First of all, the Friday Weigh-in shows that for the second week running, I've not lost any weight. The good news is that I haven't gained any either. The scales continue to wobble downward ounce by painful ounce, but not enough ounces to matter. For the past couple weeks though, quite honestly, all time has been devoted to studying. I've done very little real exercise, so I'm not really all that surprised.
One thing that I learned this past semester (and not from any book, either, thank you very much) is that I am very good about accomplishing goals, once my mind is set to it. That's a pretty cool thing to know about yourself. Applying that to matters outside the book, I find that I am not so concerned about those scales as I used to be. It is not at all that my determination has faltered. I am still every bit as determined to lose the weight. The idea of those fat cells excreting their tiny amounts of estrogen to any stray cancer cells that might be floating around, well...that's a powerful visual. So my eating habits have adjusted, and if I exercise in conjunction with that, well, I lose weight. Simple enough. I know that the weight will be lost. After all, I've set my mind to it.
However, I've been hitting the books hard. A flurry of tests followed up by the finals meant that the past two weeks have been, academically, a challenge. Before that, Tim and I were struggling for a couple very sobering weeks as we sought to sort things out. I had to have my dog put down. It was a lot of emotional stuff, and I can tell you that one very positive thing came out of this. I was pretty successful at avoiding my tendency to comfort myself with food. There was one week that I had three candy bars in one week (ouch) but for the most part, I was able to clearly see what I was doing when, stressed, I found myself standing at the check out line looking at a Hershey's bar with almonds. In most cases, I was able to say firmly to myself, "Self: that candy bar is not going to help in the great scheme of things. In fact, if you eat it, you will feel worse about yourself before you even get that last bite of chocolate swallowed." It still was a real struggle to pull myself away from the siren song of the Hershey bar, but I almost always did. That's a success, I think.
So I grow a bit each time I tell myself no. I grow a little each time that I accomplish something. I'm amazed. Great opportunities have come to me, and I cannot even begin to tell you about them, because I don't want you to think that I am boasting. Tim's weathering this hard time too. He's always been quiet and passive, and I did not realize the amount of shame that goes along with that. The biggest challenges of our marriage come not from within, but from the outside. I was shocked beyond belief to watch Tim take yet another unreasonable phone call. The last thing I heard was "YOU LISTEN TO ME..." and Tim said, "No, I don't have to listen to you," and he hung up the phone. The phone immediately rang again. Tim was still holding it in his hand. I could hear the shrill screaming from across the room. And Tim said, "This is harassment. Do not call here again," and hung up the phone. And she did not. My husband walked out of the door with a new confidence in his step as well. As his confidence grows, as my confidence grows, the pieces of our marriage begin to fall back into place like jigsaw pieces being assembled by a hand greater than our own.
So, yes, these past few months have been a hard time, but we are reaping rewards beyond what we could have imagined. Tim gave me a card for Mother's Day that began with "I'm so blessed to have found the love of my life," and you know, I looked at the words and I believed them. Felt them, too. I hung that card on the wall of my study room, right next to the letter that informed me that I have been accepted into the OTA program. Both of them make me feel equally good about myself.
Someone (Bob?) commented that they were glad that I'd taken the time to celebrate yesterday, even if it was only a bagel and coffee. Yeah. I celebrated more than that. When I got home yesterday afternoon, Cara and I went out. We rented a video, but this time, we spent the money and got a new release. I stopped for a bottle of wine. And we all sprawled around the livingroom and laughed over a stupid video that turned out not to be worth the extra money charged to rent a new release. We had popcorn. Tim and I looked at each other comfortably and happily from opposite ends of the sofa, and a three way conversation flowed easily. I drank my wine, and the celebration was not happening around me, it was happening within me.