Sunday, March 14, 2010

A Guilt Trip to Udvar-Hazy

Today I had a bad mom moment.  My sweet boy has a couple of unhealthy habits that that won't seem to die even after a couple of years of hassling him about them.  So, no need to discuss the specifics, but this morning he was doing one of those things and I snapped a little and yelled at him pretty sharply, without even building up to it.  Naturally he got really upset, but his being sad about it really lingered more than I expected, and we had a long chat about it.  Apparently he remembers me yelling at him some other times too, and this time he couldn't seem to get over being sad about it.  I felt like such a mean bad mommy.  :(  

After lunch, to make amends, I took him to one of his very favorite places, the Udvar-Hazy Center, or as we call it "the Airplane Museum" (it's the overflow extension of the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum, and it's awesome.)  We looked at tons of planes including a Stealth and the Concorde, plus helicopters, gliders, rockets, and the crown jewel, the Space Shuttle, which is his current favorite thing to simulate/play with at home, and he even digs watching the footage of previous launches on YouTube.  Then we shared an ice cream cone and I bought him a space shuttle model to take home.  Geez, that was some pretty expensive guilt!  Luckily that doesn't happen often (I can't remember any previous examples ever, in fact,) because I do not want my only child to turn out a spoiled brat...  I think we both feel better now, but I need to improve my patience so it doesn't happen again!

39 to Happiest in 365: Days 9 and 10 (out of order)

This is old now, but I still wanted it in here for the record:

I feel terrible today (Thurs.  March 11)!  Absolutely terrible.  I have a headache, I feel a little jittery, I am extremely tired despite an extra long night’s sleep (because it was a poor one), and I am having trouble focusing on important things like work... 

Yesterday (Wed. March 10) I had my pole dance class, and it goes in 8 week sessions at each level.  The levels go from 1-6 initially, and I made it to about halfway through Level 4 last year before getting a hip injury and having to quit for a while.  At the time I was still struggling with some of the moves being beyond my shoulder strength level, and I was also working on trying to get into better shape but was a long way from there.  Well, now after a winter of snow, illnesses, snow, illnesses, more snow, and more illnesses, I’m pretty frightfully out of shape.  Last night was the first night back at Level 2, and my instructor went apeshit with an uber-intense cardio pace!  I love it, but during the class it was a miracle I didn’t throw up, and almost immediately afterward I could feel the lactic acid building- which is to the point of me moving slowly and feeling almost ill from it today.  I crashed out at 9:00, which is exceptionally early for me, and I slept really poorly… 

Additional contributing factors to how poorly I feel today are allergies, and my cycle.  I let my allergy shots get behind over the winter to the point that they expired and I have to start over now, and even though it’s only been less than a week of spring-like weather, I am already a fountain of post nasal drip.  To top it off, I am in the latter half of my monthly cycle, which in recent years has caused me to be progressively more tired and lower energy

However, on the bright side, I’ve still been doing well the last couple days with calorie intake.  Not going to pat myself on the back yet until like a month or so has gone by, but I’m pleased with myself.

39 to Happiest in 365: through Day 12

(Days 9 and 10) I wrote a post and left it in a different computer- I'll have to post those later.)

Wednesday I didn't have anything major to report, but it was a good calorie deficit day.  I had eaten healthy all day, then my pole class whipped me to the point of passing out at 9:00.  Brutal.

Thursday I was feeling really beat and low energy, but kept the calories low enough despite not working out.  No major revelations.

Day 11 (Friday, March 12) I had a really productive day at work, had lunch out with a coworker and his fiancee to discuss their wedding plans, and topped the day off by an evening playing Rockband for the first time ever with the husband and a bunch of our friends.  It was amazing fun!  I belted out some songs through these rusty old pipes, and really dug playing the drums, too.  I didn't finish out the calorie count for the day, but all the standing around singing and working the arms and leg drumming was certainly a better burn than laying on the couch would have been!

Day 12 was our "Second Saturdays" dinner with our newly formed supper club/book club group.  It's us and two other couples, and I look forward to it all month now!  I didn't count calories today.  I ate relatively low to leave room for the dinner, and then I relaxed and enjoyed myself.  It was a smashing success!  The theme was "Ides of March", and everybody made fabulous food, we had good wine, and I thought my table decor wasn't half bad, either.  I figure if I really am good with my calories most days of the month and especially if I get my workouts ramped up more, I'll be fine with one day a month of eating a little more than normal.  The important thing is not to have such days lead into not doing well the next few days after so it doesn't become a slide.

Sunday or Monday I plan to weigh in and discuss the results.  I'm not going to talk about my actual weight number until it's back down to one I am comfortable sharing, but I'll tell you how much I'm down.

(I know this post wasn't particularly deep or revealing, but I am at least forcing myself to catch up so as not to get back out of the habit again already.)

To Daylight Savings:  Welcome, dear friend, I love you!  One of the happiest days every year, you truly put your stamp on making Spring feel real.  You bring new light to the end of the day and I consider loaning you an hour of my time until the fall a small price to pay for such joy.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

39 to Happiest in 365: Day 8

Hm.  I've had two days of relative success in eating my targeted amount of calories, and in squeaking by burning barely enough.  No, I'm not working out hard daily yet as I need to be, but the food is a huuuuge start.  Two days is way too early to even be cautiously optimistic, but I feel good about it, anyway.  Have plenty to talk about but it's late, and I never seem go to be early enough.  Last night was a sleep disaster due to the small boy throwing up randomly in the middle of the night.  Thankfully it appeared to be an isolated incident, but it made for a sucky night nonetheless.  Being too tired at work is the perfect storm for terrible junk food benders for me, so I need to nip it in the bud and hit the hay.  'Nite.

Monday, March 8, 2010

39 to Happiest in 365: Day 7

Monday, March 8, 2010.  It’s been just about a week since my 39th birthday, but for me, this is the real Day 1 in terms of my readiness to commit to do this thing, this year, for once and for all, so that I don’t freak out and think I am a hopeless wreck when I turn 40 in 358 days.  So many factors come into play for me in terms of the planets aligning for my “readiness”, and although they are different each time, that feeling is crucial in getting started.  I had a very relaxing and enjoyable weekend.  It finished up the last of the birthday celebrations for me.  It was warm and sunny the entire weekend, and I truly believe this was the turning point for it being spring, finally.  There may still be a colder, windier day here or there this month, but as a whole, as far as I am concerned, it is over (the worst winter ever) and spring is here.  Period!  I’m not going to wear scarves as all day fashion anymore, I put my two pairs of boots away that my feet hid in all winter, and I put my heavier barn coat away in favor of my lighter trench coat.  I even tossed out my beat up old purse and moved into one that has flowers on it, haha, it doesn’t get any “springier” than that, does it?  (It was adorable when the boy went to throw something away this morning, and asked me “Mommy, why did you throw your purse away?”  I loved that purse, it was one of my favorite colors, a bright apple green, but it was a mere 20 bucks from Target, and apparently daily use starting in October gave it a shelf life of about 5 months.  Ah, well.  I have a gorgeous more sturdy Coach, but I don’t like getting it quite so beat up as that.)  The best part of winter being over is that Daylight Savings kicks in next Saturday.  O joyful day, the lights are coming back on! 

Anyway, spring is here, and with that comes facing up to the bod that has been wrapped up for the last few months.  I gained and lost but mostly gained this winter, for a net increase of 15 pounds.  Yikes, as if I wasn’t starting from the bottom of a tall enough mountain; I had to dig a deeper hole from which to begin!  None of my short sleeve tops, which I stocked up on in a bigger size last year, mind you, fit me.  None.  Nada.  Couldn’t even button most of them.  That hurts.  Plus I think my neck is looking decidedly fatter, hello slight double chin that I never had before (those stupid camouflaging scarves were letting me get away with it!) 

Did I mention that a couple of weeks ago a colleague at work asked me if I was pregnant?  What a horror show- I could write a whole long post about that, but I was too humiliated at the time to wallow in it, so I chose not to.  I talked to some of my closer co-workers about it, though, and they reassured me that I don’t look blatantly pregnant (but they sure are wrong if I slouch just right, the tummy is where I hold my extra weight), and that we thought everyone knew the code that you never ask a woman that question unless there is actually a baby crowning out of her!

Now down to brass tacks: the math:
75 pounds in approximately 1 year.
Approximately 1.5 pounds a week average rate to get there.
Required deficit of 750 calories per day average to do that.
Therefore, I will be attempting to eat approximately 1800 calories a day or less and burn 2550 calories a day or more, give or take.

If you read this blog regularly and have for some time now, you know I’ve made these starts and decrees before.  A lot of times.  Ad nauseum.  Sometimes I made it a couple of weeks, sometimes I only made it a couple of hours.  Please, please, if you believe in any kind of higher power, pray for me to succeed this time.  I feel like it is kind of a last resort, because I can’t keep going on like this, and I find the thought of turning 40 without feeling healthy, fit, and good about myself to be verging on tragic, not that it should be but that is where my head is at.  If you don’t believe in anything spiritual, at least cross your fingers and wish me luck, I need it!

39 to Happiest in 365: Days 5 and 6, and a big decision...

Day 5, Saturday, March 6, 2010.  A day of relaxing, which is unusual for us.  I got a little bit done around the house while the boy was away for the day, including assembling my business tax info, but literally laid around half the day reading, too.  So did the husband, which was nice- he rarely does something like that, either, and he seemed much more relaxed than usual as a result!  Often that kind of extended relaxing makes me feel more stressed later for all the things I didn't "get done", but this time it was just right.  I finished a book that I adored, called "Shelter Me".  It's a novel about a mother of two young kids, including a boy my son's age and a not quite a year old baby, who has become a widow, and it goes through her life and coping in the first year without her husband.  Sounds sad and not entertaining, but it was totally one of those laughing out loud with a tear in your eye types, very heart warming in the end, I loved it.

I've been reading a lot lately, I read Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass in a day Thursday, in preparation for seeing the movie Friday night.  I definitely had mixed feelings about both the book and the movie.  VERY glad I read it first, mind you, or the movie would have been that much weirder.  It just was a very weird story, just like the books, and not a substantive enough plot to stand up to the cool characters and visuals.  Love the queen, love the Hatter, and love the Cat.  But overall, to weird for too long to be a full length movie, I thought.

Anyway, after the relaxing day, we had a super enjoyable and yummy belated birthday dinner for me at my parent's house.  I ate plenty of prime rib, scalloped potatoes, and cake, but I had been austere in my eating all day in anticipation.

Day 6, Sunday, March 7, 2010.  Another day of not too much, which is so refreshing!  We even finally got to the gym all together as a family, which made me very, very happy.  Got in a workout, had lunch out after, and even ran into our friends who we probably would have been having lunch with if we didn't think their kid was too sick, which was hilarious.  Eating was not too terrible, and I actually thought through this week's meals and feel kinda ready to really buckle down more and get to this weight loss thing.  I hope I mean it.

I had plenty of time to sort out some thoughts inside my head this weekend, and actually it gave me a chance to think through something that I feel very good and happy about.  It's about my wedding business.  I thoroughly enjoy the planning and coordinating of weddings, and I felt and will always feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment in having started a business.  It's something I never even knew I would want to do, and I have impressed myself all along the way in how readily I was able to learn the process, as well as grow my contacts and clients.  However, the circumstances in my life when I started the business were significantly different that they are now, and I am committed to my family and my primary full time career first and foremost.  As you can imagine, this doesn't leave a whole  lot of extra time, and both the time commitment and the finances of keeping this business at the hobby level just don't make it wise to continue in an official capacity.  This year I have a number of clients booked in the Spring and Fall (and have had to turn away several more!)  I am also extremely looking forward to helping a friend at work plan his wedding for later this year.  But I have decided that after 2010 I am not going to keep my business active any longer or book any more clients, and that doesn't give me any sadness or pause.  It is a chapter I am proud to have written in my life, and I will continue to actively involve myself in helping of weddings of friends and family should the occasion arise.  Perhaps I will revisit being a business owner when I retire from my govt. career in about 15 years!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

39 to Happiest in 365: Day 4

Friday.  Thank GOODNESS!!!  Not getting enough sleep SUCKS, especially when it is followed by a day of work, and worse, when THAT is then followed by something fun that I’m going to be tired for.  WHY DO I DO THAT TO MYSELF?!?!?!  Being tired makes it harder to focus at work, which leads to stress by getting behind.  Being tired and stressed tooooootally makes me want to eat, and not a pile of veggies, mind you.  And the pile of junk food which raises energy for like 15 minutes then proceeds to suck the life out of me for the rest of the day.  UGH!!!!!!!

However, on the bright side, it is almost the weekend!  I have a makeup pole class scheduled for tomorrow, and I’ve promised the boy I would take him to the gym on Sunday.  I have a bunch of boy-free time tomorrow to get caught up around the house, including planning some healthy meals for the week.  IN ADDITION, it is supposed to be warm out this weekend and getting warmer generally.  The kicker?  My dear friend Daylight Savings is already almost here- kicks in one week from tomorrow.  Glorious!!!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

39 to Happiest in 365: Day 3

Pleeaah.  That about sums it up for today.  A roller coaster of a few positive steps mixed with plenty of setbacks, as usual, and then settling into the midmorning of a workday to the feeling of the “pleeaahs”.  What do I mean by this?  You know; a fizzling of one’s energy, a desire to settle into one’s own comforting and usually self-destructive ways. 

Last night I did get in a good, hard workout at my pole class.  It felt exceptionally refreshing.  Unfortunately, though, I also followed it up with a pretty substantial dessert of leftover birthday stuff.  Then this morning I felt completely bloated, presumably from all the stuff I shouldn’t have been eating yesterday.  That’s a crappy way to start the day, but it does demonstrate the very immediate contrast to how I’ve been feeling upon waking up after a day of better eating.  I’ve got to focus on wanting to avoid that bloated gross feeling on a more daily basis, since the long term goals don’t have so much quick payoff.  That focus was enough to get me to go buy and eat a very healthy breakfast, which is an improvement from most days, but then by mid-morning it had fizzled out.

My workout plans for another makeup pole class tonight have been changed, so I’m going to have to consider sucking it up and doing a workout video at home.  I am not enthused by this.  Hermph…

Did I mention that the warm, happy fun ball known as the sun is actually visible in the sky today and lighting up the world?  I sooo need that.  The occurrences of sunny days have become much too few and far between this winter, and are therefore quite noteworthy.  I must roll up my sleeves at lunch and go soak some up!

As a footnote, I did in fact get some sun at lunch, but it was in the form of hanging my head out the car window like a dog, because it was too cold to be all the way outside.  Also, on an unrelated note, coming down from a day too high in sugar makes for one crabby mommy at the boy's bedtime.  The kid is 4, after all, it's not completely unreasonable that he act like it now and then, especially when HE is tired.  I suck.  And no, I am not going to get up and workout, either.        Ah, well, tomorrow is another day!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Inspirational Dr. Seuss

Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you!
Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.
Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So... get on your way.
You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose.
And will you succeed? Yes indeed, yes indeed! Ninety-eight and three-quarters percent guaranteed.

39 to Happiest in 365: Days 0-2

Day 0, Monday March 1, 2010.  The day before my birthday.  I took a “starting” weight, which is still reflective of a significant weight gain this winter, but is gratefully down 5 pounds from before the tummy ills.  And although I have been frank about my actual numbers in the past, I have gotten past the point of a comfort level on that for now.  I will continue talking about amounts of losses (or hopefully not gains), but not reveal true numbers for a while until I’m back in success mode and down a bit.  Suffice to say I have between 65 to 70 pounds or so to lose, which sounds like an outrageous amount, but luckily I don’t think I look as oversized as that sounds.  Unless I am kidding myself, which I may very well be.  J

Still felt like I was recovering from the now a week ago illness.  Tired.  Less appetite than I’m accustomed to (not a bad thing!)  Wanted to punk out of a late night hockey game, partially out of tiredness, and partially out of laziness that has taken hold from a winter of continually either being sick or snowed in.  A friend on the team forcefully encouraged me to go, however, and I was glad I did.  It felt sooooooo good, refreshing, cleansing, therapeutic, and other positive adjectives to get a hard workout in.  No goals scored this year like on a previous birthday, but I played well nonetheless.

Day 1, Tuesday March 2, 2010.  My birthday.  (And Dr. Seuss’ birthday, which gives me a great deal of delight every year!)  I am now 39 years old, for the first time.  Friends and family all checked in with kind words, as did a ton of random HS and college Facebook friends.  Got a card signed by all my coworkers.  I do enjoy the extra attention, even though I feel weird about aging.  I did indulge in some junk food, although not in obscene portions.  Today was also the first time that, although I was tired from the late night after hockey, I no longer feel like I am tired from being sick anymore, and food seems much more appetizing.  Crazy that it took that long!  My sweet honey made me homemade pizza and my little pumpkin helped me make brownies.  I didn’t get to watch Biggest Loser yet as we were catching up on other things, but watch Lost, which I hate to see ending.  All in all a very nice day.

Day 2, Wednesday March 3, 2010.  Back to the grind.  Overslept out of lazy tiredness this morning, but chose to bite the bullet and still shower and fix myself up properly instead of doing a “patch” job, despite ending up late for work as a result.  I always feel better when I look better, and it gave the kid a few more minutes at home, which he appreciated.  Nutritionally today will be a challenge, as I enjoyed lots of yummy bad snacks yesterday, and have plenty left over today to answer the hankering for them.  A long-awaited return to pole class tonight will be my redemption!  The only cloud over that parade is that I missed most of this session, and it is already the week 8 graduation.  I already learned all the moves in the past, but haven’t eased back into shape as was part of the purpose of backtracking, and further I will absolutely not remember the routine.  Although I typically prefer poles in the front of the class, tonight I shall hang in the back!

Family Contentment

So, often I've talked (and talked, and talked, and talked!) with various friends over the last 2-3 years about the issue of my contentment with our family size. To summarize, the husband and I always wanted more than one child, yet upon having our sweet boy and the ensuing wild ride that followed, based on the challenging pregnancy and tough baby that he was, the age of ourselves that we waited until to become parents, the toll it took on us for the first couple of years, the age and physical condition I am in now, and the financial balance we currently have, we have decided (and repeatedly confirmed) to ourselves that we are keeping with our one sweetie, and that our family is complete at three. Now that decision has not come simply and without emotional struggle, mind you. It is the absolute societal norm to have two, and in our area it trends more to three. Hubby grew up with a brother, and he always expected he'd want two or three of his own (I joked with him early on that the only way he'd get three kids from me was if the second baby was twins.) I grew up an only child, and although I loved it and feel well adjusted due to fantastic parents, I do wish at times that I had adult siblings in my life, and I definitely had always planned to have two kids.  

Nevertheless, it has been extremely clear to both of us for a couple of years now that this is it for us, and we are confident that it is the only decision that is right for us. Naturally there is a little bit of emotional "loss" to be felt in changing one's life plans that way, and we've shared with each other that nagging feeling on more than one occasion. It doesn't change our resolve, but it does hurt just a tiny bit. I get pangs from time to time when being reminded that few kids his age are without younger (or older) siblings, when people ask if we are going to have another, as all of our friends were having their seconds a couple of years ago, and as I see pregnant mommys holding their little one's hands. 

Well, I think that my way of dealing with it had been to talk about it. A LOT. With various friends, but especially with one or two in particular. I think at times I brought it up so much that I confused the hell out of my friends and made it seem like I might change my mind or that I was looking for some sort of validation. But I'm discovering that phase was and is just part of a gradual process of mourning the idea of a larger family. Just two weeks ago we were asked the question point blank by a doctor, and confirmed aloud to her our decision to stop at one. Which triggered he and I talking about it again, later, further confirming it. And that night I took a big step forward in acceptance, as I randomly started sobbing about it, right in the middle of something totally unrelated. It was a good, hard, releasing cry, and a positive step forward for me in acceptance of what I know we need. Yet another step just happened today- It just came to me this morning and I'm very excited about this one. You know those cartoony family stickers everyone has on their cars, the stick figure characters showing the happy combo of kids/pets in the family? Well, I've always adored those, yet always been a tiny bit saddened by them, too, because I thought it would look kind of strange with the two parent figures and one lone kid, looking somehow unfinished and not even to be capped off by a cat or dog due to my allergies. Well, I finally figured it out, and I just ordered my stickers, which I will now be able to post happily in the window with a clear statement about our family. The sweet, happy little boy sticker will be flanked by two smiling parent stickers, one on each side. Looking clearly finished and self contained, in a happy threesome. :)