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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

a mighty pen

They say the pen is mightier than the sword. 

Sidebar: does anyone read "sword" and hear it as "S Words" from the SNL Jeopardy skit?  No?  Just me then?

Anyway, I have wielded a mighty pen over the last two years in the form of blogging.  I have been able to air and share my pain, my joy, my success, my failures.  Most of what I have written has been part of my healing process, of that there is no doubt.  Communication is one of my top strengths and it is great for me to put my thoughts down into words.  However, some was purposely useless and hurtful.

For those of you that used to read my private blog, you know that I quit writing there last summer when challenged by my therapist to quit "nursing and rehearsing" the breakup of my marriage.

This blog is not about my divorce--it is about my story, about my year of living healthfully.  However, divorce is part of that story and there is no changing that.  It has shaped and changed me like no other event in my life, mostly for the better. 

However, an event transpired last week that I have been debating about how to write about, not sure I even wanted to write about it.  Partly out of respect for the privacy of the other person but partly because I wasn't sure if it was real or not.

Last week, my ex and I had a great conversation (that he initiated) around apologies and forgiveness.  Our communication since that day has been much more productive and polite.  Something changed that night.  I felt a huge burden slide off my shoulders.  Just the door opening to the idea of an apology was a gigantic event in my world.  I never thought I would get one.

Since September, I've been working on forgiving my ex on my own.  It has been tough.  I have struggled.  I've inched forward and slid backwards.  But I made a little progress.  However, the talk last week pitched me forward many steps.

Is it all better?  No.  Is it perfect? No.  Did I hear everything I needed to hear? No.  But it was a start. 

And it opened the door to a coparenting relationship that is much more in line with my character than the bitter and hate filled one we had. We won't be best buddies and hang out with each other.  But we will be kind and friendly where the kids are involved.  Can't ask for much more than that!  We can stop seeing an attack in every text and getting defensive at every turn.  In fact, tonight we sat and chatted about business for a while and it was quite enjoyable.  It's good for the kids to see us having a normal conversation.

When I saw my therapist today, I said that we didn't need to talk about my ex and the divorce anymore.  I just feel done with it.  It is still part of my story and always will be, but I don't need to talk about the past anymore.

Which leads me to...forgiveness.  Never in my life have I had to forgive such a gigantic thing.  I can't say I'm fully there but I am so much closer than before.  I will forgive not because I want to, but because I am commanded to by Jesus, who I am striving to follow in all areas of my life.  If I am going to accept the forgiveness offered by Jesus, I must give forgiveness to others.  Pretty simple yet so hard!

Since I have accepted the apologies I've gotten (and given some of my own), I am no longer allowed to bring it up, talk about it or dwell on it.  I'm taking this to mean I'm no longer allowed to do those things in a deconstructive or useless way.  There is no way I will never talk about my divorce again.  It was a major life event and I can't just ignore it.  But I don't need to bring up offenses that caused pain and hurt.  By accepting this apology, I am saying that the door is closed on reliving the past.  I can focus on the future.

The pain of the past has been my constant companion over these last two years.  In a way, it feels strange to let it go.  But I think that is the only healthy thing to do, no? 

P. S. If you catch me nursing and rehearsing, call me on it!  Keep me accountable!

Weigh In Wednesday!

Greetings friends!

I have been absent, my apologies.  I traveled to Green Bay last week for a coaching gig and am just now getting back in the swing of things.

Nothing new to report for Weigh In Wednesday.  Travel, too much good food, too much sitting on my butt.  None of which makes for a good weigh in!

Back in the saddle today.  In fact, today I am starting an experiment.  I got up at 6:45 and was showered and dressed way before the kids got up.  I'm trying to see if getting ready for the day early will translate into greater productivity for me.  So far so good!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Weigh In Wednesday

I'm down 1.8 pounds!  Victory is mine!

I am happy with this.  It is progress in the right direction. 

Even though I didn't do as well as I hoped with my eating and exercise, I did enough to lose a bit. 

Each day is a new opportunity for progress! 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Top 10 lessons from my divorce

1.       People and places may not fit as well as they used to.  I did lose some friends.  I give them the benefit of the doubt and figure they don’t know what to say so they don’t say anything.  That is okay.  It’s sad but okay.  Sometimes I struggle to find my place, my best fit.  I look at it as an adventure most of the time.

2.       Focus on the stars, not the mud.  It is SO easy to only focus on the mud that surrounds the break up of a marriage and of a family.  There is a ton of mud.  But eventually you need to look up.  You need to see those stars twinkling, however faintly.  They get brighter.  Quit playing in the mud.

3.       The only path to healing is straight through!  Oh, how I have tried to ignore this truth.  I have tried dating, drinking, eating, cleaning, organizing….Nothing works.  The pain will still be there.  The only thing to do is resign yourself to the healing process and jump in with both feet.  Eventually the process will carry you to a better place if you stop fighting against it!

4.       Dating can be a painkiller.  When I am seeing someone, the sun shines a little brighter, the world sparkles just a bit more.  My pain is dulled and I no longer feel it.  It is wonderful!  And a total fa├žade.  The pain is still there.  That is why I’m taking the year off dating.  Just say no to drugs!

5.       Divorce will not ruin my kids.  I was so fearful for at least the first year that my kids were going to be ruined.  They are not.  They struggled, to be sure.  There were some very dark times.  But ultimately, they are God’s property and He will not allow them to be ruined.

6.       Forgiveness is a choice but also a necessity.  There is very little desire to forgive, as far as feelings go.  However, I will continue to work on forgiving simply out of obedience to the Lord.  I will probably never FEEL like doing it but that is okay and totally normal.

7.       Sometimes you just need to be alone.  When I was first divorced, I frantically tried to fill up my kid free time.  I just couldn’t stand to be alone!  However, now that I have grown and gotten comfortable in this new life, I actually look forward to my time alone!  I am too social to spend the entirety of a weekend alone but I do relish the times where I have the house to myself—especially if it is clean!  J

8.       Boundaries have saved my bacon.  If you haven’t read Boundaries by Cloud and Townsend, go do it now.  Seriously.  The idea of boundaries finally clicked for me last summer.  I realized that I did not feel capable or competent to run my life and it seriously undermined my confidence.  Once I realized that I could set a boundary around myself and my kids, life got much easier.  I am enjoying my independence and my confidence in my ability to run my life is growing!

9.       I fell in love with my kids.  This sounds strange, I know.  When I was married, life was tense and hard.  I was so disconnected from myself that I didn’t even know how bad things really were.  Parenting was a burden and I resented doing it alone even when I had a partner there.  I loved my kids but I didn’t love being a mom.  Not so anymore!  Once I got my boundaries figured out, I realized how much I love my kids and how thankful I am to be their mom!  They are super awesome.  They are getting a much better mom now than they had before, because now I am into parenting and I am into them.  Once I set my top 3 priorities for my family (love them, provide a safe place, encourage them to share their feelings), life got so much easier.  I could ignore all the voices and the “should’s” and just focus on what I can do best for them.

10.   I crave genuine relationships.  When I was married, I didn’t want to get too deep with people.  I knew that if I gave voice to the issues, the whole thing would fall apart.  So I kept my relationships surface deep.  Now that I am living a more real, honest life, I crave relationships that go deep.  My single parents group at Grace is full of people that I have deep relationships with.  I love spending time with them because they get me, they get where I’m at (because they are too!) and they encourage and support me when I need it.  I never would’ve met these wonderful people if I was still married and then I would be missing out on some amazing friendships.

Tenacious Tuesday #2

  • I got back on the treadmill and on my healthy eating plan on Wednesday!
  • Until today, my driveway was clear from snow!  My dad and I worked hard to chip away at the six inches of ice that had settled in for the winter.  Must snowblow today!
  • My cash budget is going wonderfully!
  • The top floor of my house is fully purged! 
  • The main floor of my house is fully purged, with the exception of the kitchen.
  • I began reading the Wiersbe book on Psalms that I've been meaning to get to for quite some time.

  • I lost zero pounds so far.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

who's there?

Okay, I'm puzzled.  This blog has had 106 hits today.  Who is reading this?  Announce yourself!  :)

Seriously, I would love to know.  If I am somehow supporting you, I'd like to know.  And if you could somehow support me, I want you to! 

Don't be shy--post a comment and introduce yourself!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Weigh In Wednesday

 It's not good news...

0 pounds lost

But the good news is that I have also gained 0 pounds!  :)  (I have to put that positive spin on it)

Wednesday and Thursday of last week were awesome.  I was eating well, walking, basically kicking ass.

Then I woke up feeling like crap on Friday.  And Saturday.  And get the picture.  A cold complete with the chills and body aches.  Ugh.

I'm still feeling pretty out of it--my head feels fuzzy.  But tomorrow I am going to do my best to get back on track and get my year moving again.

I had a great session with my awesome therapist (Heather) today.  My homework for the week is to meditate on Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well".

When I read this, I have a caveat in my head: I am fearfully and wonderfully made and your works are wonderful, but not really until I am a size 10 again.

Heather has identified my belief that my value is somehow tied up in my weight as a false belief.  She is dead right.  She made me list out all the things that are wonderful about me.  It ended up being a long list.  :)  I realized that many of my beautiful friends see me through eyes that could care less what size I am.  It's a wonderful example.

So now I begin a journey of trying to see myself as God sees me--fearfully and wonderfully made, fully intended to be exactly who I am, exactly where I am at.  Terribly difficult for me to get my head around and accept.

I am positive I am not the only one with that false belief.  If you are in this with me, say a prayer for us both tonight.  :)

Friday, January 3, 2014

Meet Norman.

This is my friend Norman!  Norman is a terrific fitness trainer and is amazing and deserves a shout out on this blog.

I met Norman just before my marriage ended.  I started working out with him twice a week and was somehow able to continue doing so while the divorce was settled.

Looking back, I'm not sure how I managed to drag my depressed and devastated ass to see him twice a week.  But it was a time that I rarely bailed on.

My time with Norman was healing and FUN!  BTW, ask Norman what he thinks of the word "fun".  :)  We chatted while we worked out and I got my mood lightened each time I met with him, at least for that hour.  We also got to do Ballistic Therapy whenever I needed it, which consisted of me hurling medicine balls at a concrete wall and cursing out my ex and the mistress.  I always felt much better after that!

Norman is working at the Lifetime Fitness in Savage now.  If you are a member, stop in and say hi to him!  He oozes fun and enthusiasm and is a great person to know.

If you need a trainer to help you meet your living healthfully goals for 2014, consider Norman!  Even if you don't have a membership at Lifetime, he can find a way to work with you.  If you do have a membership at Lifetime, check out their training options.  They have added some more reasonably priced options for poor folks like me.  I recently had to put my membership on hold but Norman is still going to create a strength routine for me and hold me accountable, for a very reasonable price.

If you want his contact info, send me a message!

Also, Norman is single!  He is looking for a girl who loves the Renaissance Festival (bonus points if she has her own costume) and who loves to stay in shape (but isn't psycho about it).  He's a catch ladies!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2014 has been the best year ever!!!!!!

Well, so far at least!

I have a plan.  My much awaited, much dreamed about plan.  It all materialized the other day.


1. A daily walk of 30 minutes.  5 minutes to warm up, 5 minutes to cool down, 20 minutes of active walking.  I am tracking my distance for those 30 minutes.  At the end of January, I hope to have doubled the distance I did on the first day in the same amount of time.  This is where the magic happens:
Motivation to last me all year!

2. I start each morning with a fruit and veggie smoothie.  I got a Nutribullet for Christmas and it just might be the best gift ever!  I fill it up with two cups of spinach, one cup of fruit, some flax seed, hemp seed and almonds.  Sometimes a little vanilla protein powder.  Delicious!

3. For either lunch or dinner, I have a raw meal shake--it isn't the tastiest thing around but it's edible.

4. Have a reasonable lunch or dinner.

5. Track calories via the LoseIt app.

6. Track steps using my FitBit.  Aim for 10k per day.

It's been two days.  I feel great.  I am focusing on these 6 things.  I am fighting every urge I have to do it perfect.  I am trying to be reasonable and persistent and forget about the perfection.

Also, I forgot to post my weigh in yesterday.  Decided to start over--what was I thinking, trying to start losing weight before Christmas?  So stay tuned for next week--it will hopefully be evidence of all my hard work!