New Year, New Blogging Mojo

2015 started today and I was sick in bed with this migraine/vertigo thing I’ve had a couple times this month. It sucked. Sleep seems to be the only thing that makes it better, so I am fortunate that I was able to do that today. I think it is triggered by exhaustion and stress in high doses.

While I was in bed I was able to ponder the New Year and what I want to be different and better in 2015. As usual, a million things came to mind and so did the desire to Change. Them. All. Right. Now. Past Me knows this is a recipe for disaster because it leads to too many unrealistic resolutions that I try to achieve at the same time. I invariably fail and end up more miserable than I started because now I get to add an extra helping of self-loathing for not doing things for myself that are good for me. I mean really, this is New Year’s Resolution 101. I know better.

I want this year to be different. I want to be successful. I want to be proud of me!

I came across a hashtag #onelittleword and was intrigued by the idea and simplicity. But of course, I quickly became overwhelmed trying to come up with the PERFECT word for me. Some of the ones I considered were:
☆Love
☆Achieve
☆Be
☆Better
☆Move
☆Self
☆Do
☆Try
☆Happy
☆Peace
☆Perfect  (the verb)
☆Accept
☆Pride
☆Believe
☆Simplify
☆Minimize
☆Focus
☆Healthy
☆Save
☆Live
☆Fun
☆Thankful
☆Brave
☆Create
☆Joy
☆Choose
☆Strive
☆Change
☆Act
☆Enough
☆Push

I realized I was falling into my same old New Year’s resolutions habits. Too many things I want to change. I wanted to find the perfect word that would encompass all the areas of my life that I wanted to improve: my weight, my parenting, my attitude, my lack of motivation to do anything sometimes, my relationships, my low self-esteem, etc, etc. Some of the above words could apply to some of these areas, but none really touched on ALL. And this thought process was defeating the entire purpose of #onelittleword.

And then I saw my #onelittleword was right there all along. It is something I want to do in all areas of my life. A single word that takes into account where I’m starting and how far I want to go without limiting me or being too grandiose. As soon as I thought it I knew it was THE #onelittleword that could motivate me, focus me, and not set me up for failure before I even started.

My #onelittleword for 2015: improve.
I am ready for you, 2015.

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Quick Updates

1. The mastitis is finally healing. I am still amazed at how such a small thing caused so much pain & ill feelings. It made me feel so much more exhausted than usual, and that’s saying a lot because I normally always feel tired. The pain and tenderness last a good 6 days. But thankfully I feel 100% better. I have 2 days of antibiotics left. The best news is that Gemma is still nursing, with no signs of stopping anytime soon!

2. My to do lists are not any closer to being done. Getting sick did not help me in the motivation department.

3. My weight loss goals are probably not going to be met by the new year. But they were a little ambitious to begin with. I will be more than satisfied if I lose half of my original goal.

That is it for now. I need some sleep!

I can do this!

weights

weights (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today was a really good day all around. I have to focus on the positives, and I am going to. Like today, when I normally would have went to the Halloween candy bag, I instead grabbed a small bowl of almonds. At dinner, I took the skin off my chicken and filled up on the protein instead of the beans and macaroni and cheese. I went to a boot camp, when I was really not up for it. I completed a lot more of the boot camp exercises than I have in the past. I surprised myself by being able to hold the weights above my head the entire time to and from “the wall.” I reorganized my blog categories.

Go Me!!

 

Food without Thought

I have lost 14 pounds in 14 weeks. I would have lost a lot more than that if I could get control of my binge eating. I just don’t know how to stop. I desperately want to stop. But when I start eating I just can’t stop no matter how much I want to even while I do it. I try to tell myself as I’m doing it that I need to stop. I try to tell myself not to start when I have a bite of a trigger food. I try to not buy the stuff and have it in the house. But I fail at every step when it comes to all of this. I hate it.

The weird thing is that I don’t understand a lot about binge eating. I’ve googled it. I’ve briefly talked to my old therapists about it. But none of the explanations ring true for me. It feels like this is one of those things where understanding why I do it is the only to help me stop doing it. But I just don’t know why. I have done it for so long and done it so mindlessly. I never thought it was a problem until about the last 10 years or so.

I have come to realize that I have some big trigger foods: breads, crackers, candy, soda (even diet), simple sugars. Basically everything I love. But I cannot stop when I start eating these foods. It is like they don’t taste good unless I eat all of it. I know that doesn’t make logical sense, but it is not logical at all. But the good news to me is that none of my trigger foods are essential to survival. I have given up these foods before and I lose a lot of weight very quickly. Problem is that when I give those foods up I become super moody and bitchy and physically ill with headaches and general malaise. I’ve done it for 14 days and I was miserable to be around. Many of those foods are everywhere, especially when I am feeding my children. It feels ridiculous to give my kid a graham cracker and be resentful that I can’t have one too. Then that makes me irrationally angry that they get to eat those foods and I do not. I feel like a horrible mother when I resent my children for the food they get to eat. I don’t know how to do it and not be bitchy, but I know I need to try. I’m thinking I need to do some meditation or yoga or something to help with that (hahaha, in all my spare time!!).

So for now, I am going to try to just be more mindful of eating and try to curtail the binge eating of my trigger foods and try healthier substitutions. My hope is that by not quitting cold turkey, I will be able to gradually cut back on them until the point I am at least not binge eating them and hopefully barely eating them at all. I need to eat more thoughtfully to stop this eating without thought. This is the hardest part of my journey.

Weighty Goals

I am ready to step up my game, weight-loss wise. I am committed to cooking 5-6 nights per week. And working out or walking every single day.

This week I did a training session on Monday morning and then walked 2.1 miles on Monday night and went to a bootcamp on Tuesday night. I have plans for exercise for the whole week.

My goals are to lose 15 pounds by December 31, bringing my total weight loss to 30 pounds. Then my next goal will be to weigh 190 by my 39th birthday, on April 11th. That will be a total weight loss of 60 pounds. And a safe and sensible goal of 50 pounds over 5 and a half months (23 weeks).

I’m ready to do this. I’m ready to take control of my life. I’m ready to live.

Sports Feelings

Growing up, I can remember being told by my mother that sports were for boys and I wouldn’t be good at them. She now denies ever having said this and says I never asked to play. I can remember a conversation after my bother’s soccer game. I must have been 6 or 7 and he was 5 or 6. To me, he clearly didn’t want to play and I did. When I asked her about me playing, she said the above and something about how I would get hurt because I was so clumsy (I was). My memories from childhood are jumbled and few (which upsets my mom, because QUOTE: “She worked so hard to give me nice memories.”) but I remember this conversation,  god damn it. I remember where we were standing in her room. I remember how I felt. I remember it.

Even if I concede that she may not have said those words (which I don’t), the message to me was clear growing up. I was put in dance classes that I didn’t like (um, clumsy). My brother was made to play soccer and baseball, which, to my memory, he didn’t like (I have to remember to ask him now). Message= boys play sports; girls dance.

Luckily,  my brother and I both went on to discover a love of music and performing.

But I have regrets. The message I took away was that I couldn’t try sports. I would suck at them. Sports were off-limits to me. I wonder how different I could have been if that door was open to me? As I’ve been recently working out and lifting weights, I feel like there is a part of me that could have enjoyed this a lot earlier. I feel by body and spirit respond to it and imagine doing things that my body at this size will never be able to do.

For the past 5 or so years, when I’ve had a positive, good kind of physically active day, when I close my eyes I imagine myself doing a hand stand. Over and over I’ve imagined this. And it is always a positive feeling that washes over me imagining this. I don’t know what this means, other than one of my fitness goals now is to be able to do a hand stand. It has sort of become my acknowledgement to the girl who was told sports were not for her. It is a message to her that she could have done it and that I can still do anything. It is an empowering thought that I hold on to, instead of the regrets about not playing sports when younger. I can’t wait for the day when I can so a hand stand.

Holiday Angst

The Holiday Stress starts for me today. And I hate that. Every November 1st. It is like a slap in the face that we don’t do the holidays like I want to. It is the beginning of the most stressful time of year that I have very little control over.  This is the time when I am stressed, and unhappy, and wanting to change how we do it. But I am incapable of changing it. A lot of it is things that are outside my control.

What do I want to change, but probably can’t:

1. The kids and their “wanting-all-the-things.” I mean, I can’t really blame them with all the IN.YOUR.FACE marketing they’ve been exposed to since birth, that really ramps up during the holiday season. But I hate all the junk toys that never get played with. Not to mention, that we are a family of 6 living in a 1425 sq feet house. I try to “guide” the kids toward wanting more practical things, the things that I know they will play with. Sometimes it works.

The bigger two kids get it, but now they are at the age when the gifts they want are only higher priced electronic things. So I run into trouble with them when people ask me what to get them and they only want to spend $20. Gift cards are the obvious choice, and I LOVE when they get that, but it is not exciting for them to open. So we run into the problem of them not looking/acting grateful and/or appreciative. Especially the 10 year old, he has trouble with expressing his emotions.

The 4 year old just wants stuff, stuff, and more stuff. Every commercial since October has something he wants. This is not surprising since he wants anything and everything when we go into any store. How do I reign that in? I mean, it is so easy to make him happy with stuff. Why would I tell someone to buy him clothes?

2. _EDITED_ It is stressful having to come up with ideas for gifts for other people to buy my kids. Now I know how that sounds, and I am grateful that people want to buy my family presents. It is GREAT! But it is stressful for ME, and this is my blog post, on MY blog about MY holiday stress. It is stressful because I have to deal with other people’s timelines (Yes, I would like to be done with my shopping by Thanksgiving too! Who wouldn’t?). Also, some of these relative’s don’t shop online, so if I find something from online, then I have to buy it and wait for them to reimburse me. Then, I have to deal with other people’s budgets. More than a few times, I have had a perfect gift that I want to buy for my kids, but some relative is short a present and they want to spend the amount of the perfect gift that I want to get them. So, realizing that the important thing is the kid getting something they will like, I let the relative get it for them. Then I have to come up with something else from us.

3. The “Not-Mine” Traditions. One of my biggest surprises when I got married is that the traditions that worked for my family for years were now still expected to be my traditions. So I somehow had to try and work in Scott’s family and their traditions. Not a great way to start a marriage together. I must admit, Scott’s family was very gracious and accommodating, but it was still stressful to go to 3 Christmases. And then his family made it even easier when his dad moved to Wisconsin. But now I’m stuck with my side’s traditions, that are fine, but just not mine.

In fact, my favorite Christmas ever was our second year in Colorado. There was a blizzard that prevented us from flying out on December 23rd. So we had our own Christmas and then went to a friend’s for Christmas dinner. It was so, so wonderful. Then when we did fly back home, we did a parred down Christmas that was so low-key and nice and only the family members we truly care about. It was only our second Christmas in Colorado, but sadly, it was our last.

4. Religion. I feel like part of my trouble with Christmas is trying to celebrate a religious holiday without having any religion in my life right now. But it is so hard to get back into it. I miss parts of it and not other parts. Scott doesn’t want any part of religion and it is hard to do it on my own. It is a whole can of worms that I chose just to keep putting off, but around the holidays I feel a more pressing need to do something. My 13 year old asked me last month, “Why do people think Jesus was the son of God?” I just couldn’t satisfactorily answer it because she doesn’t have any religious framework to pull from. I felt like what could have been a great teaching moment was lost because we haven’t raised her in The Church.

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Most of those above things are things I WANT to change, but are not going to happen this year or anytime soon. That is where a lot of the stress comes from. So, I am going to focus on things I can do to alleviate other stresses of the holidays. Maybe this will make the above items not so troubling.

What I’m going to do to try to reign in the stress this year:

1. Get my gift idea lists done by next week. For everyone: Grandma, my mom, Scott’s sister, me. This will alleviate a huge amount of stress.

2. Get my Christmas cards and photo calendars done by November 20th.

3. Keep it simple. Keep it meaningful.

4. Find a charity, soup kitchen, adopt-a-family, something that we can give to and start to make a yearly tradition.