In my last post, I failed to mention something incredibly important to my motivation for the gym. I didn't mention it because I wasn't yet aware of it. Apparently, my desire to exercise is directly tied to my ability to tune in to my iPod and drown out all other sounds. Something I didn't know! You see, just after my last attempt at running, my iPod went black. I mean dead-there-is-no-hope black. I was crushed. I've gone back to the gym a couple of times without it and it's just not the same. My motivation isn't there. I seriously dislike hearing the sounds of the gym. The grunts of men looking for attention. The clacking of the weight machines. The squeaking of the ellipticals. The incredibly annoying conversations of the teen girls and Somalian women who come to the gym to socialize more than exercise. I like watching people, but I want to do it to my own soundtrack! And did you know how expensive those new iPods are? Unfortunately, they're just not in our budget. To replace the one I have with something similar, it'd be at least $200! So, no new iPod. But...I think I've found another solution! I got a new phone a few weeks back. I caved and got a smart phone, but was cheap and went with the $0 option. A nice, new Samsung Captivate Android phone. Best part about the new solution...the cost for me is absolutely nothing! There's a free app called mSpot. You sign up for a free account at www.mSpot.com, download the uploader program and it uploads all of your music from iTunes. It'll store up to 500 songs for you for free! Fantastically awesome! I like free!
Meditation....another new discovery: meditation is HARD!!! Seriously, those of you who're attempting it; have you found it incredibly difficult to turn your brain off and stop thinking about what needs to be done when you're finished? It's awful! There's only one way of meditating that I've actually been able to accomplish. I have to turn off the lights and any technology about 15 minutes before I do it. I sit in a dark, quiet room. Everyone else in the house has to be asleep before I can manage it! And as I sit there, I start at the top of my head and focus on relaxing every. single. part. of. my. body. One at a time. My brain. My eyes. My ears. My neck. My shoulders. My arms. My elbows. Lower arms, hands, chest, stomach, hips, butt, thighs, knees, calves, ankles, feet. Seriously, I have to go through each and every part, one at a time, telling them all to relax. Once I've done that, I can actually manage to just sit there and breathe for 10 minutes or so. Who knew meditation would be so much work? Hopefully, everyone else is doing much better at it than I am!
I've been thinking about some things lately. Mostly, about how I ended up exactly where I am and the condition that I'm in. I want to share some things with all of you. I think I need to get them out and for those of you who actually read my odd ramblings (I was drifting off on an Ambien cloud during the last post!), it may give you some interesting insight into who I am and how I came to be. Twenty years ago, I was a 14-year-old girl. 5'4" and less than 100 lbs. Naturally. I didn't have an eating disorder. I ate plenty. I spent a lot of my days bikeriding because it kept me out of the house, away from the turmoil. I had an older sister who'd left with her infant son after my mom had slapped her for swearing at me. I had a mom and soon-to-be-ex-stepfather. My mom's new boyfriend was around all the time and gave me the creeps. I had another older sister with an infant daughter and soon to have a second daughter, at the ripe old age of 17. It wasn't the best of situations. If you've been reading my blog, you've already seen this picture:
I'm the one on the end. I was 15 in that picture and had actually put on a few pounds already. You see, I've figured out what the problem was back then: I wasn't comfortable in my own skin. I was tiny. I was thin. I was incredibly shy. Painfully shy doesn't even begin to describe it! If the teacher called my name, I clammed up and turned bright red and wouldn't utter a word. I was paralyzed with shyness. So, that summer when I was 14, I went on a trip with the sister next to me in the picture. The one who had a little girl and was about to have her second. My sister, C, was 17. She'd met her boyfriend, aka baby-daddy, when she was 14. He was 18. I went with her to the Twin Cities to visit her boyfriend and to bring her little girl to visit her boyfriend's mom. It was the Fourth of July weekend and I remember going along to the fireworks with them, holding my niece as she cried at the booming, and over-hearing friends of my sister's boyfriend tell her that her little sister was going to be a heartbreaker when she grew up. It was mortifying and tremendously frightening to me at that age to have 21-year-old men talking about my looks. Fast-forward to the school year. My locker was right outside the Shop classroom. I always left my last class before lunch a little bit early so I could go and test my bg. And then I'd stop by my locker to grab what I needed for my next class. And the boys hanging out of the door to the shop classroom, waiting for the bell, would make catcalls and comments. A few weeks into the school year, I was asked out on a date by a senior. He was 18. I was 14. Remind you of anyone? But, I thought he was a really sweet guy. I said yes. For our first (and only) date, he took me to rent movies and we went out to his parents' cabin with his best friend and his best friend's girlfriend. The other couple disappeared into a bedroom. My date wanted me to sit on his lap and watch movies for a bit. He gave me my first kiss. I went to the bathroom and washed my mouth out with water afterward. Hehe...kind of funny to look back on, but wow, those were some painful moments! I broke up with him via note just after that date.
It's kind of ironic...all of that sounds a bit like a teenage girl's dream...the attention, the boys liking you. For me, it was horrifying. I was incredibly shy. But more than that, I wasn't comfortable around men or boys. I'm not comfortable with their attention. I don't like it. Those of you who've read what I've had to say about my father might have some idea why I've never been comfortable around men. It's nothing to do with them so much as just not something that I want. And that new realization has led me to another one....I've never been happier than I am right now! I think my aversion to male attention has been a big part of why I'm not focusing so much on being thin or losing weight. It's not that I want to make my body look better. That's definitely something that's happening anyway. But the truth is, I never want to lose enough weight to attract male attention as much as I did back then. I don't want it. All I want, really, is to be healthy. To be active, to run after my children, to have the energy and stamina to keep up with them. To be able to keep going and never have to take a break for a breath because I feel like I'm going to die. If that means I slim down a bit, great. But that's not my focus and it's never going to be my focus. My focus, my only focus, is my family, my husband, my children. All I'm doing is for them, so they'll have a good example, a mom and a wife to be proud of. As long as my husband continues to feel desire for me, as long as my kids can look at me with respect and admiration, then I'll be happy with how I am, with how I look. Their attention is the only attention I want or need.