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CINCIN910's Photo CINCIN910 Posts: 1,057
9/27/11 4:55 P

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steeler girl, I just saw your post. Go to Daily Chit Chat thread. There's great support over there and the most awesome people. I love them! I just don't have the time to keep up right now. It's very busy.

How will I know what I can accomplish if I quit?


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CINCIN910's Photo CINCIN910 Posts: 1,057
9/27/11 4:53 P

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I've been on that thread for a year. Just don't have the time right now to keep up. Trish set this thread up and I'm finally getting to read the book and I was wondering if anyone out there is still reading it or am I the last to do it?


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CD3188484 SparkPoints: (0)
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9/27/11 4:46 P

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This thread actually pertains to people reading and following a specific book called "A Course in Weight Loss". The "Daily Chit Chat" thread has more every day type of postings pertaining to stress, motivation, family issues, health, exercise, successes, etc. Have you tried that thread?

Lauren

AWILEY3's Photo AWILEY3 Posts: 6
9/27/11 4:00 P

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I'm new to Spark People...hope i can get some help and encouragement from the 40 somethings out there.

Steeler girl


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TONEDTORI's Photo TONEDTORI Posts: 1,524
9/26/11 9:18 P

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It gets lonely out there and don't you wonder if you should stay part of the group? I just quit the treadmill challenge because it was crickets over there. Are we the only ones left in our 40's that need to lose our 10plus pounds? emoticon Hope to hear more from other soooooonnnnnn! best regards, Victoria

I have the strength and self discipline from the Grace of God & I will give my challenges to the Lord.
Tori, CA

**BL Fall 2020-Beautiful Amethyst Butterflies- Harvest Your Health-LEVEL 14: BUCKEYE
**Weight Warriors~2020 5% Fall Challenge 10/3

Weight Warriors~2020 5% Summer Challenge starts: July 4th
BL-2020 Beautiful Amethyst Butterflies- Sparktastic Summer Slimdown-: Week 10


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CINCIN910's Photo CINCIN910 Posts: 1,057
9/26/11 6:41 A

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is anyone out there still reading? I am.

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WIZKEY's Photo WIZKEY Posts: 5,087
8/14/11 1:54 P

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Cincin - Take your time. If we don't do this at our own pace we won't stick with it (my opinion.)
I am starting the Chopra Center 21 day meditation challenge tomorrow and I am very excited about it as meditation is one of the parts of the book that I really struggled with.
Here is the link if anyone else is interested.
www.chopracentermeditation.c
om/bestsel
lers/meditation_summer/regis
ter.asp

Blessings to everyone this week!!
Teresita

Roseburg, OR - PDT
Teressa
www.teressamorris.com


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CINCIN910's Photo CINCIN910 Posts: 1,057
8/12/11 2:08 P

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hi all. still here. thinking of you all. still journaling out some stuff. between the company here and going on vacations and visiting family up north, I just haven't been able to jump on here. I'm committed again once school starts and things quiet down for me. until then, it's the book poolside with my journal and entertaining all the friends from the north. My thoughts are all with you and I didnt want you to think I've given up.
enjoy the rest of the summer. live healthy and stay strong.

How will I know what I can accomplish if I quit?


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HOLLYA_66 SparkPoints: (0)
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8/4/11 9:35 A

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Just wondering I have just glimpsed at blogs and discussions here and see how great people do on this site and wondered ....is the sparks book really worth the buy?

WIZKEY's Photo WIZKEY Posts: 5,087
7/6/11 7:37 P

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Cat- so glad to have you back!!!
Thank you for the compliment!! I AM finding a strength I didn't realize I had.

I liked what you said about God using negative events for positive outcomes. Today was our TRO hearing and also the detention hearing for my son's abuser. We were granted the TRO and the child was remanded back to juvenile hall until the trial. We even got a victim's rights advocate. I stood up in front of the judge and didn't pass out!! We are even getting some victim's fund money that will enable us to move to another part of town.
Cat - when you said "let our light shine brighter together" - I love that!! That's what I like about this group - we learn from each other and get better together!!

Teresita

Roseburg, OR - PDT
Teressa
www.teressamorris.com


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CATHERINEL66's Photo CATHERINEL66 SparkPoints: (0)
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7/6/11 12:42 P

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So, last night I read a portion of Chapter 17 and a portion of Chapter 18.

The forgiveness piece definately connected with me. I jotted out a list of people that have rated high on my anger towards/grudge carrying list. Mom, step father, my son (very rough periods from 13 onward till 17ish), various ex-husbands, etc. And you know who kept topping the list? ME.

I really liked the idea of the other side of forgiveness -- by that, I mean, not just the aspect of who we want to forgive, so we can drop the burden of carrying things that don't serve us any longer -- but also WHO should be forgiving US? Hmmm .... I jotted out a list of this too. Guess what? Same people that I should be forgiving. Interesting. Including myself. AGAIN.

I remembered an earlier lesson about how free you would feel if there were no resentments or heavy old worries/fears/anger holding us down. This is a great application of that.

I also really REALLY liked the concept of God using "tools" or experiences perceived by us as negative to result in positive outcomes. For example, it helps me immensely to think of the "bad" things that happened to me as a young child, or later in my teenager and adulthood in which I was a willing abuser of myself -- things that I've always seen as "bad" and "mistakes" or "defects" .... and yep, I've been able to see for some time that many of those things made me into the positive person I am today. But this chapter helped to increase that clarity. Especially around the adult choices that I always felt could have been more stellar. So, it was good!

Another point of connection was the concept of being the best most fantastic ME in a way that is peaceful and NOT a one-up on someone else, or that me being fantastic does not degrade or take away from someone else. That's been a big deal as a successful women for me -- it's often taken as a one-up or diminishing for insecure people (some family, prior husbands, etc). I don't see it as that way. I prefer the "let our light shine brighter together" approach, and I am thankful that my DH feels the same way.

Speaking of DH, he said something really nice (and unprompted) to me out of the blue a couple days ago. He was hugging me and said "it makes me feel good to have you" ... and I was like ' what do you mean? ' and he actually ticked off what he considers my big headlines: super hot (thankfully!), smart, successful, likes him and really good to hang around with. Awww!! Oh, and LOVES DOGS. (we have two big Samoyeds that we center our life around!).

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CATHERINEL66's Photo CATHERINEL66 SparkPoints: (0)
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7/5/11 11:14 A

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Hi all, I'm jumping back in here! Cin, so glad to see you on the team, and Mary, so glad to have you back.

Teresita, you have really gone through an amazing piece of personal growth since I've known you here on this board. Really. I know you've had some rough moments, and I'm SO glad that things are looking UP and you're stepping into the real you. That scared, hiding person was not the shiny bright woman I see from here :)

Cin, I think that anger and rage were some of my greatest and most negative defenses. That angered saved me when my life was truly out of control and gave me focus and energy to get to the next moment, and sometimes that rage scared the bad things/people away from me. But after I grew through the scary times, the anger began to eat me up, be destructive, and I spent a lot of years in therapy (learning coping skills) and with booze/drugs/food to "stuff" or cover up the anger (negative coping skills!!). Anywho - kudos to you for validating the anger and finding a way to let it out (writing). I've used a lot of different tactics, and can solidly say that the last apprx. 18 months of mindfulness have been the HUGE turning point in my life.

Trish, it's funny, I remember your treks LAST year in VT. And feeling inspired. And here we are again, this year! It's been a long journey and a really, really good one. I'm happy to say that I join you in BEING the skinny me, and boy, oh boy, it's the greatest thing ever. And not just skinny me, but HEALTHY me, inside and out. I am now the best incarnation of me that I've ever been. And slowly but surely, I just get a little better all the time (and hopefully trim the thighs and firm the butt too) -- I'd like to max out the goodness and talents I have, get every bit of potential going in the right direction, and soothe the "defects" away until they're buffed out :) Grand aspirations, LOL!

Mary, good for you for talking to your kids. Sadly, your siblings demonstrate what I call a good bad example. And yep, it could be me too. I have one sister (half sister, found two of them when I was about 30) who is in a similar or worse spot in life and it's a sad thing to see where our choices bring us.

All right -- must get back to work. And I'll get back on the chapter I left off on this week!!

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WIZKEY's Photo WIZKEY Posts: 5,087
7/4/11 12:25 P

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Good morning ladies!!
I finished Chapter 18 yesterday and it was fun to imagine how life will be when I am skinny again. But it was also very nice to realize that some of the things I have been waiting for are already happening. I am seeing muscles I've never seen before!!!
Hope everyone is doing well.
Teresita

Roseburg, OR - PDT
Teressa
www.teressamorris.com


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WIZKEY's Photo WIZKEY Posts: 5,087
7/2/11 2:32 P

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Cincin - Welcome back and way to go!! It has been a stressful week for me - one of 16 yo ds ex-friends was just arrested for felony stalking my ds. I have caught myself reaching for the comfort foods too many times this week. Had to remember that I am to only put in my body foods that will help me serve God's purpose. Feeling back on track today and got my full workout yesterday before it got too hot. Will be finishing Chapter 18 tomorrow (had to break it up into 3 parts - it is a heavy chapter.)
Teresita

Roseburg, OR - PDT
Teressa
www.teressamorris.com


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CINCIN910's Photo CINCIN910 Posts: 1,057
7/2/11 1:20 P

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Hi Natalie and welcome.

I had a pretty good time in Florida. We walked all over the parks and I didn't over eat. I left food on my plate when I felt full. I didn't get annoyed the way I thought I would this past week. I listened to lesson one and 'gave it to god' each time. felt good. this week I'll be onto lesson 2.



How will I know what I can accomplish if I quit?


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LUCKYNATY's Photo LUCKYNATY SparkPoints: (0)
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6/29/11 7:32 P

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I love the encouragement. How do I add you to my friends on my page? I have no friends emoticon ( on the site) Hay are you class of 1986? I visited your spark page.
I am leaving Sunday. Yes they have an exercise room. We are going to Atlantis. What might help me is I hear everything is expensive, so maybe that will motivate me to limit myself on the food.:) Went to Zumba today. It's great!! I love it bcause, it doesn't seem like execise to me. It's one big party at Lady of America! And just like this site, everyone is real supportive. Back to the traveling, my vet did not have room which I think worked out better bc I thought she would be locked in a liitle cage, but my neighbor told me about a place that's a daycare for dogs and my dog bc she is so shy will be separated from the " intimidating dogs" I tried it out, and when I picked her up these 2 beautiful puppy poodles, one red one white were in there with her and she looked ok, then she spotted me, and it was like picking up a kid from pre k- " " Mommy's here!" I hope she does ok while I'm gone, but it beats being locked in a cage for a week.

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WIZKEY's Photo WIZKEY Posts: 5,087
6/29/11 4:05 P

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Good morning ladies -
I wrote another letter to the new me today - explaining why I am afraid of her and why I want to be her. I found that my biggest fear is being noticed. My family likes to joke that I have a pathological fear of attention - will literally go out of my way to avoid it - even if it is well-deserved. So I guess I need to figure out a way to get over that. I am looking forward to the new me because I can already feel myself getting better endurance, clothes fitting better, just feeling better about myself in general.
Ordered new glasses yesterday - they are the first pair of "fashion" glasses I have ever owned. I'll post a picture when I get them next week.
Halfway through chapter 18!!
Teresita

Roseburg, OR - PDT
Teressa
www.teressamorris.com


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WIZKEY's Photo WIZKEY Posts: 5,087
6/29/11 2:46 P

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Welcome Natalie!! We are all reading the book "A Course in Weight Loss" by Marianne Williamson. It is a very helpful book if you want to read along with us. I know what you mean about vacation. The important thing is to make sure you keep moving - even if all you can do is walk - look for places to walk or actively play with your kids or maybe your hotel has a small gym? As to food - try to look for meals with the most fruits and vegetables and don't feel guilty to not finish a meal. Also, don't get upset if you don't lose weight on vacation. I'm not saying you won't because I don't know your details, but consider it a victory if you maintain and then if you lose weight - bonus!!! Anyway, we will be happy to hear the details when you return!!
Teresita

Roseburg, OR - PDT
Teressa
www.teressamorris.com


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LUCKYNATY's Photo LUCKYNATY SparkPoints: (0)
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6/27/11 4:33 P

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Hello, I am new to this team. My name is Natalie. I scrolled down and got the gist of the discussion. I'd like to tell Teresita, that I am going on vacation next week too and I'm anxious about whether I'll be able to keep up on being motivated. I do not have the spark book, but I like the support you all seem to be sharing. I did create my spark page " Luckynaty" and like this site a lot. Good luck to you all, and " put that cookie down!" I love cookies, but unfortunately they have loved me back a little too much:)

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CINCIN910's Photo CINCIN910 Posts: 1,057
6/24/11 5:14 P

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Teresita,
thanks. I'm heading out to florida with the in laws this week. I think I'm going to stay in lesson one right now. I'll need it to get thru the vacation and all it's food. Gotta learn to give it up to god before I can move on. I'll work on that this week.
I'll check in when I get back.
Stay strong.

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WIZKEY's Photo WIZKEY Posts: 5,087
6/24/11 11:02 A

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Cin - way to go!!! The first lesson is one of the hardest. I am not very good at the visualization either, but I am trying to at least be still and give myself some time to meditate with God. Now you're on to Chapter Two!!
This has been a stressful week for me - nothing serious, just a bunch of annoyances that have added up to make me want to scream!! Anyway, I am not going to be hard on myself if I don't lose any weight this week, just making it my goal to not gain any either.
Have a good weekend,
Teresita

Roseburg, OR - PDT
Teressa
www.teressamorris.com


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CINCIN910's Photo CINCIN910 Posts: 1,057
6/23/11 10:48 P

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I finished all my words from lesson 1. I'm really trying to do the visual. it's tough. But I'm seeing some attitudes I have and I can find ways to let it go.
Hope the rest of you are doing well.


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CINCIN910's Photo CINCIN910 Posts: 1,057
6/21/11 11:37 P

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teresita, congrats on the weight loss. I guess this is more of a struggle than I thought it would be.

Hi Trish, glad to see you here. I was hoping to run into you here. Chit Chat is so hard to keep up with since my time is so limited on the computer these days.

I'm halfway thru the words of lesson one. Seeing some things and feeling better about some things as well. I'm going to write on anger last since I'll probably have a book on it. I've never carried anger until I married and got a monster in law not a mother in law. Amazing what marriage can do to a person. Add in this move away from her, OMG! But I'll just have to write it all down and come to terms with it's her attitude and I don't need to give into it anymore. I have to remember not to let someone treat me the way I don't want to be treated.
Anyway, It's late, the day is gone. Spent it poolside with the kids again. loving it!
Going to catch up on the other threads. just wanted to pop in here first and see how you guys are doing.
nite nite

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WIZKEY's Photo WIZKEY Posts: 5,087
6/21/11 1:29 P

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Trish -
So glad to see you back!! And I actually think you're only a chapter behind me. We might even be on the same chapter. I wrote the letter to not-so-thin me, but am struggling with the list of all the things that scare me about being thin and the letter to the new me. I am 8 pounds down this year, 14 pounds down since last year, but I still have a long way to go and it's hard to think about being that comfortable with myself again.
You go girl!!! You inspire me!! And even though I am losing slowly, I take pride in the way my body is changing, clothes are looser - I am so much stronger and have more endurance - asthma attacks are fewer. It's all progress!!
Teresita

Roseburg, OR - PDT
Teressa
www.teressamorris.com


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RUNNERHI's Photo RUNNERHI SparkPoints: (0)
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6/20/11 11:11 P

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Cin- so glad to see you here with us. I was hoping you'd jump in. Like Terrisita (wiskey), I found that the chapters alternate between tearing this addicition apart, and then she builds you up in the next one and you have a ton of hope again. I just read one chapter and started the next- and in one, I was happy with my accomplishments and feeling great, and the next one I'm realizing what a monster I am in my thoughts and like you, how angry and judgemental I am. It's all part of the process and that's why we're here. But we're all here together supporting each other as we go through it. One things's for sure, you're definitely not alone. (Me! Me!)

Terisita- great about the disability thing. Anything is better than not. Glad to see that you're keeping up with the book, unlike your course partner here :(

Mary- I often wonder what circumstances will present themselves that will allow me to appropritely share just what happened to me as a kid. I've wanted to several times, but the time didn't seem right. But I really want to some day. They know my parents currently drink, and did a lot more when I was a kid, and that my father used to hit me a lot, but that's as far as I've told them. I only told them about the drinking because 1) the teens need to know they are genetically predisposed to that, so don't even mess with it, and 2) I refuse to talk to my parents from about 4:00 pm on because that's when they drink the most. But sometimes I think if they just knew...they'd understand more.

I finally picked up the book again tonight. Can't even tell you what chapter I'm on, but I just had to write a letter to the skinny me and tell her basically to take charge and that God is behind us giving us strength. And to tell the fat me to take a hike. It was fun actually, empowering. But what I loved most was the next thing I was supposed to do was write all the things I could do if I were thin, how I'd feel, what I'd love about it- and wow, what a revelation. Because that is me! No more wishing it, no more imagining it, I am skinny and have been for at least a year now. I think it's been about a year and a half. Last year at this time I was hiking all over VT, and here I am a year later, still the same weight and looking forward to going to VT to climb those green mountains once more. I wished I'd be mroe confident and take risks, to skinny dip and go to the beach without being embarassed, that I could win races and feel strong and proud, and here again, I AM HERE!!

It's as great as I always thought it could be. I don't hate myself, I don't worry about what people are saying or thinking about me (which was all in my head anyway), buying clothes that look great and bring attention to me, working with a trainer-- it's a life I only dreamed of. Thank you God for haning in there with me for so so long. And thank you to my friends here for helping me when I lost faith or figured this was just another set up to prove what a failure I really am.

Now of course, I need to keep working on letting go of the fear based thoughts and actions that brought me here in the first place. And I am so far from deserving any of this, but I'll just be thankful and accept the abundance that is mine in this new life.

Trish

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WIZKEY's Photo WIZKEY Posts: 5,087
6/20/11 12:27 P

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Cincin - Oldest son is a sophomore in college and youngest is a senior in high school. Yes - this is a big relief for us.
Don't be too hard on yourself. I don't know you that well yet, but it's a good bet your anger is less about being "spoiled" and more about trying to control what you can because other things in your life have been or are currently out of control. I know those were my issues. I still struggle with them. Anyway, I think it's important to understand the motivations for our behavior in order to be able to change it. Calling yourself "spoiled" doesn't really get to the root cause of your anger. So be gentle with yourself!!
Teresita

Roseburg, OR - PDT
Teressa
www.teressamorris.com


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CINCIN910's Photo CINCIN910 Posts: 1,057
6/20/11 9:01 A

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starting to write now. I'm finding I carry a ton of anger. I'll have to keep exploring that one. I think I'm just very spoiled and have to have my way all the time and it needs to revolve around me. These last few days I've been trying to let things go when I don't get my way. Sometimes its easier than others. well, before the boys wake up, I'm going to explore another word in lesson 1.


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CINCIN910's Photo CINCIN910 Posts: 1,057
6/19/11 6:51 P

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Teresita,
Thanks for the idea of burning it. I like that. Then I don't have to worry about what I write and who will find it by mistake later. I don't need any family issues, well, more than I have now anyway.
How old are your kids? Almost ready for college? That'd be such a load off if you don't have to pay for them to go. That's a big bank breaker for sure.

How will I know what I can accomplish if I quit?


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WIZKEY's Photo WIZKEY Posts: 5,087
6/18/11 11:18 A

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Mary -
I have recently had to distance myself from one of my brothers who has chosen blame and victimization instead of forgiveness for events of our childhood. Nothing like what you've been through, but so proud of you for making your own way and for not allowing yourself to be sucked into their crap.
Cincin - some lessons are easier than others, but they're all pretty tough (but worth it). I found it healing to write all the words down, then burn them when I was done. Use it if you like it.
DH got a letter yesterday from the VA granting him a 10% disability which means we will get a little money every month plus he has a better chance of getting a government job. He was so excited he sat down and went through all the job websites to see if he had missed a job the day before. Also if we stay in CA, our sons can go to any state college for free now. That is a huge relief!! I think things are finally looking up!!
Teresita

Roseburg, OR - PDT
Teressa
www.teressamorris.com


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CINCIN910's Photo CINCIN910 Posts: 1,057
6/18/11 9:31 A

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mary, wow. I don't even know what to say. just wow. how tough you are to handle this so well.

I'm still trying to think of all my words from lesson 1. I keep rereading and rereading. Is every lesson this tough? I keep getting intrupted by kids and DH. he travels next week so I might get a chance to sit up late at night and start the journaling on sunday when he leaves. Maybe writing it helps. I have found anger tho. I think I can do pages on that one.

Edited by: CINCIN910 at: 6/18/2011 (09:31)
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MARYBTHIN's Photo MARYBTHIN Posts: 523
6/18/11 7:53 A

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I read back to the last time I posted on 5/10 in order to catch up with you lovely ladies. It was much easier to do that here than on Daily Chit Chat!

Cin: Welcome aboard, darling!

Wizkey: Your letter was so amazing. Thank you for sharing it here. When I read back, it hit me that you were at a "bottom" of sorts and that there was indeed only one way to go which was up. It's so interesting that is exactly what has been happening in your life with your whole family! You have done such great work here and it is such a pleasure to watch you "grow" from fearful to faithful. God Bless You!!

Trish: I know we are nearing Bobby's check up date. I've been praying so much lately and find myself adding more and more people to the list. What's one more? Bobby's in too!!!! xo

Cat: Your journey of growth is truly inspiring. I love how you recognize and accept your character assets and defects. It is in the balance that we find peace, compassion and forgiveness.

Speaking of forgiveness and having to communicate with too many of my angry, resentful sibilings lately, I am so grateful to have been able to let go a lot of my own "uglies". I been doing much observation lately of my parents, siblings and self. I see those who have not been able to let go and forgive and how they still (30-40 years later) are still self abusing with drugs/alcohol. But for the Grace of God, there go I.

I've also set a boundary line that will not be crossed. My druggy/drunk sister crank calls my home telling my children that their mom is a drunk/druggy who's had promiscuous sex, yada yada yada, all while she's cursing, calling me every name in the book and how much better she is than me. I refuse to speak to her or be in the same room with her toxicity. She's pissed I won't engage. Swears since we come from the same parents, we are bound together whether I like it or not. LOL

I sat my children down and generally explained my background which I had previously shared bits and pieces of when we were dealing with my drunk brother who did the same harassing thing that she did. His was sicker though as he told my husband there was nothing DH could do to stop him from getting to me. Considering this brother was the one who gave me away to be raped when I was 5, that was scary to the point of I would do whatever was necessary to protect myself and my children. DH smartly took all guns out of our home.

So utilizing my sister and both brothers current life situations, I told my children they were what I chose not to be. I let them know that they are absolutely in charge of their lives too by making the healthiest choices they can in any given moment. If they ever need to know how to pick themselves up and make a change in their lives, they better come talk to me!

I have two Viewings/Funeral Services set up for each of my parents. One will be for the 3 drunk/druggy/incarcerated siblings mentioned here. The other will be for the 3 currently non self abusing siblings. Now that's a true boundary being set!

Best wishes to all!

xo,
Mary

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6/17/11 11:27 A

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Cincin - would love to have you join us!! I am almost done with the book, but plan to start it over again after I finish to see what new ideas I can glean. There is also a team called "A Course in Weight Loss" which has a lot of information and help as well.
Enjoy the journey!!
Teresita

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Teressa
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6/16/11 6:18 P

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Hi Ladies,
I finally got to order the book and I just read thru the first lesson. Tonight my DH is at a dinner meeting so I will have until the late night hours to start working on some words.
Would you mind if I joined you? I know you all are farther along but I would love to jump in. I could use some support in understanding the hidden me.
Cin


How will I know what I can accomplish if I quit?


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6/15/11 1:48 P

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Good morning ladies!!
I miss you all - hope all are doing well.
I just finished Chapter 18. In this chapter we have to write another letter to our old selves - a farewell letter of sorts - here is mine:
Dear Not-Skinny-Me,
I let you into my life because you were safe. I could avoid attention and avoid new situations. I said yes to you by saying no to things and experiences I really wanted but was afraid to try.
I don't need you anymore. I am learning how to step out on my own - what I like and dislike. I have learned that it's okay to say no to something I dislike, but it's not okay to say no to something just because I'm afraid. I know that being a child of God is about stretching and growing, not shrinking and hiding.
I ask God to take you away. Your time is over. God is my protector and the director of my life - not you!!
Goodbye,
Teresita

Roseburg, OR - PDT
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6/2/11 12:52 P

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Catherine -
Thank you for the pep talk!! More good news yesterday - DH found out that he gets free VA medical care for the next year. So now I am the only one of us with no health insurance.
Made my list of people I need to forgive and it was much shorter than it would have been earlier this year. I have learned a lot about forgiveness. My biggest problem is forgiving myself. I carry around a lot of guilt for many small things that have happened in my life. My family tells me I apologize way too much. Not sure how to stop that because my mother never apologizes and I don't want to be like her. How do I find a happy medium?
Hope everyone has a good week,
Teresita

Roseburg, OR - PDT
Teressa
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6/1/11 12:50 P

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Teresita, this is GOOD NEWS from you! I think it's a great thing to hear about DH getting enrolled in school, with $ support for tuition and some extra! Yay! And although it must be hard (totally validating that) -- it's way better to have help from DH's family in a check vs. living there. I am actually relieved to hear this, as I have been thinking of you and wondering what's going on.

About the accounting jobs -- I think that people applying for them ARE a dime a dozen, but good accounting people are hard to find. So please keep looking and take the time to highlight your fabulousness in great, personalized cover letters/emails. I am actually looking for someone right now and it's really challenging to weed through 200 resumes of applicants to find the 3 potential people that might work, LOL! Often, I don't even open the resume if the email doesn't capture me - just a time crunch factor!

Glad things are in an upswing!

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6/1/11 12:36 P

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Good morning ladies!!
Catherine - what a breakthrough that was to be able to start to forgive your stepfather!! I was finally able to forgive my stepfather last year, but I am finding (as you said, would not look him up) that forgiving is not forgetting. This week my brother finally confronted my mom on the abuse that he received from our stepfather. He told me he doesn't think that he will ever be able to talk to our stepfather or forgive him. I told him that is up to him, but for me, I remember the good times we have had with him and how he used to protect me from my mom's rages and all the good conversations we have had. I still interact with my mom and stepdad once or twice a year in person and it is always pleasant, albeit a little superficial.
But talking to my brother has brought the nightmares back. So forgiving definitely does not mean forgetting. And now my biggest goal is still to get past the fear. There's no way this man can hurt me (emotionally) any more. But all those childhood fears are still there.
Anyway, going to work on my list today. There are a few people I would go out of my way to avoid, so maybe those are the people I need to work on forgiving.
Catherine - thanks so much for the question!! Sparkpeople, and especially you ladies have been my saving grace this year!! DH is working on getting enrolled in college for the summer semester. He will get GI bill benefits (including a housing allowance), so that will help some. He is also going to hit the temp agencies when we get back from Portland next week (have to go bring DS home from college for the summer). I have had 3 turndowns in the past month - I guess bookkeepers are a dime a dozen right now - but still plodding along. DH's parents are helping us out with a monthly check until we are back on our feet - humiliating to say this, but our other alternative is moving in with them to a more depressed economy than ours and I have a job here albeit part-time, but no guarantee of a job there. Youngest DS is doing much, much better emotionally - has even started voluntarily doing chores around the house and is taking his driver's test in July!! Doctor is changing his pain meds again to neurontin, and we are hopeful that will help. So things are not much better, but they are a tiny bit better and I am cautiously optimistic. God is definitely with us!!
Mary - miss you!!

Teresita

Roseburg, OR - PDT
Teressa
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6/1/11 6:26 A

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Hi all, I'm part way through chapter 17 (forgiveness).

You know what's funny? About a day or so before I started this chapter, I think I got to a point of forgiving my former step father (very damaging, MUCH verbal abuse). It was over Memorial Day vacation, and when DH and I were driving around, he came up in conversation and I actually started remembering all the good things he did for me, and recalling some times when he really went out on a limb on my behalf. By Monday night, I MISSED him a little (haven't seen him in almost 10 years).

Not that I'm going to go look him up ...

But, I was thinking of him as I read the first part of the chapter last night. I knew, intellectually, that not forgiving people only hurt me, and that carrying the grudges was a hard thing. But I guess it just takes a while to soak in (years!!). I felt like the time and space had given me distance to see him as a guy who had his good sides/not good sides. Maybe, if I look at him with love (and stand back) I can see that he is a flawed person. Just like me.

Still working on my mother on some days, only because I DO interact with her, and when she's rude to me it just pisses me off. There, I need to breath deep, let go, and hang up the phone and then NOT think about it anymore.

I forgive my son for being all over me with text/phone and receiving a check from me -- all to do with ADD meds -- and then totally ignoring/blowing me off completely (offer to visit NY, general how-are-you text) when it suits him. Letting that go too. I'll keep offering/reaching out from time to time, and if he blows me off, it's his option. Honestly, I wasn't the ideal mother either, being a flawed person and all, so I don't feel like I have room to complain, and I'm sure not going to give in to a victimization feeling.

Anyway -- I'll continue on with this chapter and post some more thoughts. Sounds like we're in the same place in the book, actually.

Teresita, I hope things are looking up for you and your family. Job prospects for any of you?

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5/31/11 2:07 P

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Trish -
Did you just finish Chapter 17? If so, I don't think you're behind, I just started Chapter 17 myself.
Let me just say that you are an inspiration to me on my own journey. To hear you say that this time something fell into place. Every few weeks I feel something new click inside me and I finally "get it." I told DH the other day that I am very scared of the future, but it's starting to be in a good way, LOL, like I can't wait to see what's in store. Maybe because things couldn't get much worse, LOL.
Anyway, I'll post some thoughts after I finish the chapter, but just wanted to let everyone know I think of you daily and hope things are well with all of you.
Teresita

Roseburg, OR - PDT
Teressa
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5/31/11 12:39 A

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Seems like the only time I'll be able to get to the book is when I'm at my old job, which is just on Mondays now. But I have been true to my word that I open it up and read some when I'm here at work. So tonight when I opened it, I read the last part of the chapter I was on last week - I know I'm behind you guys. That's ok.

Tonight I read the part about holding grudges and judging other people. As in mercilessly- that's me. So I wrote down all the people I've held grudges against, and all the people whom I've let down. The list of the people I've held grudges against wasn't that long, but the people I do, I hold mighty grudges. Big time hatred and disapointment. My mother is so totally oblivious now at this stage of her dimentia- she thinks she's been a wonderful mother to me, so my disgust for her does nothing, really, but eat at me- literally.

To theose whom I've let down, yes there are the people I lose my patience with (Bobby) and people I've been way too dependent on, but the biggest letdown has definitely been with myself. I've let myself down so many times in so many ways- from being stuck in a rut of a job when I was capable of so much more, to losing weight so many times only to gain it back, to being a social recluse- I have so much to offer the world, and so much good to share, and I've hid behind my fear. When she gave examples of people who sold themselves short in the book, I had to agree with each scenario for myself.

The good news is that I'm taking steps to change that. I've taken a lot of risks lately, and the success I've felt is spuring me on to take even more. New job, trainer, trail race, triathlon, earning enough money to pay for the trainer up front, going for a bike ride by myself, even though the good Lord created me without a sense of direction (and believe me, going 40 miles away from home on a bike with no sense of direction is a leap in faith!).

I wonder if it's the book, or the risks I've taken, or SP, but something is different this time around. The food has fallen into place in its rightful order, and I feel like I'm eating to live, not living to eat. I wonder what its from-- guess it doesn't matter, really.

Cat. like you I try to pray but I forget a lot. But when I was at the the top of a big mountain that I had just ridden up the other day, and looking around at this beautiful field full of wild flowers, sun and vast open land, I couldn't help but laugh and say out loud, "I am so lucky. I'm jus so lucky to be alive to see this, to do this, to be part of this. Thank you." Come to think of it, when something is overwhelmingly wonderful, I always stop to thank God.

Maybe God's been listening all along...

Trish

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5/18/11 8:58 P

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Hi there, I haven't read the new chapter yet. Soon ... I'll take the book with me to the Board retreat I'm attending this weekend.

Trish, I can only imagine the worry or trepidation over the upcoming cardiac workup. Heck, I'm due back for follow-up radiology to see what's going on with the fibroid the surgeon couldn't get all of OUT during the February surgery, and to see if there's anything else going on. Having those sorts of follow-ups are very real. Can't even imagine what Bobby's stirs up for you guys. Wouldn't hurt to get it scheduled and over with ... by the time you get it on the calendar it will probably be June already.

Teresita, I'm sorry things aren't going better for you and your family. I am sending good vibes and positive energy your way for a big uplifting WHOOSH to whoosh you all up and help you land in a much better place job-wise, and much more stable.

I have not exactly embraced the meditation either. I don't know why, other than I haven't. Not like I have 10 kids all over me every second (just the dogs!) ... I seem to zone out when I'm working out too, and really relish my down time spent on the kindle, on this board/chit chat, and, well, just don't.

I pray at night in my own head, though infrequently. What I DO do is say many gratitudes to the Universe/God for how lucky I am. this is most often when I'm driving to work, or looking out my kitchen window. I think about how lucky I am to have this great life -- to be healthy, to have a good job, to have my spark friends, to have a nice husband, good dogs, and a nice, "boring" happy life without drama or strife. Whew, totally lucky. And even luckier to have the opportunity to enjoy it all with a reasonable piece of mind.



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5/16/11 9:30 P

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Trish -
Praying for you and Bobby and John and everyone else in your family while you are waiting. The waiting is the worst part, isn't it?
I know what you mean about feeling about God like a warm blanket. I think that relationship is like any other - you put into it what you can. The difference is that God is always there waiting for you when you're ready. Sometimes a relationship that close is more than we can handle in our fragile states, LOL.

Teresita

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5/16/11 6:59 P

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I read chapter 16 last nght and I found what is said bitter sweet. I don't know how to explain this. I've been very religious (as opposed to spiritual) in my life in different periods for different reasons. I've had a very close relationship with God at some points, and it was so incredibly intimate, so personal, so full of love. It felt like a warm blanket- like taking clothes out of the dryer in the middle of the winter when your hands are cold. Like the calm glow of a candle flame. It was so... nurturing and... I'm having a hard time explaining this. But anyway, I felt like I had the father I never had, the unconditional love from a parent I always wanted.

Anyway, I really miss that, and I don't know how to get it back. I felt guilty at times when reading this chapter because I am the perfect example of someone who has skirted God and my need to meditate. I make excuises about how I'm too busy, too preoccupied, that I run and get out into the woods and that's my meditation. it's not. I really hate sitting still, and I think that's the real reason I don't meditate. But once I get into it, I feel that love again. Well, I USED to feel that love again, since I've started this book, I haven't been able to get it back. Like I'm too far away to get that feeling back again.

I prayed today before I had breakfast- amazed me that I actually remembered. But boy, that felt good. To thank God for all I have in my life, all my blessings, for the food I had in front of me, for the jobs I have and my family's health. I thanked God for my online friends, and for the support I have for my weight loss journey. I asked Him to stay close to me and protecxt me from my fear driven eating.

But I never would have done that unless I was alone, which I was. I would be too embarassed to pray in front of my kids and my dh. We don't do that as a family- the only time I ever prayed in front of John was the night we were both in the hospital and we thought Bobby wouldn't make it into the morning. Poor John- we were both hysterical, kneeling by some bed in a parent room, holding hands, and he let me just blabber to God to please let my little boy live. But it's like I have to be that desperate to allow myself to let anyone know I have a need for God, or that I actually like to pray. God used to be my best friend. Now I hide from Him.

So it was a hard chapter for me to read, and maybe I just have to start with praying before my meals when I'm alone, then graduate to praying before my meals to myself when the family is around, to eventually getting back to meditating. Or maybe I need to get off the pot and just do it- I miss God so much and I need to have a heart to heart with Him.

Hey, I need to ask a favor. This would be the only place I'd ask this. Bobby has his cardiac workup at the end of June. As soon as May came, I started getting worried about it. I try not to think about it, but forget it, I think about it. Of course I do, I don't know how I expected myself not to. Anyway, I think he's doing Ok, he's on the swim team and I haven't noticed any unusual symptoms, he's not any more blue than usual, he isn't short of breath but it's always hard to tell because of his paralyzed vocal cord. Anyway, none of it matters because they do an ECHO and what I see on the outside could be completely contradictory to what they see on the inside. And at any time they can tell us it's been so and so years since he's had a cardiac cath and they need to get more information. Or his leaky mirtal valve is leaking more- we got that one thrown at us about 4 years ago and that's when they started him on his current blood pressure medication.

So this may be why I'm feeling the need to reconnect with God- basically I'm scared. Very. But if you guys wouldn't mind, would you please keep us in your prayers? I truly believe in the power of collected prayers and I think they can heal anything- from funky hearts to a mother's anxiety.

I may move the workup to sometime in May because basically I can't stand waiting. I think I've done this every year for the last 5 years, since his last surgery, so it went from scheduled in December to now it's in June.

So there you have it.

Trish

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5/10/11 1:55 P

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Good morning ladies!!
Trish - thinking of you and hoping you will be able to rejoin us soon.
Here are my thoughts on the chapter:
"Her intensity, however, is but a cover for her frailty." I also liked the visual of the Wicked Witch melting. My family is currently in the most dire financial situation ever. If something doesn't change, we will probably be moving to Oregon to live (temporarily) with DH's parents within the month. Very scary stuff - so much pain and negativity in my house. DH hurt his shoulder and we have no medical insurance or money to treat it. DS is doing so much better emotionally, but physically he is still in a lot of pain and sometimes that seeps out into his interactions with us. DH has still not found a job and now that bookkeepers are a dime a dozen I am having a hard time picking up extra work. I feel like Pollyanna lately - I'm constantly trying to buoy them up and tell them that I know things are going to get better, but there are days when it is so overwhelming - especially when I am tired. Then, when I just need to be alone and cry for awhile I allow myself that time to pray and cry, and then rejoin the family and find a way to distract myself. Food is less and less my source of comfort. I have also started praying for some positive people to come into my life.
"You deserve credit for this." I find it hard to pat myself on the back, but I do feel that healthy concepts are finally starting to click with me and the scale is finally moving downward on a weekly basis. Also DH and I are walking even more with the better weather and we try to be positive on our walks so that they are something to look forward to.
"Discipleship means disciplining yourself to serve the Divine." Keeping DH and DS on an even keel is part of my service, but I am actively looking for more opportunities to serve. Trying to remain open to the possibilities. DH and I have come to the conclusion that our answers will come from somewhere/someone we were least expecting since we have about exhausted all the obvious options.
"When you dwell more lightly within your mind, you will dwell more lightly within your body." Mary - I feel the same way you do about this section. Not allowing the past to bog me down and being more gentle with myself and others allows me to feel lighter in my body as well as my mind. Need to remember this one.
I've never been good at meditation, but I have done the exercise twice so far and I do feel more centered and less anxious afterwards. I will keep at this and hope it all starts clicking, just as the food and exercise have.
Cat - I can so identify with waht you said about catching yourself hating your DH. Especially when I'm hormonal or tired I tend to project all my bad feelings onto my DH and I need to step away for awhile to get some perspective.
Wishing everyone a good week and positive "light" thoughts!!
Teresita

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Teressa
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5/10/11 8:11 A

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Good Morning!

Hope all is going well with each of you. I've backed off the computer as "life" has been happening again. Dad's back in ICU. Mom's Social Security benefits have been suspended since I tried to switch her direct deposit into a new account back in January. Her Medicare Benefits are in collection as they are usually paid out of her social security. Social Security is dragging their feet in giving me the power as their representative payee to fix any of this. I'm taking Mom physically up there today to sit her down in front of an SS rep and teach her to say "reinstate my benefits please". First, I have to take her to see Dad as she can't find him in their nursing home.

I did read Chapter 16 and a few things stuck out to me:

"The miraculous change in perception here means going from hating how you have been to loving the possibility of who you can now be." Hello! Doesn't matter who and what I was all the yesterdays. Who I inspire to be is what requires my focus and attention. The past will slip away.

"God is the source of your comfort, not food." Being spiritually healthy is definitely the right medicine. I remember the first time I heard in AA a gazillion years ago that alcoholism is a spiritual dis-ease. The same with being a foodaholic. We are seeking to be soothed. It would serve me best to do that in strengthening my spiritual relationship with God preferably through prayer and meditation, as she suggests.

"Love is the answer". Amen!

"Make your body a container for greater light. When you dwell more lightly within your mind, you will dwell more lightly within your body." When I go into the dark corners of my mind, I am miserable, angry, resentful, and generally hating everybody and everything around me. Not a good space. It definitely makes me reach for food to soothe the angry beast. I am absolutely angry as a result of my childhood and often do not trust those around me. However, on the more positive, flip side of that, I can talk myself out of the dark and into the light by reminding me that I needed to go through my experiences (good, bad or indifferent) in order to be who I am today....still not perfect, but so much more compassionate, forgiving, understanding and loving today!

"Gain enlightenment" I am a child of God. That means, I've inherited spirit. It resides in me. Just need to throw away the junk of humanness that got piled on top...purge, purge, purge.

"Anyday consciously and willingly given to God, praying that his guidance be with you and that you might be a conduit of love throughout the day, is a day when you are buffered from the otherwise active power of your fear-mind." Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi works well for me!

"Meditation is like a sealant, protecting your devotional energy so the light cannot slip out and the darkness cannot enter." Since I've read this, I've put the noise cancelling headphones and meditation cd on every day for an hour.

"Choose love so fear will no longer be able to choose you." The opposite of fear is faith. I must often remind myself that God loves me and protects me. Technically, with what I've done to myself and situations I've placed myself in, I should be dead. Footprints prayer applies here for me.

"Into his presence would I enter now." Are we not already in his presence always? I guess actively placing our awareness into his presence is what's key. Turning our will over to the care of God.

I obviously loved this chapter as it so reminds me of what I learn and come across over and over again in life starting with nearly 23 years ago in AA. I do need daily reinforcement (meditation) in order to let the past slip away from my mind (and therefore, body and spirit) and stay present to who and what I am today, so that I can go on to being even better tomorrow.

Cat: Thanks for your insight on this chapter. I identify so much with what you said, especially exercising discipline of thought. I believe that's the key. Stay present and relative to today and meditation is a means to get there. Everytime I put the headphones on with the cd, I am releasing the past and choosing to be present with God. Like you I don't need her exact words to surrender. My actions of going to meditate is doing the same for me.

Much love and peace to all!

xo,
Mary

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5/9/11 10:14 P

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Trish, I kind of thought you'd be on hold with this until the old job dropped off. There's only so much time, and you're really pressed thin. I hope that it wraps up soon. How many more nights?

I just read chapter 16 and here were my thoughts on this. Forgive the rambling, it all connects in my head.

This chapter sucked me right in in the first few paragraphs. The description of an intense Old Self was spot on – I recalled a former psychiatrist I saw years back describing me as NOT angry, but enraged. For years, I struggled with my Old Self – angry, negative, and yes, self loathing. Furiously loathing of myself and of other people. And the nerve to think that I was going to get off meds (had been on cocktails of antidepressants and mood stabilizers for a decade or more, off and on), walk away from alcohol as a crutch, walk away from negative and my rage that fueled me, and cope? Just cope? And be all fantastic at work too?

It took about a year to embrace all the aspects of me that I'd done a good job in developing during the past. Former macrobiotic diet (around 1998) and early-on vegetarian cooking (throughout the 1990s) helped parlay my cooking skills into crazy Asian fusion. Endless pursuit of New Age-y spirituality and related psychology, philosophy and sports knitted together and I decided to harness all the good bits and then build on them like crazy. Kinda funny how things have currently worked out.

Exercising discipline of thought – that's been the hardest.

In the past, I didn't just stop at violence towards myself – which is how I view overeating, self loathing, negative thinking, dwelling and chewing my mental cud, and being angry – not to mention alcohol and/or drug use. I also treated a lot of people (men) like crap-ola. Eh, not that they were innocent lambs, but I definitely cycled through a few and put them out to pasture when done shredding them. Not nice. Impatient, critical and not flattering reflections on me. Yep, I spent more hours in therapy than I care to count working through the layers of this. It's not un-typical for an abused child/person like I was, to grow up and be abusive (verbally) herself. That's how cycles of perpetrators continue to be created. And I wasn't totally horrid, but definitely put high mileage on prior husbands and then got sick of them (a clear pattern).

Anyway – the fear-mind bent on its own compulsive self preservation. YES. I agree. And for me, changing this dynamic required changing the sails on the boat in the middle of gale force winds. Had to be done.

And while I was at it – I TOTALLY decided to not just shoot for weight loss, but to shoot for miraculous. I did aim for that. I knew that I could change my mind, I knew I could retrain my brain. I just didn't realize that I could keep it up. I didn't know I could really do this. I didn't know how great it would be once I was sailing in the right direction. And I sure didn't know how naturally motivated I would be to keep on going.

Sailing is a good analogy for my journey to get from fat/miserable/depressed to now (thin/mostly positive/pretty happy and med free). The analogy is that even when sailing in the right direction, you still have to work at it. Tack, fiddle with lines, check the course, the charts, the GPS, fiddle with boat stuff. It's not like sailing through a thunderstorm (that was last spring, LOL!) – but you're not down below asleep in your bunk, either. So, that's me. Sailing with the wind.

The big storm that I sailed through was a decade ++ (don't like to think about quite how long) of serious off and on again self loathing. At times, it was very, very bad. And spread around me like a black hole. UGH. Though nowhere near perfect, I do feel that I can honestly say that I have radically transformed the chemistry of my brain. That even when I fall off the wagon and into the negative gutter, I get back up and reflect deeply. I catch myself hating DH and push myself to dig deeper, hold up the mirror and really find the loathing – then shoo it away. I'm starting to see the process and the negative red flags a little quicker than I used to, which is saving me some pain. Not that every moment is a party, but just less kicking and screaming.

Love has to be the purpose, and for me, it's wrapped up in how I treat myself (special, unique diet, better lifestyle, nice clothes, do my hair, massages/treatments, self love, continual herding of the thoughts as needed). After myself, I push the positive out to DH, then my staff at work, then push that big positive vision of a better, more loving kindness world out in a transformative vision through philanthropy. How can I motivate others to make the world better by sharing my passion? How can I ripple it out? How can I mentor others that I work with, or at least provide an example of coping well with challenges? All these things and more. My personal rolls into my professional in this way, and makes my life make sense. That's how I cope and feel useful, and I feel like I fulfill the purpose that caused the Universe to grace me with talents/intelligence in the first place, for which I'm thankful. If not for that, I would just sit here and chew my own arms off, LOL!!

And yes, I need the meditation time that's not just reading, cooking or quiet/down time, but real meditation. However, I have to rewrite the exercise she suggests – I just can't do the “Into his presence I would enter now” … but I think that “I release all energies that do no serve me” or no longer serve me. That will work for me with the vision on the white bed that she suggests. Will do tomorrow!

Catch up when you can.

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5/9/11 4:47 P

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I'm in no means bailing out of this discussion, I just haven't read past where we were when the new job started. And then I never dropped the old job so I could earn enough $$ for the trainer. I might be able to get to it tonight while I'm at work but I'm soooooo tired.

Trish

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5/3/11 5:08 P

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Hi there,

I just finished reading all the posts here.

Teresita: I am glad you managed your 3 movies/books and it worked well for you.

Trish: I am also glad you got validation by meeting Jim that it wasn't you being an ornery old lady. Isn't that amazing that you recieved that message through him ???

Cat: You're right about the aloneness. You do a lot of socialization through your career (so do you Trish). There was a time that I felt lonely. That was different and a very long time ago. Today I crave alone time in order to recharge. That's a huge difference. I believe this is what you are referring to, also, yes?

Off to Chapter 16. I promise to get it read this week. I am going away this weekend again, but will comment as soon as I can.

xo,
Mary

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5/1/11 1:03 P

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Good morning ladies!!
Is everyone ready for the next chapter? Are we on 16?

Teresita

Roseburg, OR - PDT
Teressa
www.teressamorris.com


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4/27/11 8:26 P

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And, after talking to my mom today -- I realized that she's right back to intolerable, LOL!

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4/27/11 8:49 A

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Apologies if that sounded horribly depressing. I guess it's a good example of why I make such an effort to live on the bright side of things :)

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4/26/11 9:09 P

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One of the big themes of the chapters we just read (or I just read) was about sadness. This bubbled up in my mind over the past couple days.

I was actually talking to my Mom, who is very isolated, depressed and sad. Not only does she have a lot of physical issues, but the medications on top of it, and losing my grandmother, her VERY best friend about a year ago was horrible. They talked on the phone about 10 times a day.

Anyway, she's depressed. She's hopeless. She doesn't want to see anyone, go anywhere much, or whatever, and essentially stays at home in her house, except for errands and shopping.

She thinks there's no point to anything, and says that if she didn't feel like she'd be letting me down, she'd kill herself. She looks forward to 7-8 pm every night, so she can go to bed and take her heavy-duty pain killer and be knocked out.She hurts spiritually and physically.

I know exactly how she feels (not so much the phyical problems), but death of the spirit -- I've been there. Feeling like I've slid down the slippery slope of depression, and slipped inside the endless pit of sh!t.

I'm not currently there, and have a decent skill set to KEEP myself from sliding down the slippery slope. Hell, I've built a whole lifestyle designed to keep me no where near the EDGE of the slope!

And I don't want to feel that sadness. When I think about my mom, and innocence lost, harm done, both to me, her, other people dear to me ... it's a lot. And if I sat and thought about the work I do (and have done for the last 15 years) about the sadness, the sad stories, the millions of women living in poverty, with violence, oppressed, etc, and all the problems of the world ... Well, if I dwelled there for long, I might just get stuck. I might just be my mother, and wish for the innocent blankness of peace and release.

So, when Marianne Williamson suggests that we pick out several sad books/movies, etc to get in touch with the sadness, loss, or grief -- I don't think I need that. Real life is really sad. And I don't live and dwell in that sadness, but I know it's there. It makes the beauty and joy all the more sweet, and it's what makes me prompt myself, in my own head, to enjoy the beautiful moments as they come. It's the yin and yang, and yes, I get that.

I'm happy I've had such a great year (April 5 was my anniversary, my grandmother died in March, and I lost of bit of my heart then). I've been off my antidepressent cocktail for a year and I've coped through lots. I'm a much better version of myself. I'm much less afraid of the sadness, less fearful it will suck me in and eat me. I do feel guilty, like a real jerk for not being there more for my Mom, but man, I tell you, it's a big, deep ocean of sadness there, and I feel like it could kill me too.

(and just FYI - I've done everything with my Mom that you would have expected I would do -- beg, bully and gently nudge her to yoga, senior center, classes, mental health care, pain management clinics, friends, hobbies, you name it. I wish she would be less sad and more intolerable if not happy. It's almost easier to manage).

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4/25/11 5:40 P

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Ok, these replies help So much. I feel terrible that I can be so snotty to another human but they are being really disrespectful. As soon as I got Bentley the first thing I taught him was to come to me without exception. We walk together side by side on the trail, which is usually deserted, and if I ever see anyone coming, I immediately call him to me and the leash goes on. In fact it's such a given that he and our older dog will come running back to us whenever they see or hear anyone coming. But he's only a foot or so away from me anyway.

So today I was running on the trail and saw a man walking his dog on a leash and she was very well behaved. A white pit bull. Instopped running and told him how happy I wnas to see a well behaved dog and an owner who knew what hey were doing. The dog was t perfect, she was a little too friendly, but even he said it was a fault of hers and he's working on it. He commiserated on meeting clueless owners and he too has met up with the woman who has to wrap her dogs leash around a tree indeed to control him. He agreed that that dg doesn't belong out in public.

I felt Sinnott better after talking to Jim. Elated, really. Because he validated that it's not me, I'm not the ornery rigid old lady (so afraid of turning into my mother) and it proves that I am quite friendly and nice to people I pass when they follow the same rules tha I gaffe tofollow myself. Come to think of it, I guess they're he ones that have to accept that they're not above anyone else and hat there's a holiness in living peacefully in a society with others. Maybe I'm the God-vehicle that needs to show annoyance nat their behavior. Maybe this isn't a place for love.

Thank you, that helped a lot.

Trish

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4/25/11 1:54 P

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Trish, I find this off leash behavior to be infuriating. I have not been bitten, but was chased down yesterday by a loose tiny dog of some sort (with no human in sight, loose in the subdivision), have been nearly attacked and knocked off the walking bridge (Elwood and me) which banged us up, and generally have REALLY unpleasant experiences with other dogs.

Keep in mind that I'm a Mean Mommy sort of person and will err on the side of bitching at other people when I deem "necessary". So I bitch at them. And I talk loudly to my dogs -- like "calm down, let's go, he's crazy/loose/out of control not like you good dogs". And then to the offensive human I literally will say, "you need to leash your dog" "rein in your dog" "keep your dog away from us" -- I'm saying this when the other dogs are furiously going nuts, and also if they are idiots with those leash things that go for 20 yards. Obviously, I pick up the pace and we keep going regardless. I think I will double check Maryland, and add to my rotation "there is a leash law, use a leash" to my rotation of Mean Mommy proclamations. And I say it all with as much authority as I can muster (my dogs are very impressed).

I feel less afraid now that I have two big dogs, packing 140 pounds of heft between them, and they stay in formation and keep going forward. I do not understand WHY people let their dogs act like idiots with all that aggression. I would not want to run by myself. I know you do, and I hope that Bentley will get big soon and go with you.

It makes me very mad, and I'm mad at the other people, not at myself for saying something. Not an area where I'm looking to let love it. Unless it's on a leash, LOL, and very calm.

Yep, I am like you when not at work, Trish. Very selective about the phonecalls and how I spend my time. There's just not enough of me to go around, and I know DH feels the same way.

PS -- remember I'm in NY for a few days around the June 13-15 time span. I think Mary is in Vegas, let me know if you could make a trek to the city around then to meet up (almost scary!!) I have some flexibility, as I'm there for a work conference.

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4/25/11 12:45 P

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Trish - I hate that whole off-leash movement. First, as you say, it's illegal, and secondly it's just stupid in my opinion. Even the most well-behaved dog at home can be unpredictable in an unfamiliar situation. I think you are handling the situation in the best way you can and you do not have to worry about not being "polite" with those people. You need to protect yourself and your puppy.

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Teressa
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4/24/11 10:39 P

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Terisita- I think that's great that you got movies and books to help you purge the sadness. Sometimes a good cry is so therapeutic and cleansing. Sounds like it was for you. As for you feeling more comfortable at work now, after 2 years, I know exactly what you mean. It takes me a long time to warm up to people too, actually it's a matter of trust. I don't trust them. As you and Cat said, I also used to be part of a chuch community and I miss it so much. But DH is jewish and wants no part of orgainzed religion, and the kids are all too old now to start learning about it (and no desire) and I don't want to go alone. I was very involved for quite a few years, but I always felt like the family and I were isolated from each other on this topic. And I started to disagree with the basic principals of Catholicism, so I stopped going. But I miss the community terribly.

Cat- I loved what you said about it looking from the outside that we're all together and it all magically falls into place for us. Um, yeah. Like my puppy naturally came this wonderful (despite the hours a day I put into training this dog), and how thin I am (hours and hours of running and weights and swimming and cross training enough to aviod injury at 51 yr old. Your guests seem rude and insensitive, but it also sounds like it's just a reflection of where they are in their own lives. sometimes it's so hard not to take that personally and see from an observer's point of view.

I can also relate to wanting to veg out when you get home from work. It's like when I have a day off, I'm working eves and nights already, the daytime is my time to recharge. and at that point, I don't want to answer the phone, talk to anyone who might need me to listen or do anything for them, be with my kids (who always want something) or do anything other than be with my dogs and my sports. That's just the way I am, and always have been.

Mary I can also relate to what you said about avoiding certain personality types because of the energy you have to deal with- and then you're alone and that's when you eat compulsively. Yup, yup, yup. Me too. I find that people who talk fast and are fast paced remind me of myself so much that I avoid them. And people who talk about themselves incessently also irritate me. In fact, who am I kidding, everyone irritates me! (Hence I am here and trying to work this through with all of you.

I do have one scenario I'd love some imput on. You know I have this new puppy whom I adore. Well I have him out a lot, for walks on the trails, and in town to socialize him as much as possible. WEll it seems every day, I meet some idiot (ha, no judgement there!) who has their own dog off a leash, which makes it really hard for me to 1) train Bentley to walk past them , and 2) to get him to pass them at all. Plus the other day, someone saw me running and let their two huskys out of the car just as I was coming by, and no leash, just had them come up to me, and I had to run around them to avoid them- several times. Today I was on the trail and some guy was walking his dog, smoking a cigarette in one hand, coffee in the other, while his dog is wandering around. There was no way to pass this dog without dragging bentley around past him. And thte idot says to me, "My dog is very gentle, won't hurt anyone, your dog would be much better without the leash." Oh great idea mister, why don't I just throw a clueless puppy into the middle of the road. I told him his dog was supposed to be on a leash, that there are leash laws in CT, and no, the dog was a puppy and would take off. he tried to start a conversation with me about how old Bentley was, and i was so pissed that I just hurried past- with a nasty attitude and no love in my heart. Same with the clueless owner of the huskies- she as all nicey nice saying hello and I was so pissed that the dogs were off a leash that I ran past with a horrible attitude.

Doesn't hurt that I've now been attacked twice while running, once on the bridal path and that time I got bit, and once while running on another road. and there have been plenty of "Ohj he's so friendly, don't worry" dogs who were excited by my movement and turned out to be anxious and potentially dangerous. And there are the killer dogs that shouldn't even be out there, owners who actually have to wrap their dogs leashes around a tree trunk becasue the dog is so out of control, wild and dangerous, that if that dog ever got loose, I'd be his dinner. And I am so not kidding.

So in lieu of this chapter in isolation, and how we accept people openly into our lives, how do I deal with this? I've tried saying somethign and it goes into deaf ears. I've resorted to showing my displeasure in a very obnoxious way. After I pass these people, I feel angry, and then horrible for treating anyone so impolitely.

Trish

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4/24/11 9:56 P

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I just caught up on the chapters of the book.

Some of what she is articulating really connected with me either now or earlier in my own personal journey, but some, not really.

Chapter 13 -- the first part of this chapter, I nodded to -- a common theme, I'm sure of folks with some difficult experiences. You stuff. But I really connected with the ideas of cramming the old feelings into fat, tumors (my thought) and the other physical manifestations. I've worked through an AMAZING amount of physical clutter in the last year. REALLY amazing. Crap I'd been holding on to for years and years. Really. Just pulled another load today out of all my product and girly supplies. Yep - let go!! I don't want nasty old feelings, or lotion, for that matter!

Chapter 14 -- I have to admit that I started out reading this with some preconceived barriers in my head. I'm not really wanting to sit and dredge around for my childhood, teenagerhood, or young adulthood pain ... or any other, quite frankly. Didn't I do that in therapy for how many years and cry about my lost innocence?

However, as I read along and tried to shut up my inner critic, I have to admit that this chapter told a lot of my personal story. I had a very hard time coping with life from childhood on. Granted, it was a pretty rough go, but those coping mechanisms didn't help me out when the do-or-die traumas were gone.

For me, it's not just FAT being a cellular blob -- it's ALL the twisted crap -- overeating (my least favorite), drugs (prescription and otherwise), smoking (pot and ciggs), drinking booze, you name it. I've coped with it as a tool at some point. The booze was probably worse than the drugs, and it's perhaps not a bad thing that pot isn't legal here :)

All of the chemical adjustment and abuse really stemmed from negative thinking, once I got through the hardest parts of my life. And then they just became good friends and whips to abuse myself with (esp. the booze).

One of the best things that happened for me, on the spark journey, was the work out time. I find it really meditative and great solace to spend the time working out. It is totally my therapy. I have walked, run and spinned my way through endless pathways of bullsh!t in my head, and booted out plenty of it on the side of the trail. I dig that. A lot. Better than therapy. I haven't been this healthy in forever, inside and out, and wouldn't trade it for anything. I feel a great sense of peace (overall) -- though of course I have normal person moments of irritation -- but less if I work out more!

Chapter 15 -- eh. This chapter didn't do much for me. Sure, I keep a reasonable distance, but I've also created a life where I'm SUPER engaged with people professionally for the majority of my time, in a big idea, intense sort of way, plus pushing an army of to-do's and staff. I am not dying for more interaction. And quite honestly, the worst casees of my adult self abuse were NOT ever when I was alone -- it was with bad husbands or bad boyfriends that were drinking livin-it-up buddies and things got out of control. And I've rarely ever been alone when I didn't want to ... I can really only think of a few situations or times in my life. In fact, for me, it's been more my pattern (sorry, this isn't pretty) to use men like comfort -- they're always available and easy, and I'd NOT really want them for sex, but more to hang out with and keep me company when I felt like it, and the social things that came along with all that (boats, skiing, clubs, bars, all sorts of scenes). Not very flattering of me, but still. So, that's just one reason why this chapter just didn't fit for my particular twists of personality. I am thankful for the alone time I have and although I would like more couples as friends, or to see you guys, I'm OK where I'm at in life. Sometimes the social situations get a little too much (men and booze, or just other people's BS), and I'm never a wallflower (just the opposite, which holds its own possibility of danger). Also keep in mind a huge part of my job reaching out to people, social cultivation, etc. LOL, guess there's a reason I love dogs!!

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4/24/11 1:55 P

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Happy Easter ladies!!
So happy that we are all back to the same page!!! Okay, so my take on the last two chapters:
Chapter 14 - the phrase that struck me the most was "living with the sadness" - doing this for the past few weeks has made life easier for me. I am having fewer meltdown days by allowing myself that little bit of time to feel when I need to. Yesterday was a sad, anxious day and once I got outside to take a walk with dh I felt much better. But let me tell you, I am so ready for rebirth - for that Easter promise!!
Books and movies about sadness - I picked Anna Karenina, which Marianne mentioned. I just read it for the first time last year and I could really identify with the hopelessness that Anna felt. I also picked The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, for the part where Aslan dies, and Bambi for the part when Bambi's mother dies.
Chapter 15 - First, I liked the anecdote about the night snacker. I too am a night snacker and I have found that if I walk the dogs or give dh a back massage or find a project to keep my hands busy I am much less likely to snack - distraction was a good tip for me.
Isolating - this is definitely part of my problem. I was at my job for a year and a half before I started building relationships with other people. Now, six months later I find it much easier to start conversations and be included. Dh and I left our church after Christmas and we have not found another church yet. I miss that community that comes with being part of a church. We were supposed to go to Easter services today, but dh hurt his back and I am too much of a chicken to go to a new church by myself.
Trish - I know what you mean about feeling excluded. I am part of a small group of women that gets together once a month or so for dinner and drinks. Every once in a while one of the group invites a bunch more women to join us so that a group of 5 expands to a group of 20 or more. I usually don't attend these larger functions and then, of course, I feel excluded and resentful. Why?
I have always been that person who blends into the background - who many people don't even notice or remember. That feeds my pathologic fear of attention, but it also makes me feel very lonely - especially in a large group.

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4/24/11 9:07 A

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Oh, and let me just add this about how "seemingly fabulous" we all are: it looks super easy breezy from the outsiders perspective because they don't see the million fitness hours, the hard internal dialouges and all the danged hard work that we all do to be just so great, LOL! I'm sure it just "looks" like I am, for example, naturally thin, my house is magically cleaned, dogs brushed by angels, and my hair straightened by fairies. LOL!! No effort on my part, just "good luck". (I wish!)

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4/24/11 9:05 A

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I am catching up today, after the CoCo Sala Easter buffet.

Mary, I heard you loud and clear about your MIL. You know, I've had a couple uncomfortable social situations recently. One with my VBF (very best friend), and another last night with the 7-hour visit from hell with another couple (the one I was complaining about on chit chat).

Here's the dynamic I see in a lot of situations, and it might ring true -- folks are a little put off, or feel insecure because we're pretty seemingly fabulous from an outsider's perspective. It connects with whatever feelings of insecurity THEY have, and they lash out a little to feel less small. Downgrading us to be more palatable.

I talked to my VBF about the insulting comments she was weaving into our conversations ("just funny" insulting comments always about socio-economic status and "success") and it was a revelation for her (she didn't remember any of them). And the situation last night with all the digs from the husband of the couple -- I think that he's not feeling like much of a "success" in life with no job (for 3-4 years), a huge HUGE academic ego, no car, etc etc -- and so makes digs at us about our "lifestyle".

Maybe your MIL sees, REALLY, just how fabulous you are (because you ARE) and is a bit put off by that.

Trish, I think you need to find a medium ground between giving yourself lots of solace and pushing yourself to do a little shopping/social things with your running group (and/or other social groups you connect with). You are SO nice, I know people love you (except that lady who is concerned you will outplace her in races, LOL). BUT, I do hear you about needing that time to recharge.

This has been the challenge for DH and I since we moved to DC in late 2007. We bust our butts at jobs, and getting home to just sit on the couches (after a million chores) seems like the best thing in the world. We don't belong in bars/fancy restaurants to "hang out". Especially not bars (both horrible and unpredictable past bing drinkers). And on the weekends, it seems to take all our time to "do stuff" and then have some down time. We loved the church we tried out, but keep NOT going back because of the time factor. And we don't even have 4 kids (just the two dogs!!).

I promise: catching up today.

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4/23/11 8:31 A

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I finally caught up.

Well! THis chaptercertainly spoke to me too! I am a loner and it's only in the last few years that I am FORCING myself to get out with people more regularly. But the "after work lets go here or there" thing never intregued me, I don't like loud music, I don't drink, and I hate screaming over other noises to talk to people. I would rather go nhome and go to sleep after I've worked all evening. And if it's was during the day, I wanted to go home to work out or be with my family.

I found that I needed the right kind of people- athletes. Women, or men, that have the same interests as me- who talk about running, and who won the Boston marathon, how the U Conn teams are doing, what's the next race we're running, who has running tights on sale, as well as talking about grandchildren, or Holidays (and how we'll get our run in around them), and different recipes...

But yesterday my running friends all went to a different part of the state to meet up with another runner and run from there,. Then they were going to go out for breakfast, then go shopping together. I didn't go, partly because I had to work in the afternoon, but partly becaue it's comfortable and safe with my family. But I'll bethe first to feel left out and excluded from this group because they all do things together and I don't. But I set myself up for it.

So this chapter was really good- I neeed to journal how I keep people at a distance to keep myself protected. More on this as others respond, it is a huge thing for me to work on. I tend to want to go walk in the woods with my dog rather than be with people and have to work on conversations and open myself up to be vulnerable. And like you , Mary, that's when I get in big trouble with the food.

Trish

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4/19/11 2:45 P

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Hey Ya'll (i am in the south),

I was in Stuart, Florida over the weekend. DH and I took the kid to see his mom and her husband. I got to roam around with DH as the kids cooked with g'ma. I then avoided mil by hibernating (reading) in her extra condo we stayed in. She only gave one negative comment towards me in my presence. DH was bragging about my workouts and how she should feel my "guns" (biceps), she looked at me and said "no". I turned my head and laughed. I see her. She's tall, beautiful, talented, creative, smart, but just not a ladies lady. Wouldn't matter who my DH was married to, she would not like them. Sad. Her loss.

Off to happier times in Boca Raton, FL. Actually staying at FIL's guest home in Delray Beach. Perfect weather. Perfect people (my children, DH and FIL). Went out to Melting Pot (fondue restaurant last night). Fun cooking your own food. Ate the fruit and veggies dipped in swiss cheese. Ate chicken, beef & pork cooked in seasoned broth (approx. 1 ounce of each). Ate the fruit dipped in dark chocolate. Tonight's Italian. Must be careful of the carbs.

Read a bunch today. 3 Chapters of ACIWL.

Chapter 13: Feel Your Feelings - I believe I already commented on this chapter and mentioned I have a God Pouch though I haven't used it yet. What else I got from this chapter was, feel, cry, surrender, meditate.

Chapter 14: Allow the Pain - Do not isolate, give love, be with the void, pick 3 books/films that will evoke whatever previous avoided feelings, place on altar and watch when ready.

I really like this suggestion. I think it's a good way of getting those unprocessed feelings to come to surface and work through them. Now that I am open to this, I am sure I will come across the "right" stories to watch/read.

Chapter 15: Exit the Alone Zone - Splendid solitude is different from isolation. Isolation is being alone with one's compulsion giving it permission to thrive. Help others to change the compulsive behavior. Journal daily where you let others in that day and where you kept them out.

I was thrown off when I read this chapter as I seek solitude, absolutely avoid certain personality types as a form of protection, and crave to be alone so I can shut out other people's energy....eek! This is certainly when I do give myself permission to eat junk compulsively. Yikes!

What I've previously told myself is that I do this because of my fear of being victimized. Also due to my sensitivity to picking up on other people's feelings that I don't want to carry. I often know what a person's gonna say because I've already picked up on what they're feeling. No I am not psychic. I just read feelings well as I, myself, feel deeply. It's part of the intuition we all have, but I've learned to use to read people.

I am naturally an open person. Sometimes this attracts the wrong people (users). This chapter was enlightening for me because it covered the difference between being open to people and having boundaries set. Interesting, very interesting.

That's it for now!

xo,
Mary

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4/19/11 11:39 A

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Good morning ladies!!
Cat - welcome back!! Glad to hear that you made it through all your travels safely and stronger!!
I have been re-reading chapters and waiting for everyone to catch up so we can all discuss together. This has been a good little break for me to catch up on other reading and re-process some of the things we've learned previously. I've started batch cooking so I can take an actual lunch to work instead of a Luna bar and a box of raisins which was just not cutting it. Even convinced dh and ds to have stirfry with me last night (80% vegies, 20% meat). They loved it!!
Hope everyone has a good week :-)
Teresita

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4/18/11 9:24 P

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Hi there, it's me who's terribly behind. April just got away from me. The good thing about having a do-good sort of job is, well, the good you do. The bad thing is that you'll work yourself to the bone to do it. I am now officially over my crazy busy travel spell, and will return to my 'normal' busy level. And catch up.

I hoped to spend some down time reading and journaling this weekend, but DH was in the mood for doing the contractor mini-makeover on my bath and vanity area, so I had to hop to it. I'm glad for it - as the bath was a terrible 1970's painted over wreck, and is now at least a happy builder's grade with the free granite (courtesy of a client of DHs remodel).

I'm beat. In prior years, coping with this level of stress, fundraising hell and self-doubt would have floored me. I would have been propping myself up with booze and food, especially the food. I'm happy to say that although I had my moments in the last few weeks, I did come to the realization that I'm plenty adequate to represent the policy work we do at my organization, and in fact, my air-headedness (can't find the exit in office suites) is part of my charm, LOL (too busy thinking to pay attention and easily confused by unfamiliar geography).

Another thing I've noticed about myself is that I've become a terrible food snob. I noticed this when Loren was here, and it's gotten worse (in a good way). Today I vowed to find a new non-Asian standard grocery store. The local place I frequent is just too poverty oriented (big on typical processed foods, high fat, junk, etc), plus strange intenstinal parts and feet, plus they don't carry the stuff I'm looking for even in a standard "normal" grocery store. Food snob. I just need something not as crazy expensive as Whole Foods.

Crying was considered weak when I was growing up too. In fact, I had an evil step father who would use that as an excuse to pick, pick pick at me with even MORE verbal humiliation. I learned fast to suck it all in (how funny for overabuse of eating/drinking/drugs) and not only that, I also developed the coping skill of NOT reacting to things. I just didn't process stuff because it was too hideous. My objective was always to just move forward, put one foot in front of the next, and keep it together. If I feel apart, what would I do then? Not like there was someone there to catch me.

Although I intellectually "know" that about my own experience, and "know" that not processing stuff is a bad thing -- I still catch my evolutionary-influenced brain thinking that other people are "weak" when they are all worked up about stuff I don't think is a big deal, and wonder why they torture on about things. Yep, big all dose of occasional judgement to go with my big non-processing wall of denial. :) Oh well, at least I notice when I'm doing it and try to think around my own hangups.

Mary, I hope your holiday rental is great! Where are you at in Florida??

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4/15/11 2:05 P

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Good morning ladies!!
So glad to have you back!!
Mary - I think we are on Chapter 13 - at least I'm pretty sure that is the chapter Trish is referring to. And I agree Trish - this chapter did not have as much oomph for me either, but during a couple of rough days last week, it did remind me that it was okay to go in my bedroom and have a good cry if I needed one. And when I weighed yesterday (unofficially) I was down another pound!! So hopefully all the lessons are starting to sink in for me.
Teresita

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4/15/11 12:03 P

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Hi Chris,

It's the topic: A Course in Weight Loss by Marianne Williamson.

Have a nice weekend!

Mary

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4/15/11 10:24 A

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Hi ladies, what is the name of the book you are referring to? It sounds very healing and comforting.

"Motivation is just like a shower; you need both every day" Zig Ziglar

"Luck is for the ill- prepared" Arnold

www.backtohealthwithchriss.com
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4/15/11 7:41 A

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Hi Ladies,

I am packing the book, prayer beads, satchel (instead of bos), tiny Jesus statue and some incense and they're all going to Florida with me so I can play catch up. I'm not even sure which chapter we're on anymore. The last one I did was maybe, 12???

Anyhow, Trish thanks for sharing. It took me many years to realize that crying and tears were therapeutic. Growing up, of course, tears were considered weakness. Then why'd God give them to us??? Duh!

I am bringing my laptop and will comment more from Florida.

xo,
Mary

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4/15/11 7:30 A

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Just wanted to say that I read the next chapter last night- it was about feeling the grief and deep pain we have to feel in our lives on different situations. About how crying is therapeutic. The chapter didn't really do a whole lot for me except validate why I spent she's 21-25 in therapy bawling my eyes out, being depressed and suicidal that while time, unable to focus or smile- therapy was my lifeline and I was extremely attached yo the therapist. But I had to be go work through the dependency I had on her because I never had it with my own mother. But boy, I cried so much during those years I thought I'd never stop. Before then, I never cried at all. Anyway, the book is still great, just this chapter didn't have the same wow factor. I know when we finish this book I'll have yo go back and do it again. For instance, I have a god box but don't use it regularly. Almost too much to take in the fist time around.

Trish

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4/7/11 12:28 P

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Catherine -
Hope it has been a good trip and that you are feeling more back to normal.
I have the book on Kindle and it is a tremendous lifesaver!! I have highlighted all the passages that are important to me and take notes right on the page!! I even downloaded a notepad app for journalling at night. Can't say enough good things about the Kindle!
(We now return you to your usual programming, LOL)
Teresita

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Teressa
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4/7/11 6:18 A

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Good morning, all! I'm in the final travel stretch today. Off to New York in about an hour, and thankful for East coast trains. Back late on Friday night.

I'll catch up on my chapters this weekend. This past week, I was wishing I'd gotten the book on kindle - been using it for almost 2 weeks now and have fallen in love :) So easy to pack lots of everything, right in my purse with no extra pounds to lug.



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4/6/11 4:24 P

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Good morning ladies!!
Had my birthday massage this morning and wow, it felt good!! She threw in a free foot scrub and now everything feels soft and relaxed. Yeah!!
I tell you that God Box is a godsend (LOL). Yesterday was a rough day for ds. He has been doing so much better lately, but yesterday he was snarky and dark. I must have gone to the God Box at least 3 times yesterday. And it does help!!
Let me know when we're all caught up to the same chapter again so I can post some thoughts on Chapter 13 (I'm pretty sure that's where I am).
Teresita

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4/4/11 2:16 P

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Hey Teresita, what a kawinkidink! I finished my God Pouch last night. I have a pouch instead of a box because I have this gorgeous green embroidered pouch at my altar. It normally holds my Mala Beads when not in use, however, since I have them strung up on a candle on my alter, I thought, why not use the beautiful bag! It already contains great energy! I think I am a chapter behind, yes? I would bring the book to the gym, but don't want to make it public event nor get distracted.

Cat: Wow, how strange the ex calling and sharing that he's celebrating your son's 21st by being home alone drunk. Just imagine (and I'm sure you have) where you'd be if you stayed behind with him and never moved onwards and upwards. Thank God for opening your eyes! My favorite saying in situations like these.....but for the Grace of God, there go I.

xo,
Mary

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4/4/11 11:45 A

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Good morning ladies!!
Well, I finished my God Box yesterday. Also took some time to read the next chapter, but I want to read it again and take notes this time before I comment on it. Feeling better and stronger every day!

Teresita

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4/3/11 12:28 A

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Good, Mary, I'm glad the input was well received!

Teresita, good to see you again!

So, as I was on the shopping expedition on my girls night out ... my ex-husband, my son's dad called me. Ummm, the last time I spoke to him was about 4 years ago (maybe 5), after being divorced parents since 1991. I answered the phone while in the dressing room at Ann Taylor because I was horrified that my son got killed/arrested/hurt ... why else would he call me? Last we spoke, he was obnoxious. Well, tonight, he was drunk, slurring, and senitmentally reminiscent. How sweet (not). I talked to him for 5-10 minutes, made sure everyone was OK, and then put him off.

I'm so glad I'm not married to a drunk. Nice way to "celebrate" your son turning 21 -- staying home alone and getting sh!tfaced.

Anywho -- I always appreciate your perspectives. I am thankful to have you guys! And yes, boring and predictable is good. Our excitement is having the dogs NOT pee on the floor, LOL! I can't wait to see them on Tuesday.

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4/2/11 1:03 P

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Aaah, thanks for letting us know you are okay.

I was looking for other perspectives, fully knowing mine was heading towards being askew. No need to apologize.

You cracked me up on your excitement being your finances! Been there, done that!!!

I'm glad you're getting around to exercise again.

I am heading upstairs for a long hot soak in my whirlpool tub and the book (A Course) so I can get some peaceful reading done.

xo,
Mary

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4/2/11 12:45 P

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Good morning ladies!!
I've been lurking a lot lately, so I apologize. Been with the same man since I was 16, and our excitement comes from being broke all the time, LOL, so I just didn't feel comfortable giving any advice on your situation, Mary. But the advice you did get is sound. I have about finished the chapter, but looking for some pretty wrapping paper to make my "God Box." Finally able to start working out again after being sick for so long and mostly feeling like a normal person. But I am here, even though I haven't been "talking" much.
Teresita

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Teressa
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4/2/11 12:30 P

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Cat: From the bottom of my soul, I thank you, truly. I asked all of you for your input because I too can look through a distorted lens and, you're right, was struggling with what's going on around me, trying to not soak up that energy, and bring it back into my current relationship. As soon as I put this out there to you guys, I started to feel better. I actually felt lighter. Because of this, I knew I was on the right track. Your feedback was perfect and so was Trish's. Boring and predictable in our cases, is not a bad thing at all!

Much love, peace and appreciation to you both!

Uh, Teresita? Where the heck are you dear????

xo,
Mary

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4/2/11 10:07 A

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Not be to a post hog ... but I was thinking after I'd made that post last night ...

I know in my experience that sometimes things I thought I'd made peace with DO get dredged up again. Like, after my surgery I was super mad at DH because of the situation, being drugged up/confused and also because it pulled up all my issues of being abandoned. Wow, did I seethe and hate at him -- fueled by all that old crap that I thought I'd let go of. Mary brought a little light to my world when she asked me a simple question about what I'd negotiated ahead of time about him "taking care" of me. (oops, had forgot about that).

What I'm saying here is that betrayal is a HUGE issue. Seeing your close friends go through marital breakdown means that you're already making a conscious effort to NOT soak up all that pain/betrayal like a sponge. It's also, for sure, going to que up any of those issues you have. On TOP of those big triggers you've had past issues with DH about betrayal. This is now at triple-header status. My unsolicited advice is to keep doing so much right, Mary. Don't let the triple-header of betrayal dredging up push you off the rails into taking a negative lens from the past and using it to examine your present. Because your present sounds like it really IS working. Eh, so it's not all romance-novel-ly and as hot as could be, or ideal, etc. But good is very good, I think. So, just be sure you're not using a distorted lens that's smudged up from past hurts to look at the 'now'.

I'll put my nose back in my own business now. The only reason I can suggest this is because using the dirty lens from the past to view the NOW is what *I* do if I'm not carefully watching myself! LOL!

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4/1/11 10:33 P

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Hi there, sorry I've been a bit absent. Mary, I read your post before I left for Seattle and have been chewing on it while flying around and working like crazy.

I'm sorry to say that I *can* make some comparisons to other men, because I've been married several times. DH and I are coming up on 4 years. The longest marriage was for 7, the shortest (not counting when I was a teenager) was 3 years. I can say wholeheartedly that boring is good. I also know that I don't need a drinking buddy, party buddy or any other bad influences (really), or crazy behavior. DH and I joke about how much we love our nice boring lives. We both come from scarey backgrounds, and have gone off rails with risky behvior too often in the past and freak out that risky behavior/crazy incidents/etc can wreck your whole world. Horrifies us both, because we've both done it. My mom was a horrible adulterer, so was his father, and we've both had substance abuse and other thrill-taking/seeking issues at points.

What I like best about DH is that I am not surprised, and I can count on his behavior. He comes home after work. If he's late, it's because he's working late. He's not at a bar, at a strip club, or fooling around with some girl. I worry about all that stuff, and find that I brace myself for it, because it's all within the range of my prior interpretation of (crazy) normal. So, I continue to be pleasantly surprise when he comes home and smells like sawdust (from working) and that being late entails going to the comic book store. Whew. I am lucky. I kick myself in the butt to quit picking at him and thinking about greener grass in any regard. Boring is good.

DH is also a man's man and kind of obnoxious at times. I try not to jump on his neck, because it just makes him more obnoxious. If I can get a grip on my reaction, it's better to drip on him a bit at a time and try not to secretly seethe.

Mary, I really respect you for putting the two choices in front of yourself: victim or She Who Chooses. You and I have both been people who've chosen some pretty brutal lessons in this life. I choose to think of myself as the Chooser. And betrayal is a big issue for me too (starting with Mom). So I really appreciate your ability to set this issue with your DH on the table and observe it. Regardless of marriage therapy/not, I think you're awesome for disecting this so intelligently and not getting sucked into a gut reaction (mine is to cut and run, and I now fight it in my marriage and employment, because I know it's ME not my life/job). I just think you're great and I really admire you.

And, just an unrelated aside -- kudos to you and Trish for having 14-ish year old girls. OMG this is so much work. I've now had Loren for 5 days (glued to me), and have 4 to go. I am unbelievably worn out, and I can't WAIT until her mother can take over worrying about her again, and relieve me! Today I talked to her about sex and her boyfriend of 12 months, on top of my full stranger danger briefing of this morning, plus making her text me every 20 minutes so I could be sure she wasn't absconded with by some random rapist/pervert. I can not wait to go back to my normal boring life, LOL! Somehow, she thinks she's having a very good time. She is such a nice person, it's amazing.

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3/31/11 8:21 A

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Trish: Thanks for that acknowledgment and identifying with some aspects. It means a lot.

DH went with me once to therapy shortly after we were married. He was young and cocky. The therapist was a female who challenged him and told him he was passive aggressive (he was back then). He only went once as I continued. That was that. I've attended therapy, et al, solo as needed for me over the years.

DH was raised as a man's man. When he displays archaic thoughts that were implanted in him versus thinking something through himself for who he/we are today, I call him out on it. It's up to him to receive it or not. I plant the seed and so this is how the therapeutic/growth part of our relationship goes. It's kind of through me that he and I evolve or not.

I am somewhat grateful there's no current personal drama (though it certainly does surround us right now) and totally get what you're saying about that, Trish.

I guess what's coming up for me again is the disappointment in DH to behave in the exact manner that he detested in his own parents. In retrospect I am not shocked by it, just affected. Also not shocked that I chose a partner who would put me through being betrayed again. (Did I just type those words?) Uh Oh! This is bringing me back to my yoga training days of how we choose people in our lives prior to incarnation to teach us certain lessons. Not too long ago my primary care physician discussed wtih me how to separate oneself from a current situation (observe) and then make a choice. In other words, victim or chooser? Like I haven't heard this message before. Why was I hearing it again from him? Hummmm, because that's the area I need to operate consciously in....duh!! And so it goes, always learning and growing in life! See, this is why journaling is a therapeutic tool. It helps us figure things out.

As far as you and John, I don't think we're supposed to share every interest. I believe marriage is two individuals who have chosen to partner in life and maybe procreate. I think life partners need to respect and support each other, but don't have to share every interest. Sorry, but I will not offer up an opinion of whether you two should attend therapy again or not. I don't know you two well enough and it's simply not my place.

Namaste,

Mary

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3/30/11 10:24 P

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I remember being in therapy with John and I think I was complaining about something (this particular session I was alone) and she said, "Do you really think it would be any different with any other man?" I said "No?" But I really wasn't sure. John is my first and only true love. Ever. So the only thing I have to go on is the TV image of a handsome man who wooes his wife into hot passionate sex, and buy her flowers for no reason, or sings in the rain for her, etc. We don't have that. Like you said Mary, it's a mature relationship- we've been through so much together that I can't imagine any other man sticking with me this long through all of that stress. I also know that Claudia Black (remember her, big ACOA speaker and leader of that whole movement) said that you know you're in a good relationship when it's boring. What she meant is that stable and predictable is a good thing, throwing chairs, affairs, DCF involvement, unpaid bills with collectors coming after you, jobless, homeless, all of that, is NOT a good thing. But because us ACOAs are used to extreme excitement (it: abuse, not knowing what will walk in the door when Dad comes home from work, who will hit us or abuse us next, what form the next bout of neglect will take, etc) we look for the same "excitement" in our marriages. And so, "borning" is good.

I think of that often. It doesn't mean you can's spice up your marriage with a little unpredictability, or a little passion or surprises, but a job, a family priority, and a stable man is worth his weight in gold. When I think of looking elsewhere, I always come back to John and how stable and predictable he is. Plus at this point, there's no doubt in my mind that we're soulmates, though that doesn't mean sometimes I don't want to pull his hair out by the roots.

Do you guys think marriage counseling would help? We'd still be going if our insurance hadn't dumped this therapist. John also isn't in to the spiritual growth like I am, and it's a hard thing to compare, but I'm not into his computer world either. I personally think life doesn't make any sense without a spiritual purpose, but if that's what he chooses, I can't judge him for it. Besides, there are many times I catch him being spiritual- much more than me- by his actions and words. How many times has he invited parents of babies with that chlyothorax complication into our house to show them how to use our cantrifuge? The countless hours he spends with these desperate parents on the phone? The way he spends time on his already lverloaded weekend to help a co worker move out of their house? The times I've seen him sit vigil at Bobby's bedside when we thought he was going to die? The way he could't say no when they told him there was no way to feed Bobby anything fat free? I can go on and on. Spirituality comes in all different forms. You should have seen him pouring over the time results of CT high school boys swimming so he could figure out the times Nate needed to qualify for states.

I'll take that over romance any day. I'll take that over what I think might be the "perfect" man out there, which I believe is just a fantasy anyway. That's not to say you think there's a perfect man, you said yourself there isn't, but for me, I have to look closely at what I have and what I'd lose if I didn't have it.

I don't know if you're in a totally differerent situation, and if I didn't hear you correctly, I'm sorry. I'm exhausted but I wanted to at least acknowledge your post tonight. I'll read over it again tomorrow and see if what I wrote makes any sense.

XXOO

Trish

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3/30/11 9:03 A

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Cat: While that is certainly a great idea, I am in Las Vegas with DH that weekend. If you and Trish can make that work, please don't hold back on my account. Sometimes you've just got to jump on an opportunity to make something work. We can always meet up again another time.

Ladies, I need to work some things out in my head that are affecting my relationship with my DH and, I believe, adding to my nighttime binging which I did again last night. This is huge and I hope it is not TMI for you. If it is, I truly apologize. I feel I need to get this out and in type so I can make/find resolution and move forward towards progress.

As you all know I recently dealt with my parents "near the end of their lives" situation which greatly affected my views and priorities in life.

On top of this, my DH's cousins are divorcing. They were married over 25 years. We have been vacationing with them several times a year for over 10 years. Apparently, he had cross dressing issues their entire marriage and she stepped out to experience another man. After realizing the difference, she couldn't continue in her marriage.

My local BFF has finally accepted the truth that her DH cheated on her since last summer when he moved into his high school friend's home (a woman) and rented a room. He returned home to his family in September, secretly continued to see this woman and even bought her a xmas present. Says he didn't sleep with GF until recently....bullsh!t. He confessed to all this on Friday. She's so devasted after making many changes for their relationship because she wanted to make the marriage work and become a better person. Dunno what she's gonna do.

Okay, now here's my part, my DH has definitely stepped outside of our marriage once. His father has a history of this (had a girlfriend on the side for 15 of his 22 year marriage and also boinked the babysitter who was 18 when he was 29 and broke up DH's parents' 8 year marriage). After that DH walked in on his mother having sex with his father's supposed best friend. DH was devasted by his parents' divorce and swore to me that what he wanted in life was a healthy, together family as did I. I thought we had the same goals, both dysfunctional upbringings wanting to create a better life for ourselves and our children. I also thought I put DH's affair in perspective. He definitely has a skewed perception of sex (pornographic). Anyway, about 5-6 years ago DH was pursued by a "money hungry want to get ahead in the company" female who's cop husband had left her for another, younger woman, but eventually returned. My dumba$$ DH fell for her ego stroking, penis stroking bullsh!t. He's definitely more to blame than her. His affair came to a head when I figured it out and told him to choose his family or his penis, cause I was willing in the moment to take that off his hands or his body, too! The sore on my vagina which is now permanently medically documented confirmed what I had suspected. What also helped me here was realizing my choice would not only affect me, but would devastate our children. Also, since I was allowed to crawl out from under my own rock (drug addiction/alcoholism), who was I not to extend the opportunity to the father of my children to change and become a better person. And, he has become a better parent/husband. However, all the current events have dredged up resentments again for me (which I know is unresolved stuff) towards him. I feel like it's impossible to not be affected by what's going on around me. DH and I are running away to Las Vegas in an attempt to have some quality, intimate time together. We've been chatting more lately on what happened in our marriage as a result of what's going on in other long term marriages around us. How could we not? Overall, I love the man. It's certainly not new, hot and heavy. It's more mature and like he has many good qualiities as a life partner and a Dad. I told him if he had a heart attack or got cancer tomorrow, I would absolutely nurse him back. However, if he pushes the sex thing right now and makes it more about his needs than mine, I might be the one to actually harm him. Obviously, I still have some anger and resentment. It was life changing for me and a further eye opener as to how humanly defective we can be. If he were to walk the road of spiritual growth with me, I think I could continue. Not so sure he will as it's really not his thing, but will put it out there to him anyway. Woe and unsure is me.

FYI, I don't think the grass is greener on the other side either. This is my second (and last!) marriage. If I ever leave this one, I am done!

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

xo,
Mary

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3/30/11 6:47 A

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By the way -- just mentioning -- I'm up in NY again in June and could easily add on. I'm at a conference Mon-Wed, June 13-15. Hooking up the weekend before would be great.

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3/30/11 6:44 A

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OMG, Trish you are describing what I see right now with Loren (adopted DD). I KNOW that her mother has loved her up, just like you with your kids, from birth onward. She's not stuffing from the reasons that we all did. But maybe we're not giving enough credit (yet picking up personal blame) for the marketing and American corporate food megabusiness? I mean, it's everywhere. What Loren (and Carrie) want is all the yummy stuff that has been product tested and designed to BE the most yummy stuff ever. Of course it's desirable. It tastes WAY better than lentils and fish cakes, LOL. And I think when you add the "disruption" of vacation (out of your schedule, comfort zones, etc) -- you want to eat for "fun" and comfort.

For me, traveling alone is a cinch. I've got that down to a science. For kid/family vacations? OMG, give me the all inclusive so I can eat up all their produce -- or in Mary's case, the full-house rental so you can cook. I shudder at the thought of fast food, and having to watch the kids eat crap. I didn't appreciate the pain of that until Loren came here. I never experienced that with my son (he's a twig and the most non-food centered person I've ever met).

I think we all (self included) need to try and lovingly get the people around us more focused on experiences and enjoying activities than what we're eating next. Brilliant non-original thought, needs some traction which I'm not sure how to get.

I need to read the next chapter, and get my journal situated on my net book.

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MARYBTHIN's Photo MARYBTHIN Posts: 523
3/29/11 8:37 A

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Trish: I haven't read the chapter yet as I am behind on the one before this. However, what you happpend to write about (DD) is exactly the topic of a dialogue I started with my husband recently. Why does every one of our vacations or outings center around food? We have been bad role models in the area of food obsession and can't get enough. Almost every vacation we've gone on has been centered around where the food is, what kind of food is it and how much can we shovel in quickly! I knew DH and I would not/could not be perfect parents and, in fact have a standing joke with our children that they can either choose College or Therapy with the funds we have set aside for their education. How could we possibly not screw them up in some way when we ourselves are works in progress?

I "think" what Marianne is suggesting is meant for ourselves in healing. However, what we've role modelled for our children is a different mstory because it is a different time or era, if you will. Back when we were kids, food and vacation were not so prevalent. Times have changed and they certainly are now! Hence, the obesity epidemic in America. I know for DH and I, we wanted to give our children what we lacked in our childhood.....love, attention, affection, etc. We've done that and then some, nfortunately, utilizing food, vacation and materialism. :(

Since, I've become aware of this parenting error (recent) I've started talking to DH about how we need to change it. As soon as we booked a home in Myrtle Beach, DH started talking about all the restaurants and eating out every night. I put the brakes on and told him that is not an option for me anymore. I will be shopping at Costco (we have a house full of 12 people) and eating most meals in our rental home. If he wants to choose 2-3 nights to eat out, that will be fine, but he must consider also paying for everybody since he's the host! LOL

Trish, I don't know if any of this applies to you, but thought I'd share my own realization as a means to help you figure out yours.

xo,
Mary

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3/28/11 9:33 P

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So I started reading the next chapter. Don't know if I'm ahead, I just had idle time on teh plane.

So I won't get into too much detail, but it talks about feeling feelings. You kind of know it's coming when you read the other chapter before it anyway. But it said that we compulsive overeaters didn't have our feelings validated as children, to the point where no one listened to them or said they were important enough to pay attention to them. And that over time, we started to do that to ourselves, and we automatically stuffed the feelings and ate to supress them. Ok, that's not news to me, so I wasn't surprised to read that either.

But it seemed that she was saying that;s the only reason that we overeat or binge or whatever our issue is with food.

Now let me back track for a second. When we were in FL,. I did fine for the first 2 days, and then like I said the overstimulation started to get teh best of me and I gave in to the bombardment of sugary high carb foods. I know that's what happened, and I guess I didn't feel the feelings or acknowledge the exhaustions or experience the grief that at times I saw Make a Wish families and I thought how sad it is that we also qualify for that. But this time I'm not writing about mje- it was my 13 yr old DD. She is about 4 inches shorter than me and weighs the same as me-135. I know she's too heavy because she has a big belly that hangs over her belt, and her pants are so tight they're choking her. But she won't let me buy a bigger size for her. I saw the warped relationship she has with food over the week- very focused on what we can eat next, where it is, even to teh point of her wanting to go off on her own so she could secretly get some cookie or fudge or something sugary with her own money. I saw her get overly excited when we're get something sweet or when we splurged once to eat in a restaurant- and how she tried to tell us she wanted dessert and italian soda, and wanted to eat all the bread... ok, you get the picture. I'd say she gained over 5 lbs while we were away.

So- does that mean I screwed up her childhood by not listening to her feelings? Because I was always very conscious of that with my kids because no one ever listened to me, and I know how lonely that was. I let my kids cry. I held them when they needed to grieve. I told them that they were sad, or angry, or frustrated when they didn't have the words to use on their own. But after reading this next chapter, I feel like I did somethign very wrong with her and that's the reason she eats like me and thinks about food like I do.

Any thoughts about this?

Trish

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3/26/11 9:56 A

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Mary, so glad you wrote and wow I love you ladies too! This is the next big thing I want to conquer- the sabotage thing. I do feel confident that I'm done with huge yo yo's- I am not happy in this bigger body anymore, even if it's 10 lbs. I've totally forgiven myself for whatever I did and ate this week- it was a combination of a lot of things and I realized that when I wrote it out last night. But the most important part is that there's a lid on it- an end point- today. Not tomorrow when I'm back to the real world, today- when I'm out of Disney and able to relax and make more healthy choices. Started out with a 1 1/2 he run, about 10 miles, found this beautiful trail in the middle of total tourism chaos. God's gift to me. It went around a quiet lake and it was full of all these tropical bird sounds- a piece of paradise amidst the commercialism.

I have faithfully been journaling every morning and night. Short because I'm exhausted when we come home from Disney after midnight. But I have done it. And it has definitely helped. You know the part in the chapter when it says that maybe no one has ever listened to your dreams before. Maybe no one ever cared about what you wanted for your life- your hopes, your dreams. But God does. When I read that, I seriously teared up. I don't think anyone has ever asked me or cared. To think that God really cares what I think and do and love and what makes me happy- that he even cares about my runs and that I love myself- that was a revelation. It means I'm not alone.

Ok off to take a shower after my last run on shorts- for a while, anyway.

Trish

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MARYBTHIN's Photo MARYBTHIN Posts: 523
3/26/11 7:52 A

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I love you ladies!

I just went back and read the last few posts, one from each of you. I am taking/making the time later today to sit down and read that last chapter as I am behind. It is really starting to irk me that I haven't made this happen yet.

Trish: I so identify with what you wrote. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Maybe we can figure this sabotage thing out together.

Cat: I can see why you like your job. What an unconventional yet highly effective way your boss used to get you motivated and creative. Wow! You don't hear about stuff like that in your "normal" work environments. Thank you too for sharing your thoughts on the chapter too.

Teresita: I recall you not having an immediate Inspirer or Permitter in mind. I know you started journalling which seems to be the lesson for this last chapter I haven't read yet. Thank you too for sharing.

I will post more later.

xo,
Mary

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