Monday, May 14, 2007

Holding Steady

Well, the heart has settled down a bit, so I'm not really as worried as I was, and instead of calling the doctor today and freaking her out, I'm just going to add the palpitations to my list of experienced side-effects. Then she can do with it what she wants. But yesterday the heart felt fine, I didn't work out, and the day was decent other than a suspected bladder infection. We'll see.

I think I might attempt at least a stretch workout today though.

And on the weight loss front? This morning I woke up and just felt FAT. Jiggly. Blubbery. Fat, did I mention fat? Well, I didn't lose anything yesterday. I actually had a bit of an appetite yesterday, so I didn't lose anything, and that's okay. So far this week, I've lost five and a half pounds, more than I've been able to lose in the entire past year, and regained a hope for smaller jeans and less chance of severe illness. Less chance of being judged by my waist circumference than by my character. So that's fine with me.

Some changes I've noticed? The scar on my lower stomach is starting to become a little more accessible, and when I lay on the floor on my back it's actually almost visible to anyone looking straight down to it (if I was naked which is still just a pipe dream). And when I'm standing in the frontal-self-inspection pose, my lower stomach is ... well, a little less "lower" ... a little closer to being up where it should be. The upper stomach ... the flatness that is the WAY upper stomach is starting to spread, starting to come a little lower, make a little more of the flat ground I've always wanted. Mind you, it's only been five pounds, so we're not talking drastic changes ... but they're there. A little less wiggle in my hips when I walk, a little less padding on the insides of my thighs. A generally lighter feeling when I walk down the hall of my apartment.

And still the small light of hope. Hope that one day I will be able to walk confidently into the "skinny" stores, and buy myself something that will actually fit. Something that will look good. Something that I otherwise would maybe have bought, but only for a skinnier friend. One of these days, maybe that will be my shopping for myself for once, maybe I'll be my own skinnier friend, instead of quietly admiring someone else for her thinness and yet hating her for it at the same time.

I have had some "skinny" friends in my life, and there is one who will never let me alone. Even though I haven't seen her in months, haven't talked to her in over a year, and haven't really felt friendly with her since long before that, she's always there in my head, always there. Checking out my closet before we'd go out to hit the clubs or the movies. Searching for something good because I had more money than she did, nicer clothes, more exciting clothes. She'd be pulling some new thing out that I have never even had the confidence to wear yet, slipping it on. Looking so much better in it than I do that I actually give her the clothing I've never even worn. And smiling in her eyes because she knows what she's done.

She was one of four sisters, and she was the only regular one. The very oldest was thin, the next oldest was chesty, the "friend" was just ... regular. And the baby? Oh, she was something. Curvy, fun, outgoing. She was the girl we all wanted to be, and the one all the boys wanted to touch. I think it gave my "friend" a complex growing up like that, the only regular one. So she thrived on attention, thrived on being the best at anyone's expense, and was willing to do literally anything to be the center of attention in any situation.

But there's something good to having a life like mine, one filled with false friends, love based on lies, love lost for mistakes that should never have been made.

What could be good about that?

Well, all that comes with a lesson. The love lost? Don't lose again, don't waste life, or love. Love who you can, while you can, as much as you can, because you never know which minute together will literally be the very last.

Love based on lies? The lesson here was that I learned to not let myself be bitter about it. I learned to mend my own heart instead of wishing some white knight would ride in and save me. I learned to move on, and I learned the importance self-love and self-knowledge. I also learned to always maintain a balance between love, trust, and caution. Some say that this means I learned to let baggage from past relationships affect all the ones of my future. Maybe they are right. Because I have, but not in the way they mean. Not in the way that I am comparing the men in my life, or the friends I encounter, not in the way that I am finding fault with every action out of paranoid fear of being hurt again. But in the way that I have learned to go with my instincts, to go with my heart when it tells me something is wrong. I've learned to be cautious. To look out for myself, even when I'm facing a man who says, "Don't worry, it'll all be okay."

Because let's face it, men lie. Then again, if I'd let myself grow bitter, I'd never have needed caution, and if I hadn't learned the balance, learned to get past the hurt, learn from it and use it to fuel the caution, I wouldn't have Fiance. Sure he lies sometimes, I do too. Sure he's done some things. So have I. But we're good, and we're good together.

But the most important lessons of all for me? They are the ones I learned from "friends" who stabbed me in the back even as they hugged me hello. The one when I was just a kid who dominated the mind of the first guy I fell in love with ... and she knew she was doing it, and let it happen. She led him on and never put an end to it. Then the one who led me to my ex just to get him off her back, but told me that he was cool, that he was worth it, that he was trustworthy. Then she had him as soon as I'd left, maybe sooner. Good riddance to them, may they keep their diseases to themselves. And the other friend? The one who slept with him and then told me about it while we were still trying to make it work ... May that decrepit bitch rot in hell. I guess I learned some anger too ... but that's okay. More fuel for the caution, and gives me the ability to stand up and protect myself.

But the lessons I learned from just those few are still so valuable. They taught me to read character, to read faces, to know when I'm being lied to, to know when I'm being shut out. To know when I'm being fished for details that might be used to hurt me. To know when I'm being used ... and to use that to my advantage. I also learned how to say goodbye.

I learned how to start over, knowing that I was making the right choice, knowing that I was doing the best for me, and for me, that's what counts. Because what I accept, what I live with, what I settle for, is a lesson for my daughter. In my life as she grows, I am molding her expectations, her needs and desires. What she sees me live with, she'll see as normal, and when she's older and she's craving normal ... she'll look for a return to her childhood, a chance to see it from the other side. She'll look to become her mother if she's got one to be proud of, she'll look to marry her daddy if she's got one who treats her right.

And I'd like to think that if I use my life and my experiences to mold who I am, I can set the right example, the one that will allow my daughter to learn from my life and who it has made me. Maybe that example will be enough to save her from hurts like the ones I've been through. Maybe she'll see through my eyes when they are opened to her, and she'll gain her own sense of caution. Because that's what it's all about right? Raising the next generation to know not only the past, but how to prevent it from making a vicious return to the present.

Well, I guess I've rambled on enough ... time to go teach the future generation.