Friday, February 12, 2010

Daddy Dearest

*This is a long post, but totally worth it for anyone going through a loss or break-up*

Some women have phenomenal relationships with their fathers and their dads help see male roadblocks along the way and bounce back after break-ups. Thanks to Shape Magazine, the rest of us get to read about those girls with advice-giving dads. Better an article than nothing at all. :-)

Everything Has a Shelf Life: It took a bad break-up for one woman to learn how to nourish herself - body and soul. by Brooke Fisher

Do Men come with nutritional labels we choose to ignore? This thought occurred to me on my eighth day of post-break-up grieving. The previous week hadn't been my most productive (think pj's, pints of ice cream and multiple viewings of Pretty in Pink). And of course, no mourning period would have been complete without the inevitable "What's Wrong With Me?" I was still wallowing when my father called. "Well," he said, "Everything has a shelf life."

The first time I remember hearing that term was in my seventh-grade health class. Food that exceeds it's "use by" or "best before" date, my teacher explained, loss nutritional value and eventually goes rancid. The same thing, I realized, just might hold true for a relationship that's past it's prime: It not only fails to fortify you, it can even make you sick.

My ex had become the equivalent of expired milk-spoiled and sour. Over the six years we dated, he'd turned increasingly judgmental and critical. I can't recall the first or second breakup, but by round four, his behavior had done quite a number on my self-esteem. So why had I gone back for more?

Probably because I'd lost any sense of myself. I was so focused on keeping my significant other happy, I never took the time to think about what I needed. I'd given up Saturday hikes to play darts at the pub and swapped Monday night yoga for Monday Night Football. I couldn't recall the last time I'd made a salad; my ex ate only pizza, burgers and Chinese food.

My waistline definitely paid the price for our unhealthy union. I'd gained 15 pounds, which made sense when I looked at the array of cookies, chips and crackers in my kitchen. There were three types of soda, but no vegetables. A lone, brusied banana sat in my fruit basket. And then I spotted it: There, on the refrigerator door, behind the cluttered magnets and takeout menus, was my workout and healthy-eating log from a few years back.

It was time to start respecting my body-and myself-again. I began by clearing out the pantry and fridge and restocking them with nutritious foods. I treated myself to a new pair of sneakers and four running outfits-one for each day of the week I committed to exercising. I started slowly, increasing my distance each time. The longer I ran, the more confident I became.

Eliminating excess sugar, preservatives and toxic men from my life helped me lose the extra weight I'd been carrying around and regain my self-worth. Not long after, I met Mike... while I was out for a run. Two years and one marathon later, I married him. Like a balanced diet, he complements my lifestyle and keeps me strong and sane. I don't need a label to tell me that this relationship is meant to last.

I love this article. I hope it helped someone!!!

1 comment:

antithesis said...

i can definitely relate to that. i lose myself in relationships often. i try to conform to what they like to do. that's just why i weighed 196 when my last relationship ended. i still have some work to do but im doing better about doing my own things.