What’s different now

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I looked out the window last night on our flight from LA to Portland and saw this lovely sight. Travel can be a beautiful experience. But sometimes it sucks the life out of me.

This is NOT a recap post about what is different in my life now versus prior to discovery of my husband’s betrayal and secret life. That would be one bloody long post. Been there, done that.

No, this is a post about my health. I haven’t really posted about my health in a very long time, maybe a couple years? I used to reach out to you guys, my online blogging accountability friends. I haven’t done that in a while, but I have made significant progress. I’ve kept y’all a bit updated. I posted about taking time for myself in North Carolina. It ended up being 10 weeks time. The program includes a minimalist one-bedroom apartment all to myself (a special kind of bliss on many days), healthy meals prepared for me and which I do not have to clean up (Yay!), an education component, a therapy element, plus lots and lots of exercise classes and personal trainers, and finally a whole lot of peer support. I was there in Fall 2016, and then back again this past February. Although some people believe that having to go back means we failed, going back did not feel like a failure to me. This particular spot in North Carolina will be my go to place for healing my mind and my body, for a very long time.

Prior to arriving in North Carolina I had spent a few days with the lovely Ms. Caroline and then Blue Eyes and I embarked on a rather decadent road trip from Miami to Raleigh by way of Jacksonville, Charleston, Beaufort, and Bluffton. Add that to my six weeks of recuperation from the concussion and let’s just say my health was not so stellar. However, 10 weeks on the program really got me into shape. I saw my doc last week and she was blown away with my numbers. Diabetes managed, excellent cholesterol numbers, 27 pound weight loss, yada yada yada. I am truly grateful that there is a place I can go (and that I can afford to go) to completely detox from my regular old lifestyle, get healthy, and learn new better habits that I can bring home.

Losing weight in the program is actually pretty easy. My apartment is bare of any food items other than tea and the occasional high quality chocolate bar, which I use to keep me sane on some of my more emotional days. I know, I know. I’m addicted to chocolate. It is what it is. I am not into total self deprivation. When I want a “cheat” meal I head directly to my favorite taco joint, Bartaco in Chapel Hill. I absolutely love that place. It’s not traditional, it’s not authentic, it is trendy and so so so delicious. But most of the time I march my body on up to the dining room and eat three approximately 450 calorie meals that are low fat, and low sodium, and well balanced, and I’m usually not hungry–SHOCK. I generally do about three hours of exercise a day which includes anything from Circuit Training, to Zumba, to walking in the nearby nature preserve, or maybe The Duke Campus Gardens or on one of their campus trails. It works so well. The program is designed for weight loss of an average 2-3 pounds per week, which they believe is sustainable. I accomplished just about exactly that during my 10 weeks.

So now I’m home. Bam! Kapow! Reality… Yikes!!!

What’s different now? ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING! I had decided while I was away that at home I would merely attempt to maintain the weight I had lost and not try to lose more. Within the first couple days home I had already gained two pounds. We eat out, A LOT! Which means a lot more fat and sodium than I was eating in NC, regardless of my calorie intake. And speaking of calorie intake, most of the places we eat at don’t have calories on the menu, so even determining actual calories is a problem, but I do the best I can because I know that if I am approaching or going over 2000 calories a day, regardless of exercise, I will gain. So there’s that. And then, exercise. I’m still trying to figure out how to duplicate the kind of exercise I was doing back east. Sure, I can walk the neighborhood, or go to a park for a walk, we live in a freakin’ forest here in Portland with trails EVERYWHERE, and it is actually better exercise here as Portland is not sitting on flat ground. Far from it. Walking here means trudging up and down hills, and that’s good for me. BUT, the other exercise? I love love love dancing. I have joined up at a dance studio where they have lots and lots of dance classes for amateurs (hands in the air, that would be me!). Last Saturday I did a hip hop class, then a muscle stretch class (using a styrofoam roller), then Zumba. Blue Eyes and I have started a Saturday morning ritual. We get up early (or regular weekday time like we’re supposed to, versus sleeping in) and he drops me at dance and then heads off to do some work at a nearby coffee shop. He picks me up at 11 and we head to our favorite Lebanese restaurant, then we walk the neighborhood. Last Saturday we walked and walked and then we took the dogs for a walk when we got home. So… that meant three classes and then about 7 miles of additional walking. Sunday morning I couldn’t bend my right knee. See, this is what happens to me. When I am being monitored by qualified professionals, I don’t over do it. I don’t injure myself. For 10 weeks, three hours of exercise a day, no injuries. I’m home a couple weeks and I am grounded, again.

I visited my doc, again, and thank goodness it was merely a strained muscle above my bad knee. A few days rest and now I’m good. I’m two personal training sessions into a 12 set and although my legs feel like sticks of pain, I’m back to walking and dancing.

The bigger deal is what I deal with emotionally at home and how I’m going to proceed to de-stress my environment. Mostly I think I need to incorporate in an updated boundary plan with Blue Eyes plus mindfulness practices for myself. I do much of my de-stressing while walking the neighborhood listening to music. Sunshine and music make me happy. I do this by myself, not with Blue Eyes. It helps me clear my head. I need to make sure my time with Blue Eyes is of better quality. I am starting to get triggered again by his obsessive work habits. I need him to be present with me. We’re still working on this. It’s stressful to me. There is no question that I stress eat. We also travel, a lot, and that usually means time on planes, and salty food, and messed up eating schedules, and messed up sleeping schedules, and Blue Eyes working all hours. The deck is certainly stacked against me, but I am bound and determined to maintain my good health habits. Blue Eyes doesn’t make it easy. I am realizing more and more how much his behavior affects me. I can stop traveling with him, but I don’t think that would be good for either of us.

So, I’m checking in… we returned from a business trip last night. Our son, who lives with us, is puppy sitting a golden doodle for a friend. UGH. I love puppies, but I especially love them when they belong to someone else. We already have four animals in our house. This puppy is cute, but I’m over it.

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Work is stressing me out. I managed to acquire us an amazing office space through our existing property management company and so that’s all good, but now there are contracts to negotiate and interior design plans to tackle. Our ex-employee is still jerking us around, making idle threats (YEAH, I KNOW. He’s the one that stole from us. The arrogance of this guy is unreal). I’m not sleeping well, and I have a splitting headache today, which all makes me not want to exercise and instead… I’m starving!!! The longer I am home the more obvious the reasons why it is easier to be healthy away from home. I need to do better. Sometimes I wander neighborhoods in the city and look at houses that are for sale and dream about living in them, by myself. The beach house is calling… but then I’m far away from my personal trainer, and my dance classes. What to do, what to do…

Today I almost cried, but I caught myself. That’s how tired and frustrated I am. Life shouldn’t be this complicated, right? We have enough money. We travel and have two beautiful houses. We have great kids and I just lost 27 freakin’ pounds and am healthier than I have been in a couple decades, and yet, sometimes I still just feel like crying.

I’m thinking, now more than ever, I’m not alone in my feelings….

 

12 thoughts on “What’s different now

  1. Kat, I think you have some amazing insight into the dynamics and stressors you are dealing with. One thing I’ve learned is that everyone has stuff. They may not be married to an SA, but they have something. I think men in general stress us out. I spent the day at a Women’s Symposium that was truly awesome. Hundreds of women of all ages, races, backgrounds, etc. So much diversity. No men, other than waiters, helpers. All women presenters. I started noticing how peaceful and relaxed I felt. I mentioned this to my friend who was also there, and she agreed. Maybe it’s a cultural thing? White men have the power so subconsciously we feel more stress around them? Don’t’ know. Just thinking out loud.

    Anyway, I think awareness is the first step. You have amazing awareness of the dynamics you are facing. You have done so much good for yourself and you are so right to make your health a priority. Just keep going forward. So what if you fall off now and then? No one does it perfectly. I think losing 27 pounds is truly awesome, and so is your improved health.

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  2. You are doing amazing, even if you don’t feel it. You know where u were 6 months ago as compared to now, and it’s definitely a better place.
    Still I’ll say to you what I used to say to my ex. I don’t know if it’s depressing or uplifting, but it’s truth: it might not get easier, so the time is now.
    But u are doing it, and u are thriving. Give that a chance to settle in. Remember how far you have come and get excited about what you still have to achieve. Excited NOT stressed. We are our own worst enemies. You are doing awesome girlie. Keep it up and don’t give up. You are moving in the right direction. The feelings, they will pass. This is temporary. The results, they can be permanent.
    Sooooo proud of u
    ♥️♥️♥️

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Oh, sweet Kat. I get this. Sometimes it is so difficult trying to hold all the bits and ends together. Life is a juggling act for women without a doubt, but more so when you have to deal with triggers and memories and the stress that comes with betrayal and trauma. I have written before about “running away” and used to think it was a bad or selfish thing. As your retreats to N.C. Have proven, it is anything but selfish. It is necessary and healthy. I recently discovered that my daughters and several friends (who DON’T have an SA in their life) regularly take a vacation on their own for their own well-being. If women with relatively normal lives and normal relationships need a getaway, how much more so we must be in need. You are an amazing, strong woman who has been through so much. You can conquer all your Goliaths…in time. Give yourself some grace and remember that you are always trying your best. That’s all anyone can do. **hugs** ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    • I do think that we had been trained to expect less, to complain less, and to take less time for ourselves because our husbands took so much of that time and attention and squandered it and we had to handle everything else and everyone else. Blech. I’m just not going to let it happen anymore. My time away is critical to my physical and emotional health. I also think there are other things in our lives that we have lived with and somehow normalized as wives of SAs that just aren’t normal, certain interactions and sexual acting out behaviors that we didn’t notice before or assumed were normal. Some of that is starting to wear on me too, I fear. I know often BE says none of it is true, that I am all he ever needed, and he never felt like our life wasn’t enough blah, blah, blah, but clearly their actions said otherwise. I know it was all broken behavior, but it was all that we knew, and now know. Oh, man, I’m having one of those days. I need to give my mind a break, or perhaps I am just tired. Hugs back, xoxo.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. We are so hard on ourselves. You are doing great. But you also have lots of stressors in your life. Remember to be kind to you, and accept that there will always be these periods. I think our resilience is tested after infidelity and/or addiction in a partner. We just don’t bounce back quite the same as we used to. From quite simple things. Sending loads of love as you negotiate the work crap.

    Can’t wait to see what you do with the new space! 😚😚😚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yikes, I just caught up on your blog… I hope things smooth out for you soon and your body kicks in and heals what is broken. So glad you found a counselor. I am very very excited about our new office space. I know it is going to be wonderful. That is certainly one thing off my mind. The rest will fall into place one of these days.

      I hope you are having fun with your girls! ❤

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  5. First things first, your headache. I used to wake up with one every day until my daughter told me to start drinking water before I go to bed at night and if I get up in the night to drink another glass of water. It makes all the difference. I know that Portland is much cooler than here in the south but you are still not just expending energy but fluids. You need to stay hydrated all the time. If you can’t walk get a recumbent bike. Drink lots of water. Lots and lots of it.
    Second thing, BE and his work. He sounds somewhat obsessive. My husband cannot stand to be bored and he will pick an argument with me if he can’t get somewhere every day. Guys are just weird and different.
    Look up Dr. Attia. His diet is too restricted for me but once I cut out almost all simple carbs I started feeling better. Very slow weight loss. I don’t like dark chocolate. I have to have some form of choc every day so I bought a bag of milk choc morsels and grab a small handful once a day. My one tiny craving is satisfied.
    Our big meal is at lunch. Usually yogurt or soup at night for my husband. I just eat a small portion of turkey or chicken.
    My snack is plain almonds. I read somewhere, or heard somewhere, that the body doesn’t recognize them so they are just passed through the body. No mention of other nuts.
    Btw, since I am older than you I can give you this heads up. BE will never be still. He will be zooming around at 100. My grandfather was.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Moi for the good advice. I have allergies and a lot of the time I wake with sinus headaches. I take a medication, but sometimes it’s not enough. My knee is fine now. I have a personal trainer three x a week and about 4 dance classes. All that is fun. BE’s work habits, not so much. My step father is very much a get up and go person… never still. BE isn’t really like that. He does have an obsession with work, however, as he watched his father work day and night BE’s entire childhood. It was ingrained into BE that career is EVERYTHING and if you aren’t working, you are lazy and unproductive. Work/the laptop/his mobile phone, all his go-to for whenever he is ungrounded. Funny really because it all often ungrounds him even more. But you know, he went to his addiction to solve all his problem, but it did nothing but make things worse. Not sure why he can’t see this, but he knows I tire of his obsessive behavior very quickly these days. We are just too old to act like frenetic 30-somethings. We know how to relax and be calm now, we don’t have children to take care of anymore, and we know being too busy just isn’t good for us. It tends to distract us from being mindful, especially BE. It is just a huge adjustment to be home. I am so good when I am by myself… everything flows so smoothly, so much less stress. At home it can be a nightmare. I’m working on it. And when I was back in NC I learned what works for me, diet wise, for my specific body. I also have a nutritionist. A well balanced diet is the best, no fads, no cutting out food groups. When I eat that way, everything is fine. When I let stress get me, I tend to eat poorly. I know this. It’s one of my things.

      I hope that whatever BE is doing at 100, that I am still here to witness it. I guess that is why I stay. xo

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