Feb 26, 2012

Lists for the Future

So, this last year, whenever anyone asked me what I wanted to look for in a future partner.....I could easily make lists. Solid job. Believes education is more than a means to an end. Likes kids. Isn't a shit head. You know. The normal stuff.

But, I started to realize that it left my issues and my baggage out of the process entirely. So recently, I have started thinking about things that I would do differently next time. Ways that I could improve based on lessons I learned during this last marriage. It was a somewhat eye-opening experience, really.  Now I should clarify - I'm not looking for the ways that I failed, or the things that I did that were awful. We're beyond that now. But, now that I can analyze things with a healthy dose of detachment, I found several things to be cognizant of.

I won't share some of the more intimate details. Cause....well that's none of your damn business. Some of the things - if I had to do it again would be as follows:

1) Not take my partner for granted. I did this. Especially after the honeymoon period. To be fair to myself, I think everyone does this. And I suppose to be specific, make sure that they know that I appreciate what they are doing for me and for our family. I think that showing your partner that you respect their attempts at bettering the family overall is extraordinarily important. I didn't do enough of that.

2) Don't shy away from fights and confrontations. I think it's fair to say, that as a society, we haven't quite mastered the art of ESP. And yet, I always did everything I could to keep the peace, while silently stewing about something for a long time. Only, to then have an EXPLOSION. When, in all reality, the entire thing could have been avoided if I had simply said 'Ya know, I really hate it that you leave your laundry on the floor. If I buy a hamper and put it in approximately the area that you leave your clothes, can you try using that? It would mean a lot to me.' That would probably be more well received than 'Your @#$ clothes are on the #@%$ floor again. I #%#$ hate that @#$%#@. $#$%%^#%$@$@#%.' You get the idea.

3) Remembered that my needs to feel attractive are just important to me as they are to him (even if he doesn't realize it). This actually is at the root of a bigger issue. In my attempts once again at keeping the peace, I put my Husband's and my Daughter's needs above my own. My weight swung wildly out of control because I didn't feel right taking the time to work out. I served what was requested, not what I knew would be better for all of us. I didn't want to spend the money to do the things that made me feel pretty and attractive, because I felt like I was wasting our money (when in all reality I was just sending my self esteem further into the shitter). Depression is an ugly monster. And whether you mean to or not you can often drag everyone around you down with it. My depression was at it's worst when I was at my....not prettiest. Which makes sense - it was a direct physical representation of what I felt like on the inside. But making the effort would have benefited myself, as well as my family. Asking for some time to myself to attend to the things that would make me look and feel good ARE important. And we all deserve that time and those things.

4) Date nights. They're kind of vital. You hear this advice all the time. 'Make sure you make time to nurture your relationship as husband and wife'. I don't even need to go into this one. We didn't. We should have. I'll try to do better next time.

5) My need to be right really doesn't need to supersede his need to feel my support for him. I know this sounds kind of odd. But, did I need to stand behind him and micromanage the way he was painting that wall, or cleaning that thing? Nope. I didn't. And I think the worst was probably implying that he just didn't know what he was doing. Maybe he didn't. But how many things did I bluff MY way through? ALL KINDS OF STUFF. And how unsettling - to have your partner constantly question your abilities. How about having a little faith? And even if there is 'failure' how about being the loving and supportive person you can be, instead of the 'I told you so' person? I think this one is a big deal because this one REALLY swung both ways. I was constantly being reminded, even if it was unknowingly, that I would surely fail at what I was trying to do. Not cool, dude. Not cool. So, making a conscious effort to affirm his actions, that he is doing the right things. Because, if there isn't affirmation inside your relationship, they might seek it somewhere else. Or so I'm told.

I guess those were the big ones. And I bet a lot of people can connect with a few of these, so I thought I would share. Your partner needs to hear that you appreciate them. Your partner needs to feel like you prioritize them, as well as yourself. These are issues I hope I can remind myself of when I'm having a hard time finding where the problem is. Maybe that's why I had to blog it. Either way. If one of these looks familiar, maybe today's the day you can decide to try a different approach.

Feb 24, 2012

Sweatin' and Swearin'

I, Funky Mama, am about to embark on a fitness experience - known in larger circles as "Kosama".

I'm kind of excited! And, I feel like this could be the final feather in the cap on my weight loss journey. Can I tell y'all a secret? I've lost 77 lbs.....in a completely unhealthy way. Well, actually, a few completely unhealthy ways. Time to come clean, I suppose. Y'all probably know by now that I like to be honest with you.

First and foremost, please allow the words 'eating disorder' to just fall right outta your mind. Nothing that I ever did was intentionally bad for me. That is not part of my magical equation. But......but....Phentermine for a short time was. More on that in a moment.

As a brief disclaimer - my standards for my own appearance and beauty should have NO BEARING WHATSOEVER on what yours are for yourself. So please don't read this as - 'If you are a large woman you aren't pretty, or deserving'. I have some friends who were this size or larger, and they are STUNNING. And happy. I comfortable in the skin that they were meant to wear. I applaud that. The point here is that I WASN'T comfortable in my own skin. Alright. /disclaimer.

Right after my divorce, I went through this absolute panic. I weighed, at the end of my marriage, 220 lbs. I was a size 16, bordering on an 18. I'm not ashamed of this, nor should I think anyone would actually be surprised by the actual numbers. I LOOKED that size. So, I went through this aforementioned panic.....who will want me now? Aside from some other very emotional scars that I will likely never blog about due to their sensitive nature, I had this absolute panic about my size, and what that meant for me ever finding another partner again. Obviously, I was not in an emotional or physical space to be partnered at that point, but I digress.

So, in an absolute panic, I went to my provider. I discussed my fears with her. I discussed my health concerns, being as I was at the largest size that I have ever been. And, most importantly, I was a newly single Mom, working with birth clients, going through full time nursing school, while maneuvering a nasty divorce.

I believe in an attempt to actually help my mental health more than my physical health, my provider recommended and prescribed Phentermine. Does everyone remember the Fen-Phen days? Well the 'Fen' was the one banned. The 'Phen' was Phentermine. Essentially, it takes away your sensation of hunger and speeds your metabolism. It's a medically prescribed diet pill.

And when I say takes away your sensation of hunger, I MEAN it. I got to the end of a few days and realized - I haven't eaten anything. At all. Since yesterday. And it's way past dinner time. Not only that, but my heart would race all day long. I felt like I had just run half a mile.....all the time. I didn't last too long on that medication, but I did lose 20+ pounds in a very small amount of time. Like 3-4 weeks. Healthy choice? No. It wasn't. And I wouldn't recommend it to just about anyone, unless they are reaching a medically necessary weight limit.

So, I switched off of that. And that's when the divorce got heavy. I mean, bad. So, without a diet pill, I still didn't eat. Ladies and gentlemen, the stress of this divorce caused me to drop another 20+ pounds.  I didn't eat. I didn't sleep. I studied non-stop. And....I spent a lot of time with my lawyer. I was a wreck for a while, even if know one knew it. So, that was fun.

Then, I realized, somewhere along the way our diets had changed. In my previous life, fast-food and takeout was a way of life. Not because I didn't have time to, or couldn't cook. But because it was the preference of my partner most of the time to get something quick and easy on the way home. 'I'll just grab a $5 pizza'. Not only was that expensive, but it was awful for us. Hello, 220 lbs. But, the Redheaded Wonder and myself.....we aren't eating like that anymore. We eat at home a lot. We are working on re-adjusting her palette to being more fruit-and-veggie-centric. She packs a lunch. I don't touch the vending machines that often. Pizza is ordered not often, and in a completely different way (veggie, light cheese, light sauce). We eat off of the small plates, and not the big ones. I have slowed down and have taught both myself, and my daughter to determine 'when our tummies are full' and that we don't HAVE to clear our plates. More water. Less soda. It's been good.

I will also briefly say that I had not one, but two surgeries in the month of late Nov/early Dec, totally unrelated to one another. But, both had a dramatic effect on my ability to eat. I would say another 20 lbs was due to those 4 weeks alone.

So that leaves me with the 20 that I DID lose in a healthy way. By altering our eating habits, and slowly over the course of the year, getting us to a good and healthier place. We still have a lot of work to do, I see the light at the end of the tunnel on that one.

But there was always something missing there. Something that at one point during my marriage had made me feel good, feel stronger, boosted my self esteem, made me sleep better.....all those wonderful things that exercise 'claims' to do. And for me, it really did. One of the healthier times of my marriage is when I was attending and then coaching at Farrell's. I loved it. But, it got boring. And then my shoulder went out and I had to go through physical therapy to repair my rotator cuff. But the kickboxing....oh that punching bag had a few different 'faces' for me. That's for damn sure.

So, with all of that said (HA!), I am about to start Kosama in March. I am DISGUSTINGLY excited. I mean, I have dropped just short of 80lbs. That's a lot! And I am proud of it. But....I am WAY out of shape. I like curves, I don't want to get any smaller per se, but I would like to be fit and active and a bit more toned up. And I think Kosama is just the ticket to kick my butt into gear. I'm sure I'll write more about it, but for those that don't live in my area, it's sort of like an 8-week bootcamp that's 6 days a week, an hour a day (I will have to miss my regular time 1-2 days a week due to nursing school, but will be able to make them up later in the day). They rotate through 6 different workouts - upper body, lower body, plyometrics, yoga, kettlebells (YAY!), and kickboxing (YAY!). They don't do them on a consistent schedule either - there are cardio heavy weeks, where you might do kickboxing several days in a row, to trick your body up. It's pretty damn smart, actually.

So, that's where you will find me 6 days a week starting March 12th at 9am. Kosama. Sweatin', swearin', and getting my ass in shape. And I am SO STINKING EXCITED.

Feb 20, 2012

Unclench My Jaw

It's 4:28am. I can't get back to sleep. I have a horrible migraine, a throbbing back and a tightly clenched jaw. I wonder if I'm stressed out.

I just had the privilege of spending a very enjoyable evening with a man that, for the most part, loathes the internet and especially things like social media. He doesn't have a Facebook account, barely knows what Twitter even is, and doesn't have internet at home. I am also reading a book called "The Winter of Our Disconnect" by

Feb 12, 2012

Let go....or accept?

I've been working through a lot of odd thoughts lately. I recently made the decision that I wanted to start considering the idea of dating again. It's kind of a big step, one that I didn't think initially that I had leaped blindly into. And also, a decision that I thought I would get to make by myself.

My friends and family love me. I know this. They have helped me so much this last year. I take their advice, their love, and their ideas about what I should be doing very seriously. It's difficult, then, when what many of them think is a horrible idea.....is something that you really want and feel like you need in your life. But apparently, there is an order to these things, a checklist you are supposed to run through. Well, I'm a big fan of lists, but I don't usually end up using them. I like to plan the things I never do, and spontaneously decide to do the things I should have planned. It's a disease I tell ya.

So that's why, when it comes to deciding to start a relationship or consider dating again (a decision I will choose to take more seriously than my previous partner) I feel like I need to stop plotting and just do it. But, that ideas doesn't seem to work well with my loved ones.

The arguments are pretty standard - you are in school, you have a career starting, you have a daughter to parent, you have a horrifying ex that you deal with on a very regular basis, you aren't in a financially strong place.....I hear all of that. But, if I had to sit here and wait for those things to get better, I wouldn't ever get anywhere. If I had to wait until I loved myself enough again, honestly, I better start collecting cats.

I think the real truth of the matter here, is that it's going to take quite a bit of want and desire for someone to be willing to involve themselves into my crazy life. I DO have a lot going on. I DO have a lot of things to work on still. But, I'm not going to close myself off to the possibilities that I could have some little glimmer of happiness, and something that is just for me, amongst all of this shit. Maybe that's selfish, I'm not sure. And those things that are part of my life now aren't going to go away. I will always have a job, and maybe school, and a daughter, and a difficult ex-husband. But it's time to consider that the priority of a few of those things need to start taking a backseat to my happiness. Or else, what the hell am I doing it for anyways?

I think I'm doing a pretty damn good job, all things considering. I think I'm holding my own, even if it is with some complaining. And I also think, that means that ultimately I get to make the decision on whether or not I am ready. And my friends and family know and respect that, I know they do. I'm just tired of fighting. And defending myself. So I won't.

My spirits are low, but my resolve is high. It's time to climb up out of this slump, stop allowing people to tell me what they would do, and start deciding what I want to do. It's funny, I recently had a healer tell me that I allowed people to have my personal power, that I gave it out like candy. She also told me that I allow other people's emotions to take safe harbor in my own heart, and push my own wants, needs and emotions away. I think she's right. And that's gotta stop.

Because, I am awesome. And I'm tired of having to defend that fact. To myself, and to others. I can either accept my circumstances as they are, or I can choose to let go. I'm ready to free fall, whether someone catches me or not.