Tuesday, May 24, 2011
"Well, Hello you blond beauty!", my favourite Aunt quipped as a I raced into the kitchen from packing to greet her. Mom was at the stove busily preparing egg sandwiches for Pam (my sister) and my clans (15 ttl.) and Aunt Kate and her grandbaby had popped in for a visit at Mom's. Aunt Kate had heard I stopped by and did a shift at her Soup Kitchen that she had set up for her clients the day before and was disappointed she had missed me, so she had to stop in for a visit especially with all the family hype about Lizzy's weight loss this Spring.
As I drew near to her seated by the kitchen island she gave me a long honest look-me-over and because the last time she had seen me I looked like this:
and now I look like this...
Her response was, "You look terrific, what have you been doing?"
This Aunt is THE only fit woman in my family on either side (until army brat sister). I think she is the very first person EVER in our families that EVER was on the inside of a commercial gym. Who knew, Y.M.C.A. was more than a catchy song? She did! She is the woman that when we visited her as girls would take us to the park, on hikes, for tobogganing or snowshoeing. We never sat still; she always had us moving (obviously she didn't have children of her very own to keep up that pace, learned years later). I remember she was always in a constant battle with her weight. Her personal mantra was, "MOVE IT AND YOU'LL LOSE IT!" She never heard of portion control. She was always trying the NEWEST diet. Gluttony was greed, but, a full stomach was your best indicator. Unfortunately, it didn't factor in Ding Dongs and Swiss Miss. My Aunt also has A.D.D. and is very artsy so, knowing from my sister's reaction my visit before and that my Aunt had made haste for this visit that the family rumour mill was in full swing...I wasn't going to get to get to my healthy weight before I got to tell people about my journey. It was now. Shamefully, I am NOT ready to share Sparkpeople, because I am not done my journey and I still need the privacy that I require to socialize with my Sparkfriends without the possessive interference of some family members. What to do? What to do? It had to be: short, sweet, and simple.
"Well, Aunt Kate, portion control. Especially, that late night bowl of ice cream. ", I replied.
"Or that late night tub?", she quipped in."I'm having a devil of a time keeping my blues at bay with my head in that bucket since menopause! I'm on medication for depression for it.", she confesses.
I had no idea that my favourite aunt in the whole wide world was in the dark like I was......my weight loss journey is helping me in so many ways. We exchanged glances like we knew how it felt to escape the danger of ourselves and lived to tell.
Then remembering the very full audience in the room she adds,
"Portion control; that's the key! Keep it up, you're doing fantastic! You've lost about 25-30 pounds?!", she said.
"Um, about that." I replied. I thought, "That exactly!" In my head. "Is it really that obvious? Wow....."
The Fitness Guru Aunt had spoken and it is now, Family Fitness Law, to be shared with all. Ah, blessed day.
"PORTION CONTROL!" ~ It was a crudely basic explaination of my health journey. It was the least 'preachy', offensive or challenging angle that I knew they could handle at this time. It was to the point and it still sparked my family. For the remainder of the weekend family nonchalantly controlled portions and chose healthier....
Monday, May 16, 2011
...it's really, Marie-Lou. My paternal grandmother's middle name and my maternal grandmother's middle name, while were at it my first name is my mother's middle name. So, this is no disrespect to middle names. Most of my spark peeps know the tidbits because I revel in the privilege of divulging all the information I can. That's what friends do. I don't mix sparkpeople with facebook. I cherish the anonymity. Most of my facebook contacts are not friends. "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer" as the saying goes. I'm not sadistic. I think that would just be painting a huge ol' target on my own butt, to all the haters just taunting them to hate on me. Why the hate? The world is just full of ugly. I don't need help finding more fights in this health journey. I am trying to fly under the radar, do things subtly and be as invisible as I can be and yet, I still find daily struggles without being facebook target practice.
Back to me being lame. I lost Athletic Me somewhere between, "I do" and Baby Number five. Ya, I know there's superstar women out there that can hold onto their athletic me's through thick and thin, have perfect marriages, finish their PHDs, be Miss. Social Queen, and get nominated for World Peace. Yay them. They're a dime a dozen. Too good to be true.
Not I. Nope. Be ready to lose 50% of readers here...I'm a Housewife! Yes, Exciting stuff. I console myself with the eerie quote, "The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world." Muhahaha. My smallest baby was 8lb7oz..largest 9lbs13oz. I gave birth to a two foot tall baby. Um, ow! With each baby I had anemia, and toxemia and after they effortlessly *popped* out (not) I had the utter joy of repetitive mastitis and postpartum depression. Oh, how could I forget? I had migraines throughout them all. THEY SO OWE ME! Babies are easy; go have a few.
No one minds much about the journey of baby's arrival, they just care that they're here...they don't care how, do they? No, they don't. I've got healthy kids and they are worth the damage that they did to my innards, my outters, my girls, my trunk, my EVERYTHING has been warped from it's original shape. I hardly remember what me really looks like! I totally feel for play dough. Poor play dough. (For, the record, I'm only saying those thing cuz I had to. It was the deal I made to have them evicted after sticking around for an extra 3 weeks in some cases...I signed under duress. Also, I think it's some unwritten Mommy Code of Ethics).
Back to, "Lame" being my middle name...those children and this hubby have turned my entire perspective inside out on life so many times. So much so that I am NOT the same woman I was when I began. I'm a better woman. They've taught me so much. Selflessness, ranks highest on the list.
There's a balance that comes with this though. I started as a very selfish woman. Through having a family I've developed (against all odds) into a (semblance of a) selfless woman. The problem is when you have been doing this for 14 solid years. Day and Night 24/7. The lines blur and you forget to put the brakes on when selfless starts to slide over to martyrdom. Once you've reached Martyrdom, the prestige over there is too hard to let go. There is a respect and expectation in martyrdom. People are jealous of you. It's great!! Sad, sad thing is my dears this is not a linear road it's circle. You've looped right back into Selfish. You're revolving things around yourself again.
Dizzy little thing this merry-go-round of life. I'm on a journey to be that useful member of my family that can be selfless and not revolve EVERYTHING around myself. This was the silly game I had to play when I decided to go for a blasted walk on my own tonight...
"I've had a migraine all day, how will this look to hubby if I take time to go for a walk?"
"Should I take the overgrown lapdog that barks at the wind with me?"
"Maybe, I shouldn't go, the migraine may get worse with all the walking."
"What if I pass out from the pain?"
"What if I never return because my house is a freaking warzone?"
"How dare I think that?!"
"I'm not taking that dog, he'll poop really big and I'll end up barfing and that's a lot of bags to bring."
"It's raining...maybe I wouldn't have to clean up my barf!"
"Maybe I should get the mail? I'll feel useful if I get the mail."
"I haven't walked for a long time, I should get some gum to gnaw on to hide my panting...two pieces...that'll hide the drool too."
"Where are my shoes?!!"
"Why do I have children?!! They hide my shoes?!!!"
"In the closest? Who put them away? That's a first!"
"I quit! I'm not going! I can't do this. I wish I was dead!"
Did I mention this was all out loud? I did mention I was mid-medicated-migraine, right?
Well, my eldest comes along and towering over me reassures me that if I get lost he'll come find me and then gently shoves me off of the property as though I had the plague.
The little ones wanted to tag along, but, big bro ran intervention and lovingly told them it was in their best interest if they let Mommy have some Time Out. The lame in all this is the fear I had in going for a 30 minute walk. A WALK!
I gotta get out more. I'm so lame!
Sunday, May 15, 2011
So, y'all remember the Infamous Easter and the little sister bein' nasty. If you're not familiar or need a reminder, here's a synopsis;
Lizzy is eldest.
Lizzy is changing.
Lizzy is changing for the better without little sister's approval.
Little sister did not play nice.
Lizzy went home and licked her wounds.
Here is an undate:
Lizzy has been sick.(Lizzy has really no excuse cuz she has been sick this entire journey and found success).
Lizzy let those words of criticism burrow their poison into her mind and throw off her game.
The angle of negativity will be different for everyone but the opponent is the same. Yesterday a friend of mine blogged it as a, 'Joy Robber'. In my case I know the little opponent as the Green-eyed Monster. Whatever the guise the message is the same; you are a target. People that should be rooting for you are the banana peel under your feet or the arms that shove, or the hand that slaps. Everything that you would not expect coming from everyone you would not expect it.
Change is a very bumpy ride. I knew it would be one. That's the reason why I avoided it for so very, very long. I just didn't know which punches people would be throwing so that I could mentally prepare my defenses.
This angle that my sister threw was in essence my Achilles heel of weaknesses, "How could you focus on yourself when you have five children that have so many needs? How irresponsible!" I've had that echoing through my head for weeks now. It's haunting me. I've been sick and that has stolen time from my children. How dare I think to 'steal' for myself any more time?!
This morning I woke and read someone's status about their scale being mean. Mine is too. I know some of it has to do with swelling from the seizure meds. I have to drink close to 3L of water a day and I'm not and that's messing around with things. I know that I've been topping my caloric range and I have probably gained again this week. I have lost focus. It was because I let her get in my head.
The opponent won (not necessarily my little sister, I doubt she thought out her response to my success and was consciously malicious..she did allow herself to be the vessel for negativity).
It is time to focus.
My opponent will NOT win the war.
Where have I taken a wrong turn?
**Believing that taking care of myself is "irresponsible" and "cruel" to my children.**
I have to see that lie for what it really is.
(I'm having a hard time focusing and revving my get up and go. Hubby just walked in and and is curious about what I'm writing and the kids are drawing closer to my elbows...PRESSURE?!)
I think it would be irresponsible to do the opposite and neglect and abuse myself with excess food and minimal activity. When I neglect my body. My health, confidence and overall attitude take a nose dive. THAT is very harmful. I don't have energy to chase, tackle, or in some cases scale my children to keep them under control and in the right direction. In fact I have minimal to zero energy to care for my family when I am not taking care of myself and that is not where I want to be anymore.
It is abuse to NOT take care of myself!
I've been logging, but, I have been guesstimating the portions and not accurate.
I need to get back to being accurate. Logging my intake was working excellent for me. When I returned from that visit. I grew less enthused with my efforts. Today, I refocus. I am abusive with food and do not responsibly portion my food. The nutrition tracker has been an excellent resource and I will not be bullied out of using it.
Lizzy is FOCUSED.
I will weigh-in on Monday weigh-in tomorrow. Weekly weigh-ins catch these detours quickly for me. It will not be Prettyville tomorrow. This is war. The enemy wants me to not have the energy, he wants me to be abusive to myself because then he can slide in here and continue his destructive magic on down the line to the other generations of my family.
Friday, May 13, 2011
"We live in a very tense society. We are pulled apart... and we all need to learn how to pull ourselves together.... I think that at least part of the answer lies in solitude." ~Helen Hayes
I honestly believe 'Mommy Time' is a farce. I just pick up a phone, head to the bathroom, or settle in for a little time on here and I'm Little Miss. Popularity. Something that has increased in popularity is people taking more 'Me Time'. I think there is a level of ridiculousness to it. How many people have you seen come off of vacation all wired up and in need of a vacation from their vacation?
I've been gardening out in my neglected yard (avoiding my severely neglected home) and once in while a child pops in my radar, but, largely everyone is enjoying their 'Spring Break', which, let's be honest it's really, 'Mama's Sanity Break'. I'm on Day 3 of being pain free. That has not happened in 3 months. Those were the 3 darkest months of my life. These 3 days have been like those old movies, I can't quit remember the names of them right now. I've actually tired my self out. OH! Musicals. I got caught in the Spring rain today....it was so peaceful and magical. I have verified to my neighbours that I'm off my rocker because I stayed out there in that spring rain for an hour. I just puttered around planting my Casa Blanca Lillies, ripping up unwanted grass and just thoroughly enjoying the solitude.
Hubby can't have his wifey-poo living in La-la Land forever, but, he is very content to allow me space to get a steady grasp on my physical and mental health and I can not tell you how much of a blessing He is. If I didn't have my spark peeps, this angel of mine would have burnt out long ago. He wouldn't have been able to bear the burden of his wife talking through her mental anguish. He can't handle emotional chatter. He wouldn't have up and left me in duress, but, he would've gone mad trying to help and not being equipped emotionally to shoulder the weight. I'm slowly, but, surely on the mend. We're definitely back to our old schedule of schooling year round because of the health interruption, but, God had big lessons that He thought were more important for the Clan to learn.
Anyway, I gotta make this quick. I just am thankful that my house is a home and I have a sanctuary for my physical and spiritual here, and that I have spark as my emotional and physical sanctuary. Planned solitude even with the best of intentions is usually disrupted, but, a wonderfully valuable tool for healing and clarity. I think when it's seized as the moments present themselves they have the best effects.
Good Night Peeps it's bath and bedtime for the wee folk.
Love & Prayers,
No vlogs..cuz, well, I burned my eyelids, I'm swelling from the burn and new meds, my eyebrows have gone white from the sun...and a myriad of other excuses...oh, hubby is so happy to be around healthy me he hangs out on the couch until he keels over from exhaustion, thus, sleeping on the couch...I do NOT vlog in front of that man unless I really, really, really need to.
Thursday, May 12, 2011
Good Evening Friends,
How has your day been? It's been smooth sailing over here. I'm finding it a bumpy ride with my calorie intake being above range but, I think with the amount of calories I'm burning chucking dirt around the yard it'll even out somewhere along the line. I'll try not to fret.
I'm enjoying getting a breath of fresh air. It's been great for my mind and wonderful for my daughter and I. We've had a trying winter with my illness and my eldest son pulls the weight leaving my eldest daughter to be co-pilot and she's not a fan of being co-pilot. So, she has been in her zone working hard and showing her stuff to her mama these past two days with the gardening. It has been beautiful.
This is going to be a picture blog to show you where I'll be playing. I may come across sounding like an experienced gardener, I'm not. I'm a professional weeder. My mom shared her gardens as well as she shared her kitchen. In the kitchen I was allowed to do prep and clean up and that's the extent of the gardening. It helped me develop a respect and passion for the actual 'fun' part of either, so, it's a win-win situation, eh? ( I love you Mommy!!!, I know you're reading this and not leaving a comment cuz you forgot your password xoxox)
I try to stay away from annuals, but, I can't OH, they suck me in every year. Last year I HAD to try these massive sunflowers. They're KONG and MAMMOTH. I took pictures and posted them in a blog. Here's the link. I'll be doing that again behind the veggie gardens here:
In the left bed I have alternating rows of Marvel peas, Radishes, and carrots. Once the last frost passes (May 27th) I will be planting my cucumbers (that I'll be starting in their Green House tray) in the right bed and planting my massive sunflowers behind both of the bed to form a wall to block the road view.
This is the bed Katie and I did two days ago. The birch is from my nieghbour's tree that the hydro company cut down. Do you remember the Walk Blog that I mentioned how I adored her birch. She just volunteered its remnants when I got home that same day and I had no idea (save fire wood) as to how to cherish them. She's 93 and she is daily active in her yard. She has everyone in the neighbourhood put to shame with her vitality. Her name is Lila, we call her Jedi Master. In this bed is alternating Hostas and Canalilies with an Ivy on the trellis...whichit will be sharing with some...you guessed it, Morning Glories...or Everlasting Peas.
Hosta...I love me my hostas...
Jedi Master came over and gave us a most precious compliment on our newest bed we've created. I took an unused twin bed and redesigned it into an arbor. I'm in LOVE with Morning Glories and I wanted them to drip off an arbor and because I contribute zero income, I had to get creative. Jedi Lila came over and gave her blessing today and that was wonderful to Katie and I. Katie knew how special it was to have that compliment of encouragement from this particular neighbour. The girls and I planted 4 packets of Butterfly perennial mixture at each side of the arbor. We had to mix up some extra, so, we'll see how that comes out. I plan on lining the back near the gate with the lupins and then have multi-coloured morning glory (of course) grow up and drip off of the trellis. I'm too excited.
Butterfly Mixture: Alyssum, Daisy, Bachelor Buttons, Butterfly Weed, Cadytuft, Columbine, Coneflowers, Coreopsis, Cosmos, Scarlet Flax, Marigold, Poppy and Wallflower. I tossed in more Buttons, and Coneflowers...I couldn't help it.
This area was naked (save a decrepit bush) and I did this last year. Right now I just have some Hosta and Morning Glory planted in there...it will be lush!
My favourite peony and my Teiki Torches.
Pink Hydrangea in here.
I plan on getting some climbing Hydrangeas for this garden bed I did last year. I has Hosta (surprise) and ribbon grass.
I have oodles more pictures, but, I think I'll save some for BEFORE and AFTER garden photos.
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