H-bomb’s Third Bday

H-bomb’s third bday party was a hit! Linvilla Orchards is great for parties, especially when the weather is nice! Thank you to everyone who came!

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Another Tuesday, Another Weigh-In

Sorry there’s nothing more original title-wise.  I’m running on empty these past few days, so we’ll just get right to the point.

Starting Weight: 238 lbs
Last Weigh-in: 231 lbs
This Weigh-in: 230 lbs
This Week’s Loss: 1 lb

I am thisclose to the 220s!  I’m excited about that, even though the weight-loss has been less than stellar.  I was hoping to lose a few more pounds before my son’s party on the 16th, but I don’t think that’s going to happen.

The past few days have seen a depth of exhaustion like I haven’t known in years – not since H-bomb was born and was nursing every hour and a half around the clock.  I think a trip to the doctor is in order, because I’m getting a solid 7-8 hours of sleep a night, and still something as simple as doing a load of laundry can completely wipe me out.  I bet it has something to do with my slow weight loss, too – even running 1-3 miles a day, 4-5 days a week last winter into spring only netted me 20 pounds lost in 8 months.  There’s something up, I need to figure out what.

What do you do to perk yourself up when you’re exhausted?

Multiple Personalities Much?

I’ve been trying to acknowledge lately what makes ME happy.  I am codependent in the way that involves placing a low priority on my own needs, “while being excessively preoccupied with the needs of others.”  Now, part of that is because I’m a wife and mother, and there are just things that have to take a backseat to making myself happy at that moment.  But I tend to do it all the time, until I am ready to explode.  Sometimes I’m able to keep it in, but sometimes I freak out – either have a day where all I do is sob, or I start a fight with my hubby just ‘cuz, or I throw a good old fashioned temper tantrum.  It’s not pretty, and I’m not proud, but that’s what happens when you put everyone else’s needs ahead of your own, to the detriment of your own mental health.  And it also means that, very very often, I don’t speak my mind, don’t share my feelings or opinions, don’t start a conversation that might make someone angry.  I think I’ve gotten to the point where I realize that if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy – that I have to start taking care of me so I can take care of my family!  So I’m trying to carve out little moments in my day to make me happy.

Right now, one thing that’s making me happy is thinking about the future – even though my therapist said to worry about today today, I’m still thinking ahead a bit.  For example: I have a shop on Etsy, where I sell handspun yarn, hand-carded batts, and hand-dyed fiber (that’s for all my spinning fans out there, ha ha!)  I started the shop on a whim years ago when I got really into spinning yarn and realized that I was going to be suffocated by my stash before long.  In truth, I started it so that I could make money to buy more fiber.  And I did, for awhile.  But life gets in the way, doesn’t it?  I got pregnant with Mr. H-Bomb, and the shop was horribly neglected (a lot like my Partylite biz, but that’s another topic for another day…)    But the more I think about it, the more I wonder “What am I going to do with my life?” (yes, I’m almost 35 and still have no idea what I want to be when I grow up!) the more I realize that I want to do something that makes me happy – and playing with fiber makes me happy.  Creating things makes me happy.  And pretty, bright colors make me happy!  So I started a new Etsy shop that I hope to actually plan out the right way – business plan, tax ID number, the works – so that I can eventually make actual MONEY off of it, and not just money to buy more fiber, but money to pay some bills.  I want to make myself a fiber artist who sells out her shop in minutes (yes, non-believers, they’re out there!)  Now, don’t tell me about the market, or the failure rate of small businesses, because I don’t want to hear it.

And then I started another shop –because it’s not crazy enough to try to juggle TWO shops, why not start a third?  But really, I think these shops represent different parts of me.  I am thinking of using my original shop for the darker side of me – darkly dyed fiber, things that acknowledge there is a shadow me.  The second shop I started will be for the bright, happy part of me (she’s in there somewhere, dammit!)  And the third shop is going to be for the magpie in me – the “oooooh, pretty!” part.  It won’t be fiber.  I’m not sure what it will be yet, but it will be filled with pretty things that make me happy and catch my eye.  I don’t know the feasibility of having THREE online shops, and if the fiber shop takes off the way I’m hoping, I would be willing to abandon the others, but right now, it’s exciting to think about!

Now, on to branding!

Hello, Box. Goodbye, Box.

Today’s all about therapy (although I did hop on the scale this morning and was down a pound from YESTERDAY! WTF?!) I had a great session – I only wish I could record our talks so that I could refer to them, and also use them as affirmations throughout the week. Sometimes it’s so hard to realize that I AM making progress, that I AM becoming more self-aware and self-compassionate. And that’s what brings me to today’s topic – getting out of the box.

I'd like to think my box looks like this...

but it most likely looks like this.

You all know that box – the one that keeps you “safe”. It protects you from disappointment, hurt, loss. It is made of pain and fear and is NOT helping you. Instead of keeping you safe, it’s just keeping you prisoner. I’m still learning this, and I’m really only peeking out of the box, but I am aware it’s there and I am aware that my thoughts, my perfectionism (all or nothing, right?), and my fears have kept me in it for most of my life. Fear, really, has been the dominating theme in my life. Afraid of being left, afraid of making a mistake, afraid of failing, afraid of disappointing people, afraid of making someone mad at me.

And I still am, but I now realize it’s there, realize the hold it’s had on me for so very, very long. And you know what else that box does? It keeps you sedated – bored, bored, bored. I have been SO bored with my life lately (not dissatisfied, not unhappy, just…bored). I am sick and tired of the same thing day in and day out. So now I’m looking to tear my way out of the box and do something different. I have plans percolating, things that will make me happier. Things that, if pulled off, will make me feel freer. The best advice my therapist gave me? Just worry about TODAY. Don’t worry about tomorrow until it gets here. I take that to mean that I shouldn’t set myself up to fail before I’ve even started – that I shouldn’t let my perfectionism, my deep need to have everything perfect rightnowdammit! get in the way of me.

Watch out, box! This is YOU!

Day by day, baby – that’s gotta be the new motto.

… you can’t break out of a circle. That you never knew you were in. Conor Oberst

Wherein I get wordy…and a weigh-in

Oof.

I spent three hours on Thursday cleaning my living room.  THREE hours.  Cleaning ONE room.  I swear, the kids are outta control!  Their toys are stored in IKEA’s Expedit, which is awesome and fits a lot of crap, but so many toys are either redundant or have been completely untouched for the past year or more, that toys were starting to creep across my floor like The Fog.

Oh, Expedit, How I love thee!

We were in serious danger of being crushed or buried by a tide of brightly colored plastic crap.  So, with a day off for H-bomb’s afternoon speech therapy appointment, I took the rare burst of energy I was having during his naptime and put my proverbial foot down.  A full trash bag to the trash can, a full trash bag to the basement (to be added to the monstrous pile of crap down there!) and a bag for each child’s room – things to be returned that have slowly found their way into the living room and the giant mass of plastic on the floor.  The new rule in the house is a personal fave: if it’s on the floor at bedtime, it goes in the trash.  It’s worked so far on both the 7-year-old AND the 2-year-old.  Hopefully we can continue to make it work, because tired mama is DONE with being the only one cleaning up (or, more likely, NOT cleaning up and just weeping openly at the disaster my house has become over the last several months).

Needless to say, I took the hit Friday.  First of all, I haven’t worked out in, um, forever.  Seriously, it’s been over a year since I seriously worked out, strapped the girls into a smushy sports bra, tied on the hot pink sneaks, and went for a run.  So my hamstrings were screaming “ABUSER!” at me all day, and I was completely drained of any energy.  It’s probably a good thing I went back to work after a day off with actual WORK to do, because if I had had to sit and stare at the computer screen for 4 hours, I would have lost it.  Or quit.

The weekend was busy running Hurricane to daddy’s football game (he’s a coach), then to her drama class, then to run errands, and then on Sunday, taking Hurricane to Belmont Plateau in Fairmount Park in Philly for her first cross country practice meet!  She did SUCH a good job, especially for only having had two practices over two weeks – two of them were cancelled because of the incessant rain we’ve been having.  She ran in the sub-novice group, which is grades K-3.  There were 241(!!!) girls running in her race, and she came in 104th, running 2000m (1.25 miles!) in 12:39.  She was passing at the end, so I guess she got coach’s lesson about “pasting”.  We’re all so proud of her, and can’t wait to see what she can do with a couple more practices under her belt!

Oh, wait – today was a weigh-in, huh?  Grr.  Yeah, it was.

Starting Weight: 238 lbs
Last Weigh-in: 231 lbs
This Weigh-in: 231 lbs
This Week’s Loss: 0 lbs

W. T. F.  I don’t get it.  I was very good this week – there was too much pizza (oh, delivery, how I love thee!) but it still fit into my daily allowances on DailyBurn.  So I don’t get it – especially since Shark Week is over, which I thought would mean no more water weight.  Sigh.  No wonder I tend to get discouraged so quickly – if this is what happens when I’m being very vigilant and so excited about the changes I’m making, how am I going to make it through a real plateau?  I told hubby about it this morning, and he said that I shouldn’t worry about it yet – that it doesn’t indicate a trend unless it happens again next week.  He’s right, of course, but it still disappoints me.  I’ve looked into things, and what I’ve read is that a non-muscular woman (I’ll call myself that since I haven’t worked out in a good year) needs 10 calories per pound of weight to MAINTAIN her weight.  So, if I’m 230 (rounding for ease of the maths), I need 2300 calories a day to stay at 230.  My goal weight is 170 (which is the weight at which I’m no longer considered “overweight”) – you multiply THAT by 10, and get 1700.  A quickie little math problem – 2300-1700=600 – and you have the calorie deficit you need to operate at on a daily basis to lose weight.  So, according to this, I would need about 1700 calories a day to lose.

Another method is finding your BMR (basal metabolic rate – the amount of calories you burn just being, you know, alive.  If you laid in bed all day not moving, this is how many calories you’d burn).  According to this site, I would burn 1824 calories a day just lying around.  To find daily caloric needs to lose weight, you go here and find your activity level and do some more math.  Being sedentary right now, I multiply my BMR by 1.2 and get 2188, the number of calories I need to maintain my current weight.  Pretty close to the first one, right?  Now, going here (all of these sites are linked from one to the other, no worries!), you learn you can either cut your daily calorie intake by 500 or no more than 1000 calories to lose – OR you can decrease your caloric intake by 15-20% to lose.  If I did that, I’d have to decrease by 438 calories a day to lose (I took 20% off).  That would be 1750 calories a day.

All this math has been done to help YOU, my lovely readers – and also to reconfirm in two different ways that my 1500-1700 calorie a day intake is right on track.  Which just makes me madder.  Grr.

Sorry I got all long-winded and research-y on you!  It comes from being married to a scientist and having a scientific bent myself!

And don’t get me started on the number of carbs you need a day…I’ll save that for another post!  Or how balancing your hormones can help speed weight loss….

Finnegan Weighed In Again.

Sorry for the absence. This past week (I count my weeks from Wednesday to Wednesday, because that’s when I see my therapist, and she’s mostly the only one who asks how my week went!) has been an ugly one in my head, so I needed a bit of a break. Luckily, I’m set back on track by my wonderful therapist, and as always, I’ve left with a plan for the week. Hopefully, my brain will let me stick with it!

So, onto the moment you’ve all (ha!) been waiting for…(I’m totally stealing my format from Gretchen, because it makes so much sense!)

Starting Weight: 238 lbs
Last Weigh-in: 232 lbs
This Weigh-in: 231 lbs
This Week’s Loss: 1.0 lbs

YAY! Handsprings and Huzzahs all around! I was hoping for a 2-pound loss, but I’ll take one, especially since last week was PMS week. Cravings weren’t terrible, but I was definitely over my carb limits a couple of times last week (like, WAAAAY over! Saranac Pumpkin Ale, I’m lookin’ at you!) And I’m definitely feeling bloated since shark week started yesterday morning, so who knows? It could have been a two pound loss! Either way, down is down is good, and I’ll take it. So, instead of knockin’ on the 240s again, I’m knockin’ on the 220s! Next week, fo’ sho’!

Grumpus Grumpus Grumpus Grumpus!

That’s what we call Hurricane when she’s being grumpy!  I even knit her a little Grumpasaurus toy for Christmas one year (hers is pink and pink, though!  She’s like Shelby in “Steel Magnolias” – her favorite colors are blush and bashful!

It’s just been a crappy couple of days in my head, and while I’m trying to keep this blog positive and upbeat, I’m also here to work through things, so I would be doing myself a disservice to ignore it.  I’ve been so tired lately, even with my sleeping pill, and when the fatigue sets in, so does the negative thinking and hopelessness.

I feel very stuck – this is the overwhelming stressor lately (well, besides the usual life stressors, which can pile up, too, as we all know!)  Stagnant is a great word, too: adjective: Showing no activity; dull and sluggish. Not growing or changing; without force or vitality.  Yeah, that’s me.

I feel stuck in my job (which is nice because at least I like most of my co-workers, and it’s part-time and flexible so I can deal with the kids, but very boring and not mentally stimulating in the least – not to mention the crappy pay).  Stuck in my house – we just can’t afford to move right now, and our “starter home,” which we’ll be in for NINE years in November, is painfully small for the four of us.  And yes, it’s a roof over our head, and yes, I know I sound like a whiny brat…it’s a disease 😉  And mostly, I feel stuck in my head.  I’m terrible at sharing my feelings, especially if my feelings might hurt someone or make someone mad at me.  So I have all these ideas running around, all these feelings of shame and disappointment in myself, all these thoughts that make me feel selfish and self-centered, and I don’t feel like I can talk to anyone about them.  So, ha ha, you get to deal with my word vomit, you lucky readers!

My therapist has distilled it into three things that I need to keep my sanity: space (mostly meaning a bigger house, but also just some space for myself from time to time), quiet, and creativity.  I hope this blog will lead to some of all three.

Ooooh, look a picture!

Me, happyish (and oddly egg-shaped!)

Question for you, dear readers: Was there ever a time when you felt “stuck” in your life, and what did you do to shake things up?

I Heart My Therapist

Had therapy this morning, and it was really nice to be able to tell her about my weight loss!  I don’t want to obsess about it, so I’m sure as heck not going to tell her every week or anything, but she was excited for me and for how hopeful I was feeling (isn’t it funny how something going positively can influence everything else?  Every once in awhile this week I’d get a little frisson of hope go through me! )  We talked about how I’d feel if I got on the scale and either didn’t lose or gained.  I said it depended on the mood I was in, but she said (and it’s true!) “The action creates the mood.”  I mean, this week has been a perfect example: I started watching what I was eating and making healthy choices (the action), and I started feeling way better about life in general (the mood).  Positive forward motion FTW!

And it’s a good thing I had some of that positive energy this week, because there were definitely moments of feeling overwhelmed and burnt out.  Hubby works his butt off so I can stay home mornings with the kids (well, I get to drive the oldest to school and then spend my morning with the little guy!)  And during football season, he’s around even less because he’s a coach.  So there are definitely moments where the kids just overwhelm me – they are SO high energy!  I admit to at least two instances of tears, and even the occasional plea for someone, anyone, to take my kids for just an hour.  Alas, it didn’t happen, and I lived through it! J  I’m utterly exhausted this week, which usually leads to negativity and stress levels through the roof.  I’m trying to work through it, tweaking my sleeping pill dosage on my own, trying to see what works with the little amount of free time hubby and I get after the kids are in bed, and the fact that I have to be up and at least somewhat coherent at 6:30 in the morning.  It’s a tricky balancing act, especially with depression.  There are many days where it’s all I can do to get up and get moving, but with the kids, I have no choice.  And that’s a good thing.  I tend to wallow enough as it is, and definitely don’t need a reason to wallow even further and not get out of bed all day.

Weigh-in Tuesday

Man, I really should have started with the alliterative “Weigh-in Wednesday”…that way, if it were a crappy weigh-in, I could go right to my Wednesday morning therapy appointment and have something to talk about (oh, who am I kidding?!?  I always have *something* to talk about!)

So, without further ado…(drumroll please!)

232!

Remember, I started last week at 238!  SIX POUNDS IN ONE WEEK!   I am SO psyched!  I know it’s probably a lot of water weight, and I know I’m not going to lose six pounds again next week, but I can actually tell the difference on my body already!  I tend to lose weight from the top down – so the mound under the boobs fades first, and the lower tum, hips, and thighs go last.  Let’s put it this way: when I was down 42 pounds last spring, I had gone from an XL/XXL shirt (although a lot of that is thanks to the girls!) to a L shirt in most cases…and from an tight 18 pants to a loose-ish 16.  Yeah.  That was definitely discouraging.  But I could also tell that, within the next 5-10 pounds lost, I would be seeing a difference there, too.  Oh, well, something to aim for!

More than anything, I just feel better DOING SOMETHING, you know?  There have been some rough moments during this past week – moments where I’ve been utterly exhausted, overwhelmed, burnt out, and yes, sobbing into my pillow (depression makes for a fun evening in sometimes!) but the fact that I knew I was making progress, and just as importantly, feeding myself better, was enough to keep my head more or less out of the hole all week.

And that’s a good thing.

I CAVED!

I am weak.  I caved this morning.  I weighed myself yesterday, and since nothing changed, I figured I shouldn’t weigh myself anymore and disappoint myself before getting even a week into things.  That’s the surest way for me to give up.  I’m good with that – lack of forward progress makes me give up, not just with weight-loss, but pretty much everything in my life.  It’s one of the “Three Truths” my husband knows about me better than I do…oh, wait, you probably want to know what happened on the scale this morning, huh?  Well, after, um, things, ah, moved along yesterday, I figured I might see some kind of loss.  Drumroll please…three pounds!  Three pounds lost in three days!  YAY!  Good to see that things are progressing.  Now I just have to stay on track, because a lot of times if I see a loss, I figure I’m doing a great job and I slack off thinking that adding just a bit more junk into my diet would be ok.  And we all know the slippery slope that leads to, right?

I am proud of myself today – I have come in under calories, and within range for fat, carbs (whee!), and protein.  This morning I woke up feeling like I was getting sick, and had a VERY hard time getting started this morning.  Combine that with the fact that I still haven’t run the dishwasher to wash the blender, and today was another grab-an-Odwalla-and-go kinda morning.  But I was able to get a medium iced lite caramel latte from DD for the desperately needed caffeine boost, and counted that as my morning snack.  Salad with Trader Joe’s rosemary balsamic chicken for lunch, a Kind+ bar in Dark Chocolate Cherry Cashew and Antioxidants for an afternoon snack…which I was still hungry after, so I added a cheese stick.

I love my friend Brian, because he shares my love of Chick-Fil-A, and he pointed out that a 12-piece(!!!) chicken nugget has only 18 grams of carbohydrates.  So I added that into my day on DailyBurn, and it worked out!  While I was picking up my din-din (no fries, please!) I also got small shakes for the kids.  I resisted getting one for myself (so proud!) and got them home without “tasting” the kids’, but then I got absolutely DESPERATE for one!  I even considered not telling them I got them and just eating them when they went to bed.  Two small shakes is like one big one, right?  So it’s not that bad, right?  The sugar craving was downright physical – like I could feel it pulling my body toward the fridge.  Know what I did?  I took a small sip of each as I handed them over.  VICTORY IS MINE!!!

So, about that article.   This is something I’ve noticed on various message boards and in magazine articles: sort of a backlash against size-ism.  “Women of size,” “big girls,” “plus-sized women,” what-have-you, are trying to be more accepting of their bodies – which I think is great, but at what cost?  There is a particular message board I visited a few times, and I wasn’t there for long.  Things seemed very strident and shrill – like, not only were these women asking for people to accept them because they accepted themselves, but were DEMANDING it (and you can argue that, with the way society ostracizes overweight or obese people, these women have the right to demand it), and were very unaccepting of women who mentioned they were dieting, or exercising to lose weight.

Now, I think it’s awesome that these women can accept themselves however they are – it takes a stronger person than me to embrace the flaws and be comfortable in your own skin, especially when society tells you that skin houses someone that’s too big to be acceptable.  But I always wondered about the bigger issue: health.  Now, I understand that a lot of these women are considered “healthy” on the surface – hell, I have the blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels of a woman who weighs a hell of a lot less than I do!  But I’m NOT healthy.  And because of a run-in with gestational diabetes with kiddo #2, I am susceptible to Type II diabetes later in life.  Even though my blood levels are all ok (well, my HDL is a smidge low, so I have to take fish oil every day), I’m leaving myself open to so many issues as I get older.  Not to mention how terribly uncomfortable I am in my own skin – not just from a societal view, but physically, as well: my knees hurt all the time, my back hurts more than I’d like to admit, I feel like I’m always sweaty, no matter the temperature, and sometimes it’s just plain hard to move.  Not to mention the complete lack of energy – a lot of which can be attributed to depression, but a fair share of it goes to my obesity, too.  And THAT’S my big concern with this new “body-acceptance” movement.  It ignores the bigger issue that women are accepting themselves to the detriment of their health – and in the end, probably their own comfort, too.