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Sex Love and Obesity Part 18

In Sex Love and Obesity Part 17 I had drawn a line in the sand. I had clearly told Peter that if the fighting and arguments didn’t stop and if I continued to feel emotionally abused in the relationship I was going to leave.

You know how they say perception is reality? That was so true here.

His perception was that we didn’t fight that much. That there were more good times than there were bad. He often voiced frustrations that I didn’t focus on what was good.

My perception was that all we did was fight. That there was so much fighting and negativity it was hard for me to focus on what was good. The things I remember as good, we’re all at the beginning of the relationship, when the arguments were few and far between.

Maybe, his perception was correct. Maybe mine was. At the end of the day though, the amount of fighting that was going on was too much for me to handle. My perception was my reality.

It didn’t matter to me if we had a few good days, enjoyed cooking or watching a movie together. The moment the next fight came along that was all lost and forgotten.

I felt emotionally wounded. I didn’t feel like the wounds were getting enough time to heal. Each argument just felt like a scab was being ripped off and salt was being rubbed in the wound.

I felt my emotional stability slipping away from me. I felt like an emotionally wound up bobbin and I was worried that when the string finally snapped, I was going to spin out of control

And that is exactly what happened next.

He had just gotten a job offer. There was a beer in the refrigerator that he had been saving for quite sometime as a “celebratory beer.” It was a limited time flavor.

I had been drinking. I was already extremely intoxicated. We were fighting. I don’t even recall about what to be honest. I had upset him early in the week when I admitted that I wasn’t on the same page that he was when it came to our idea of vacation plans in a relationship. He wanted vacations that didn’t include running. I knew I could only afford so many trips a year and that if one of them was devoted to weight loss conventions and the other couldn’t include running, I’d likely not get to go on very many running trips.

I wanted another drink. I grabbed a bottle of rum and he yanked the bottle out of my hand and poured it down the sink and threw the bottle in the trash. I’m sure he didn’t mean for it to seem so aggressive at the time. But, he yanked that bottle out of my hand in a way that I perceived it as a physical altercation. As an abuse survivor, I’m hypersensitive to sudden physical acts.

Whether he intended for it to come off that way or not. My brain exploded. Literally my brain exploded. I immediately went on the defensive. My dissociative episode went from -I am aware of what is happening right now- to shifting between moments of black out, time loss and feeling like I was present but not really present and completely out of control of what I did or said.

Angry, and trying to escape the situation, I started rummaging through the refrigerator for more alcohol and found this beer.

The argument shifted from whatever it had been about to this “celebratory beer” of his that I was about to drink. I wasn’t accepting his demands that I not drink his beer. He’d physically taken away what I wanted to drink. Now, as a result I was going to drink what was still there on sheer principle.

As far as I was concerned, the celebration had already been had. My friend had come over the night before and brought an entire six-pack of that same beer that we had all drank together. We had toasted his new job, celebrated it. To me, this was just a leftover beer in the refrigerator now. When I explained that, the argument shifted to who had drunk more of the six-pack the night before and how this beer was still his.

The argument went on for quite some time. He was fighting over a beer. I was fighting because once again I felt like he was trying to exert control over me. I was more upset about the physical act of him removing the bottle from my hand than I was about the beer. The physical act had pushed me to a limit. It had put me in serious self-defense mode. This was the first time one of our arguments had reached a point of physicality.

I told him it was over. I told him I didn’t want to be with him anymore and that I wanted him to move out. I was done. I wasn’t kind with my words as I let him know. I’ll admit, when it comes to fighting, it really brings out the ugly in me. I learned to fight as a small child. I learned how to be mean, venomous and hateful with my tongue. Therefore, I can’t be in relationships that consist of constant arguments, because once I am in the altercation, I won’t disengage and a very ugly side of me comes out.

Out of nowhere, he picked up the phone and called my friend in the middle of the argument. He wanted to get her to validate his opinion that I had drunk more beer than he did the night before in what he described as a “Can you settle a bet for us?” sort of way.

I went ballistic. I’ll never deny that. Like bat shit crazy ballistic.

I was furious that he had called my friend and was involving her in our argument. Plus, this wasn’t just any friend, it was a friend of mine that was also one of my clients. While she was more friend than she was client, there was still a gray area there. When it came to those gray areas he never seemed to understand that what I shared with friends and clients about my life was mine to decide. Not his. I was screaming. Literally screaming, at the top of my lungs in the back-ground begging her to hang up the phone.

I was embarrassed. I never wanted anyone to know how bad the arguments between us got. She heard me screaming and was worried. She asked what the heck was going on. He started to say things like, “You don’t understand how bad it is.” “You don’t understand what is really going on.”

I continued to go ballistic, afraid he was about to tell her the one thing I really didn’t want anyone to know. I was terrified he was about to out my darkest secret. He provoked me. “What you don’t want me to tell her Pandora?” “You don’t want me to tell her your secret?” “You don’t want anyone to know what’s really wrong with you?”

The only way I can explain what happened next is that I wasn’t going to let him do it. He was verbally poking me, goading me. It was like he was pushing a button, knowing exactly how I would react. I’d come out fighting. Which is exactly what I did. In this “Oh hell no you won’t,” fashion, I retaliated. If my friends were going to find out, it wasn’t going to be because he told them.

What I said next sounded something like, “Is that what you want? Is that what’s going to get your rocks off right now? Is it going to make you feel better to tell one of my friends that I have Dissociative Identity Disorder? Is that going to make you feel good? Great, okay, now she knows. Now I’ve told her. You got what you wanted. Now you can pack all your stuff and get out. We’re done. I’m done. You made good on your threats. You’ve out my secret.” Only there was a lot of f-bombs and a lot of other swear words thrown into it.  A lot. I called him every name in the book. I said every nasty word I could think of. I was hateful. At that moment, I hated him more than any one else in the world.

I felt violated. I felt emotionally raped.

He had finally followed through on his long-time threats to out my secrets. Only instead of telling someone himself, he had roused me into an emotional frenzy where I did it myself. He had pushed me until I felt like I really didn’t have another choice.

Something snapped inside me. I can’t even explain it. I felt betrayed in a way I was pretty sure I’d never forgive. I had been living in fear of something like this for so long. Now, it had actually happened. If he was capable of doing this, I had no idea what else he was capable of doing.

Since he hadn’t ever made good on those threats before, I still trusted him. Even though I believed that he used threats like that to control me and manipulate me, I still trusted that because he loved me, he’d never actually do anything like that.

That trust, the amazing sex, and the good times I remembered before he had moved in with me had all allowed me to keep thinking that things could change. They had allowed me to keep hoping that things could get better and that somehow, we could get back to what we used to be. I’d been able to make myself believe that love would conquer all and that we would get back to the happily ever after that we had been chasing together.

Now, the trust was gone. I didn’t trust him not to hurt me anymore. I don’t think he will ever understand what he took away from me that night. The relationship was toxic. That wasn’t just his fault, it wasn’t just my fault, it was a combination of the two of us together that created that toxicity. His flaws, my flaws, when paired against each other just created poison.

Until this moment, I had always been pretty sure that I was the villain of our story. No matter what he had done, I had convinced myself that somehow it was my fault. My flaws were worse than his. My flaws made everything more difficult for him. I was hypersensitive. I was broken and damaged. I had a lot of emotional baggage. I had a lot of issues. I was the monster that he had somehow managed to love. I was completely convinced that he was paying the price for all the things that other people had done to me and that I would be crazy if I left when he loved me despite all those things.

This incident changed all that for me. There was absolutely no excuse in my mind for what he had done. There was no way for me to rationalize it as being my fault. Yes, I had been drinking. No, I probably didn’t need another drink. But none of that made what he did when he picked up the phone and called my friend okay. I still thought I was a monster. But I was starting to see the validity in “You are who you hang out with.”

Stay tuned for Sex Love and Obesity Part 19 – Round and Round She GoesDSSPostSig

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.

Transformation: Is Comparison The Thief of Joy?

Transformation. The word makes most people think of change in form or appearance. But, transformations come in many fashions.

Four months ago, I announced in my “#ThisIsMyBariLife” post that thanks to the good folks over at BariLife, I was going to back to Paris to run in the annual Paris Run Disney Half Marathon Weekend.

I had stop running entirely for almost a whole year.

My last half marathon had been back in May of 2016 when I completed my 40th half marathon at the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend event in Anaheim, California.

If you’ve been reading my blog for the last several months you already know why I stopped running. I discussed it back in April in my “The Truth About Why I Stopped Running” blog. Finding the joy in running again is important to me.

Trying to change my mindset about running has been quite a transformation process for me over the last few months. I’ve learned quite a bit about myself in the process. It’s been enlightening.

I started running again back in early May. Typical of most training plans, my runs were short in the beginning. My long runs were 3 and 4 miles runs. They were hard, I was struggling with speed and realizing quickly that I didn’t have the long duration cardiovascular endurance that I had once had.

I didn’t care. I was ecstatic to be out there running again.

Early Prep For Paris RunI felt empowered, each time I went out for a run I felt like I was taking back a little piece of myself that had gotten lost in the last year.

4 weeks into my “Prepping for Paris” training plan, I broke my toe in an altercation with a suitcase that I had left in the middle of the living room to unpack later. The repercussions of procrastination at it’s best. The broken toe knocked me off the training plan for 6 weeks while it healed.

At the end of July, I jumped back on the run. I was scared that losing 6 weeks was going to be a huge setback for me. I was concerned and uncertain I would be able to build that cardiovascular endurance back up in time to run 13.1 miles in Paris.

Trying to jump back into training in the middle of the summer when the heat and humidity levels in North Carolina send the heat index into danger zones before noon was a struggle for me. I noticed very quickly that I had to pay close attention to where my heart rate was rather than just getting out there and nonchalantly doing my thing.

I was A LOT slower than I had been in my early May short runs.

There were days that instead of running any sort of set interval times I was basing my intervals on my heart rate. Running until my heart rate got to a level that I knew I needed to slow down, and then walking until it dropped to a level that I knew it was okay to run again.

I use typically use the HRR method to decide what my target heart rate zones are. It’s a little more accurate than the typical heart rate calculation formula of (220 – Age) x Intensity.

It’s more accurate, because it is taking into consideration the cardiovascular health of each individual person based on their resting heart rate. Your resting heart rate tells you how many times your heart beats per minute at rest. The lower that number the healthier your heart is. The average resting heart rate for adults is between 60 – 100 bmp (beats per minute).

These days, my resting heart rate is averaging about 55. I just turned 42. So, using the HRR method of (220 – 42) – 55 x Intensity + 55 my target heart rate range is 128 – 159 if I am calculating the low-end at a moderate intensity level of 60% of my heart rate reserve and the high-end at a vigorous intensity level of 85% of my heart rate reserve.

Formula for HRR Method of Target Heart Rate Calculations:

(220 – Age – Resting Heart Rate) x Intensity + Resting Heart Rate

I learned very quickly, especially in the summer heat and humidity when your heart rate shoots up faster than normal, that being on the high-end of my target heart rate zones was something that I couldn’t do for long periods of time. When it came to long duration, if my heart rate was over 150, I was struggling.

I found that my “happy pace” was with my heart rate somewhere 145 during my running intervals and around 135 on my walking intervals – that would be on average an intensity level of about 65% and 73% of my target heart rate reserve.

This bothered me a bit. The “Cardio Zone” is 70%-84% of your maximum heart rate. This is the target heart rate zone that you are typically trying to achieve during cardiovascular exercise. It bothered me that I couldn’t reach and stay in the high-end of those zones. I was barely hitting the low-end of this zone when I was out there. This is the zone where exercise is described as “You are pushing yourself, but not straining.” For me to achieve that, I’d have to be averaging heart rate zones of 141 – 158 on a regular basis. The high-end of that zone didn’t feel like I was pushing, it felt like I was going to keel over and die!

I decided to sit down with my numbers and do some research and comparisons.

Pandora On The RunIf I used the standard formula for heart rate calculations (220-42) x .70 and (220-42) x .84 that would put my target heart rate for the “Cardio Zone” at 124 – 149 – which meant my “happy pace” at 135 – 145 was smack dab in the middle of that target heart rate zone and on the higher end of that zone when I was doing the higher intensity segments of my intervals. This made me feel a lot better! Applying the HRR formula to the “Cardio Zone” standards of the typical formula had made me think I was training at sub-par levels.

I looked up target heart rate ranges specific to the HRR method. I had completely forgotten that when using the HRR calculation methods, also known as the “Karvonen Formula”, the definition of target heart rate zones is slightly different. When using this formula the “Aerobic Zone” is 70% – 80% of heart rate reserve and the recovery zone is 60% – 70% of heart rate reserve.  That means my heart rate should be at about 141 – 153 during my run segments and about 128 – 141 during my walk (recovery) segments. This made me feel a lot better.

Looking at the numbers transformed my outlook on my progression.

Because I was so much slower than I used to be, I was feeling a little defeated. But once I looked at these numbers and started considering that back when I was running a 12-minute mile my resting heart rate was in the lower 40s and I had a much higher cardiovascular threshold, I started to feel a lot better about myself and where I am with my training.

I often tell my clients that fitness fits us all, it just fits us all differently and it fits us differently at different times in our fitness journey. I’m exactly where I need to be right now in my running journey. My heart rate is in all the places I need it to be, at all the times I need it to be there. I’ve gone from not running for almost 12 months, to being able to run 11 miles at once. My pace time is averaging about a 14 to 15-minute mile, which has me well under the 16-minute pile pace requirement for this event. I’ve gone from ZERO – to being ready to run a half marathon in 17 weeks while spending 6 of them on the bench due to a broken toe.

They say that comparison is the thief of joy. That can be true if you are comparing yourself to someone else; Even if that someone else is an older version of yourself. But comparison can also help you put things into perspective and transform your outlook, especially when that comparison is based on data that shows you how well you are progressing in your fitness journey.

This sort of data comparison is how fitness professionals just like me help keep our clients motivated and show them what they have accomplished. How ironic that applying it to myself did the same thing for me eh?


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.

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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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