Thursday, January 02, 2014
I realize that nearly every single weight loss program urges participants to "purge" their household of all high calorie evils, and if you think that will help you to stay on track, go for it.
(there's always a big but, right?)
Purging your home of all high calorie foods will not take away the temptation to eat said snacks. It only temporarily keeps you from dealing with it.
Trust me, I was a purger. And when I wanted a snack, I wouldn't eat it. That is, I wouldn't eat until it became available to me --- at work, at club meetings, at restaurants. THEN, I managed to convince myself that it was a "special situation," and I could treat myself.
Of course, eventually this was my undoing. The reality of my life is that I spend more time at work, with friends, at restaurants, or at meetings than I do thinking about snacking at home. I can't eliminate snacks from my life. I have to deal with it.
Here's MY truth: I need to learn to control my eating in all areas of my life.
As the holidays come to a close, I will not replace the cookies and candies that have lingered around the house, but I will not toss them completely (unless they go bad). I need to practice moderation, and teach my children moderation. After all, it wasn't one cookie, or for that matter, one holiday season that got me where I am today.
As we move back into the regularity of the schedule (work, school, etc) my focus is on staying away from fast and prepared foods. We are moving toward more fresh and whole foods.
Wednesday, January 01, 2014
Last night, at 11:00 pm, because I prefer sleep over parties, we rang in the new year.
AT THAT MOMENT, it hit me. Why do we make such a big deal about a new year, when every day is a new day?
Really, the calendar was designed by a combination of science and religion over time. Beginning our calendar year in January is actually a compromise. Scientists would have our year begin with the winter equinox (December 22), but theologists calculated the Nativity (wrongly, we now realize) to be in late December. So, somewhere around 600 AD, the powers of the time decided that the new year would happen one week after the Nativity.
The calendar is just a method of uniformity for the world.
But a day! A day is a whole new beginning for our lives! It's not an unwritten novel, it's an unwritten post-it note! It's short, it's easy, and tomorrow is always there.
So Happy New Day!
Sunday, September 02, 2012
The last few weeks have been a whirlwind. An unexpected trip to Minnesota, only to return the night before the first day of school.
The kids have been back in school for a week, and we survived the week without much drama. Fatigue, yes. Stress, absolutely. But, here's the greatest part. I lost five pounds this week. My biggest weekly loss!! I think the combination of lots of water, and more activity is responsible. I'll take it!
On Monday, Ron (12) came home saying, "Guess what, Mom! I signed up for Cross Country!" He was so excited that I didn't have the heart to express my doubts. Our family rule is that you finish what you start, so there's no quitting. Ron has never been athletic, and he detests running. Every year, he talks about all the other kids can run, and he can't. So, every year, I try to work with him on building up his endurance. He always hates it and it becomes a huge struggle.
On Tuesday, Ron said, "I ran 1/2 mile today!" I love my boy, so I applauded him and said he was doing great. Still, Cross Country is two miles of uphill and downhill, so I was concerned. His discouragement with running in the past has come from the fact that the other boys were all faster than he was. I felt disaster looming.
On Wednesday, Ron said, "My legs hurt!" I told him that was normal, and they would hurt, until his body was used to running. Again, I had doubts. Last year, in PE, he claimed his back hurt, and after crying about it for a few days, we took him to the Dr, only to find out that nothing was wrong.
On Thursday, Ron said, "I'm tired of running." I said, "I understand. But the rule is, you can't quit. You will finish the season. And, it will get better."
On Friday he was excited. He had been issued his uniform and was excited about the first meet on Saturday. With his list of instructions from the coach, "Eat dinner early, drink lots of water the night before, and get sleep." I remained worried. I knew he wasn't going to win, and I highly suspected he was going to be last. I secretly wished that I could protect him from this humiliation, but he was jumping in feet first.
Saturday morning, he was so nervous that he couldn't eat breakfast, which was probably a good thing. The bus trip was 2 hours to the meet, and the team stood around for about an hour before the boys ran. The other boys stretched and pulled and warmed up. Ron just walked around talking to people, and trying to be cool.
Off went the gun. Immediately, Ron fell behind the pack. My heart sank and my eyes welled up with tears. My little guy, my baby was going to lose miserably.
The runners disappeared around the first corner, and we lost sight of them. I prayed and prayed that he'd be okay. The first of the runners emerged again, and we tried to identify the leaders in the distance. I wasn't surprised not to see Ron.
Slowly, the runners ran into to the finishing arena. First the leaders, then the majority---one by one they staggered in. Finally, in the distance, I saw Ron coming around the first corner---barely jogging, mixed with walking. He looked beat, and there was the tractor behind him, which meant----He was last.
I moved to the edge of the ravine and cheered him on from afar, as did Hagrid. His load was heavy, and I could feel his disappointment from across the world. He jogged/walked up to the last turn. He looked like he was going to pass out or cry at any moment.
My eyes welled up with pride for my little guy. He had given it his all, and had failed. I prepared myself for the pep talk I would have to do---the damage control. How would I get him to pick himself up and try again next week?
I heard something behind me, and when I turned around, the entire Jr. High team, both boys and girls, were jogging out on the path to meet him and run him in. My tears flowed as these kids took care of my baby. It was a moment I will never forget.
We left shortly after the race, after Ron had time to cool off and catch his breath. We decided to drive an hour and north to see our oldest daughter, who is finishing up college. On the way, Ron said, "I'm proud of myself!"
I was shocked. How could coming in LAST do this?
He said, "Mom, I knew I wasn't going to win. But, I finished---and best of all, my team didn't pity me. They HELPED me. That was the best!"
And then I realized. Pity was what *I* was feeling, not him. It wasn't a race for him. It was a journey---one segment of his first journey as a runner, as a person, as a blossoming adult.
My twelve year old, my baby---was wiser than me.
Friday, August 03, 2012
The link above is to a message board post that has had many responses. I decided to address this in my blog because IT'S IMPORTANT.
I've been chubby my whole life. When I was 11, we were visiting some family at a lake cabin, and my grandmother saw me in a bathing suit and commented on my stretch marks. I didn't even know what stretch marks were, but I knew they had to do with my being overweight.
I didn't come from a family of chubbies. All of my siblings were athletic and thin. I don't know what made me different.
So I grew up large and round. That said, I've always been functional. I can walk, I can do the things I need to do. I've never had my weight be a problem for my health. When I married and wanted children, I thought, "Uh oh, this is it..." But, two children later, and absolutely no complications in pregnancy. My blood pressure has always been fine. I don't have diabetes.
My husband fell in love with me as a fat person, so there's no pressure there. The only people in my life that have been critical of my weight are my parents and my siblings, who have spent vast amounts of time trying to fix me. They've said things like, "I just know you'll be so much happier if you'd lose weight." Really? Because that totally sounds like you think I'm not happy. I have a husband who adores me, the greatest kids in the world, a job a love to go to, six dogs and three cats to keep me just a little dysfunctional! I AM HAPPY.
So, if this whole fat thing is working for me, why have I spent vast amounts of time and energy trying to lose weight? Honestly? ---because I'm a pleaser. I like to make people happy. And, I've always felt like my weight has brought people down. I suppose that's because my family never really understood, but I don't blame them. I know that most thin people don't understand "fat acceptance." The world thinks we're broken (I even had an old boyfriend who told me that I was the most amazing person he'd ever met, but that he wouldn't commit to me because he felt I had something hidden in psyche that caused me to be overweight, and this hidden thing scared him, so he'd "let me go" until I dealt with it and moved forward. I moved forward, without him!).
So, let's see. I've done Weight Watchers four times. I don't know why, since it didn't work the first time, why I went back the second time, the third time, and the fourth time. I did Nutri System. I did 6 Week Body Makeover (and lost 60 pounds in 12 weeks and gained it all back).
After quitting WW the last time, and before realizing that I was doing this just to make everyone else happy, I found Sparkpeople. But, keep in mind, I wasn't doing this for myself. I was still looking for the magic pill that was going to fix me so that everyone else would be happy with how I looked. It didn't work.
In January of 2012, an acquaintance announced that she was scheduled to have weight loss surgery in March. Now, I have to say that this surprised me totally. This person was diagnosed with diabetes a few years back and made no changes in her eating habits. She laughed when the doctor put her on meds. She is constantly complaining that she's dieting and can't lose weight, but she eats out five or six times a week, and no exercise! The dr. she went to told her she had to lose ten pounds on her own prior to the surgery to demonstrate her commitment. She went on protein shakes and all liquids for five days prior, and showed a ten pound loss. No doubt about it, she was looking for a magic pill to make her lose weight.
I thought about it. I'm morbidly obese, and I'd easily qualify for weight loss surgery. My parents and sister have even told me I should consider it. My darling Hagrid said, "Whatever you decide to do, I'll support you."
But, it was my kids who said, "Mom, we love you the way you are! We just want you to be healthy. Oh, and it would be nice if you could do stuff with us, because you're always so tired and stuff."
I'm always tired and stuff. While keeping a home and family going is hard work, and I do have a full time job, I spend a lot of time on my butt being tired.
And it hit me. This isn't the way I want to spend my life. I want to be able to go and do and see, without always being tired.
I have an aunt who has always been active. At eighty years old, she took up snowmobiling!
It isn't too late. So, I got on Sparkpeople, and I said to Hagrid, "I'm afraid to fail again."
He said, "You won't fail. You've never failed. It's time in your journey to take on the torch."
My perspective changed instantly upon beginning participation, again. I've been energized by exercise. I'm enjoying simpler cooking with veggies from my garden. Yes, I've had downs in the past month, and times I said I wanted to quit. But I really don't want to quit. So I have some down times, and I get up and the next day I'm still here, and ready to go.
When I look at the scale (which moved, by the way, finally), I say, "I don't like 284, but it's a far sight better than the 294 and higher from when I started."
So, THAT'S what makes this time different. Introspection---doing this for myself, instead of doing it to make others happy. This time it's real---more real than it's ever been. I never cheat (everytime I did Weight Watchers, I would go out and eat hamburger, fries, and a shake right afterwards because AFTER weigh-in was the Twilight Zone, where it didn't really count). It all counts because I'M THE ONE HOLDING MYSELF ACCOUNTABLE. The only one I'm cheating is myself.
I knew this was too long to be a forum post. My heart runneth over.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
This has been on mind for the past few days. Pastor Tim talked about this on Sunday. The opposite of Faith is Fear. The opposite of Fear is Faith.
I've always considered myself a faithful person.
But I live in constant fear.
And so, I've been working through this paradox--and I've come to only one logical solution, which is, of course, the one that I don't like.
It's hard. It's uncomfortable. It requires me to change.
I live in fear. I've been fat since I was a teenager. Of course, I had times that I was "less fat." But, I've always dealt with weight issues. My mother died when I was thirteen, and as an adult this has caused this underlying timeline in my brain. Will I die when my kids are thirteen? Will I die when I'm 44 (my mother's age at death)?
I live in fear. My step-sister died of breast cancer at 41 years old, leaving behind her two children who were 16 and 12 at the time. My mom had breast cancer too (although this is not what she died from).
I live in fear. My children have grown up to be overweight also. Hermione (14) is only slightly overweight, but she has been teased by kiddos at school. She is NOT athletic and prefers her books to the gym. Ron (12) is definitely paunchy. It took me visiting him at Scout camp, and seeing him in a group of other boys his age to really see how heavy he is. I don't want them to be what I am.
(No, my children are not named Hermione and Ron, but for purposes of privacy, I prefer to keep them this way)
I live in fear. There are many things I want to do with my life that my weight has cheated me of.
I live in fear. I don't do things that I love because I'm afraid. One example--I stopped flying because I fear the looks of the people who sit next to you wishing that they didn't have to. I fear having to ask for a seat belt extender. I fear being kicked off the plane because of my size.
I live in fear. I'm a teacher, and I know that parents and students don't believe me to be intelligent or capable because of my weight. It doesn't matter that I have a Master's degree earned with a straight 4.0 grade point average, or that my classes have some of the best test scores in the state. What people see is a person who is fat and undisciplined. They question my competence, even when the data tells them that I'm a good teacher.
Fear is the opposite of Faith.
It's time--once and for all--to turn things around. It's time to have Faith.
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