Sunday, June 19, 2011

Phase Three on the diet

So, we have finally entered the least restrictive phase of the diet. Phase three. We have added back things like wheat bread and small amounts of mayonnaise. Phase two sucked for me pretty badly. I'm sad to report I only lost two pounds on phase two but I have lost two more in phase three so that brings my total weight loss at this time to twelve pounds.
My husband has done much better. He has lost an astonishing 22 pounds in forty days. He has cheated less and been very active. I'm pretty jealous. But I have to keep in mind that I haven't gained anything back at all. My weight loss has slowed but I have not gone the other direction. After this phase is over we go back to phase one and begin over again since neither one of us has met our goal loss at the moment.
I'm really proud of John, you can really see his progress. He looks great. For Father's day, Marissa got him a t-shirt and I said "He has lost so much weight that he can wear a large and he doesn't need an extra large." and indeed, when he tried it on today, it was true.
It's funny because both of us feel like we are eating too much now. We got accustomed to the restrictive nature of the diet and used to not eating certain things and now having a piece of wheat bread for breakfast feels so wrong! I'm actually looking forward to going back to phase one. It was the worst restrictions but I had lots of energy. I haven't begun to give up this battle yet. I'm going to meet my goal and I'm going to do it in a healthy way. I like this diet so much better than Slim fast or being miserable eating "diet food" this is real food, delicious food, healthy food. Those meal bars suck.
I think this diet is easy to follow and good for you. I've enjoyed many of the recipes and all of the progress we have made. So, even though things have slowed down for me, I have not lost hope.
This week I am determined to add more exercise in and rev up so me more.

I effing hate father's day

I don't remember ever loving my father. They told me I used to love him when I was a little baby, but I don't remember ever having positive emotions about him. I remember hating him, wishing he would go away, wishing he were gone. I fucking hate Father's Day. I fucking hate Father's day because I have a father who did whatever he could to crush my self esteem and punish me for things I didn't do and brutalize me for the things I did do. I didn't believe any kind word he ever said to me. He has never seen fit to apologize to me about one single beating, about any time he bashed my head into the wall, about any of the times he threw me down the stairs, pulled my hair, slapped my face, shook me repeatedly, bruised my body, blackened my skin with his anger and hatred and misery.
He used to take us down to Baskin Robbins when I was little. It was walking distance from our house. One time, when I was about five, I let him get far ahead of me and I crushed his head between my fingers. When he would go on business trips, I prayed he would just not come home.
I can't help but wonder these things. If he hadn't been there, would I have this much fight in me? Because he was not going to defeat me. He could beat me black and blue, he was never, ever allowed to own me, to have my spirit, to defeat my goodness and to take away my light.
I just wanted him away from me.
The only way I can deal with him for any length of time is to be away from him most of the time.
I will never love him, I have come to terms with that a long time ago. It is not necessary to love your father in order live a happy and healthy life and be spiritually healthy. I did however realize I was a walking wounded girl, so I did seek therapy. I went to see several therapists to work through this issues. In the first session, I would say "I hate my father."
The therapist would say some platitude like "No, you don't. You have abandonment issues. You'll see that you love him, really."
I walked out the door. Choosing a therapist is a very serious commitment, I tried on a few to see who I liked. I thought I would need a woman. I was wrong. I chose a man.
When a therapist finally said "That's okay. At least you're honest. Do you want to love him?"
"No. I want to get over what he did to me and choose better men in my life."
And that is what we did.
My therapist said "If you met him on the street, would you be expected to like him? Would you think less of yourself if you didn't? Sometimes we don't like our parents, and the pressure to love someone who you just don't is a source of guilt we just don't need."
I have given up the dream that the past can be any different than it is. And I don't like my father. I can see that he is an intelligent man, I can agree with him on many issues, political and social and I can see that other people love him. I can see that he has great good in him. He has done great good in this world, and in an odd way, I am proud of that. I am proud of his accomplishments and his drive, ambition and good work ethic. But he gave all the good away at his job and brought none of it home to me. I can even be proud of his accomplishments and happy for him when good things happen to him. But I just don't love him. I can muster some feelings, but they will never be love. Most of the time, these days, because I don't live with him, I can downgrade it from hate to apathy. But he is not the only reason I hate father's day.
I fucking hate father's day because my first three kids got even worse dads than I had. I was not done punishing myself with men, apparently. But I refused to let my kids grow up with that cruelty. I left when my mother would not. I hate father's day because it makes me sad that Cory, Cassie and Derek didn't get the father they deserved, that father's day is an empty ache for them- a place that was never filled, and that it's mostly my fault.
They did, eventually, get the world's most amazing stepfather.
I'm jealous of Marissa and Isabella sometimes. Their father is amazing, and exceptional. Loving and accessible. I keep my hatred of father's day locked down deep so they can enjoy it, because there is more goodness and kindness in that man that I could ever express in words. I force myself to go shopping with them every year to pick out something wonderful for the best dad in the world- but somewhere in me my heart breaks again and again. It breaks for the little girl that never bought a father's day gift for someone she loved. I have never and will never get a father's day card or gift for my own dad. There were a few men, my best friend's father, in particular, who had a lot of patience and love for me when I was a kid- who told me when I was out of line in a way that let me know I had disappointed him and when I felt the shame of that- he knew that was enough. And I used to feel very safe in his house.
I don't know if I will ever get over my hatred of this day, my hatred of the event. I choke it all back but I hate every last bit of it. I'm happy for all of you that had wonderful dads. I really am. The world needs more of them.
About five years ago, I came home one day and saw Marissa and her dad in the dining room. When I went to see what they were doing, my heart just swelled. He was making paper dolls with her. They were drawing them, cutting them out and coloring them. He had made the backgrounds for them, too. I want very much to have that in my heart on father's day. But I got a long way to go. And if I never get there- I can forgive myself that.
So for today, I will allow myself to hate father's day, cause that is honestly the way I feel. It is what it is. I am happy for my husband and for my daughters- but for all of you out there that got a raw deal- go ahead and hate for a while, I got your back, girl.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

My love life through Elton John

So, everyone who knows me well knows that I am a devoted Billy Joel fan, but I tend to keep his songs close to my heart. They speak to me in ways I have always held dear and I think, in retrospect, I never attached a Billy Joel song to any relationship for fear it might ruin it for me.
I picked out my wedding song was I was about 14, though, long before I met my future husband, I had the song I wanted played at my wedding. In my brief and ill advised first marriage, this song was not played. I did, in fact save it for my first dance at my real wedding. The song was Billy Joel's "You're my home" and I waited to play it until I felt the meaning of it with the right person. So, even then, the song was not his- it was born of him living up to it.
I have saved every Billy song for me, though sometimes they do remind me of a place or a time or a situation- even a person I was with. I'll always remember my friend Paul doing his crazy dance to "Only the Good die young." but that isn't his song.
A few years ago I realized I had given Elton John songs to the loves of my life. It might have started innocently enough. My first real boyfriend was Dave. I was fifteen and we lived in Oxford, England. He was not the first boy I kissed or the first crush I had ever had but he was the first guy who I would meet every day and would hold hands with me and call me his girlfriend. I was so crazy about him. He came home and met my parents and everything.
Dave and I were hanging out in the park one day, under a tree, by the Cherwell. I was sitting on his coat and he looked at me and he sang a little of Elton John's "Blue Eyes" to me. Told me he thought of me every time he heard that song. That's the kind of thing that makes a fifteen year old melt into a puddle of goo.
That was a good day. And it was the start of my love affair with Elton John because now that song belonged to Dave. I still can't hear that song without thinking of that guy. Even the fact that Dave turned out to be a rat bastard hasn't ruined the song for me. It's still a sweet memory.
For some reason, my next boyfriend, Bryan was attached to the song "I guess that's why they call it the blues". I never told him that, he would have mocked me endlessly - he liked mostly punk rock and rebellious noisy crap. It was something in the lyric and I knew we were two kids trying to live like adults.
"Laughing like children, living like lovers, rolling like thunder, under the covers..."
Something my sixteen year old self identified as meaningful in that song. Something in our relationship that made me sad and happy. Something in me that knew it was doomed to be tragic- that it was going to end up in the blues... and it did. Of course, it was even more tragic than I had ever imagined it could be. For me, that song is now always bittersweet. I love the song, but it's a tough memory that it's attached to. That relationship was brutal. I was with that guy for three years.
After him was a tumultuous two year relationship with Sean who I married-the marriage lasted all of four months. Really, honestly, I think of him with "Saturday night's alright for fighting". In the end, the only thing that was entertaining and worth doing with him was fighting. He sort of began the fight in me. I worked so hard finding a voice in that relationship even though I was never really heard. Did I say all of these songs were romantic? No. In fact my favorite break up song became REO's "Time for me to fly"- loved that. I sang that a lot on the way out.
It gets worse. The second David I dated was "I don't want to go on with you like that." As a side note, my breakup with him was marked with the song "Don't Shed a tear", I used to belt that out in the car.
My next relationship, with Brad was categorized by him with a Tears for Fears song called "Sowing the seeds of Love" but I always found that song banal and ordinary. It didn't have the richness of lyric and it was sappy and cliche. That should have been my first sign that he was an idiot. There was so much grief in this relationship that it became "Sad songs say so much"
After this, I began my survival mode songs. My love affair with myself began with "I'm still standing" and morphed into "I want Love". I was lying around crying to Tori Amos and listening to "Don't let the sun go down on me". I know. Pathetic. Those years were somewhere between pissed off and angst ridden but I did get my shit together and picked myself up. After all, I was still standing!
When I started dating John, I had deliberately not been in a relationship for four years- in fact I had decided I was maybe never going to be in one again. I was a little raw and emotional to be feeling all I was feeling for him. We went out to Joanie's Pizzeria on the day it opened and "Don't Go breaking my Heart" came on the jukebox. We had been dating a few weeks. I knew right then that was his song. I had fallen in love with that song a long time ago- but now it belonged to him- and I knew that he would be breaking my heart. And he did. But he also put it back together-
A few years later, I heard the song "The One" on the radio and I knew that also belonged to him. After we got married, I was deciding what songs to put on our wedding video and I knew very quickly the two songs would be "You're my Home" and "The One". It was a nice way to bookmark my love affair with Elton John songs.