I haven't run since last Friday.  I hurt what I think is my Achilles tendon, it was very painful when I woke up on Saturday morning.  I did some research on the internet, and if you start researching runner's injuries, it will scare the hell out of you!  Plus, Mark is just getting over a running injury - a shin splint that he is still taking a prescription for and just finished physical therapy, so I decided the best thing to do was listen to my body and rest.  What I read for my injury was to let it rest for 7-14 days, so I will run again on Saturday, as long as it's healed.  It's funny, when I run regularly, sometimes I think it would be nice to take a break.  Now that I'm taking a break, I can't stand it!  I want to run so badly and feel like a lazy slob because I'm not!

I've reached some sort of crazy weight plateau.  I haven't changed my eating habits (I think I may start tracking it again to be sure), but I'll gain a pound one week, then lose that pound plus a little more the next.  This is the first period of time since I changed my eating habits and started exercising that my weight on the scale has gone up instead of consistently down.  I only lost 3 pounds in all of January.  BUT, that's still a downward trend, and if I think about it yearly, that's 36 pounds lost a year if I lose 3 pounds a month.  So slow, but a year will come and go and better to be smaller than the same weight or bigger.  I'm hoping to exercise myself out of this plateau, when I start running again of course.   

I'm getting faster at my job, which is good because I make hardly any money yet since I'm so slow!  The job is so perfect for me though - work when I want, how much I want, if I can even work that day.  And it's so interesting!  I listen to the audio files I'm transcribing and I'm hanging on the edge of my seat to the interviews..."then what happened?", because they're all law enforcement related.  The most interesting is when someone is being interviewed at the scene of the crime, but those are also the hardest, because the "perpetrator" isn't exactly a willing participant, so they can be a little hard to understand.  People can say the CRAZIEST (and funniest) things!  I haven't had any material that's been disturbing yet though, so I know my day is coming.  That won't be so fun.

After school, I've been staying late several days a week to practice, and I can tell I'm improving much faster than I was when I wasn't practicing as much.  I'm still a bit far away from passing my 120 tests, but I'm getting better.  I never knew court reporting school would take so freaking long and be so hard!  I really thought it would take 2 years and be easy, since I am such a good typist.  It has nothing to do if you're a good typist for some reason, it's how fast you can catch on to a new language, but I think I could learn a new language like Spanish or French much, much quicker than this.  Practicing more keeps my stress level down that I won't be able to finish the program, because I really stress that I won't be able to do it.  It's a huge concern of mine, one that keeps me up at night sometimes.

I don't know how long it's been since I've had some major bipolar symptoms that lasted for a considerable amount of time.  I know I had a lot of anxiety about my marriage last summer, but I can't say that it wouldn't be normal to have anxiety when you're having marital problems.  I would have to say since then, though, because I probably went to the extreme, and that's when my dermatitis started, and I think (the dermatologist didn't say so, she really didn't know, just from research on the internet) my dermatitis was caused by extreme stress, like eczema, which I have.  I think I took it way out of proportion, yet...I thought my marriage might be ending.  So what amount of stress should a "normal person" have?  Quite a bit, I would think. 

I still get really confused sometimes about my feelings.  I don't know what "normal" is.  I'm usually flat-lined.  Not too happy, not too sad, not too anything, except maybe a little fired up about something once in awhile, but this is an election year after all!  But I have nothing to compare my feelings to - like the anxiety during the summer.  My doctor changed my meds, but was that the right thing?  Yes, it helped, but my marriage also got better when we went to counseling.  However, I was suddenly able to deal with the issues.  Was that due to the medication, or was I behaving like a "normal person"?  I'll never know. 

How would I be without the medication?  Would I be okay without it?  Would I feel happier?  Would I sink back into the deep holes of depression where it's impossible to dig yourself out?  That's the only reason I take medication.  My depressions are so very scary.  I don't like the mood stabilizers, but whatever.  My doctor says I'm bipolar, so I'll go with it.  The medications do seem to work, I don't understand why simple anti-depressants wouldn't work, but okay, fine, we'll do it his way.  I guess that's the problem when you've felt so flat for awhile, not that I don't laugh, have joy, cry at movies, all the normal things people do.  Just not as extreme as I used to.  Sometimes I long for that.        

Let Me Clarify on Appearance....

So, I'm realizing I may have hit a bit of a nerve in my last post about appearance and that being important to my husband in our relationship, and our marriage counselor agreeing that yes, that men do find that to be very important. 

Let me explain a little further, because I didn't mean to offend, but also, I want to be very clear about something I did not understand myself until recently, and it was a hard lesson to learn. 

Like many bipolars, I had taken weight gaining medications, and had gained a lot of weight.  Over the years, I gained, lost, gained, lost, maybe 35-50 pounds lost or gained at a time.  My husband was always very supportive, never commented on my weight, understood it was a side effect of the medications.

Let's be perfectly honest, okay?  Living with someone with bipolar disorder has got to be INCREDIBLY difficult.  I've now realized he went through years of being afraid to say ANYTHING to me about ANYTHING, or telling me about any need he might have for fear of triggering any kind of emotion I might have.  He had basically been walking on eggshells for years and years, and I didn't even know it.  I had been living in la-la land, thinking everything was wonderful, I had the most perfect, understanding, kind husband in the world who put up with everything I did.  Guess what?  He actually didn't.  For years, he kept it all inside and didn't say a word. 

So for all of these years, he kept all of these things inside until he just couldn't take it anymore, it exploded, and he didn't know if the marriage could continue.  There were too many things that had built up over the years.  How can someone who has bipolar disorder not understand that a spouse might feel that way?  I can honestly say that it would be extremely difficult for me to live with someone with my own disorder, I don't know if I could deal with it. 

So he dragged me to marriage counseling, and the counselor, who is very good actually, and is a trainer of other counselors as well as specializes in marriage and bipolar, gave us a  "needs" assessment that we both did on our own.  It included many things, such as communication, intimacy, affection, sexual satisfaction, appearance of your spouse,  quality time, etc. etc.  Communication was his most important need, attractiveness of your spouse was his #3.

He was afraid he was being shallow, that we were married and it should be beyond that, but that is just how he felt, and the counselor said that is the way many men feel they are loved - when their spouse takes the time to make themselves attractive for them.  Ladies - we cannot just "let ourselves go" and expect our men to love us unconditionally!  True, there is so much more to love and marriage than appearance, and there is so much more to our marriage than appearance, and we're working on those as well, and our relationship has NEVER been better.

Someone commented "what if you were disabled".  Well guess what?  I'm NOT.  So there's no reason to "let myself go", but even if I were disabled, why would that be a reason to "let myself go"?  Why would I stop trying to be attractive for my husband?  I think NOT taking care of yourself shows your husband that you are taking him for granted, which, in hindsight, I think I was, and that was wrong of me. 

If that is a way in which he feels loved, like I feel loved when he shows me affection, then that's what I'll do.  His #1 need is communication, so that is what I am more focused on than appearance. 

But more from our counselor than my husband, I learned how men really think and how they feel when women don't take care of themselves, how hurt it makes them, how unloved they feel.  If I had met my husband when I didn't weigh 125 (and I still don't, but I'm working on it), then that would be different.  But I don't want my husband to be one of the MANY men she sees because they are unattracted to their wives because they gained weight or let themselves go, they stopped taking care of themselves, and the women are at home thinking their marriage is perfect and their husband is so in love with them.

As far as weight gaining medication for bipolars, sure, I get it.  It happened to me, for years.  But I made that a Number 1 priority for medications - no weight gainers.  I got off any meds that I was taking that were weight gainers (Seroquel and Geoden), and my doctor put me on Latuda, and that's when I started losing weight.  Well, and I changed my diet and I exercise a lot - I run 5 miles 4 times a week.  And the difference in the way my husband treats me now is astounding.  Part of that can be attributed to counseling - he got the chance to air out all of his baggage he'd been holding on for years and we negotiated ways for each of us to change to make the other person feel more loved.  An example of that is we're now a lot more "intimate".  But also, part of that is because he finds me more attractive.  Men are just VISUAL, and that's the truth.

He's still a bit afraid to tell me when he has a "need" or a concern, so we still go to marriage counseling because I think he feels safer talking about it there, where I won't get emotionally unstable.  Like I said, living with a bipolar must be rough.  I've obviously scarred him somehow, but it's getting better.

Be surprised all day that our marriage counselor didn't tell him "you should accept her no matter how she looks, it's what's inside that counts", but in the end, how would that have helped?  That wouldn't have changed how he felt.  Just like if she had told me "he's just not an affectionate person", that would not have taken away my need for more affection.  But see, the funny thing is, when I met his need, he naturally met my need.  When I was more attractive for him, he instinctively wanted to be more affectionate towards me.   

Yes, I thought it was VERY shallow in the beginning, and he even said I would think he was shallow.  But ladies, seriously, I think it's very rude and disrespectful to let yourself go and expect your man to be okay with it.  If you loved him, why wouldn't you want to make yourself attractive for him, and for him to be proud to be seen with you? 

I get the weight gaining thing from medication, I totally do, I was there for years.  But I didn't exercise, my self esteem went down the drain because of my weight, and I thought, why bother with my appearance?  I'm already fat, it doesn't matter.  But it does!  We can still wear nice, flattering clothes, buy sexy shoes, get manis/pedis, and EXERCISE!  Exercise is SO important!  Maybe you are on a weight gainer, but you can combat it with a ton of exercise. 

It Takes Money!

So when Mark and I went to marriage counseling last August, one of his complaints was that he didn't think I made an effort to make myself pretty for him.  Those are my words, I don't know his exact words.

So now I'm doing all of these girly things, which I LOVE to do but didn't really have a lot of self confidence back then and wasn't doing them because I was overweight.  I've now lost over 30 pounds and it's been a huge ego boost.  PLUS, I want to make my man happy and adore me once again, so I'm primping as much as possible, which again, doesn't a normal girl love to do anyway?  And he DOES adore me once again, he tells me all the time how pretty I am, how skinny I am, but whatever, I still need to lose more weight.

So I had my individual lash mishap last weekend (see last post).  My next endeavor involved a red rash I have on my face, and I went to the dermatologist today to get it looked at.  I have some sort of dermatitis, and she gave me two prescriptions for it.  Well, while I was at the dermatologist, I thought I'd take advantage of it.  I bought some anti-aging skin care products, and snagged a prescription for Latisse.  Well, of course skin care products at a dermatologist aren't going to be CHEAP, I'd say they were double what they are at the cosmetic counter, just in my experience.  Hey - I COULD have gotten Botox while I was there! 

So I called Mark on the way home because he wanted to know what my diagnosis was, and as I was telling him I bought some products, he was checking the account balance online and he was like "What did you BUY?" 

So see, what the heck does he want?  Does he want a wife that primps and takes care of herself, which, by the way, if done properly costs mucho moola, and I'm not even getting to the plastic surgeon yet for lipo and boobs.  I'm just trying to give him what he ASKED FOR. 

When we went to counseling, we had to list our "needs", 1 - 10, and his #3 "need" was to have an attractive wife.  Yes, NUMBER THREE.  Think of all the needs you could have from your partner, and that was his #3.  So yes, I take this pretty damned seriously.  Not that I don't enjoy it.  Of COURSE I do.  I'm a freaking girly girl! 

I'm not mad and think like some girls think "your man should love you for who you are, no matter if you've gained weight, what you look like, etc.".  You know what I think?  I think that's bullcrap.  If you love your man, you'll take care of yourself so he knows you care about him and want to look good for him.  Even the marriage counselor said she has a lot of men who come to see her because their wives have gained weight or aren't taking care of themselves and they're no longer attracted to them and they don't know what to do, and she said meanwhile their wives are sitting at home thinking "la-dee-da, everything is going great between us", having no clue that their husband is struggling with not feeling in love with them anymore and being disgusted by their weight.  Our marriage counselor handed me hard cold slap in the face because I WAS one of those girls who thought that way, then she dealt me a slice of reality.  But what she said was so true.  Women marry men hoping they'll change, and men marry women hoping they won't.  Sadly, neither happens.

So, back to my story.  Mark isn't happy with all of my spending of money on my appearance, yet he wasn't happy when I wasn't spending money on my appearance.  I mean WHAT?  What the hell does he want?  If he wants a trophy wife (which I'll never be, but I can aspire) then that costs MONEY.   He can't have cheap and fantastic at the same time.  I think I need to go back to where I had my own spending account for clothes and primping items.

You know what?  I'm going to bring this up in the next marriage counseling session.  He can't have it both ways. 

The Painful Price of Beauty

As I write this, I can barely see my screen, so forgive me for any typos.  I'd been wanting to try invidual eyelashes for some time now, and finally scheduled and appointment and got them today from the same lady who waxes my eyebrows.  The eyelashes are supposed to last for several weeks, and they look so much more awesome than mascara! 

I picked the long, curly ones, and she affixed them with no problem.  My eyes did get a little watery, but I thought it was just from her holding each eye open a teeny while she applied the lashes.

When she finished the first eye, I closed it, and WOW!  The pain started getting INTENSE!  That eye was rolling down tears, I just knew it was gettingn bloodshot and mentioned it to her, but she told me that it is normal for it to burn for about 5-10 minutes.  I was thinking, "Really?  Women go through pain this intense for this?"

So she finished the second eye, and the pain was practically unbearable.  Tears were rolling down my face, but she used a tissue and wiped them away, and told me the pain would subside in about 10 minutes, then she left and said she would be back.  I told her the pain was VERY bad, but she said it happened to everyone.  I thought, well, okay, maybe women just go through this, women do a lot of painful things for beauty.

So I sat in there for at least 10 minutes, but the pain wasn't going away, it was actually getting worse.  I got up and looked in the mirrow, and wow, my eyelashes ROCKED!, but my face, oh my gosh!  My eyes were bloodshot, puffy, and it looked like I'd  had a long crying spell for hours.  She came back and I told her how much pain I was in and she got concerned and had me lay back down and put a fan on my face for maybe 10-15 minutes, I guess thinking the glue needed to dry.  I was still thining this was "normal", and after awhile I thought I really didn't know, maybe it was a tiny bit better, and decided to leave. 

I got in my car, and that's when I realized I really wasn't okay.  I was in very bad pain and could hardly drive home.  I got in the house, ran to the medicine drawer and took 2 hydrocodone.  I was desperate, anything pain medication in the house I would have taken.  Mark freaked out when he saw my face and how unbearable the pain was for me, and we tried to find out if pain from artificial eyelashes was normal, but all I found was that iw as an allergy.

So I wente back to the salon and had the lady remove them, and she felt so bad.  THAT was incredibly painful as well.  But it still hurt. 

So I went straight to an urgent care clinic, and found both my corneas had abrasions, my eyesight in one eye is diminished for now (and it's now both), and I'm on two eyedrop prescriptions, one every 3 hours for 10 days.  Hopefully I won't have to see an opthamologist, but that's a possiblity if my eyesight doesn't clear up.

It sucks, because those eyelashes looked KICK ASS on me!  I asked the doctor (I probably always ask ridiulous questions), if I could try getting them again later, just at another place instead.  She, of course, said no, I should stay away from the process.  I have no problems with false eyelashes, so I don't understand why the process of individual eyelashes would cause an allergic reaction.  I'm thinking it's the glue, the doctor thought maybe a combination of that and perhaps sanitary conditions,.

As excruciating as the pain was (and it's not gone yet, but better), if I thought I had a chance to get them again and it wouldn't hurt, sure, I'd do it!  They're great!  My husband would kill me though.

Why must women endure such pain for beauty?  My next beauty endeavor?  Hair extensions!  Don't know when, but eventually. ; )   

Regular Visit with Psychiatrist

I went to the psychiatrist for my normal visit, and he said I was doing really well.  He gave me enough refills for 6 months, and of course I'll go back if anything happens between now and then.  He asked if I'd lost any more weight since I'd seen him (second visit since I started taking Latuda), and I've lost 31 pounds since I've started Latuda.  It seems like it has started coming off more slowly since Christmas, but I could have just reached a plateau.  I've ordered a measuring tape to see if I'm losing inches instead of pounds.

I've increased my running.  Since school started up this year, I get up at 5:00am three times during the week and run 4 miles.  Sometimes it's freaking cold in the morning, even though I live in the South!  Yesterday it was 30 degrees outside, but I'd prefer that over 80 degrees and being hot and sweaty. Last Saturday, Mark and I got up and went to IHOP and had breakfast (I had egg substitute and turkey bacon, but it still felt like I was cheating since I was having breakfast out!), then went to a running trail.  It was so fun to add something different to the rotation!  I have some serious cramps this morning, but I think 'll do it again today (it's Saturday) once Mark wakes up.  We don't run together - he runs much too fast for me.  Last week, all the runners passed me on the trail, and I passed all the walkers.  A 13-minute mile is pretty slow.  I finally got it under 13 minutes on my run yesterday - yay!

School is going pretty well so far, I'm starting to get in the habit of recording more of my classes and setting up a schedule of practicing more regularly.  I've set up times with one of my friends from school to practice every day after school, so we can keep each other accountable.  I really hope I can stick to it.

I start my new job next week.  I finally got my fingerprint card in the mail to them, so now the fun starts!  Ha!  It's SO nice that I can do the job from home whenever I want, instead of having to be somewhere at a certain time.  AND I found out I can do as much or as little as I want, so that's even MORE awesome.  When I think about it, perhaps that's not such a good thing, I don't know how disciplined I actually am.  I am very money motivated, however.  Maybe too much so.  Knowing Mark, he would let me spend every penny of what I make on myself, which is not good.  I should be helping contribute to the family's expenses, which was the whole purpose of my getting a part time job!

No bipolar symptoms to report at this time.  I'm sure I've had moments of anxiety, depression, elation, but isn't that normal, to have "moments" of feelings, especially when they're not drastic?  I think normal highs and lows that are fleeting are natural, but for me, being self aware is the key.  Looking inward sometimes and asking "Am I feeling appopriate for this situation?" when I feel extreme has been very helpful.  At least the other day it was when I figured out I was PMS'ing.  I was so cranky, and I stepped back and thought "Why does it seem like I'm arguing with everything Mark says?  Is it me?", and then I realized, "Oh, it's that time of the month...", and tried to have a more pleasant disposition since I realized it WAS me and not him.  When I was in the moment, it seemed so rational, but when I reflected, I saw that it wasn't.  It's not easy to do at all! 


All I Ever Have To Be

I just ran 4.05 miles, and cut 2 minutes off my 5k time (3.1 miles) from my race in September.  I think that's quite an improvement!  Mark is convinced that running speeds up your metabolism.  I've searched and searched on the internet, and there seems to be some discrepancy about if that is true, and if it is, how it actually works.  But one thing they all agree on is this:  runners are very lean in comparison to others who do regular physical activities.  I'm actually quite proud of myself, that I'm able to run 4 miles straight without stopping.  When I started the Couch to 5k program on my iphone, I I remember thinking "Run for 30 whole minutes, without stopping?  I'll NEVER be able to do that!"

Mark and I went to marriage counseling yesterday, and while our marriage is doing well - it's doing fantastic right now, I'm having, well, as the counselor put it, a lot of "self-doubt" about myself.  I never considered putting it into words until she did it, but it's true, I am.  I know what the paragraph above says, that I can accomplish something if I put my mind to it, but some things just seem out of my reach.  The biggest thing?  School.  It keeps me up at night.  I wake up at night and worry about it and can't go back to sleep.  It's always on my mind.  I brought it up in counseling and started crying.  She asked me why I thought I couldn't finish, and she said do you not think you are talented enough to do it?  And I agreed, and she reminded me of all the things in the past that I had made it through, that I was a survivor, and it's true.  I've been to her on my own, without Mark, so she knows my whole life story.  I made it through the terrible times trapped with my step-dad, years of his abuse, with my ex-boyfriend, and God knows what else, so why should school worry me so much?  If I can make it through those things, why shouldn't I be able to make it through school?  It's just that so few people actually finish, I don't know WHY they don't finish, it's just that such a small percentage actually do, that I don't know why I would be one of them that would.  I'm not the most talented, I don't "get it" as easily as everyone, sure, maybe some people, but not all of the people.

It's strange, because since I've opened up to her, all of these encouraging words have come to me, through the strangest people and places.  I do believe in God, and it's like He's encouraging me that I CAN do what I set out to accomplish, he's trying to soothe me and comfort my worries.  A woman I used to live with sent me an email that said the most perfect things, just out of the blue, she couldn't have known what I was feeling.  A person on facebook posted a note that hit home and inspired me.  Mark has been incredibly supportive, it's just been coming from everywhere since then.  It's a load off of my mind, but don't misunderstand me.  It's up to me to do the hard work.  I can't just sit back and expect this to happen without doing anything.  That's where the worry comes in.  What if I do ALL I can do and I'm STILL not successful?  What if I try my best and fail?  I think fear of failure is eating away at me.

So my friend Bethany reminded me (without knowing what I was thinking or feeling) of the perfect song from when we were teenagers.  Back then, we thought Amy Grant had a song for everything we were ever going through.  Now I look back and think, you know, Amy might have held all the answers in her hands back then and I didn't even know it!

Here's the song that made me cry because it's so true, it was true when I was a teenager, and it's still true today.

All I Ever Have To Be - Amy Grant

When the weight of all my dreams
Is resting heavy on my head,
And the thoughtful words of health and hope
Have all been nicely said.

But I'm still hurting,
Wondering if I'll ever be
The one I think I am.

I think I am.

Then you gently re-remind me
That you've made me from the first,
And the more I try to be the best
The more I get the worst.

And I realize the good in me,
Is only there because of who you are.

Who you are...

And all I ever have to be
Is what you've made me.
Any more or less would be a step
Out of your plan.

As you daily recreate me,
Help me always keep in mind
That I only have to do
What I can find.

And all I ever have to be
All I have to be
All I ever have to be
Is what you've made me.


Happy 2012! 

This year started out okay for me, but it's only one day!  We went to a comedy club for NYE, and and for some reason, I was having a SERIOUS "ugly day".  I had felt so good on Christmas Eve when we went out that I even wore the same outfit, but on NYE, I found a million flaws with it, with my hair, my skin, my weight, just everything.  I couldn't believe I had made plans for NYE and wanted to just stay home so badly!  We've stayed home every year since Mark and I have been together, I think, and I don't know what in the world had gotten in to me lately, making plans to go out, but I've been very social and outgoing lately.  I really regretted it yesterday.  I was on the verge of tears most of the day.

I had weighed myself the day before, and found that I had GAINED 1.8 pounds.  I have no idea how that could be!  It's the first time that I've gained anything in a week since I started my "diet" or "lifestyle change" in July.  It might be because Mark was home all last week and I didn't have my regular diet, although I thought I had kept to the same calorie count.  Perhaps I was wrong, or perhaps my body is just fighting against me.  It doesn't matter, I'm still determined to take off those last 30 - well now it's 31.8 pounds!

When I met my friend to practice for school last Tuesday, she said we had to finish school by the time we reached a certain dollar amount in student loans, and then we would no longer we eligible for financial aid.  That has freaked me out!  I've had a lot of anxiety about that since she'd told me, because I know the rate at which people actually graduate is so small.  I never understood why.  I can't imagine spending all of this time and money - years! for nothing!  I started thinking, which may be a little alarmist of me, that Mark would leave me if that happened.  So I have to do all I can, put out my best effort, to make sure that doesn't happen.  And if it does, well, at least I gave it my best shot.  I have no idea how long I can make myself practice each day, but I hope it's significant. 

I did actually get that job.  I finished the last test document (after hours upon hours of work), and now there's just one simple thing left to do on my part, and then I start!  I have no idea how often I'll be working, how much money I'll be making, but I'm going to ask.  I mean, I know how much I'll be paid, but the pay is quite unusual because of the type of work.  It's not hourly or salary or anything like that.  This will look so awesome on my resume - if I can just be one of the few who finish school!!

So NYE.  I felt really ugly and didn't want to leave the house, wanted to crawl into bed and cry, and Mark kept asking what was wrong.  He asked if it was "that" time of the month for me, or if gaining weight had affected me (I was upset about it and told him).  You know, I really don't know.  I think people just have "ugly days".  So we get to the comedy club, and they put us in the front row like every comedy club always does for some bizarre reason, so of course I get asked to come on stage.  Being that I felt so ugly, I wasn't happy, even though the guy had extended his hand to me and called me a "beautiful young lady."  I glared at Mark sitting in his seat while I was on stage, but what could he have done?  I should have been a better sport, and I tried to be, but I just didn't feel like being in front of a lot of people and being judged.  The alcohol probably helped a little. 

I've been running outside since Christmas when I got the runner's GPS watch, and it's been awesome!  The cold weather makes it wonderful!  I don't get all hot like I do on the treadmill, the cold keeps me from sweating and very comfortable.  Yesterday I matched my 5k time from September, and then kept running, when last September, when I ran my first 5k, which was outside for the first time, I thought I was going to DIE.  I ran 4 miles in 54 minutes, so I'm slowly getting back up to the distance I was running on the treadmill before I stopped running for my surgery in November.  I think I was running about 4.4 miles which took about an hour - I'm a very slow runner!  I don't really care how fast I am right now, just that I actually do it.

I was watching a song/video of the decade countdown on VH1 on NYE, and they played "Beautiful" which I've heard a million times, and it made me start crying.  I really don't know what is wrong with me.  I was feeling SO GOOD about myself, is it really like Mark said?  That I'm beating myself up over the small weight gain? 

Anyways, here's the song - I so love it, it touched me the first time I heard it, but depending on my mood, I can break down.  I really love it!

Beautiful - Christina Aguilera

Every day is so wonderful
Then suddenly, it's hard to breathe
Now and then, I get insecure
From all the pain, I'm so ashamed

I am beautiful no matter what they say
Words can't bring me down
I am beautiful in every single way
Yes, words can't bring me down
So don't you bring me down today

To all your friends you're delirious
So consumed in all your doom
Trying hard to fill the emptiness
The pieces gone, left the puzzle undone
That's the way it is

You are beautiful no matter what they say
Words can't bring you down
You are beautiful in every single way
Yes, words can't bring you down
So don't you bring me down today...

No matter what we do
(no matter what we do)
No matter what we say
(no matter what we say)
We're the song inside the tune
Full of beautiful mistakes

And everywhere we go
(and everywhere we go)
The sun will always shine
(sun will always shine)
And tomorrow we might wake on the other side
All the other times

We are beautiful no matter what they say
Yes, words won't bring us down
We are beautiful in every single way
Yes, words can't bring us down
So don't you bring me down today

Don't you bring me down today
Don't you bring me down today
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