterday I weighed myself for the first time since kicking the sugar/caffeine addiction. The number on the scale floored me…I had dropped almost 10 pounds seemingly overnight, without trying! All of those years of focusing only on my weight, what size pants I wore, the latest diet fads, and it turns out that what I needed to do was change my focus and stop trying so hard.

That made me think about the only remaining addiction that I have, attention. Specifically male attention and approval. My whole sense of self-worth was based around whether I had a man in my life. All of my other accomplishments such as escaping from a horrible marriage, providing a nice, safe place for my children to live, being a good mom, and the incredible amount of personal growth I’ve achieved in the last few years, didn’t even register in my mind. All that seemed to matter was, was I being ‘good’ with food, and was I getting attention from any men.

I believe, in theory, on waiting for Gods perfect timing. And that all things happen for a reason, and will eventually work out for the best. Blah, blah, blah. Sometimes I’m extremely impatient and feel the need to try to help things along.
Sooo….enter the world of online dating. I had been single for over two years, which seemed like an eternity to me.

My first date in over two years was with someone who had described himself as being in shape, loved to jog, so we met at a park to walk. He showed up looking 20 years older than his pictures, walked with a limp, and we had to make frequent stops along the walking trail for him to use the restroom. Wow. After knowing me for exactly an hour, he wanted me to move in with him. Uh..no, thanks.

There were a few other memorable ones over the brief period of online dating. The one who stands out the most was the schizophrenic. Yes, sadly, you read that correctly. He somehow seemed perfectly normal in messages, but once he got my phone number, he revealed that he was unable to work and was on disability for his mental disorder. He spends all day in various therapy groups. Then was baffled about what he ‘said wrong’. A few months later he messaged me again, saying that according to that site, I was still a 99% match for him. That’s a slightly scary and depressing, I must admit.

Not one of the men I met looked anything like their pictures. One of them described himself as 5’10 but when we met, we were the same height. (I’m 5’3).

While I craved attention and approval (even from perfect strangers apparently), once anyone started showing me too much attention I would feel extremely anxious and not want anything to do with them. I knew I wasn’t ready emotionally for a relationship, but didn’t want to accept that as fact. So I kept trying until I basically had a breakdown physicaly, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

Now, I’m trying to turn over a new leaf. Thanks to Divine help the sugar/caffeine/junk food and ‘beauty’ addictions are well under control. I’m satisfied with my outer appearance for the first time in my entire life.
That has helped me to see the real problems underneath that I have always avoided dealing with. It’s not always a pleasant experience, but I am slowly being able to see that I can have self-worth, and self-esteem, regardless of external situations. And possibly, if I stop trying so hard to find someone besides my kids or family to love me, it just might happen by itself.

Half full

Despite the anguish and tears of yesterday, the fact that I only slept for four hours last night (which puts me at a grand total of 7 hours of sleep in the past two days), not to mention that during those 4 hours I apparently was grinding my teeth nonstop from sheer frustration to the point where I am unable to eat solid food today, feeling as if my head is going to split in half at any moment, along with feeling like shards of glass are in my eyes, I have decided to take the high road today.
I took extra care with my appearance despite never wanting to get out of bed again, put a smile on my face and decided to practice the fine art of forgiveness.

Trusting that God will once again turn an almost unbearably painful situation into a blessing has made it possible for me to spend the morning being extra kind to everyone who I have encountered, with a self reminder of the golden rule and how I don’t want my behavior to somehow be the cause of anyone else’s heartache.

Trying to keep seeing the glass as half full rather than half (or mostly) empty.

Life without comfort food

How do ‘normal’ people deal with feelings without diving headfirst into a giant box of brownies, cookies, or some other numbing comfort food?
Just as I was congratulating myself on abstaining from all of my addictions, BAM. Life knocked me off of my feet, or more aptly, kicked me in the shins and stole my snack out of my hand. Oh, wait, that was my two year old.

In a span of less than 12 hours, life went from being amazingly wonderful, feeling confident, and re-connecting with someone who I deeply care about, may possibly even be a little bit in love with, and had feared I had lost, to life being unbearably cruel with people scheming against me, and someone who I consider practically family betraying me. And no comfort food to numb the pain.

For the first time in my entire life, I am allowing myself to actually feel the pain of betrayal, loneliness, resentment and a host of other emotions, and it’s almost unbearable. I have always prided myself on how ‘strong’ I am by not showing my feelings to others, or even allowing myself to fully feel anything. Instead, I would eat, drink, and eat some more until all of thoseĀ  emotions were sufficiently tamped down.
However, today I cried at work, cried on the phone, cried through the two bites of dinner that I was able to force down, cried when my two year old was mean to me, cried when I couldn’t find her toothbrush. And then I cried some more. The thought of simply putting one foot in front of the other was exhausting, so I literally crawled upstairs (just so I would be far away from the refrigerator), got in the first bed I saw, and cried some more.

But on the bright side, I did not have even one bite or sip of anything unhealthy, and my new eye makeup is amazing in that it allows me to bawl my eyes out for hours on end, without smudging, running, or causing raccoon eyes. Oh, and I know that I actually do have emotions, not just a big ball of emptiness. That revelation just might be worth all those tears.

Changes

It’s amazing how much my life has changed in the brief period time since my last post. I have stayed away from caffeine, junk food and most carbs. That is nothing short of a miracle. The difference is, this time I didn’t make any changes for vain reasons, or to impress others.

I was tired of feeling so horrible physically, mentally and emotionally. Not to mention, only getting 3-4 hours of sleep per night did not help. Instead of struggling to drag myself out of bed every day, I wake up before my alarm, full of energy and voluntarily spend the next 45-60 minutes exercising.
I have enough energy now to cook a healthy meal for my kids after working a full day, then even have quality time where we play games, or just sit and talk. We even read bedtime stories every single night, like I’ve always wanted to, only never had the energy for. We are so much happier together and more affectionate towards each other.

The office always has abundant supplies of junk food, which I have never been able to turn down in the 4.5 years that I’ve worked there. Now, I’m not even tempted to sneak a taste. I’m being healthy and loving it!!!! The funny part is, now that I’m finally not seeking attention so desperately, I’m being showered with compliments and attention on a daily basis.

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Today was full of reminders of how my youngest child is covered by grace. She deserves her name, Grace. At the older kids’ soccer games, she almost fell off of the highest step of the bleachers, almost let an older kid convince her to jump off of the bridge on the playground, burned her thumb on the toaster (but no blisters), fell down in the parking lot but no injuries. Wow. I’m exhausted from the close calls, but very grateful.

I’m still avoiding caffeine, and today was my first day without refined sugar. My body was in serious withdrawal for most of the day, but feels much better now. I even exercised for 30 minutes.

Really, really hoping eating healthy and exercising helps with the insomnia/nightmare situation. I slept last night but had horrible, hideous nightmares about being trapped in a haunted house with killers who were after my children. Apparently was grinding my teeth from the stress of the dreams, because it hurt to move my jaws or open my mouth all day. Made it easier to not eat junk food, but I was exhausted from withdrawal so kept yawning constantly which hurt. Hope tonight is better.

Mountains and valleys

I had severe insomnia last night, not sure why, except that I can’t sleep when I’m hot. I finally fell asleep around 3:30 a.m. after being up for about 22 hours. I was up again by 6:30 a.m. As we were ready to walk out the door, I noticed the red Kool Aid covering the kitchen counter and floors. No one would admit to doing this, which was understandable after yesterday’s drink spilling episode at the restaurant, during which my 7 year old daughter actually used a straw to suck up the chocolate shake off of the floor. Wow.
So, we were late leaving, had to do the make-up in the car at work.

The day improved after that, but it’s interesting to me that directly following each day of ‘mountain top’ experience, where everything goes right, is a ‘valley’ experience where everything seems to go wrong. I’m thinking a day in the flat-lands sounds a lot more relaxing.