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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

When "Half-Assed" Is A Good Thing...

I was all set to march into Jenny's today and tell them I was taking myself off the meal plan--as far as buying their food, anyway. I still want to visit every week and weigh in--that's built-in accountability--but the food is a bit pricey (and honestly, getting boring) after 9 weeks.

Little did I know that I am contractually obligated to buy their food.

HAHAHA.

Joke's on me.

So much for my chest pounding. Looks like I will still be buying their food, but less of it.

The good news? Bacause of all my shingles business last week and some events that kept me away from home, I stll had QUITE A BIT of food left from last week...and STILL managed to drop 2 pounds!

So what if Jenny's (cruel, hateful) scale said I only lost .8...I'm officially half way to my goal now.

It feels good.

I also have lost a total of 9 inches from my bod. Naturally, most of it was lost in my bust (the place you would prob most like to keep it, but whatever...)

My belly? The bane of my existence? It will be a while before many noticeable inches are lost off that.

But I feel different. And that's what matters.

And I have plans for this bod in the next couple of months. I am determined to wear a bathing suit at least by August and not wish the earth would open up and swallow me whole.

Lofty goal...

Friday, May 20, 2011

Holy Shingles

Here's something I found on Livestrong.com:

Prevention [of shingles]



Avoid stress that may lead to future breakouts by exercising, getting enough sleep and finding outlets for anxiety such as writing in a journal or Internet blog or talking regularly to friends or a therapist. The Mayo Clinic also recommends quiet, calm activities such as reading, listening to music, doing tai chi or finding another hobby. (Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/136496-how-stress-causes-shingles/#ixzz1Mw1xAdzd)

Basically, I'm screwed.

I don't know whether to laugh or cry at the ridiculous prevention suggestions.

I've been exercising.

I NEVER get enough sleep because of a minimum of 1 child in bed with us every night.

I already blog.

And...quiet, calm activities?

Yep. I'm destined to a long life of puss-filled, crusty shingles reoccurences.

Today I was thinking about stress and how I must not handle it very well- have never handled it well and must not be wired to handle it well.  And was reminded of the insane things that have happened to me in the past as a result of stress.

When I was very little I used to wake up sometimes with a horrible stomach ache. For no reason. It would take hours to go away. My mom would make me tea and rub my head until it passed.

I used to wake up also with severe anxiety. Of course I didn't know that's what it was called at the time, but it was a terrible fear that I couldn't shake.

I had an all-over body itch for a year solid-right before I got pregnant with M (2008). No rash. Just an insatiable itch. No change in detergent or soap. Nothing to explain it except stress. Just an itch that only increased the more I scratched.

Right after E was born (in 2007) I experienced a visual disturbance and then sudden blindness in one eye. I called the on-call doc who told me to go immediately to an ER and be checked by a neurologist.

Naturally, I couldn't go because Joe was still in the hospitality industry then and couldn't leave the restaurant. Thankfully, my full vision returned within minutes-followed by a headache.

I went to see my optometrist and asked him about the episode. He explained that it's called silent migraine. It's brought on by.....you guessed it....stress.

I asked him what I could do to keep it from happening again.

His astute, educated reply?

"Calm down."

Really? Hmmm. Why didn't I think of that?

And now shingles.

I think this could be God's subtle way of telling me to settle my arse down.

I'm not sure how to do that.

But I'm working on it.

Once again, feeling this tightly wound reminds me to be the support to other moms who are hanging by a thread like I am. Only a mom who's been there--or is STILL there--truly understands.

I think it's up to us to be there for each other. Even if it's just through email or Facebook messages.

Otherwise, bad things happen like this morning...Joe and I ended up in a passionate, hateful argument over chicken.

I feel like I'm all jacked up on caffeine when it's really just nerves stretched to the breaking point.

I know...boo hoo, right?

Are you playing your violin.

Rest assured...no matter how much my whining might annoy you, it annoys me more!

But here I am--following Livestrong.com's advice to blog my stress away.

They didn't say, however, how to blog while blocking out the screaming, fighting, and door slamming drifting up from the basement.

Or how to quiet every thought in my head that's screaming to send the kids into next week, compliments of the end of my foot.

Deep breaths.

Serenity Now.

In. Out.

This too shall pass.

And all those other crappy cliches...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Stick A Fork In Me

I am D-O-N-E.

I like to joke that my kids may end up killing me.

With their sassy little attitudes, determination to do ANYTHING but what I tell them to do, and their sheer endless energy.

Little did I know that I may actually be on to something.

Two nights ago, as I was getting ready for bed, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror.

It disgusted me for all new reasons...there was a nasty red rash right on the middle of my stomach.

I gasped and ran to tell Joe who (of course) could barely muster a "Oh really?" (He didn't even ask to see it!)

This was a big deal to me. It's not often (or EVER) that I have a rash.

And it itched. And then burned after I itched it.

We decided it was probably heat rash and forgot about it (well, Joe did. I could hardly forget about it when it was constantly itching. And then burning.)

Fast forward to today when I decided to show Joe the new pattern the rash began making.

His face said it all. He told me I needed to see a doc.

Of course, I googled my symptoms and scared myself half to death with all the things it could be.

Luckily, I can rule out the Bubonic plague and leperosy.

Whew.

But...one thing stuck out to me.

I made plans to go to the local MedExpress (after I could arrange a sitter of course. God forbid Mom can get medical treatment on the spur of the moment.)

The doc took one 3-second look and said, "It's shingles."

Just as I suspected.

There are three causes of shingles, I learned: Being over 60 makes you more susceptible, having a compromised immune system (Cancer or HIV), and stress.

I'll let you guess which one applies to me.

My stress has 5 (okay, 6) names.

Being a SAHM is awesome...and may be the death of me. Seriously.

I HATE those nights (which happen much too frequently for my liking) where I sit down after the kids are in bed, survey the tornado of mess that they left behind (despite 5 million requests, threats, and demands to clean it up) and think, "I hate how mean I was today."

It's a day full of the kids fighting and yelling at one another, answered by me yelling at them (irony? stupidity?)

Messes being made and cleaned up (by yours truly) and then made again.

Constant food demands and subsequent dirty diapers.

Crap left in every room no matter how many times I recite "Toys stay in the playroom!"

I say each of their names so many times in regard to "Stop hitting your sister" or "NO kicking your brother" that I no longer like the sound of the name.

The paradoxical "STOP BEING SO LOUD, THE BABY IS SLEEPING!!"

I get more exercise from the 35 attempts I make to sit and eat a meal-but then get interrupted to get them a drink, or another piece of bread, or a paper towl, etc etc.- than I do from going to the gym.

My diet, while fantastic for my waistline has now (at least in my opinion) added to this odd disease I now have.
I used to comfort myself with food when I got stressed. Now I have...nothing.

Therefore, the stress festers and manifests itself into these red, sore, itchy, bubbles on my stomach that have traveled around my side and onto my back.

The stress of staying on a diet to be healthy may actually be making me sick!

At least that's what I plan to tell Jenny when I explain how I shamelessly ate 2 slices of pizza for dinner tonight. And not Jenny pizza.

The medicine prescribed for these blisters? Horse pills.

I get to take 3 of them a day for one week.

What is supposed to make me better may end up choking me to death.

I tried the ole guilt trip with the kids tonight. I showed them the rash (to a chorus of "ew's") and explained how I got the rash from them being naughty, not listening and being crabby. I told them they needed to listen since mommy is not feeling well. "Okay, mommy."

That lasted for all of 5 minutes. Then it was right back to punches and round house kicks.

I know when Joe gets home (after going to the gym when his shift ends at 9 PM) he'll probably remark on the condition of the house.

That's enough to make me go through the roof.

It brings to mind the on-point lyrics to "One Head Light" by the Wallflowers:

This place is always such a mess



Sometimes I think I'd like to watch it burn

Would I actually like to watch it burn? Of course not.

But I sure wouldn't mind an "Alice" who lived in, cleaned, and cooked for me and my brood.

What exactly did Carol Brady do anyway when she wasn't busy shopping for bell bottoms or getting her fe-mullet trimmed??

So, all that to say, I've had it. I am toast. I need a break.

And that break will come in about 18 years (or so they say) when the youngest heads out to college.

A night out with my husband without weeks of pre-planning would work wonders for me.

A night out without fear or guilt that the kids are crying the whole time would also be nice.

And would it be too much to ask that said night out not have to surround a prior commitment. Just a night where we go and do whatever we want. Like a movie.

Do you know how long it's been since I've been to a movie??

Don't feel it's necessary to remind me what treasures I have and how thankful I should be for these little babies.

I know all that.

Really. I do.

I only say these things to all of you because it's easy to do so behind the comfort and relative anonymity of the keyboard.

I'm blowin off some steam.

And it sure beats cleaning up this mess.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Imagine My Surprise

I was all set to begin today's post with "Even Steven" or something like that, but...to my utter and total amazement, I ACTUALLY LOST .6 LBS THIS WEEK!

Thank you, Jenny.

For once, her scale was kinder to me than mine!

Woo hoo.

I know I scoffed at my .5 lb weight loss before, but down is down, no matter how you shake it, so I'm choosing to celebrate.

I would have been happy with "even," but this...this is
w-o-n-d-e-r-f-u-l.

I also managed to get them to allow me to wean off of Jenny breakfasts.

As much as I love this process, the meals are starting to get a little pricey for a family our size.

Instead, I bought egg beaters and I'll get a whole grain cereal from the grocery store and that saved me about $30.

I'm only about 4+ lbs away from my half-way mark (according  to Jenny's scale) and then I get $50 off!

So, that bemoaning post from last night is starting to fade a bit from my memory.

Do I still want to dip my face in a bowl of chocolate or wear a feed bag of Doritos around my neck?

Of course.

But at least I am still seeing progress even when I struggle.

There is nothing more inspiring or potent than seeing success-even baby steps to success.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Marathons: Cool; Food: Bad.

Blogger has been giving me some grief lately, so it's been a week since my last post. I feel like I'm in confession.

Joe ran the half marathon yesterday. He would have run the full, but with the baby being born in January and then the whole crappy job loss/change, there just wasn't time to train like he'd need to.

He says he "only ran the half." As if 13.1 miles is the same as running around the block.

I'm winded just running up the stairs.

I love race day. It was especially exciting this year because my sister Missy (Hi, Miss!) kept the kids at home so I could go downtown with Joe unencumbered.

It was dreamy.

Not that I didn't miss the kids or wish they were there to see their dad accomplish this amazing feat, but it was nice  not having my head on a swivel doing constant head counts, maneuvering strollers in and out of throngs of people, walking ridiculous distances to the tune of whining and grumping, and--my personal favorite--kids using port-o-potties. I wore my mp3 player and planned to just zone out for the 2 hours it would take Joe to run.

Luckily, my father-in-law met me down there and I was able to have 2 uninterrupted hours of adult conversation with him. How nice to just shoot the breeze.

I always get so emotional at races-especially ones so high profile.

The energy at these events is palpable. Runners have such a community about them. Everyone cheers for everyone. I love to see someone struggling, and then when they hear the cheering and clapping of the crowd, and the encouraging words of "you're almost there!" or "you got this!" watch that struggling runner pick up speed and give it their all. *sigh* Gets me all misty.

That nervous anticipation of waiting for Joe, not quite knowing exactly when to expect him, is so fun. Then, when we catch a glimpse of him, it's such a rush--for him and us. Even though it's only a split second that he passes us, it's worth the hours of waiting to see his face light up.

I spent the whole morning texting people play-by-plays.

Seeing all those runners in tip top shape did a lot to boost my desire for maintaining this diet too.

It's not been easy. I've fallen off a couple cliffs lately.

After the race yesterday, we had a combined good-job-Joe-&-bday-party-for-our-2-oldest BBQ. We had so much food.

Chicken. burgers, dogs, salads, desserts...you get the idea.

I fore-went (is that even a word) the Jenny cuisine and had a burger, some potato salad, roasted red potatoes (a little meat with my starches), cole slaw, baked beans.......my my my.

For my finale, I had a piece of chocolate cake.

And a couple glasses of wine. Eeeek!

Wait...there may have been a cookie in there somewhere.

We'll see just how badly that hurts me tomorrow when I weigh in.

I'm a little nervous. I feel like a little kid confessing to breaking the lamp when I tell my counselor that I went off the wagon.

But I've decided that I can't wait to meet my goal weight for yet another reason.

I am SO SICK AND TIRED of constantly thinking about my weight, about my body.

It consumes my every thought.

From "oh, I can't have that" or "Gosh I wish I could have that" to calculating my calories eaten and burned or mentally ripping myself a new one because I hate how I look and feel...I'm so sick of thinking about it. It definitely should serve as a permanent reminder about why it's so important to eat in moderation and to eat healthy the majority of the time.

I love food. Period.

Unfortunately, I associate food with happy times.

Get a new job? Let's celebrate by going out to dinner.

Go on a date night? Let's grab appetizers and drinks before the movie.

Friends in town? How about grabbing dinner.

Family dinners at the in-laws every week? Well...it's family dinner for cryin out loud. It's all about eating.

I don't want to be a calorie nazi. I don't want to be the food gestapo. I just want to enjoy life and feel good in my body.

Is that ever going to be possible or will this albatross be around my neck forever? Will eating always be wrapped up with guilt if I indulge in the "naughty" things that I love so much...but are oh so bad for me?

I don't know! Those are all rhetorical questions.

I'm assuming that it will be better once I meet my goal weight because at least I'll look better. But I'm not sure I will ever be able to fully relax around food again. And the worst part about that? I did that to myself.

Now there's "food" for thought.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Awwww Yeahhhhh. I'm Feelin' It

I'm feelin' pretty good.

Weighed in today.

Down 3.8 lbs, y'all!

and THAT'S after a Mother's Day/Birthday party weekend filled with a scrambled egg & cheese & Sausage casserole (to DIE for!), Grands orange cinnamon rolls, pizza & ice cream cake!

Woo hoo!

I was feelin SO good, in fact, that I just did a Dancing with the Stars, Karina Smirnof-type spinaroo on the living room hardwood and lost my balance, rolled my big toe and heard a loud "crack."

Now it hurts to to walk on it a little.

That's my very short-lived dancing career.

I think I'll leave that kind of moving to Kirstie Alley.

So......grand total of weight loss so far......

Wait for it.

Wait for it.

18 lbs!

Suddenly my head is filled with the sounds of Shania Twain and "I feel like a woman"

I just may celebrate by drinking a bottle...I mean...a couple glasses of wine.

HAHA.

The husband's ears just perked up!

Naw, that's counter productive. (Or too productive if you know me and know what I mean!)

But I WILL allow myself some forbidden treats like a random cookie or a handful of potato chips.

It's the little things, after all.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

And That's What a Few Glasses of Wine Will Get You

I love wine.

And by 'wine' I mean one tiny step away from strawberry kool-aid.

I like a good Riesling--screw top or box only, thank you.

And so the hubbs got me a bottle of Riesling and himself a nice, dry red.

We settled on opposite couches in our family room and sipped while we watched TV. 

Yes, we are an old married couple.

And, as history proves, we can't even sit on the same couch when drinking anymore or 9 months later we magically have a baby.

We were hooting it up, the wine going down so smoothly, when the news came across about bin Laden.

Whom so many newscasters kept calling Obama.

I'm certain this blog post will be flagged now.

We were feeling pretty good. Pumping our patriotic fists in the air.

Laughing.

Posting stupid Facebook status updates.

Yes, I was one of them that night. I became the very subject of one of my own blog rants.

And then we hit the hay and slept a nice, deep, wine-induced sleep.

Fast forward to today's Jenny weigh-in where I stepped on the scale and heard that I've lost a half a pound.

Is that even possible? What the heck is a 'half a pound'??

How is that even measured?

And BTW...it's not accurate. According to my scale, I've lost 2 lbs this week.

But I'm pretty sure the culprit was the wine.

That friggin wine that felt so good going down and elicited so many giggles.

It apparently took up semi-permanent residence and invited all the other water in my body to follow suit.

So now I have to live with the disappointment of logging in a 'half pound' weight loss.


It's embarrassing.

But what a life lesson.

So many bad things come of wine for me.

Silly status updates...bad weigh-ins.

I definitely can't refer to the kids as 'bad.'

Impetuous, maybe.

So there you have it ladies and gents (do guys even read this??)

When you're on a diet, stay away from the sauce.

It most definitely doe NOT agree with the scale.

In other news...today was a winner.

It was rainig cats and dogs.

I struggled to get my Jenny food in the van along with getting M & E in and buckled.

H was in the stroller waiting her turn.

She had no choice-she's only 3 months old.

I was busy bickering with E that it was RAINING and I didn't want to WAIT for her to buckle herself when I turned back to H and noticed she was rolling away from me.

In the parking lot.

Down a small hill.

I yelled.

And lunged.

Luckily (unluckily?) she ran into a light pole and that kept her from going any further.

She was unhurt, but a little miffed, I think that it was such a jarring stop.

Finally, I got her in the car. All 872 buckles fastened and we were on our way.

We got home and I tried to be super woman and haul all my bags, the diaper bag, my purse, the baby in her car seat and M (the almost 2 year old) up the fron steps and in the house.

I hate to make multiple trips.

Especially in the rain.

Instead, as we were climbing the cement front steps, I must have bonked E in the head with the diaper bag (which probably felt roughly like a wrecking ball to her mellon) thus causing her to lose her balance and fall/roll in 

s   l   o   w     m   o  t  i   o   n

down the steps.

Faceplant style.

Somehow she managed to fall in between the potted plants, on top of the watering can, and yet knock nothing down.

Amazing.

Maybe Liam's angel was there too. ;-)

Her final position was face down, head-first, sprawled eagled.

I had to figure out the best way to put everything down without dropping the baby or knocking M off the steps as well.

Then, once I realized she was okay, I had to hold back my giggles so the neighbors wouldn't  think I was cruel.

But you all know my sense of humor.

So, here I sit now, laughing out loud at the memory. E even laughed with me.

She said, "That was a-larious!"

Girl after my own heart.

Those neighbors I was so afraid of making a bad impression on...

one of them asked me tonight when we were expecting to have the baby.

I looked at her with that stupid, what the eff are you talking about look I assume with people I think are dumb.

She said, "Are you still expecting?"

I'm sure my face said it all.

I'm not sure which one of us was more embarrassed when I told her we had the baby already.

In January.

Turns out H was born on her mom's birthday.

Thankfully, the awkward moment ended and I went back in the house.

Suddenly not feelin' as good about the 15 lbs I've dropped.

It's called a little dose of reality.
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