Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Well, I guess I can't say that my weekend was uneventful...
I got a call right around noon from the kids' school. Ethan was already home sick (since Wednesday) and now Logan had a fever. I went and picked him up. And then Hubs started feeling ill. *sigh* Here I was, one week before I'm supposed to be in the Vagina Monologues, surrounded in a tiny house by sick people coughing everywhere. I did my best to spend my time away. Spent a good deal of time at the gym, washed my hands over and over again. Desperately trying to NOT get sick. Of course, my gym time was cut short when I pulled my hip again. *sigh* And then I was forced to sleep on the couch -- not the most comfortable place to sleep, especially with a sore hip.
Once again, I was the only well person in the house. I went to the gym and closed it out, staying for a good, solid hour and a half or so. Then I headed home and walked the dog, trying to kill even more time. It was a long workout with ST and the like, and a challenge to see just how many crunches I could do. I do mine on the ab recline bench because it has the added benefit of working my hips and it doesn't make my lower back sore. Total before failure? 331. Payback later? SORE hips on both sides! D'oh!
After a little rest, I showered and changed and headed up to my MIL's house. She was having her birthday keg party and I was the only one well enough to go. I hit the store, bought her a few gifts, and then arrived at her house around 6:30pm. I didn't end up getting home until 2am, somehow avoiding the house for a great deal of time. I did have 2 glasses of beer, and a few snacks, but I spent a good part of the night dancing. Payback later - sore legs in addition to my sore hips, abs and arms (from ST). Again, I was stuck sleeping on the couch. OW!
Okay, so here's where the title comes in.
Weight Last Week: 329.4
Weight Goal for This Week: 327.4
Actual Weight This Week: 328.0
Weight Loss/Gain This Week: -1.4 pounds
Needless to say, it pissed me off. I had been good all week. I had managed to keep my head above water even when I was thrown a dozen curve balls. And I stuck to the plan about 99% of the time. I wanted my two pounds. I needed them. I fell short. I considered myself a failure. It was a bad morning. It was a worse day.
Nearing noon, I began to worry about Ethan. He got sick first, on Wednesday. He was running a fever for days, but it had been gradually decreasing. He seemed on the mend. He actually felt well enough Saturday morning to eat 2 bowls of Ramen noodles. And now he looked just as bad as he did when he started on Wednesday. I took his temperature and realized his fever had spiked again to 103, and somehow I knew that enough was enough. I got him and myself dressed and drove him to the ER. I kept telling myself I was overreacting and he was just fine, but something in my gut said - "Better safe than sorry!" I also know there's a round of flu going around here that no flu shot can match, and I had a sneaky suspicion that there had been a case of H1N1 flu too (later confirmed). So I laughed at myself and asked the triage nurse if I was overreacting and she said they would do some tests and it was probably just the flu...they'd seen a lot of flu cases recently.
First he was swabbed for strep and the flu. I figured that would be the end of it.
Next they came in with a wheelchair and my heart stopped. They were taking him for chest x-rays.
I calmed myself down with the "they're just trying to cover all their bases" motto.
Then they took blood. (and he just about had a panic attack because he looked at the tube of blood coming out of his arm and got scared)
I told myself they just wanted to be sure it was viral, not bacterial.
And then they came in to give him a breathing treatment.
HOLD THE EFFIN' PHONE. What?! Breathing treatment?
Yep. I got nervous. They don't do breathing treatments for the flu. At least, I'd never heard of such a thing. They only people who get breathing treatments are little kids with asthma, people who have troubles breathing, trouble with their airways. HOLY CRAP!
As he slept, I cried. We waited so long for news.
Turns out his flu turned into to bacterial bronchitis. They gave him some antibiotics and said he could go back to school on Tuesday. By the time we left he was asking for 2 chicken sandwiches from McDonald's and I was happy to give him anything he would eat considering he had eaten so little in the past 5 days.
After the ordeal there, I was a stress eating monster.
McChicken sandwich. Would've been fine if I stopped there.
Also bought a bag of Whopper Robin Eggs at the store because I needed something to crunch and was stressed as hell because Rite-Aid was out of his antibiotics.
Then I ate fries that I didn't even LIKE.
Oh, and then later, once I went back out to get his prescription and groceries, I grabbed pizza and took it home.
It was a hard night. I was upset over the mediocre weigh-in. I was upset over seeing my little boy so fragile. I was just plain ole upset and stressed out.
Oh, and to add insult to injury, I sent a message to the girl in charge of the play to let her know I wouldn't be at rehearsal because I was in the hospital with my son. Instead of asking if he was alright or saying something nice and sympathetic, she started hounding me about when I could meet next and how *I* should contact this place again to see if we could meet there. I wanted to strangle her. I eventually had to tell her, "I can't deal with this right now because MY CHILD IS IN THE HOSPITAL!" *sigh* Some people!
I did finally get to sleep in bed, as Hubs said I needed it now more than him so I could heal properly and get back to 100% for my play. He washed all the sheets and blankets and insisted that I sleep in bed that night.
Of course, Hubs made me feel guilty about taking the bed the next day, because he realized just how uncomfortable the couch was. *sigh* I was so super sore. I was upset. I ate like it.
A big salad with lite ranch
It was a really hard weekend and I have to say that I'm kinda glad it's over.
Today I put in my resignation with the paper.
Today I sent my e-bill in for February.
Today I will entrance my first case.
Today I will finally memorize completely my monologues.
Today I GUESS I will HAVE TO call the stupid school to ask for a place to practice (why the girl running this damn thing isn't doing it, I don't know...she's pissing me off so much...I'll be happy when the whole thing is over).
Vagina Monologues - Friday and Saturday nights
Boxing Lesson #2 - Saturday afternoon
Master Zumba Lesson (?) - Sunday
This week goals:
No more stress eating.
Back on task.
Lots of water.
Lots of cardio.
Finish all ST, or at least try each one.
No eating out.
Weight Goal: 326.0
Friday, February 18, 2011
Okay, I am seriously considering seeing a doctor about this hip situation. I need to know if I should just stop trying to run altogether or if there is something I can do to correct my problems. I ran again today. First interval felt great. I ran at 5.0 for 1/10th of a mile and it felt awesome. I waited a LONG time, walking at a regular pace, before I tried to run again. The first .08 miles of the second interval were fine, but those last .02 put me into a tailspin of regret, concern and just plain anger. Seriously, I'm angry. I'm a runner at heart who is physically unable to run, and it's killing me mentally. Not sure what I'm going to do yet, but I'm honestly considering calling the doc for a consultation on the matter.
Second of all, I signed up yesterday for the Get Lucky 7k in Minnesota, which I will walk while RAVENSONG and MEZZOANGEL run their hearts out ahead of me. Yes, I'm sure you can hear the disappointment in my voice, but I'm trying to get over it. I never thought I'd still be in the same place after a year. I've come so far physically, lost a lot of weight and inches, am stronger than I've ever been, can walk much faster than I could when I started, but running just isn't in the cards for me. It's what's been holding me back from signing up for any races thus far, but for some reason I woke up yesterday and told myself I had to do another race, even if I walked every step, I had to do it.
The problem right now is figuring out how to get there without killing my bank account. I have a lot of research to do on rental cars and airfare, but I have a feeling I'm going to be mad at myself for a long time for spending money when I *should* be saving it for the wedding in July. I'll figure it out, but right now I'm stressing major over it.
Third, I spent most of the morning FINALLY putting up my non-Spark blog.
I don't know why, but I think I need to share my story with non-Sparkers too. It's not a complete page yet, and only has one post, but I hope it will help me focus my ramblings here into more concrete posts on this wacky, crazy year I'm giving myself. This is my own version of Eat, Pray, Love - just without the Italians and Indians and such. I want to see if I can accomplish something similar right here at home (or, at least, in the continental U.S.).
Finally, it's likely needless to say, but my workout today was disappointing. In addition to the hip issues, I also had to opt out of one of my ST workouts because I just couldn't do it, couldn't even attempt it -- pull ups. HA! No. Not happening. I'm smarter than that. I have enough problems right now without knocking myself out by literally crashing on the floor when I fail and pulling every muscle in my upper body while I'm at it.
This week has been crazy. TONS of work for me to do, mixed in with nearly day-long training. Plus, I've had to step in and help out since one of our longtime employees up and retired without giving us any notice and then left days later, likely never to return. *sigh* Now I'm home for four days, both of my sons have the flu (Ethan's on the last day, I think, while Logan just started), and even though the weather is nice I'm feeling stressed and down and just want to sleep with an icepack on my hip (or a bag of frozen corn, which is what's on it right now).
Feeling very blah. Still sticking to workouts and nutrition goals anyhow, but I'm not having an UP day...let's just put it that way. Maybe tomorrow will be better. *shrug*
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Well, I will tell you that I got all hot and sweaty and steamy with Hubs on Valentine's Day. Oh, now get your minds out of the gutters! We were at the gym! See, now don't you feel a little foolish? ;)
First of all, the eating report, because that's where I'm struggling right now.
I had my day all planned out. I had my smoothie for breakfast, but was still hungry at 9:30am. I was hoping it was a temporary thing as I shift my body from one schedule to another. Let me just say that my body, I have learned through this process, works best on a daily schedule. When I get off my schedule, I go a little crazy. Hunger really is a funny thing with me, because I can actually TRAIN my body to be hungry. Right now, my body gets hungry in the morning, then again at 9:30am, then around 11:30am, then again around 2 or 3, and finally once I'm home. The only adjustment I've done for months is to vary my later snacks according to hunger, frustration, and a need to provide fuel for the upcoming gym workout. But the reason my body gets hungry at those times is because it's used to getting food at those times. And that works best for me. If I skip a snack, I get a little ravenous later and go a little crazy like my self-control has completely flown the coop. So now that I'm trying to switch out that morning snack, my body is a little confused (could be a really good thing in terms of breaking a plateau). I can report that this morning I didn't get hungry right at 9:30am...it was a little later. I had a pear and settled the beast. But I can also say that today has been a little crazy because I was in training all morning and didn't get my lunch until super late. I'll need to monitor myself more closely all day just to make sure I don't get a little nutty.
Anyhow, back to yesterday. So I enter in all my food into my nutrition tracker, and just as I'm realizing that I'm hitting every single goal (including carbs) with my planned food for that day, my boss shows up...with chicken salad. *face/palm* It was so sweet, and yet annoying. I've been trying to get her to make me her famous chicken salad for years now, and the moment I think I've got this eating thing down again, then she shows up with the Holy Grail. *sigh* Isn't that generally how life works? I did it. I ate the chicken salad. 2 sandwiches, actually. And I had to physically stop myself from eating more. (I did, however, eat them on sandwich rounds, that really thin bread, you know?! So I guess that's a plus.)
After my workout, I planned to go home and make Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo, and once again, things fell apart. I was beat...I'll admit that. Training pours everything out of me and leaves me a shell of what I normally am with a regular schedule. Everything gets all screwy and my energy is completely zapped attempting to adjust to the changes in environment and timing. We considered going out to eat (at a buffet! OMG!) but ended up at home instead (so at least that's a win!) where I had 2 more chicken sandwiches. I only ate the second one because after the first, I felt like I needed more food. I started reaching for anything and everything - chips, cookies, crackers with peanut butter. I didn't care what. I wanted that full feeling. Hubs finally looked at me and said, "You'd probably do less damage if you just ate another sandwich." So I did. And then I was done for the night.
I did, however, drink a CRAPTON of water yesterday - so YAY for me there!
Now, onto the workout...
My Hot and Steamy Valentine's Day Workout:
Started with 6 minutes on the elliptical machine as a warm-up. (I'm noticing I need a little more of a warm-up than I used to need just to get my heart rate up a bit more. This, in itself, is progress!)
I have to say, I'm in week 3 of this training and, so far, I haven't gotten bored ONCE! Three weeks of eight! And I'm just looking forward to it every single night. I've come to love free weights and heavy weight lifting and strength training so much...I just can't forget to keep in my cardio workouts.
1) Dumbbell Presses
Target: 4 sets - reps: 20/12/10/8
Actual: 4 sets - reps: 20/12/10/8 - weight: 5/10/15/20
It was my first time pulling out the 20 pound dumbbell and I cannot even tell you how empowering that felt! It was also the first time I was able to convince Hubs to do work in on my exercises with me. When he saw me doing 20 pounds, he HAD to do it too. *lol* He's such a man!
2) One Arm Side Cable Laterals
(OMG! His poor arm became detached!! EEP! ;) )
Target: 4 sets - reps: 20/14/12/10
Actual: 4 sets - reps: 20/14/12/10 - weight: 20/30/30/40
Last time (week 1) I did 4 sets - reps: 16/12/12/10 - weight: 20/25/30/35
I'm gonna call that improvement. I did it this time on the machine downstairs instead of the one upstairs. I was starting to max out upstairs on the smaller cable machine for some of my other workouts, so I figured I had better get used to this one now.
3) Reverse Dumbbell Wrist Curls
Target: 3 sets - reps: 16/14/14
Actual: 3 sets - reps: 16/14/14 - weight: 8/10/12
Now, the actual reps might be a little off. I did reach failure on these at the end. Problem was in the beginning I was trying to get some handle on how to get my arm on the bench in order to keep it steady enough to get the workout down right. The picture *I* had shows the person's arms straight out in front of them on the bench. Well, that doesn't exactly work right for me. One of the other gym regulars decided to come over and try to help us (me and Hubs) out with form too. "I'm a perfectionist," he said. I smiled. Me too. "Unless MY form is wrong," he laughed. "Then I don't want to hear it." *lol* He was friendly and was just trying to help. He didn't tell us we were wrong. In fact, he admitted he hadn't been able to find a proper placement yet that would allow him to maintain his form on these. We tried a few things, and it wasn't until I place my arm in front of me, but across my body making a slant (like / ) in order to keep my elbow out of play, isolate the right muscles, and keep my form in check. By the time we were done adjusting, I figured I had done about that number, but I can't be 100% sure. I don't think people do these enough, but I love them. I have some half-brained notion that they will help me last longer at a typing job where I risk carpal tunnel and other such injuries.
After our ST, I headed upstairs to meet my match. I knew I wouldn't likely have much time for a workout today and knew for sure I wasn't getting a gym workout (I have play practice after work), so I wanted to get a GOOD calorie-burning cardio workout in.
The Cross Country Setting.
I call it my nemesis and my best friend. It's evil and I love and hate that about it. I breathe so heavy. I want to quit 2 minutes in. The lowest settings feel fine, but then you go from the feeling of walking on sand, to wet sand, to mud, to attempting to climb out of a huge red clay mud pit. All changes in resistance. All evil. All enough to make me sweat like a hog on a spit.
At 5 minutes, I began bargaining my way out of doing the entire 30 minutes.
At 10 minutes, I told myself just 10 minutes more.
At 15 minutes, Hubs asked if I was done.
At 20 minutes, the kids started getting fiesty and wanted to leave.
At 25 minutes, Hubs was in awe, Ethan was in awe, I was out of breath!
At 30 minutes, I was triumphant!
And after 5 more, I was cooled down and exhausted and sore.
And here are the results.
And, yes, in the middle of an easier bit, I decided to take a picture of myself...and then was shocked at how tiny *I* looked!
So that's how I spent my Valentine's Day. How was yours? I did have 2 mini cookies. I'll freely admit that. I wasn't so fond of them, though... (I know, why 2 then? *sigh*) This morning the scale rewarded me. Today I'm trying to do a little better on my eating...I even brought some dinner since I won't be home in time to eat there like normal. NO FAST FOOD, Esther.
This morning I kept thinking how special last night was.
A V-Day not spent drowning my disappointment in chocolate.
A V-Day not spent arguing over money spent going out.
A V-Day spent in the gym doing good things for our bodies.
A V-Day when Hubs actually started listening to my training advice!
A V-Day when another regular started making conversation on the fly.
A V-Day that may have not gone as planned, but went better than I would have expected any year before 2011.
That, my dears, is true self-love.
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Weight Last Week: 330.6
Weight Goal for This Week: 328.6
Actual Weight This Week: 329.4
Weight Loss/Gain This Week: -1.2 pounds
I'll take it! This has been a VERY hard week on my diet. I got almost all of my fitness in, but eating has been a bit of a joke with all the stress eating I've done, so, yes, I will take 1.2 pounds when I assumed it would be 0 pounds lost. And I'll take finally getting back to 329. It's all uncharted from here, and I'm ready to go...I think.
Week in Review:
Sunday was rest day. I rested. Pretty good eating all day ended with a 1/2 a small box of Cinnamon Life Cereal. Ate Subway for lunch...and too much at that.
Monday - Shoulders and Forearms. Did that. Good eating all day ended with a 1/2 a small box of Cinnamon Life Cereal.
Tuesday - Legs & Calves workout. Did that. Zumba. Did that. Good eating all day ended with Mexican that night, but I was a good girl at the restaurant, so there was progress. Also ate Subway for lunch but was MUCH smarter about it. Again...progress.
Wednesday - Chest workout. Did that. Cut the cardio because I was exhausted. Tried lentil soup, which I didn't care for, but discovered that lentils are magical "fill me up" food, so I'm tracking down a new recipe (my nutritionist is sending me one this week that she LOVES). Tried Moussaka and loved it. Going to try to take the skin of the eggplant next time though, as it made it a little tough to eat.
Thursday was a rest day. I rested because Zumba was canceled and I needed time to talk to Ethan more. Craved chicken salad again for lunch, but the calories in the version I bought at Krogers wasn't too bad. Ate some sushi too. NOM! Made Cassoulet for the gang (that's the actual name of the SparkRecipe) and EVERYONE loved it. WILL make this again with the new Dutch Oven Shane got me. *big grin*
Friday - Back & calves. Major failure. Pulled my underarm muscle. They're killing me by expecting me to do pull-ups at 330 pounds. EEP! Did the best I could, though. Spent the morning hanging out with Hubs. Realized Shoney's breakfasts are calorie killers. Spent time at the gym with Hubs and actually did 1/2 of W1D1 of C25k before the hip started hurting a bit. I call that progress. I also call the fact that the hip feels healed now progress. Didn't get much cardio in later, but bonded with Ethan at the second trip to the gym, so that was good. Had a meeting with the nutritionist, which I'll discuss in a bit...but she's given me some food for thought, that's for sure. Family game night following Logan's dance, where I realized that these snacking nights of pizza and M&Ms need to be changed a bit.
Saturday - Triceps & Biceps. Did that. Curled 20 lb. dumbbell on the preacher curl machine. Again, I call that progress. My arms are feeling it today, and I love it! Ate like crap. More stress eating due to fights with Hubs and worrying about Ethan. Did well in the morning with a protein shake, though...and that gives me a thought for the rest of the week...
So, let's just put it out there. My fitness is going pretty well. I get most of it done without hardly thinking. I love weight lifting so that pulls me to the gym nearly every day of the week. Where the trouble has come is from the diet.
I spoke with the nutritionist, and this is what we discussed:
* I told her that on Friday, following my first visit to the gym, I made myself a shake with frozen fruit (pineapples, mangoes and strawberries), milk, water, and a scoop of the Body Fortress Whey Protein (chocolate). It was a HUGE shake, and tasted amazingly good. I kept thinking, though, that I'd be hungry soon after. It wasn't until 5:30pm, as I'm sitting in the nutritionist's office that I realize that I hadn't eaten or even thought of eating since the shake. And I got a thought right there and then - what if I swap this out for my morning breakfasts?
Right now I generally eat 1/2 a bagel with 1 Tbsp. of cream cheese and 16 oz. of coffee with 2 servings of creamer. Problem is, I get hungry within 2 hours. Problem 2 is, I've been considering wiping coffee out of my diet, but couldn't get over the thought of only drinking water on my way to work. So maybe this protein shake would kill 2 birds with one delicious stone. I told her the idea as it popped into my head and she encouraged I try it. Starting tomorrow (granted, I have to go back to the store today and get more fruit...can't believe I forgot it yesterday!) I will make myself a HUGE protein shake and enjoy that on my way to work.
I tested this out yesterday and took my huge shake to Logan's school to watch his game. Once again, I wasn't hungry for hours. I was even offered a hot dog and I simply was not interested. If this works, I can also cut out one of my morning snacks and I can start seeing if I can stay on the low end of my new calorie range (1700ish calories).
* I have a problem with carbs. I never expected this to be a problem, but Gina thinks it just might be the cause of some of the plateau issues. The problem is not too many carbs, but too few. I'm having trouble getting all of my carbs in each day, while I hit every other range just fine, my carbs lag behind. So she said to give it a shot, watching my intake and hitting at least my low range carb limit...see if that helps. She told me to turn to more fruits (another reason my protein shake in the morning will work), beans and legumes (like lentils) and whole grain breads.
Truth? I rarely eat bread anymore. Truth 2? I don't eat enough fruits because I can't find a lot of good, fresh fruits anymore (stupid winter!). Truth 3? I've actually eaten more fruits and beans/legumes this week, and even though I expected to never hit 329...I did. So there. We'll work on it for the next couple weeks and see what we can make happen.
Now, why do I have this problem? I told her it's likely because when I doubt what to eat, I eat like my mom would. Mom had gastric bypass years ago, so carbs are the enemy to her. So it makes sense that if I'm following her diet, I'm not getting all the carbs my body needs.
* I'm not getting enough calcium. Yep, I confessed that I rarely drink milk anymore. I don't eat cereal (except when I go crazy a couple nights a week with Life cereal *sigh*) because I don't see it's nutritional value when compared to how long it keeps me full. I get dairy through cheese mostly, but no milk...and, honestly, I'm probably not getting enough dairy either. So, she said, as a woman now in her 30s, I need to either up the milk intake, or take a calcium supplement. Of course, we'll be upping the milk intake with those protein shakes in the morning, so that's just one more reason that might help me out.
* I eat too much fat. I've had this problem from day 1. The goals I always hit first are protein and fat. I still stay in my range, but I always have worried about the fact that I hit that fat goal before anything else. So we're going to keep an eye on it and see where my fat sources are...take stock of what I'm eating and what I should cut. One thing? I need to cut mayo almost completely from my diet. The other day I had a turkey sandwich from Subway with mustard, not light mayo...and it tasted just fine. So forget the mayo and add mustard...let's see if that helps first. Then keep an eye out to see where the rest of my fats are coming from.
* I have high days and low days. Usually after a high calorie day, I have one where I can't seem to eat because I'm not hungry. And I'm not talking a little change. I'm talking, I'll eat 2500 calories (500 over my limit) one day, and the next I struggle for 1300 (400 under). This just will not work. I'm going to work on balancing this out more. I think I'll be alright if I have some 2000 calorie days followed by 1700 calorie days - those are my ranges. I need to work on coloring IN the lines, not getting all willy-nilly with the thing.
This was a great session with the nutritionist, and I'm so happy to have her in my corner.
So, onto the plan for next week.
Dinners mapped out for this week:
Sunday - Pelmeni / Vegetarian Rice Casserole *
Monday - Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo
Tuesday - Keema (from Pakistan)
Wednesday - Coconut Crusted Mahi Mahi
Thursday - NONE (I work the paper, so I'll have to bring my dinner)
Friday - Garlic Shrimp Pasta
Saturday - Pizza **
Other options in my freezer/fridge/pantry:
* Tator Tot Casserole (might make this today too as a lunch option)
* Honey Garlic Pork Chops
* Grilled Herb Salmon
* Going to try to cook both today so there are options for lunches for the week.
** We're switching pizza night from Friday to Saturday so I can still have breakfast with Hubs on Friday morning. I can't do two large calorie-busting meals in one day, so I need to try first to split them up. It's either that, or we'll start doing homemade pizzas on Friday nights instead.
Lunch options for the week:
* Turkey sandwiches with mustard
* Leftovers (if there are any)
Workouts for the week:
Sunday - Rest day. I'll likely take the dog for a walk since it's nice outside today.
Monday - 5 min cardio warm-up. Shoulders & Forearms ST. 30 min cardio follow-up.
Tuesday - Zumba. Legs & Calves*
Wednesday - 5 min cardio warm-up. Chest ST. 20 min HIIT on elliptical.
Thursday - Rest.
Friday - 5 min cardio warm-up. Back & Calves ST. 30-40 min Cardio
Saturday - 5 min cardio warm-up. Triceps & Biceps ST. 30-40 min Cardio.
* I may miss my Tuesday night workout. Sucks, but it's because I might have a practice meeting for Vagina Monologues that night. We'll see what happens. I may have to simply sacrifice the gym workout and do something at work or home instead.
Other Goals for the Week:
Watch carbs this week and try to correct where possible.
Get my workouts in, and adjust where need be for other obligations.
Stop eating sweets. Stop stress eating!
Watch my fats and try to correct where possible.
Try morning protein shakes each morning.
Keep up the talking to Ethan. *
Weight Goal for the Week: 327.4
* One final update. I've been talking to Ethan a LOT lately. It's been very productive. I found out that it's not an issue with KIDS at school, but his advanced/gifted classes. He said that sometimes he skips morning session because they eat breakfast at school (it's free, so that's where I have them eat) and he's been getting scolded for it from the gifted teacher. She keeps telling him the reason he's so behind is because he skips morning session. So we talked about how we could fix that, and we bought him some bagels for that morning. Something quick he can eat while waiting for the bus, and then be full and ready for those morning sessions. (I had no CLUE they had morning sessions!) Second, he's felt like he's missed out on some things in his regular class because he's in this gifted class. I told him that I would pull him out of gifted if he wants, but he's completely conflicted right now. He loves his gifted class, but he hates that he misses regular class things (especially the fun things) because he has to go work on other things. He also missed the bus one day (for the first time ever) because the gifted teacher held him too long before releasing him for his bus...and that made him feel extremely guilty for making Dad come pick him up).
Thank you all for your comments. Right now we're working with him at home, trying to get him to be more honest with us, trying to take the time to understand where his triggers are. We will certainly seek outside help if that's necessary, but for right now, we're working into the "talking it out" method. Ethan's more like me than anyone ever sees. I felt that way a lot growing up, but I thought it was because of my circumstances (crappy father who liked to beat me whenever the wind blew)...maybe it has to do more with how empathetic we are as people. As I've matured, I've learned more not to take other people's rejection and disappointment so hard that it destroys my own feelings of worth and value. I still struggle with that, but you CAN learn how to work through that. It's a process, and a long one at that. I have learned that he wants to talk to me, but only when it's safe (i.e. his brother is not around, and usually Dad too). I've told him time and again that I just want to know what's going on, no judging, no wrong answer...and that has been helping.
I'll touch base with the school when I can, but as someone said, budget cuts have meant there is no devoted school counselor at his school. They do have a child psychologist who works the entire district, so (1) I would have to make an appointment with her, and (2) I'm not sure she'd know much about him or his behavior since she's rarely there. Until then, I'll keep an eye on him here, and I'll keep asking him how that gifted class is going. I may even call down to his teacher and speak with her. She adores Ethan and sees him all the time, so she would know better than anyone what his behavior is like in school and what upsets him. Maybe I can see if there's any way she can hold off the fun stuff until he is able to attend...maybe work with the gifted teacher more on the schedule so the gifted kids don't feel so isolated. Gifted programs are supposed to enhance and be a privilege, not a sacrifice that a 3rd grader has to make. Sure, later, he should have to decide what's important, but to a 3rd grader...well, he wants the best of both worlds. He wants to be stimulated mentally AND emotionally...and why shouldn't he be able to have that?
Friday, February 11, 2011
Progress. You hear that word a lot, especially around here. Everyone's looking for it, people post how proud they are of it, how disappointed they are when they don't feel or see it. Progress is a big word...almost big enough to rival the other big P, the nasty P-word. (The one that leads people to want to jump off the cliff sometimes...you know it.) But what does it mean?
From Google: Definitions of "progress" on the Web:
1. develop in a positive way
That's this progress:
2. advancement: gradual improvement or growth or development
Uhm, that's what I'm hoping my muscles are doing right now.
3. advance: move forward, also in the metaphorical sense
Yesh, like my running...however slow it might be...
...or at least it WAS like that, until I started moving backward again...
4. the act of moving forward (as toward a goal)
Even if it's REALLY SLOWWWWWW, like the movement on my scale this week with a .2 here and a .2 there. *sigh*
5. build up: form or accumulate steadily
You mean like the pressure I put on myself or the (delusional) pressure I feel from those around us?
6. a movement forward
I like that one. Very easy to achieve. It's as easy as one step after another...
Okay, okay. So it means all the things we think it means. But what does it mean to ME?
Sure, progress is 85 pounds lost on the scale.
But, it's also...
... the lightness I feel when running now as compared to 80 pounds ago.
... knowing that I have the tools now that I struggled for so long to find.
... getting back up every time I fall.
... knowing that one misstep doesn't equal the end of the journey.
... being able to get off the couch.
... squeezing behind people.
... buckling (most) airline seat belts.
... not seeing stomach sticking out past my boobage when I look down.
... bending over and tying my shoes.
... getting to the gym 5-6 days a week.
... wanting to go to the gym.
... hating that the gym is closed Sundays.
... doing what I'm afraid of and realizing fear is in my head and can be overcome.
... walking miles before being tired and winded.
... lifting 60-100-200+ pounds with my arms or legs.
... understanding how nutrition works.
... understanding my body.
... wanting to train someone like I train myself.
... modifying Zumba to be more difficult and challenging.
... not being afraid of modifying recipes for healthier options.
... eating foods I know are healthier.
... giving myself permission to hope for more.
... giving myself the right to believe in my own beauty.
... being comfortable around people.
... being looked at in the eyes more often.
... feeling less wide.
... feeling free.
... planning outdoor activities and hating the weather.
... knowing that the weather doesn't have to stop me.
... being motivation for others.
... understanding I'm not you and I don't have to need what you need or do what you do or want what you want.
... having faith in my abilities.
... being willing to stretch the idea of what I can handle and testing my limits.
... feeling free to change my mind.
... being honest, even when I fear I might be judged.
... knowing when to keep my mouth shut.
... caring for others for more unselfish reasons.
... knowing that I still don't have all the answers, but I have the ability to find the answers to some of the unknown with enough research and time and understanding.
... understanding that I won't always feel happy, healthy and strong - and that is OK.
... learning how to get through the hard times without turning to food.
... learning to celebrate victories without food.
... learning to love food for what it can do to my body.
... learning to hate certain food for what it does to my body.
And progress is knowing that this:
...is not something to fear, but something to look forward to, because it feels like power and peace and strength and happiness soon after.
And progress is feeling power, not regret or embarrassment when I see this:
...because I'm not going back there. Because that girl had the strength in her to do what I've done so far...she just wasn't ready yet. She wouldn't be ready for another 2 years to really take on the challenge of changing her life completely. She had done it once before, but she needed that time to focus on other things, on making her inside stronger so she could deal with the pain and suffering this journey would bring.
That change of mind alone. That ability to be ready to change. That, in itself, is progress.
Sometimes it feels like the progress is so slow, that the changes aren't happening fast enough, that I've only chipped at the surface of what I need to do. The other day I heard this line in a Sara Bareilles song, "Compare where you are to where you want to be and you'll get nowhere." She's right. It's a waste of time. Comparing where you are to where you've been, though, is a great motivator to keep going forward. See, because even though it feels SO SMALL sometimes...when I put it down like this and really take a look, I realize that I've come a long way!
So I'm gonna keep going. Progressing by just putting one foot in front of the other. By trying to make this week better than the last. By remembering to work on all of me, not just the parts I think need to change now.
One step a day more is progress in its very definition. If all else fails, fight for just one step more.
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