Control

Today, I want to tell you all a story. A story about lies, bullying, drugs, and abuse. This story is about the time that I realized that I deserved better than the situations that I was put in. Continue reading “Control”

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Daily Prompt 3/14/2016 | A Fleeting Moment of Confidence

There were rapid-fire holiday and birthday get-togethers, and I found it harder and harder to control myself around all of the sweets and savory foods. So I didn’t. The weather had gotten gloomy, and sucked all the energy from my body, and I slowed down on my exercise, until I stopped completely.

In response to The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 3/14/2016 | Fleeting

I have a very love/hate relationship with diet and exercise. As some of you may already know, from the middle of October to the end of December, I decided to make some changes, and started eating a mostly vegan diet (I still ate eggs). I didn’t do it for any moral reason, and I don’t care if you eat meat, or don’t eat meat, I did it for me, to be a healthier individual. I struggled a bit at first with giving up dairy, as a large part of my diet tended to include cheese, or milk products, but I found that giving up meat was pretty simple, as I never really ate much of it, and didn’t really crave it in any way.

Not only did I make this change to my diet, but I also decided to actually DIET during this time. I downloaded a free app called Lose It!, which I had used previously to lose weight, and began tracking my daily calorie intake, as well as my weight loss. If you are counting calories, and want a free, simple app to help you out, I highly recommend it. Between this complete overhaul in my diet, and counting calories, I found myself struggling to stay on track early on, as well as struggling with cravings. I had many, many slip-ups and cheat days for the first month, and kicked myself over it, feeling guilty and disgusted with myself. I tried to keep junk food and dairy out of my fridge, but that becomes incredibly difficult when you live with a dairy crazed carnivore who wouldn’t touch a vegetable if would save his life. Every other day he was bringing home cookies, or ordering pizza, or bags of chips, and it was unbearable. I even asked him to stop, but he never did.

I was losing weight, slowly, but not at the rate that I wanted, so I started exercising. I was already going on somewhat regular walks with my son, around 2.5 miles each time we went out, but with the weather getting colder, I knew it was only a matter of time before we would be forced to stay indoor. At the recommendation of a few friends, as well as my mom, I started looking up beginner Zumba videos on YouTube, and was instantly hooked. I was able to burn several hundred calories in 1/4 the time as walking, and it was fun. The weight started to melt off after that.

I lost 10 pounds. Then 15 pounds. Then 25 pounds. I had already reached my pre-baby weight, as well as my lowest weight since college, and I felt great. My skin had cleared up from the lack of daily in my diet, and I was able to buy clothes, several sizes smaller, for the first time since getting pregnant. I even began considering buying a bathing suit, and shorts, for the first time since college. I am not joking, I haven’t owned a bathing suit in 7 years, or work shorts in probably 5 or 6. I felt good, and I looked good.

For a fleeting moment, I was the happiest I had been in years.

Then, the holidays came. I tried to have some self-control, but no one in Kyle’s family seemed to understand my struggle with my body, or my diet. Despite being very open about my dietary restrictions, and politely turning down their cooking (they are the type of folks who cook everything with ten pounds of butter), they would just repeatedly tell me to “Just have a cheat day!”, or “You look fine, just eat!”, and it drove me nuts. Even when I did eat, his grandmother would keep pestering me to eat MORE, or actually BRING ME PLATES OF FOOD when I politely declined. She would get offended when I said no. I hated being forced to eat, but I allowed it to happen, just to please her.

That was the start of the end.

There were rapid-fire holiday and birthday get-togethers, and I found it harder and harder to control myself around all of the sweets and savory foods. So I didn’t. The weather had gotten gloomy, and sucked all the energy from my body, and I slowed down on my exercise, until I stopped completely. Over the course of barely two months, I gained back 9 pounds of the 27 total pounds that I had lost. I noticed the definition in my legs and waist going back to being flabby, and the new, smaller clothing that I had bought stop fitting me in a flattering way. And once again, I hated myself.

I tried to get back into my diet several times, but no longer had room on my phone for my calorie tracker app, and used that as an excuse to ballpark it, which ended in failure. I would get stuck eating my son’s leftovers from his meals, and using that as an excuse to eat other meat or dairy items, as I had already lost it for the day. I made a lot of excuses, and it showed. It showed all over my body.

The weather has started to warm up, and I have been able to get outside to walk more with my son, and he is finally old enough to play with me at the park. This has given me hope, and determination, to try to get back on track. My birthday is in a month and a half, and I have decided that I want to lose 10 pounds by then. I ate a vegan diet today, and managed to get a good walk in with my kiddo, as well as a brief Zumba workout (I am astonishingly out of shape from my time away from it). I felt great… until Kyle got home, made two amazing smelling pork burritos, and only ate one of them. He was going to throw away the other… and I ate it. Granted, I didn’t go bonkers on the calories today, but I ate a burrito that was basically nothing but meat and cheese, and I hate myself for it.

As I’ve written about in the past, self-control is my biggest downfall when it comes to anything. It has ruined everything in my life at some point. I love eating healthy, and I love exercising. I love fruits and vegetables and salad and cooking… but between the weather, my empty bank account, my un-supportive, carnivorous husband, and my horrible lack of self-control, maintaining any sort of healthy lifestyle is a massive struggle.

I’m hoping my self-hatred can outweigh my lack of self-control… otherwise, I fear I will never be happy with my appearance. And I can’t live like that anymore. I miss my fleeting moment of confidence.

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan

Daily Prompt 2/13/2016 | Never Again

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 2/13/2016 | Never Again

Have you ever gone to a new place or tried a new experience and thought to yourself, “I’m never doing that again!” Tell us about it.”

I’ve made a lot of stupid choices in my life, but I will never again move to a different country, state, or city, just to please someone else, while simultaneously sacrificing everything in my life that I’ve worked so hard for. I’ve done that too many times, and I will never do it again, unless it is mutually beneficial. Does that make me selfish? No. No, it doesn’t.

When I was 16, I fell in love with a guy I met online. His name was Matt, he lived in Missouri, and he was an amazing guy. When we were seniors, we applied to several of the same schools, and ended up moving to Newfoundland, Canada together, after never meeting beforehand (although, I did fly to Missouri to spend a week with him at his family’s home before we left for Canada together). I had nothing going for me in my life, or so I thought, and chose to give up everything that I did have to be with him.

Matt had dual citizenship, and was able to get several scholarships, and paid virtually nothing for school. I qualified for one scholarship, and nothing else. I had a hard time getting any loans, and ended up going through a sketchy bank to get money. The bank ended up closing, and my money was actually taken back from the school, and I had to take out a loan through my mom to pay for the rest of my first semester. Seven years later, I still owe the school money, which I fear I’ll never be financially stable enough to pay back completely. After our first year in college ended, I was unable to stay in Canada with Matt, and was forced to return to the US, and found myself panicking to find a place to live. I felt as though returning home was not an option, and chose to live with another friend from online, and his roommate, just to get money to go back to school.

Well… that never happened. Matt and I broke up, and my friend and I started dating shortly after. I’ve written about my ex before, and how I moved from town to town, further away from any sort of life and friends that I had made for myself, to better his job, or to appease his family. I was completely isolated from everyone that I knew, and was stuck in a toxic, unwelcoming, environment. After four years, he broke up with me, after accusing me of cheating on him with our roommate. Basically, I woke up at 2am to go pee, and when I got back to the room, he was sitting up, demanding to know where I went, and who I was with. I was confused, and tried to calm him down, but he was upset. I blamed it on him being delirious from sleep (he had a history of sleep-walking), but then he got out of bed, and grilled me for nearly an hour about it. Our roommate wasn’t even home, as he worked 3rd shifts. A few days later, two days after Valentine’s Day, he broke up with me, out of the blue. I won’t go into the messy details of our screwed up relationship after that, but eventually, I was tired of being used, and moved into the basement of the apartment we shared. I started dating Kyle, and was kicked out shortly after, despite having my name on the lease, and we haven’t spoken since.

Once again, I knew no one, despite having lived in that town for nearly two years. I was able to move into a slum apartment the next day, and moved from apartment t apartment for a while, until Kyle and I moved 45 minutes away to start our lives over. We still desperately want to get out of this area, but who knows when that will happen. Our next move will be on OUR terms. Mutually.

Never let anyone control you, or manipulate you, for their own gain. Don’t let them make you feel like you don’t matter. You do matter. You are important, too. You always have a choice. Always.

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan

Daily Prompt 2/2/2016 | Surely Not the Best Colors That You Shine

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 2/2/2015 | This Is Your Song

“Take a line from a song that you love or connect with. Turn that line into the title of your post.”

Crossfade ~ Colors

This song has stuck with me since 2004, when I first heard it as a freshman in high school. I loved most of my teenage life, as well as a good chunk of my young adult life, letting people tellme who I should be. How I should dress, what makeup to wear, who to talk to, what I could and couldn’t do to, because they wanted me to fit into this perfect, little bubble of who they wanted me to be. For a long time, I felt like I couldn’t be myself. I really came into my own towards the end of my high school days, and was finally able to be who I felt I was supposed to be.

Later on, after I graduated high school, I got into a relationship with a great guy, but always felt like I was living in his shadow. I even went to the college that he wanted to go to, and my life became completely dependent on him. I didn’t really have friends, and people only seemed to know me as “Matt’s girlfriend”. I resented that, wanting only to be able to be myself, and to be accepted for that. We ended up breaking up.

After that, I started a relationship with the person who had been my best friend for years. And it ended badly. He, and his family, were very controlling, manipulative, people. I felt like the insecure, high school girl that I once was, not allowed to be who I was, and having to choose my words carefully to keep the judgement at bay. He controlled every aspect of my life, and I had to rely on him for everything. I became more and more depressed, resorting to self-mutilation just to feel anything, something that I hadn’t done since I was a teenager. I was stuck in a dark face, but was forced to plaster on a smile, because no one wanted to “deal with” me. Our relationship became very emotionally abusive towards the end, and his own insecurities, brought on by his family, drove us as far apart as humanly possible while still living together. We broke up, and I had to completely start over, stranded in an unfamiliar town, surrounded by people and places that reminded me of him, his emotional abuse, and his controlling, cruel family.

Then, I met Kyle. Kyle showed me that it was okay to be who I was, even if that meant being different than those around you. Because your colors will never shine as bright if you are trying to cover them with clouds. I am so much stronger, and I shine so much brighter now.

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan

Daily Prompt 1/20/2016 | All By Myself

The Daily Post’s Daily Prompt 1/20/2016 | Witness Protection

“When you do something scary or stressful — bungee jumping, public speaking, etc. — do you prefer to be surrounded by friends or by strangers? Why?”

I’m a lone wolf, baby.

I’ve always preferred to deal with my stress and my problems on my own, even when they become overwhelming. That’s just how it has always been. I don’t really consider public speaking or bungee jumping to be that stressful, at least for me, but when I moved across the country (and even to a different country), I did it on my own. When I was kicked out of my ex’s apartment that we shared, and was forced to find a new place to live quickly, I did it myself. I didn’t really have anyone to support me. I never have.

When my son was born, I didn’t want anyone there other than my son’s father, and my nurses and midwife… unfortunately, Kyle wasn’t exactly there when our son made his debut into the world. Well, he was, but he was on the other side of the curtain, because he couldn’t handle it. I had my team of nurses and my midwife, and that was it. No one holding my hand, no one stroking my hair, no one comforting me. Just like my life has always been.

And I got through it, just like I always do.

I have always done better on my own. It keeps me focused, and gives me a sense of control, in a world where, realistically, I don’t have much control at all. I’ve never been the kind of person to allow others to shoulder my burdens, because I’ve always had to deal with them myself, as it should be.

Thanks for reading, friends.

Jan