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Good Things Happening--A (Positive!) Update

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Sparkfriends! It's been so long!

Okay, not really. But it's been long enough that I'm feeling quite out of the loop and out of touch here. It's been a busy few weeks, rife with moments of growth, new opportunities, and positive stuff. Here are some highlights & updates.

I've sarted teaching a college course (for the first time), and am liking it so far. My students are future teachers, and it's fun to be around their enthusiasm and excitement. The class requires a lot of time and a lot of work (for not a lot of pay, might I add), but it's (so far) fulfilling. Teaching this course definitely requires I stretch out of my comfort zone. I haven't taught since 2006, and being back in the classroom brings me back into that head space a little... which wasn't a very pleasant period in my life. I'm navigating this, feeling my insecurities, and puzzling through them. Change takes time and it's not easy--I haven't had much opportunity to catch my perpsective of "professional Melissa" up to my perspective of "personal Melissa." So it's interesting to be present to all of this as it happens now.

I also applied to do some freelance writing and was accepted. This too brings up a lot of insecurities for me that I'm working through and learning from. It's nice to be making money again.

The same week that I started both of these jobs, I made a date to see and speak to my father-in-law for the first time in two years. I was nervous about the meeting, but I knew that he was too. Unfortunately, Dan and I had a big falling-out with his parents two years ago after an argument that started when Dan tried to voice his feelings about something (small) they'd done that had hurt him. Nothing could have prepared us for what ensued--an itemized list of all the things Dan's mother believed we'd done wrong in the past twelve years (going back to when we were 17) with all blame assigned directly to me. Unfortunately too, Dan's mother chose to express her feelings by yelling, screaming, accusing, and even standing up to point fingers in my face. At the time, we simply took it all in without standing up for ourselves. After a year of counseling with them, Dan made the decision to forge a new relationship with his father, but his mother remains unwilling to do her end of things. None of this fallout was really between my FIL and me, so being back in touch, while emotional and a little awkward to navigate, went pretty smoothly. We caught up on some highlights of the past two years over lunch, then went for a walk on my favorite trail and talked a little about the fallout and our intentions for the future, but kept that conversation brief. It's all about moving forward--two years is a long time, and a lot has changed (at least on my end) in that time. Life is short--it's time to make amends where amends can be made and do it sooner rather than later.

That same week I also opened up to my brother (who is as overweight as I was at the start of my journey) in an effort to encourage him to be his happiest, healthiest self. The conversation is still "in progress," but it at least deepened te conversation and the connection we have.

I've started physical therapy for my knee, and so far so good. The physical therapist seemed to think I should be able to run again eventually and gave me a lot of exercises to do to strengthen my VMO's (the inner muscle of the quadriceps), a main (and likely) cause of the kneecap slipping off to the right, the excessive weakening of which is likely due to being so overweight for so long. I feel hopeful and have noticed a big improvement in the symptoms I'm having in the past two weeks (two weeks ago I started doing my OWN PT routine that I'd researched online for this problem). While the symptom used to happen about ten times per mile, it's now happened maybe five times in the past two weeks. This is huge progress!

My food and exercise routine have remained intact through this all, and I feel really good about that. I make both a priority, putting work down or aside if I need to in order to make a healthy meal or get to the gym. I'm handling the transition well (something I've never been able to say in the past), and I feel good about my ability to juggle my health, work, and personal life. But I'm definitely sleeping heavier these days--much more tired than I've been for a long time!

In terms of weight loss, I'm 10 pounds away from my original goal! I've decided that I want to stretch my goal to about 7 pounds beyond that (which I mentioned in a previous blog--the number both a doctor and a personal trainer suggested I aim for). But I'm not in a rush to get there. I'm really quite happy with how I feel in my body right now. The rest is bonus. I can actually slip on a pair of jeans in a size 10 these days. I didn't even have my sights set on that!

So there's that. Life is good here. I hope the same is true for you, sparkfriends!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Nice to hear from you, Melissa. Your MIL reminds me of my SIL---same sort of behavior. It's good to hear that things are on the mend with your FIL.

    Congratulations on both of your jobs. I bet you are an excellent teacher and I already know you are an excellent writer.

    Way to go on not letting the change in schedule have a negative impact on your diet and exercise. You are quite an inspiration!

    I think losing the weight and keeping it off creates a huge motivation for your know the old saying, "actions speak louder than words."

    Keep up the good work taking such good care of yourself!
    3107 days ago
  • BANAN2
    You are amazing! First, if I was on the receiving end of that attack with no warning, I think I'd have peed my pants in fear! You are definitely an admirable person to be willing to try to put all that in the past and mend whatever bridges you can. Sounds like MIL has issues, with a Capital I. Freelance writing, on whatever topic, is exciting because you are so gifted in that area, it's good that others will benefit from your talents besides us Sparkies! And that you'll get paid for it! Glad the teaching is going well this time around. Stay confident, no matter what. You have the best tool belt of personal resources around, I sincerely believe you have what it takes to offer your students a way above average experience. I needed to hear that about putting fitness first, no matter what else is on the to do list. I've been using stress and busyness as an excuse to fall off the wagon, so I am not my best self right now.

    3107 days ago
    What an awesome & inspiring blog. You are such a wonderful & special person... I'm so glad to know you.

    3107 days ago
    Wow :) what a wonderful blog! I am so happy for you for the changes and positive attitude you have had along the way. Congrats on the teaching again and wow to the freelance writing, that is awesome! Also I'm glad to hear that you and your FIL are patching up ends and were able to enjoy each others company. AND 10lbs away from your original goal and fitting into 10s!!!! Now THAT is motivating to me!!!! emoticon emoticon
    3107 days ago
  • no profile photo MONEYGOOSE
    I know I say this at home a lot already, but just to get it in writing... ;)

    I'm very proud of you and happy for you. Congratulations yet again on continuing to make positive steps in your life.

    3107 days ago
    Sounds like you've been very Melissa! I'm glad that you're getting back in touch with your FIL, both for your sake and for Dan's. Family issues are so tough, but it's better for everybody involved to try and work them out, as long as the parties are willing and interested.

    I hope professional Melissa catches up to personal Melissa . . . I think that personal Melissa has done some pretty amazing and incredible things over the past year (and longer, no doubt), and she's somebody that is to be proud of. I suspect that over the course of the semester, you'll find your footing with professional Melissa, and your old life will truly be behind you.

    I'm interested in your freelance writing job . . . sounds right up my alley. I wish you the best of luck with it. Having read your blog for the past year, I have absolutely NO doubt that you're an amazing writer and that you'll succeed at whatever you try.
    3107 days ago
    Your progress is impressive you are an inspiration! You just keep moving forward that is wonderful and cheers us all!
    3107 days ago
    Glad you were able to touch base. You've been busy and have a lot of your plate, but I'm encouraged that you're keeping your health first. It can be hard trying to juggle both but it sounds like you're doing it with ease and efficient. Good luck on piecing back the relationship between your in-laws. Hopefully one day soon everyone can reconcile the past by moving on to the future. Keep on keeping on, girlfriend!
    3107 days ago
  • BAM0827
    What a great blog. I love hearing about all the great things going on in your life - things that you're making happen. You must go to bed at night with a big smile on your face. You're living your life the way you choose! Can't ask for more than that.
    3108 days ago
    emoticon I tried teaching a class at a local business college. It didn't go over very well, but at least it told me I could get up in front of people, which really was my goal!!
    3108 days ago
    It's so great to have an update from you! The growth that you've made is so inspiring. I'm so happy to hear that you're mending and deepening relationships, taking on new professional challenges, and making time to continue with your commitments to a healthy lifestyle! Bravo:)
    3108 days ago
    Melissa, this blog leaves me breathless! Breathless with excitement for you, and your extraordinary growth! And breathless with the recognition in you, of where I wish to be myself in two years time! You and I have spoken about the fact that this journey is about so much more than weight loss, and watching it truly happen, in all its breadth, for you, is so very inspiring to me. Congratulations, on true metamorphosis!
    3108 days ago
    What a beautiful blog! The progress that you have made is amazing and to be able to continue taking care of yourself when life goes a little crazy is just more proof that you have done everything the right way. I am just so proud of you and so impressed with your attitude and your success. I am glad that your knee is on the mend and that school seems to be going so well. Congrats on your writing job as well. There is just so much to compliment you on and to be happy for you about. Keep up the awesomeness!
    3108 days ago
    YAY this is an awesome entry. i know your spark confidence will help you stay organized and and on top of teaching and writing and your healthy lifestyle and your family connections! busy gal! i am so proud that all the changes you have made in your life have really paved the way for you to make transitions more smoothly. you are an amazing person on an exciting journey, keep rockin it love!
    3108 days ago
    Wow! You are such a courageous woman! I'm am really happy to hear the good news about your knee! Keep up the fantastic work! WOOT!
    3108 days ago
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