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!
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. 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!
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.
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:
And for a Thai salad to contribute to our building potluck tomorrow night:
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.
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! 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!
Get An Email Alert Each Time RUTHXG Posts