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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Love and Basketball...

No, not the movie.  I've never even seen that movie.  Hard to believe, huh?  There's actually a movie I haven't seen?  Actually, there are many movies I haven't seen, but I digress...

Tuesday night,  I came home from school, let Jack out and changed to go to the basketball games.  We were playing Tarboro High for the first time--we weren't in a league in previous years. Our JV team won by two points with less than a minute to play.  The girls, who have suffered some illness and injury, lost although they played well.  The Varsity boys kicked butt, winning by 50 points, 97-47!  I made the mistake of not eating before I went to the games--and they didn't have any "real food" other than chili dogs, bad popcorn and candy.  I tried the chili dog because I needed protein, but one tiny bite and I knew better than to eat that. I spat it into a tissue. Yuck!  

So I ate late.  And now I'm feeling queasy.  Ugh...not a pleasant sensation.  I am not going to do that again. 

Now for the love part.  Little girls love me.  I'm not sure why, but little girls have always loved me.  Maybe it's my "girlie-girl ways"--my love of nail polish and earrings and other girlie things.  Maybe it's that they can sense that they are safe with me or that I'm just a little girl at heart, but no matter who the little girl, little girls love me.  Tuesday night at the game, I met a little darling named "Imagine".  Magical name and a truly lovely girl.  She is the sister of a former student, but we had never met before tonight.  She was immediately drawn to me, and we hung out for the entire game!  She played "Angry Birds" on my iPhone and told me that we were "BFFs".  Then she added "EAD".  Knowing that BFF stands for "Best Friends Forever", I asked, "What's EAD? Ever and A Day?" And she said, "Nope. Even After Death".  How cute is THAT?  A little morbid maybe, but adorable!

When little girls connect with me, it makes me both happy and bitterly sad.  It makes me wish I had had children. I really resent that my ex-husband didn't want kids. It makes me miss James' granddaughter, Shannon.  It makes me wish I had a child I could love because I have so much love in my heart.  Sigh.  I guess I'll share that love with my students, with myself and with you, my readers...lucky for us all, my heart is HUGE!

Have a wonderful Wednesday!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Checking Your Homework...

So...did you do it?  Did you do your homework assignment?  I ask because I care. It was in total seriousness that I gave you the assignment--how did it go?  I sat with my afternoon class of seniors and asked them to write down five positive things about themselves.  The majority of the class sat there staring at me.  Here they were--a class of 27 bright, beautiful teens, and they were paralyzed by the request.  

Did you struggle?  Did you have trouble coming up with many?  With any?  I warned you that you'd feel silly and embarrassed.  I found students trying to "cheat" off each others' papers.  They were truly stuck.  And you, my dear reader, you didn't have the luxury of looking onto someone else's list, so did you manage to come up with your own?

Yesterday, I went to speak to a class of potential teachers at Wesleyan College.  There was a "seasoned" teacher there who really needed to read this blog.  She told the kids how much she hated her first teaching jobs--how they made her vomit. Literally vomit! She complained of migraines, vomiting, rashes, etc. I was horrified to listen to this woman--we were there to encourage these kids, and she was telling them horror stories.  She told how she left teaching and went into banking, but hated that.  When she ran into a former administrator, he offered her a job.  She accepted it, only to have the bank offer her nearly double the salary they were paying her.  She told the students that she was sorry that they hadn't made the offer the day before, when she had not yet signed the contract with the school.  This is NOT a positive woman, and I'm willing to bet, not a great teacher!

I have to wonder what words would be on HER list.  And yours?  What words are on your list?  Have you read them out loud today?  You need to repeat the process.  Today, tomorrow, the next day.  It will help you begin to believe it.  

And believing in yourself is the first step.  You will believe it and then start showing that side of you to the world.  In this case, believing is seeing!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Sense of Self...

Who identifies your sense of self?  I know--you're saying, "huh?"  If I asked you to describe yourself, could you do so?  Would the words be positive?  Would they be YOURS?  I think that sometimes our sense of self is dictated to us by people in our lives rather than by ourselves.

Many years ago, I read the book, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus by John Gray.  In this book, (which I highly recommend, by the way) Dr. Gray describes men as being work focused while women are relationship focused.  In other words, a man's self-esteem is based on his success at work while a woman's self-esteem depends on her success in relationships.  I think that while this is completely accurate, it also hurts women because they then become dependent on the opinions of those around them.  

We all want to be liked--hell, we all want to be loved.  But how can we expect other people to like us or love us when we don't like and love ourselves?  Think about it.  When we love ourselves, we have a commodity--a product, if you will--that we want to share with others.  Would you buy a car from someone who couldn't convince you of the great qualities of that car?  How successful would salespeople be if they didn't believe in their products?
  
You have to love yourself--and that begins with knowing yourself.  I'm not perfect--no one is.  But I do have some great qualities--I'm a great writer.  I am a good friend.  I have a giving heart that will keep me poor financially but that makes me a wonderful person.  I'm smart.  I have beautiful eyes.  And I'm bright enough not to continue to bore you with this list!  Still, I can create that list--can you?  A homework assignment for you: create a list of all of your positive qualities.  Seriously.  Do it.  Get out a pen and a piece of paper and write your list.  

A word of warning: you will feel a little silly doing this.  You will.  And maybe embarrassed.  And that's okay.  Do it anyway.  Do NOT write a list of negative qualities you have--we have enough people in our lives doing that already!  Create this list and read it.  I mean read it.  Really read it.  Read it aloud.  Our brain processes things differently when we read aloud, so read it aloud.  And read it again tomorrow.  And the next day.  And every day until you can do so without feeling silly.  Without being embarrassed.  And when you know that it's true.

And remember this above all.  Life is hard for everyone.  People are struggling to make sense of the highs and lows of life, and when they do, they make mistakes, mistakes that often hurt us.  Look at the intent behind it when someone hurts you.  If they are intentionally cruel, cut those people out of your life.  If they aren't intentionally cruel, forgive them.  And then add "forgiving" to your list!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Hitting Bottom

I'm sure you've heard that an addict has to "hit bottom" before he or she is ready to seek out help.  But when is enough enough?  And why is one person's "bottom" different than another's?  Last night, I stopped at Walmart,where I saw a man who had to have weighed 600 pounds or more.  He was in a wheelchair--I'm sure he couldn't walk on his own--and he was truly as wide as the aisle at the cash register.

I wondered what happened to this man to make him self-destruct in this manner.  I also wondered what it was that stopped me where I stopped rather than continuing to that size or larger.

I can promise you that the man in the wheelchair would have preferred to have been ambulatory.  I'm sure that he would rather be independent and able to take care of himself.  Instead, he was in the chair, covered with a blanket--I'm sure he couldn't find a jacket to fit him.  I don't know what he was wearing as I didn't want to stare, but I will tell you that my heart went out to him.  I wanted to stop and tell him that there are options.  That this surgery is my personal miracle and that it could be his, too.  I wanted to tell him that life can be better, that it takes some work but that it's so very worth it.  I wanted to share that with him, but I didn't know how.  I didn't want to embarrass him.  I didn't want him to feel any more humiliated than he probably already does dependent on someone to push his wheelchair, to get his items from the top shelf, to help him in and out of the chair and into the car and from the car into the house.

But maybe somehow he'll see this.  Maybe someone will read it and recommend it to him.  Perhaps a friend of a friend of a friend will read it...and maybe, just maybe my experience can help save his life. Please, my dear readers, if you know someone who is hurting, who needs this surgery, refer him or her to the blog.  Don't push--he or she needs to reach his or her personal "bottom", but maybe hearing my story will help!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

It's Saturday!

I had a quiet Friday, nothing black about it!  I met a former student for lunch at Ichiban, a Japanese restaurant where the portions are just huge.  I ordered the hibachi chicken, but I didn't want the rice, because it's too filling and I need to eat the protein more than anything else.  I asked to substitute extra carrots, and this place is ridiculous about substituting--the last time I was there, I had to pay extra for carrots even though I wasn't going to get any rice.  Anyway, I explained that I had had surgery and needed to avoid the rice.  The server said she'd have to check with the manager; and when she returned, she asked if I had the surgery card and my ID.  My ID!  Like I'd let someone else use my surgery card!  The ironic thing is that I wrote my own name on that card, but it's laminated, so I guess it looks official!

For the record, I could eat rice, but I don't really love it, and it's way too filling!  So I got double carrots--and then ended up with triple carrots because Tiana didn't like hers!  Fortunately, when they bring your check, they bring a box!!  I will have carrots for a couple days!  While Tiana and I were catching up, I ate a few bites more than I should have and ended up regretting it.  I didn't get sick or anything, but I sure had a stomach ache!  Still, it was great to see Tiana, who was sweet enough to tell me how great I look and that I look like a different person!

I feel like a different person in many ways, but I want to assure you that I haven't lost my mind!  This afternoon, I got "hit on" by a 24 year old!  He told me I have beautiful eyes...I told him I was sorry he wasn't 20 yrs older, to which he replied he was sorry, too!  A 24 year old!  I should've asked him if his father was single! 

The weekend is here, and you know me, I'll probably be at the movie theatre for part of it, at least.  I saw "Hugo" on Wednesday--it was amazing.  It's based on a book, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, a brilliant, illustrated, 3-inch thick kids' book, but the movie is so much more than a kids' story!  Not sure what I'll see next, but I do love the movies!!

Have a super Saturday, everyone.  And to my new readers, WELCOME.  I would love to hear from you--just a "hello" would be great!  Thanks!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday...

Black Friday is traditionally called that because its sales allow retailers to move from the red (losing money) to the black (making money).  But I remember times when the Friday following Thanksgiving was "black" for me because I had overeaten on Thursday and had blown yet another diet.

There are no more Black Fridays for me!  Yesterday, I had a Weight Watchers turkey & mashed potatoes entree for lunch.  I couldn't eat it all, so I shared it with Jack.  An entree portion and I couldn't eat it all! 200 calories!  And I didn't miss overeating--not at all!

I missed my mom--a lot.  I'm glad I'll have the opportunity to go home for Christmas so that we can be together--holidays are for family!  I hope that you were able to spend time with your family and loved ones yesterday, and I hope that you aren't having a Black Friday!!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful

Of course since it's Thanksgiving, I'm going to write about being thankful!  And I am thankful for so very much.

I am thankful for so very much.  I am thankful for my health, which is getting better every day.  I'm so grateful that I had this surgery before I developed heart disease or diabetes.  I'm thankful for the support of my mom, my brother Kriss and so many of my friends. I'm super thankful that I still have my mom! I'm grateful for my job, even though the kids drive me crazy sometimes.  I'm so very thankful for my past students who have stayed in touch, who have worked hard in college and are becoming wonderful adults. I'm thankful that I have a safe place to live, a car that gets me where I need to go and sufficient money to buy what I need (and even what I want sometimes!!)

I'm thankful for my ability to write...and I'm especially thankful for you, my readers.  It means a lot that you're here, sharing my life.  Today--and everyday--I give thanks for YOU!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

It's a Bird, It's a Plane...It's SUPER-EGO!

I have fallen in love with compliments.  I have.  I saw a few friends tonight that I haven't seen in a while, and they were very kind about how good I look.  And it felt SO good!  To hear those compliments gives me a high the way food used to.  

I keep remembering how my friend's husband told me about their neighbor who had this surgery and now "thinks she's all that".  I can certainly understand why she would!  People who've never been obese probably cannot, though.  Imagine being fat your entire life--entire life--and suddenly, you're not.  If you cannot imagine that, imagine being ugly and then suddenly beautiful.  Or poor and suddenly you win the lottery.  Dramatic changes like these ARE GOING TO CHANGE YOU.  How could they not?  When you're obese, you are essentially invisible.  People don't look at you--not really.  They look through you, but they don't actually see you.  I don't think I realized how invisible I was until recently when I've started getting attention again.  

So, yeah.  I walk a little straighter.  I may shake my hips a bit when I do.  I make eye contact, smile more often and love that flirtatious man at the grocery store who winked.  I have a lot more weight to lose, but I am definitely on my way!  And I DO look good--and I look forward to looking even BETTER!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Never Knew Love Like This Before...

Self-love, that is.  I have to be honest.  I've always liked myself.  I'm smart, funny, loyal, a great conversationalist, passionate and purposeful.  I've always liked that about myself.  But love?  Wow.  That's a lot harder...and what's even harder is admitting that I haven't loved myself before now.  No wonder my past relationships have failed--how could I find love with others when I didn't love myself?

Of course, a great deal of my self-opinion was based on the sexual abuse.  What people may not know about sexual abuse is that it makes you feel so dirty.  Disgusting.  Hateful.  Hard to love yourself when you're busy blaming yourself for something heinous.  

And when you're busy hating yourself, you do whatever you can to punish yourself; in my case, that meant overeating.  When I would diet and begin to lose weight, I would start getting male attention. That should have been a good thing, right?  However, when I got that attention, I would self-sabotage and begin to eat again.  This was a cycle that got the best of me for years, but not anymore.  I'm getting male attention even now--and I'm loving it.  I am.  I don't stress over it at all.  In fact, I welcome it.

Why?  What's the difference this time?  Before I had the surgery, I took one of those Saturdays I keep for myself, and I analyzed the situation.  I looked at my past behavior, the reason for it, and I decided right then and there that I wasn't going to repeat my past.  I realized that I can take care of myself now, that I don't have to subject myself to a dangerous situation, that I can handle a situation with anyone now.  No one will ever abuse me or take advantage of me again.  I can say that without fear or hesitation.  I don't have to be fat to be safe.  Not any more.

I've lost 60 lbs and am smaller today than I've been in probably 20 years.  I'm going to continue to lose weight until my body is done--probably in a year or so.  And over the next several months, men are going to notice me.  In part because I look better, but also in part because I'm more confident, more comfortable in my own skin.  I love myself.  I do.  And I'm sure that there's a good, healthy relationship with someone else in my future because loving myself just makes me more loveable.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Lonely vs Alone

They aren't the same, you know.  You don't have to be alone to be lonely.  In fact, I think the loneliest time in my life was when I was married, but I knew that the marriage was over.  We were wrong for each other in so many ways, but I took the failure of that marriage personally.  It was a tough thing to get over.

I usually love being alone.  I tell people I like my company--and I honestly do.  I love my Saturdays where I go to lunch and to the movies alone.  It gives me a sense of quiet that I don't get Monday through Friday while I'm teaching.

I hate being lonely, though.  And this time of year is the hardest for me.  It is this time of the year when I wish I were part of a couple.  The holidays will do that to you.  This is the first time in four years that I haven't had someone in my life for Thanksgiving, and I can't help but think back to last Thanksgiving when my ex and I went out in search of dinner.  We were supposed to go to TGI Friday's--I had received an email saying they were open, but when we got to the restaurant in Raleigh, they were closed.  So we used my iPhone and tried to find another restaurant.  Cracker Barrel had cars out the driveway and onto the street, so we knew that wasn't an option.  Finally, we settled on a Golden Corral, put the data into my phone and set out to find it.  When we got there, it was a Chinese restaurant--the Golden Corral had gone out of business.  It was late, and we were hungry, so we went in.  Imagine our surprise to find turkey, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce on the buffet!  We laughed and laughed--we were the only non-Asian people in the place.  We ate turkey and sesame chicken, and it was a good day.

He and I had a lot of good days.  But anyone can be happy when things are going well in a relationship.  The true test in relationships doesn't happen on good days, but on bad days.  Like the day of the hurricane when he wasn't here for me.  I'm not sure I wrote about this, but we had been together nearly three years when I decided to have the surgery.  And his response to this life-changing decision?  "I don't know if I will be attracted to you if you lose a lot of weight."

Yeah.  I know.  I can't believe he said it either.  And he tried to back-pedal...tried to say that it was because he was worried that I wouldn't be attracted to him if I lost weight.  (Figure that one out, huh?)  And try as I might, I couldn't put that out of my head.  A great quote: "Time and words cannot be recalled."  We can't take back things we've put out there--they just flounder in the universe waiting to be remembered again and again.

So he's my ex.  And I'm alone for Thanksgiving.  But that doesn't mean I'm not thankful.  I did this for ME--not for James or any other man.  And I will celebrate that...alone, but not necessarily lonely.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Music, Movies and "Movember"...

Have you noticed more men sporting mustaches?  November is "Movember"--an opportunity for men to grow facial hair and in the process earn money for men's health, particularly prostate cancer awareness. I believe in supporting charities whenever possible, so if you spot a hirsute man, you may want to ask him if he's participating and if so, donate some money!

Music.  Where would our lives be without it?  I so loved that concert Friday night that I made it a point to buy an Elton John album, "Rocket Man - Number Ones" for my phone.  It's amazing how music can transport you!  Listening to "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" and "Bennie & the Jets" just took me back to my teens!!

And movies...I "lied" to you.  Not deliberately, of course.  I went to see "Breaking Dawn" yesterday, even though I had no plans to do so.  I had gone to lunch and then to Barnes & Noble; by the time I was done, the next movie showing was the vampire movie.  It was okay.  Not great.  And truth be told, the dialogue in these movies leaves MUCH to be desired.  Still, it was an entertaining way to spend 2 hours. After the movie, I went to Panera where I worked on my NaNoWriMo novel.  In 90 minutes, I wrote nearly 5,000 words!  Today's work put me over the 40K mark, and since the goal is 50K, I'm in great shape!

I hope your Saturday was as much fun as mine was; have a sensational Sunday!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Dating Myself...

It's Saturday!  Last night, I went to see "Almost Elton John", an impersonator who did a great job. I went with my friend, Dorothy, but we first went to Applebee's for dinner. She and I shared the "Two for $20"; she had a steak, and I ordered the riblet basket and we ordered the mozzarella sticks as the shared appetizer.  I had one and a half mozzarella sticks, one and a half riblets, and when I ordered, I asked the server to bring me a HALF order of mashed potatoes rather than the fries that ordinarily come with the riblets.  She looked at me like I was nuts!  When the food arrived, even a half serving was HUGE, and I only managed to eat less than half of it!  I've found that the potatoes don't reheat well, but I did bring home the remaining riblets which I'll have for dinner tonight!

I've lost two more pounds.  I'm at minus 60 pounds!  Dorothy asked me if I was wearing "Spanx", which I wasn't--in fact, the panties I had on were rather loose as were the black jeans that are next on my "toss-it" pile!  I have to tell you is that I get "hungry" sometimes--it's not the same hunger I had before the surgery, but a profound empty feeling.  However, it takes very little food to make me feel full again! 

Today, I'll go to the movies, (no, I'm not a "Twihard" so no vampires for me this weekend!) and to lunch.  I really love spending time with myself, especially as I'm getting to know this new version of myself.  Last week I met someone who was attracted to me, and he made it no secret that he wanted to see me again.  However, all I could think about was that if I made plans with him, I'd miss out on time with me!  Maybe he was just "not my type" or maybe it's just that I don't have any interest in dating right now.  I really do love spending time with myself and feel that should be my focus.

So that phrase, "Oh, I'm dating myself" is especially apropos for me these days...And one of the best things?  Because I usually eat kids' meals, and that one meal feeds me twice, I'm a CHEAP DATE!  Have a super Saturday, everyone!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Tears...and Another First.

When I started this blog, I really did it for myself.  It was a tool to help myself with the surgery, the life adjustments, the inevitable changes to my body and psyche that I knew would follow the surgery.  I had no idea if it would help anyone but me, and while it may sound selfish, I didn't care.

However, I've received feedback from people that I am helping.  Wow.  A friend started her own blog and weight loss pursuit after reading mine.  Another thanked me for yesterday's post which helped her with her own painful past.  Wow.  I've been in tears, grateful for the changes in my life but even more so for the changes I've helped bring to others!

And now the first.  I sat in a desk yesterday.  A student desk--you know, the kind that wraps around, has the seat attached.  I honestly do not remember the last time I was able to do that!  Usually, at a parent conference, I'd have the parent sit at a desk, and I'd pull up a chair.  Yesterday, I pulled up a desk.  It was remarkable!

And I finally threw away the baggy "clown" pants.  I tried to wear them to school this morning, but they were so baggy that the crotch hung down to just above my knees.  I couldn't deal with that!  (I'm still not sure how so many of my male students wear their pants that low!!)  So I threw them out.  These same pants were once skin tight--so tight that the seam at the pocket had begun to fray.

Oh, you're probably wondering about a number.  58.  I've lost 58 pounds so far, and I feel fantastic.  Last year, I spent most of the school day in a motorized wheelchair because it was too painful to walk up and down the halls.  When I started losing weight, I transitioned to a cane.  That cane has been leaning against the wall in my classroom for about three weeks now.  I still have some pain when I walk, but I really am feeling stronger every day.

It's Friday.  Have a FABULOUS day!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Getting Over...

I love my brother Kriss.  He's an awesome person; he has a good heart and a great sense of humor.  If we weren't related, we'd still be friends. But he's angry--angry at my abuser, angry that I "lost" so much life while dealing with being sexually abused and the obesity that came as part of the aftermath.

I understand his anger.  And I love him for it.  But I can't be angry.  Not anymore.  I was too angry for too long.  It's time to let go.  I know I keep peppering this blog with quotes, but I love wisdom and love sharing it even more!  So here's another: “Anger does as much damage to the vessel it is stored in as it does to anything it is poured upon."  Food for thought, yes? 

I refuse to be angry anymore.  I spent a great deal of my life angry at my abuser, and while I was angry at him, while I was absorbed by all that rage, I wasn't in control of my life.  He was.  How ironic, right!?  My carrying around all that anger, my refusal to "get over it", my continual need to hide behind food--these were all gestures that HE controlled.  I know that now, and there's no way in hell that I'm EVER going to give anyone that much control again!

So...the next time you're feeling angry, feel it.  It's healthy to feel it and very unhealthy to stuff it down.  So feel it.  Vent.  Yell.  Scream. Take a bubble bath.  Go for a run. Play with a pet.  Have ONE cookie.  And then take back control of your life.  It's the only one you've got!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I'm Still Standing....

My face still hurts; I have swelling still, and it hurts to sneeze, yawn or blow my nose, but I'm going to be fine...I've been through so much worse!!

I hope that when you read these posts, you read the titles, too...I actually put a LOT of thought into them! Today's?  A reference to the fact that Monday night, I face planted, but today, I'm STILL STANDING! That and Friday night, I'm going to see "Almost Elton John" at NC Wesleyan College.  The performer is an Elton John impersonator and is supposed to be quite good!  (I'll let you know!)

Abraham Lincoln once said, "Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be." Good old Abe really had it going on, didn't he?  Think about that.  Are you as happy (or sad or joyful or miserable) as you've made up your mind to be?  Are you going to let that comment by your jealous co-worker ruin your day?  Are you going to stay in that dead-end job?  Are you going to continue to stay in a relationship that makes you so unhappy?  Is your situation really that bad?  Are you complaining about things that really aren't that bad?  Are you going to decide that today really IS the first day of the rest of your life?

Are you a victim or a survivor?  The difference between them?  Simple.  A victim does nothing; a survivor takes back his or her life, promising that better days WILL happen. It's okay to be afraid; remember, courage isn't absence of fear but feeling the fear and doing it anyway!

And in the words of Gloria Gaynor, "...at first I was afraid, I was petrified...(but) I will survive!"  And I have.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Ouch!

Sunday night, I had a great burst of energy--I went through my closet and washed three loads of laundry before taking clothing I can no longer wear to school!  I've never had the opportunity to do that--give away things that were too big!  It's a weird, wonderful and totally scary thing!

Monday after school, I went to Red Lobster for dinner; like I said, they have the best kids' menu around! I ordered grilled shrimp and a baked potato.  I ate half the shrimp, half the potato and one biscuit.  (I love those stupid Cheddar Bay biscuits--I used to eat 4-5 of them before my entree even arrived!)  As I was sitting there waiting for my very slow waiter to bring me a box for the other half of my meal (5 shrimp and half of the potato), I was horrified to see a family of two adults and three children make their way into the dining room--the woman bringing up the rear of the family procession carrying three kids' meals from BURGER KING! Unbelievable!  I don't know what people are thinking! 

Anyway, after a lovely dinner, I came home, put my leftovers in the refrigerator and went to feed the dog.  I tripped on my way into the bathroom and did an absolute FACE PLANT.  I actually have RUG BURN on my nose!

I know...NOT pretty.  And it HURTS!  So I'm going to stop writing now.  Have a terrific Tuesday, everyone!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Monday Morning Quarterback...

is someone who calls all the plays AFTER the game.  He or she is super critical of what the coaches did the day before, hence the name.  

I have been my own Monday morning quarterback.  I've questioned things I've done or not done.  I've looked back and chastised myself for decisions I've made.  I've been my own worst critic.  I've beaten myself up over my relationships--the ones I ended and the ones I never let get off the ground.  I've questioned why I didn't have this surgery sooner.  

But you know what's really ironic (and sad) about Monday morning quarterbacks?  The game is already over by the time they're calling the plays.  The game is over, the winners have won and the losers...well, you know.

I'm living in the moment--playing the game as it unfolds rather than looking at it the next day.  And yes, I may fumble.  But at least I'm IN the game.  Can you say the same thing?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Would You Like Cheese With Your WHINE?

Nothing grates on me more than people who complain and then do nothing to change their situations.  It's almost as if they think complaining is going to, as if by magic, bring change.  I'm sure you know people like this.  People who hate their jobs but don't bother to look for another.  People who are miserable in their marriages but stay married and choose to CHEAT rather than leave.

I know someone who has been unhappily married as long as I've known him--nine years.  NINE years.  Nine years that he will never get back.  In nine years, he's not done one thing to change his situation.  For nine years, he's played the "poor me" game. Nine years!  He's still married--he even WORKS with her and hasn't known an hour of happiness in the nine years I've known him.  Yet he moans and complains and plays the "martyr" to anyone who will listen to him. Yesterday I reached my limit with him and his complaining and told him that I don't want further contact with him.  I even told him that I'd wish him luck except that if luck bit him on the ass, he STILL would do nothing!

I was not a happy, jolly fat woman.  I was in pain every day.  I hated my body...hell, I hated myself.  But I did something about it.  Many times, actually.  I dieted.  I exercised.  I dieted some more.  I exercised some more.  Finally, I took the step I needed to take and had the surgery. But in all the years since my sexual abuse, I *did* take action.  I went to a therapist.  I worked on transitioning from victim to survivor.  Yes, it was work.  Damned hard work.  But the bottom line is that I *did* something.  I didn't sit around and whine and complain.

My mom has always loved the Serenity Prayer.  For those of you unfamiliar: "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;/courage to change the things I can;/ and wisdom to know the difference."  I think that serenity, courage and wisdom are great things to ask for.  When it came time for me to transition from victim to survivor, I had the courage to do it.  When it came time for me to have the surgery, I had the courage to do it.  When it came time to leave behind those people I could not change, I had the courage--and the wisdom--to do it.

We only get one shot at this challenge called life.  We have to make the very most of it.  If you aren't happy with something in your life, you can do one of TWO things.  You can accept that it can't be changed or you can muster up the courage to change it.   What you CANNOT do is complain to ME about it--because I have the wisdom to know I can't change it for you, so unless you are ready to DO something about it, I'm not listening!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Hello? Anyone Out There?

Someone is reading this blog.  I watch the "page view" counter increase every day, so someone is reading this.  But no one--well, practically no one--comments, so I guess I have to HOPE that those of you who are reading are enjoying what you read.  It would be nice if you left a comment or two...

I had a great day off Friday!  I went out to "Little Washington" where my favorite NY pizza is made, and I ordered my "bad breath" special--garlic and onions--no tomato sauce which I think is what was giving me a hard time in my previous pizza attempts.  It also might have been the bread--the LaBella pizza is so thin that you can actually see through the crust in spots!  It was crispy and delicious, and the one slice I had didn't make me sick at all.  I brought the rest home and will freeze it for future meals!

Driving out to Washington, I decided to let my iPhone lead the way, and it took me into town a different way.  Lots of country back roads, which were just lovely on the chilly but sunny fall day.  It gave me time to think about this change in my life and how I keep trying and learning.  Sometimes I'm sorry--however briefly--that I did this.  Why?  Because this is a lifelong situation--I will never be able to down an entire bottle of water, no matter how thirsty I am.  (And yes, I miss not being able to do that, as weird as it sounds.) And because food bores the crap out of me these days.  I eat because I have to, not because something looks good or sounds good or even smells good.  

And as the holidays approach--holidays that have always been associated with EATING--I am reminded that I can't eat.  Not like I used to.  Not at all.  I'm going to be alone for Thanksgiving--it's just not enough time to go home.  I can't eat much, so there's NO sense in even trying to cook for myself. 

I don't really regret having the surgery...not really.  I feel better every day...physically better and emotionally more comfortable in my own skin.  It's just a period of adjustment, and I'm not going to lie to you--or to myself.  While I have those moments of regret, this was without a doubt the best thing I've ever done for myself.

While I was waiting for my pizza (they were super busy), I walked down Main Street in Washington and found The Inner Banks Artisans Center.  Wow!  Amazingly beautiful things--pottery, jewelry, paintings--all that beauty under one roof!  I found two gorgeous pairs of earrings and spent that $50 gift card that I've been carrying for months!  I tell you this not to brag about buying yet MORE earrings, but because I had no trouble walking down the block to the Artisans center from LaBella.  Six months ago, I don't know if I would have even TRIED to take that walk, let alone accomplished it with only minimal pain!

So...I face the weekend ready to battle those doubts when they rear their ugly heads.  And I continue to write--I'm going to make that NaNoWriMo deadline!  Enjoy your Saturday, everyone! And leave a comment, would you?  Please?

Friday, November 11, 2011

A Day OFF!!

Maybe it's the magic of the date--11-11-11.  Maybe it's the cool fall weather.  Maybe it's just not having to go to school on a Friday!  All I know is that I am in a GREAT mood today!

I'm going to Little Washington for pizza for lunch.  Yep, I'm trying pizza...AGAIN.  But I'm going to have "white" pizza--thin crust, garlic, mozzarella and some onions.  I am going to TRY. ;-)

Then to a movie and then to Barnes & Noble for a rather impromptu NaNoWriMo session.  And then, after that great day, I still have a TWO-DAY weekend!! Yay!

Enjoy the day--and thank a veteran for your freedom to do so!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Back to Work...

I went back to work yesterday, but I think it was a little too soon to do the amount of speaking that I do.  I left school at 5pm with a raggedly sore throat!  Old habits overtook me, and I stopped at Cook-Out for a peanut butter milkshake (I think I tried to rationalize that the peanut butter would provide some protein)!  What a mistake.  I couldn't take much of it--less than a fifth of the cup, actually--so I shared a little of it with Jack and Oscar and threw the rest away.  First, I know I can't do the sugar; second, I know better than to ingest those things of old!  Again, habit bit me in the ass! I need to find a safe and healthy way to deal with sore throats now rather than slipping into old, harmful behavior!

I'm off tomorrow--and I'm planning a great day!  Lunch at La Bella in Washington followed by a movie and then lots of writing!  I have committed to NaNoWriMo and am going to get it done!!

Thursday, folks!  Kids are taking quizzes all day, so I should be able to get a few things graded.  Between NaNoWriMo and being sick, I'm behind!  Have a great day, everyone!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

And STILL sick...

Unbelievable.  This virus has really put me down!  I'm hot and cold, my nose runs and is stuffy simultaneously.  I have no appetite--I had some mashed potatoes yesterday but other than that, I haven't eaten.

I'm home again today.  I hate missing any school, but especially two days in a row!  Still, I'm sleeping more than not, so it's best that I didn't even try to go to school!

This blog has had nearly 3000 hits!  Wow!  I really appreciate it, and I promise that as soon as I'm feeling better, the entries will be better as well!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Still Sick...

I had to take the day off from school because I'm just feeling blah.  Head is swimming with congestion; I'm a little dizzy and weak.  (Probably because I haven't eaten any protein except for a few pistachio nuts--no appetite!!)

I've lost at least 55 pounds--I say at least because I don't know exactly.  The number on my scale changes depending on where it is on my bathroom floor!  So...I guess it's just a case of not caring as long as my pants keep fitting looser!

I'm going back to bed.  Happy Monday, all...

Sunday, November 6, 2011

I'm SICK! :-(

I woke up Saturday morning with a terrible sore throat.  It continued throughout the day and combined with congestion, a headache and swollen glands.  Ugh.  Spent the day sleeping. I hate being sick--and truth be told, it's been a long time since I was!  And the hard thing is that I used to nurse a sore throat with vanilla ice cream--can't do that anymore!!  I knew I needed protein, even though I didn't feel like eating, so I ate a few shrimp but the horseradish in the cocktail sauce burned my throat! 

A few of my students were sick this last week--one even had tonsillitis.  And since I still have MY tonsils, that may be what I have as well!  It's Saturday night as I write this--just 11:00pm, but I'm wiped.  I'm going to put this on "scheduled post" and go to bed.  Have a great Sunday all!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Baby Birds Come Home to Visit...

We had an alumni basketball game today after school; it was great to see several of my former students! They all have matured--Larry is married with a baby; Jae and Lauren are practically living together; Darryl is doing well at school; Nesha introduced me to her boyfriend, Jordan; Shaquetta is having a great time at Central while Maleesha wants to transfer away from Central!

The best part of seeing them was all the compliments I got!!  They were all so supportive; one even told me, "Ms. Harvey, you look beautiful!"  Awwww.  It's really really nice when someone compliments me; it makes me feel successful!  And hearing it from the kids was especially nice!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Who Do You Love?

I'm discovering that the answer to that question for me is me.  I have been feeling really well--better about myself, but also physically feeling well.  I'm not focusing on a relationship with anyone else because I'm really enjoying my relationship with myself!  I have always enjoyed my own company--I have no problem going to the movies alone or to dinner by myself--but it's different now.  I'm doing a few things that I'm proud of--and not all related to my weight loss. I love that I'm taking care of myself more, that I'm participating in NaNoWriMo.  Don't get me wrong--I love the fact that I continue to lose weight--I'm becoming more active and feeling better physically.  I have more energy.  I love my free time, I love the job, I love the weather...I just love living these days.

And it's a great feeling--loving life!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

More Compliments...and Writing!

Today at school, we had a school-wide faculty meeting.  A teacher from the elementary building--a woman whose name I don't even know--made it a point to come over to tell me how good I look.  She said she saw me in the cafeteria during make-up pictures last week and wanted to tell me then.  Nice, huh?  Really made me feel GOOD!

I left school around 4:15pm and went home, took care of Jack and jumped in the car and drove to Greenville for a "write-in" at Barnes & Noble.  There were about fourteen people from all around the area participating in NaNoWriMo.  It was really a lot of fun! And I wrote quite a lot!

Of course, now I'm tired of writing.  LOL...so have a good Thursday, everyone!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Well, I Did It!

I gave away my hoodie!  I think giving that away was something of a momentous occasion--I truly hated to part with it, but I wasn't going to wear it as big as it was!  I gave it to a student who not only needed it but appreciated it and put it on immediately! What a great feeling!

I had ordered two pairs of slacks--a black pair two sizes smaller than I've been wearing and a navy blue one THREE sizes smaller.  I wore the black ones to school today, and they are actually a little too big.  They have an elastic waist with a functional drawstring, so they are adjustable--so I should get a couple months out of them anyway.  I tried on the blue ones when they came, and while the pockets bulge a little, they actually fit pretty well!

NaNoWriMo started Tuesday--and I'm off to a good start.  I love writing--it makes me believe all things are possible!  Have a Happy Hump Day!! :-)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Fear...and a First!

This year is the first year in my adult life that I didn't buy Halloween candy, ostensibly intended for trick or treaters, but really for myself.  I live in the woods--and in the nine Halloweens I've lived here, I've never had ONE trick or treater.  Yet, every year I stocked up on candy--just in case.  Yeah, right, sure.  Of course, I made sure it was candy I liked--Reese's or Snickers, usually.  And then the next day, when I had the "leftover" candy, I just couldn't let it go to waste, could I?  So very practical of me, right?  The games I used to play with food!

There was a lot of food and goodies at school today--I had kids that offered me cupcakes, candy bars and cookies--and I said "no" to everything.  I guess the chocolate chip cookie disaster taught me quite a bit about skipping that sugar!

Now...the fear.  I figured it out today.  I'm afraid to give away my clothes because I'm worried that I'll put the weight back on.  I know that it isn't rational, but I guess that the naysayers have worked their "evil magic" on me, and I've bought into the fears.  I'm afraid, but that doesn't mean that I'm going to hold on to those clothes.  Now that I understand my hesitation, I have to face the fear.  I have held on to my Prep hoodie because it's warm and snuggly and I love it.  I never owned a pullover hoodie before, but there is something to be said for them!!  When I bought mine originally (two years ago), it was to support the school, but I quickly fell in love with it!  But it's huge on me now--it was always a little big, but now it's ridiculous--so I need to give it away.  Fortunately, I have a student whom I know needs it, and the A.D. brought me an order form for a new one today!  I tried on the basketball coach's hoodie, which is two sizes smaller than mine was, and it fit very comfortably, maybe even a little loosely.  I may order one size down--I've got to think about it, but at least I know that a replacement is available!

Courage isn't absence of fear--it's feeling the fear and then doing it anyway!  I'm going to pack up those clothes and know that it's okay to give them away--I am NEVER going to need them again!