Resolutions & Jane Eyre
It’s amazing how much can happen in just a few days.
First, let’s talk about resolutions. It’s Day 9. How are you faring?
Me? Well, I’m in detox right now. Detox is NEVER a pleasant experience. I keep forgetting why taking a break during the holidays and eating sweets all of the time is a bad thing. It’s the detox afterwards that makes it a bad thing.
My sugar right now comes in the form of FRUIT. I haven’t had any form of real sugar in days. Last night, I had the worst headache and could not sleep. I was supposed to do yoga last night, but the headache was just so intense that I decided to meditate to alleviate some of the pain. That worked until I fell asleep. I woke up a couple of hours later, forced myself out of bed to take a couple of non-aspirin PM and drank 2 full glasses of water before trying to fall asleep again.
It took another hour before the pain subsided and I could get a good night’s rest. No yoga last night, no yoga this AM, because I lost a lot of sleep due to the headache.
Now that the headache is officially out of my system, this is where things change for the better. I’ve already dropped 7 pounds this week…and let me tell you, not one single pound lost was easy at all. There are no shortcuts to this madness. It’s the good ole tested and true exercise and diet method.
Over the last few years, post-Lap Band surgery, I’ve learned that there is no such thing as a shortcut in life. I learned that the hard way. I am still in purgatory thanks to attempting to take a shortcut in life (by getting the Lap Band). My friend who recommended that I should do this…she feels so bad for even recommending it to me. She recommended the device to everyone because it helped her. After she witnessed what happened to me afterwards, she never recommended to another person that they should get it.
I’d like to get the device removed, but because of what happened during the surgery, I have to ask…is it worth almost dying on the table again? Having the cancer return? The answer is, “No. I’m stuck with this thing.”
This is what I mean when I say I learned the hard way that there are no shortcuts in life.
So what have I been doing with this diet/exercise part of my New Year’s resolution? I’ve changed everything.
The thing I miss the most is dinner. I sat staring at my glass of carrot-ginger-apple-banana smoothie for two hours last night, just trying to get through one glass. I kept saying, “Just drink half of it, and the other half tomorrow.” That was the old me saying that. The old me would have drank 1/4 of it and put the rest away. This time I sat there looking at it and thinking…you have to reach your calorie minimum…you must drink the whole thing because there are not a lot of calories in there.
It took two hours to drink that smoothie when all I wanted was a bowl of piping hot soup.
Why didn’t I have a bowl of soup? I have a new rule. No eating after 7PM. If I have to eat, it must come in the form of a juice or smoothie blend (no dairy).
This rule makes it difficult for me, because that means I can only eat a real dinner on Saturday and Sunday, because I don’t get home from work until late. I’ve been stuck sitting there staring at my glass of juice every night this week. It tastes good…it’s just not what I would prefer to have for dinner…you know…who wants liquid calories as a meal?
Now, you’re probably asking why I elected to have this rule. Well, I have a lot of stomach issues. I’m vomiting in my sleep. My stomach just isn’t faring well with dinner ending a little before 9PM, even if I stay up until midnight. That’s why I adopted this rule. This week is the first week in months that I haven’t awakened to that lovely sensation of choking because I vomited in my sleep. Trust me, this isn’t a fun thing to wake up to every night.
I will admit that I actually hate this rule, but the benefits far outweigh breaking the rule. What if this vomiting at night thing was just a sign of an even worse problem surfacing (like the sign of an upcoming heart attack). This is why I stick to this diet.
I’ve had cheesecakes, cookies, tarts, caramel popcorn, candy, etc. thrown in my face this week…I haven’t even nibbled on a single one. Gone are the days of ‘splurging.’ This is my buckle down period in life…for the rest of my life.
What else am I eating? Not much. Today is a bit of a day off (because of the headache). I had a bagel this AM with some light cream cheese, roasted turkey breast and tomato. I’ll have a soup at lunch, but dinner remains the same…liquid calories.
A typical breakfast is oatmeal with walnuts (or almonds) and a dash of cinnamon with a small glass of OJ. Snack is a couple of Wasa crackers and some cheese along with some sliced bell peppers. Lunch is a soup or pasta filled with veggies and turkey leftovers. This usually fills me up until I get home…and that’s when I open up my Raw Vegan Juice bible and select either a juice to make or a smoothie to throw in the blender. There’s no dairy in these mixes…just fruits and veggies, with the occasional almond milk for the spinach smoothies.
That’s the diet. The exercise? I did ballet on Monday. I lugged 60 pounds worth of fruits and vegetables home Monday evening and that was a bigger workout than doing ballet for the first time in years. And yes! Like that guy in the “Never Give Up” video, I was falling all over the place doing ballet because my ankles are not only ‘not strong’ but they’re still a little out of line with my leg.
I mentioned before that you never know what setbacks you may have when you start a new diet/exercise program. Just keep pushing through.
Since my headache has subsided from the detox, I’m definitely going to make up for my lack of yoga on Wednesday and do it today. Tomorrow is still a weight/core training day.
On the Today Show this morning, a woman said that there was nothing easy about losing 100 pounds. It was a lot of hard work. That’s the way all goals, resolutions, and dreams are…they require a lot of hard work, a lot of thought, and a lot of patience to make it to the end result. No one is going to lose 100 pounds in a week…even if you have it sucked out of you. Even doctors can’t remove that much fat from someone’s body at any one given time.
Anyone that says that you can make your dreams come true without any hard work going into it…they’re a liar. They’re trying to sell you sand while you’re both standing in the middle of the desert. A goal/dream/resolution takes a lot of preparation, a lot of practice, and a lot of hard work before you’ll even make it to the finish line. Just ask every professional athlete what they did to make it happen…they make it look so easy, right? You should really see what they do when no one else is looking…they’re training shortly after the game has ended. They’re practicing day and night to make themselves better than they were 10 minutes ago.
It’s a neverending process. Even after you’ve made it to your goal and are living your dreams, you still have to maintain that lifestyle and also keep on doing it better than you did it 10 minutes ago. By getting off the couch and changing your life, that means you are leaving that life behind and making your life better than it was 10 minutes ago. This is your new plan for YOU.
I will admit that this sore and hungry body is hating every single second of this…but what keeps me going is that I don’t want to vomit in my sleep anymore. I don’t want to have a heart attack or even something worse. I don’t want diabetes. I don’t want Alzheimer’s. I don’t want cancer again. I want to be able to walk without any pain. I don’t want to be sick anymore, because I know from here on out it’s going to get worse unless “I” change.
This is the first hurdle you come across in the desire to lose weight and be healthy. The detox headaches are usually killer. After you pass that hurdle, you’re okay. Many people give up because they don’t like that feeling of hunger or soreness from working out. They leave the race before they even get over that first hurdle. All I can say is JUMP forward, not backward.
Everyone meets that hurdle. For those who pass that hurdle they realize that it was only a moment…and then they keep moving forward, forgetting all about that last hurdle they passed as they head to the finish line. That first hurdle may seem like it’s the biggest hurdle of them all…and then you jump over it only to realize that it wasn’t that high at all and you’re tougher and stronger than you ever were before.
Everyone hates dieting. Many of us hate exercising. You do it though, because you know you hate yourself when you’re winded after doing something that was so easy, especially when you could do it before. Being able to not hate yourself anymore…isn’t that really why you want to eat healthy and exercise?
I just passed my first major hurdle last night. It came sooner than I expected it to. The first struggle was how depleted I felt on Monday after all of that physical activity. I hit rock bottom last night when that headache hit with a vengeance. I could feel my body sweating out all of the bad stuff…that’s how I knew I was detoxing.
I prayed in my meditation…please make the pain go away. God kept whispering that it was only for a moment. By morning, everything would be okay…no more headache. He was right.
This is where everything gets easier on the ‘living healthy’ front. Now all of those juices and smoothies will be able to work to my benefit, giving me energy and helping my body heal itself.
As far as my other resolution on reading 52 books this year, the funny thing about reading classical literature…it takes longer to get through because they are ‘smart books.’ I’m almost halfway through “The Count of Monte Cristo.” I got tired of carrying the huge book into work everyday, so I went back to reading “Jane Eyre” on the Nook. Now, I can’t put Jane Eyre down.
On the ride in this morning, I almost had my heart broken because I had reached the point in the book where Mr. Rochester is sending Jane away to Ireland. Why? Because he doesn’t think she loves him. Then she lets her heart finally speak for itself and she confesses that she loves him and is not happy that he is throwing her across the channel to Ireland so he can marry someone else.
Mr. Rochester responds, “I sometimes have a queer feeling with regard to you, especially when you are near me, as now; it is as if I had a string somewhere under my left ribs, tightly and inextricably knotted to a similar string situated in the corresponding quarter of your little frame. And if that boisterous channel, and two hundred miles or so of land, come broad between us, I am afraid that cord of communion will be snapped; and then I’ve a nervous notion I should take to bleeding inwardly. As for you, you’d forget me.”
She, of course, responds that she will never forget him.
And then later he says, “Make my happiness – I will make yours.”
Sometimes there are books that come along in my life that seem to mark a very important direction where I’m about to make a very important decision…or when I need help (some inner guidance). My friends always find this strange how I manage to walk into a bookstore and find the right book that explains what I need the answers to in my life at that very moment.
The book Jane Eyre reminds me of something currently happening in my life. It’s actually been going on since 2005. It’s as powerful a book for me to read today as “The Picture of Dorian Gray” was for me when I read it in 2004 and made the decision to walk away from someone I loved dearly. Dorian Gray, in a way, freed me. It was one of those…RUN before it’s too late…kind of warnings.
Now, it’s Jane Eyre that is setting me free. There’s something about the way Jane thinks that reminds me of me. The story between Jane and Mr. Rochester reminds me of my own story of fate.
This story is like Mr. Rochester describes, a piece of string that connects us. It’s about love, not money. That’s always what it’s been about. It’s about two people that are in love, but are too afraid to tell each other. There are ‘other’ people that come into the picture, threats of marriage occur, but the one thing remains…the love has always been about Jane & Mr. Rochester. Do you settle with someone who cares about your money and how much of it you have? OR Do you marry that person that fate has somehow bound to you in love and will be your best friend in life?
Reading Jane Eyre made me realize my own feelings. There’s been that anger of watching someone else seem more important in his eyes that he would act to commit to her. There’s that distance that put an ocean and a continent between us. I remember how that all felt.
No matter how far apart we could physically be, the thread never broke. We could still come back to that point that there had to be something there. We both feel it as being real…but we’re too afraid to touch it, believing it to only be a dream or a misunderstanding.
A few years ago when that distance was between us, someone had come up to me and mentioned he knew about me and this person. I literally was flabbergasted. NO ONE was supposed to know about this. I had to ask myself if I had betrayed myself and had been found out.
But then I realized that I never said a word, it meant that he had said something to this person. Well, of course he had, they’ve been friends since they were teenagers. That meant…I wasn’t misinterpreting what I saw and felt as fate. There was something there and it was mutual.
After all that time apart, he still thought of me and kept track of me.
Someone said to me yesterday that the best love stories are the ones that have patience and take many years to develop before making it into a reality. It’s as if God has his way of making that love ripen over the years. You keep coming back to that story, hoping it will one day stop being just a dream and be made real.
I keep thinking of my Mom when I think of the best love stories. After she left my Dad for good, we were sitting in her apartment making my senior year prom dress. This was the last project we would do together. I had chosen a dress pattern and some silk we had picked up in Thailand when I was 8 years old to make my prom dress. This was one of the last projects we would do together before I left for college.
This was the time she told me that she was in love with someone. She had actually been in love with him since I was in the 6th grade [not something I needed to hear, because she was married to my Dad]. Over the years, they had tried to work things out. When one person was separated, the other one wasn’t. It went on like this for years.
At this juncture, when she told me who he was, I kind of was in shock. This was someone I knew, too. He was the step-father of the first friend I had ever made when we moved to this small town in Indiana. My friend died when we were in the 7th grade. He had a small, defective heart. He had told me when we first met that this friendship would be a short one, because he knew he was going to die at any time.
When I went off to college, my parents finally divorced. So this guy, left his wife and his new baby son (his only child) for my Mom. I was 19 when my little step-brother was born.
This man is now my step-dad and he’s the best guy in the world for my mom. He worships the ground she walks upon. For the first time ever, I see that she is loved.
My step-dad and I try not to talk about Danny, my first friend I made in that small town. It’s hard for us not to break down in tears when we talk about him. It’s just amazing how someone can brighten your entire world in such a short amount of time. He had such a small heart, but it was so big with love. He taught us a lot about love. I oftentimes kid that if Danny knew that his step-dad would someday become my step-dad…he would say that it was well deserved and I needed a good Dad in my life.
Danny’s mom died completely heartbroken a year after he died.
Life’s twists and turns eventually brought my mom the most amazing love of her life. It wasn’t easy. She spent most of her life with someone who didn’t love her the way she should have been loved. Over time, something brought those two together. There were obstacles…it took years before they could finally be together. But when they were, they made the best love story I’ve seen in a long time. Why? Because my Mom finally married for love, not money. Believe me, she’s happier because of it.
The greatest love stories are always the ones that take awhile for fate to put together. This love story…for the longest time I kept saying that the time was not right, because it just wasn’t happening. Things needed to happen in order for us to be ready for each other. For me, it was letting go of my Dorian Gray. I never finished my posts on my travels across Italy. They are all written…I just never posted them.
When I think of Italy, I think of Death. As in DEATH himself. There are things I discovered on my little trek across Italy that kind of shook my soul up a whole hell of a lot. Death was talking to me about this fate story and how I was messing it up because I was having a hard time forgiving someone for breaking my heart, and forgiving myself for breaking his heart by leaving (because he broke my heart).
I honestly didn’t get over it until I found a B-single Mr. Dorian wrote. He wrote it for a mutual friend of ours to put up, thinking I would hear it. I didn’t hear it until almost a year later…and it was at the right time. I was debating whether to send him a letter to tell him why I left…I put it off for over a month and then I heard that song.
It was so cruel. He had taken stuff off of this blog and basically told me off. As in, “See if I care.” The stuff he said, my brother almost got in his car to beat the shit out of him, because there were false and horrible accusations being thrown my way. You know what got my brother to calm down? Telling him that I understood that he is still in pain and this is his way of coping with me leaving him. I mean, come on, he writes a song asking me to come back. I talk to him about it and the end result is I didn’t go back to him. His response was, “See if I care.”
The song really hurt me and it also helped me to say, I no longer regret leaving. It helped me to let go of that pain and move on. That mean song was what I needed to say goodbye and not care to revisit how I once felt about him. Sure, he’s the guy I’m going to love for the rest of my life. He’s just not the one. I’ll always remember him for the way he shattered me inside and then said, “See if I care.”
In other words…”ASSHOLE” is what I think of him now and I’m not going to get bent out of shape over an ASSHOLE.
That was Death’s lesson for me in Italy. To let that story be the end…to see the death of it.
I know I’m very sensitive when it comes to things that happen beyond our world of understanding, but Death following you around for a few weeks will really shake you up. Even the gypsies were scared to come near me. They literally ran away from me with fear in their eyes. One old gypsy woman came to me and between my Italian and her Italian I realized she saw the specter hanging around me. She left the cafe I was sitting in, went home, came back with all of these charms to ward off death. She was trying to tell me what I needed to do to remain safe and alive. I was like…OMG. I know Death is following me. I have a good idea why, but it’s not to kill me…he’s warning me about something.
Italy and Death made me really go through every single emotion I had for Mr. Dorian…and he helped me to let go.
I kept asking God when the Mr. Rochester story would happen…why was it taking so long. Death’s explanation…because you can’t love the way you need to love in this story when you haven’t let go of the person that shattered you.
Every step of the way in Italy was all about forgiving and letting him go…cleansing my soul of this person for good.
Like “A Christmas Carol,” when the dark specter approaches you, it’s at a crucial moment in your life when you need to be saved from yourself. Having anger and pain in your soul…that’s not something you want to carry with you into the next lifetime. It could shut you out of Heaven’s doors, because who wants a broken hearted soul hanging around unable to enjoy the fruits of what God has to offer?
We can become blinded by our own pains and sorrows that we start to thwart our own fate lines. Sometimes there’s a bigger story that’s prepared for you, but when you wallow around too long in the last story, you’ll never see the new life that is waiting for you around the corner that will make your life so much better.
Jane Eyre has been a great book for me to read at this juncture in my life. Since Italy, I’ve changed. Because I’ve changed, I’ve watched the story I’ve been waiting for change for the better. These past few months I’ve felt like I was waiting for the new life, the new story to begin. I’ve been biding my time and then I watched the story open up and continue where it left off…like it’s telling the story the way it should be told. That was my signal that I had finally done something right. I had rid my soul of the pain and came to terms with what happened. Oh, it took only 8 years for that to happen.
It took Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester less time to finally admit they loved each other.
So now a new chapter begins. For some odd reason, I’m taking chances that are bigger than they were before. I’m following the fate lines because it’s just time. Thank God for Jane Eyre to remind me of the journey that once was and will soon be.