Putting Myself Out There

“Hi, my name is Melody, and I’m divorced.”  That’s pretty much how it feels to share this part of my life with people.  I might as well wear a big red ‘D’ on my shirt.  What happened?  Really bad question to ask a divorced or divorcing person, by the way. The D-word had never even crossed my mind, and literally one day I woke up and realized that I did not know who he was, I did not know who I was, and I had no idea how we had gotten to that place.  Once the divorce was finalized I felt like a newborn.  I had to learn how to walk, talk, feel, exist on my own again.

I will never speak ill of my ex here on the site because what happened between us is private but I will say that the end of our marriage was a long time coming. It was not anything as clear-cut as someone cheating or someone having a sudden change of heart.  We had some problems, sure, we fought occasionally like a normal couple. But what ultimately broke us apart were a series of small things that festered for YEARS.  It is amazing how long denial will carry you, how long you can tell yourself, “We love each other, it will work itself out.”  Very few things in marriage work themselves out.  You ladies know – marriage is work.  If you are not actively working on your issues, they can start to rot. In marriage, the little things matter and some little things don’t matter at all.  A hug at the right moment, a text message to have a great day, listening to me when I’m upset, doing the dishes without my asking – those things all make my heart swell in a way that makes me proud to be married to my husband.  Balled-up socks, tracking dirt in the house, letting the trash overflow before it goes out – those things are unimportant.  Nitpicking my husband needlessly distances us from each other.  My failed marriage taught me a lot about what I really need from another person and what I need to let GO. “Everything happens for a reason” is bullshit.  This is a tricky one because I am in a really good place in life right now, so in a way my divorce got me to where I am today.  But to say that all this had to happen to me – that I HAD to lose half of my friends and most of my belongings, that I HAD to leave my home behind, that I HAD to have my self-concept shattered to pieces before I could be the person in the place I am now… I don’t buy it.  My divorce did not happen because of anything cosmic or supernatural, it just happened because it happened, and it sucked, and I learned from it, and it’s better now. So when it was officially over I did not need to go through a mourning process because I think I had already been through that a while ago. I did, however, struggle with feeling like being a single mom is not what I pictured for my life. I mean, I’m sure everyone that gets married thinks you’ll be with that person for life and if you decide to have kids you’ll raise them together. Letting go of the picture I had in my head for how I wanted my life to be was one of the hardest things I have gone through this year. And I still struggle with this sometimes.
Even before our divorce was final I was thrust into a state of transition. I sold him our family home and then I had to watch my kids go "home" to a home that was not mine with them. I am renting a home that makes me very unhappy because it does not feel like mine. I have nights that I stare at the colorless walls feeling very much like them colorless. You can’t commit to someone else until you are fully committed to yourself.  This is not so much about loving yourself (though that’s good) or feeling good about yourself (that’s good too), it’s about knowing and being true to yourself.  The fallout from my divorce left me broken as a person.  It’s cheesy, but I always think of it like I was a piece of pottery that got knocked onto the floor.  The process of healing from my breakup has been slow and it takes time to glue those pieces back together.  The most reassuring thing about it is that when it is done, I will look basically the same as I had before but I will be a much stronger version of who I was.  My core values and beliefs are incredibly important to me, and there are certain qualities in a significant other that I am simply not willing to put up with.  At the same time, I’m not perfect.  

I have gain 30 pounds this year. Yes, 30. I haven’t figured out how to fit exercise in as a single mom and gained a lot of the weight while going through the divorce. Even though the divorce is done and I'm moving on, my weight gain is really getting me down. Big time.

I also recently decided to gently put myself out there dating again and it’s bringing out insecurities I did not even know I had. Like, if someone finds out my full name and Googles me, they will right away read all my pieces here on my blog, and I have written about some very personal topics; like my struggle with overeating. Do you think I am just going to scare people away right off the bat? And what about my weight? I feel like no one will be attracted to me physically because of my weight gain this year.
I’ve been through so much in 2014 & 2015 but I do feel like I’m finding my true self again. And despite all of the trials of the year, it feels really good to be more authentically myself.

Getting Back into Shape after the Big "D"

5 Tips for Getting Back in Shape after a Divorce

Divorce is the end of a relationship, but it is also a beginning of a new phase in your life.  
  • Set Specific goal. I am not talking about those evil number goals like I want to drop a million pounds. Rather; let's set a goal that does not have a date or a number stamped on it. You know that you want to get in shape – can you extend that further into a specific goal?  Like, “I want to train for a race” or “I want to do a hiking adventure".  Goals give you something to look forward to
  • Increase your friendship circle.  Sometimes after a split friendships fracture too, or your friends focus on the break-up when maybe you want to talk about something else.  If one of your goals was to do an endurance event for a good cause, you might want to consider Team In Training. You fund-raise for cancer research and they train you for the event of your choice.  You train as a team so you get to meet dozens of new people.  Friends help you stick to your goals and take your mind off your problems.
  • Talk to your doctor.  The weight gain may be tied to thyroid issues, which is common among women of a certain age with unexplained weight gain.  It’s a simple test and good to rule out.  Also, it’s always a good idea to let your doctor know when you’re trying a new exercise program so she/he can give you a little guidance.  (For example, if you have high blood pressure there are certain exercises you will want to avoid.)
  • Food is for fuel.When I’m going through rough times, I tend to think of food as a friend.  Chips, oh those yummy salty chip can always cheer me up.  But food is not a friend, or something to eat when you’re bored; the sole purpose of food is to fuel your body.  If you had a shiny new sports car (I like a blue mustang, personally) would you shovel dirt into it?  Heck no!  You’d put in the premium gasoline so it runs well.  Now is the time to fuel yourself with proper nutrients, six times per day.  It should be a mix of proteins, complex carbohydrates and vegetables, with a little bit of healthy fat. 
  • Cardio and strength train.  If you are trying to lose weight then cardio is key.  One of my favorite quotes is, “Sweat is Fat Crying.”  Your cardio should be at a level 5-7 effort, meaning you should still be able to hold a conversation but you’re also sweating. Lifting 15 lb. dumbbells will make you look toned, feminine and strong.  Not sure what exercises to do?  This is also a great opportunity to talk to some new people at the gym and ask for help.  (It doesn’t have to be a potential date; some of my best friends are women I met at the gym.) I love circuits. Check out my blog for routines I have done in the past. 
Change can be hard, but it can be exciting too. Embrace new beginnings one dumbbell at a time.


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