Archive for the ‘Diet/Fitness’ Category

A New Normal

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

The kids go back to school today after being home all last week. HALLELUJAH. I honestly think part of my recent emotional breakdown was due to having zero time to myself last week. Kids are hard, man.

Speaking of my emotional breakdown, I need to thank every single person who commented or emailed me or gave me a hug in person after I left that big mess of feelings here. (When bloggers say that I always imagine they’ve been completely over-run with supportive emails – I got four, but they were all super amazing.) Knowing I’m not the only person who feels like this instantly made me feel 100% better. I mean, I already knew other people felt like this since I’ve had approximately 3,000 different versions of that same conversation in my lifetime so far, but sometimes it’s nice to just PUT IT ALL OUT THERE and be reminded people are wonderful and lovely and good and willing to cheer me up even if I say “don’t cheer me up!”

I’m taking every bit of advice and encouragement to heart and doing my best to be as kind to myself as every has been to me.

Last night I took a shower with the fantastic new philosophy body wash I bought myself as a treat. I stayed up too late finishing some new artwork for over the fireplace I’m really, really excited about. Today I’m going to the gym, but I’m going to do the stuff I like – the elliptical and the weight machines – and not feel bad I’m not running on the treadmill. Then I’m going to pick up the kids and go do something fun. We’ll run around and enjoy the weather and maybe get a scoop of ice cream and I’ll take five hundred pictures of them. Then we’ll come home and chill out and read books and make something delicious for dinner and talk and laugh and enjoy the life we’re living. I’ll feel the sun on my skin and see the trees about to bust into full leaf and taste every bite of my food and smell the flowers my children pick for me and listen to their laughs and shouts of joy.

I will not let my internal voice be the loudest thing I hear. I will not let it stop me from enjoying the life I have now, even if I’m not comfortable with who I am. I will NOT let this attitude spill over into my children’s minds.

I can’t fix who I am on the outside until I get things back to normal – or maybe until I reset my normal. I need “lose weight” to be at least fifth on my list of daily thoughts, behind “Be a good wife”, “be a good mother”, “enjoy this day and “damn, this bacon is delicious.” Maybe some day I’ll bump it off the list completely. For now I’d just be happy if I can look at a photo of myself ans just think “Wow, she looks happy.”

p.s. My very dear friend Katherine volunteered to sign me up for the Mom on a Mission Challenge to remind me to take care of myself. I gladly accepted her gracious offer and I’m looking forward to really focusing on my own health and fitness in May. It has a small buy-in but you can win cool prizes – and you can be on my team even if you’re not a Stroller Strides member. If you’re interested let me know or check out the information here. I’m not getting anything out of other people signing up and no one asked me to recruit anyone, I just needed the encouragement and a friend recognized that. I’m a very lucky woman.

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The Weight Of Me

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

Last weekend E and I attended the Navy Submarine Force’s 113th Birthday Ball. It’s basically Navy Prom – formal pictures, fancy dresses, up-do’s, crappy hotel ballroom food, The Cupid Shuffle – except drinking is encouraged and you don’t have to beg your mom to let you stay out after curfew. (You do have to get someone to watch your kids though, which is why I stayed sober and we didn’t get a hotel room.) I haven’t been to any of the formal events since I was pregnant with Evan and I haven’t been to anything prom-like since, well, actual high school prom so when E announced we were going the first thing I thought was “I have to find a dress.”

More accurately, my first thing I thought was “Dammit, now I have to try to find a dress. This is going to SUCK.”

It did suck. It sucked super hard. It sucked worse than a shop-vac. It’s one thing to know in my head that I have been losing the battle with my weight for several months now. It is entirely another to stand in front of mirror after mirror in my underwear because I couldn’t get a gown over my hips or thighs or shoulders. It sucks to not fit into the size you wore six months ago or two years ago or ten years ago. The actual prom dresses were all comically small and built for younger bodies. The women’s formal dresses were much much more than I could afford AND either too small or incredibly unflattering. I’m fat, I’m not invisible. Or maybe I mostly am. I’m definitely invisible to the people who make formal dresses.

At one expensive store a very kind sales girl asked if she could help me and I explained I was looking for a formal dress but wasn’t having any luck. She responded “I’m sure we can find one! What size are you?” and I mumbled “I don’t know anymore. SIZE HUGE.” She tried to be helpful and found me several cocktail dresses she thought MIGHT work, but after the zipper on a $160 plain black “slimming” dress got stuck half way up I just sat on the stool and cried. I cried as quietly as I could with my hand clamped over my mouth until I slipped on my sunglasses and fled the store before the sales girl could ask me how things were going. I’ve never been so embarrassed.

I’ve been unhappy with my body since I was 17, so that’s not new. But I’m not used to feeling like I don’t physically fit into my own life.

The end of 2012 was not kind to my mental health. As silly as it sounds, the combination of the Sandy Hook shootings and Caroline’s second birthday in the same week was really, really overwhelming for me. I tried to eat my feelings and hoped if I allowed myself as many “special treats” as I wanted I would somehow fill the sadness I couldn’t shake. It’s an explanation I would have rolled my eyes at a few years ago, but it’s not an excuse. I knew what I was doing. I could feel myself doing it every time I stood and stared into my fridge and yet I still made choices that I’m paying for now. I’m paying for them when I can’t get dressed in the morning because none of my clothes fit. I’m paying for them at the gym when I can’t bring myself to use the treadmill because it faces the mirrors and I can’t stand to look at my reflection for that long. I’m paying for them when I take 300 photos of my kids and family on Easter and three of me, two of which I deleted. I’m paying for them when I make wiser choices now, go to the gym, track my calories, regulate every bite, but only manage to lose .4 pounds in a month.

I am uncomfortable with myself 24 hours a day, clothed, naked, walking, driving, running, cooking, smiling, shopping, being in public, hiding in a bathroom. I think about my size more than I think about anything else. It’s exhausting. I am not naturally thin. I don’t have a fast metabolism. If I do lose weight I will have to be vigilant every day for the rest of my life to make sure I don’t gain it back. But the alternative is I can feel like THIS for the rest of my life. It feels hopeless. There is a reason so many people who lose weight become weight loss bloggers or healthy living bloggers or diet recipe bloggers or people who talk about their low fat low carb high fat high protein all vegan all bacon miracle shake miracle pill lifestyle ALL THE TIME. I feel too old, too tired and too fat to reinvent myself as one of those people.

I did eventually buy a dress, in the plus size section at Macy’s. I cut the tags out the second I got home. It looked fine. I felt uncomfortable and heavy the whole night. I don’t fit.

I’ve been hesitant to even try to write this post, since I know people’s well meaning responses will be to a) cheer me up and b) offer advice but I don’t really need. I promise I understand how weight loss works. I know in my head that being fat shouldn’t stop me from living a happy life. It’s just a state of my body, not a reflection of my worth as a person. It’s just really really hard to put a healthy mindset into action when I’ve let my brain work that way for the last 20 years.  Thanks for listening, I just needed to get it out.

p.s. By chance, my friend Miranda is starting her weight loss journey this week, so you can direct encouragement and advice to her. (Warning: her post includes numbers.)

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Let’s Get Physical

Monday, September 3rd, 2012
Let's Get Physical!

So…I signed up for an 8 week weight loss challenge my friend Wendy is holding.

I’m going to phrase this post as if someone emailed me to ask these questions – I’m having trouble framing it on my own – but really I’m talking to myself. That’s totally normal, right?

What is the Let’s Get Physical challenge?

It starts tomorrow! You can check out the details on her blog, but here’s the gist: Wendy signed up 40+ women who are all working on their fitness (tm Fergie Ferg) to motivate each other. We all bought into the challenge for $25 and there are cash prizes for the people who lose the biggest percentage of weight, plus other prizes along the way. I’m aiming for 12 pounds (realistically) but would be THRILLED if I got to 20. I figure I’ve thrown a lot of money at Weight Watchers and Slim Fast and diet pills in the past – how about this time I motivate myself with a chance to win it back?

What kind of crazy diet are you going try this time?

I’m going to try Paleo. If you’ve read any of my ramblings about finding a diet and lifestyle that works for me long term you might have noticed my friend Erin in the comments trying to convince me to join her cult of bacon. I started reading this website and bought his book (plus the cookbooks) and I’m going to try it. I actually started last week, to see if I could make it even 24 hours without bread and the answer is definitely yes…as long as I can replace it with bacon. I’m also not going to follow it perfectly and I’m not trying to win any “please explain EXACTLY what the reasoning behind this paleo thing is” debates so if you absolutely HATE paleo feel free to tell me but don’t expect a fight. Although if you’re interested/do it too/have questions I would looooove to talk about it on Facebook or email.

Are you going to post before pictures?

Maybe when I have nice thin after ones to show. My before picture was an unpleasant wake-up call at how much weight I’ve put back on since losing 30 pounds last year. I am hoping these are the last “before” pictures I ever take.

This isn’t going to turn into a paleo/diet/cross fit/healthy living blog, is it?

No way. I might tell you about some of the stuff I get to eat (because you’ll be totally jealous) and I’ll probably update in a couple weeks (because hopefully I’ll have exciting! news! to share about how much I’ve lost!) but regular diet updates are a) boring and b) super boring. The group doing the challenge has a private Facebook page so we don’t annoy everyone we know. But like I said, I’m happy to talk to anyone who actually WANTS to hear about it.

So, yeah. I think this is going to be good for me. It might end up being another in a long line of schemes I start and don’t follow through with. And it might turn me into a crazy obsessed dieter who never shuts up. And there’s a distinct possibility I won’t be able to stick to it and I’ll end up cheating and gain 20 pounds from all the bacon. But it’s a new month, we’re starting a new phase in our lives, and it feels like a challenge I’m up for. Wish me luck!

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