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.
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….