December 5th...Real Love....

Well, lets get the diet and exercise portion of this post out of the way...
It is, after all, primarily a diet and exercise blog...that allows me to blab about other things.

So, I went to the gym and hopped on Christian....I did 45 minutes and burned 475 calories.
Then I walked for a quarter mile around the track before I realized that if I did the whole mile, I might burn about 80 more calories, but I would also end up with pneumonia.
It's a little cold here in Colorado.
I went back in and did 100 situps and stretched.

I look better.
I don't think of this as a statement of conceit.
It's just a fact.
I look better at 194 lbs than I did at 262 lbs.
I may attract more male attention.

I just realized something today.
Male attention based on looks is empty.
I see older women who come into the gym with full makeup and hair. They hang around, walking slowly on the treadmill so as not to break a sweat. Dayglo pink exercise bra with tight lycra bottoms. They are fishing for a date.
I almost feel like they should have a sign that says;
'prime specimen, well preserved" on them.
I understand you have to put yourself out there...the older you get the harder it can be.
It's good to 'keep yourself up."
If you are trying to date, that is great. I mean you've got to bait the hook so to speak.
So maybe they manage to reel in a man.
Then if the man is a decent sort, he will want to get to know you.
The best way to find that out is to tell him no the first few months.
See if he sticks around...if he doesn't, then generally, he didn't want to know you...he just wanted to hit it.
Every time I see these ladies I am glad I am married.

My husband and I have been married for 16 years.
The first year is all romance....well...the three months he was home anyways.
Then you adjust. Things get stale...(except with the kind of life we led...things rarely had time to 'get stale'.)
Then generally, I think all marriages go through a 'rough patch'. The size and scale of which I believe is directly correlated to the amount of time you spent getting to know your significant other prior to marriage. ( 5 months....rough patch... a few years, lol)
Some lucky souls have a minor bump and then things smooth out.
Others...well, that rough patch can last a while.
If they aren't careful, the whole marriage...however long that is.

If a marriage makes it through and then out the other side...some of the polish has worn off.
The other person is no longer the idealized version you think you fell in love with.
Instead, you get to see that person, who they really are.

That's when you decide whether you really love THEM...
or the version you created in your mind of them.
Once you decide that it is indeed the real them you love,
That, I think is when real love happens.

When they lose their job and they fight through it.
When they get incredibly ill.
When you lose a child.
When someone has an addiction.
When they aren't the same person who went to war.
When they have a baby, and they turn into a 'mother'
When they gain 100 lbs.
When they stop looking at you with stars in their eyes and start making demands.

I see these couples who have been married 50 plus years, and people always ask them.."what is the secret to your long lasting marriage?'..
they will usually trot out some old saw..."communication" or "respect'
Which are certainly important.
I know why they give one word answers.
To give the full answer would take the life time they have lived together.

Those small moments of decision which could have swayed things one way or the other.
There is no way to communicate the whys.
What it really comes down to is that they made the decision to be respectful, to communicate and in the end...to love that other person, every day.
Even when they didn't agree, or didn't understand. Even when it ran 180 degrees to everything you wanted in that moment.
You give in or give up or you get given to.
Because at that moment, it's not who is right....but who it's the most important to.
It's holding on while the other person changes and grows, and being willing to love the things that are new and letting go of what used to be.
It's hard.
It's work.
It's real.

When I said my vows
For richer or poorer.
for better or worse.
in sickness and in health
Till death do us part...

They weren't just words although I didn't fully realize it at the time.
You say them never dreaming that it might actually pertain to you.
When you are young, you will never get sick, or have a miscarriage, or lose a job, your husband won't go to war....When you are young, everything can be healed with love.
A love that is an idealized version of what is, in the end...real.
It just needed time for you to grow.
There is a reason those vows are so enduring.
If you don't hit nearly all of those in the first ten years, you are a lucky couple.
After you go through all these things together...you find you love this person in a way you don't love anyone else.
You know them like you know yourself.
You love them more, because in the end...it really is a choice.
They are your life partner.
What you are in love with isn't the body, it's the person inside.
It's not something you can get at the gym or pick up in a bar.
It takes time, and living...and heartbreak to make a love that is real.
Enduring these things together is what eventually makes two people, one person.

This all came from watching a women drinking out of a water bottle behind the stairstepper while trying not to smudge her lipstick.
I probably ought to watch tv, lol.

Have a great night,


Unknown said...

Great post! Real love is very hard to find, and when you do you cherish it forever. :) I use to wear lipstick...my BF prefers me without it now. lol

Melissa said...

You are right in so many ways.

Linda Pressman said...

Chris, love this post! There's so much you go through in a long marriage (February will be 17 yrs for me, which I guess is long nowadays).
We've changed a lot in those years, but there's this core in each of us that I think we recognized when we met and fell in love, and all the rocketing up and down since then hasn't dislodged it.

Retta said...

This was absolutely beautiful... in a real way, not the idealized version.

I must ask: are you a computer hacker?? Did you read my notes for a post I was going to write called "Love is a Choice"??? I can put that one to bed now... you said it so well. I will just post: go read what Chris wrote!!! LOL!!!!!

Seriously, it is beautiful, and I hope your sweetie knows how blessed he is to be one with you.

bbubblyb said...

Chris, what a lovely post. Had my hubby been home I would have read it to him. It would really help to express how I feel about him too. I think he gets so insecure about my transformation but none of those gym men are ever going to be him. I wish he realized that. I guess I need to express myself more. I loved that you gave me a laugh at the end too with "I probably ought to watch TV" lol. Hope you're having a good Sunday.

Foodie Girl said...

Couldn't have said it better!

Olivia said...

I just want to say I love reading your blog :) It is inspiring to see someone that is around the same milestone as me (I started at 269 and am not floating around 200).

Keep up the good work and thanks for sharing.