Thursday, July 30, 2015

Thankful Thursday - Year 3

Day 265 - Thursday 7/30/15 - Kinda nice to take my walk early this morning along the beach with my Dad's company.  (Shocking that I just said that, but true!)

Day 263 - Wednesday 7/29/15 - Enjoyed having the beach to ourselves this morning, and this mini-vacation continues to pleasantly surprise me.

Day 262 - Tuesday 7/28/15 - Shocked and appreciative at how lovely today was, considering I spent it with my family.

Day 261 - Monday 7/27/25 - Grateful for the adjusted schedule this week that allowed me to see my therapist on my way out of town, literally.

Day 260 - Sunday 7/26/15 - 

Day 259 - Saturday 7/25/15 - SO appreciative of my BFF, who came over tonight to help me weed through the clutter-overload at home right now.  We made a HUGE dent in it, thanks to her help!

Day 258 - Friday 7/24/15 - Well, I spoke up for myself, and was promised some peace because of it.  Let's see if that actually happens.

The "L" Word

Today I was posed with a task that is proving to be way more of a challenge than it should be.

See, I just returned from a brief vacation with my family (first time in for-ev-er!) and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the trip.  (Never, ever thought I'd say that!)  Anyway, it was suggested to me by someone I very much trust and respect that I send a thank you note to my parents, who I know worked quite hard to make sure I (and my high maintenance requests) were accommodated and that I was comfortable with everyone.

The thank you, though an idea I never would have had, was fine.  I could do that, no problem.  But somehow, it led into another conversation that still, hours later, has me unable to press send on the thank you note.

How do you close a letter to your parents when you really don't have the greatest of relationships, when they are "overly interested" in being in your world, and when there are absolutely zero boundaries?

I wanted to sign it with something simple, like "xoxox" but that isn't what was suggested.  I played around with a few others, such as "with appreciation" and "hugs" but again, not what was suggested.

The "L" word is what was suggested.  More specifically, I was encouraged to close the thank you with "I L you" but I can't.  I just can't.  The "L" word has such strength behind it, I just don't feel like I can use it with my family.  (Yes, I know I'm referring to the "L" word as "it," just goes to show how uncomfortable that word makes me feel.

So, in an effort to understand what the closing actually means, I did what any anxiety-ridden techie does - I went to Google.  I was enlightened, but still.... yeah....

So it turns out that signing a note or letter "love ya" actually is less "strong" as signing "love you" and that is less strong than signing "I love you" or "love always," which are quite strong and serious.  Then there are the variety of signatures that hold similar connotation and strengths, such as "affectionately," and "ever yours," and adoringly," and "with love" and all the other closings that make my stomach churn.

Don't get me wrong, I can liberally use the "L" word in the "right" setting.  Like saying "I love my dog," or "I LOVE maple walnut fudge."  In that situation, the "L" word fits without hesitation.  It's when applying it to people......

Growing up, every single phone conversation with my parents ended with "Love you" which drastically diluted the meaning of the "L" word, and contributed to my aversion to using it.  To me, it's got power and, well, how shall I put it..... power, strength, and an overwhelming amount of warmth that fill it, I just don't like using it unless it's really all those things.  Guess that's part of growing up with the deep scars in which I did, and learning to overcome my aversion while accepting the scars is part of the work my team and I are in for..... Oy.

Guess I better go send that email........

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Thankful Thursdays - Year 3

Day 257 - Thursday 7/23/15 - A brief bonus visit with my dietitian ended a productive, and fairly satisfying day with a smile.

Day 256 - Wednesday 7/22/15 - Appreciate the reminder that we all have gifts that others appreciate, which means we get to appreciate others as they appreciate us.

Day 255 - Tuesday 7/21/15 - So nice to talk to my dietitian again.  Two weeks is still just a tad too long for me to go between visits.

Day 244 - Monday 7/20/15 - I love when my therapist makes sense of things that I can't seem to unwind.

Day 243 - Sunday 7/19/15 - Enjoyed plenty of sunshine-filled pool time today.  It was quite nice!

Day 242 - Saturday 7/18/15 -  Treated myself to a treat at the mall tonight.  Hey, I walked for a while, I earned it!

Day 241 - Friday 7/17/15 -  Loved that I had the pool all to myself this afternoon!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Just Keep Swimming....

Today was another scorcher.  Pair the high temps with intermittent rain, and mother nature was left alone much of the day, as was the pool.

It's been four weeks and five days since I began my commitment to fitness.   During that time, I've averaged about 45 minutes a day of intentional walking.  Intentional.  That's the big shift.  I am actually planning time in my day for my walk.  I'm scheduling it in based on the plans for the day, to make sure it happens.  I've made a walk happen 30 out of 33 days.  And that's pretty good, to me. 

Like Dory said, "just keep swimming" or in my case, just keep walking.  I don't love walking every day.  There have been more than a few days where I want to skip the scheduled walk.  Thankfully, once I start out on my walk, I usually enjoy it.  It's work, but it's fairly pleasant work.  And I know it's good for me.

Just keep walking..... that's what I did today.  I was gonna make it a day off - too hot to walk outside, too hot to even walk in the pool.  Instead, I got creative.  I went to the mall.  A place I generally do not enjoy.  I went though, knowing the intention to walk daily is one I'm trying to hold myself to.  I figured I'd get some good people watching in, too.

And I did.  For about 45 minutes, all was
good.  Until I started noticing people more closely.  I realized that what I see as "nicely dressed" is what most people wear every day.  Ugh.  Strike one.  I also realized that ladies shorts are have grown shorter and shorter over the last few years.  It made my stomach hurt watching so many females - all ages, mind you - walking around and tugging their shorts down to cover their cheeks.  Strike two.

Once I noticed that, I started noticing the mannequins in the windows.  Where all the female mannequins are barely dressed and standing on tiptoes, looking uncomfortable, as opposed to the male ones, flat footed and sporting nice outfits, yet looking comfortable.  Strike three.  I was inwardly cringing, knowing that no matter what I do, or how much fitness I incorporate into my life, or how well I eat, I'm never, ever going to have a body that will be able to wear even a fraction of the clothes in the windows.

I know this about me, about my body.  I know that my body doesn't agree with most things in fashion.  I'm aware that I would not be comfortable in the outfits the mannequins were wearing, no matter how nice I thought they looked.  Not gonna happen with this body.  Which to this day, still depresses me.

But I'm learning.  I'm learning to dress for the body I have, not for the body I want.  I'm learning to make positive food choices, even though I know my body will never change.  I'm learning that intention matters.  I'm learning that fitness isn't just about body shape, it's about feeling good that you made the time to take care of your body.

And despite all of this, I hope.... I intend to.... no matter the situation or circumstances.... just keep walking....

Friday, July 17, 2015

A Summer Swim

It's been hot here.  Like, really, really hot.  Now, granted, it's summer in the mid-west, so anything is possible weather-wise, but this?  This is hot.  And it's gonna get hotter.

One of the biggest reasons I moved here is because of the pool.  It has a beautiful pool!  Even better is that it is rarely in use during the day (though it's packed in the evenings!)  I looked forward to lazy days floating around the pool, enjoying summer to it's fullest.

And for the first few years, I did.  Until I couldn't anymore.  Until I couldn't be in the pool without turning it into a haven for over-exercising.  And when my doctor ordered no more exercise, that ceased.  Fast forward to a few years ago, and I was given permission to use the pool again.  You'd think I'd be excited.

But I wasn't.  Cause at this point I flat out refused to wear a bathing suit.  Sure, I have a shorty wetsuit, that I could easily wear in the pool.  But then I'd look like an idiot.  So I just avoided the pool all together.

Until this summer.  I've enjoyed it a few times already, with a good book.  It's been pretty nice, too, as the pool continues to be empty during the day when I use it, and busy in the evenings.  That gives me plenty of time and space to walk around the pool enjoying my book.

It's been nice.  Until today. 

Today, I was literally up to my shoulders in the water, holding my book that I was reading, which was nice.  Until my hands started sweating like faucets.  Sure, it happens a lot outside of the pool (thanks to the oh-so-UGH hyperhydrosis,) but that's never happened to me in the pool before.  Ever.

I walked back in the door in tears.  My body has been particularly difficult the past few weeks.  Between unusually challenging female problems, to extreme fatigue and exhaustion, to the return of headaches, to mysterious lower back pain, I've been batting 100.  And I am not dealing with it well.  I fight with myself on a daily basis to take care of my body..... it feels like painfully hard work that I don't often want to do.  Yet, I know I've got to do it. 

My nutritionist commented the other day, "wouldn't it be awesome if everything was what it was supposed to be?!" Well, yeah.  But at this point, I'll take a one day break from the pain and exhaustion.  Maybe that will give me some more energy so I can continue working on this puzzle my body is.  Cause lately, it feels like what used to be a 100 piece puzzle has turned into a 1000 piece puzzle with no picture guidance.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Thankful Thursdays - Year 3

Day 240 - Thursday 7/16/15 -  Nothing as good as baby snuggles while the Pup is sleeping next to me.

Day 239 - Wednesday 7/15/15 - Awesome day at work! I still can't believe that I get to work here every day!

Day 238 - Tuesday 7/14/15 - Glad that the storms didn't hit while I was at work today.  The Pup is glad, too.

Day 237 - Monday 7/13/15 - Appreciate the teamwork used by my treatment team, their thoughtfulness, foresight, and just plain kindness feels like a much needed blanket sometimes.

Day 236 - Sunday 7/12/15 - Great brunch with my sister-in-law, who is more like a sister.  Enjoyed it so much we decided that we've got to do it more often!

Day 235 - Saturday 7/11/15 - Spent a chunk of today in the pool and it was sooooo refreshing!

Day 234 - Friday 7/10/15 - Great spontaneous lunch with a friend, productive afternoon taking a project from start to completion!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Thankful Thursdays - Year 3

Day 233 - Thursday 7/9/15 - Feeling fairly good that we were able to situate my therapy schedule for the rest of the summer.  The comfort that comes from my consistent appointments is unequaled elsewhere.

Day 232 - Wednesday 7/8/15 - Grateful that my headache today didn't escalate into a full blown migraine.  That's all I've got today.

Day 231 - Tuesday 7/7/15 - Lovely luncheon today with some lovely friends from my old school.  I felt like a grown up, and it was actually kinda ok!

Day 230 - Monday 7/6/15 - Thankful for watermelon and my BFF.  If I hadn't been talking to her this evening, I'd have ended up with frozen yogurt and a horrid stomach ache and headache instead of watermelon.

Day 229 - Sunday 7/5/15 - Was very overwhelmed today which means I spent a lot of time in the kitchen looking for snacks.  I'm thankful that I didn't let myself cave to the constant urge to eat.

Day 228 - Saturday 7/4/15 - A fantastic July 4th celebrating the first birthday of the peanut!  Finally found a reason to get out of the house on the 4th instead of turtle up!

Day 227 - Friday 7/3/15 - Enjoyed a lovely lunch with a friend, and an invigorating walk with my dietitian.  Pretty good way to start the weekend!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Sliding Doors


Yesterday was a glum day.  Today was a pretty glum day, too.  I've been feeling overly exhausted lately.  Like, breathing-is-too-much-work exhausted.  Yesterday was the worst.  In addition to the exhaustion, my limbs felt like they were made of concrete.  Not fun.

And days like yesterday often multiply.  Like bunnies.  Leading to days on end of glum, gloomy, melancholy.

Yet.  While today was glum, and I am still carrying that excessive exhaustion (waiting on lab results from my doctor to see what's up) I made different choices than I have in the past.

Enter the sliding door analogy, the latest from the brilliant brain of my dietitian.

Sliding doors.  You can see what's on the other side, sometimes.  You know what will happen when you walk through the doors, sometimes.  Sometimes, you even choose to leave the doors closed.  Choose.  Choice.  Everything we do is a choice.  A life changing decision.  Every time we make a decision, we walk through a set of doors.  And every set of doors shapes our lives.  Every single decision we make is a life altering decision.  We just don't know it at the moment.

I'd add that it's how you CHOOSE to react that
matters the most.....
Turns out there was a movie called Sliding Doors that came out in 1998.  It illustrates the idea of sliding doors by sharing two perspectives of the same moment.  The moment where the main character catches the train and what happens after is one perspective.  The moment where she misses the train and what follows is the other.  Her life looks very different in both situations.  Catching the train, walking through those sliding doors, was a life altering choice.

It might not seem like it right now, at least it didn't to me, until my dietitian explained it further.  A few years back, she had tickets to go to a function that she really didn't want to attend.  But she made the choice to go, and in doing so, significantly altered her career in a very positive way.  A chance meeting with an old acquaintance led to a working partnership that to this day is still going strong.

Back to today.  Day two of gloomy me.  A day that was full of sliding doors.  Do I get out of bed or hide under the blankets a little longer?  (I hid under the blankets a bit longer.)  Do I eat a cookie with breakfast or not? (I didn't.)  Do I try to get any work done before I have to leave or not? (I didn't work.)  Do I go home after my day and nap or go for a walk? (I walked.)  Do I stop for frozen yogurt on the way home or run into the grocery store and get some watermelon? (I got watermelon.  And cherries.  And plums.)

They don't seem like big decisions with life changing results.  But in a small way, the act of choosing today was life changing.  I didn't let myself make today a wasted day of gloom.  I made a (semi) conscious choice to not let today turn into a day like yesterday.  I made (for the most part) healthy food choices today.  (I'm especially proud of the watermelon over frozen yogurt choice.)  I didn't let my eating disorder take the driver's seat today, which is usually what happens on these gloomy journeys.  I chose to go for a walk, despite my couch looking exceptionally comfy.  I may have been followed by a cloud of gloom, but instead of crying over the rain, I was grateful it was there to mask tears.

Sliding doors.  Choices.  Decisions.  Maybe one day, when I walk through the door, I'll meet the person of my dreams on the other side, in the pet store, picking up dog food.  That's why I finally realize that whenever I leave the house, I should be ready for anything.  But that's a post for another day.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Thankful Thursdays - Year 3

Day 226 - Thursday 7/2/15 - Thankful for progress.  Didn't realize I had made any till it was pointed out by my therapist today, but there it was, and for that I am thankful.

Day 225 - Wednesday 7/1/15 - Huge sense of accomplishment today!  Built a swing set, despite my siblings saying I wouldn't be able to.  Love proving them wrong!

Day 224 - Tuesday 6/30/15 - I felt very productive today.  And that felt very good!

Day 223 - Monday 6/29/15 - Wonderful day at school.  I could get used to walking into work every morning and feeling, well, feeling quite good about being me while being there.....

Day 222 - Sunday 6/28/15 - Grateful not only for the much needed sleep-catch-up, but also for the fact that I didn't beat myself up for allowing it to happen.

Day 221 - Saturday 6/27/15 - Lovely evening with the peanut, who was so content and happy!  It was a treat to have the time together, just the two of us!

Day 220 - Friday 6/26/15 - Called my first meeting ever, and it was way more positive and productive than I could have imagined!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Post Secret Ponderings

I got the newest Post Secret book for my birthday a few months back.  I skimmed it then, but I finally had a chance to sit and really read through it recently.  There I sat, in my swing, snuggled in with a pillow and a blanket.  Cradling my Post Secret book.  Knowing that I'm gonna be diving into a hole, by choice, and I don't know what will be when I climb out.

This book, in particular, struck me on a very deep level.  It's my third Post Secret book, and I look forward to Sunday Secrets every week, but still.  In reading this book, I realized something that I think I've known for a while, but never acknowledged to be true.

Reading this book, I realized that some of my darkest deepest secrets have been shared by others.  Flipping through the pages, I saw at least three secrets that I was too afraid to send.  Two of the three have never been spoken of outside my treatment team's offices.  The third secret still resides solely in my head.

And apparently, they all reside in the minds of others, too.  

Does this make me feel any better?  I don't know.  Not really, I think.  It does make me feel less alone, knowing others are struggling with my struggles, too.  But it doesn't make me feel better.  Cause no one else should have to deal with my struggles, these in particular, and I wouldn't wish them upon anyone.

But clearly, others are inflicted, too.

And while occasionally, it helps to hear examples of what others have done in similar spots, usually, when someone on my team provides an example such as "you need to remember that you're not the only person in the world dealing with this?"  That? That is not helpful.

See, I'm an overachiever when it comes to constantly comparing myself to others.  I'm masterful at using others checklists to "score" myself.  I like knowing that sometimes, when my dietitian has a ridiculous schedule, she will fit in a workout anyway, though it may only be 20 minutes, because it's better than nothing.  That tip has kept me exercising on days when I was too busy to, knowing that if she is good with the concessional 20 minute workout instead of the full on hour, then I can be too.

So why do I still struggle with the idea of knowing that others suffer from the same issues I do?  Why do I cry when I see my secret on Post Secret, or in one of the books, though I never sent it in?  Why can't I find comfort in knowing that I'm not alone in my struggles?  While I might never know the answers to these questions, I'm ok with that.  I will continue reading Sunday Secrets, and continue reading the Post Secret books, and continue crying when I read one of my secrets in someone else's handwriting.  Maybe one day, I'll take comfort in those secrets, too.