Aug 2015

Challenges and Weight Loss



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Just some free flowing chatter about my weight loss challenges over the last 8 years.

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*edited to take out some of the ‘thoughs’


It’s taken me 8 years to lose this much weight.

Sometimes, the idea is frustrating that it’s taken 8 years. But, at least I’m at where I’m at today. It could be that I was still at the beginning and not working on it for the last 8 years. I think that would be more frustrating.

Why 8 years? Why not the surgery or a fad diet plan that would take it off quicker? Well, honestly, the surgery scared me. I know people that have had it done and it be successful, and I know others that have had it done and it ruin their life. So, it was going to be the hard way, or not at all.

Yes, I know that doing the surgery is hard as well, but I still think it’s the easier route or else the surgery wouldn’t be needed. Maybe I shouldn’t say ‘harder’ and ‘easier’ though. Just different.

I’m glad I didn’t do the surgery though. To be honest, I will admit that there were times when I was frustrated enough to give in to it. Which frustrated me more. But, there were times when i just wanted it to be ‘after’. To be after the struggle, after figuring out food, after all the exercise. Not sure if that makes sense, unless you’ve also been through that struggle.

As for why not do a fad diet that would drop the weight quick? Well, honestly, I did those many times. They never worked. I’d lose a little for a couple of weeks, get frustrated and gain it all back plus more. I was following my moms footsteps and was not looking forward to a lifetime of yo-yo dieting.

So, what I’ve done instead is change up my eating to match what my body thrives on. For me, that’s low carb, high protein. It’s hard to stick to sometimes. And I’ve done sections of time where I’ve switched to counting calories. They both work, but the low carb one is easier for me to stick to for some reason.

The main thing I’ve worked on besides food, is the exercise portion. I’ve had to change it up a lot over the years, because there isn’t one plan that seems to keep me motivated.

I was just going through some old journals that I was scanning, and realized that I’ve done some really creative things over the years to keep up with the exercising. It can’t stay the same or it gets to boring. And it’s got to be a challenge for me.

Master has set up a couple of contests, and I’ve set up some goals for myself. They’ve all worked.
Let’s see……for over a year, I was challenged by Master to walk at least 20 miles a week. If I did, I won a reward. Sometimes that was really hard! If I didn’t get my walking in at the beginning of the week, it left me walking 7-9 miles at a time just to get my 20 miles in. But, I did it more than not. More to prove that I could.

After that, or even during that same time, Master had a contest where if you exercise for 5 days, and stuck to a food plan, you get a skip day. We would then keep track and the first person to take a skip day when they didn’t have any to take, lost, and the other person got an amazon card. That was direct competition and was a lot of fun. Funny enough, we each found ourselves supporting each because neither of us needed the amazon cards.

During this time I was also bike riding, building up to 7 miles a day with a 20 miler once a week, until I blew up my elbow and needed surgery. Once I was allowed to exercise after surgery, I started training for a 5k. Ended up with a cyst and even more surgery. No more jogging, but I was allowed to walk. So, I decided to train to walk a half-marathon. I knew I’d have to go back to work at some point after that summer, so that was my chance to train for this. That was a summer for of walking!

Once that was accomplished, it was time to train for a 5k again. But, I kept hurting myself each time I trained for it. So, I as soon as I started my new job and had a little money, I got a personal trainer. First once a week and then twice a week. That was a year of having my butt kicked, but it was amazing work! At the end of my time with him, I trained for a 5k again and finally succeed in jogging a complete 5k!

We also did a 12 week challenge with a local running store. That helped me get off 9 pounds and look at my food choices. 3 of us did it and though we weren’t really in competition with each other, it was still motivating.

We’ve done it between the 3 of us over the last year, every 12 weeks. Sometimes it was motivating, sometimes not.

Not only that, but for some crazy reason I also trained on my own for a mud ninja. Crazy! But oh so fulfilling even though I only did about ½ the challenges.

During all of this, the weight is coming off. 40 pounds, 50 pounds….up until the point I’m at now at 90 pounds off.

What is my next challenge? I have a 5k coming up in a couple of weeks and another mud ninja next summer. But, I’ve already jogged a 5k and a mud ninja. So, what’s next? What else can I do before the next mud ninja? I want to lose 30 more pounds and I just can’t seem to do it without challenges.

The 12 week challenges don’t seem to work anymore. Jog a half marathon? Yeah, probably not. Jogging is boring for me. Biking? That would be fun, but it’s turning to fall and I won’t be able to train during the winter. I can start that in the spring.
There has got to be something else…….i want to get off this last 10-30 pounds. What would challenge me and be fun?




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The Teaching Urge

I have that feeling in the pit of my stomach…..that feeling of passion…..and need….



teach



I’m really back into the teaching mode. Not with children….but adults. The subject matter is much more rewarding to me. :)
 
I can’t wait for this weekend, where we will be teaching poly tools. I can’t wait until I can schedule workshops at the Space. I have so many on my list that I want to create and teach. It’s going to be amazing!

Poly, Power Exchange, Sacred Sexuality, Healing….those are my topics of choice. Those are my passion.

And I did draw a Goddess card recently that told me I should slowly start to fade out from my current job and concentrate on my passion. Well, my passion is teaching. My passion is sharing my struggles and the tools I’ve learned to get through the struggles.
 
To see the lightbulb go off for someone, or the head nods in the crowd as I share something painful, or vulnerable about myself. To see the smiles as Dan and I share how we worked through something in our relationship. This is amazing to me.
 
And I like to make people laugh with our stories.
 
This is so me. Mentoring, teaching, coaching. Giving people tools that they can use if they want or need to. What a gift I can share with others that may be struggling.

No, I don’t help in homeless shelters or animal shelters or soup kitchens…..but sharing tools and a shoulder is my way of giving back to humanity. 

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Teaching is in my Heart



What an amazing time teaching at IMAS this weekend. Oh presenting, how I’ve missed you. You make my life complete.

Being in front of people and sharing tools that have worked for us. Sharing stories of our lives. Being vulnerable. Being on stage. Making funny jokes. Hearing people laugh. It’s a beautiful thing. It makes all the trials and challenges we faced, worth it.

Is it ego to like the fact that people enjoyed the class? Is it wrong to like the fact that people keep coming up to us and letting us know that they enjoyed our workshops? Is it egotistical to know that we were in the groove and did a good job? It’s not like we get paid to do this. I think all of this is part of the reason we keep putting ourselves out there and doing all this work.

To have someone come up to me and say, ‘That’s the most fun I’ve had out of bed in a very long time.’ It makes it worth it. This event is full of gracious people and people that genuinely got something from all our stories.

I’m sitting here in bed, full. Full of love and gratitude for the opportunities we are given.

Aho!
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Poly Reflection - And


and

I feel like I’ve written about this before, but I can’t figure out where. So, I’ll try it again.
 
Another reflection on polyamory.
 
When people find out that you live a polyamorous lifestyle, one of the first questions they will ask is ‘why’.
 
My response is usually different from many people that have chosen to live this lifestyle. For many years, I’ve heard people in our support group respond to this with “well, no one can fulfill all of another person’s needs” or “my partner isn’t into everything I’m into” or “there were holes in the relationship with my partner”. Well, this answer always confused me.
 
Why? Because most of these ‘holes’ could be filled with a friendship. As a matter of fact, I heard many people say that before. So, the people asking ‘why?’ were still confused, along with me. For me, living this lifestyle has nothing to do with filling holes. As a matter of fact, I can’t imagine being with a more compatible partner. I enjoy doing almost everything that he does. So much so, that he has to ask me not to join him sometimes, so that he can experience whatever it is on his own. And there are only a few things that I do that he’s not into. We have the same outlook on life, the same morals, the same hobbies and interests.
 
So, why did I choose to live a polyamorous life? Well, it’s because it’s who I am.
 
I have this weird idea that you can love more than one person…that there doesn’t always have to be jealousy involved….that we can put someone else first, etc. For me it has nothing to do with ‘holes to fill’ in my life.
 
Do I get to try new things because of the other people in my life? Yes. Is it needed? No. I’m perfectly happy with the relationship I have.
 
I mean, how would you feel if someone said, “I need another relationship because this one doesn’t fulfill me?” Ouch! “There are holes in this relationship that I need filled by someone else”? Double ouch!
 
Personally, when someone tried to tell me that I drove Dan to poly because I wasn’t enough for him, it was one of the most painful moments I lived through. I really had to do a lot of questioning of our relationship. Why would he want to stay with me, if I wasn’t complete? Or Whole? Or Worthy? If I was lacking? Or whatever else self-deprecating word fits here.
 
It took me awhile to get to the point where I realized what was really going on. Even though my husband had told me this over and over, and I had recognized this and mentored other people about it, I had a period of time of feeling like I was lacking something before I remembered again why we do this.
 
We do this because of the ‘and’. We do this because of the things we experience together ‘and’ what we experience with others. It’s not an ‘or’ situation. It’s not a situation of filling in holes. It’s about experiencing something different through the interaction with someone else. Even if I go to a restaurant with my husband and then go again with my boyfriend, it’s a totally different experience.
 
I can love two different people and love them in different ways.
 
I can interact with them differently and therefore experience life differently.
 
I can grow exponentially with more than one partner. I certainly have to figure out who I am so that I can figure out what I want.
 
I have to figure out how to communicate and set boundaries. Even more so with more than one partner.
 
I don’t have to choose between the ones I love. I don’t have to cheat to feel what it’s like to be in someone else’s arms. I can be open to allowing magic to happen.
 
I’m experiencing things that many people only dream of. We call this ‘eating the orange’. Experiencing life and new experiences courageously.
 

It’s about the ‘AND’. I have no holes that need filling…….well, I should probably rephrase that….i have no needs that I can’t fulfill myself. Everything else I experience is a bonus. Icing on the cake, so to speak.

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Stress VS. Meditation

 meditation

It’s funny how even good things can cause stress. But, funnier still how meditation can help with how you handle stress. Though, is it meditation, my medication or a combination? Probably a combination, but I have no interest in stopping my ptsd medication any time soon, in case that is helping out here.
 
We are buying a new house. Well, actually, my husband’s girlfriend is buying a new house and we are moving in. Yet, it’s not a single home. It’s 2 homes connected by a door. The ad for the house said ‘3 bedroom home with a mother-in-law suite’. Well, It’s not a suite, it’s a house! A 3 bedroom 2-story house, with a 3 bedroom ranch attached to it. The unicorn of poly houses!

So, exciting, right? Yes, and no. Dan and I haven’t lived with another person in 6 years. It’s just been us in our cozy little nest. Now we are going to be in a large house, and have another person attached to it. Yes, there is a door, but there is still someone on the other side. There will be a lot more sharing of space. As 2 introverts, I’m just not sure how we will handle it. The dog will love it, I’m sure.

This means packing. Lots of packing. Every spare moment, which there isn’t a lot of, is spent packing. Especially since we are having our yard sale this Saturday. Why? When there is 3 weeks till closing? 4 weeks until move in date? Because Dan and I are presenting in Indianapolis and Michigan the 2 weekends before closing. These have been scheduled for a long time and are both events that we’ve never done before. So, we don’t want to cancel because of that, and because presenting feeds our souls. It recharges us. I NEED to be able to present, to teach, to share……otherwise all this crap I’ve been through wasn’t worth it. I use it to help others in our presentations and intensives.
 
And gluttons for punishment, we also did a poly intensive last weekend. 6 hours teaching 14 people. Exhausting, but so much fun! Except for one couple……oy! And drove to Cleveland on a weeknight to present on power exchange to a group up there.
But, back to stress. House, packing, the stress of finding a house, the stress of waiting to see if the house is really going to close, packing. Intensive, prepping for intensive, packing. Presenting, prepping for presentations. The podcast, interviewing for the podcast. The Room, opening and closing for groups at the room.

That’s not enough. Not only are we closing on a house and getting ready to live with someone, and having to change my mind from the resistance, but we are also newly in a business partnership with 2 other couples, getting ready to make the biggest adult ‘community center’, aka dungeon/party/workshop space in the Midwest (except maybe GD2 in Chicago). The building should close with the bank within the next week. So, that means staff meetings. And paperwork, and lawyers and zoning meetings. Luckily I don’t have to do the zoning meetings or the lawyers, but I do have to be involved in the directors meetings and have a saw on the paperwork. So much email back and forth.

House, moving in with husbands girlfriend, business partnership, new building for business, closing CIC over the next couple of months, packing……did I mention packing? Not only the apartment but the CIC.

AND we are in the advertising stages of our event, Beyond the Love! Thank goodness for a great staff and car rides. Why car rides? For our BTL producers meetings. That’s when we talk over all the stuff that needs to be done.

Oy!!! Why does it feel like I’ve left out something?

Oh yes. Dan’s first ex-wife texted me a couple of weeks ago, needing a shoulder. I was her shoulder when she started her healing path, and then she got pissed at me and we didn’t talk for a few years. Then, she found me on facebook and we are cordial to each other. But, one night, a Wednesday night because Dan wasn’t home, she texted me. She was close to a nervous break down and just needed to vent. I was her shoulder. It felt weird, but comfortable at the same time. It’s what I do.
 
Then, even more recently, my sister wrote me out of the blue. Another person that I was helping with her healing path, and then she got pissed at me after being diagnosed with cancer and stopped talking to me. This was after having daily communication.
 
Stress. I’ve got stress. I’ve got stress by the bucket load.
 
It doesn’t help that I’ve put exercise and meditation to the side to make room for everything else. These 2 things are crucial to my survival. Truly!
 
Meditation is believe is the only way I’ve survived all of this. It allows me to take everything one moment at a time. I keep a task list so that I don’t forget all that needs to be done, but otherwise, it’s one step at a time. I can’t worry about everything that is going on. I’ve learned to delegate somewhat. And I breathe. I take moments to just sit with me. And I breathe.
 
Mediation, slowing down my thought process. Feeling when things could shift into depression or anxiety. This has kept me from jumping off the deep end or hiding under the covers or totally losing my mind. Which is a good thing, since these are all wonderful things that are happening.
 
In a month, everything will be different. We will be in the house. The new business building will be bought and will be in the process of transformation. Or it won’t.
 
It’s about the journey…and slowing down the mind with meditation, allows me to smell the roses while everything on the outside feels a little chaotic.
 

Back to meditation in the morning for me. 


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