Tag Archive: respect


Dear Food,

We’ve been together a long time and let’s be honest, it’s been a rocky relationship. I feel like there are some things I really need to get off my chest. Part of me wishes I could just end this and move on, but let’s face it, I can’t live without you. It’s not you, it’s me. I’ve just had a really hard time figuring out how to be in this relationship without screwing things up. You’ve always been there for me, willing to provide everything I need. But too often I’ve taken you for granted and didn’t see you for what you are – helpful, kind and caring. You’ve wanted nothing but the best for me. You’ve wanted to not only give me strength to get through my days, but pure enjoyment. I haven’t appreciated that, though, and used you…only taking advantage of your “naughty” side…and it’s really gotten me in trouble.

I’m sorry for all the times I’ve hidden our relationship because I was embarrassed to be seen with you. I guess I didn’t want people to see how messed up our relationship had become so early on. And then there were the times I was selfish and kept you all to myself not wanting to share you with the others in my life. Let’s not forget the jealousy. When I did see you with others I couldn’t just let them enjoy you and be ok with it. I had to have you, too. Can you blame me, though? You always look so tempting.

You’ve done so much for me, but I know I’ve taken advantage of you. Instead of seeing you as the complete, wonderful thing that you are I’ve used you, only wanting to get a quick fix, and completely ignored how great you can be if given the chance. You’ve always been there when I’ve been sad, lonely or stressed out, but then I’ve basically ignored you when everything is fine. Sure, we’ve been together, but I haven’t payed enough attention to you day in and day out. Instead of giving you the time and attention you deserved, I only thought of you when I absolutely had to instead of looking forward to our time together. All those brief interludes in the kitchen with me spending as little time with you as possible just trying to get what I thought I needed instead of sitting down with you, giving you 100% of my attention and really enjoying you. Or the times we’ve been hanging out on the couch, me knowing you were there, but focussing so much on the TV I didn’t even realize how much I was taking from you without giving you the proper attention.

Treating you this way has not helped me at all. It’s just alienated us and, in a way, made me hate you. I know I shouldn’t feel that way, especially since I brought it all on myself. The more I’ve abused our relationship the less I want to think about you and everything you are to me because I feel like I don’t remember how to have a healthy relationship. I don’t like spending time with you anymore because I’ve forgotten how great we used to be together. There were those good times when I respected you and allowed you to give me just what I needed without treating you like a pile of junk.

Maybe we can get back to that again. I know you forgive me. You always do. I just need to forgive myself and give you the time and energy you deserve and to stop acting as though you’re only good for a cheap high or a quick thrill. I know now that those things don’t last and I always end up feeling guilty afterward. There’s so much more to you. You have amazing qualities that not only are fulfilling, but that last without making me feel bad. Sure, occasionally it’s ok for us to indulge a bit, but that’s not what a healthy relationship is based on.  From now on we’ll spend more quality time together, ok? And I know that the more I learn about you, the better our relationship will be. I’m sure that once I don’t feel guilty because I’ve taken advantage of you I won’t feel the need to hide you or be jealous when I see other people enjoying you. Once I start caring for you the way you care for me we can be happy again. I know we can make this work.

Love,

Me

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A Breakthrough – Part 2

Ok, where do I start? Before my husband and I got married or were even a couple we were close friends. As a matter of fact, our friendship meant so much to us it almost kept us from getting together. We were afraid if we took our relationship to the next level and it didn’t work out we’d lose the friendship that meant so much to us. We would spend hours talking about anything and everything and even though we didn’t always see eye to eye we listened to each other’s point of view out of respect. I found him to be intelligent, charming and challenging.

We all have hardships and go through tough times, but my husband has had to deal with more than the average person. For our friendship, that meant a lot of the time I was helping him deal with the emotional aftermath of it all and that was fine with me. It made me feel needed and like I was making a difference. The more he let me in the more we connected and eventually I knew I could no longer be just friends. He felt the same way and we became an official couple in August 1995 while visiting San Francisco with my mom.

Through unforseen circumstances we ended up living alone together, something I would’ve never chosen and don’t recommend. But that’s what happened and through the daily stresses of life and the nagging feeling that we had taken things in the wrong direction our relationship started to break down. The mutual respect eroded away and instead of being the close friend he could go to for support I became the one who took the brunt of his frustrations. What was once a life that felt perfect and almost magical became a mentally painful and unhealthy existence. But I was committed to him and making it work. I couldn’t handle the thought of losing him and the friendship we once shared.

Looking back, I have no doubt that a regular person would’ve left many times over and moved on, but because I grew up in an abusive home I had learned to put up with more than anyone should. I can’t blame him for the state of our relationship, either, because we teach others how to treat us. If I had stood up for myself and made it clear that some things were unacceptable, things would’ve been different. He either would’ve respected me more or ended it, but I didn’t. I became less and less the person who had overcome her childhood and more and more a doormat who was losing her identity all because I was afraid to lose him.

At this point, you may be thinking that he’s a horrible person. I hate to portray him that way, but the truth is that he did do some horrible things. He never hurt me physically, but he caused a lot of emotional pain. That’s what happens when two people with  lot of unresolved issues get together and become each other’s world. Being so young and living together was like putting our relationship in a pressure cooker and neither of us held up under the stress. There were times when I hated him and I’m sure he felt the same about me, but I never stopped loving him deep down. Many times we almost ended it, but decided to stay together despite everything. It was like a crazy roller coaster ride that I didn’t know how to get off and didn’t really want to. I just kept believing that somehow we’d work through it and get back to the way things used to be.

Despite all the red flags, we ended up getting married in July 1998. I hoped that making that commitment would allow things to settle down. We left California and headed for Oregon for a new beginning. But old habits don’t stay behind. We moved in with family by marriage on my husband’s side, but things continued to be the same. There were bright spots. There always were. Just enough to keep my hope for a happy life together alive. Then I found out I was pregnant. For most, that news would’ve brought joy and excitement. For us, not so much. The added stress almost ended our marriage, but again we decided to stay together and try to make it work. We moved out on our own and it was tough. A new baby in a healthy relationship can be difficult, but for us…well, I’m sure you can imagine. Eventually I lost count of all the times we almost split up.

That sweet little baby brought a new sense of purpose to our lives, though, and slowly we began to figure things out. Just when we started to gain some momentum in the right direction I found out I was pregnant again despite our best efforts to keep that from happening. When he was born I fell in love all over again, but the stress of providing for our growing family was driving a wedge between us again. Our relationship was nowhere near a place that could handle more strain and we ended up separating. We had both had enough and as much as it killed me to let go of the hope I had for us I just couldn’t do it anymore.

I can’t even tell you now exactly what it was that made us decide to go to counselling and get back together. I’m sure it had to do with the kids and not wanting them to grow up with divorced parents like both of us had. And despite everything I still loved him. We didn’t stay in counselling as long as we should have and so even though we were making some progress there were many times when it felt like we’d move one step forward  then two steps back. Then I was introduced to a book that gave me the tools I needed to make some changes that finally pushed us out of that rut. That book was The Love Dare. When I started it my husband wasn’t even speaking to me and for what seemed like the thousandth time I was sure our marriage was over. But I took it seriously and by the second week not only was he speaking to me again, but he was buying me flowers for no reason. Things were starting to feel a tiny bit magical again.

I wish I could say that I’ve continued to do everything I learned from that book everyday since I read it, but old habits are hard to break. As much blame as I can lay on him for the problems in our relationship, I have to accept responsibility, too. Our friendship, the foundation of our relationship, was broken down from both sides. Along the way, I stopped listening to him and trying to see things from his point of view. I started feeling like I already knew what he was going to say and would cut him off before he could finish his thought. That made him feel like there was no point in talking to me so the two people who once shared anything and everything suffered a complete breakdown in communication.

With the help of my wonderful, supportive friends I realized that I couldn’t continue to be a doormat and expect our relationship to heal. I had to start respecting myself if I wanted him to respect me. Going back to work played a huge part in that as I felt like I was contributing not only to our family, but to the businesses I worked for. I was able to start lovingly, but firmly communicate to him what was unacceptable and what I needed from him even though sometimes I felt like I was talking to a wall. Then I discovered Turbo Jam and Chalene Johnson. Her outlook on life has pushed my “recovery” to a whole new level and my life has completely transformed.

So what does all this have to do with staying in bed with my husband until 3-something in the afternoon on a day he should’ve been at a job fair giving his resume to potential employers from all around the country? Well, despite my new outlook on life and the vast improvements to our marriage we’ve never found our way back to the friendship we once had. Of course, after all the years of trials and heartache I know it will never be exactly the same as it was, but I believe in some ways it can be even better if we can rebuild it. One of the most frustrating things has been that I’m learning how to be happy and successful and even though I’ve been able to share that knowledge with my friends I haven’t been able to with him, the person I care about the most who needs it the most.

The alarm went off when it was supposed to, but neither of us got up. Then it went off again with the same results. Finally, it was time to get the kids up and off to school so I got up and took care of that. He still wasn’t up despite much nagging and pleading from me. Taking into consideration that he normally only gets 3-5 hours of sleep on  weekdays and that we had stayed up until 4:30am getting everything ready for the job fair, I wasn’t at all surprised that he wasn’t getting up. I climbed back in bed and quickly fell back asleep next to him. The next thing I knew we were both waking up and it was after 1:00. So much for the job fair.  

Out of nowhere he started to ask me some pretty odd questions saying he just needed me to answer even though it didn’t really make sense. I went along and that led to a conversation about why he does what he does…including skipping the job fair even though we spent all night preparing for it.  A real conversation. Both of us taking turns talking and listening. He was opening up and asking for my help and I finally had answers for him. It was amazing…dare I say, magical. The conversation even turned to me when he asked what kinds of things I was dealing with. I realized that I couldn’t remember that last time he had shown that kind of interest in my well-being and it took me off guard. I’ve spent lots of time talking with friends about my issues, but in that moment I didn’t know what to say. Finally, I found a way to open up to him and trust him with my vulnerability. I think he sees me differently now, in a better light because he’s realizing again that we’re in this together and need to lean on each other the way we used to all those years ago.

At one point, he started to say something and I felt like I knew what he was going to say so I cut him off. Instead of shutting down, he pointed it out and asked if he could finish. When he stopped talking I asked if I could respond and he said no. He could see it was killing me and explained that that’s how he feels when I don’t let him talk. It was the most vivid “a-ha moment” I’ve had in a very long time. I felt such remorse for making him feel that way for all these years that saying I was sorry didn’t feel like enough. Over the years, I’ve apologized for many things that I ended up doing again and again so I know the words probably didn’t mean much to him. But the point hit my with such clarity that I can’t imagine doing that to him again. Not that the temptation won’t arise, but the understanding I have now will always make me think twice before I open my mouth and close my ears.

Yes, he missed the job fair, but it worked out for the best. We had a major breakthrough in our relationship which to me is more valuable than all the money in the world. There will be other opportunities and I know he’ll end up where he’s supposed to. The important thing is that we’ll be there together, happier than we would’ve been if things had gone as we planned, and for that I am eternally thankful.

After yesterday’s detour from my otherwise fairly healthy eating habits, at least since I started posting my food journal, I figured I’d better make sure I got back on track quickly. Otherwise, one or two poor choices could easily lead me back into that vicious cycle of not treating myself right which leads to depression which leads to not treating myself right, etc.

Breakfast – Chocolate Shakeology with 8oz water, 4oz 1% milk in my shaker cup

AM Snack – P90X Chocolate Peanut Butter protein bar

Lunch – Greenberry Shakeology with 10oz water, 1Tbs almond butter, 3 ice cubes (I don’t normally have two shakes a day, but after the previous night I knew I could use some extra cleansing)

PM Snack – 1/4c low fat cottage cheese (because that’s all that was left in the container…kids), 1/4c hummus, 9oz edamame including pods

Dinner – 2 large flour tortillas (whole wheat would’ve been better, but we didn’t have any), 1c Rosarita fat free refried beans, 1 1/2oz part skim mozzarella cheese, 3 packets of Taco Bell Hot sauce, 2Tbs Daisy Light Sour Cream

Dessert – 2 mandarin oranges

Post workout – 1 scoop Results and Recovery Drink (it was kind of late, but I need that stuff so I don’t get sore)

Totals Calories – 1961, Protein – 123 grams, Carbs – 274 grams, Fat – 56 grams, Fiber – 32 grams

Protein 24%, Carbs 52%, Fat 24%

Calories may seem high, but between walking, shooting hoops with my kids and ChaLEAN Extreme I burned 3238 calories for a deficit of 1277 which I’m perfectly happy with. 🙂

Recently, I asked a few teachers from my kids’ schools if they could have their students write letters or make something to send in care packages to soldiers stationed in Afghanistan. It’s heartbreaking how many men and women over there don’t receive anything to remind them how much we appreciate their service. I was so happy to get 27 touching letters from one classroom and these cards from another.

As I continue to get more artwork from the classrooms I’ll post it before sending it over. I think I’ll experiment with our scanner for the next batch. They’re all wonderful and want to do them justice. 🙂

Have you ever tried something you thought would be fun or good for you, found it to be difficult, and decided you’re just not good at it? At some point, not being good at that thing becomes so much a part of who you think you are that it never occurs to you to try again. I’ve done that with many things over the years…running, golf, high impact workouts, talking to strangers…to name a few.

When I was placed at the front desk at the dental office where I was working I was so nervous, but it didn’t take long to figure out how to talk to strangers. Most people just want to be treated with respect and to have someone smile and take an interest in them. Easy enough. Not sure why I had such a hard time with that before. Building that confidence made me start to realize I could all kinds of things I never thought possible.

Most of my life I’ve considered myself to not be athletic. That lead to a life long habit of sitting around which meant a lifetime of struggling with my weight. On November 1, 2009 I started Turbo Jam because I had topped out at 323.6 lbs and knew I HAD to do something. It was so hard at first, but my body began to adapt and change. I lost 40 lbs in the first few months. Then I got sick and got off track. All those years of sitting around made it hard to get my momentum back. I needed a challenge so I started TurboFire which is basically Turbo Jam on crack. I assumed that I needed to modify all the moves because I couldn’t do the high impact stuff. The trainer, Chalene Johnson, is a fantastic motivator and is always saying that our own negative thoughts hold us back so one day I decided to jump just to see if I could. Yep, I could. So no more low impact modifications for me. I choose to do more because I can.

Yesterday, I was walking around the school parking lot to pass the time while my son was at basketball practice. My goal was to do 20 laps before the hour was up. As I came around the last corner of lap 14 it occurred to me that perhaps I could jog a lap, so I did. As I came around the last corner of lap 15 it occurred to me that I felt great and perhaps I could jog another lap, so I did. And another. By the end of lap 17 it occurred to me that I could keep going, but I wasn’t wearing the right shoes and my jeans were falling down. Jogging with one hand keeping your pants up is not ideal, though probably hilarious to watch. I went back to walking and ended up completing 25 laps in all. Now I’ve caught the running bug and need to do some shoe shopping.

The point of all this is that we should all take a few moments to think about what we would like to do, but assume that we can’t. Make a list even. Then, try it. Sure it might be difficult and it may require some learning, but what’s wrong with that? We can turn our weaknesses into strengths and inspire others as we do. Doesn’t that sound better than living a life of “I can’t”? Next on my list…golf. What about you?

Anyone who has tried to lose weight has probably encountered at least one person who has made them feel humiliated and discouraged. Sometimes that person doesn’t even realize they’re doing it. They may even think they’re helping. For example, my father-in-law came to visit and the first thing he did when he saw me was ask if I had been walking. There is a bit of a language barrier so I said I had since I just came from parking the car. What he meant was walking for exercise…to lose weight. He responded that maybe walking isn’t enough. He then showed me a product that would help me…some miracle cure for being fat.

What he failed to realize is that I do very challenging workouts, TurboFire and P90X, and eat a healthy diet including Shakeology. He didn’t know that I’ve lost over 60 lbs since I starting taking my health seriously last October. He simply assumed that because I’m not thin I’m not taking care of myself. Even though I’m not yet at my goal weight, I have the confidence and self-respect of a person who’s making positive changes and making progress. And yet, after that encounter I felt like all I amounted to in his eyes was a person who needs to lose weight and nothing else. All the pride I had for what I’ve accomplished and the person I’ve become went out the window.

It occurred to me that this has happened many times before with him and others –  friends, family and complete strangers – and every time I let it defeat me. I would simply give up because in my mind, no matter how hard I tried, I would never measure up. Not this time! It finally sunk in that it doesn’t matter what other people think. I know what I’ve accomplished and how determined I am to follow through, day after day, until I reach my goals. I will no longer let other people’s negativity bring me down. So who’s in charge here? I am. We all are. We have the power to choose how to react to those around us. We can allow them to take away what means so much in just an instant or we can choose to become more determined to succeed…not just to prove them wrong (although that seems pretty appealling at times), but for ourselves because we were created to be amazing, incredible people both inside and out. Then, once we begin to reach our potential we will have a positive influence on everyone around us…and that is what’s truly incredible!

So who’s in charge of you? ; )