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Sex Love and Obesity Part 5

In Sex Love and Obesity Part 4 we discussed the emotional end of my marriage. How I was about to move on and how I confident that having lost all that weight I would have no problem finding happiness with someone else.

Losing weight isn’t a magic “life is great!” pill.

Shocking isn’t it? I’d spent the better part of my adult life suffering from obesity and I was 100% sure it was going to fix all my issues.

My marriage was pretty much over. Whether we were admitting it out loud of not yet, we were both exploring our options outside of the relationship on a regular basis. I guess you could say that we had decided to have an open marriage.

My father had passed away and I was struggling with dealing with the grief. In my mind I had lost the only man in the world that was ever going to unconditionally love me. Losing that unconditional love made me want romantic love even more. I wanted my happily ever after. I wanted that person in my life that I could count on to be there no matter what life brought next.

In the book about my life, the next few chapters would be called “Chasing November”

I have no idea why, but November seems to be a significant month for me regarding relationships.

In November of 2011 after a long talk with my husband, I decided to try to compensate for what I wasn’t getting out of the marriage, sex, attention, companionship, by adding a third person to our household.

So, in November of 2011 I invited an “online friend,” to come for a visit.

The first visit was wonderful. Everything about the relationship was new and exciting and perfect. We spent about 2 weeks together and I was certain that adding a second relationship to my life would make me happy. I’d get what I wanted and needed out of a relationship physically and emotionally and at the same time, my marriage could go on being what it had already been for the better part of the last 8 years. I’d continue being the submissive house slave that made sure the house was clean, the laundry was done, and all the bills were getting paid on time, and maybe, just maybe, I wouldn’t resent it all so much if I had someone else that was making feel fulfilled.

I know it sounds crazy, but remember, I’d basically grown up in a BDSM related community. I’d seen these types of arrangements since I was 19 years old. To me, it made perfect sense.

In my mind adding a third person to the relationship would be a win/win situation all the way around. We’d be helping someone else get out of a living situation they wanted out of and putting a band-aid on our own problems at the same time.

All three of us were struggling financially. I was about to start a year-long process of reconstructive surgery to remove all the excess skin left after losing 260 lbs. We couldn’t afford for my husband to take time off work to be with me recovering from those surgeries. So, we decided to move someone to Oregon, put a roof over their head, and give them a chance to rebuild their life while helping me recover from my surgeries and see if there was any validity to the “Three’s Company” lifestyle.

My reconstructive surgeries happened in February, August, and then November. I blame a little of the failure of that relationship attempt on the fact that they were always taking care of me.

I blame some of it on the level of resentment that existed in the house. It created a level of tension in the house that just never faded.

I blame part of it on the fact that truthfully, it wasn’t what I wanted. I didn’t really want an open marriage or an open relationship. I didn’t want to be with people who were willing to share me, my affection or attention with each other, or anyone else for that matter. It wasn’t who I was or how I was built.

I was still making compromises. I still didn’t value myself enough to stand up and say, “Hey this isn’t what I want,” because I didn’t think I was worthy enough to have what I really wanted.

But I blame most of it on the fact that we argued constantly and that somehow a combination of all of that had me in another sexless relationship.

Basically that “November Magic” never appeared again.

We fought the way my family had fought with each other when I was growing up. We fought the way my mother and I had fought with each other for most of my life.

Our arguments turned into full-blown fights that escalated to the point that they became toxic and volatile. We said cruel things to each other.

Since that magic wasn’t there, neither was the attention, affection and in my mind, the love, that I was so desperately searching for. Which just lead me right back into a feeling that I obviously don’t handle very well – resentment.

A year into the situation, I was sitting there thinking, “We pay for everything for you. You haven’t had to work for a year. You have absolutely everything you could want. We moved you and your things here, we furnished your room, we pay for all your food,” and I resented that after doing all of that for someone else, I was repaid with an argumentative and unappreciative attitude. But even more I resented that the fulfillment aspect of the relationship, the love I was seeking through physicality and sexuality wasn’t there.

Don’t get me wrong, every situation has a silver lining. There were some good moments. Looking back on it 7 years later it’s hard for me to remember what they were. We I traveled a lot. We went to conventions, we visited friends and family together. But usually, no matter what we were doing we ended up in a fight and I hadn’t learned that constant conflict like that was an issue for me.

It’s not that I enjoy fighting. I don’t. But I don’t know how to disengage from an argument. I don’t know how to stop. Once it starts I’m instantly in that self-defensive mode I learned to constantly live in during my childhood and it brings out ugly parts of me.

I do better in relationships with people who are non-confrontational. People who can have very calm and rational discussions rather than arguments. People who help keep me cool and grounded with their tone and demeanor.

These are things I didn’t know about myself yet.

A dysfunctional family, a childhood of arguing, a history of emotional, physical, sexual and verbal abuse had all lead me to Obesity. I knew that. But I didn’t realize that I used food as a way of coping with feelings that were associated with them.

I was married to someone who was non-confrontational. He never raised his voice, we never argued. Even when things got heated, we had “discussions” not “disagreements.” We had been married for going on nine years and I could count the number of “fights” we’d had on one hand. Suddenly I was in a relationship were we fought constantly, and I’d hadn’t had to deal with the kinds of emotions that brought with it in any relationship before.

But when faced with them in a new relationship I quickly found that I was at a handicap. Because when I made the decision to have gastric bypass surgery and essentially ended the relationship I had with food and my ability to use it as a coping mechanism for emotions I didn’t know how to do deal with, I didn’t really have a coping mechanism left.

I had learned how to use exercise as an emotional outlet. But I was in the middle of the reconstructive surgery processes and each surgery would leave me unable to exercise for 6-12 weeks during the recovery time. So that outlet wasn’t available to me either.

Nobody had prepared me for this. Nobody had warned me how not having food as a coping mechanism might change my ability to deal with emotions and feelings. Nobody warned me that ending my relationship with food could dramatically change how I had relationships with other people.

Nobody had prepared me for the fact that once I lost all the weight I might still find myself in relationships with people who didn’t find sex as important as I did. In my mind, once I lost all the weight and had all the reconstructive surgery to remove the skin, I’d be super attractive for the first time in my life and finding someone who wanted to have an amazing and active sex life would be easy.

Nobody warned me losing weight wasn’t a magic “life is great” pill. I was learning that lesson very quickly though, I just had no idea what to do about it.

Stay tuned for Sex Love and Obesity Part 6 – Finding the “U” in Weight Loss

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Pandora Williams author of Desperately Seeking Slender is an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer and Cooper Institute Approved Wellness Coach Trained in Weight Management Strategies. Her training and coaching services are offered exclusively through GoGirl Fitness Studio.

This is #MyBariLife

There are moments that you look back on in life and think, “If I had that to do all over again, I’d sure do that differently.” Everyone has them. The emotion that drives these feelings can be different; sometimes it’s regret, sometimes it’s lack of education, while other times it’s a lack of knowledge.

When I wrote “The Truth About Why I Stopped Running” blog last week, if you asked me what emotion was fueling my “I wish I could go back and do that again” moment, I would say that it was disappointment.

You see, I was disappointed in myself for not having the inner strength, the self-awareness and self-worth to have stood more firmly in my resolutions.

I told you that I made sacrifices. I gave up running to try to fix the relationship I was in. I felt like had allowed him to steal the joy of running from me. I used a very important word – “allowed”.  I knew it was happening and I made a conscious decision to let it happen. I allowed it. That’s on me.

I did something I tell my clients not to do all the time. I turned my can into a can’t. I wasn’t physically incapable of running anymore. But, instead of finding a way to continue to prioritize it and stand firm in my resolve that it was important to me and for me, I made a different choice.

I chose to let a year and half long relationship hold more importance than the emotional value of a five-year long relationship with running.

I was disappointed in myself for that decision.

That disappointment was the prevalent emotion behind my ” I wish I had a magic time machine or a magic wand and could go back and do it again” moment.

As I said, we all have those moments.

I firmly believe when you have something true and pure in your heart and you put it out into the world, if it is supposed to happen, the powers that be make it happen.

A few weeks ago, when I wrote the “If You Are Reading This I Owe You an Apology” blog, I was contacted by Guinn Boyce from BariLife. She told me that they were happy to hear that I was going to be blogging again. She reminded me that while I may not have been blogging in the last couple years, I had been doing other great things for the bariatric community. She reminded me that I hadn’t just disappeared; I had just focused on other things.

BariLife Lemonade Multivitamin PowderGuinn also suggested that they would love to team up with me in some way. She asked me if I wanted to try BariLife’s new Watermelon Multivitamin Powder. As if I would say no to that! I am a huge fan of BariLife products! I haven’t gotten my hands on the watermelon powder yet, but I’ve been using the Lemonade version of the product since it came out last year. I mix it with iced tea and make an Arnold Palmer out of it that makes me forget I’m taking my vitamins.

I wrote back and told her that of course I’d love to try the new Watermelon Multivitamin Powder! The fact is, I use their products all of the time, so this was a no-brainer for me.  I also mentioned that although it may sound crazy, if BariLife was interested in teaming up with me as I worked on resurfacing as a prominent fitness and weight loss motivation blogger in the bariatric community, there was something that I REALLY wanted to do. I really wanted to go back to Paris and see if I could find my love of running where I felt I had lost it.

I wanted to run that Disneyland Paris half marathon again.

A week and a half later, Disneyland Paris announced the theme for the upcoming September Disneyland Paris Half Marathon. Villains. Yes, Villains. If you know anything about me and my infinite love of Disney you know that 1. I love me some TinkerBell and 2. I love me some Villains.

I haven’t participated in a half marathon event in almost a year now. My last event, the TinkerBell half marathon last May came during a really hard time for me.

My current relationship was ending, I was traveling back to Portland to collect the rest of the things I had left behind when I walked away from my marriage. That included my father’s ashes. Sifting through the remnants of my marriage and my father’s things while going through a break-up had me in a down whirl spiral with an emotional struggle with grief.

Running wasn’t working as an emotional outlet for me. Instead, I was in the middle of doing something I am notorious for – emotionally running.

I had run away from the town I was living in to put distance between me and my recent ex. I was staying with a previous ex-boyfriend 3-hours away. I was about to uproot my entire life by moving away and I wasn’t sure where the heck I was going. I was considering Dallas, Atlanta, or another area of North Carolina altogether.

I was in epic Pandora panic mode, and all the stress and conflict had me barely holding together the ends of a frayed mental capacity.

May rolled into June, June became July. I started to put it all back together but in July I decided to try giving things with my recent ex another shot again. That lasted about three months. We ended up breaking up again.

It wasn’t as hard the second time around. I was in therapy getting help and I held things together much better in round two of that relationship saga.  I was in the middle of my brand new, dream come true job, and while I didn’t have running as an emotional outlet, I was on an emotional high as the things I had been dreaming of for the last 7 years started coming to fruition.

I was busy. Which gave me lots and lots of great excuses to avoid facing my fears of running again. With no TinkerBell half marathon event on the RunDisney schedule for this year, there wasn’t an event that I wanted to do bad enough that I’d muster up the courage to pull those running shoes out of the closet and put my feet to pavement again.

But now, Disneyland Paris is coming, there is a Villains theme; it was just the inspiration and motivation I needed to want to try again. I like to think this was the powers that be saying to me, “Alright Pandora, it’s time.” Because guess what….

I’m going to go back to Paris to run that half marathon again!

I’ve always told you, fitness fits everyone, it just fits us all differently. It fits us differently at different times and different stages of life. Running hasn’t fit my emotional and mental state of mind for the last 11 months.

I want to run again. But, I’m scared it won’t be the same, I’m scared I won’t have that amazingly positive emotional connection to it that I once had. Even as I write that sentence in text and see the words, anxiety floats in my heart.

I might be right. It might not be the same. But as one of my readers reminded me, it just might be better.

I’ve always told you that fitness is a lot like fashion, you must find the style of fitness you like and wear that. Something tells me that as I put running back on, it’s going to feel like my favorite pair of yoga pants or that warm soft sweatshirt that I like to wear on lazy days.

Thanks to the amazing people at BariLife, we’re going to find out. I say we, because if you are reading this, you are part of this journey with me. Hopefully you’ll be following the next five months of this adventure with me as I train for this event, get my vitamin routine back into check, and lace up those sneakers to get back to the right kind of emotional running.

I might have lost my way there for a moment or two. But, I’m back and I’m back with a mission. I’m an Obesity Rebel and this rebel has a good cause.

I want all of you to know that no matter where you are in your relationship with fitness right now, if it’s not where you want it to be, it can change. The lives we choose to live after bariatric surgery and after weight loss are ours to make whatever we want them to be. We are the authors of our own destiny. This is our story to tell.

This is #MyBariLife, and I’m done letting my fears get in the way living it. What is #YourBariLife? Are you wanting to write a different ending to your story?  If so, why not start now? We can do it together.

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Pandora Williams author of Desperately Seeking Slender is an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer and Cooper Institute Approved Wellness Coach Trained in Weight Management Strategies. Her training and coaching services are offered exclusively through GoGirl Fitness Studio.

Make #YourBariLife the best it can be.

Visit the BariLife Website for all your Protein and Vitamin Needs!

 

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Author: Pandora Williams

Author of Desperately Seeking Slender

This is #MyBariLife

BariLife has decided to send me back to Paris to represent the WLS Community as I attempt to find my love of running again.
Please take the time to visit their website and check them out!

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