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!