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Bare Feet

Thursday, June 26, 2008

When I was a kid, I never had shoes on unless necessary. I remember feeding the dog, walking across the front porch, skirting along the snow that had drifted in, in bare feet. Until I moved out of the house, my mom complained that my shoes were always scattered around the house, and I could never find them, because I took them off the first place I stopped. I remember the summer that my parents had an addition put on the house; my mom made me wear shoes when I went outside because of all the stray nails in the dirt. It was torture. (As compensation, she bought me a heavy-duty magnet, one of those old-fashioned red horseshoe shaped ones, put a string on it, and let me drag it through the dirt to collect the offensive nails that were the cause of my distress.)

As I got older, into adulthood, I found that my feet would start to hurt if I was barefoot for too long. I started wearing clogs because they were almost like not wearing shoes, and in the summer, my feet went months in sandals, to where they felt suffocated when the first snow fell and I had to put "real shoes" on again. I bought slippers to scuff around the house, because that was also better than wearing "real shoes." The "real shoes" were still scattered at random places around the house, depending on where I'd stopped first when I came home.

When I joined SparkPeople and started working out last fall, I dragged out my old workout sneakers, from before we moved. I got out the Jazzercise DVD that my friend gave me, and gave it a shot. I had a big enough family room, where the TV was, to be able to move and dance. But the shoes! The family room has carpet, and while I was dragging myself through those early days of exercise, my feet felt so heavy and tired, and it seemed like my shoes were going to catch on the carpet and trip me up. So I took them off. I remember my friend who teaches Jazzercise telling me how years ago, she always taught classes (and students took classes) in bare feet; of course, she said that was before "we knew better." But I ignored that part.

You do yoga in bare feet. My very holistic friend who is an herbalist and healer has told me how important it is to go barefoot sometimes, to stay in contact with the earth (strangely, the inside of your house seems to work as well as the actual earth).

Sunday we had a party. I was doing party prep most of the day. It's finally beautiful summertime, and my feet were bare, on our hardwood floors, most of the day. When I showered and got ready in the afternoon, I put on my pretty sundress for our Hawaiian-themed party, and bare feet seemed most appropriate, so I left them alone.

That night, I realized, I'd had bare feet the whole day... and MY FEET DIDN'T HURT! All these years, I'd thought that having to wear shoes was part of getting older. I didn't realize that having to wear shoes is simply part of getting FATTER! Now that I'm not carrying around as much weight, my feet don't protest what they have to carry. They're happy. I'm happy, too!


Emotional Eating And My Three-Year-Old

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I'm exhausted.

Our daughter is three, nearly four, actually. I've been very conscious to try to not set her up for food issues with the "clean the plate" club and such things--not treating sweets as rewards, etc. But it drives me crazy because she is the pickiest eater around. She's not a junk food kid, and the few things she does like to eat are good, reasonably healthy things. But she will not try new things. She refuses. The only way to get something into her mouth that she doesn't want to eat would be to hold her down and pry her mouth open. Believe me, sometimes I've been frustrated enough that I've been tempted, but trust me, I won't go there!

We just had a fight over string cheese. Unbelievable. She loves cheese when I shred it for pizza. (I use my salad shooter shredder to do it, and the sound of that will bring her running from anywhere in the house, with a big smile and a sweet "can I have some cheese, please?") She has a cartoon she likes where one of the characters doesn't like to try new things; he gets brave one day and tries some new foods, including a "cheesy log". He discovers that he likes some new things and he doesn't like some, but he's glad he was brave and tried. So she was talking about cheesy logs, and wanting to try one. We were just grocery shopping, and I showed her a string cheese "log", and she said yes, she wanted to try it. We got home, and she said she wanted a snack before her nap. I was unpacking groceries and found the string cheese, and offered her that. I showed her how to open it... she touched it to her lips and announced she didn't like it. I told her it was the same as the cheese in pizza, just not shredded. No good. I reminded her she'd promised me she would take two bites when we bought it in the store. No good. I asked if I cut off a small piece and fed it to her, would she eat it? She said yes. I did. No good. I told her I was going to get really upset if she wouldn't try it at all, because she told me she would. No good.

I lost it.

I won't go into the details; I have a temper that is much better than it used to be, but I can scream pretty loud when someone pushes that final button. She ran off to her room, crying.

I finally calmed down and went in to put her down for her nap, and spent awhile talking to her about trying new things, how much it makes mom and dad proud of her when she is brave and does it. How she might find a lot of new foods that she would like, if she would try them, and if she doesn't like them, what's the big deal? We just get her something else. I doubt it made a difference, but at least I was calm, and she was calm, and she listened.

But I still have so much adrenaline in me that I went straight out to the kitchen... wanted to get into the ice cream that we bought for her early birthday party tomorrow... or the leftover cookies in the freezer... or the remainder of her Easter candy in the pantry.

But I didn't.

I came here, instead, and poured it out to my supportive Sparkers. And while the whole thing was really ridiculous, all the way from her refusal to my reaction, at least I did not polish it off by eating 10 cookies, or a pint of ice cream.

Life will always throw us garbage to deal with; I guess part of the point in learning and growing is getting better at dealing with it, because it will never go away.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPAMSWIFE 6/25/2008 2:51PM

    I dont have kids but I was a second mother to my 2 MUCH younger sisters. I remember the youngest going throught that. Its hard to come up with ways to get them to try new stuff. I ended up either making a game of it, eating something that she chose for me, or placing bets. 30 min of TV with her choice of show or mine, depending on if she ate the food or not. If she did she got to watch TV. If not she could sit with me and watch what I wanted or go play outside or in her room. I found that rewards, bribes, worked really well for them.
Not saying that it works for all kids or families.
I really loved your post, and am glad you chose SP over icecream and cake.

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Tired Super-woman

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

OK, I definitely hit a plateau in February. Sometime early in the month, the scale showed 141, and then it bounced back up to 142-143 and refused to move. I think my body was totally in hibernation mode: our long, gray winter was making me feel sluggish and unmotivated, and even though my exercise was still there, my calories were up and I just felt hungry!

Quite accidentally, I had a mini-streak of exercise last week. Thursday, I did a dance DVD in the morning, and then a friend called to invite me to join her snow-shoeing during lunch. Friday, I went skiing in the morning. Saturday, it was a beautiful sunny day, and I went for a three mile walk/hike up the snowy trail near our house. Sunday another friend invited me for a snowshoe adventure, and it was an adventure--breaking trail, 400-foot elevation gain, 2 1/2 hours... whew! I actually took yesterday off, I needed a break! But hopefully that mini-streak was what I needed to jumpstart my body again; this morning, the scale dropped two pounds!

The sun is out, the snow is (slowly) melting and hopefully my body is done with hibernation mode, and is ready to rejoin the world of activity and weight-loss again!


Forgiveness and Core Stability

Friday, January 18, 2008

So here’s what happened: I was recently at a business meeting, and we were discussing a recent ex-member of our group, and various business stuff. I made a comment about this woman that I should not have made; technically, it’s justifiable and true, but I consider her a friend, and I should not have said what I did. So of course, Murphy’s Law being what it is, my comment got back to her. Just before I went to bed late last night, I got an email from her, the subject was “say it isn’t so,” asking me if I had indeed said what I did.

Adrenaline and anxiety kicked into high gear; I tried just deleting her message, but that didn’t really make it go away from my head. I was in the wrong, and I knew it. The fact that what I said was true (though she would never admit it) was beside the point; my words were hurtful, especially to a friend. So I took a deep breath and wrote a simple email back that said, essentially, “Yes. I apologize.”

Then I wondered how I was going to sleep.

I took some deep, cleansing breaths, and tried to let it go–really, honestly, truly let it go. And I slept.

Then this morning, her response brought all of my letting go running back. To paraphrase (which is unfair to a very articulate woman like her, but I’m trying to keep this simple) it said basically, “I thought you were my friend, but I guess you’re not.”

I knew that I had a couple of choices. Several, actually. I could get articulate myself, and write back a long email, defending my actions, trying to explain myself so that she would understand. But I knew that she wouldn’t, and it would only escalate the situation.

So I didn’t.

I knew that I could spend rest of the day beating myself up for it, replaying over and over again in my head what I could have said, justifying, endlessly apologizing, on and on, but (especially because I have a cold and am already physically exhausted and dragging myself through the days) that didn’t really sound like a fun day.

So I didn’t. At least, I thought I would try to avoid that.

So I spent some quiet time (a rarity in life, isn’t it?) in meditation. I struggle with the “empty your mind” idea of meditation, so I forced my focus to something else, something more pleasant and aimless. I tried to focus on how I felt, and how to not feel so bad. How to forgive myself, even if she doesn’t forgive me.

And I learned a couple of things.

I realized that, whether or not she forgives me, whether or not our friendship survives, it is much more important that I forgive myself, and mean it. Totally and completely, not with strings attached. That’s really hard. Most of us are really great at saying to ourselves, “I screwed up.” But to say, “It’s ok, you made a mistake, I forgive you,” to yourself, and deeply mean it, is much harder.

The second thing I learned as I sat and tried to focus the right way, and not let my mind wander back to the issue at hand, was about how I felt. I tried to go into my core, emotionally, and see how I felt. And I discovered that I felt kind of like a lava lamp… blobby and shapeless, ever-moving and shifting, without any solidity. It was kind of scary! Why did I feel that way? Certainly not just this situation from the meeting, of course it’s much more than that… life, self-esteem, other issues, the list goes on. But I thought about how the journeys we all are taking are multi-faceted, and that there is an emotional journey that accompanies the physical one. Without building up my emotional core stability, the physical changes will be hard to make and hard to maintain. I don’t know whether or not more crunches will improve the strength of that emotional core, but I’m willing to try! Now that I understand better that it needs help, I will work at finding some exercises to strengthen my WHOLE core, emotional as well as physical.

And I’ll keep working on that forgiveness thing, too.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JPR-ARTIST 3/5/2008 9:04PM

    Bless you and your time of meditation and struggle,for it is a contrite that Our Lord Loves. HE has more for our life than we could possibly imagine.
HE is the reason we have life and more abundantly in spirit and inner strength, if we only ask and look to HIM as our example. Praise God, through Jesus Christ.

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Tracking The Hard Way

Monday, January 14, 2008

OK, so I just got back from vacation. It's remarkably relaxing to be away from my computer for 5 whole days... and stressful, to not be able to quickly keep track of all my calories and exercise! There was a computer in the lobby of the hotel, but the only time I managed to get to it, it was occupied.

SO... the first day, I grabbed the notepad that seems to be in every hotel room (I have to say that Holiday Inn Express has one of the sorriest excuses for a notepad I've ever seen) and I just started writing everything down. The mangled, tattered little notepad rode everywhere in my backpack for five days... I sat in the "Treehouse" at the San Diego Zoo after lunch, writing down the day so far.

Then when I got home this afternoon, I entered it all... kind of scary! No checking in midday to see how things are going... and you all know how hard it is on vacation to 1-eat healthy and 2-remember what happened 3 hours ago! So of course I loaded up on the burger and fries at lunch on the same day that I had pizza for dinner! Yikes! But I managed to avoid desserts almost entirely (that's always my downfall) and make at least some healthy choices... plus walked around the entire San Diego Zoo, Legoland, on the beach, etc. A bit of balance.

All in all, I think I did ok. I think I did better than I ever have on a vacation before, when it's always felt like vacation=splurge on food. That must mean that some of these life changes are starting to stick. I hope.


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