Weight.

 

I’ve been avoiding it. For like a hundred and twenty-seven reasons. I don’t want to talk about how much I weigh (a lot), because it’s too much (it’s a lot). Also I don’t want to talk about needing to lose weight because I need to, but I don’t really *want* to. And when I say I don’t want to, I don’t even mean I don’t want to be thinner or feel better. Because who doesn’t want that? And I don’t mean I don’t want to do the work. Because I’ve totally done it (I lost 60 pounds and went from getting winded after running 30 seconds to running 10 miles) and I know I can do it. I just haven’t really wanted to because I’m not really disgusted by my body like I used to be.

 

I blame the Man.

 

Damn him for loving me how I am. Damn damn Man.

(He’s awesome.)

 

You may have read the one where I talk about how I used to be like so super skinny. Or the one that caused all the fuss.

 

But anyway everyone has their breaking point and I have reached mine. I am at *THAT* place. The place where I don’t just see myself in photos and think, “oh yeah you’re a little chubby but that’s totally ok. Have a cookie.” I have reached the place where I see myself and think, “How can I immediately destroy this photo? And possibly the camera just to be safe.”

These are the things I know to be true:

1. There are women who lose weight while breastfeeding (Dear Women Who Lose Weight By Breastfeeding Alone, I am jealous. I won’t say I HATE you because hate is a strong strong word. But yeah. You’re lucky. That is all.) I am not one of those women. I have never been one of them even back when I was young (and could eat a cheesecake and not gain a pound) and had one baby I was not one of them. Add four babies and 16 years. It makes a difference. Oy. So breastfeeding is not enough for me. Damn. Maybe if I had triplets?

2. I am not meant to be that thin. I can say this because I’ve been THAT thin (125 pounds which is incredibly small for me) and it was almost impossible to maintain. It’s important to not apply an ideal to yourself that isn’t YOUR ideal. I cannot run 5 miles a day AND go to the gym AND ride my bike. I mean I COULD but I’d never see my children and my husband and I’d be thin but obsessed probably and it’s all about balance. I am round. I am busty. I am soft. I used to picture my 16 year old self and think, “Well that’s the ideal.” No. It’s not the ideal. I was not a grown up woman at 16. I had not given birth. I was not a mother.  I was not 36. Striving to fit into the jeans I wore in high school would just be stupid. Also, they were acid washed which was a bad bad fashion trend anyway.

3. I eat. I am not going to try to claim I starve myself and still am overweight. I’m not going to try to say “Oh i don’t eat THAT much. I must have a thyroid problem.” Because I definitely do NOT have a thyroid problem. Unless the thyroid is where your cupcake drive is. Cause then yeah, I have hypercupcakethyroidism. Like furreal.

4. I don’t have any desire to be a single digit size. Honestly. Size 10 is just fine. When I’ve lost weight in the past I immediately became so addicted to the result of the loss that I kept setting my goal lower and lower. Until eventually I was smaller than I had been since I was 15. And honestly I looked like a really muscular bobble head. It was not cute. Like at all. My husband may feel free to weigh in on this one. (He is the authority on the matter because he has seen me THAT thin. And now. I’m like a totally different person. Or two people.)

5. I like muscles. I do. But I don’t have any desire to be rock hard or bounce a quarter off my abs. I am honestly and truly in a place where I enjoy being soft and round. I actually like being a little squishy. I like that my kids memories of their mom will be that she was soft. Also my husband likes soft. And I like that. That being said I also like shapely calves and arms so squishy in the right places, muscle-y in the right places.

6. And while we’re on the topic of soft and round…I’ll just confess. I am honestly terrified to see what I’d look like if I weigh less than 150 or 155 pounds. While those numbers do not appear in the range of what is apparently ok for my height, I know (because I’ve been there) that at a certain point parts of my body start to deflate. Namely my soft underbelly and Mt. McBoobs. This point was probably around 150 pounds before I was pregnant for the fifth time. I can recall being quite upset that I was thin for all intents and purposes but my belly looked just frightening. Moms, holla. You know what I’m talking about. Anyway. I am not going to get a tummy tuck ever. SO… all this is just my longwinded way of saying I’d probably rather just have a round belly than a deflated one. This also goes for the Grand Tetons. Amen.

So what’s important:

1. Fitness is important. It’s not important that I be able to run 10 miles. But it is important that I can walk and run and chase kids around. And generally not feel like I’m going to have a cardiac arrest walking up the stairs.

2. Food is important. And healthy, fresh food even more so. Cupcakes are important too. Balance.

3. While we are on the subject of balance. Balance is important. I really am a believer in the “all things in moderation” motto. Yes that means exercise. And food. And a good Cab. And time with family. Not in that order.

 

All that being said I have set REALISTIC goals. These are things we all can and should be doing and aren’t extraordinary.  This doesn’t mean I’m trying to lose 10, 20 or 40 pounds, though ultimately I would like to lose some weight. I will weigh myself but only as a recording tool. I’ve been weighing myself almost daily (or at least weekly) since Ella was born and so far I’ve done absolutely nil with that information. So I’m not going to start to becoming scale obsessed now.

Here’s what I am capable of doing at this point. I say capable because I’m not trying to set myself up to fail. I know I can’t (nor do I want to) spend hours at the gym. I like food and my husband and I like to cook and eat together. I also like to bake. And frankly I’d rather eat cake occasionally and be a little bigger than never eat it and be a size 6. That’s my trade off. I give myself permission to love cake. So anyway… here:

1. Water. Drink it. This is so simple and yet for me so easily overlooked. I don’t love water. I know I should but I don’t. So this, while simple, really is a goal for me.

2. Fruits and veggies. Eat them. I do ok on this front but need to do better. There are plenty of fresh and dried things around to eat. So that.

3. Exercise. Do it. Right now I’m doing the 30 Day Shred again. It’s not realistic for me to say I can work out 30 minutes EVERY day, because some days I just can’t do it. But I can say 5 days a week. 30 minutes isn’t that long and I don’t have to leave the house. Also I’d aim to walk with Ella (the Man and the other kids too when they are here) at least 3 times a week for 30 minutes.

4. Sleep. Get it. You know, when I can. This is probably the number one problem most women (and men) have right now. I am SO CAPABLE of functioning of 6, 5, 4 or even less hours of sleep. That DOESN’T MEAN I SHOULD. There are so many studies that show the vast difference between 6 hours and 7.5 or greater. Honestly when I nap I feel lazy. I lay there and tally all the things I could or should do but the fact is it isn’t lazy. It’s really necessary. I lived for many years being proud of myself for functioning on 3 and 4 hours of sleep. I went through nursing school that way and I worked nights that way. There were 4 day stretches where my total sleep would equal 8 hours. In four days. That is not something to be proud of, it’s stupid. Also besides making you stupid, lack o sleep sows your metabolism making your body think it needs to protect you from some awful thing, you know, like NEVER sleeping.  So sleep.

 

This is for ME. Do I want my husband to think I’m beautiful and sexy? Yes. Do I want my kids to see their mother as fit and healthy? Yes.  But this needs to be for me. It’s very easy, especially when you have small children to get caught up in what they need, what your house needs or your husband needs or your friends need. I’m guilty of feeling guilty for being selfish but a little selfish goes a long way in being to able to do all those other things.

So there you go. That’s where I am. Not a funny today but a serious. Because it’s all about balance.

 

So what things are you doing for you?

 

fitness , self-love , serious stuff , weight loss , wordy whiny wednesday

Warning: This post contains a curse word. It’s asshole. Apologies. Also I may or may not say shit, I haven’t decided yet. Oh and damn. Well there’s a lot of curse words in here. It’s that kind of post.

That’s right, I said it, the “g” word. Guilt.

You know you’ve felt it.

You felt it that time you bribed your kids with McDonalds because you just wanted them to let you get the shopping done and you would have given your left dang arm to get out of there alive. So you did it. Health be damned. And then, damn, I fed my kids McDonalds. Crap. They are DEFINITELY going to get heart disease. And it’s my fault.

You felt it when you gave your 3 year old  a sucker for pooping on the potty. But dangit if you didn’t want to change one more poopy diaper. You would have found that kid a pony if he’d have crapped on the toilet. And then, damn, I’m probably destroying his teeth. Great.

You felt it when you yelled at your kids for leaving their shoes in front of the door for the fortieth time today. But if you tripped on those shoes one more stinkin time someone was going to get something so much worse than a yelling. They weren’t even gonna need shoes anymore. And then, damn, I’m not supposed to yell. Perfect.

You felt it when you said your 13 year old was acting like an asshole. Even though he was totally acting like an asshole. You shouldn’t have told him he was. Even if he TOTALLY WAS.  Damn, that was harsh. Awesome. (This actually happened here like two days ago)

You felt it when you caught your 6 month old watching {WHATDIDYOUSAY} TV. And you let her. Because her watching Blues Clues meant you had five minutes to fold a quarter of a load of laundry. And HELLO you have four kids and you do 87 loads of laundry a week (ok it’s only like 18 but STILL). But now, damn, she’s probably brain damaged. Her IQ just dropped 10 points because you weren’t interacting with her. She’s NEVER going to get into Berkeley now and it’s your fault.

You felt it when you {ohmigawdgasp} got an epidural after you SWORE you’d do it all naturally. But holymotherofgod contractions HURT. Why didn’t someone tell you how bad they HURT? THEYHURTSOBAD. You weren’t prepared. But then, damn, what is everyone going to think? I’m a wuss. Outstanding.

Or when you got a c-section because you’d been in labor for 172 hours and The Doctor came in like the knight in shining armour that he was and said “I think we should….” and he didn’t even have to finish his sentence because if he had said “…jump off the Golden Gate Bridge”, you totally would have opted right out of labor to do it. You were that tired. But then, damn, you didn’t do it ‘natural’.  Fantastic.

You felt it when you were in the shower and the baby started crying but dangit if it wasn’t the first time in a hundred thousand days you were actually going to shower AND shave your legs and you had to because your husband was starting to mistake your leg for his in the middle of the night. SO you finished. You HAD to. But then, damn, are your legs more important than your child. You’re a selfish jerk. Shit.

You’ve felt it.

I’ve felt it.

And I want us to stop it.

I want us to. Stop. Feeling. Guilty.

OK You should feel guilty about some things. You should. You should feel guilty if you eat out every single day. You should definitely feel guilty if you haven’t hugged your kids in any amount of time you can remember. You should feel guilty if your kids think your pajamas are regular clothes and that you live on the couch (and you should get some help). You should feel guilty if your kids think ketchup is a vegetable (actually, that one is debatable). But you should definitely pick your guilt battles with yourself…

You shouldn’t feel guilty for eating a piece of cake.

Unless you eat cake for every meal. Then yeah, we’ve got a problem.

But when it comes to parenting… stop beating yourself up.

Example: I would NEVEREVEREVEREVER in a millionzilliontrilliongazillion years let my baby cry it out. (Also known as CIO in the Attachment Parenting community.) Never. Ever.

Ever.

Wellllll. Never ever until my 14 month old child hadn’t slept in 14 months. And therefore I’d hadn’t slept in 14 months. And 14 months is a loooog time. And I was working full time. And nursing all night. And I. Was. Exhausted. And when I say exhausted I mean tired to the point of hallucination. Tired to the point that I would literally rather have DIED than have gone one more night without sleep.  Then I might, just maybe stand by her bed and let that child cry. To sleep. Because I was out of options. And I truly and honestly didn’t know what else to do.

And I’d probably feel guilty about it. Perhaps I’d spend the rest of the child’s life feeling guilty about it.

Or I could just say to myself, “Self, you did the best you could. Forgive yourself and move on.”

Example #2: Perhaps you planned to breastfeed. Because you know that breastfeeding is hands down the best and most healthy choice for your beautiful baby. So let’s say the baby is born and he doesn’t latch right and your nipples are bleeding and you’re afraid he’s starving because all he’s drinking is the blood from your bloody nipple and you have no help, no where to turn, no one to ask. And you’re pretty sure your nipple is going to actually fall right off. And so, in desperation, you give your baby a bottle. Of FORMULA. {GASP} And that means your milk doesn’t come in. And the cycle continues. And the next thing you know it, you’re bottlefeeding.

Crap.

And you feel guilty. Because you should have tried harder. You should have pumped longer. Shoulda Shoulda Shoulda.

Or you can say to yourself, “Self, you did the best you could. Forgive yourself and move on.”

Here’s another example that I recently dealt with: I practice attachment parenting. I practiced attachment parenting before attachment parenting had a name and a book. It was what I thought was logical. Feed your baby with your boobs. Whenever they are hungry. Keep them close to you. Wear them. Love them. Guide them gently. Mother lovingly. Etc. Etc. Etc.

Logical. Right?

But then I found out it was a ‘thing’. Oh Attachment Parenting you mean. Oh yes. yes. MMMhmmmm. That’s me. I’m an Attached Parent. I do ALL of those things. I’m so super ATTACHED. I am The Attached Parent.

Wait.

{begin PG-13 section}

I want to have sex with my husband. Soooo I’m going to put the baby in her bed to start the night. Because I want to have sex. In my bed. Uh oh. Hang on. Let me go to the API website and check. Crap. That’s not bedsharing. WAIT. Does that mean I’m not an ATTACHED PARENT? Uh oh. I’m not sure. Let me think about this. Maybe we better put the baby in our bed and I’ll nurse her to sleep and then I’ll slip out quietly and put on lingerie and then we better just have sex on the sofa. Yeah. Ok. That’s fine. Cause the baby is in our bed. So I’m still an Attached Parent.

Phew. That was a close call. I almost lost my title.

WHAT?

My baby is sleeping safely, snugly and happily in her CRIB and then she wakes up and comes to my bed.

Oh and guess what… I have sex. With my husband. Like at night and everything. It’s cra-zay.

{end PG13 section}

I’m not saying I advocate CIO or bottle feeding (because I don’t). And I do bedshare. Because I’m a mammal and I think babies are meant to be close to their parents. When they need you. I think you should comfort your baby. If you can. And you should breastfeed. Unless something happens and you absolutely cannot. What I am saying is, if you did your BEST, the BEST you could, you should move on.

Move on.

We moms LOVE guilt. It’s our FAVorite. We feel like we have to EARN the right to be proud of ourselves. Like if I can’t blog and be an outstanding patient parent and be a super awesome sexy wife and sew a dress and be at two band performances and teach the baby sign language and do elimination communication and co-sleep and help with algebra and have an etsy store and exercise 3 days and cook healthy homemade food and bake a cake ALL. THIS. WEEK. Then I’ve failed. As a mother. As a human. And I’ve failed all the other mothers before me. And all of mankind. For eternity.

When did we decide success meant we had to be all do all have all know all?

Now. I think some guilt can be GOOD. When applied properly it is a good motivator and makes us strive to be better. I mean if you think it’s ok to feed your kid cake for breakfast every day then yeah, feel a little guilty and maybe pop some wheat bread in the toaster. But the problem with this overwhelming guilt is that is PARALYZES us. It may not seem like it but it does. It makes us feel like we are failing and thus it makes us afraid to further fail. And it stops us in our tracks.

So have some guilt. Just a little bit. But have cake too.

life’s too short ya’ll

j-diddle

mothering , self-love , serious stuff
This is a story about not getting what you want. And why that’s a good thing sometimes.

1986. Legwarmers were in fashion. Hairspray was all the rage. Kids used to breakdance on cardboard. There was a thing called a “boombox”.
It was a dark time.
I lost the district spelling bee. The word was exon. It’s not spelled with two X’s. Please see definition here. Please note: Spell check does NOT even recognize that as a word. Also if I had asked them to use it in a sentence I would have known they didn’t mean the oil corporation. I’m bitter about it. But one good thing did come out of that humbling loss. The boy that would grow into a man and become my husband some 24 years later won… the bee, and my heart.
It was these that got me:

The eyes. The breathtaking eyes.
I said to my friend, “Friend, did you see that guy with the blue eyes? Who is he? He is SOOOOO cute.” (This is a paraphrase. I was 11, my memory isn’t that good.)
I was intrigued by the Gulf of Mexico Pacific ocean blue. Probably because I’d been looking in a mirror at these:
Brown. Or some shade of it.
(This was taken at our wedding by the way. Please note: Wrinkles. Many.)
Fast forward…
24 years later we got married.
And here we are. Blue. Brown.
There is nothing wrong with brown eyes. Not. A. Thing. I got mine from my dad.
This is him:

And me. I’m the pregnant one.
I always wanted blue though. Which is probably why I picked a blue eyed man. Genetics be damned.
Now, I don’t know how much you know about Mendel. But in the event you don’t have time to re-learn eight grade biology, let me just tell you the odds of me having a blue eyed baby aren’t great. Given that my grandmothers both have blue eyes but both my parents have brown. Not too good at all.
I got pregnant. We went to see the midwife and she asked me, “Did you put in your order for those blue eyes?”
Yes. Yes I did thank you very much.
This wasn’t the first or last time the topic would come up during the pregnancy. Though the Man never said anything but he hoped she looked just like me, the overwhelming public opinion was that she ought to get her dad’s eyes. And when Ella was born the first question I’d usually get (after the person heard she was born in the kitchen and weighed 10 and a half pounds and after they had fully recovered from the cardiac arrest I’d just given them with that news) was, “Are her eyes blue like her dad’s?”
The short answer. No.
They started out that way, but I had my doubts from the beginning. In fact every baby I’ve given birth to has STARTED that way. I’ve got a hazel (my eldest). A brown that is just like mine (my middle, who looks just like me too). And a color that is hard to describe. A kind of two toned blue and brown (that’s little Owen, who isn’t little at all anymore). And there’s Ella.
They aren’t brown. Yet. But they are going to be. I’m like 99.97% sure. (Also I’m pretty sure she has her dad’s eyebrows.)
The day I figured this out was the day I looked at her eyes and realized that they weren’t getting any more blue. And I was sad, I’ll admit. I said sullenly to the Man, “Man, the baby is going to have brown eyes.” And I apologized to the baby for being genetically dominant. “Baby, I’m sorry your mommy made it nearly impossible for you to get your dad’s awesome eyes.”
I felt bad for being sullen about it.
The Man said to me, “Don’t you apologize to her for getting your beautiful brown eyes.”
Oh. Yeah. I forgot. Not everyone thinks blue is better than brown.
Also he loves my ears. The ears I was endlessly tormented for those as a kid. Whaddya know? I married someone who thinks they are cute. Adorable even.
Crazy.
In a way I’m grateful that Ella’s eyes are going to probably end up brown. When I look at her and I see my own eyes looking back at me, it makes it a little easier to love the brown. And the ears. The fact is, odds are, she’s got those too.
Lucky kid.
And I hope she’s lucky (and smart) enough to end up with a Man who loves her brown eyes too.
ella , kids , self-love