I haven't blogged a lot. I've explained before that I was in a year-long health slump, due to some legitimate distractions (and some that were not so legitimate). All the weight I previously lost has piled back on and I don't feel good about my health. Notice I said, "I don't feel good about my HEALTH", not "I don't feel good about MYSELF." That's a pretty important distinction.
I am a happy woman. I have children who love me and they know I love them. I have a man who still gives me butterflies and makes me blush when he looks at me in that particularly tender way. I am getting ready to stand in my best friend, Joe's, wedding in May and it will be the first gay marriage I have the privilege of being involved with. I have BONUS children that are sweet, affectionate, good little boys. I have a job that pays pretty well and, for the first time in my life, I have a man who also has a job that pays pretty well and we are helping each other get through the difficult work of everyday bills and responsibilities. I have a church that has given me the freedom to truly understand what I believe and why and who does so much in the community, I want to cry. Not only that, but they encourage their members to THINK about everything, to explore, to learn about ALL cultures and denominations and religions and to really figure out how faith fits into our lives and how we are to be involved in social justice in a way that honors God and edifies that which is authentic in our own spirits. I have no complaints about my life at all.
Here I am now, ready to hop back on the Spark train (even as I've said those words so many times before and not followed through). But this time I have some advantages that I didn't have the last time around...mainly, life experience in how to navigate the rockiest and most emotional of days. I figure, if I can make it through something as awful as a divorce, I am strong enough to make it through damn near anything.
In addition, I have this little carrot at the end of the stick - Joe's wedding. Last week, Joe texted me and asked me to send my measurements so he could order this dress for me:
I promptly went to the seamstress and asked her to take my measurements and I was shocked at how they had grown since I last recorded them in SparkPeople a year ago. It made me sad and slightly embarrassed to send the numbers to Joe, knowing that the other two bridesmaids would have much smaller numbers to contend with.
The second carrot at the end of the stick is MY OWN wedding, which is not until December 27th, thank God!
On the same day as the horrifying measurements debacle, my Mom and sister and niece came into town to join me and my two daughters at the Bloomington Bridal Expo. We had such a lovely day together - sampling foods and cakes and looking at flowers and string quartets and stationary. Since my mom had driven an hour to be with me that day, and since she brought a couple members of my bridal party with her, I scheduled dress fittings for the girls and for me. We headed to David's Bridal and the girls tried stuff on first. We found the perfect dress for all of them. (They will all be that same red color). We also found an adorable dress for my flower girl.
Then came my turn to try on dresses. Let me just say...things do not look the same on the rack as you imagine they will look on your body! Especially when you are bigger than you expected to be. Satin is a NO NO for my body. It just accentuates my size. If you will notice, the dress I am wearing for Joe's wedding on May 3...yep, it's a GORGEOUS dress...but...it's satin. Zoinks!
After a few colossal failures, the attendant started bringing me things that really worked for my figure, like all-over lace. But, truth be told, I was not actually looking to wear a real wedding gown this time around. Don't get me wrong, this wedding will be beautiful and the decorations will be extravagant and the dinner will be sit-down. But it will be very small (just our parents/brothers/sisters/kids and a few friends - like 5 friends). Our wedding will total 45 people and that includes US, the wedding party and our officiant.
After some time, I found a bridesmaid dress that I just love. I think this is the one, but I will probably go for one more fitting in May before I place the order. Our wedding colors are red, black and silver. I thought this would be lovely to accent with red jewelry and hairpiece (maybe even a shrug in red since it will be winter). I would NEVER EVER have chosen this to try on off the rack but my Mom was speechless when she saw it on me. I think that's a good sign. It fits my body PERFECTLY and really is slimming. Still, I hope to order it a few sizes smaller when it's actually time to order!
As you can see, nothing about this wedding will be traditional. We are holding our ceremony at the Tibetan Mongolian Buddhist Cultural Center and our Christian minister will be presiding. The ceremony AND reception dinner will take place there. We will write our own vows to each other and to each other's children. My 5 yr old son will walk me down the aisle. And we won't have any of that normal wedding stuff like a unity candle or readings or any of that. Short and sweet and simple. Some vows, some rings and a kiss. The end. There will be a first dance for us but we won't have dancing or any of the traditional parent dances - our parents have already been around the block and done that stuff. It's going to be a lovely day. We have a wedding planner that is handling ALL the details of our ceremony and reception and once I get my tax refund in a few weeks, I will hand over all the money she needs to do so and we will have nothing to worry about except tasting things and walking down the aisle to get married in December.
Even though the whole thing is very non-traditional, one tradition remains. I am the Bride and I want to be beautiful on my day. Am I beautiful now? Oh yes. He never stops telling me. But could I FEEL better about my appearance and be more energetic and have less weight to haul around by the time I get married? Heck yeah. That is why I have joined the Melaleuca Vitality Total Health Challenge, which runs February 1st through April 30th. And, even though it starts Feb. 1, I have already started it this week. I've been doing great and paying attention to my diet and finally got back in the pool, only to find that I've still got it! I was able to do my regular 30 lengths in 30 mins with no problem at all! Even after a year of not working out! So, apparently, my body retained at least SOME of its prior fitness. Yay! I have all my workouts and strength sessions calendared and I am religiously tracking those calories again.
This time, I don't expect perfection. I realize I will screw up some days but the TOTAL of all my efforts will result in weight loss. I just know it.