Sunday, January 07, 2018

It Really Is A New Year

Most of you don't understand this photo.  Sure, it's a picture of my hand wearing my wedding rings.  Lovely.

Here is what you are missing.

Years.  It has been years since I've been able to get my rings on my finger.  It's been just a bit too fat for a loooong time.  I think maybe I could wear it before my last child was conceived, which was at least five years ago.  I think it's been longer though.  For most of that time I have worn other rings.  Rings that were cheap or ones I found at Target.  Nothing too fancy.  I started to wear a ring my husband gave me nine years ago instead.  It's a nice ring, but not my wedding ring.  I didn't know how much weight I would have to lose to get it back on.  I couldn't seem to stick with any diet or exercise plan long enough.  If anything I got worse.

So what changed?

My kids.

We have gone Gluten and Dairy Free for them.  We are trying a program to help with some behavior issues and one of the facets is the GF/DF diet.  We were willing to try anything.  Even though I had been slowly eliminating processed foods and sugar we hadn't committed to a super clean eating way of life.  The week after Thanksgiving we took the plunge.  I cleaned out the kitchen and replaced everything.  We've eaten out at a restaurant once since then.  We've gone to friends houses for dinner, but usually eat before or after as there aren't many choices for us.  We know.  We took food to our family Christmas celebration.  The kids dearly missed the fluffy rolls that were served, but otherwise we managed a solid meal of ham, mashed potato, green beans and Jell-O.  I made some brownies that were pretty awesome too.

Some of it has been pretty easy and some has been hard.  The kids miss things, but I've found substitutes for some things.  There are times it's pretty awkward too.  The kids go to a book club that serves donuts and juice.  They take their own GF/DF donuts with them.  Odd yes, but they still get to enjoy the event and the donuts are pretty good.

I am awake now.  Before I was always so foggy and sleepy.  I could sleep most of the day and still sleep at night.  My alarm goes off now and I'm up.  I rarely need a nap and only if I'm sick.  I have more energy.  I'm happier too.  Not being tired all the time has freed up more of me to deal with tantrums and fits with a bit more grace.  I choose happiness.  I was getting to be so negative and depressed.

The second thing I noticed was my Fitbit band getting looser.  I would joke that it's great to be losing weight in my wrist.  I guess I'm slowly losing in my fingers too, because when I tried my rings on today, they fit!

There is still a long road ahead, but this is the best encouragement I could get.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Send Peanut Butter

I'm over it.

Parenting.

Need I write anything more?  You all get it.  You are there.  You understand.  I have reached a point where I am out of ideas.  Usually some new behavior pops up and I can think of something.  Now?  Nothing. 

When you decide (or maybe not) to have a baby, you understand you will be raising it for a long time.  It's not a cake.  You don't just make it and bake it and then it's over.  It's an investment.  At the time of going from no kids to kids I really didn't understand all the details.  You feed them, clothe them, teach them stuff, care for them and more.  Yes.  That part is clear.  It's the gray area no one sees at first.  For example, when you are teaching them and they don't listen or they  purposefully do the opposite.  OK, you explain again.  Nothing.  You then have to start making it a thing, not just casual conversation. 

It goes a little something like this. 

Parent: We pick up toys when we are done playing with them.
Kid: 
Parent sings the clean up song to encourage and make it fun.
Kid:
Parent:  Hey, come help me clean up toys.
Kid:
Parent:  You can't play with other toys until you clean up these.
Kid then dumps out eight baskets of various toys and games.
Parent:  Hey, that's not OK.  Let's clean this up.

Up to this point most parents are still calm and trying to explain why we clean up, what the benefits are and other garbage.  The kid does not care.  They are playing.  So after a some amount of time, as each of us is different in our toleration levels, we get more upset about it.

Parent:  Get. Over. Here. Now!
Kid:
Parent:  Time Out?
Kid doesn't say anything, but the look you get speaks volumes about how they would love three minutes to figure out more ways to get under your skin.
Parent:  Come clean up!
Kid:
Parent will start to lose their mind about now.  Counting to sound threatening, but really the kid has no idea what happens at three and the big secret is that the parent doesn't know either.  There are time outs and being sent to their room and no dessert after dinner.  None of it actually got the toys picked up.

So here I am.  Sitting in the proverbial pile of toys dumped on the floor.  What now?  I spent good money on these things (the kids and the toys) so I don't want to throw them away (the kids or the toys).  What now?  What does it take to get the kid to walk over and throw a few Legos back into the box in which they came from? 

This story isn't what's really happening, but to explain that I've tried talking, reasoning, threatening and yelling and more and still no change.  What now?  I'm out of ideas other than boarding school.  Is that still a thing? 

So I sit here sipping my tea, praying some new idea comes to me.  I love my children, but the problems are getting serious and I'm not sure how to deal with them.  My coping strategies so far are hot showers and dipping Halloween candy in peanut butter.  I'm clean and fat, but no progress on the behavior front.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Dreams Are Great Until They Haunt Your Days

I am obsessed.  Really.  My thoughts are mostly consumed by it.  There was yesterday I didn't think about it, but I was at the dentist and really, I could not think about anything else until that was over.  Today I am back on it.  What changes I would make, what I would do first, how the kids would deal with it.  These are consuming me.  My reality is I know this won't ever happen, it will not work.  My dream is another thing all together. 

My daydream is to have a chunk of land very near town.  I don't want to be 30 minutes from the grocery store or the school.  This is about 2 minutes away from our current house.  Still in the same school districts.  Only a minute or two farther from the grocery store or Target. 

On this chunk of land is a large fixer upper house.  I usually imagine a more castle like appearance, but a sweet farm house would be nice too.  Something cheap with some decent bones we could love on.  Sure, this may not even have decent bones, but I am still not deterred.  The potential is overwhelming.  Gorgeous flooring, quaint farmhouse style kitchen, tall ceilings with beautiful lighting.  A mix of glamorous and farmhouse, new and old.  I can see all of it.  I can see the kids learning to drive a farm tractor, fishing in the pond and playing soccer on the back 40.  There isn't actually a back 40, but plenty of room for a soccer field with full size goals to practice on. 

This dream is starting to haunt me.  I can't let it go.  I keep checking the listing to see if it's been snatched up yet.  I may cry if they turn it into a subdivision.  The potential is so there.  I just don't have enough spare change.  The price has come way down, but I would need a miracle.  Not to mention, my husband just isn't that into it.  He doesn't even know about it.  It's not his dream.  I think the whole process would be his nightmare.

Do I share my dream?  Do I speak it into the wind and hope someone hears it?  Will this same dream come around in 15 years when I might be more ready for it?  I don't know.  Logically, I know this is a foolish idea, but somehow I can't seem to get it out of my head. 

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Stay Where You Are Needed

I'm feeling unsettled.  Perhaps Fall is a time of transition?  The trees change, leaves turn colors and then fall.  The weather gets cooler, going from a bit chilly to frigid cold.  Everyone seems to be at the start of wrapping up their year.  I feel this way.  I feel a change is needed.  This summer I started a pretty good routine of "me time" but started to fade away once school began.  I am ready to take back my time.

I have had a small side business for several years and this year it seems to be a great deal busier.  That's great, but it's a lot of work and I am uncertain if it is worth the turmoil it puts my family in.  Dinner goes unplanned, kids are raced out the door to their activities and the last time my husband and I actually sat and talked has long passed.  Business.  It's all business.  None of it seems to be making any difference in anyone's lives.  Why do it?  Obligation maybe?  I feel a responsibility to be the one to do this for others.  I get paid.  I get compensated for what I do so it's not a total loss.  It just takes me away from other home activities and "me time". 

By the end of the year I will have fulfilled all of the jobs I have committed to.  I think the New Year will be the perfect time to ease up on some of those jobs.  I will make an effort to say yes to fewer things.  My kids need me to be at home.  I need me to be at home.  Right now, being a stay at home mom is the job I want most.

Monday, September 11, 2017

A Date of Any Other Date Would Be As Remembered

So today is 9/11.  Just about every person alive knows what you mean when you say 9.11.  Yes it's today's date, but it really references one particular September 11th.  It's a tough day.  There were so many innocent lives lost that day.  A person didn't need to be in New York to feel the tragedy.  It was an American tragedy. 

I remember where I was, what I was doing and how the day played out.  It was surreal.  I was going about my life and watching this terror on the news.  I got in my car and drove home and just didn't even know what to think.  What is happening?  Why?  I didn't understand. 

Four years ago today, 9/11 took on a new meaning for me.  I had a baby on 9/11.  It's an odd situation.  A baby is a wonderful, celebratory occasion.  What about if it's the same day as one of the greatest American tragedies?  It's different.  I would venture to guess that those women who had a baby on the actual 9.11.01 probably felt odd celebrating in the midst of it.  Twelve years later, it was still odd, but maybe less so.

Although, someone actually looked into my eyes and uttered the phrase "wouldn't it be just terrible to have a baby on 9.11"?  I wondered if they remembered it was my child's birthday that day.  I felt sorry for the women giving birth that day.  It's just odd. 

I remember.  I probably will never forget, just as those around when JFK was shot still remember.  They remember where they were and what was happening to them.  I'll remember.  I will also celebrate my child on 9/11.  I won't shy away from living a normal, healthy life on any particular day.  Sure, some are harder for the reminders they bring to us.  I choose to still celebrate what is now.  What is now for me is my precious D. 

Today we hung out and enjoyed the day.  I did wonder what it would be like when he is older.  Will he see all the video and pictures on Facebook?  How will he react?  Will it somehow make his day feel less special?  I think there is room in every one's memories for both the tragedy and the miracle.

Happy Birthday D.  I love you and I'm grateful you came to me regardless of the day and what may have happened in the past.  You are capable of so much greatness.  I feel confident you have the potential to give the world new memories on 9/11.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Lesson Learned

The six week challenge is over and I have some thoughts I want to write down so I can remember them.

The challenge was set up in four teams.  Each team member earned points for a variety of items.  Drinking water, exercise on your own, gym fitness, miles walked and more.  At the start of the challenge I had really high hopes of blasting off some weight and really taking myself to the next level.  The first week was a challenge because I didn't plan what I was going to do.  By not taking an active role and waiting for things to come to me I stayed stuck where I was.  After a day or two I realized some effort was going to need to be expended on planning.

So, I planed about a months worth of exercise.  I had REFIT, Bodies, 5ks and my PT to do.  I thought doing these things would be enough to push me to the next level.  I think it would have been fine if I had done them all regularly.  Bodies and REFIT are only once per week and the PT started falling by the wayside once painting picked up again.  So I was left with walking in the evening, which was difficult to arrange with the kids.  I did do pretty well with the non active challenge items like drinking water, wearing swag and posting pictures.  Those were well and good, but didn't really drop any weight.  I was working hard to earn points, but not working as hard to earn my health.

I tried very hard to make wise eating choices.  I was logging everything into the fitbit app to track calories, protein and carbs.  The problem was I had no idea what I should be eating.  I was trying to make better choices though.  Going out to breakfast I skipped the French toast and had an egg white omelet.  Turns out, the French toast probably would have been fine.  I was trying to balance the Carbs, Fats and Proteins, but lost sight of healthy eating and balance. 

About half way through the challenge I noticed I was puffy and felt swollen everywhere.  I attributed it to the heat and walking in the evening after being active most of the day.  I tried to drink more water, but still not loving water, that was hard.  My trainer at the gym suggested I lay off the sodium and drink even more water.  Punching her in the face wasn't an option so I got serious about visiting with a dietitian.  More on that later.  I was super frustrated as I live pretty low sodium and was drinking a massive amount of water for me.  I did a little reading on "water retention" and learned some of it is natural and some is not.  Some, is caused by stress.  What?  No one ever mentioned this.  The anxiety I had over what to eat and what not to eat was causing my body to cling to every bit of everything I put in my mouth.  I was swelling and retaining, but not because of salt, because of stress.

Also at this time other challengers were posting weight and inches lost.  So many were hitting their goals and while I was so proud of them, it made me feel down.  Why was it not working for me?  What was I doing wrong?  I was walking just  like they were so why was I not seeing results?  This was another stressor for me as I was then feeling left behind.  Everyone else seemed to be getting it together and I was falling apart.  Each week I was more and more frustrated at what my body was doing or not doing.  I thought for sure the scale and tape measure would be moving. 

I was trying to relax and have "me time" to not only gain points in the challenge, but to reduce the stress.  It wasn't enough.  It was a constant cycle of stress and anxiety over the stress and anxiety.  The last weekend I was able to let go.  My family was out of town and food choices were limited by a small town.  Because my choices were limited and we were in a car quite a bit I just could not get in the same exercise and food choices and it was OK.  My body relaxed.  I felt good on Monday.  I felt less swollen, less anxious.  As Elsa sings "Let It Go" and I did. 

Today is Wednesday and I just left the dietitian.  I'm really going to like her. She affirmed so much for me.  All my stats came back in great numbers and she was really pleased there are no immediate issues to get in check.  Cholesterol, blood sugar and even weight were all good.  We're going to focus on learning healthy choices in regards to food.  I don't have a scale number to work toward and there is no list of rules to try to obey.  I eat normally.  I read about which foods are in which categories and eventually I'll learn sort of a good, better, best system.  X is fine, Y is better and Z is the best choice you can make.  I'm super stoked. 

One thing she really helped me with today was the stress and anxiety.  For me, it absolutely is a killer.  I hold on to weight and inflammation like a boss under stress.  My face even broke out like a 16 year old and I was so down.  Today, I feel good.  The pants are loose, the tummy is not bloated and I feel able to handle the day to day issues that come up. 

So even though the challenge is over I want to keep going.  I want to keep walking/running.  I want to increase my daily exercise and keep the water flowing.  I also want to add in some solid nutrition as I learn in the next 10 weeks with J.D.  BUT!  I'm not going to stress about it.  I refuse to compare my walk of life to anyone else.  I refuse to see my friend drop 10 lbs and be jealous.  Motivation and determination will be my guide.  My plan is to go on MY journey.  I welcome any encouragement, but I will not succumb to comparison.  My goal is to be a better ME, not just rack up points. 

Friday, September 01, 2017

Sharks are Gangsta too.



Here I am wearing my 1DOS
Like a B.O.S.S.
Baby, posting my swag.
Girl, you got this in the bag.

Trying to make a change, learn how to exercise.
Cut out the junk -  just say no to the fries.

A shark doesn't worry about the future and the past is in the past.
A shark dominates the now, because they are bad-ass.

Want to run a 5 or a 10K, you should walk one at least.
Push out of your comfort zone and tackle a Spartan or "The Beast".

Mama battled on her own for far too long.
Now she's going for her goals and helping us along.
She made 1DOS to help others in need.
Now we are working hard so we can all succeed.

I get so down
In the tank.  I start to drown.
Don't go it on your own
The sharks will come around.

You get a little push, encouragement to get you through.
1DOS.  It's just what we do.
That one degree is all there is between you and me.
We all help each other be the best we can be.


Where do you go from here?
What is your point, what's your "why"?
Stay the course, keep going and as they say in the tank
Progress, not perfection. Sharkify!