Posts Tagged ‘happiness’

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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Toddler Interview: 21 Questions

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

21 Toddler Interview Questions

I stole these from the adorable Krystal and her equally adorable daughter Marley. I’m assuming her interview involved a lot less trying to run away to go sit on the dog or watch trash trucks out the window. (I made up a joke for you. How can you tell if a 3-year-old has ADD? They’re breathing.) I might have better luck asking Caroline these questions, except her  answers would all be “Cheese!” Here’s the list of 21 Toddler Interview Questions I asked Evan:

1. What is something mommy always says to you? Mommy says “Yes”.

2. What makes you happy? Toys.

3. What makes you sad? Pointing makes me sad. Pointy things.

4. What makes you laugh? Helicopters make me laugh!

5. How old are you? Three.

6. How old is Mommy? Four! You are four.

7. How old is Daddy? Hmmm I don’t know. Daddies are…three.

8. What is your favorite thing to do? Walk, and the zoo. And when Mormor comes to the zoo with us! (Note: Mormor has never been to our zoo.)

9. Who is your best friend? Daddy.

10. What do you want to be when you grow up? Bigger.

11. What are you really good at? Putting things in Mr. Potato Head.

12. What are you not very good at? Using my words.

13. What did you do today? We went at the zoo. (Me: No we didn’t) We went at gymnastics. (Me: No we didn’t) We went to the park and saw my friends and went at Stroller Strides. Are we done yet?

14. What is your favorite food? Chicken and salad. And french fries with a toy and lemonade and a hamburger.

15. What is your favorite song? Music.

16. What do you want for your birthday this year? A castle and a basketball.

17. What is your favorite animal? Sharks and fishes.

18. What is love? Hmmm…I don’t know. Hugs?

19. What does daddy do for work? A boat. He goes on a boat.

20. Where do you live? I got it! In my house.

21. Where is your favorite place to go? The playground. Are we done now? I want to watch Octonauts.

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Happy Days Are Here Again

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

I forgot to take my Zoloft over the weekend – three days in a row total – and I started to feel pretty lousy. Not losing-my-mind crazy but irritable and anxious and unfocused. I thought maybe I was overreacting but decided it (probably) wouldn’t kill me to take an extra pill to get back on track. So on Monday I took one at noon and one at bedtime – which is when I usually take it. Oddly, if I take it in the mornings I have really vivid crazy house on fire naked Christmas farm animal Barry Manilow pregnant high school war opening night Hunger Games dreams. And that’s even if I DON’T read dystopian fantasy novels while I fall asleep. So I took two and hoped I wasn’t over medicating myself into a coma or a heart attack or something.

INSTEAD, I did ALL THE THINGS in the past two days. And in a good way, not a “I’M BORED, LETS CUT BANGS” way.  I finally dealt with the mountain of baby clothes in Caroline’s room and organized her summer wardrobe (because yeah, girl has too many outfits). I bought plastic totes and put away craft supplies and decorations from Evan’s birthday party that happened *ahem* more than a month ago. I steam mopped all the floors. But not only is the house clean, I’m competing in an imaginary contest for Mother of the Year Week. We did puzzles (I HATE puzzles) and put on boots to splash outside and blew a billion bubbles and went to the library and read the same books over and over and over and over and over and tracked down all the balls to all the toys and let the kids them jump all over me and sang songs loudly and let them ride the elevators even though we didn’t need to and let them eat the last giant marshmallow. Even when I was annoyed I calmly explained to Evan he needed to listen better or I would have to use my angry voice – and I KNOW, saying stuff like that sounds RIDICULOUS but when my 3 year old says “Mommy, I can’t want you use your angry voice and I can’t want use my angry voice so let’s have hugs and kisses” I dies of cuteness so I don’t care how ridiculous it sounds. Plus, it worked. He now recognizes my angry voice AND his angry voice and knows how to stop them.

(Extra bonus cuteness: Evan had to have a blood draw for his anemia test an he was REALLY sad – although again, I handled it a zillion times better than I normally would have – and afterwards I asked if he wanted a Happy Meal and he said “No Mommy, I need a Sad Meal”.)

(Double extra bonus cuteness: Evan has stopped calling Caroline “Baby Sister” and started calling her “Stinky Pants”…which, oops, but when he yells “COME BACK STINKY PANTS!” across Target I can’t stop laughing long enough to breathe let alone feel bad about the nickname.)

ANDPLUSALSO I gave myself an at-home hair treatment – honey and olive oil, which sounds like a crazy mistake but actually did wash out and made my ends softer – and finally tried no heat curls (my hair says “MEH”) and I’m feeling pretty good about myself in general, despite eating too many ice cream sandwiches.

So now I’m wondering if I should call my doctor and ask to raise my Zoloft dose or just blame my sudden productivity on the domino effect of accomplishment – you know, where you get that happy buzz from seeing an empty kitchen sink so you decide to wipe down the cabinets and then the floors and then BAM you’re suddenly hoping the UPS guy shows up just so you can be proud of your super clean house when you open the door. I don’t think two days is long enough to definitely say my medication is why I’m doing so well but with everything else still as stressful as it was last week (E hasn’t seen the kids since Sunday because he’s working such long hours, rainy days, Evan is still three) I am desperate to keep it up. I LIKE being productive and happy. It’s definitely preferable to anxious, grumpy, shouty and tired.

WHAT SHOULD I DO, INTERNETS? Please come over to discuss, so I can show you my spotless kitchen counters.

p.s. Anyone still interested in a home tour link-up/blog hop/whatever? I should show off this place before it all goes to crap again.

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Lightness

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

I’d like to believe my vacation was so magical it totally changed my life, but I suspect daylight savings time and the freakishly warm weather we’re having is to thank for my good mood. There’s nothing like tiny dirty bare baby feet to help me not care at all about the laundry I still haven’t put away. Heck, I can’t even be bothered to care about putting on real pants since we’re too busy swinging on the porch to leave the house.

Caroline has decided she hates clothes and rips them off while screaming bloody murder every morning…but hey, that’s fine! Whatever! Be free, naked toddler, run and feel the breeze against your chubby belly! Enjoy it while you can, since it will probably be 35 degrees next week. Damn you Connecticut.

I did convince her to wear one of my old sundresses today, so of course I documented it with 200 pictures. Ok, I’m lying, 248 pictures. She might be the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen in my entire life. If we could figure out how to power cars using squeeees of cuteness, Caroline could solve this gas price problem in a single afternoon.

(Pictures are unedited except for size – I’ve been inspired by Mandy and Jill to work on my shooting-in-manual skills again.)

Uh oh, dirty feet

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P.S. I TOTALLY forgot to pick a winner for my Changing the Universe giveaway before I left and I’m so sorry. I let Random.org choose for me and it picked #12, Kim from Try It Mom! Congrats Kim, I’ll send Nicci your email so she can help you collect your winnings. And if you didn’t win, may I suggest heading over to the shop and buying youself a special treat to cheer yourself up?

Linking up with Miss Elaine because it’s her birthday and she’s awesome!

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Pink for Happiness

Monday, February 27th, 2012

When I wrote out my New Year goals, I made a corresponding list of rewards for reaching certain milestones. People do this all the time, often to great effect. Once you lose some weight you can buy new shoes! Get a manicure! Take a vacation! You deserve nice things because you’ve worked so hard! So for two months now I’ve been thinking about the new tattoo I’ll get or the new haircut I’ll splurge on or the new jeans I will buy. Eventually. Someday.

And in the meantime I’ve felt dumpy and boring and unattractive. It’s really too bad there’s a law that says being overweight means I can’t have nice things.

OH. WAIT.

The idea that my pants size should prevent me from treating myself well is bullshit. Bullshit I say! It’s part of that terrible, dangerous idea that if only I weighed X all my problems would be solved. It’s putting my life on hold until I achieve some arbitrary ideal that matters exactly zero point zero percent to anyone. It didn’t work when I was 17, it didn’t work when I was 23, and it’s not going to work now when I’m 30. I wish I could go back in time and tell myself to knock it off, but instead I will tell you:

You will never, ever get to a weight that will MAKE you happy. You can choose to be happy right now.

Reward yourself for surviving today. Buy new shoes because they make you smile. Buy new jeans because they make the ass you have look fantastic. Get a scoop of ice cream because ice cream is delicious. Book a massage because life is stressful and massages are awesome. Get a manicure because it makes you feel good about yourself and when you feel good about yourself you treat yourself better – both physically and mentally.

I’m not saying I’m quitting my diet. I’m not saying I don’t still want to be thinner. I’m not saying I won’t celebrate when I get to my milestones. But it’s so much easier to not eat my feelings when my feelings are happy, light and beautiful. Why not do something now that makes me feel good?

Pink hair. My 10th grade self just squeed with joy.

I am done waiting to be happy. I am doing nice things for myself today, right now. I don’t have to earn my happiness – I am choosing to love myself today.

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