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You won’t be surprised…

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But I’ve gained more than the 15 pounds that my doctors recommended that I gain with this pregnancy.  Already.  As of this morning, I’m up 19 pounds.  19!  And I’ve still got 17.5 weeks to go.  Including 2-3 vacations/weekends away, the hubby’s birthday, and Thanksgiving.  This is not a good thing, my friends.

Not that it’s all that surprising to me, either.  Seriously?  Gaining only 15 pounds with a pregnancy?  That’s cray-cray.  I’d like to say that I’ve been eating really well.  And I can tell you that I had a salad for lunch yesterday.  But then I might conveniently leave out the part where I didn’t finish it (there was too much dressing), and instead went back for a second biscuit. Ahem, a second cheese biscuit.

Oh, and then there were the bananas that I bought to add into protein pancakes or to top English muffins with peanut butter.  Instead, they sat too long, and I HAD to make some banana chocolate chip bread.  And then I HAD to proceed to eat 2 slices per day this week.  Luckily the hubby’s been eating more than that, and it’s finally gone.

I did not expect this to be this hard, folks.  I’m really not sure why, though.  I mean, I have tried my entire life.  ENTIRE LIFE! to lose weight, and now I’m just piling the pounds on like it’s my job.  19 pounds in 22.5 weeks isn’t ALL that terrible, and honestly, I really only look like I’ve gained some weight in the belly (it’s *thank goodness* not distributed itself to my face or upper arms — yet).  But knowing that I still have 17.5 weeks to go, and this kiddo is just going to grow & grow & grow, is terrifying.

I cried this morning, exclaiming that if I couldn’t control my need for ice cream, how could I possibly be a good mother.  I even said that I wished she was going to be a boy, because then he wouldn’t really worry about his weight like I do.  Friends, I am so scared that I am going to screw this little, innocent, perfect baby up.

Back to basics, my friends.  No, not a diet.  But tracking what I eat.  Doing my cardio.  Making good choices.  Setting myself up for success.

Sorry, I have other plans…

Yesterday afternoon at about 4 PM, I remembered that I had signed up to help with voting for my sorority.  Yes.  I know.  I’m 11 years out of college, but still doing stuff with my sorority?  Yep.  That’s how I roll.  

Actually, I’m an advisor for a local* chapter.

* If local = 1 hour drive away, which to me, doesn’t really mean local

So I quit playing on the computer, put on my running shoes, and headed out for a quick 3 miler.  Then I hopped in the shower, made myself presentable, and made the drive into LA.  I arrived at 6:40 PM (for my shift that started at 7 PM, and was supposed to end at 10 PM).  When I left at 11:15, I asked if they were sure they didn’t need me on Sunday (why, oh, why would I have said that?!?  I did not want to make that drive again!).  I was assured that there were plenty of people coming, and I wouldn’t be needed.  I skipped out of the house, into my car, and drove…  I had a decent time.  I know that they needed my help, and I know that they appreciated it.  But still.  It was a Saturday night!

Fast forward to this morning.  I wake up (later than the hubby, since he was dead to the world when I got home last night), and make my way downstairs.  As I’m brewing coffee, I boot up good ol’ email, and see something that strikes fear into my heart:

Hi Lara,  Can you come to the house today to help with voting?  Thanks! 

And that’s when the guilt sets in.  Because I really did volunteer myself yesterday.  But of course, that was for this morning’s party, not for the voting, which is this evening.  And I do really have plans.  I promise that I do.  But I still feel guilty.

And that’s when it hits me:

I cannot feel guilty for not being available to everyone else, when I have me to take care of.  

I could have rearranged my day.  I could have left my friend’s shrimp boil party this evening, driving separately from the hubby, and made my way to the house.  I could have put off picking up my house & doing laundry (Sunday evening activities – don’t pretend that you’re not jealous of my uber-exciting life).  I could have missed another night with my hubby.

But I didn’t want to.  Prepping for the week is important to me.  Hanging with my hubby is important.  Fostering friendships is important.  And quite frankly, tallying votes for the sorority house?  Not quite as important to me today*.

* I did volunteer myself to participate as an advisor, and I really do like this volunteer opportunity.  Since there are 12+ advisors for the chapter, I’m not leaving anyone high and dry.  I just cannot do 2 days in a row of driving down there.

And I wonder how this affects my weight loss, and others’ weight loss.

Many of the women on the Biggest Loser seem to have the same problem.  They spend all their time taking care of others, to their own detriment.  They haven’t learned how to say no.  How to tell their kids to make their own sandwiches for lunch – they need to hop on the elliptical.  They haven’t learned how to tell their hubby to please take care of the kids, they need to go to the grocery store to pick out healthy choices for the family.  They haven’t learned how to say No, I can’t do that for you right now, I need to focus on me.

I’ve got 2 theories:

  1. Sometimes I know when to say when.  I know what I need to do for myself, and I know that doing anything other than those things will lead me down a pathway that I’m not going to be happy with.  This is who I was this morning when I sent back the email saying that I wasn’t able to help because I already had plans.  This is who I am when I plan my meals, using the Grid, keep to my planned exercise for the week, skip those extra bites of candy and cookies that tend to lie around this time of year, blog daily, and keep up with my chores at home to maintain my home as a reasonably tidy space.
  2. Sometimes it all comes crumbling down.  These are the days that I say screw it, forget the plan.  On these days, I order whatever I want to eat at the restaurant, I eat the fries off my hubby’s plate, I buy and eat a tray of chocolate-covered banana chips, and I don’t work out because I don’t wanna.  These are the days that I toss dirty clothes onto the floor (or the dining room chairs), the days that I eat all 3 meals outside the house, plus 2 iced coffees, and wonder why my tummy hurts (that may or may not have happened yesterday, except I only had 2 meals, plus 2 iced coffees.  Maybe).  On these days, I do things the do nothing to further my plan.  Nothing to make me a better person.  Even if I were volunteering, it wouldn’t be me doing a good thing – it would be me, doing something that I had to do.
Today I’m picking Number 1.  I’m going to read my paper, make my Grid, run around the block, head to the grocery store, visit with friends, tidy the house, launder my clothes, cuddle with my hubby, and know that I did everything right to set myself up for a big loss (weight loss, that is) this week.
What will you choose?
Do you worry that you’ll be seen as selfish if you say No?  What do you do every day or every week to ensure your weight loss (or maintenance) success?

As much as I complain…

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… I really should give credit where credit is due. I am making life changes. My lifestyle is different than it was just a month ago, and I’m the reason for that. I have made good food choices. I have also made some bad ones — but they’ve been mostly good. I have exercised with abandon. I have also slacked at my workouts sometimes — but they’ve been mostly warrior-call workouts, with sweat pouring down my face. Aiaiaiaiaiaiaiaiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!

I may not be pretty in pictures. I may not have looked super cute finishing my 10K. But I’m out there, living life, eating well, being active. I’m turning down opportunities to eat & drink, and working out instead. Or, like last night, worked out, THEN went to the happy hour where everyone was, and sat with a few glasses of ice water, until I was able to go home & make my own dinner. Not even one chip crossed these lips.

The other day I was in a pissy mood. Work stank, and I was angry. I thought: What would make this better? My response: A workout. Not a cookie, not chips, not a chocolate-covered toffee from the gift shop (which would, normally, in the past, make ANYTHING better). A workout. So I grabbed my bag, went to the gym and ran. I did a mile warm up (at 6 mph), then brought out my inner GIJANE :hi: and sprinted. Like it was no body’s business. 15 seconds. Walk for 30. Sprint 30 seconds. Walk for 30. Sprint for 45 seconds. Walk for 30. Then I sprinted 45 again. Walk for 30. For 15 minutes. And it felt good.

My belly may not have caught up yet, but my brain certainly has.

Pictures…

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We’ve all done it. In some cases, it’s why you’re here. We see a photograph of ourselves, cringe, and realize that something has to be done. The Lord knows that I’ve done the same thing. Many times. While I love photography, in most cases I know that I will not like pictures of myself, especially if I’m feeling heavy.

Last night I was editing some of the pics from our recent Africa trip. I just wish that I could edit out my belly. It just feels so awful to look at pictures of such an amazing time in my life, and realize that I will never be comfortable posting those, or showing anyone. And yet, I refuse to delete them. I refuse to forget that even when I feel like I’m on top of the world, I don’t look that way, and it hurts. It hurts me, physically, to look at those.

I have a belly that has a mind of its own. And even when I feel like I look amazing, I don’t. There’s a picture of my hubby & I at our friends’ wedding that could have been amazing. But honestly, I look about 6 months pregnant. Seriously. And I was wearing what I affectionately call a “sucker inner”, under a new dress.

This is not like those pictures where you’re sitting on the couch with a 10 year old t-shirt, a stain on the shirt, and no make-up. This was me — TRYING to look beautiful. And I didn’t. I looked pregnant. TRYING to look thin, but I didn’t.

I know that I am not doing this to look good in pictures. But I am doing it to feel better about myself, and knowing that I’ll look good is part of it. OK – maybe it’s a big part of it.

What does it mean?

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Have you seen the “Double Rainbow” guy on youtube? Yosemitebear Mountain Giant Double Rainbow 1-8-10. Check it out. Every time someone says “What does it mean?” in any context, I start giggling like a 14-year old girl…

Lately, though, I haven’t been giggling quite as much. A woman in my office died on Monday night. At 5:15 PM she left (she shares an office with a good friend), by 5:30 PM she had lost control of her van and had died. She was on her way to pick up her 2 kids from day care. Tuesday morning she didn’t call into an 8 AM meeting, so her associate started surfing the web – and ended up on our local newspaper, where she saw the headline. This is how the team found out — but they weren’t even sure that it was the “right” person — maybe it was someone else with the same name. There is so much that her 2 children will miss, with her being gone. Her husband did not have her to hold that night in bed. Just the spot where she once lie. And I cannot fathom how this happens. I just have too many questions – and I hardly knew this woman.

I saw “Up” a few weeks ago, and cried, inconsolably, throughout the whole movie. My husband was so good to me, wiping my tears, smoothing my mussed hair. But I was just so SAD! How could 2 people live their whole lives with 1 dream, and not have ever been able to acheive that SMALL dream? How could a kid, who loved his dad so much, have a dad who was never there? How could that crappy explorer guy try to capture that beautiful bird, all the while trying to burn down the guy’s house? I cried for the memories in that house, and the memories that the couple never made together at the falls. Then I made my hubby PROMISE that we’d always do the things that we wanted to do. We’d make a plan, and move forward with it. And if something happened to one of us, we’d still go. He’d still go to South Africa if something happened to me. He’d still climb Machu Pichu (my next goal), if I wasn’t able.

I have so many things on my list that I want to do — even in the next year — let alone before my time is up. But what if the “big man in the sky” has other plans for me — maybe I need to speed up those plans. But what I do know, is that I can’t do stuff half a$$ed anymore. It’s now or never.

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