Thursday, February 27, 2014
Well, Spark Friends, it's been a long time since I've blogged. About 4.5 months to be exact. In all that time, I've been floundering and floundering, like a fish trapped on land.
Don't get me wrong, I have made some positive changes in my life since then. I joined Toastmasters in December, I started dating again in October (mostly positive, some negative), I joined a cardio kick boxing boot camp and am now doing yoga on a weekly basis. While I haven't been taking a huge amount of care for myself, I also haven't gained, although I think that's more from a lack of eating than anything else. So it hasn't all been negative these last 4.5 months, but I was certainly hoping to be a lot farther along in my goals achievements than I am now. This is what happens when I lose focus on my needs.
I have always had a hard time putting myself first. The best successes I have had in this program and in my life has been when I have put myself first. I still have a problem realizing that I don't need to care what others think of me for being "selfish". I could use a bit more "selfish" in my life and in my attitude. I need to come first. I read an article that talked about self-love and self-care and I realized just how much I was slipping on that front. I've talked a good game in the last 4.5 months, but I did not put back into practice what I'd learned and done since I'd started with Spark People.
Sweeping and grandiose statements about how all that changes don't work for me. I've made them and then felt crappy when I reneged on them. But I will say this: I am taking baby steps again down the right path. I've started this journey of a thousand miles by once again taking a single step which was to enroll in the Spark Coach Plateau Busting program. It's a small step towards self care again.
I will say this: I deserve to treat myself well. My needs are important. I matter. My health and well-being, physical and emotional, are priorities. Self care is self love! I do love myself and need to tell myself that every day, hug myself every day and take the best care of myself that I can. I am going to fall in love with well being again. I want it to be my forever relationship.
Monday, October 07, 2013
It's been a while since I've blogged. For the most part, I've been floundering. I have just had another relationship end and it was pretty devastating. This ending was so much worse than my separation from my ex-husband because I had fallen out of love with my husband years before we separated. This man I had loved for years; still do and likely always will. It is always hard to separate when love is still there, I think. When we broke up, I couldn't eat, couldn't sleep, couldn't exercise, felt alternatively numb and highly emotional. Definitely not the mostly calm even keel (except for the odd burst of anger that I feel now and then) that I felt when separating from my ex-husband.
I didn't gain weight, but I yo-yoed a bit, alternating between the times I could eat and the times I couldn't. I am still upset about my breakup, but I am starting to come to terms with it. I am reaching out to friends to help me through this. I know that I will come out stronger on the other side, but it will take time to heal and I must give myself that time.
At the same time, I am starting to take care of myself again. I made some delicious chicken soup from scratch last night (and which I will be having for lunch today). I ate a healthy breakfast and I will be eating a healthy meal tonight. I am starting to weigh and measure again today because I'm a bit out of practice. I am going to yoga tonight and I will also do one of Coach Nicole's videos.
I will be using the pain I am feeling to push me through in order to make positive changes in my life.
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Well, it caught up with me. I've been feeling unmotivated the last few weeks. On top of that, I've managed (and not really sure how I did it) to read my scale completely wrong. Instead of going down, I've been going up. I guess because I expected to see it go down that's what I saw. To be fair, though, I mis-remembered my last weigh in number and assumed it was a loss. So, I've corrected it on my Weight Chart and have resolved to get back to basics. Now I have to adjust to the fact that I've lost 61 lbs and not 72 lbs as I've been thinking. Still, I think I knew deep down that I didn't have the weight off. My body didn't feel any differently and I think that it would with 10 lbs difference. I am trying to not let it derail my efforts and realize that the scale is just a number and it doesn't define who I am as a person, or reflect on my weight journey so far.
What exactly does back to basics mean? For me, it means measuring my food, weighing my food and more importantly, cooking my food! I can't afford to keep buying my dinner. The calories are adding up and the weight was creeping back. Once in a while, it's OK, but not every night! So it's back to cooking again. It's not much fun cooking for one and that's what gets to me after a while. I don't really feel like just making one meal. I have to get over feeling that way. I am worth the effort to make myself a healthy meal. I am worth the effort it takes to make myself a delicious lunch to bring to work.
Do you hear that, self? I am worth it!! So what that I haven't been lucky in love and that I am separated! That also does not define who I am! That does not define my worth! I won't let it, but it does bring up another issue for me. Many people have told me that I am the strongest person they know. I've often thought, but then who takes care of me? The answer to that is no-one. I have to take care of myself.
That was brought home rather forcefully when I was getting my hospital card re-issued because of my name change. Who was my next of kin? Well, I don't have family here. My closest family is 1000 km away and she is my frail 85 year old mother. Not exactly who I would want them to call in an emergency. My sister is 4000 km away on BC's west coast. Fortunately for me, the technician relented and allowed me to designate a close friend as my contact. Since the hospital card was for blood tests before I see my oncologist, the thought going through my head was, what the hell do I do if the cancer comes back? And the answer to that is that I'd better take really good care of myself and hope that I win the recurrence lottery.
Also, back to basics means exercising! Exercise has always boosted my mood, so why I haven't been doing any, I don't know. My entire living pattern has been thrown off since I got back from visiting my mother this summer and dealing with the stress of finding a care home for her, as well as dealing with the various freak-outs she's been having. It's exhausting! I still need to take care of myself, since no-one else can do that for me and I have to remember that if I am not taking care of myself, I won't be able to take care of anything else.
This blog is kind of all over the place, but the gist is that I start to eat properly, track, weigh & measure, cook for myself, get stress under control, and exercise. Piece of fruit, right? (I'd say piece of cake, but I've never liked cake!) No problem! Easy peasy!
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
I had lunch with my ex-husband yesterday. We are still friends, so seeing each other occasionally to catch up on each other's lives is just what friends do. He reminded me that today would have been our wedding anniversary.
He told me that he was going to send me an email today about the anniversary but didn't know how to do it without being an ass. He wanted to acknowledge the fact that we had a lot of good years together and also acknowledge the day we got married.
I honestly don't know how to feel about it. I'd removed the date from my calendar. Unlike most stereotypical relationships, my ex was the one to remember the date of our anniversary. If I didn't put it in my calendar, I would forget every year. To be reminded of it now feels weird and uncomfortable and makes me feel a bit emotional. Sad.
I'm happy that we're apart. I like my ex so much better now that I'm not married to him. We get along better, I'm able to tell him what I think without immediate criticism and we are just more comfortable with each other this way. But I still mourn the relationship end, I think. It wasn't what I wanted it to be and I wasn't who I wanted to be in it.
We've been separated now for 6 months and will be filing for divorce in another 6. I guess I should have expected to feel this way on this day, but I didn't. I'm also feeling a bit like a big failure today. I'm trying not to feel that way, trying to use logic to let myself off the hook. A relationship isn't just one person, I know that. But I am doing a fair bit of questioning my judgement today and I have to keep reminding myself that looking back always has 20/20 vision. I really didn't fail. The choices I made led me to where I am now, for better or worse. I hope it's for the better.
Ultimately, all I can do going forward is to be as authentic as I can be. Being true to the changes that I've made for myself during these last 7 months at Spark People has been my saving grace.
I will get through this and this, too, shall pass.
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
As I am transforming into a newer, healthier, improved me, I've learned a great deal about myself in the last few months on Spark People. Some of it good, some of it not so wonderful, some I knew already but needed confirmation or acknowledgement in my own mind.
I am strong. I've had to be for most of my life because in my family I'm the strong, dependable, reliable one. If you want something done, give it to Gwen because she will get it done. I didn't want to be the strong one and yet at the same time, got a sort of perverse satisfaction from it. Now I am ready to truly own it. Why should I be ashamed of being strong? Why should I not be happy about my ability to handle just about anything without breaking? To use some Celtic imagery, I am the oak tree. Strong winds will buffet me, but I will always come through fairly intact. That's not to say that there isn't upheaval that I go through; there is always that. What is changing for me is that now I acknowledge the upheaval instead of denying it.
I am independent. I've learned to handle all the things around the house that my ex husband did and I just didn't worry about before. They are now my own responsibility and while I don't like doing some of those things (coughcough*mowing the lawn*coughcough), I do get a sense of accomplishment from knowing that the only thing that prevents these things from getting done is me. I can do it on my own schedule and I am the one in control of it. There isn't anyone around telling me that I'm doing it wrong.
I need my friends and family. I need to have love in my life. I am an extrovert and I need people. I have come to see it as a plus instead of a minus. How much people time I get is completely up to me. I have people who love me in my life and whom I love. People who would bury a body if I needed them to and they know I would do the same for them. For too many years I had built walls around me to prevent me from getting hurt. Today, those walls are mostly down, although there are a few residual ones.
I've learned that most of the things I told myself I couldn't control, like my appetite or my ability to choose healthier foods for myself were simply not true. I make the choices for this body. I decide what I want to eat and when. With the help of all the tools that Spark People provides, I have learned about my eating habits then and now. I have learned that good, healthy food is what I crave these days. If I want something sweet, then grapes, cherries, dates are my go-to foods.
I have learned that while I'm not hugely crazy about exercise, I am crazy about what it does for me. I can move so much better these days and I always feel healthier. I am not sick anywhere near as much as I used to be and while I do a bit of complaining about having to constantly buy smaller and smaller clothes, I am really enjoying how I look and feel in them. My flexibility is getting better all the time and I have so much more energy.
There will always be challenges in my life. I used to want my life to go so smoothly along and was so disappointed when something happened that I had to deal with. And disappointed is probably a mild word. I retreated fairly often into day-dreams of what it would be like if I won the lottery or any other life changing event. I included my (ex) husband in those events, but I recognize now that it was very reluctant inclusion. I couldn't really picture him and I together for the long haul and I didn't want to face it, so was in denial. I've learned that I don't want to go through life with my eyes closed to the challenges that face me. They have so much less significance and power if I face things bravely and head on. It's harder, of course, not wrapping myself up in cotton. It's not safe. But even "safe" wasn't safe. Safe is an illusion that I've been chasing for most of my life and like perfection, it's unobtainable.
I don't know where I'll be in my life 6 months from now (except filing for divorce), or what emotional, physical and mental challenges are yet to come. I'm a little at peace with the fact that I don't know, which used to drive me crazy before -- and if I'm honest, still does to an extent. For me, the big picture now is that I want to be happy. Not all the time, but most of the time. This doesn't mean I will be fabulously rich or have lots of things. That's not happiness. For me, happiness is having people who love me and support me in my life. That makes me one of the richest women in the world and at last I know that.
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