The Truth Can Hurt You Or Set You Free: Which Will It Be?

Recently, I had a very uncomfortable argument with a friend.  Although, in the days to follow, we were able to hash out the dispute and make amends, there is still a feeling of change between us.  When the truth comes out in a fight it changes the dynamics of that relationship.  It happened to be this friend was someone I trusted greatly with the details of my life.  I feel somewhat betrayed when my true intentions were misunderstood and twisted.  When I step away, I know that the situation reflects much more about the other person and not so much about me.  Most of the time, when people be come upset with another, it is more about him or her than the other person.  When you have peace within yourself, the actions and behaviors of others have little to no impact on your serenity.   Never the less, I find myself in a bit of pain knowing that the long time friendship was not what I thought it was.  I mourn a bit at the loss and the revealing of the truth.

On the other hand, the very truth that hurt me is bringing me comfort and joy in other areas of my life.  As I heal from the pain of the discomfort of a close friendship gone wrong, I have seen the truth in another relationship.  Another person showed me compassion and understanding in a way I have never felt.   I, perhaps, did not expect that from this other relationship.  

As I cope with the dark days of feeling the changes in a cherished friendship, I am given an opportunity with another soul to strength and deep a bond.  I have never handled change well, especially when people leave my life.  I am getting better, but I so mourn the loss, just like it was a death of some sort.  Today, I turn my energy and attention to the one that has given me empathy and compassion.  The one that has offered a place of comfort and safety to me.  I am no longer looking to repair, recover or make right the friendship that had obvious flaws.  I am, instead, finding gratitude in a soul connection that offers me unconditional love.  For this person has, too, had conflict with me.  The truth is some relationships foster unconditional love and some do not.  The trick is to learn to recognize the difference.  Do not waste time in situations that require conditions for love. 

I am choosing to allow the truth to set me free.  True happiness and peace resides in relationships of unconditional love.  I am a very lucky woman for I know what that truly is today. 

Just Let It Be Me

therapy

Without going into detail, I have much experience with mental disease and alcoholism.  Not my own diseases, but disease of ones’ I love. Anyone that has ever lived in a home with this kind of challenge understands how it greatly impacts the healthy people of the family.  My whole life I heard how I was the root of all problems with my love ones that suffer.  After a life time of struggling with feelings of never measuring up I finally started therapy. 

I fully expected to hear in therapy all the information I heard my whole life.   After all, I came to believe I was damaged beyond repair.  You hear it enough, you begin to believe it.  So it was time to face my demons.  I had done all I could alone. It was time to go and get “fixed”.  Much to my surprise, I emerged from therapy with a clean bill of mental health.  That came as a shock to me, because I had always heard I was the center of all problems.  My first reaction was relief.  The weight of the world is lifted from one’s shoulders with such a revelation.  I felt free for the first time in my life.  I was no longer responsible for the dysfunction around me. 

However, there comes another realization with this new-found freedom.  If I am not responsible then who is?  Of course, the answer are the people who have the problem with me.  The tough part about that is now it is their job to get healthy.  Believe me, that is no easy task.  So I learned coping tools, detachment with love, as they call it.  For the most part being deemed mentally healthy and having coping tools get me through most days.  Today was particularly bad with a loved one. 

This person was sure I needed therapy to sort out a disagreement we had.  Oh, the argument has gone on for over a week, off and on.  This morning was the climax of the storm  Just seething with anger I stomped away heading to therapy.  I knew what my therapist would say, after all I am an excellent student.  But I was open-minded, maybe I was missing something in me.  Maybe I was being unreasonable or I had a blind spot that needed addressed.  I plopped myself down on her brown suede sofa.  The sofa I have become very comfortable with in the last year.  I began telling my story. The fight is with a person I dearly love on many levels.  Like all the people I love in my life, this person suffers from disease.  In the discussion the therapist validated my feelings and reactions.  Of course, it was another example of me struggling to be free of co-dependency and control.  As tears flooded my face, I felt helpless.  No relief that it wasn’t my problem, but sadness that it was an issue I could not own nor fix.  The despair of realizing if I want to be truly happy I can not play in this dysfunction with this person.  It was not up to me to fix this problem.  I have no control. I fought all week to point out the flawed thinking to only have it fall on deaf ears.  As I made my next appointment, stepping out of the office, my therapist said I should take care of myself.  It was noted as I left that was my job.  Driving home, I realized that life would have been so much easier if I was the one with the issue then I could fix it.  I could have the power, the control to change life.  Just let it be me that needs to be fixed I could solve everyone’s problem.  However, the answers are not with me. The answers are not a part of my journey.  It is my job to step out-of-the-way and take care of myself.  That is the loneliest part of all.  For I am helpless in the face of the people who suffer from disease.  My only choice is to live healthy.  But, wow, how simple if would be if it were only me!

Dude, I Need A Trainer

trainer

Recently, I was having coffee with a good friend.  This is a friend I had not had a chance to talk to in a while.  Given she had been my work out partner for nearly five years, each and everyday, I was excited to have a chance to catch up.  I would say this friend single-handedly put my on the path to fitness.  When I met her I was already an avid runner and was lifting weights.  She took me to the next level.  She has a great knowledge of gym culture.  Being a personal trainer, a former owner of a GNC store, having a degree in nutrition and being married to a former competitive body builder she knows her stuff. The best part was she was my friend.  She taught me all I know. 

She is embarking on a new path in life.  With her kids older, she is looking into returning to personal training.  That is not earth shattering in itself, but a commute from Vail, CO to Columbus, OH is!  We discussed her plans. We discussed my progress in my fitness journey.  She has helped me endlessly trying to find what works for me.  I said I was thinking about working with a trainer that is helping another friend get ready to do a show.  The other friend is female and over 50 years old.  I felt that might be  good match for me, since I am “an older girl”.  It seemed like a good plan to me.  What she said totally surprised me.  She told me that I don’t need a trainer.  Hmmm, a funny thing to come from a trainer.   She said I know everything I need to know. 

I didn’t think much about it after that.  I have went about my business in life.  I am still working out daily and watching my diet.  I was feeling pretty good and decided to take some progress pictures.  The progress pictures really help me see what is going on.  I can’t trust the mirror and my own judgment.  As I studied the pictures and compared them to old ones I got to thinking about my friend’s comment.  Do I really need a trainer? I am making progress.  It is slow, but steady.  I am stronger and leaner.  My workouts are varied, interesting and challenging.  So do I need a person around to count my reps? Do I need a person to tell me about nutrition?  Do I need a person to mix up or vary my routine? My answer would be not really.  I do like working with trainers occasionally to get new ideas.  But to hire a person on a regular basis might not be what I need.  I worked with a trainer last winter.  She was amazing.  I learned a lot and she took me to the next level.  So I do see the benefits.  There were also some down sides to this experience.  I had to have a set time to be at her gym.  My schedule is crazy with kids.  I go to the gym when it works for my family, not around a trainer’s availability.  I don’t even like to make excuses, but the reality was my trainer was in her early 20′s trainer others in her early 20′s.  I like to be challenged, but I am 45 years old.  She just didn’t understand what that really means.  I could keep up, but I felt a bit uncomfortable being place in an age group that was not mine.  My body is not that of a 25-year-old.  I have different issues and needs.  At the end of the day, I don’t regret those training sessions, but at the same time it was not the best fit for me.  So maybe I will just keep reading, learning and applying what I know works for me.  At least for right now, I am not going to hire a trainer. 

Updates : About Fitness, Clean Eating and Life

progress

Now that summer has come to an end, the kids are back to school and we are in full swing of travel soccer, I have a moment to return to blogging.  We had a great summer, but I took time to focus on spending time with my kids. I got a bit away from my blog, but I am back now. 

Even through I took a break from Thoughts Of An Older Girl, I have continued me fitness journey. The whole family has adjusted to a gluten-free life style.  I continue each day to learn about myself, others and this journey of life. 

In the fitness department, I have continued eating clean. I am slowly seeing the results I would like.  I had to spend a great deal of time figuring out what works for my body.  I face some challenges.  I recently learned, through a routine blood work test, that I have a genetic liver condition.  Although, my liver works fine, it is slower at processing than others.  My body does not produce certain enzymes needed in the second phase of detoxing of the body.  By doing much research, I have learned how what I put in my body impacts my health.  I have a scheduled appointment with a liver specialist this month to get a better idea of my condition.  With that all said, I have had to make changes in what I eat to reach my fitness goals.  The hardest part this summer was watching the scale climb and not be freaked out that I was gaining fat.  In fact, I have gained muscle.  I have increased the amount of weight I lift during weight lifting sessions.  I have incorporated a lot of squats and lunges with daily work outs.  Building muscle looks and feels great, but the head games of the scale can be maddening.  So that was a challenge for me. 

My children have adapted to gluten-free eating very well.  I continue to learn how to create favorite meals that are free of wheat and gluten.  Given how easy it has become to live a gluten-free life style, it doesn’t take much to figure it out.  All carbs that were wheat based have been replaced with corn or rice based carbs.  My youngest child lost about seven pounds.  Now, that might sound alarming, but when a person has a gluten issues the body retains water and fat.  Her body shed unneeded water and fat from the switch in diet.  I have not cut her carb intake.  Believe me, my children are not deprived of treats either. 

My oldest child had a very interesting event take place after eliminating wheat from her diet.  She can now tolerate dairy products. In the past she was unable to eat dairy.  The older she got the worst the her symptoms from eating dairy got.  Now that she doesn’t eat gluten or wheat, she has no issues at all eating dairy products. 

Both of my girls are happy with how their bodies feel eating gluten-free.  It can be tough passing up junk food, like pizza at times.  But we get gluten-free junk food, because a kid needs to be a kid from time to time.  I have to say I am proud of them.  Most adults completely freak out when I suggest eating gluten-free.  Having kids willing to embrace that diet is amazing.  They understand for our family it is simply not a choice.  It is all about good health.  We value and cherish our health in this family. 

This summer was full of many difficult situations for a few friends of mine.  I suppose I am at an age when friends get sick and marriages end.  It seems to be a phase in life right now.  It doesn’t make it any easier even if it is a part of life.  I have focus a lot of time being close confidants with friends in tough places.  I learn a lot about the character  and strength of people.  Just when I didn’t think life could get worse for some, I would get a text or call and it had.  I am glad to say I think life has calmed down some.  I have learned to appreciate what I have.  I have learned to value my healthy body more now than ever.   I have learned that no matter how bad today seems, tomorrow will be better.  I have held grown men in my arms as they cry.  I have kissed my best friend as she passes into the operating room to have her breast removed.  I have grown, too, from experiencing all of this.  You don’t walk hand in hand with a friend during crisis and not come out a different person.  You think that you are there for them. You think you are there to support and offer comfort. But I came out on the other side looking at life differently.  Seeing other with more compassionate eyes, with a more loving heart and ears for listening and only speak when I should are a few ways I grew this summer.  So I guess I have been pretty busy living life.  You have to live life first, before you can blog about it.