We are still attending our pre-marital counseling. I'm really glad that we were required to do this. I can't tell you how much it has helped while going through the problems of life. You can love someone and respect them. You can be willing to share your life with that person. Then something happens and you are tested. And that's been me. So much has happened this year. I think January might be the only month that has gone well for us so far, with the exception of illness that seemed like it would not end. Every month after that has had some kind of heartache. Some kind of problem. And boy, do I not respond so well to some kinds of stress. I shut down. I clam up. And I wish to be left utterly alone in the darkness. All because I feel as though sharing would be a burden.
Through our sessions with the counselor, we have learned what each others' love languages are. We know how to respond to each other and to make listening our priority. Have you ever been told that you can listen and not hear what is truly being said? How many times do you find yourself doing just that? My fiancé is amazing. But he came to realize that though he knew what he was talking about in response to the stress in my life, he wasn't truly hearing what I was saying. He wasn't understanding the emotions behind the words. And now I'm also learning to understand his emotions.
This is how it works. I say something to him. Something about the things going on in my life. He watches my body language, hears the tone, and then the words. Then he asks if I'm feeling this or that emotion because of blah blah blah that I said.
Me: "I need to lose 30 pounds. I'm getting too fat."
Him: "You feel like you are overweight because you can't fit into your clothes still?"
He pieces together the other things I have said with what I just said. So now I know he is listening AND understanding. And now I'm learning to return such a behavior. He isn't giving me anymore of that, "You are beautiful no matter what," crap that I hate hearing. Its true for him. He will love me no matter what happens and what I look like. I, however, will not. I will dread looking into the mirror. And looking in my closet will be depressing.
In addition to this, we have made a pledge to each other, and have our counselor backing us up by keeping us accountable, in working out. He recommended the book, Body for Life. We each wrote down why we are working towards this goal. My reasons aren't superficial. I don't want to look like a supermodel. I have a Mom's bod. And that is okay. But I also carry genes for hereditary heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure. I could go on. Women in my family have shown difficulty keeping their weight at a managed point. They struggle with weight loss. And death by heart failure is pretty common on my Mom's side of the family. So yes, getting fit and eating healthy has always been a goal. But lately, more so. Now I have the added stress of not being able to fit into my pre-pregnancy clothing. Do you know how frustrating it is to have 1 pair of jeans, 2 skirts and a handful of black tee shirts that fit? I'm wearing them over and over again. I'm washing those same handful of things every few days. Because I can't fit anything else! And because I can't afford to buy new clothes. I want to be able to wear my skinny clothes again. I want to stay healthy. And I want to see my kids grow up. I'm nearly 30 years old. My body is slowing down. I don't burn that weight off like I did in my childhood or teens. I don't work off those extra calories as fast as I ingest them. So we made an agreement together. We are working out. 3 days a week, we do cardio. 3 days a week, we do weight training. And Sundays we rest. I'm also starting to look for healthier meal ideas.
But above all, we are also working out in the word of God. We want to be fit in our physical forms, but also in our spiritual walk. Our relationship is steadily growing in so many facets. I love it! Despite what life has been tossing at us, we are standing together, stronger than ever. Even with the most recent news that hit us like a brick wall, we are ready to stand together in the face of life and steel ourselves for the force it throws at us. We will endure. No matter what. And not just as a couple. We are also pouring in the effort of teaching our children God's word and Christian values. It is not easy, but it shows others when they are away from home that they are loved and respectful. That they have values. Little by little, our family is becoming stronger. Inside and out.