As Valentine’s Day approached, I warned Dave that he better be prepared. We are typically low key for V-Day. Married or Single, to me the day represents a lot of falsities about love. Sure, I love flowers and chocolate just as much as the next girl…but tell me you love me every day, not just one day a year. If Dave only showed me or told me he loved me once a year, Valentines Day wouldn’t mean nearly as much.
This year was no different…except it was. See, my emotional moments of the first month of the challenge had led to a lot of soul searching. And frankly, it had led to a lot of tension between Dave and I. I talk about how amazing my man is – and he is – but we are just like every other couple out there…and we have had our share of struggles. This first month of the challenge had brought a lot of awareness to the both of us. There were things we each needed from the other that weren’t being addressed. They weren’t even being communicated. As the date of my first official weigh-in for the challenge approached (Feb 14, 2014), my emotions ran high. The stress and anxiety was causing me a ton of turmoil, and the inability to binge eat these emotions was forcing me to feel them. Dave and I ended one evening in an all out war. Words were said, tears were cried, and time was taken. By the time we went to bed that evening, we had both decided one thing – we were in this for the long haul and wanted it to work. In the words of one my best friends “marriage isn’t about being happy, it’s about being committed.” Yes, you want to be happy in your marriage, but you can’t base your entire marriage on your FEELINGS of happiness. That’s a part of the reason divorce rates are so high these days. You aren’t always going to be happy. Some days it’s all about the commitment. I take pride in the fact that Dave and I have agreed to this fact. And when we look back in 20 years on our 23 years of marriage we’ll be able to say there were times that were happier than others, but we made it through those times. I’m proud to say that we are now back into the happiness that we’ve had the majority of our marriage – but to anyone that may be in that not so happy place right now…please, try to push through it. There is happiness, intimacy and strength on the other side. Growth hurts.
I’ll say it again, growth hurts.
That might be the biggest lesson I learned through this portion of my journey. It sucks, it hurts, but it’s so worth it. I wasn’t just hurting in my marriage, I was hurting in my life. With the ability to be honest with Dave about my feelings and my emotions I was able to be more honest with myself. I was able to admit the areas I had allowed to fall to the wayside. The areas of my life I had just accepted to be what they were. And with that acceptance and acknowledgement came release. I was able to decide what I wanted to do about it. What I wanted to change. What I NEEDED to change. Just as I was promising Dave to work harder and be better, I was promising myself, and God that I would work harder and be better. It’s what we all deserved.
I can’t explain to you why or how, but it was as if when I released these feelings and acknowledged the new expectations, I felt lighter. Similar to when I allowed myself to forgive the person I referenced in the previous post. I knew at that moment I had nothing to be anxious of when it came to my weigh-in. I was going to be ok. And I truly believed at that moment, regardless of what the scale read, or the measurements told me – I was changing. And it was good. Even if only emotionally I was losing weight.
So, when Valentine’s day rolled around, and it was time to go – I was ready. I walked into Mind Body Barre dare I say it, excited! I was ready to see how my physical body would be registering all the emotional changes I was feeling. As Kayla invited me to the back room she made a comment about me looking good. She expanded by saying “I can see it in your face, you look brighter, happier.” Little did she know, she had hit the nail on the head. It’s exactly how I was feeling. I wanted to be a light in the world, not another spot of darkness. So, I stood for the picture, happy with what it might show, even if the only difference was the smile on my face. I then made my way to the scale, this was the first time I had stepped on the scale since the first week in. So to my knowledge I had lost nothing. Imagine my surprise when it read minus 10lbs! To say I was thrilled would be an understatement. I was ecstatic! The measurements read a gain, but I saw that as a positive considering the number on the scale had gone down. I would take muscle growth!
After my weigh-in I decided to take advantage of some one on one time and get a lesson on proper form for some of the exercises we do in class, I then decided I deserved a celebration treat for all my hard work, and figured a pedicure would be a healthier option than donuts. It was about time I had pretty toes while working out (the workouts we do there are all done barefoot or in socks, so this completely made sense). As I pulled into my driveway from my well deserved pedicure I saw a floating chocolate covered strawberry on my front porch. Despite our argument earlier in the week, Dave had sent me an edible arrangement of chocolate covered strawberries…and the card simply read that he was proud of me, and he loved me. That was all I needed to hear. I love that he loves me unconditionally. I love that in moments of doubt he’s able to find pride for me. It was the perfect way for me to come home from such an amazing morning. I was finally starting to feel good about myself. And I still had four more weeks in the challenge to go!