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Sunday, March 30, 2014

What a difference a year makes

A year ago today, I left my marriage and set out on my own.  It's hard to believe that it's been that long already, but it has.  In the last year, I feel like I've regained my sanity, I've lost 55 pounds, and I've had 365 days of peace.  It's amazing how little we realize the bad situation we live in when we're in it for so long.  It just becomes part of who we are, like having bad vision and squinting or adjusting the distance of what we're trying to read in order to see -- and then you get glasses, and all of a sudden, everything is clear.

Though I do not take leaving my (or any) marriage lightly, I also wish I had done it years ago.  I can only wonder where I'd be by now if I had, but I can't dwell on it.

Here's to a year dedicated to me.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

"To the fatty running on the track this afternoon"

I read this post from a friend yesterday and thought it was really compelling.

Facebook user pens a message to "the fatty running on the Westview track" - but you might be surprised to read what they have to say…
The message begins in a typically condescending manner. It accuses the overweight runner of "footslogging in the wrong direction", calls them out for wanting to "stop twice a lap" and points out the "sweat" that "drenches" their body.

But then, all of a sudden, the tone changes - and we find ourselves confronted with a seriously inspirational messages for all the would-be runners out there:

Via Facebook "There's something you should know: You f**ing rock.

"Every shallow step you take, you carry the weight of more than two of me, clinging to your bones, begging to be shaken off.

"Each lap you run, you're paying off the debt of another midnight snack, another desser, another beer..

"It's 20 degrees outside, but you haven't let that stop your regimen.

"This isn't your first day out here, and it certainly won't be your last. You've started a journey that lasts a lifetime, and you've started it at least 12 days before your New Year's resolution kicks in.

"You run without music, and I can only imagine the mantras running through your mind as you heave your ever-shrinking mass around the next lap. Let's go, feet. Shut up, legs. F**k off, fat.

"If you'd only look up from your feet the next time we pass, you'd see my gaze has no condescension in it.

"I have nothing but respect for you. You've got this."

We have to admit that, after reading that, we're suddenly feeling a LOT more inclined to lace up our running shoes and give pounding those pavements a go!


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

An open letter to the stranger I married 20 years ago

Just when I think it’s over.  Just when I think you can’t affect me anymore.  Just when I think I’ve moved on, you sunk your claws into me last weekend and dragged me down into depression for three whole days.  That was an amazing feat for only having spent 2 ½ hours in your presence.  Well played.

If anything, it made me look back and realize how immobilized I felt after being married to you for 20 years in that overwhelming cesspool of despair and depression.  If anything, it made me MORE appreciate my time alone in my little condo, away from you, away from the suck that is your life, away from your constant victimhood.  I have had peace for a year, and I can’t put a price on how good that feels.

When we met – and for years after that – I not only loved you, I ADORED you, to the exclusion of myself.  You were fine when that was the game plan.  If I ever wanted to better myself, you ensured I was kept down and didn’t succeed.  When I graduated college with honors, instead of acting proud, you acted surly.  Maybe you knew that meant the beginning of the end of your reign of misery in my life, because I wasn’t that pathetic young girl anymore who “needed” you.  You weren’t willing or able to share in my victories with me.

You see, I outgrew you years ago.  The problem was twofold:  I didn’t realize it, and you emotionally shackled yourself to me like a ball and chain and did everything you could to keep me off balance, doubting myself, and feeling like this was the best I could get.  Add to that the fact that you’re a perpetual victim, so much so that I bet you carry around your own crime scene chalk.  You know, just in case anybody is left unswayed by your constant caterwauling where the topic is always you and always has the adjective “poor” attached to “you.”

Though I’ve never sworn to be a perfect angel (and have, in fact, admitted many faults), I think things really started to unravel for us when I quit adoring you, when I realized you were human, when I quit babying and enabling you.  Not only that, the relationship suffered when I realized that the adoration was only one-sided.  You claimed what drew you to me was that you thought I needed rescuing.  However, when I became stronger, you resented it.  Hell, when I found myself still needing rescuing at times, you resented that as well.  The fact is, you simply resent.  I don’t even think you know what you resent – you just focused on me and felt it HAD to be me.  After watching you at work for nearly half my life, I think you brought your resentment into the marriage and simply attached it to me and to everything and everybody else that mattered to me.

This past weekend, you said you have changed.  After listening to you for 2 ½ hours and how you’re STILL rehashing things from the past 20 years instead of focusing on the year since I left, I realize that nothing at all has changed.  Oh, you feel stronger, more emboldened within yourself these days.  But it’s not growth you feel.  No, what you feel is validated.  You now go to individual and group therapies, and you share your bizarre and twisted version of how things went, and you are now getting your “poor you” fix that you so desperately need like a fish needs water.  I don’t say this out of bitterness – I’ve SEEN you in action, SEEN you take and twist facts and cloak yourself in passive-aggressiveness and color yourself as the wide-eyed victim while coloring me as the bad guy.

The fact is, in the year since I left, I’ve lost 55 pounds and have been making it.  I take care of myself, I have been hanging with friends, and I have even ventured out on a couple dates.  You, on the other hand, have gone from being well-kept to looking like hell.  Your hair is grown past your shoulders, your goatee is 4 inches long and graying, you’ve probably put on 15 pounds, and our house hasn’t been cleaned since I left (not to mention the clutter that has accumulated).  You say how great you’re doing, but as those of us who have been grossly overweight for many years know, the outward manifestation of our inward selves doesn’t lie.  And it’s not just that you’re a walking lie – it’s that you still chose to dump on me last weekend and act as if I was the cause of all your internal grief.  News flash:  I’M NOT.

But your words, for whatever reason, hit me hard during that 2 ½ hours.  Old habits die hard, obviously.  So for three days I took on YOUR pain, YOUR misery, YOUR conflict as my own.  I carried that for you.  Again.  STILL.  You shit all over me, and I just took it.  Not only did I take it, I took to heart some of the things you said.

Then Tuesday came, and God spoke to me.  He literally said to me, as I was driving my car to work, “This man stole your joy for 20 years.  Are you going to let him steal one more moment from you now that you’re in your safe place, your oasis?”  And I replied, “No, I am NOT.”  I’m done.  I’ve been SO peaceful since I left you.  I’m more alone than lonely, and I don’t have to worry what’s in store for me when I get home.  I don’t have to be subjected to cold shoulders, constant criticisms, neurotic behaviors, denial of accountability, or feelings of inadequacy.  Granted, I still need to cleanse my own brain from your pollution from time to time, but since leaving you, the black cloud of confusion and sorrow that was my life has been lifted.

If I ever wondered what I wanted to come of this separation, I have no doubt now.  You’re incapable of loving another person, of being there for them, of being their partner, of being fair, their champion, their friend.  You ONLY think about yourself, and that just doesn’t work for me.  I don’t need you to love me anymore.  I love me.  GOD loves me.  And I’m done with you.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Thinking... assessing... realizing...

I'm coming up on a year since I left my husband.  I remember that around this time last year, I was actively planning my departure, though I don't remember when, exactly, I told him I would be moving out.  But if I had to venture a guess, I'd say it's right about a year ago, with my leaving occurring at the end of March.

I remember how scared I was to make that move, but I had been too scared to do it for years.  But last year... last year, I more mad and fed up than I was scared, and that's what propelled me forward.  I got to the point where I'd rather live in a cardboard box under a bridge than to put up with one more minute of his negativity and criticism.

So, now I've had a year to reflect.  And in that year, I've lost 55 pounds, done well by myself, and felt a sense of freedom I haven't felt in far too long.  And in that same year, he's gained weight, hasn't cut his hair and is growing out his goatee to a disgusting length, and hasn't cleaned the house I had turned into a veritable showplace.  And he's become even more of a hermit than he already was.

What I have to share here in NO way is meant to say that I'm an angel and he's a devil.  It's not about that.  But at the same time, I have to look at the dynamic that was our relationship and how that relationship affected me, my mental health, and my physical health.

When I met him, I was CRAZY about him.  I actually can say I loved him more than I loved myself.  I loved him to a fault.  I loved him so much that when I started to see the REAL him, I internalized it and believed that I had done something to make him change.  I was the reason he was becoming sullen.  I was the reason he didn't spend time with me or have anything to do with him.  I lived in this bad place for many years, trying to figure out what "I did wrong" to make him change.  I think he liked me in that place to some degree, because it took the focus off him and what HE was doing wrong.

However, during that time, I gained weight.  A LOT of weight.  At my highest, I had nearly doubled in size from what I was when we met.  And, for obvious reasons, that caused me and us even more problems.  I felt even worse about myself.  I blamed my weight for the reasons he didn't have anything to do with me.  I beat myself up further and punished myself for being a loser.  It was a vicious cycle that was completely unhealthy and emotionally devastating.

Then I woke up.  I realized that it wasn't all me.  Hell, much of it was him, and much of my bad behaviors -- towards him and towards myself with food and self-loathing -- were coping mechanisms I had adopted to deal with his negativity.  Much of what I had become was a direct result of what he was.  He's a miserable person who doesn't realize his misery is internal and something he brought into the marriage as opposed to being my fault.

However, my waking up was not a good thing for him.  My waking up meant that he could no longer hide behind the facade of everything being my fault.  Now he's alone.  If he's still miserable, who can he blame but himself?  And how easy is that to do after blaming me for 20+ years?

Though I don't spend my days ruminating over this anymore, I do have the rare time when I think about how things went down -- if only to try to figure my own life out.  Add to that a few friends I have who have great relationships, and my heart twinges with a bit of pain, wondering what my life would have been like had I had that kind of love, caring, support, and uplifting during all this time.  Again, I don't exert too much time thinking like that because there's no way to request a redo.  I made my choices, and I paid for them.  Now, all I can do is learn from them.

Anyway, I feel as if I'm rambling now.  All I'm trying to get across is that I feel as if I broke a spell of sorts by walking away from the destructiveness that is negativity, criticism, and bitterness.  And since doing so, I'm starting to learn how to love myself and realize my own value.  I no longer need to seek that from an outside source, nor do I need to "medicate" myself with food to fill the void that my marriage left.

It's amazing what a year can do.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

It must be February...

... because my complex gym was near empty again.

Wow, I thought people gave up on their resolutions by late February.  Maybe March.  But the FIRST WEEK?  Really?

Not that I've been there in more than a week -- between working out in my condo and a little bit of my own slacking, I don't even remember the last time I was there.  But I can tell you that when I was, there were about eight or nine folks there.  Tonight, there were only about four of us at any given time.

This is why I don't really go for the whole "resolutions" thing.  Too easy to break.  Now, if only I would stop half-assing it.  Weekends are becoming my problem lately, so I need to focus on that.  That, and not consistently exercising the 5 to 6 days a week I was in later 2013.  I've been at a weight standstill for a couple months now (well, I say standstill because I wasn't counting upward when I gained a three pounds over the holidays or when I gain a pound after a weekend of bad food choices), and I'm ready to start being true to myself again and following through with my eating and exercise plan.  Otherwise, I'm just wasting time to stay at 190.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Half-assing it

Okay, what the hell is my problem?  I have not yet really gotten back into the swing of diet and exercise since the first of the year.  First it was the flu which started on January 3.  I took it easy for about 10 days and just started back to working out last week, doing really well Monday through Thursday.  Friday, a girlfriend came over, and we fixed drinks and had pizza.  Saturday, nothing.  No food logging, no exercise (though Saturday has been set aside as my day off).  Sunday, I was going to go to kickboxing, something that I haven't done in FIVE weeks now, but I decided to sleep in and not go.  Again, no exercise or food logging.  Monday was a holiday, and again, no exercise or food logging.  Tuesday and today I have been home due to the heavy snow and cold.  Yesterday, no exercise or food logging.  Today has been the same, though technically the day is not lost, so long as I don't MAKE it a loser.

At this rate, my FitBit is an expensive bracelet.

I don't know I'm in some sort of funk or if it's that I don't have a "goal" like I did last year when I was needing to fit into a dress, but I've GOT to get back on track.  I was 0.2 pounds away from 100 lost, and THAT should be incentive enough -- to get into that "more than 100 pounds lost" category.

It's time for me to put on my big girl panties and get back on the wagon before the damn thing runs me over.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Gangbusters or procrastinator?


How many times have YOU done this?  I can't even begin to tell you how often I did this when beginning -- or thinking about beginning -- an exercise routine.  It could have been easy to do again here recently, because, even though I love the results of my exercise and the attention I've paid to my food intake, I won't lie -- it was kind of nice to have my little self-imposed vacation from it.  I know how easy it would have been to plop down every night when I get home and not work out.  And logging food is <whine> soooooo haaaaaaaard.  Truly, it's not that it's hard, per se -- but if you do it, you are forced to be accountable to yourself.  And an entire liter of Bailey's over the course of a day, well... I probably didn't want to know what THAT costs.

I haven't watched Dr. Phil for years, and I don't see him as some sort of guru, but he HAS said some great things before.  One of the sayings that used to hit me like a 2 by 4 is this:
A year from now, you're gonna weigh more or less than what you do right now.
 That's totally true.  Where do YOU want to be next year?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

I added a Fitbit Force to the family

I've had it since last Thursday now, but I'm still checking things out and seeing how it works.  Yesterday I slowly got back into exercise after having been away for a few weeks (two weeks were a self-imposed break, and one week was due to the flu), and I logged the minimum 10,000 steps I have the unit set for.  Today I did my kettlebell routine, and I can't really say I'm impressed with the calorie expenditure it logged.  It actually gave me a higher calorie spike when I walked to my car than what I believe I expended during my workout.  For all this time, I've been logging kettlebell workouts pretty high as everything I've found online says you use about 850 calories an hour.  It may take a bit of tweaking to get this to register correctly.

So far I don't know if I'll use ALL the functions for it as I do that on LoseIt! online.  I don't want to duplicate anything, and since my Fitbit doesn't sync with my phone yet (they sync with some Samsungs but not mine), I would have to log everything from my computer later.

Anyway, here's to adding this little tool to my routine to see how I do.  :)

*** 1/15/14 Update

I used a treadmill at the gym today to do what I call a walk-run (two minutes of each, back and forth for 28 minutes, then a 5-minute cool down).  The treadmill had me at 285 calories burned at the end of my workout.  I synced the unit with my computer and then added the calorie burn during the time I exercised and it came up with 286.  That's close enough to be impressed!  I may have to research to see if there's a way to make it a bit more sensitive during certain types of exercise like my kettlebells.

Sunday, January 12, 2014


That's all I am away from exactly 100 pounds lost -- 0.2, y'all!  I know, I know, I've technically lost 100 pounds, but since the scale I weighed in on prior to my surgery said 289 and not 289-point something, I'm looking at it as a flat number.  And this morning, I was at 189.2.  This number has been a long time coming.  I actually thought I would hit it months ago, but I plateaued for a while.  Then the holidays hit.  Then I went "on strike" and didn't work out AND ate without logging for a couple weeks.  Then I got the flu.  I'm on the back side of that (only have a very slight cough hanging on and don't want to push it), so I will be incorporating exercise back into my daily regimen again very soon.

People who hate fat people are asses

There's a huge back story here that I won't get into, but my eyes were opened wide yesterday about somebody whose blog and FB page I've followed for just over a year now.  In order to make sense, I have to give a tiny bit of the back story, so here it is.

Two women run a blog I follow that's political in nature.  One poster on that blog is a guy who mentioned some months back that he has an unnatural disgust of fat people.  I mean, he was downright vile about his comments over the months.  What made it worse was that the two women who own the site never moderated it.  Even when we told them that this guy would call women on the site "c*nts" and other horrible names, nothing was done.  However, other folks had been banned for bad behavior, but not as bad as THIS guy.

So, there was a big blow-up in a Facebook group today over this, a group that these women are also members of (I say this to say that nothing was said behind their backs).  There was a long thread talking about this guy and wondering why they let this idiot stay there and say the things he does.  One of the two women came on and, instead of taking ownership, pointed fingers at an entire "room" full of folks.

What makes this interesting, however, is that one of the two women (the one who went on the attack) has her OWN separate blog, and some of my friends had turned me onto a keyword she uses:  "landbeast."  Yep, landbeast.  This is what she calls fat people, y'all.  Not only does she call fat people landbeasts, but she had 13 pages -- PAGES -- of posts dedicated to mocking fat people.  So, if you put in the keyword "landbeast" into her blog's search feature, it pulls every single one, and each page had probably five to seven posts.  So, when I say pages, I mean lots and lots of posts mocking fat people. 

I decided to call her on it on the political blog she shares with the other woman.  And, I placed it on the thread she had written saying that women have self esteem issues because people like Robyn Lawley (I discussed her below) are called plus sized.  I said,
"Actually, [link to 13 pages of landbeast posts] this is ALSO why women have self-esteem issues. I think I see the problem... and why the disconnect. Wow...
She replied with:
This is the dumbest thing ever.

Yes, by all means, take a look at who I call landbeasts, and you'll notice that first and foremost, they are shameless, idiotic morons who display themselves in ways even I, at a size 2, would never consider.


I love, seriously truly love, a lot of overweight people. In fact, many of them LOVE the landbeast section of the [blog name], because they're every bit as mortified by the people who are highlighted there as any other person should be. They get it. They know I don't have a personal issue with obese people. They know I have an issue with idiotic morons, who are featured prominently all over that site no matter what size they are.

And when your argument consists of you needing to search a totally unrelated site, to dig into posts from 2011, well, then you pretty much have no argument.
Now, many of these people never promoted their photos.  Hell, many didn't even know photos had been taken of them, much less posted online!  Somebody posted them, yes, but many were taken of people, very obviously unbeknownst to them.

So, not only does she mock fat people, but she justifies it.  You know, cuz she's a "size 2," and they're just asking for it.  What disgusts me is that I met these women this past summer, so we're not just faceless, nameless entities.  But hate of fat people seems to be the last allowable sin.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

This. THIS is why we get so effed in the head, y'all

 This article showcases a gorgeous model named Robyn Lawley, a 6'2" tower of all woman and graciousness.  She rocks a size 12, and -- get this -- she is PLUS SIZE, y'all.  When a size 12 -- much less a size 12 in a 6'2" frame -- can be considered plus size, we're in a world of hurt, ladies.  And we wonder why we hate our bodies and our daughters talk of dieting at age nine.  Walking clothes hangers are held up as the epitome of beauty and health, and it seems that every decade or so, that standard keeps being made smaller and smaller.  Heck, in today's market, Cindy Crawford, one of THE original supermodels, would be considered too big because, hey, "heroin chic" is in.

Now, you tell me -- is THIS plus sized?


Or this?


Or this?

How about this

Why is it we let little prissy gay men tell us what beauty is, especially since they only want to dress women who look like prepubescent little boys?  Because I don't know about you, but I'd about give my eye teeth to look like she does.

Here is the lovely Robyn in an interview with Ellen Degeneres about the life of a "plus-sized" model.  Behold.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Reflections and Resolutions

Okay, I hate the word "resolutions" as most of us probably do, because resolutions seem to be things that we break by mid-February.  But it went well with "reflections," so deal.  :)

This time last year, I had just made the decision to leave my husband after 19 1/2 years of a less-than-happy marriage.  This time last year, I was 55 pounds heavier than I am right now.  This time last year, I was scared, unsure, and worried about my future.  I was still relatively new at my job, my boss took on a new partner (which gave me a second boss), and that brought with it a lot of unknowns.

Fast forward 365 days.  I secured a great little condo in a nice area and left my husband alone to wallow in his own misery.  I have shed 55 of the 100 or so remaining pounds I have left to lose -- going from a size 18 to a 14 and dropping under 200 for the first time in 15 years -- and I'm stronger than I've ever been.  I now do kettlebells religiously, and I recently added kickboxing to the mix.  I ran my very first ever 5k, and I did it in 43 minutes.  I'm far less scared about what's going to happen or how I'll do.  I still really love where I work and who I work with, and I know they love me to pieces and see what I contribute to the firm.  I've even ventured out on a few dates where, even though they weren't great or productive, are working towards getting my self-esteem back up.

So for 2014, I have -- let's call it a bucket list of things I want to accomplish.
  •  Get closer to God
  •  Drop the last of my weight, whatever that number might be (40 or 50 pounds) and continue toning up
  •  Run at least one more 5k, and to improve on the time set by my first one
  •  Start learning a new language
  •  Ride my bike more/enjoy the outdoors more
  •  Get out there and make more friendships
I think this makes a good start for a new year without being too unreasonable.  And being that they're not resolutions, there's nothing to break.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

So... a new year

I never intended for so much time to go by without writing, but two days after my last post, all hell broke loose at work with my bosses.  Without going into detail, let's just say there are some things that need clearing up, and they were both out of the office for over two weeks and not available to talk to in order to figure out what the hell happened.  Actually, tomorrow is likely the first time we'll all be together since it happened, and I'm a bit nervous as to how to deal with things.  It was so upsetting that I literally was in a depression past Christmas.  Well, that and spending the holidays alone, and I was a mess.  I essentially "took a break" from logging and exercising.  I know it's the wrong response, but I did it knowingly and intentionally, with every intention of getting back on track after the 1st.

Now I sit here with the flu, after a temperature of 103.2 on Friday night.  Luckily, it hit over the weekend, if there IS good news in reference to the flu.

Add to that the fact that I've been on a few dating sites for a couple months now, and things aren't going great.  I can either choose my loser or somebody else's loser.  It also doesn't help that I haven't dated in 22 years, and apparently things have changed quite a bit -- like talk of sex by date two.  Um, no.  Date one only got two dates out of me when, on the second date, as we were sightseeing, he swatted my butt a couple times as he helped me out of the car.  The fact is, I didn't like him enough to look past it anyway.  Date two got as far as THREE dates (even though he grabbed my boob and talked about "wanting me" on our second date).  The third date was at his place (his son was there, and he knew that everyone I knew was aware of where I was), and he fixed some great grilled chicken.  However, he started "getting all excited" again and told me how he wanted to make love to me.  Yeah, I bet he did.  I said that what I had was pretty damn excellent, and there was no way I was giving it away for a chicken dinner.  I then found out through my "resources" that he has a criminal history, so that sealed the deal.  Date three Never. Shut. Up. for 3 1/2 hours, and most of that talking was about himself.  Never asked a thing about me.  Nothing.  Nada.  Zilch.  Even if he had, he was a snoozer.

I told my mom the other night that I went from a husband who found NO value in having sex with me to a bunch of nobodies whose only value they find in me is sex.  Nice, huh?  I may as well forget that there may be decent guys left out there.

Anyway, as of yesterday, I was at a new low of 189.6, but I can't count it since I hadn't eaten in 36 hours and was very dehydrated after a night of high fever.  I was a pound higher than that this morning, so I won't cheat and count that.  :)