Monthly Archives: July 2015

Missing Pieces

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you.
I will remove from you your heart of stone
and give you a heart of flesh.”
(Ezekiel 36:26)

Hard substances like stone or glass don’t just break – they shatter. And when they shatter, they go everywhere. It’s not uncommon, after dropping a glass in the kitchen, to find a shard of it with your foot days or even weeks later.

My heart shattered three years ago. It’s difficult to believe that it can be so long ago and yet so recent… I’m still finding shards of it in all sorts of unexpected places.

The other day I was riding in the car with my mother-in-law… my new mother-in-law. She listens to country music. I don’t really like country, but it’s full of nostalgia for me – my mother’s music of choice, too. And this song by Rebecca Lynn Howard came on the radio. I knew the chorus, but I had never really learned the verses as a child:

I should ask but I wont…. was it love, or just her touch?
‘Cause I don’t think I wanna know
So get you some things and get out
Don’t call me for a day or two so I can sort this out

…it’s a song about adultery. Dear Lord, it was a song about my life.

And there I was, suddenly three years in the past…finding those Facebook messages with that woman…listening to his parents make excuses for him…sitting in counseling with him raging against me for calling it “adultery” when he was “just talking to her”…the condoms in the trash again at the intervention a year later…walking in on them when I unlocked the door to my apartment so someone could serve him the divorce papers.

I couldn’t cry. How could I explain to my new mother-in-law how much that song hurt me? Would it make her doubt my commitment to her son? My readiness to be in a new marriage, let alone even a relationship? I felt sick with pain… it was like sitting on those steps all over again, unable to walk after seeing them in my apartment together.

But the nausea faded. And by the time we left Michael’s I had forgotten about it, was excited to have an email from my husband talking about his plans for his start up business. I love him deeply. There’s nothing missing from what we have, but… sometimes it feels like I’m still missing pieces. Pieces that broke years ago, that I still haven’t found yet.

Like when I was watching Glee today (*spoilers*) – Puck comes back in his army uniform, he and Quinn express their feeling of being soul mates, and they live happily ever after with their high school sweetheart. I gave them such bitter tears. “That’s not how it really works,” I thought.

I don’t understand. Is that what I want? For it to have worked out with my high school sweetheart, to be living my happily every after with him? No. I think the pain and the struggle and the growth I went through with him made me into a better, more whole person. But I also think that we weren’t right together – that we clashed and fit together in so many ways that were harmful to both of us. And I think the way my husband and I fit together now is positive and powerful, and that we build each other up and encourage each other in a way that my high school sweetheart and I never did.

Then why am I crying about high school sweethearts not living happily ever after? Because it’s part of a bigger, harder, crueler lesson that doesn’t go away just because the pain of the moment has passed: The world will hurt you. Nothing lasts forever, and the universe is unwaveringly impartial in whom and what it takes from us.

Our choice is whether or not we will also let the world heal us. Because Ezekiel says we do get to choose – to have a heart of stone, or a heart of flesh. True, a tender heart may wound more easily – I’ve cried more in the past 3 years than in the entirety of the prior twenty-six closed off, anxious, fearful years. But I’ve also had more joy than I ever thought could be possible, because a heart of flesh can also heal itself… even if you never do find all the missing pieces.

P90X: Day Zero-Ish

I know I can do P90X, because I did P90X3. By all accounts, they’re about the same level of difficulty, except that the P90X workouts are twice as long. So this time, I wanted to really focus in on the nutrition plan. The part of P90X3 I struggled with the most was sticking to the nutrition plan. Which, of course, is where you really see the transformation in your body. Let’s face it: It doesn’t really matter how much muscle you put on – if it’s still covered in fat, you still look pretty much the same. The difficulty of the meal plan of course is preparation, organization, the fact that you have to eat like 5-6 meals a day, and trying to cook that many meals… ugh. So much work! So little time. And one you add work into the mix? Forget it! This time around I’m prepared though! Thanks to the amazing electric pressure cooker my mommy got me, I can prepare a balanced protein/veggie meal for the entire week in just about an hour. Along with protein shakes, protein bars, and a couple of ready to eat snacks, it’s going to make sticking to the nutrition plan a breeze (as long as I avoid all temptation). Speaking of nutrition, here’s my caloric breakdown:

158  x  10   =  1580 Calories
Weight  x  10   =  Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR)

1580  x  .20   =  316 Calories
RMR  x  .20   =  Daily Activity Burn (DAB)

1580  +   316  +  570    =  2466 Calories
RMR  +  DAB  +  P90X  =  Daily Energy Requirement

What?! That’s what Tony says, though. I should eat 2466 calories to maintain my current weight – subtract a few hundred calories to create a deficit to lose weight, and I come to around 2000 calories a day. Now, I’m on Day 2 already (though my stats below were recorded on Day 0), and I’m having a <i>really</i> difficult time consuming that many calories, especially considering that 50% of them are supposed to be protein. I ate literally non-stop yesterday, and still only managed to take in 1800 calories, and felt stuffed while doing it. I was sure my scale was going to go up today, just positive I was going to have to eat less… but low and behold, the scale went down half a pound. I think I can do this nutrition thing. Time to wrap it up with my requisite 0-30-60-90 day check in chart, because updating that every 30 days will really help keep me motivated to stay on track:

Measurements & Weight

DAY 0 DAY 30 DAY 60 DAY 90
Weight 158.2 lbs
Body Mass Index 25
Body Fat % 26.5%
Chest 35.5″
Waist 33″
Hips 36.5″
Left Thigh 24″
Left Bicep (Flexed) 12″
Left Forearm 9.5″

Fit Test

DAY 0 DAY 92
Resting Heart Rate 70 bpm
Pull Ups 2 w/ 3 Assist Bands
Vertical Leap 5″
Push Ups 4
Toe Touch +3″
Wall Squat 0:32
Bicep Curls 7.5 lbs, 23
In & Outs 25
Heart Rate Maximizer 192 bpm
1 Min After</i> 110 bpm
2 Min After 110 bpm
3 Min After 98 bpm
4 Min After 98 bpm

Before & After Photos

My Goal: Look smokin' in this dress by Halloween.
My Goal: Look smokin’ in this dress by Halloween.

The Catch Up

Ok, so…. it’s been a while. Like almost 3 months exactly.

What happened?

Well, for one, my husband came home from his 3 month work tour at sea. I name him the primary culprit, because let’s face it, I only get to see him half the year, and I’m a little co-dependent when he’s home.

Second, we went on an amazing 2 week excursion to Japan, where I got a strange, still unidentified illness that lasted NINE WEEKS. We’re talking rash, nausea, fatigue, muscle soreness, headaches, fever… just… all the symptoms! I went to at least 4 different doctors, including 2 specialists, went through a biopsy and blood work, and still no one knows what it was!

I say “was” because about 5 days ago (knock on wood) the symptoms started vanishing one by one for no explicable reason. Sure, I was using steroid cream on the rash, but I had been doing that for SIX WEEKS to no effect. Then suddenly gone. Then went the fatigue, the headaches, the fever… nausea was the last hold out, but of course, as soon as I went to see a doctor about that, it vanished into thin air too.

Near as I can tell, I must’ve had an allergic reaction to, well, something in Japan.

All that said, obviously, I never finished my elite round of P90X3 because I was too busy being sick and drugged out of my mind for the past three months.

But I’m feeling better, I’m off the drugs, and my husband is back at work, so you know what that means?!

This time I’m doing P90X (non-3) and following the meal plan (woah boy).