Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Moving Forward by Taking a Step Back

Sometimes a sign of trouble in paradise is really just a
speed bump reminding you to slow down and enjoy the ride. ~Me

Yesterday Matthew and I reached a breaking point.

He'd called me like he does every morning so I can talk him through the drive home from work. He works nights and is often fairly exhausted by the time he gets off around 8:30am, so talking gives him something to focus on so he doesn't nod off while driving.

That call, like most conversations we've had the last few weeks ended up in an argument. It was silly and stupid and over nothing of any importance, which is why it was so upsetting to me. After ten minutes of trying to steer the conversation back to calmer ground I gave in and hung up on him. Sitting at my desk, crying, I realized that the time may have come to make a decision I'd been dreading for weeks, the decision that we really were just not meant to be together, that being in a relationship was killing the beautiful friendship we used to have.

I sent him a text and asked him to please not go to bed yet, that as soon as I finished up some work I was coming home. We needed to talk. He said OK. My boss had stepped out of the office so I dropped him a quick e-mail saying I had an emergency at home and had to go. Not entirely true, but not completely false either. The rest of my life was about to change and that seemed pretty important to me.

During my drive home I thought of all the things Matthew had brought to my life, all the changes I'd made as a person as a result of knowing him. I thought of what it meant to be with him, and what it would mean to be without him and as bad as things had been lately the thought of not having him in my life just took my breath away.

I got home, went into our room and sat on the bed. I'd cried all the way home and was still crying once I got there. He came in and sat next to me and for the next ten minutes that's all we did. Then he pulled me into his arms and I fell apart.

Through sobs and hiccoughs, I told him that as much as I loved him and knew he loved me something had to change. I told him that I thought that it might be best if we went back to just being friends, but I was too selfish to make that decision for us. I told him that having him in my life was the best thing that had ever happened to me, but lately all we did was argue and I just couldn't live that way anymore. I told him that where we once communicated so well, now we could hardly even talk without arguing. I told him that the thought us possibly breaking up was tearing my heart in two, but the way we were going, we'd end up not even being friends and that was just not acceptable.

We talked, we argued, I cried, Matthew sighed and when it was all over we'd finally communicated in a way we'd needed to be doing for months.

He was my best friend before we started dating, and in my inexperience, I expected him to somehow become 'more' when we became a couple. I'd loved him for just who he was before we got together, but when the friendship evolved into a relationship I thought somehow he should change.

Why? I can't really say. I know I sound like a broken record but not having ever been in a normal relationship has really put me at a huge disadvantage and growing up reading Danielle Steel novels has left a very unrealistic image in my head of what a relationship should be like.

And part of the problem was, he did change. He felt that I wanted 'more' from him and it left him feeling like I didn't think he was good enough. So he expended all of his energy trying to become what he thought I wanted from him, and in doing so lost the guy I fell in love with. The more he changed, the less I liked who he was, and the less happy I was the more he tried to change to make me happy. It became a viscous circle of me not being happy, him trying to make me happy, and his changes making me less happy, leaving him feeling more and more like he just wasn't enough, and the more he changed, the more I missed the person he was when we met. This was a monster I created and I didn't even know it.

On top of that we've both been under a great deal more stress the last several weeks than we usually are and without any other type of outlet, we ended up taking it out on each other. Money has been really really tight lately and you don't have to be a genius to know that financial issues are the number one killer of relationships. Add to that taking in the stray cat has left us with not only her, tracking food and litter everywhere, which drives this OCD clean freak insane, but four rambunctious kittens peeing and pooing every where but the litter box and draining finances even more with the increased need for food, litter and cleaning supplies. To make that worse, all of the shelters, kill and no-kill are full and we've had no luck finding new homes for them, so for the indefinite future we're stuck with 5 cats. And as someone who doesn't really like cats and hates fur and litter being everywhere, I can't even begin to tell you the stress that's brought me.

Being stressed, angry, hurt and generally frustrated for so long has taken a drastic tole on our levels of communication. When we first met we would sit and talk for hours about everything under the sun. Now, aside from niceties and required conversation we rarely speak to each other. And again, the mess I mentioned before has also had a lot to do with that.

Before Matthew and I decided to date we'd already planned on him moving in as a roommate. And even though I mean roommate in the literal sense of the word, it really was just going to be two friends living together. We were just going to happen to share a bed because my extra room was already occupied. That may sound odd but he'd already stayed the night a few times - as a friend - with nothing happening but sleeping and it worked great for us.

So we already lived together when we decided to start dating. Now I can imagine some of you going "Oh girl, that was your first mistake", but I don't think so. The real problem with living together and dating, was that the only other time I'd lived with a guy I was in a relationship with, we were engaged, and in every way but paper we lived as a married couple. So when Matthew and I decided to take our friendship to the next level I automatically slipped back into that role. I became Mollie Homemaker with someone who wasn't quite ready to make house.

To make an already long story short, we realized that we moved too fast. Matthew has never lived with anyone he was in a relationship with and I'd only lived with someone I was for all intents and purposes married to, and we didn't take the time to find a middle ground before getting together. So we're not breaking up, but we are backing off. Taking time to find a common ground for both of us where we're together but still living our own separate lives.

School starting back will help because I'll be gone from morning to late evening on days I have class, which will give Matthew some personal time, and help me not miss him so much when we're not together, because I won't be home sitting by myself while he's asleep in the next room. I'll also be doing personal training a few nights a week which will get me out of the house and give me some time to focus on me, which I don't do nearly enough.

It's strange, but once we talked everything through and realized what our problems were and what we needed to do to fix them the air around us just seemed to lighten and the happy couple we started out as found their way back. We spent the rest of the evening laughing and cutting up like we used to do. We were happy.

As for the "something is not right" feeling in my gut, it's abated and now my heart, head and gut are all filled with a warm happiness. What tomorrow will bring remains to be seen, but we know that we love each other and for today, that's enough.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Manage My Muffin Top Monday

Not much new to report on the fight to banish my back fat. I've not lost any more weight lately, nor have I gained it. I've also not really been following any type of eating plan or fitness regime in quite a while.

I did begin eating all raw foods at the beginning of September but finances have been really tight lately and eating pretty much nothing but fruits and veggies can get really really expensive so Matthew and I are thinking maybe the best thing for us right now is to focus on a primarily vegetarian diet and incorporate as many fruits and vegetable as we can.

The main difference with this is, we'll be able to buy a box of whole grain pasta, some marinara, and veggie crumbles that will make an entire "cooked" dinner and have left overs for lunch the next day for less than $10, verses spending $20 on lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc that will only make about one meal for each of us.

I am also going to be starting work with a personal trainer soon, so hopefully that will kick start my butt back into a regular and continuous exercise routine that I'll stick with for years to come.

I know that even with Hypothyroid and PCOS, which both cause me to put on weight really easily, exercising WILL work to take the weight off. It takes time and comes off slowly but it does come off. I just have to dig deep and find the discipline to drag my ass off the couch, but I have faith that having someone else to push me will be just the kick in the tush I need.

So look forward to more exciting and productive updates to come.. along with some probable cursing and complaining about being made to work out when I'd rather sit on the sofa and watch Smallville.

Until next time...

Eat healthy and be happy!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Half Way Mark

Today is my and Matthew's six month anniversary. We decided to try dating and see if we could evolve our friendship into something more back in January of this year, but it was on March 22nd that we officially decided to become a 'couple'.

I know normally anniversaries are counted in years rather than months, but as someone who's only had one previous boyfriend in her life, each month of being in a new loving committed relationship is a milestone. I told Matthew that we'd honor the day we became a couple each month until the 6th month, then we could move to yearly celebrations.

In light of my recent
conundrum, the half-way mark has dual meanings. It marks six months into a loving healthy relationship, which is a first for me. It's also half way through the year I said I'd give us, give myself to figure out if being with Matthew is really what is right for us, for me.

When Matthew and I first met and started talking as friends, he was really good at giving me an unbiased outside view on my life. If I was stressed out about something he would give me his take on the situation and it usually helped me see things in a way I'd not previously been seeing, and it almost always helped me work through whatever issue I was dealing with. On the way home from Mississippi Saturday night I asked him if he thought he could possibly separate himself from our situation and be able to give me that same insight he did when we first met.

After taking a moment to think about he said yes, that he thought he could. So I asked him why he thought I was having such a hard time with deciding if we should be together or not, if we were together because what we had was 'right' rather than just comfortable.

In typical fashion before letting him answer I butted in and went on to tell him that I was afraid. What if I decided to stay together and spent the next 30 or 40 years loving him but always wishing things were a little bit more?. He is totally happy being together and my feeling that way would be completely unfair to both of us. What if I decided we should just be friends and then later realized that what we had was really what I'd wanted all along and it was too late to go back?

I'd talked to my mom the day before about how I was feeling and she asked me if other than the worrying about if he was 'the right one' or not was I happy, and if so then maybe I should just stop worrying about what I should or shouldn't do and just be happy now. I also shared this with Matthew.

He smiled and said "I think you just answered your own question. If you'd stop for a minute to think before asking, you'd realize that you usually already know the answer" What he asked me next took me aback a little. "Mollie, how much of your life has been happy?"

I just kind of snorted and cocked my eyebrow at him. My life didn't suck, but it hasn't really been that fantastic either. Looking back there are honestly very very few moments in my life that I can truly say were happy. I was a troubled child who hid feeling like an outsider by focusing on school and sports. I never had a close relationship with either of my parents and although we got along well, there was a large enough age gap between my siblings and I that we were never really on the same level. My brother and sister are 3 years apart and were always very close. They still are. I'm 7 years older than my sister and 10 yrs older than my brother so growing up I was more the baby sitter than best friend. I had a few friends in school, but always felt more the confidante than confider.

Matthew then went on to say that it could quite possibly be that worrying about him being the one or not isn't the problem at all, that the idea of being happy is what I'm having so much trouble with. As much as I want to be happy, being unhappy is where my comfort level is, it's what I'm used to, what I've always known. I've never really been truly happy and the idea that actually feeling like my life is finally OK, that I'm OK is out of the realm of possibility.

As with the article in my previous post that made the point that you can either have comfort or blazing passion, but very very rarely does anyone find both, I'd love to say his point made a light bulb of realization go off in my head, but all I feel is more confusion.

I'll fully admit that his theory has merit and is quite possibly part of the problem, just as I'll admit that my unwillingness to believe you have to concede passion for comfort is also a part, but even with those things being realized as issues there is still something else. Something I can't quite grasp hold of. Something that is stopping me from either letting myself go and enjoying what we have, or letting him go and us both move on.

Some people have told me - listen to your gut, it's always right. Some have said listen to your brain - it's more rational. Some have said - listen to your heart - it knows what you truly want. The problem is they all tell me something different.

My heart says - he loves me, and I love him. He treats me well and makes me happy. He makes me laugh and never fails to tell me how wonderful he thinks I am. It says you have passionate moments here and there, even if they're not quite what you'd like them to be. It says maybe those things can truly be enough, that being in love will come... eventually.

My head says - he's a good guy, he's got a steady job, he loves you for who you are. It says you got a good one, now stop being stupid and leave well enough alone. It says you were single for 24 years and spent 3 years being in love with an unstable ass and look what it got you. Then you were alone for 5 years before you finally got the balls to try and date. Do you really want to go through all that again? What if you screw this up and never find anyone who will love you the way he does, who will put up with your OCD issues and control freak crap?

My gut says - something isn't right.

So who do I listen to? Or do I listen to any of them at all?

I wish I knew, but I don't. What I do know is that I cry over this almost daily and something has got to give, and soon.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Manage My Muffin Top Monday

Saturday Matthew and I went to MS to spend the day visiting with my nieces and get a fitting from my mom for our costumes for the Renaissance Faire in November.

We ate pizza at my sisters.

We ate McDonald's on the drive home back to Mobile.

I think you can see where this is going.

We're doing a fine balancing act between eating really healthy, and eating really un-healthy. We've not completely fallen off the wagon, but we can't seem to get back completely on it either.

Maybe this, just like everything else in my life, is something I need to try and find balance in. Being obsessive compulsive means things usually have to be all or nothing for me, but I'm finding that life rarely works that way and some times.... whether you like it or not.... you have to live in shades of grey.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Passion Vs. Comfort: Do You Have to Have Fireworks to Have a Successful Relationship?

A friend who's recently been in a similar situation as the one I mentioned in my last post recommended this article Passion Vs. Comfort: Do You Have to Have Fireworks to Have a Successful Relationship?. It really says a lot and I wish I could say it made a light bulb flash in my head and led me to an instant decision I felt great about but that would be too easy. What I can say is that it's given me a little more to think about and maybe a different perspective to think about it from.

Here's an excerpt - you can click the link above, or below to go to the whole article

Passion vs. Comfort. This is a post you don’t want to miss, inspired by a discussion on my (500) Days of Summer thread. Here’s the gist of it. Reader Lori writes:

I have been with a man who loves me, and has loved me, as close as one can get to unconditionally for over 13 yrs…. I was never totally madly in love with him, but he knew he wanted to marry me the minute he met me. I married him – BECAUSE he was a great guy in so many ways, minus the sky illuminating fireworks. Don’t get me wrong, intimate moments were always adequate…even pretty damn good at times. But never, well, you know…crazy great. Almost fourteen years later, I remain married and faithful, but with an empty space in my heart. And wondering if I aspired to mediocrity and lost out on the amazing feeling most of us have felt at some time, of true selfless love. I love him….but I’m not ‘in love’ with him. And that is what has happened to EACH AND EVERY married friend I have, (male and female) that married simply because of the reasons you mention… many have strayed, the others are simply living there…yet nobody’s home.

Everyone I know that married because the partner seemed a great choice, would be a great dad, etc. ended up divorced or unhappy. The FEW couples I know who are happily married – still love to hold hands AND ‘make-out’ – THEY married someone they felt intense chemistry for & vice versa…and of EVERY one of the divorced friends, several who are dating but have not found love, only ONE tells me she made the wrong choice leaving. The rest say they would rather be alone, than with someone and lonely.

Please know, I am not a cynic. I have SEEN & BELIEVE IN great love & marriage, but it SHOULD NOT BE treated as a business decision – it sounds great in theory – but it just brings way too much misery for way to many down the road – you better be pretty damn sure you wanna come home to this person, sleep with this person, and walk on the beach holding hands with this person 50 yrs later…because divorce.. from what I have seen… hurts. And living in quiet desperation…hurts.

Listen, I’m a 37-year-old dating coach who’s been married for less than a year. As such, I’m not going to sweep Lori’s points under the rug or deny her 13 years of pain. She feels what she feels, she’s seen what she’s seen, and it’s perfectly valid. In fact, it’s very persuasive.

However, without negating Lori’s take on things, I’d like to try to balance it out a bit. Because if you take as gospel what she says – “passion or bust!” – you might have a long and lonely road ahead of you. And I’d rather you have a happy relationship instead....
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Hodge Podge

I've said it once and I'm apparently in need of saying it again.

I've been a bad bad blogger.

I realized yesterday that I've not really blogged much lately, and what I have blogged has mostly been the Operation Muffin Top(ple) stuff - re my attempts and failures at losing weight.

There's been a lot going on in my life and I suppose the reason I've not blogged about it is because blogging is kind of like my journal. If I don't write it in my journal (blog about it) then it's not really an issue and I don't have to deal with it.

But you can only escape life for so long so this is going to be a mish mash of catching up on everything that's been going on.

~> Operation Muffin Top(ple)/Raw Diet update - not much to report on this end. Matthew and I totally fell off the wagon last weekend. We had Mexican Friday night, which wouldn't be terribly bad except we ate as much as we would have several weeks ago and that "full" feeling left us feeling sick. Then we had Wendy's Sat and Sunday evening. I realized that your body quickly adapts to eating healthily and quickly lets you know it doesn't like it when you convert back to eating junk, so I had granola cereal with rice milk this morning and am currently eating a lunch of grapes, strawberries, carrots and celery with peanut butter.

~> Family - Nothing terribly exciting on this front either. My mom is currenly sewing costumes for Matthew and I for the upcoming Renaissance Faire in November. It will be the first either of us have gone to and we're pretty excited. My dress is the one on the left in the picture. I'm using different color material though so it will look slightly different.

Matthew's costume is a combination of a few patterns but basically he'll look a little like Aragon in Lord of the Rings. He'll have a tunic, jerkin, wrist cuffs, trousers and boots. Maybe a cape, we'll see.

The nieces are good as always. Paisley is growing so fast and looking more beautiful each time I see her and Marley is still smart as a whip and full of more energy than any one child should have. We're going to MS Friday night to stay over and visit with the girls and check out the progress on our costumes.

~> Kitties - Back in July a stray cat wandered up on the porch of our apartment building and kind of adopted Matthew and me. Against my better judgment we ended up taking her in and she ended up being pregnant. Now we have four 5-week old kittens running amock in the apartment. They've just started eating hard food and are learning to use the litter box. Some of them are doing well with both, some prefer the floor to the box and leave us lovely little piddle puddle surprises to find.

I'm not a cat person. I've never been a cat person and I'm not likely to ever become a cat person. When I lived in Michigan I got talked into adopting two kittens from a lady I went to church with and while I loved those kitties dearly, the stress of dealing with cat hair and scattered litter ended up turning my boys into more of a stress than a joy and I re-homed them both to the same lady. They now live terribly spoiled lives in the lap of kitty luxury.

Matthew wants to keep one of the kittens. I do not. Since bringing in Scathath (the stray) I've pretty much stressed non-stop about the little she spreads everywhere, the smell her poo leaves lingering throughout the apartment (even after scooping!), how she scatters her food all over the kitchen floor when she eats, and the massive amounts of dust and cat hair that seem to be everywhere now. Not to mention the new holes she's put in my leather furniture.

When a pet brings more stress into a home than joy then it's not a good idea to have it. So, as sad as it makes him, Matthew has agreed that it's best to put the mom and all 4 kitties up for adoption. Next week they'll be 6 weeks old and we're taking them to the no-kill shelter.

~> Matthew - now we get to the crux of my blogging avoidance. Not Matthew himself, he's still as wonderful as ever. I mean the guy will go to Dollar Tree with me just so I can play.

The problem is with me. If you've read my blog for any length of time you'll recall that aside from Matthew, I've only ever been in one relationship. From the age of 25-28 I was with the man who I thought I'd spend the rest of my life with. We were engaged. Twice. In the end he didn't want to grow up and I didn't want to spend my life raising a grown man so we parted ways.

For the next 5 years I was single. And when I say single I mean SINGLE. No dating, no flirting, no casual sexual encounters. Other than family and co-workers there was absolutely zero male interaction in my life. Last year around July I decided to change that and for the very first time in my 32 years, entered the world of dating. It was a combination of being tired of being alone, and sick of hearing my family ask me when I was going to 'find a good man' that finally prodded me into signing up on a couple of online dating sites. I chatted with a few guys here and there, but none struck my interest enough to actually meet until PT. Long story short, he was young, flirted well, I fell for it, got hurt and he moved to Japan. If you want the long story long - well you can read all about it here.

While the PT debacle was going on I met Matthew. He'd messaged me on OKCupid and seemed like a nice enough guy, if not someone I'd be into dating. We met, went out here and there as friends, but as time went by I found myself wondering what it would be like to be more. Cut to today - we live together and are going to be celebrating our six month anniversary on the 22nd of this month - next Tuesday.

I really can't say enough good things about this man. He's changed my life in ways I didn't know possible. I've become a better, stronger woman as a result of his love and support and for the first time in years started believing dreams were more than just things that disturbed your sleep at night. He's kind, hellishly smart and makes me laugh at least once a day. So what's the problem?

Like I said before - the problem is me. Matthew loves me, and has recently admitted that not only does he love me, but he is falling in love with me. He's asked me my ring size and recently talked about the idea of buying a home together in the future. He treats me better than anyone I've ever known and truly loves and accepts me for who I am. And although it's not as often as I'd like we have a fairly fantastic sex life. Yet in spite of all that I find myself wondering if he's the one. I find myself alternating between feelings of romantic love for him, and the love you'd have for a best friend. I find myself wondering what it would be like to flirt back with guys who flirt with me. I find myself knowing that I love him with all my heart, but being unsure that I'll ever fall in love with him.

We've talked about all of this at length, repeatedly, and of course as with every thing else, he's been wonderful and understanding. He says they're all normal feelings and that I'm only having such a hard time with them is because the one and only other relationship I've ever been in was about as far from normal and healthy as you can get so I don't realize that what I'm feeling is what all people feel when in a new relationship.

When I was with my ex-fiance he was my world. I never had any doubt what-so-ever that I loved him, was in love with him and wanted to be with him forever. I never so much as looked at other guys, much less wondered what it would be like to go on a date with someone else. I was also young and naive, and he was incredibly manipulative. I loved the person I saw on the inside, the person I saw that he could be, were he to actually try and he knew how to take that love and use it to his advantage. He knew how to cater to my insecurities, then use them to keep me under heel. Matthew thinks I was in a word, brain washed. Not like the 'I'm going to kill myself in a mass suicide because God is coming soon' brain washed, but manipulated to the point that I didn't realize things were supposed to be a different way. I don't completely discount that theory, but even knowing how much I let him break me down part of me still would like to think I was strong enough to have known what I was doing and had done so willingly.

So this is where I am - wondering if I'm staying with Matthew because I love what we have and don't want to be alone again, or because I actually love him in the way I'm supposed to. Fearing that I'm hanging on to something I know isn't right to avoid hurting us both and possibly losing the best friend I've ever had, yet afraid to break up because part of me thinks it might just all be my over-active imagination analyzing things into the ground that need no analyzing and that as soon as I end it, I'll realize I truly am in love and then it will be too late.

There are things that I want in a relationship that we don't have, but I don't know if those things are really important. I love music and dancing. Matthew likes music and is so white Carlton from Fresh Prince could learn a thing or two from him. I LOVE sports and going to ball games. Matthew loves sports but only goes to the game because he knows I enjoy it. We have interests that are the same but there are things I'm passionate about that just really aren't his thing and vice verse. He says it's normal, that you don't have to have everything in common, and I partly agree, but the person you spend your life with should be able to understand your deepest passions because they share them too.

Have you ever gone to an event with someone who only went because you asked, then spent the entire time not having as much fun as you could have because you knew they didn't really care to be there? That's the stuff I'm talking about - to know that I'll never dance with the man I love - fluidly - or never have him sit next to me at a game and cheer along with me are things that I'm not sure I can do without. They may seem like small things, but if you're with someone who shares your passion for something, imagine how it would be if they didn't. Imagine how your joy would be tainted because you can't share something you love with the person you love most - because they love it too.

Then there's the other guys thing. Last night we went out to eat and there were two guys in a truck next to us that were trying to flirt with me, and they were cute. Matthew is sitting next to me in the car but some part of me still wished I could have flirted back. Then when we got to the restaurant our waiter was really cute and part of my brain thought 'if I were with someone else I could flirt with him'. Matthew says it's normal to still think other people are attractive - what matters is whether or not you act on it. I think if you're with the person you're supposed to be with the temptation shouldn't even be there. So it makes me wonder.. is it really normal.. or am I with someone who should really just be a friend?

I'm pretty sure I've lost the smooth subject to subject transition this post started out with, but it's just really been something that's been weighing heavily on my heart and mind for some time now and I'm honestly at a loss as to what to do. I told Matthew that I'd give us time to see how things went and I still plan on doing that, but I thought having made a decision on what to do would take away the anxiety of not knowing what to do and it hasn't.

And that he's being so incredibly patient and understanding about all of this makes me feel even worse. He knows he loves me. He knows he wants to be with me. He knows I'm the one he wants. And I'm basically taking all of that love and telling him I'm not sure it's enough. It's not fair to him and I hate it, but I don't know what else to do. So if you've ever been in a situation like this please comment. No matter how your situation turned out or what decision you made, just knowing that this really is all normal and I'm not just a freak who has no idea how to be in a relationship would be a huge relief.

Until next time...

Monday, September 07, 2009

Manage My Muffin Top Monday - Week 1 Raw Food Recap

Sunday marked one week since Matthew and I decided to try out an all (90%) raw food diet and I can honestly say I've had some seriously positive results.

We weighed and measured outselves Sunday morning and decided to re-weigh, measure every Sunday to chart our progress and in the past week I've lost 5lbs. That puts me at a total weight loss of 13 pounds since June, when I started actively trying to lose weight. I'd lost 17 pounds on the first round of Operation Muffin Top(ple) then gained 9 of those back. So with the 5 I lost last week I'm 3 pounds short of the original 17 pounds I'd lost at the start of my weight loss adventure. I've also lost half an inch on my waist in the last week!

Other positives on the raw food diet -

~> I no longer feel full or bloated after eating

~> My body tells me when it's had enough so I don't eat until I feel uncomfortable, I just eat until I feel done eating

~> I'm not starving again a few hours after I eat, which happened often with cooked foods.

~> I've been sleeping like a ROCK, which is possibly a combination of the new diet and this stress tamer tea Matthew bought, that we've started drinking a hot cup of each night before bed. Either way, it's a new improvement that I'm super happy about.

~> This one is gross, but my eliminations are softer and less frequent. For as long as I can remember I've been the poster child for regularity. 3 times a day every day, morning, noon and night. I don't know about you but I just really hate going poo, there's simply nothing enjoyable about the experience. SO being able to go less but not feel backed up is just wonderful to me.

We've been trying to figure out exactly how we want to structure our new eating lifestyle and are bouncing back and forth between all raw, with the exception of fish and brown rice, or just vegetarian with limited cooked foods and I can't speak for Matthew but I had an experience this weekend that pretty much cinched it for me.

Sunday afternoon we were out running errands and decided to go to a Mexican restaurant for lunch. I had a taco salad - beans, rice, lettuce, tomato and cheese in a crispy fried flour bowl, and Matthew had a tostada, bean burrito and cheese fajita. All vegetarian friendly except for the cheese - well depending on what kind of vegetarian you are that is - and mostly all raw except for the beans, rice and tortillas, none of which are technically *bad* for you.

The food was fantastic and we stopped eating once we started getting that full feeling, but within minutes of finishing our meal we both felt like crap. Our stomachs felt heavy and bloated and I felt almost instantly fatigued and achy all over. I honestly didn't think eating some rice, beans and a flour tortilla shell would be that bad, but it seems my body adapted really quickly to all fresh raw food and did not like detouring back into it's previous style of eating. Seafood seems to be the one exception my stomach is willing to make to the cooked rule and we had some FABULOUS pre-seasoned boiled shrimp from Winn-Dixie yesterday for lunch.

My next goal is to get a food dehydrator so I can start making some of the incredible looking raw food recipes I've found online. For those of you who are all "OMG I couldn't live without bread, or chips".. well you can make those things yourself with the dehydrator and they're not "cooked" enough to leach out the nutrients and enzymes you get from eating them raw. I found a recipe for home made corn chips and salsa that I can't wait to try!

As for expenses - eating raw really hasn't cost any more than the way we used to eat. Yea fruits and vegetables are expensive, but if that's basically all you're buying then you still have the money you would be spending on meat, bread, and other processed foods so it really kind of evens out.

All this talk about food has made me hungry and it's lunch time so I'm going to eat!

Until next week... Eat Healthy and be Happy!