Well looky here, I've been inspired to write again. And it may take the turn of a rant, but sometimes that's just the way it goes. You need to be passionate about something to fill up a bunch of paragraphs, right?
I got an email last night. An unexpected, pointless, out-of-nowhere one-liner from my ex-fiance. You know, calling him that just turns my stomach because he has no right to be put on the same level as Mr. Current (and final) Fiance. So he says to me, he says, "You gotta check out the new Black Keys Album." Oh really? You interrupted my really wonderful, normal life to drop that nugget on me? Let me tell you something about the Black Keys, sir. I was listening to them long before you came along and sent my life on a downward spiral, and you did not know who they were until I began to enlighten you on many, many, many things that your tiny little existence filled with wasted space and thoughts had not even come close to discovering. "You gotta check out the new Black Keys album." Because I must be reminded. After no contact for several consecutive, glorious years, he needs to pop up out of nowhere and fill me in on something very publicly promoted. What irks me is that it is my own fault this gets under my skin. It is my reaction that, yes, HE caused, that is now getting on my own nerves because I am allowing myself to be bothered by someone so incredibly unworthy of moment in my brain. So I'm turning it positive. Take that, ya giant parking lot-sized 1-inch deep puddle. (I'm saying he's shallow, in case you're dumb).
Once upon a time I was at the heaviest weight I had been in my life, when suddenly one month, I dropped 10 pounds, seemingly for no reason. I was excited about it, but also somewhat concerned because 10 pounds do not just fall off of your body for no reason, and I was not giving them any healthy reason to. I decided to start eating better and working out. A couple of months later, I was laid off, so I had time to fill, and spent more and more time hiking the trails at the nature preserve near my house. My weight loss increased to 18 pounds. I was happy, and I had found something I loved doing, and I loved the feeling of my muscles getting harder, my clothes fitting more loosely, and just looking in the mirror and not hating what I saw. It was around this time, I met DA. (I'll protect his name because he tends to internet stalk and I wouldn't want him to know who I'm talking about - that would just be rude). DA seemed to share my recent experience of dropping a significant amount of weight, and my passion for hiking. He even suggested we start running as well. And so we did - every single day, for hours at a time. In the heat of August in Texas, we would arm ourselves with a giant bottle of water, run and hike until we were drenched, and my weight continued to come off, although more slowly as I built muscle. He wasn't the most exciting person I'd ever met, but it was nice to be with someone who was willing to move, which I was not used to. Over the next few months, we continued our routine, but then I found a job, and long daily hikes were no longer an option. I ran on my own after work, but we were not eating so well and I wasn't getting much sleep, so the weight loss hit a plateau.
Now THIS part is just the highlight of my life. We stayed up way too late one night and drank way too much, and found ourselves arguing. Then fighting. Over what, who knows? I probably didn't like the same song as him or something earth-shattering. It ended (or started, however you want to look at it) when I stormed out of the room, slamming the door behind me. But not before I heard something that stopped my heart. I could not have just heard that. I opened the door, and quietly asked, "What did you just say?" He said, "I said, you're a fat ass." I waited for the part where he says he didn't mean to say that, and he's sorry, but instead, he just kept going. He told me I was fat and that he couldn't understand why I had been running all this time and stopped losing weight. He told me the whole reason he went running and hiking with me all those months was to help me get in better shape because he was embarrassed to be dating a fat chick. My heart broke. Not because it was him. He didn't matter to me that much. But because I felt like a total fool for believing someone else was seeing in me what I saw in myself. Improvement. Beauty. Strength. And because he had just stolen from me. He stole running.
I didn't run for days. I couldn't. I couldn't make myself do the thing that he had just ripped all meaning from. I felt like if I did, I would be asking for his approval, which I had thought I already had. Suddenly, it was something that belonged to him, was FOR him, and every time I took a step, I would feel his judgement. This is the part where I left him, right? I tried. I really wanted to, but at the same time, every ounce of self-esteem I had ever had was gone. So as I drove down the highway with everything I owned in the back of my car, his mother called me. She wanted to know what had happened because he had just shown up at her house, sat on the couch looking miserable, told her only that he had screwed up really bad and probably lost me. I told her what he had said, and she talked me into staying. She had put up with the same thing from his father. It was terrible, but he didn't mean it, so she always stayed. That's just what you do. You love someone during the bad times too, and you stay. So I stayed.
I could barely take a bite of food in front of this man for weeks. I couldn't laugh, I didn't want his hands on me, he couldn't give me a compliment, both of us knowing that we wouldn't believe the words anyway. It was horrible. But I pushed through and kept at it and stayed, because that is what you do. I ran again. I didn't stop for long out of fear of gaining a single pound. But I loathed it. I felt obligated to it. I felt like I was being watched, even though he was usually gone when I ran. I would run alone in the dark, through the empty streets of the brand new neighborhood and I would cry, but I wouldn't let myself stop running. When I had to walk, I'd curse myself. I overdid it sometimes and when I just needed a break, and felt like I wasn't allowed one, I would turn the treadmill in the living room on and let it run on its own while I rested on the couch. Then I'd leave my run stats on so that when he got on the treadmill next, he would see that I had run, just like I said I did. He is the worst person I have ever known.
For him to steal 5 minutes from me last night is inexcusable. He took enough from me before, didn't he? I had already planned to go for a run last night. I'm getting back into it again, and it's been for me this time. And for P, and for my kids. But not so I can have their approval. So I can be healthy, and energized, and so I can live a long, active life with them. Yes, I want to look good for P, but he's never once complained at any point during my roller coaster ride with the scale these last few years. Maybe I'd like to fish some compliments out of him, but he doesn't give them freely, and I'll know that when does, he means it. And if it boosts my self esteem, great - he has my respect and my love and is my best friend, so he has the right to affect it. So I ran anyway last night, and a couple of times my mind did drift to places it shouldn't go. I found myself feeling watched again, but I was able to push it out of my mind, and focus on the thing I am doing for myself.
So how am I turning that ridiculous little mind-game of an email into something positive? I'm letting myself remember what I should never, ever forget. That when I don't love myself enough, anything at all that is important to me can be stripped away at any moment. If I let myself believe I am not worthy of something or someone, there are terrible things and people just waiting to pounce. Miserable people want other people to be miserable. It has taken a while, through several years of having babies, finding a rhythm, learning to be thrust into situations and a life I never got to decide if I was ready for, but I am finally finding myself again, loving who I am, realizing my potential and seeing that I have a lot to offer this world. I don't have to be in perfect shape to be loved, or to love myself. But I want to be in perfect shape, that's my goal to pursue and no one else needs to give me permission. I am so incredibly grateful for the life I have now, because I in no way thought I deserved it when started raining blessings on me every single day. The only person I'm not good enough for these days is God, and I know He loves me no matter what. I am proud of who I am, I am proud of giving birth to two beautiful boys, stomach pooch be damned. My kids are beautiful, and I know part of that came from me. I am proud that I finally decided to love myself enough to walk away from a situation that tore me down every single day. I wouldn't change the way I handled it at all. The timing was perfect to set the stage for what was to come and I am light years wiser for having been through it.
My health is important to me again, more so than ever. It belongs to me now, and to the people that matter. People who want me to be healthy so I can LIVE, not so I can look good on their arm. And the funny thing is, DA was the ugly one all along. Not wasting another thought.
Can't wait to run tonight.
P.S. The blog title is a Black Keys song, of course. I just had to be ironic.