Monthly Archives: January 2014

It Takes a Village to Raise a Woman

This has got to be one of the hardest weeks of my life, if not the hardest. I sat in front of the counselor today and told her my woes: husband cheating, wants me back, hasn’t left her yet, changes his mind, doesn’t want me back, etc. And then I said through tears, “I know this sounds ridiculous. But I am reminded of the movie Dangerous Liaisons with Michelle Pfeiffer, and there’s a part at the end where she realizes she’s been betrayed by the person she loves most in this world and she simply lays down and dies. That’s what I feel like doing. Laying down and dying.”

My counselor said even though I may feel immature, and I may make some mistakes, I have a wise voice that’s pretty reasonable and strong. She said I’m grieving and it’s a process and there’s no quick way around it. I told her I fear I may never love or make love again. She said, “Do you have a crystal ball?”

We agreed that nights are the most difficult time for me and that I should find a way to occupy myself at that time by getting involved with a craft, a book club, anything to distract me. I’m going to look a few things up and see what I find.

It made me feel better that she said it was indeed cruel that my husband said he was “testing me” by saying he wanted back together. I did tell her, however, that I believe we do both love one another, but we realize (especially him) that we just can’t make it together.

I also told her that our relationship is terribly co-dependent and dysfunctional and that I know I’d be better without him, but my heart won’t come along with my head. It’s as though I miss what we could have had and could have been.

I told her that I wanted to give him the space he needs regardless of our future but I have a really hard time not texting or emailing him. I told her that my goal today is not to contact him in any way. I could not promise I’d continue for the weekend, but I would do my very best for today.

I’m so grateful I was able to see her. I don’t think I could have faced the weekend. I’m hanging on a thread. I also left a message with my psychiatric nurse practitioner that perhaps I should increase my Wellbutrin for now. I’ll hear back later today.

I also told my counselor that I want to get involved in hiking and she recommended the Obsidians or Volkssports clubs so I will look up some local groups and maybe try to join some of the easier hikes. The weather still isn’t very good for that sort of thing, but who knows what I might find. I told her I felt I need nature the same way I need the water in the pool, it’s very comforting to me.

Then I went to the pool and swam reasonably well for an hour and another quick half hour in the deep pool. There are times, not that often, but they do happen, when I’m truly unaware of anyone else around, or even myself for that matter. I’m just moving, alternating breathing, getting to the end and turning to go to the other end. Yes, I’m considering learning the flip turn.

It’s now 4 in the afternoon and I have managed fairly well because I’ve been busy. I think truly that boredom is not your friend when you’re trying to cope with a breakup. I need to find a way to be busy every day.

Oh, and I went to my GP for the STD test and will hear next week. I’m pretty sure that part of what I’m feeling isn’t an STD from my husband and his new woman, but probably me just being agitated by chlorine. And yes, she’s going to send me for an ultrasound sometime in the next week or so for the other issues. Why does it feel that our female parts betray us later in life? No fair.

Now I’ll attempt put that aside and not dwell on it.

I miss him and feel as though an arm is missing or there’s a cannon sized hole in my gut. But for today I will leave him alone and distract myself as best I can.

I thank God for the pool that I love, for my new swim suit, for my doctor that I’ve known for over 20 years, for the mental health support that I have, for my parent’s love and generosity, for the love and support of my daughter. In the end I’m a lucky Western woman. I am clothed, I am not hungry, I do not fear for my life. Things could be a whole lot worse.

Progress, Not Perfection

I feel such shame. Last night my anger got the best of me just as I went to bed. I sent my husband an ugly text and then I called him. I said something about ‘how do you expect me to feel knowing you can’t end your relationship with this woman, and I believe she lives there with you, and all my possessions are there that she is touching and using.’ But in-between there was cursing and name calling. No dignity whatsoever.

He used it as an excuse to remind me of how horrible I am to live with and no matter what I said, everything came back to being my fault. My fault. My fault. Or my family’s fault. Never his fault. He “never asked me for anything.”

I asked him why on earth he told me he wanted to be back together with me the other day and he said he was “testing” me to see how I’d behave. Later when I asked him again he said he meant it at the time but has since changed his mind because I haven’t changed like I told him I had. Later still he said it was because he was “cushioning” me. I told him, “Stop cushioning me.”

I could tell that my parents tried to go to bed while I was having words with him rather loudly. My dad got up and I don’t know how long he stayed up. I feel awful.

In my heart I knew our relationship was unsalvageable but admitting it out loud has made me lose all my confidence. Is it me or just human nature that when he wanted me I had courage and when he doesn’t want me I lose all courage?

I immediately felt 100 years old and thought to myself, ‘you’re practically sixty. what do you think you can do with your life?’ I don’t want to be sixty. I feel so much younger.

I’m so angry that I lost all composure last night and gave him more ammunition to use against me. I tried to say to him that of all the reasons I’ve ever had to be upset, this is the best one, you sleeping with another woman. He said he is under far too much stress and that he kept asking for me to leave him alone but I wouldn’t listen. Oh, and he said he has stopped his relationship with “her” and if you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you.

I threatened him and said if he didn’t treat me fairly, I’d tell everyone what he did to me. He doesn’t respond to threats well because that’s his area of expertise and so he threatened me back. He also said my treatment of him was far worse than his treatment of me. I honestly do not know who this man is. The man I knew seems to have truly vanished. I love and miss that man, but he no longer exists.

Wait.

I have a feeling he never existed. This is why none of my family liked him. He has a sleazy component about him. I know he is a man who wants to be good and liked, but he is duplicitous and vindictive. I knew all along that I was in a relationship with a man whose values were vastly different from mine. I tried to tell myself that it didn’t matter. I actually thought to myself, ‘Would you try to change Tony Soprano?’ No, you would not.

Every time I turn around I’m having to accept that my relationship is over. I keep tearing off that bandaid over and over again.

And now I am filled with self doubt. I was beginning to feel hopeful about my future new life, but now I am terrified all over again.

I have an idea for starting my own business on next to nothing, but now I wonder if it’s idiotic. I absolutely can’t trust my own instincts. I wish so much that I could have seen my new counselor this week but she couldn’t start seeing me regularly until next week. I’m going to have to share my ideas with people so I can get an idea of whether I should pursue them or not. I can’t trust my own judgement.

On top of all this indignity I have an appointment to see my doctor tomorrow to see if I have any STDs from him because I know I was with him after he started his relationship with her. And, I haven’t wanted to admit it for weeks, but I feel pain in my lower abdomen/pelvic area and I’m terrified I have something wrong inside. I had a hysterectomy two years ago and they removed my uterus and cervix. I told them if my ovaries looked ok to leave them and they did. I fear they are not ok now. My god I’m losing it.

I feel I’m at a breaking point. I am not getting nearly enough sleep. I’m not eating well because nothing sounds good. I’m so tempted to ask for klonapen or something like it to help me deal. But I simply can not. If I go that route I don’t know how long I’ll be stuck there. I don’t know what damage it will do to me and my eating and exercise regime. The only time I feel ok is when I’m working out and I can’t do that all my waking hours.

I’m really sorry to anyone reading this. I try so hard to pretend I’m motivated and changed and a decent person and then something happens to make me doubt it all. This is what my life is like and I abhor it. This is how I do not want my life to be.

Stop.

Breathe.

Understand that pretty much anybody would say things in anger that they mean and don’t mean when they realize their spouse has lied about the most intimate part of their relationship.

Give. Yourself. A. Break.

Cut yourself some slack.

Begin to process this. Begin to truly move forward.

You’re hurt. You’re not a bad person. You are hurt. You are going to be OK.

—–

I wrote the above at 5 a.m. this morning and now, after returning from swimming I feel somewhat better. This is an emotional roller coaster and no, I’m not addicted to drama. I don’t like too much of it in my life.

I sent my husband one more text today saying to him that I realize our marriage isn’t salvageable, but I do love him and care about what happens to him. That I acted up because I miss him and because I’m hurt but I don’t want to add to his stress. I told him I’d do my best to stay out of his way and for him to not give up on his case. He replied, “Thank you.” In spite of how he hurt me, I can see that he is very near a breaking point himself. He has constant calls from his family in London about their woes.

I wore my new Costco Speedo suit (size 18) today and two women, a lifeguard and a swimmer commented on my new suit. I fear that old one must have looked horrendous! It fits great but has a titch too much room in the bust. I am slightly smaller in the bust than I should be for my weight because 10 years ago I had a breast reduction. I have a feeling if/when I get to an average weight, I may end up with pancake breasts, but hey, that’s what padded bras are for, right?

When I write about exercising for an hour or sharing my eating tips I want you to know that I do not consider myself a success or an expert or an athlete. If I were known for my self control and self discipline I would not have ended up at 267 pounds, would I? While I feel that I probably will get near a normal weight, I know that this could all come tumbling down. I am known, when something doesn’t go perfectly, to throw in the towel.

I’ve worked far too hard to do that this time so I am trying to learn that this is a “progress not perfection” situation. I have also recently realized I’m far more competitive than I would ever have admitted before. Every time I have to share a lane with someone I know it quite clearly. I’ve never acknowledged that side of myself before.

I was called and told that my new counselor has an opening tomorrow at 9 a.m. and although I don’t want anything to interfere with swimming, I have taken the appointment. I’ll go swim right after that. As precarious as things are right now, I need some words of wisdom before I face the weekend.

I feel that I may not lose any weight this week, but probably will not have gained. I have just eaten wrong all week. I haven’t had many proper meals and I’ve done a bit of grazing where you can forget how much you actually consumed. I’m preparing myself for that this Sunday. If it’s the case, I’ll deal with it.

Progress, not perfection.

Going With the Flow

Yesterday’s workout provided a learning opportunity. I had an 12:30 appointment with an attorney to talk about my dire finances and he called to move it to 11:30. This meant I only had time for about a 45 minute swim.

I had to tell myself that was ok. That is how real life is. You need to go with the flow. I know that my days of 1.5 hour workouts are numbered and I’m grateful for them for now. I also knew that a 45 minute workout was better than no workout. I don’t need to fear that a disruption of my schedule will mean I throw it all away.

Because I’m now organizing a ton of paperwork in an attempt to get my life on track and I’m making appointments and phone calls, my life will not be as simple as it has been. That’s ok. Outside of my workouts I’ve been quite bored.

I spent an hour and fifteen minutes in the lap pool today doing lengths and then I showered and left. A perfectly adequate workout, just a different one. I think mixing up workouts is good for your body. I gather our bodies kind of get used to our routines and they appreciate having things mixed up a bit. I hear that it can help when you’re experiencing a plateau.

My swim suit from Swim Outlet finally came yesterday and I’m embarrassed to say it’s too small. I think I keep forgetting that I am still as big as I am since I feel so good. I’m bummed because I’m back at square one with my suit hunt and because Swim Outlet charges you to return items, which I feel is an outdated policy. Dad and I will go to Costco later today to see if they still have some of their $20 Speedos in stock.

I haven’t been able to really talk with my husband much since he announced he wants us to be together. I asked him yesterday if he was still with this other woman. He said he’ll “take care of it.” I was so appalled I could hardly speak. He asked if I could give him a week. I told him he needed to stop hurting me and that he should have ended it with her before he announced to me he wanted to be with me. I am repulsed and so confused. This is truly inconceivable! I told him that for the time being, unless he has news regarding his lawsuit, not to call me. I’m degraded and humiliated and I need time to think.

I don’t know how things will end up with my husband but I know I should not return to him. Intelligence and reason are not always linked. He’s brilliant. I’ve never known such a thinker, part philosopher and part Peter Pan. There was always another opportunity around the corner that was going to make us rich.

He came into the relationship with nothing. I gave him everything I had, literally. We went through the house I owned (outright), my savings, my 401k, and all my very good credit. I have nothing left except extreme debt.

I never thought I’d be “that” woman. The one who can’t figure out that it’s just not going to work with this guy when the writing is clearly on the wall. I wanted to leave plenty of times, but I kept thinking, if I just believe in him one more time our ship will come in and everyone will see what a genius he is. And the next time and the next time until I was empty.

And now he wants to carry on with another woman and string me along? If you look up “Insult to Injury” on Google you’ll see this exact situation. Please God. Let me know that this is my limit. This is wrong on every level. I deserve better.

Almost every night I have to fight the urge to go spy on him and find out who he is sleeping with. In the end, so far, I just remind myself that it simply does not matter who she is. This is about what he is doing to me.

My blog isn’t read by too many people and that’s ok. I write it for my own sanity, really. I did receive a comment today on my “About” page that was incredibly moving and it really touched me. I knew I was not alone in this battle for mental and physical health! Sisters and brothers, let’s unite and support one another!

We can do this. We must do this because this life is short and we deserve better. We may have made mistakes, we may be dealing with abuse and financial ruin. We may feel we are too old. We may be struggling to keep our mental health issues in check and repair years of abuse to our poor bodies. In spite of all that we have experienced and all that we are going through we are good people, with love to give, and we can make our own lives better.

Have any comments about learning to be flexible in our exercise routine or anything else? Please comment below. And please follow me on Twitter @movingliquid1

Older Women & Weight Loss and My Own Weight Loss Technique

There is no shortage of before and after photos and stories all over the internet to inspire us to lose weight and get in shape, but you rarely see a woman over 50 highlighted that way.

We are told in our 40s that losing weight after menopause is nearly impossible, and in fact we are told we will gain weight at that time no matter what we do. Faced with these old tapes in our heads, it makes it doubly hard to make the decision to lose weight as an older woman because it sounds like it’s hardly worth attempting!

Because I hadn’t really lost weight in a very long time, I was fairly convinced that I was no longer capable of losing weight at all.

I’m here to tell you that I was wrong. I can lose weight. I am in fact losing weight. And truly, if I, as a 56 year old, formerly inactive and post menopausal woman can, then pretty much anybody can.

Of course, my weight loss and fitness journey is still right in the middle. I’ve lost about 44 pounds since mid October and have about 70 to go. I’m sure that I’m just weeks away from the dreaded plateaus we are also warned about.

But I began to feel healthier after only a couple of weeks of effort on my food choices and exercise program. From that moment on I have felt energized and filled with optimism because I saw that it could be done and that it didn’t really change my lifestyle.

Perhaps if I were younger I might be losing the weight faster, but I have no real complaint in that area. At least not yet.

Here are 10 tips I use to keep my food choices reasonable. I have decided for me that I cannot eat an entirely restricted diet, that I must eat now as I will always eat and therefore I did not eliminate every food I love.

1. Portion control is the key for me. Next time you make spaghetti (you can give up pasta but I refuse to), give yourself about half the normal sized serving of pasta, double the vegetable, and eliminate any bread. Fill yourself up with water during and after the meal. Also cook your pasta until it is just tender. Overcooked pasta sends blood sugar higher than pasta cooked al dente.

2. Speaking of breads, rice, potatoes, pasta. If I have some, I watch the portion size and I only allow it once a day, on rare occasions twice. So if bread at breakfast, then none later. Also I’ve been known to have half a slice of bread with my boiled egg — who says we have to eat the whole slice? Do I tempt myself with muffins and bagels? Nope. I steer clear of them.

3. Eat more protein, especially if you’re exercising hard like me. You need it to repair the muscle. We want muscle! Again, watch portion size, they say our meat serving should be no larger than a deck of cards. Easily done. And remember eggs are our friends. I also eat a fair amount of tofu and other meat replacements because I’m funny about meat sometimes. I never eat beef, but that’s just my own personal choice.

4. I avoid most foods marked “lite” because I feel this might mean they’ve been even more processed than the regular version. I not only use butter, I buy expensive Kerry Irish Butter. I just use it as sparingly as I can. I also eat tacos with corn tortillas that have been fried in peanut oil. I’m not about to give up tacos. But I eat only two of them and I fill them up with tons of lettuce, avocado, salsa, and only a bit of cheese. I usually eat tacos with fake meat, but sometimes make fish or chicken tacos.

5. I will not give up sugar entirely. I think that’s silly. I have one or two cups of coffee a day, and in both of them I use two heaping spoons of plain old white granulated sugar. I will not drink coffee without it. I will not poison myself further with fake sugars. They are getting an awful lot of bad press of late anyway — even the ones that are supposed to be “natural”. A couple of squares of very dark chocolate are the only other sugary thing I ingest.

6. Drink a ton of water. Forget diet drinks of any kind. The water will help you in so many ways including helping to keep you regular.

7.  Keep an eye on how many fruits and fruit juice you drink. They are another form of sugar. If I have juice, I use a tiny juice glass. That is an appropriate quantity of juice. Learn about which fruits are best for you, pineapple, for example is terribly sugary while other fruits are less so. Anything in the berry family is a good option. My daily prune also counts as one fruit.

8. I’m no expert nor am I a nutritionist, so I will tell you the following with that disclaimer. I let my mood tell me if I am going to have vegetables or salad that day, and what sort. Let’s face it, we all know by now that a huge salad covered in bleu cheese dressing has more calories than most double patty burgers. So salad is only as good as how you prepare it. I’m funny about vegetables. I eat them fairly regularly but some days I don’t. I don’t sweat it because I simply refuse to be a slave to numbers of this and that I am “supposed” to have in the course of 24 hours. Our bodies are not machines.

9. Eat out less often. This is a huge one. Not only are we tempted to order something we should probably not eat, but the serving size is just simply too big. Perhaps you can share your meal with someone?

10. Don’t skip meals. Feed your engine. But also learn to like the feeling of being a bit hungry. At first it’s kind of uncomfortable, but soon enough you’ll grow to like that feeling much more than being too full. A few times a week I drink a high protein meal replacement simply because I can’t bother to figure out what to eat. I know it’s certainly not optimal or natural, but it’s probably better than not eating anything or munching a bowl of Fritos. Sometimes I don’t want to think about food.

This is merely a short list of some of the things I think about in my own weight loss journey. I don’t plan elaborate meals and I’m certainly not a health nut. I don’t spend much time cooking new things just because they’re supposed to be good for me. For me it was important not to obsess over food. You may be different. Planning your meals and becoming a better cook might be right for you. I love to be fairly spontaneous in deciding what I’m going to eat, so shopping once a week is a terrible idea for me because if I’m not in the mood for it on the day, it will go to waste.

Pick and choose from what I do to create your own weight loss journey. My temperament makes it impossible for me to count calories or eat what anybody else tells me to, whether they are Weight Watchers or Spark People or the latest magazine article. I feel that this is the very reason why I am having success losing weight. I don’t feel deprived at all because I’m eating “my” food. It does help that I have a fair understanding of food and nutrition because, as they say, if you want to know how to lose weight, ask a fat person. We know it all, we just haven’t practiced it enough.

I’m 56 and I’ve lost 2-4 pounds a week for a few months. Granted, I do exercise six days a week, and I’m sure that helps, but diet is the most important aspect of weight loss. One odd way that I feel exercise helps me lose weight is that because I am often slightly sore, I’m more aware of my body and the fact that I am working on improving it.

Turns out, we older women can lose weight and we need to stop reading and listening to experts who make us feel that it’s hardly worth attempting. The rewards of weight loss and a stronger body are almost immediate.

One final word on alcoholic drinks. I’m really lucky that I rarely imbibe because they are generally high in calories. I have decided already, that if the opportunity presents itself, I will not say no to a glass of white wine.

Please tell me what are some of your weight loss techniques. And please follow me on Twitter @movingliquid1

Unpredictability of Life and More Thoughts about our Fat Population

I began to take action to finally move on with my life and of course — I guess it’s Murphy’s Law — my husband called to tell me he loved me and always has.

I knew that he loved me, I just could not figure out why he forgot.

I don’t know what has caused him to have this extremely sudden change of heart, but from now on my life will get more “interesting” and I will do my best to share less and less of it here. Our relationship is dysfunctional yet I adore him and have only wanted to be with him. We’ll see if that will happen or not.

As far as trust and all that stuff, what’s bothering me more than his indiscretion is the way he discarded me and hurt me. I may never know why he did discard me and why he suddenly wants me back. I only need to focus on what is right for us. I also have the extreme burden of knowing my entire family will be mad at me if I go back to him.

But I don’t want to get ahead of myself. We only began the discussion this morning.

I went directly into the lap pool this morning as I have been doing lately and just began to do laps. I’m sure I did at least 30 minutes of freestyle lengths before I even changed to another stroke. I stopped at the sides of course, but only for one or two seconds. I just wanted my face in the water and the meditation is so good in the freestyle.

I thought about some tips that were mentioned in the videos I watched the other day. During the freestyle your arms should be pushing the water back on the downstroke which is different from just plowing through with brute strength. At least according to this one video I watched. I found it definitely made it easier to do the stroke. I also tried to remember to look more often at the bottom of the pool. It’s easier on the neck and makes you more streamlined.

I love swimming. I love the freestyle. I love water.

We were going to have breakfast for dinner last night which was okay with me, but my parents came home from the grocery store with Grocery Store Chinese Food. Not good. I was starving and it smelled good, but I looked at what I had on my plate and it was just carbs and grease. Hardly any protein.

A small amount of fried rice. A small amount of greasy noodles. Sweet & sour chicken nuggets (breaded, fried, dripping in red glaze). Plus crispy chow mien noodles. Really, really bad. I ate one bite of a fried egg roll and it was horrific. Whatever was inside of it was impossible to determine.

They don’t need to be eating like that either. But I didn’t say anything because my mother’s feelings get hurt so easily. I tried not to eat anything else the rest of the night since I felt I had eaten poorly.

I am living proof that our bodies would rather be fit and they can become healthier with only the slightest encouragement. Thanks to swimming and watching what I eat, I will not end up with diabetes or fatty liver disease. I will probably live longer due to an improved cardiovascular system. My bones are stronger and will be less prone to breaking.

Oh, and I will hopefully not tax our health care system with all the extra care I would have needed if I stayed obese.

I think I read somewhere that fat people live on average five years less than their average weight peers. But to me it’s not just the extra five years. It’s the quality of life for the last 20+ years. I can now do things. I want to do things.

I don’t look down on people who decide to use bariatric procedures to lose weight. If that’s what you need to get the job done, then do it. I only knew that my sister had had some real complications with her procedure, plus I had already had enough surgeries in my life and felt I couldn’t bear an elective one, so I decided to try it on my own.

Another reason is that I gather there is quite a program of counseling before the surgery and that you have to lose around 20 pounds prior to surgery just so that your liver gets a bit smaller to allow the surgeons to do their job. Correct me if I’m wrong on that fact.

If I can lose 20, I can lose more. The two most challenging parts of this journey are 1.) starting it, and 2.) maintaining it. But I’ll be honest, until I finally determined I was going on this journey come hell or high water, I did not think it was possible to lose 5 pounds, let alone 20. Also I’m not even close to the maintenance part yet, I’m just speaking from past experience.

I have another confession to make. I think I’m a self hating fat person. I see so many fat and overweight women in the locker room and I feel some level of disgust. I know that sounds really terrible (and I’m sorry I feel that way), but I think it’s because I know I look like some of them too, and I hate looking like that. I remind myself that they are at the pool getting exercise and that is all that matters. They are doing something just like me. They are not sitting at home. Brava to all of us.

I realize the above statement about disgust might be taken harshly by some readers. It would appear that I, as a fellow “fatty”, can feel some accepted level of disgust for one of my own. But a normal sized person isn’t supposed to have an opinion at all. That’s not fair is it?

I’ve talked about fat acceptance before and I feel it is a slippery slope. Of course we should not demean fat people — it won’t do any good and will only do harm. But I feel it is dangerous for our society as a whole to get so damned big. It is just not healthy. When I was in elementary school I knew no overweight kids and when I was in high school there were one or two. That’s vastly different from today where schools are reporting over 50% of kids are considered overweight.

My god, even some of the lifeguards and swim instructors are a good 15-20 pounds overweight. Why? We need to change that. It’s hard, but with dedication it might be possible to reverse this trend. We must reverse it. I’ll give Michelle Obama some props for attempting to get our kids in shape.

My ex-husband’s family were very, very frugal. There were three sons and on Sundays the three boys would share ONE CAN OF COKE for their once a week treat. That is how different things are today. Everything is enormous.

Last night when I struggled to get to sleep, thinking of my husband and other upsetting things, I decided to fantasize on what sort of clothes I would buy when I am at a normal weight. I let my mind dress the new me, older but classy in tastefully tailored clothing. I can’t think of how long it’s been since I thought about the possibility of me being a normal weight again. But now I know that I will get there. I know it without a doubt.

I wish I could help other people who are feeling helpless about their weight. It is possible to look and feel better, you just have to begin.

I’d love to hear your views on these subjects. And please follow me on Twitter @movingliquid1

The Cruelty and Beauty of the Human Spirit

Last night I sat on my exercise ball switching TV channels taking deep breaths and trying to change the image in my mind the moment I began thinking of my husband with another woman.

Eventually I went to bed and even though I woke up a couple of times with bad dreams about him, I managed to sleep fairly well until 7:30. I guess it’s a small victory — I got a little sleep.

When the image comes into my head (a really cruel joke on humans) I take that long deep breath, sit tall and straight, and immediately envision myself a year from now. I’m slender. I’m well dressed. I’m dignified. I’m with a man who is active, intelligent, and interesting. My life will go on no matter how it feels it won’t at this moment.

In spite of everything and in spite of all my faults, I have enough confidence to know that many men would be lucky to have me. It helps to have those feelings now and then since feeling the opposite is so much easier and more frequent.

I doubt if anyone who has the potential to cheat will be reading this blog, but if you are, please know how much it hurts your partner. You just can’t imagine. If you want to experience another man or woman, please leave your partner in the most respectful way you can — you owe it to them. Don’t hurt them twice. It’s not fair and they don’t deserve it. If you ever believed in your marriage and relationship, honor it by leaving your partner before you cheat.

Off the bandwagon now.

Today is Weighday, a day I normally dread, but I didn’t really care that much today when I went to get on the scale. I knew there would be some loss.

The scale read 222.5 and I’ll keep the .5 although I usually just round my weight up. When I round up, however, I realized it just makes it look like I lost more weight the next week, so I’ll round to the nearest half pound.

I think that’s close to a 3 pound loss in a week and a total of 44.5 pounds. “They” say you should not lose more than a couple of pounds a week, but I’m glad I lost a bit more. It’s not surprising considering the week I’ve had. It actually takes a lot of strength to eat at all and to make those food choices as healthy as I’m able to.

I doubt I will get to 219 next Sunday, but I can hardly believe I’m that close to being in the teens. That means the 90s are right around the corner. When I get under that cursed 200 lb mark, I will really feel as though I’m in the home stretch.

When I was a teenager my brother took delight in teasing me and calling me “180 pounder.” I’m not sure why since I was slender 135 pounder but oh how it hurt, and oh how I thought that 180 pounds was enormous. Obviously it is more than I should weigh, but having been 267, 180 sounds downright lightweight to me now.

I watched many videos on swim stroke technique yesterday because I really am not sure how bad or good of a swimmer I am. Looking at the videos I think I can see that I’m above average for a person who only had swim lessons in high school. I’m also lucky that being tall, my long arms really do give me an advantage over smaller people.

That said, I’m still a slow swimmer and I think beginning this week I will time myself doing a lap here and there and work on challenging myself more during each session. I can now swim laps fairly easily for 60 minutes and so now I need to make that work out even more challenging within that time.

I’ve decided that my next investment will be a pair of mid-weight hiking boots so that I can enjoy some local hiking. I’ve never hiked alone in my life before, but I had never gone to movies alone before either!

I used to run a lovely website for young teens and while running that website I came across a young teen whose mission is to help kids who are suffering from “nature deficit disorder.” I feel that I’ve had a bit of that myself these last several years. It is impossible to be stressed while walking through a perfumy old growth forest or walking the trail down to Crater Lake.

One of the biggest perks to living in the Pacific Northwest is the amazing natural beauty which is never far away. I’ve really missed it and can’t wait to re-discover it.

We’ve had quite a cold and grey Winter so far, but Spring feels like it’s right around the corner.

The human spirit is amazing, isn’t it? As low as I feel, as betrayed and hurt, and broke as I am, I am still able to imagine a future with beauty, fun, activity, and even love in it.

Stats
Starting weight: 267 (mid October 2013)
Today’s weight: 222.5
Total weight loss to date: 44.5 pounds
Height: 5’8″
Goal weight: about 150

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Mustering Up Dignity in my Grief

This isn’t supposed to be a Surviving a Break Up Blog so please bear with me and know that I’ll try to write less and less about that.

I’m at the lowest point of my life. I try with all my might not to think about my husband with another woman but the idea haunts me. I’m ok while I’m swimming but the rest of the day and night feel unbearable. I can’t sleep, and when I do nod off, I dream of him having sex with someone else. I wake up crying.

I can be at the market picking out some avocados when the image of him with another woman (very explicitly) creeps into my head. I find myself literally shaking my head as if I could shake the image out. I take long, slow deep breaths. It gets me through only that moment. I would not wish this pain on anyone.

You see, I thought his body was mine alone.

I wish I could fast forward a year to a time when the pain isn’t so fresh and debilitating.

I wish I were younger so that I could know that I will find love again.

The most pathetic part is I still love him and simply cannot believe someone I loved and someone who I thought loved me could hurt me so badly. Shouldn’t there be rules?

So many men and women have survived a cheating spouse. I have to assume I’ll be one of them someday and that there will be life after this.

I wrote him an email trying to express how much pain I am feeling over his infidelity. Thankfully I did not send it. What good would it do? It’s not up to him to console me any longer.

I just came back from seeing the movie Nebraska, a great movie but perhaps a bit bittersweet for my current state of mind.

I pulled over on the way  home and screamed and cried. And I wailed, “Nooo.” Because this feels like a nightmare I can’t wake up from. Why did he throw us away?

I must have been in shock when I got the news on Wednesday that my husband has been having an affair. Even though we’ve been separated for three months, we’ve had our dalliances (with each other), and he’s lead me on several times, played with my vulnerability and emotions. On Thursday I was still in shock, but starting yesterday I’ve just been crushed, lost, beaten, and filled with despair.

I can’t fathom ever getting over this. There are so many emotions, the least of which is shame and self hatred. I keep telling myself that I should not be hating myself, but I do. If I’d been thinner, younger, calmer, I’d still be with my husband. And then there’s the humiliation that I’m too old for this to be happening to me.

What’s really horrendous about this is that we aren’t really a good fit. In spite of the fact that at times he’s been cruel to me, and that he is allergic to actually working, I want him back. Well, wanted. Past tense.

I know me. I know that I’m changing for the better in many ways, but I’m almost certain that I’m not the kind of woman who could ever get over being cheated on, even if he wanted me back. And I don’t think I could trust him again. I know that it would haunt me, it would affect our daily lives, and I would never get it out of my head. No. I know myself. Even I have limits to my masochism.

Since I am bombarded with images of him having sex with another woman I’ve been asking myself what can I say or do to push the image away and give myself a few moments of peace. I decided I would do this, I will close my eyes, take a slow, deep breath, exhale it slowly and say the word, “Dignity”. I will pull myself up tall and try to imagine that I’m Grace Kelly and I’ll handle this pain with as much dignity as I can muster.

I didn’t make him cheat. I am still a lovable person. I have a wonderful future ahead of me. I will find love again someday.

Right now, those are hardly more than words on a page. In time I hope to actually believe them.

I swam today and as always it was wonderful. The pool is closed tomorrow, so I must find something physical to do. I hope it’s as sunny as it was today, perhaps I’ll take the dogs and go walk by the river.

This is the lowest. It can’t get much lower. Breath and survive this. Breath and survive.

Dignity.