Facebook Relationship Status

Ok so in a couple of my previous posts I have mentioned that I am divorced. I have also alluded to my boyfriends…as in plural. So what does my Facebook relationship status say? lol “It’s complicated”. Perhaps now would be a good time to mention that this is sort of a ‘not for younger readers’ post. I’m not going to get explicit but some of you parents out there might not want to have to try to explain things like this just yet. Maybe a “PG-13” type rating would apply here.

So quick refresher on my personal background. I come from an extremely conservative family and I married someone in my very strict church who turned out to be a real narcissistic a-hole, divorced him and now I’m not living according to the way I was brought up and chose a different path for my life.

So what path are we talking about here? Well, I guess you could say I started exploring myself in all ways when I left my ex, including how I feel about relationships and all aspects of them. Also, I have 2, count them 2, boyfriends and yes they both know about each other! lol And while maybe they aren’t ecstatic over the fact that they share me, they are ok with it, and neither of them are of the same religion as I was raised. This is very frowned upon and my father would be extremely harsh and judgmental. My mother would be hurt and disappointed. However, both know they are special to me and the future is a little bit muddy right now. Without giving their names away and exposing anything, we shall call them “West-Coaster” and “Native”. Take that as you will and I will talk more about them in the future.

For now, it’s enough to say that I actually started out dating West-Coaster online and we hit it off as just flirting and then he told me that he is very much a believer in polyamory. He had a girlfriend when we met and even though she’s no longer around, he was just as sweet and attentive to me as he was to her and I started thinking…well, maybe it is possible. I can’t say that polyamory is for me but for now, I’ll just say that my view of it has changed a good bit. I believe it’s absolutely possible to care for more than one person at a time and care about them both just as strongly, even if differently. Not everyone is cut out for it and I’m not talking about someone who just can’t control their sexual urges when faced with the next potential partner. I’m talking about real, true, deep feelings.

So have I rambled enough to whet your appetite? Let me know what you’re thinking…what you want to hear about, know about, questions, concerns, comments, suggestions…well you get the picture. lol In the meantime, have an awesome Friday!

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My Weight Loss &/or Yours

(I plan on posting more than once today so if this doesn’t interest you, maybe the other post will.)

So I joined Weight Watchers almost 4 months ago and I’m down a total of 21 pounds as of yesterday. I’ve still got about 30~ pounds to go to goal weight but I’m excited about the journey. Except that I am part of their online only plan and I keep having little irritating problems with their app and website. When you’re only doing the plan online, you kinda want these things to work! lol

Anyways, enough of the technical issues. Let’s talk about weight loss and setting goals, etc. One of the things that irks me about doing any kind of weight loss plan is that someone is always telling you that you’re doing it wrong…even when you’re seeing results. :/ The thing is, everyone is different! What works for you might not exactly work for me. And just because you think I should be doing more or trying harder, back off. I’m doing something and it’s working for me! Maybe not as fast or as well as for other people but I’m happy that I’m making changes that I know for sure I can sustain more long term than other people can. You wanna drink your food from now on, I suppose that’s your choice but I love food! I love different textures and tastes and I don’t want to live on smoothies the rest of my life. You want to cut out all carbs? Good luck! Not for me. I think we need grains and carbs for a balanced diet. I don’t mind if you want to share what works for you. But don’t do it in a way that you are judging me.

The other issue I have with people on weight loss plans is their goals. I won’t tell you that your goal isn’t important or a good one because that’s very personal. But if you’re trying to lose weight just to wear a smaller wedding dress or get into that bikini for the summer, what happens when the wedding is over? Or summer turns to winter and you’re wearing sweaters? Yo-yo dieting is definitely not healthy. So if those are your short-term goals, awesome! Something to work for! But make your long-term goals more personal and about taking care of yourself for life!

And if you have setbacks in ounces on the scale or even a pound or two, don’t act like it’s the end of the world! Our bodies are in a constant state of flux. It’s constantly trying to keep a balance inside and fighting the environment around us. So that might just be a bit of water retention because it’s a little warmer outside. Or maybe you’re PMS’ing or whatever. But if in general you are staying active and healthy, that’s what counts! Try to remember the big picture.

When I joined Weight Watchers, I had a goal weight in mind but I didn’t have a lot of ‘definites’ or unrealistic expectations or goals. I knew that if I was gong to make these changes permanent, then making them slowly might be ok. And little diversions from my regiment are ok once in a while. I don’t say things like, “I’m going to run 5 miles every day!” when I know I started out as a couch potato. If I had done that, I would have quickly quit and given up. Instead, I have increased my steps, taken longer routes, added walks here or there, added a few lunges or push-ups every time I go to the bathroom…stuff like that. Little things that I can change. I also take a day once in a while and do nothing but sit around the house. I will never be one of those people who gets up at 5 am every morning and runs 10 miles. Not my idea of fun at all! But I can see getting up a little earlier and doing yoga before work maybe, of putting my tunes on and getting up and dancing to a song now and then instead of just bobbing my head along.

So my only short term goals right now? Memorial Day weekend, I’d like to be under 180. As I am currently at 184.2, I’m pretty sure I can make that. If I’m off a bit and don’t quite make it, I’m not going to huff and give up. I’ll be a tad disappointed but I’ll keep going. My other milestone/goal? By the end of September to be under and staying under 170. That’s totally doable if I keep up the pace I’ve set so far or even do better.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m always open to tips and suggestions, stories of how everyone is trying to get healthier. But I know what I will do long-term and what I will do only while I’m trying to meet my ultimate weight and fit goal. I’m ok with both as long as I can see the difference. I’m on this journey for me. Everyone and everything else is a necessary secondary.

Change is a Part of Living

So this might seem a weird subject but I wanted to address the subject of change. Humans, in general, seem to hate change. We resist it and avoid it, make excuses and even sometimes flat out refuse to go along with it. I’ve heard people say things like they can’t change their circumstances, their physical issues, their financial status, their marriage, their job, the chronic illness they are fighting…and the list goes on and on. One of my favorite excuses is that the person is too old to learn something new now.

Here’s the problem: Life has to change! We have to adapt and grow to keep on living. No one can stop change. It’s all around us! Technology changes, the environment changes, the weather, seasons, buildings, people…everything changes! And you have to be ready to roll with the punches or you’ll get run over! Make changes yourself or adapt or you will no longer be ‘living’ but just existing. Does that mean we have to like or enjoy every change? Nope and lots of times you won’t. lol But the truth is, so much is out of our control that we have to concentrate on what is in our control.

So if you can’t change something that’s changing or that’s out of your control (like that chronic illness or financial circumstances) what can you do or change? Your attitude! Maybe a more positive attitude and acceptance is what you have control over changing! Maybe if you are aware of the situation and looking for ways to make the changes possibly down the road, it will keep hope alive for you and yourself moving forward!

Let me give you an example. I was in a pretty bad marriage. I didn’t feel that my ex cared whether I was around or not, we did virtually nothing together. I worked 2 jobs to support us and he spent money like crazy and kept our debt growing. I was taking care of family that lived close by and I felt so horribly stuck. Stuck taking care of family when I was exhausted with no support. Stuck in a marriage that I was terribly unhappy in. Stuck working myself into the ground not only at my secular jobs but in keeping the house clean and tidy since he wouldn’t help with that either. I drove over an hour to both jobs and I was a miserable person. I tried changing my attitude first. Maybe if I tried to be more positive and asked for help more I would get it or at least be happier. Nope. Didn’t get the help I asked for (in fact I was berated for asking and told to quit “bitching” all the time), and the positive attitude only kept me going so far. It helped but hard to combat the negativity coming at you from all directions when you’re exhausted.

So I tried talking to my spiritual support, my family, friends. None of them could really help me and I knew that. I wasn’t looking for them to change things for me, just to counteract the gaslighting that my ex was doing to me. (For those who don’t know, gaslighting is when someone makes someone else think there’s something wrong with them or their thinking…that they’re crazy, etc. Look it up if you haven’t heard of it. It’ll blow your mind.) They were supportive in the best way they could be. But finally, one day, I realized that I was heading towards one of two endings here. I had to leave the situation either on my feet or in a body bag. Yes, I seriously contemplated suicide for a few seconds here or there. Never attempted it and dismissed it quickly but I needed to do something.

So I told my ex husband I was leaving. I had had enough and I was tired of trying to change things on my own and him working against me. It was hard. I had married young and had never been on my own before. But I left and I never once cried about it or looked back. Did I immediately divorce him? No. I still held a small glimmer of hope that he might come to his senses and realize that I was serious. But finally, after many months of taking care of myself and growing as a person, I realized that there was never any going back.

Was it scary? Absolutely! I had been married for over 15 years! I had no place of my own and couldn’t really afford one at first. But it was the best decision I think I’ve ever made. I’ve grown tremendously. I have been able to make changes, big and small, that have allowed me to be a happier human being and healthier too. I’m truly happy now and I continue to make changes that are in not only my best interests but in the interests of all those I care about and am around. I have hope and can see a future where I don’t feel trapped anymore.

So embrace change. Find ways to adapt or make your own changes, even if it’s just in your attitude! I hate getting up early in the mornings but I embrace that as part of my new job that allows me to take care of myself and spend time with my bf’s who are also on day jobs. If you need help in creating new pathways in your life or even just your brain, share your story with me! Let’s see if we can figure out something, anything that might help give you some hope and at least a smile for today.

Mood Music (or Ramblings on Music)

So today at work, I have my area to myself and not a lot going on. I’m organizing and cleaning and since I’m basically alone, I have my “favorites” playlist on my iPod playing. Now, I’m a huge fan of music and almost all genres at that. I like a little of everything from big band of the 40’s to Korn, from the Beach Boys to Boys to Men, from country to rock and roll, from opera or classical to heavy metal.

But it’s funny that when I’m cleaning, I usually put on “oldies”. You know rock and roll and Mo’ Town from the mid 50’s through the 60’s. Sometimes I put on 80’s but the oldies are my go-to music when I wanna get to dancing and cleaning at the same time. It keeps me in a good mood and moving. And today it got me thinking of all the ways that music affects me, and most other human beings. Have you thought about this? Like really?

When you’re fighting traffic to get to work or home from work, do you listen to stuff that makes you wanna take out everyone in your way? Or do you put on something calming and soothing so that you will be able to keep your cool? I have some songs that I absolutely cannot listen to if I’m sitting in traffic and not moving because they make me one very angry person. lol However, I put on Enya and I’m the epitome of calm.

So that said, I’m kinda picky about certain things not being in songs I listen to. I tend to stay away from rap because a lot of it is degrading to women or other people or it promotes things that I certainly don’t agree with like crimes. It kinda floors me when I hear people say stuff like “Oh music doesn’t really affect me” or “It’s just a song, doesn’t mean I agree with what it says. I just like the beat”. You sure it doesn’t affect you? How many times have you had a song stuck in your head all day? Have you found yourself singing with a song that you hadn’t even realized was playing in a store? How about moving to that beat when you weren’t paying attention originally? It does affect us, all of us! Granted some people are more affected by others but it does affect you.

If you don’t believe me, research how much good composers in Hollywood get paid. Press the mute button on an intense scene on a movie or show you’re watching at home. If you take away the music on a horror or suspense movie, things aren’t nearly as scary or suspenseful. How about on a game show when contestants only have so much time to complete a task? As the time starts to run out, the music speeds up, freaking the person out.

So does music affect us? Absolutely! Think about it more the next time you are listening to the radio or watching TV. I would highly suggest you choose the right music for the right time, task or setting. After all, “mood music” is a common phrase for a reason. Happy listening!

Is there a certain song that you consider to be your “theme song”? Is there particular music you listen to in certain settings for getting the right ‘feel’? I’d love to hear about it!

Southern Girl Losing Weight

So one of the things I’m trying to change about myself is my eating habits and my relationship with food and exercise. As a Southern born and raised girl, I’m actually not that much like my predecessors in my family. I rarely fry things, I actually don’t care for gravy, I keep a close eye on how much butter and salt I put on things and I try really hard not to cut out my veggies.

So you might think, ‘Wow. She does pretty good!’ Well I thought so except that my weight and size kept going up and as I’m now closer to 40 than 30, I knew that any battle with that was not going to get easier but would only get harder. So I started looking at my vices. I don’t smoke, I am on my feet a lot for my job so I move around. However, I am/was extremely addicted to Dr. Pepper and Mr Pibb. Everyone knows that’s a big factor, so I started cutting that back.

Finally, I was ready to really make changes and I joined Weight Watchers in January. Now I will be the first to admit that I don’t follow the program as strictly as I probably should. However, I seriously wanted to make life-long changes. Already I have lost almost 18 pounds and that’s a good chunk of my 55 pounds gone initial goal. I might go for another 5 pounds after that. I don’t know and I’ll figure that out as I get closer. I know a lot of people try different diets or weight loss plans with a goal of making it to a big event or a birthday or a special date. Me…I just chose somewhere around a year as I thought that was a doable goal. Am I going on a vacation? Yeah I have one planned. Do I wanna look good in a swimsuit this season? Of course!

But honestly, I know I’m in the right mindset because I am accepting the ups and downs of the journey and not depriving myself. I have cheat days but I’m paying better attention to what I eat. I’m learning that some choices really weren’t as good as I thought. I’m learning to know that feeling full doesn’t mean I have to feel stuffed. I’m drinking more water and moving more even when I don’t have to lol Is it hard? Sure. But my clothes are fitting better and I’m feeling like I’m more in control of myself. And for the first time, I’m starting to feel beautiful. Losing weight isn’t the only contributing factor to this but it’s helping.

There will be plenty more entries on my journey as I go from 205 to 150 or less. (Hopefully) I hope you will offer encouragement and tips if you’re reading this. Or maybe draw inspiration from it. That’s cool. I love to help in any way I can.

Hiding for Family

So it’s been a little bit since I actually got to write here and I apologize to anyone who might actually be reading this blog. But there are a lot of things that have kept me from things I wanted to do for the last couple of weeks. One of them involves my family. I warn anyone that this subject might be a little controversial and possibly a bit on the shocking side for some of you out there.

I grew up in a very conservative, religious household. I know being from the South, that’s a shocker right? lol My parents were strict but not overly so and they wholeheartedly believe what they taught us growing up. I truly respect that and I don’t necessarily disagree with most of it. My youngest sister is a full time volunteer in the ministry work and I know she enjoys it and her faith is what keeps her going much of the time.

However, the truth is…ever since I left my ex-husband, I’ve been living differently from the way I was taught and brought up. It’s not that I no longer believe or that I am openly rebelling. More like, I just got tired of trying so hard to be a perfect follower and feeling like a failure. I got tired of being exhausted and tired, frustrated and angry because others weren’t living up to what they were supposed to be as well and making things more difficult for me. I got tired of sacrificing my own happiness and what I wanted to do for everyone and everything else. I got tired of trying so hard to be “good” and feeling like I would never be good enough. I cried myself to sleep frustrated and disappointed so many nights that I lost count. And I admit that I got tired of hearing some variation of, “If you only keep trying and stay on the ‘narrow road’, God will reward you in the future. Yes, you’re miserable now but think of all the future blessings!”

Do I blame my parents for the way I was raised so I ended up so out of balance that I always gave to the point that I didn’t feel I deserve to be happy? No, not really. (Although my father is a huge perfectionist when it comes to himself so he is always feeling like a miserable failure too.) Do I blame the religion for not teaching everyone that God always blesses those who do try to be obedient? No because they do. Do I blame God for me being miserable and deciding that this was too hard? Absolutely not! I just find that, for now, that’s not how I want to live my life.

So what’s different? Well, technically, I’m not supposed to have divorced my husband and I’m definitely not free to date or remarry. It might shock you to learn that I’m currently dating two men who are both wonderful. (And yes they know about each other.) We’re talking about eventually, possibly, all three of us living together. I also enjoy spending time reading and watching some things that were considered too risque and would never have been allowed in my parents’ home. If my family or the leaders of the religion were to find out, I would be put out and my family and friends would never speak to me again unless I ‘cleaned up my life’.

I fully know this and was prepared to face this head-on. I don’t like living a lie and I honestly don’t like feeling like a hypocrite. So why haven’t I told everyone and faced the music yet? Because my grandfather is not going to be with us much longer. Because my grandmother on my father’s side has Alzheimer’s and also won’t be with us much longer. Because my father is going through enough mental and physical problems that I’m just waiting for his doctor to confirm that he has Alzheimer’s and he’s only 66. Because my family needs me to translate ‘medicalese’ and help be there when my grandparents on either side finally go and help take my dad to doctor’s appointments. My mother is not mentally and emotionally strong enough to handle it all herself. They lean on me and I can’t help them if they shut me out of their lives. So I go on trying to pretend that I’m still trying super hard in the church and being the same daughter they have always known. Do I feel guilty about this? Yeah, honestly I do a little. But they need me and I know I will have to eventually face up to whatever the future holds.

So am I a terrible person? I hope not. I go a long ways out of my way to make people happy, safe and comfortable. I don’t hurt anyone if I can help it. I try to not be a burden on others and I try to be someone who people can lean on. I’m striving, not to be perfect, but to be different and happy. I’m striving for balance and peace. It’s a struggle that will go on for a long time but I’m honestly happier than I’ve been in a long time.

Queen of Clean, but only if left alone!

So I absolutely love to be around people I love. My friends, my family, my boyfriend. I’m not the type of person who does well if left alone for too long. Don’t get me wrong, I can enjoy my space sometimes I just need some time alone but generally speaking, I guess I’m a pack animal. lol I don’t need anyone to entertain me or even keep up a conversation really. I just enjoy having someone else around for company. My two cats try hard and my striped, short-haired will (I swear she does this) carry on a conversation with me often but it’s just not the same.

That said, there is one time when I really, really want everyone to go away and leave me alone…when I want or need to clean the house. The everyday pick-up time and cleaning up the kitchen after cooking or changing the sheets, yes I appreciate the help of my boyfriend when he’s here. And he’s here a lot. But what I can’t understand, what I can’t explain well to anyone is why I need to have a day once in a while where I’m alone in my house and put on some tunes and start cleaning. I can’t explain it to my boyfriend, I could never explain it to my ex-hubby and I can’t explain it to any other man in my life really. But I really need you to go away! lol

Apparently, I’m not the only woman who feels this way. I’ve talked to co-workers and friends and they say they all feel the same way. That sometimes, we just need a day alone in our house where we can set it back in some kind of order. And we need it without anybody around on the phone or coming in and out. Ladies, if any of you have a good explanation, I’d love to hear it! One thing I can say is that I hate having to dodge someone else while I’m in “the zone” or asking them to move or watch them make a sandwich and leave crumbs on the counter or a knife in the sink when I just scrubbed the kitchen until it was spotless. I don’t want to have to tell you where things should go or have to let the bathroom air out before I can clean it. 😛 I just want to be able to dance and sing to the music as I put things back to rights. And I need you to go away for a bit to let my brain air out while I do it.

Comments? Questions? Judgments? I’ll take them all! lol But for now, as I have the house to myself this evening, I’m going to go clean off the dining room table.