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I haven't blogged for so long!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Sorry, Sparkfriends--I've been remiss. The thing is, life has been very very full in recent weeks: two trips (including a three-day literary festival), finishing up judging the poetry contest, trying hard not to fall behind in my day job, reviewing a VERY long poetry-book manuscript (freelance job), accompanying my Indian friend to the hospital because her English isn't very strong yet (the news was good, thank God!), etc. etc. etc.

Having the divorce over with really did allow me to shift gears, but my life has a LOT of gears to shift at the moment!

And I have to confess that my good intentions haven't been strong enough to keep me on track with exercise & eating during these weeks. That's another reason I haven't blogged--I don't feel too proud of myself as a Sparker/Starfish. It could have been LOTS worse--I haven't gone on any ridiculous binges or anything--but I'm a bit anxious about our next weigh-in (I'll be in town this time, after being away the past two Saturdays). My clothes feel snugger than they did, so I'm pretty sure the numbers will go up a bit instead of down.

I need to figure out how to get back on track without neglecting the various balls that I'm juggling these days. Gearshifting & juggling--there's a mixed metaphor for ya. I guess my life IS a mixed metaphor these days!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHANSHE 5/14/2012 1:04PM

    :) You will figure it out.. life seems to be about "adjusting" to one thing or another and you always adjust well!
Hugs,
Shan

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MADAMES 4/29/2012 5:31AM

    You are not alone, Ruth. I am another Starfish who has not benefited from the Spring Challenge in the way I had hoped. For me, too, life became really hectic and stressful. Instead of losing 5%, I have actually gained weight during the challenge! I could kick myslef, but instead I choose to begin anew .. I am with you on the road to more healthful eating habits and more faithful exercise planning this summer.
Evelyn
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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 4/27/2012 11:49AM

    It's OK, you had some big changes in your life and you are juggling a LOT. All will be ok. Now you know you need to get back on track and you haven't let it get so bad (like me). Crossing my fingers for you, Ruth!

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BEATLETOT 4/27/2012 8:47AM

    Wow! You sure have been really busy! I hope things calm down for you soon, and I hope the weigh-in tomorrow is good news! =)

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CZARINA_TV 4/27/2012 7:21AM

    You know, when I can't get anything else in, I try to go for a walk and run an errand that's a bit far away. It clears my head and I get in a mile or so of exercise. It works for me...

Good luck juggling! I feel like I'm getting squeezed from all sides lately and I hope that passes for both of us.

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RUNNERRACHEL 4/26/2012 11:12PM

    Well, you're definitely keeping busy!

Your life is shifting gears and it is a transition that will definitely settle down. I'm glad you feel like you can move forward and you are doing great in all areas. Don't worry too much about the scale. Maybe you have not gone up too much or maybe not at all... I'm hoping for you!

Good to hear from you! Even if you're busy it's important that you take time for yourself and take care of yourself. So I hope you can find some time to yourself in the midst of all you are doing.

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SUZBOISANNE 4/26/2012 7:49PM

    Hang in there, things will calm down. I hope you will have some down time to regroup. Sounds like things are happening and changing all at once. I'll be praying to the "scale" god for ya !!

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Making way for newness

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Turned out that the March 27 court date was still valid--but now it was to finalize the divorce. Oh, what a HUGE BLESSING it is to have this done at last!

When my lawyer asked me, before the judge, whether I considered the settlement "fair & reasonable," I paused. Simple agreement would have been false. Then it came to me: "It's adequate," I said. Sometimes adequate is the best we can get from a flawed system & a very flawed ex. And so I'll take it.

I want to thank so many of you who have commented or messaged me with words of caring. You have blessed me so abundantly. emoticon It is wonderful not to be alone.

Today I talked with my therapist about how to use the new emotional space that has opened up in my life, now that I don't have to think about the divorce process anymore. For example, I've been nominated for elder at my church. A ton of nominations came in, so even if I said I was open to being elected it might not happen. And quite recently I was feeling rather disappointed in the church & not sure I wanted to stay there. But I've been encouraged by some recent developments, & being an elder would be an opportunity for me to help shape the church's responses to marriage crises among members in the future. This is an urgent issue, as a good friend is facing divorce from a former member right now. There are other ways I'm interested in leading/serving too. So I'm mulling that over.

There are other realms of newness, but I want to focus here on SP stuff. In regard to fitness & weight loss, I want my newness to be expressed as new commitment:
* actually starting my bedtime routine at 10:00 each evening, Sunday through Thursday
* getting up each morning in time to exercise
* reinstituting a regular cardio/ST pattern
* continuing to eat good food, but LESS of it!

I've started today by eating three good meals + one little piece of Colombian chocolate. Supper was my smallest meal; though I was tempted to add a couple more foods to it, I didn't succumb.

Off with those divorce pounds!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHANSHE 4/12/2012 12:39PM

    You sound lighter already! YAY!
Shan

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SUZYWM 4/1/2012 2:10PM

    I'm so happy for you - to be able to move past the divorce is a huge blessing. Have a joyful week!

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 3/30/2012 12:30PM

    Yay! So glad for your new beginning! Those divorce pounds will melt away now that you've got that weight off your shoulders!

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COLLINSCJ2012 3/30/2012 2:53AM

    Thank goodness that you are no longer a hostage to your ex. It is nice that you were able to take a walk through the park after court. emoticon

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BEAUTY_WITHIN 3/29/2012 3:30PM

    I'm glad everything is working out well! Sorry to hear that the divorce was neccesary, but I'm happy that its over for you. That has to be a huge weight off your back!
Your goals sound very reasonable! emoticon
Can't wait to see the progress you make!
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4LEEFCLOVER 3/29/2012 1:35PM

    emoticon emoticon

You are emoticon !

Thanks for sharing your journey through this tough time. It is encouraging to see it through to a reasonable outcome

and new doors are open for you! emoticon

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RUNNERRACHEL 3/29/2012 12:14PM

    Glad to read your blog! You're doing great. I love your goals.

"Adequate" is the right word!

That would be great to help shape the direction of the church and also counsel others.



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BEATLETOT 3/29/2012 8:18AM

    I would so take you out to celebrate, too! You are so clever and so good with words. I think accuracy and honesty in expressing oneself is so important and admirable! Much love to you!

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CTEMPLE 3/29/2012 12:27AM

    Congratulations dear Ruthie and it's Spring!

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MTULLY 3/28/2012 9:51PM

    If I were there, I would take you out to celebrate! I am so relieved that the divorce is finalized and you can move on to other things. I am sure that you feel like the weight of the world has been lifted from your shoulders. I am so happy for you! Congrats also on sticking to your food plan for the day. You are definitely a woman on a mission!
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Comment edited on: 3/28/2012 9:51:56 PM

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So what happened is this:

Thursday, March 22, 2012

X was trying to get large chunks of cash from me in the divorce settlement. But the only possible source for that would have been the condo I live in (whose down payment & mortgage payments I've paid without a single penny from him), & it's been shown to be significantly underwater at present. There's no other money; my very thorough discovery paperwork proves that.

On the other hand, there is significant marital debt, which X was largely responsible for running up but on which he has not paid a penny. I'm paying down these credit cards myself. In the meantime, since he moved out he has accumulated nearly $17,000 in credit card debt on his own new cards. In just over a year & a half. Uh-huh.

So he nevertheless proposed a settlement that would involve a significant payout from me beyond the token amount that Illinois law would award him from the retirement $$ I managed to save during the marriage, plus my retaining all the marital debt.

We responded with a generous offer: I do retain all the marital debt (which is shrinking), while he retains his personal debt (which is ballooning), & he gets the token retirement $$ &, when I retire, half of my pension $$ that accumulated during the marriage (this is also required under IL law). And that's it.

We really didn't expect him to say yes--but apparently his lawyer persuaded him that this was the best deal he would get. It means we don't have to go to trial (the initial trial-court date was coming up on March 27, & I was really dreading it, though my Lenten "don't worry" practice has really helped). It means that we don't have to waste $2,000 or so each paying our lawyers to fight over nothing. And it means that I can wash my hands of this very, very damaged person. (If he had been assigned any of the marital debt & then stopped paying on it, the banks would still have been able to come after me, & then I'd have had to go to court to get it straightened out.)

It's not fair & just, but it's the best possible solution for a very nasty situation. Some friends are going to organize a "We Love Ruth" party with live music to express their solidarity & raise a little $$ to help with my legal fees. And in the meantime, tonight I poured two little glasses of delicious tawny port so that my housemate & I could raise a toast to my impending freedom.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHANSHE 4/12/2012 12:37PM

    Sooo glad you can be done with this and move on! It's not fair by any means, but how sweet of your friends to have an "We love Ruth" party! AMAZING friends!
Hugs,
Shan

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CTEMPLE 3/24/2012 4:07AM

    Oh Ruthie Alleluia! So happy for you!
Claudia

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JECKIE 3/23/2012 3:36PM

    emoticon emoticon

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 3/23/2012 1:29PM

    emoticon& emoticon
Sucks that you even have to give him a penny, but it does sound like a victory to me! emoticon

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SASSACAIA 3/23/2012 10:12AM

    Yay for freedom! Yay for an end to all of this drama! I applaud you, Ruth, for keeping sane during all of this strife.. you are truly amazing and inspirational!!

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AMYLONGHORN 3/23/2012 10:05AM

    I'm so glad this is finally over for you!! I know that this has been a difficult time for you and I hope that you have some peace with the resolution, even if it isn't totally fair/just. Since I'm too far away to join the "We Love Ruth" party, please have a drink for me!! ENJOY your freedom!

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CZARINA_TV 3/23/2012 8:56AM

    I also want to go to this "We love Ruth party"! I'm so glad that this all worked out... I know you still have a giant pile of to-dos left from him, but I'm glad it's all gone and settled.

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CARLYG8 3/23/2012 8:14AM

    Sending you emoticon that this nightmare is over for you!

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BUSYMOM911 3/23/2012 4:14AM

    Sorry for your situation, but glad the end is near.

My sister had the same thing.

Half of her retirement went to her ex, too. (he got to keep his dairy cows with debt. Right after things were final, he sold it all and got that money.) She paid all the credit cards that had joint names, just to keep her name clear. Thank God that the Discover card was only in his name. He actually charged a pickup truck. Just brought it home one day. What lack of communication.

Wish I could snap my fingers for you and make it all better. It's great that you are getting a lot of support. Have fun at your ;Ruth' party! You deserve it.



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COLLINSCJ2012 3/23/2012 1:04AM

    A light at the end of the tunnel.

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BEATLETOT 3/22/2012 11:45PM

    Hey...wait a second...I love Ruth, too! I wanna come! =)

I think it sounds like the best solution for you. I like the idea of you taking the marital debt, actually, because you don't have to have his irresponsibility hanging over your head.

Hate the retirement split, but I guess that wasn't negotiable. I hope you don't have to do anything else to make sure he gets that part of the pension. I hope that is someone else's problem.

And I am super-glad and super-grateful that you had such good representation! Hooray for an excellent attorney! emoticon

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Yay, the spring challenge has begun!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

I'm starting out saddled with what I've decided to call "divorce weight," reflecting the emotional eating I allowed myself over the past couple of months as I was facing lots of stress related to discovery (assembling HUGE amounts of financial documentation) & X's delusional expectations to reap lots of $$ from me to pay off his ever-accelerating credit-card debt. BUT I managed to get 3-4 of those divorce pounds off already this past week, just by diminishing my sugar consumption. And just as I have benefited from my Lenten discipline of not worrying about the outcome of the divorce trial, I am taking on the new 5% challenge as a gift to myself. Instead of resorting to sugar, I will deal with stress by getting sweaty every morning & eating foods that make my body slim down & gain energy.

I'm going to try really hard to get to bed early enough every night to get good exercise time in the morning--& to squeeze in extra walking whenever possible the rest of the day. In a few minutes I'll fast-walk to the market to get veggies for an Indian dish I want to try:
recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.asp?recipe=7189


And for a Thai salad to contribute to our building potluck tomorrow night:
recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.asp?recipe=257221


It's 80F in my Chicago neighborhood today--crazy warm! I do love drinking water, which is our first Living the Good Life challenge. I spent 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at a church brainstorming/planning meeting; not because of the challenge but because I felt the need, I filled my water glass repeatedly throughout those hours--& the day's not over yet. It will not be hard to down 10 cups.

Last but not least, I present to you my granddaughter on her first birthday!



She does NOT have issues with sugar--normally she gets nothing with added sugar--but she thoroughly enjoyed the vegan cupcake her mom made to celebrate! The rest of us did too, of course.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 3/19/2012 12:13PM

    Way to go on battling the sugar! And what a cute pic of your granddaughter! I'm so glad the challenge is back, too!

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HELLODANAE 3/19/2012 11:58AM

    oh how cute!!!!she is a emoticon
Es bueno saber que estaras despierta temprano para hacer ejercicio eso me motivara para hacer lo mismo!!! emoticon

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SHANSHE 3/19/2012 8:40AM

    You will do GREAT on this challenge and will lose all your "divorce weight" in no time at all!!! Your granddaughter is BEAUTIFUL!!! Glad she enjoyed the cupcake!
Hugs,
Shan

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COLLINSCJ2012 3/18/2012 11:26PM

    Beautiful Grand baby. So sorry that the divorce is still dragging on. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. So cliche I know.

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BABY_GIRL69 3/18/2012 4:57PM

    So glad that you are living the blessed life. Do what you are supposed to do to get to where you wanna be. Not to say that your life isn't that great but I know that you are walking into the newness of life daily.

God bless,

Dee

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AMYLONGHORN 3/18/2012 4:39PM

    And we're off! I KNOW we are going to ROCK this challenge!! Thanks for sharing the pic of your sweet granddaughter...what a cutie patootie!!

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KAREN_NY 3/18/2012 2:40PM

    A beautiful start indeed!! And that Thai salad looks great!

Off to refill the water bottle.... lol.
K:)

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REBECCAMA 3/17/2012 11:16PM

  Happy birthday to your granddaughter.

I've been looking forward to this Spring challenge too. Good luck!

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ACCEPTHECHLNGE 3/17/2012 10:12PM

    Wishing you luck to get through your divorce without too much damage. You already have a good attitude towards your future and wanting to lose weight and feeling better. Wishing you all the BEST!
Let's have a successful challenge.

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CTEMPLE 3/17/2012 9:33PM

    Great pic of B. Congrats.
Good luck with he challenge!
Claudia


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BEATLETOT 3/17/2012 7:50PM

    I'm super-excited about the 5% Challenge, too. And I'm glad some of the weight has come off already. I love your approach to this journey! And I love you! emoticon emoticon

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A swipe at another sugar blog

Friday, March 09, 2012

I confess that I haven't been fulfilling the mandate to record all my ingestion of sugar & how I'm feeling / what I'm doing when I get sugar cravings. And this post is just a swipe at it because I have to pack for my trip tomorrow to celebrate my granddaughter's first birthday! & there are umpteen things I need to finish first, & I'm going to work a full day before taking off, so that Monday can be a comp day for my trip home.

I've eaten the same breakfast each day since I joined the challenge: a half-cup of my homemade oat-nut-raisin muesli (which I make without any sweeteners) with a quarter-cup of blueberries, a sliced banana, about 1 tsp. cinnamon, & about 2 tsp. honey. With skim milk, & sometimes a couple of clementines. I love a fruity breakfast, & this breakfast includes good fats & fiber & calcium as well as the various vitamins.

My lunch has been great too; I've heated up homemade red lentil - cauliflower - coconut curry over about 1/4 cup of spinach basmati rice (the latter left over from a delicious Indian restaurant meal on Tuesday). Plus half-cup nonfat cottage cheese plus a couple of clementines or an apple.

For supper I'm also eating the same thing each night--I don't mind repeating foods AT ALL when they're so yummy! This one is a lentil-barley-carrot stew made by my housemate, with a slice of toasted 100% w/w bread. And last night I added broccoli & mushrooms. I end with some chunks of papaya.

Beverages: besides the skim milk for breakfast, water & herbal tea the rest of the day. Except tonight--see below.

Sugar additions: When I'm in the office I nab several animal crackers late in the day--one of the tech guys keeps a bowl of them out. But I haven't gone down to the vending machine for a Snickers, so that's good. At home after dinner each night I've eaten a bar of the hard Colombian chocolate, 110 calories. AND tonight with supper I drank one of the delicious green tea ginger ales a friend left here last week. I never buy soda, so I drink it only a few times a year, literally--but I really like this variety! It's 130 calories.

Anyway, one clear thing: I get sugar cravings every single afternoon between 3:00 & 4:00--but if I'm really busy I don't go out of my way to satisfy them. Maybe those few animal crackers, but if I can get past 4:00 without a candy bar, I don't feel so much need after that. I think including the cottage cheese in my lunch helps, as it keeps me feeling full longer.

As you can see, my basic diet is SUPER healthy & nutritious. Looking it over, what I think I need to do is ditch the animal crackers (they're not yummy enough to waste calories on) & reserve the Colombian chocolate & ginger ale as once-weekly treats. But because this IS a stressful time in my life (I had a rather intense e-mail discussion this morning with my lawyer about what kind of settlement to propose to my ex's lawyer--I'm sticking to my guns & being assertive, but I'm being realistic & flexible too!), I need to be doing nice things for myself on a regular basis. I've been learning to think of myself as a person I need to nurture--as if I were someone else! emoticon So what are some fun, easily accessible things I can do to substitute for a sugar dose?

That's the question I'll be mulling over in the next few days--while I'm negotiating the sweets involved in birthday celebration & nice things my daughter-in-law bakes because Grandma is visiting. I'll try to be mindful!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHANSHE 3/12/2012 2:50PM

    It sounds like you are doing an awesome job Ruth! I wish I ate as healthily as you do, LOL! Sounds like you have done a FINE job at evaluating your times and thoughts when it comes to sugar. Keep on doing a great job and ENJOY your granddaughters 1st birthday!
hugs,
Shan

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BABY_GIRL69 3/11/2012 8:20PM

    Sweets undo me every time. I have not had my regular sweets even though I am craving them BIG TIME! I did have 2 suckers & a couple of caramels wethers. The banana I had for breakfast was actually really good but I didn't want to eat 3 of them. lol

God bless,

Dee

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RUNNERRACHEL 3/10/2012 9:11PM

    Your regular foods sound super healthy, delicious and satisfying...you're probably right, those animal crackers aren't worth it. I have to watch my sugar too. I tell myself I'll just have one cookie/piece of candy, etc. and I find myself going back for more and more and more! So, I'll have to practice being more mindful as well.

Have a wonderful time celebrating your granddaughter's first birthday!

And yes, it is definitely important that you nurture yourself. So good that you are remembering to do so!
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BEATLETOT 3/10/2012 4:44PM

    Oh, man, I can't believe Sweet Bea is already a year old!!! Wow!

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KAREN_NY 3/10/2012 4:07PM

    What a yummy day to repeat often! :) :) :)
ENJOY - really, ENJOY! - Your trip!!!

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