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Friday, July 22, 2011

"Happy Weight" Is Kind Of Depressing

Yes, I know I already blogged this morning. You get a bonus today. Don't get used to it.

I am happy. 
My hubby is home from deployment, we have family time, and I'm happy.
I can tell, 'cause...yeah. I can just tell. 

There's a thing called "happy weight".  When you're really happy and content, you tend to put on a few pounds.  Now I am an emotional eater, so I eat when I'm happy. Or sad. Or depressed. Or angry. Or bored. Or it's a day that ends in "y".  But I digress.

See, when Mike is deployed, I tend to lose weight.  I work hard, eat right, track every morsel I put in my mouth, exercise regularly, and basically do everything in my power to "WOW" him when he comes back home to me.  I really focus on the goal. I lost 50 lbs during his last deployment. 

Then, he's home.  I'm making his favorite foods, we're hanging out together, we're having fun.  I'm not paying attention to the scale, or noticing when my jeans start to get a little snugger.  When I do notice, I ALWAYS blame the dryer...this is a rule. It is always the dryer's fault.

He doesn't care, I know he doesn't.  Sad thing is, I don't, either.  I really don't.  As long as I'm healthy and feeling good and know that I'm eating the right foods (even if I eat a smidge too much here and here), I really don't care about my weight very much.


Well, I don't spend a lot of time in front of a mirror.  I don't have time, first of all, and second I'm just not all that interested in it.  So sometimes I see a picture of myself and think "wait, do I LOOK LIKE THAT?!"  Because that's not how I remember myself. 

  A few weeks ago, we had some family pictures taken by a local Army wife whose building up her photography business.  I just got the disk yesterday and I have to say, she did beautiful work.  Here's a sampling:

My reaction to these pics went like this:
1) wow, those are really nice shots, I love the way she played with the light
2) I have some VERY handsome fellas in my life!
3) Gosh, I am so glad both my boys have buzz cuts now
4) Man, I am really crazy about Mike, and I think it shows


To my credit, at least it wasn't my very first thought.  But it's there.  And now I'm thinking about my weight again.  I'm back to wondering if my top is too tight.  If my butt looks big in those jeans (though, hubby likes the butt, so that makes me feel a little better lol).  If people are looking at me going "man, she used to look so good".  See, over the past year or so, friends and people at church have told me how great I look, how they can really see that I'm losing weight, that I'm "wasting away to nothing" (that's my favorite, since I haven't been anywhere near my ideal weight since 2006, but it was fun to hear that).  So now what are they thinking?  And why do I care?

Does it matter if I have a little extra pudge here and there, if my doctor says I'm healthy and I feel good and know I'm doing the right things?  Does the number on the tag matter if my husband thinks I'm beautiful and sexy?  Does other people's opinions of my weight matter, as long as I know who I am and that I'm a beautiful person on the inside and a child of God?

It shouldn't.  The size of my heart, the size of my smile, the size of my sense of humor, the size of my personality - those should all matter more than the size of my rear end. 

I have so many amazing things in my life to focus on.  I have joy, love, friendship, fun.  Those are all better than worrying about whether or not I have a muffin top.  There are people who need me to be there for them, to be a friend, a teacher, a mom, a wife.  That's where my focus needs to be. 

I know me. If I spend my time focusing on the weight I've gained, I'm going to beat myself up for letting all that hard work go to waste.  I'll start the negative self-talk, and then I'll emotionally eat.  And I'll be depressed, and angry with myself, and then I'll be crabby with the people who need me.  Who does that help?

I'm not giving myself permission to eat a lot of junk, to sit around and watch TV all day, or to just completely give up.  Being healthy is very important to me, a lot of junk food makes me feel terrible, and sitting around all day is BORING.  I know that I need more veggies and less chocolate.  I know I should take more walks.  I know that having a milkshake for dinner needs to be a rare treat, not a regular dietary choice.

But today I am choosing to accept my "happy weight" - and to be grateful that my husband is home safe, to be in the moment and focus on the things that really matter, and to be thankful that I'm in such a wonderful place in my life to have the problem of "happy weight".

How I Spent My Summer "Vacation"...

This week, my husband and sons have been gone to Scout camp.  People keep asking me how I'm enjoying my "vacation".  Truth is, I'm not sure I know how to take one! Oh sure, I talked big about all the stuff I was gonna do (go to the movies by myself, clean and organize the whole house, take 2 hour long baths, go shopping all by myself, catch up on MY shows on the DVR, etc).  Big plans!

Yeah, I haven't watched a single show on my DVR this week.  I HAVE just about conquered Mt. St. Laundry, but that's all the housework I've done.  I've babysat everyday this week, 4 boys under 10, but none of them are mine and all of them are gone by dinnertime! And I've gone to my friend's house to watch Firefly most evenings this week (yeah, that show is NEVER gonna get old).   I never made it to the store.  I still taught at church Wednesday night, I still took care of the dogs and the cats, and I even took a few minutes to try my hand at "advice columnist"! Ironically, that is all about taking time for yourself and taking a break sometimes. Whoops.

I just can't stand to be bored.  I think that's why I have a pathological need to bite off more than I can chew. I do it with school, work, big projects around the house, etc.  I feel like I'm being lazy and useless if I sit around and do nothing.  And there's a time for being lazy and useless, don't get me wrong, but I couldn't stand doing a whole week of it. I've had a few little "wins" - I've stubbornly refused to bake anything or cook dinner at all this week (been too hot anyway), one night I had a milkshake for dinner(!), I've stayed up as late as I wanted (and paid for it the next morning, but oh well), and I've drank as much coffee as I feel like without having to share the pot.  So I guess I've acted like your average college kid this week.

Next week, things will be "back to normal".  My boys will be here to bicker and argue.  I'll have 6 boys to entertain and moderate.  I'll have to make sure dinner is made and on the table at a certain time, and I won't be able to hang at my friend's house until 1 AM.  The laundry will pile back up again and I'll be grossed out by the bathroom within minutes of their arrival.  I'll go back to counting down the days until school starts.  I'll be planning my youngest son's birthday party and spend my evenings catching up on Falling Skies and So You Think You Can Dance with my hubby, because I've discovered that watching my shows with him is much more fun than doing it alone.  I'll be back to being "me" next week, so I guess you could say I HAVE had a vacation this week, from my normal "real life" just didn't go the way I planned - and really, what vacation ever goes as planned?

If you don't have this show, you need it.  
That is all.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Ahhhh, gotta love summer!

Ahhhhhh summertime.  Evening thunderstorms, day trips to the beach (complete with jellyfish stings), visits from loved ones, blockbuster movies, and about 100 other reasons to completely ignore one's blog.  :)

So what have we been up to? My family has been REALLY busy since school let out, as are most other families, I'm sure.  So far it's been a terrific summer for us (even with my 12 year old finding the business end of a jellyfish), full of fun times with friends and family. The busyness is not going to let up any time soon, as my boys are getting ready to leave for Scout camp and I will start a new (full time) babysitting job next week.  And I've only got a little over a month before I have to start thinking about school again - Nathan will be going back to his public school, I will return to my online college and will be homeschooling Noah (I sure hope I can remember 8th grade math)!  I wanted to touch base here though and update a few things.

Sadly, after a lot of prayer and tears, we had to surrender my Altman bulldog, Petey.  He was too much for our family, and too rough on my boys.  It was hard to let him go, but probably easier than getting rid of the children.  I do not consider animals to be disposable, and I do not take letting animals go lightly, so this was a very difficult decision for me. I did face some criticism from people who don't even know me, those who DO know me know it broke my heart. 

In other news, I have been letting my kids "cheat" and have gluten-based products this month.  It's an interesting experiment, and a sort of necessary one since with camp and such it's difficult to monitor or control everything they eat.  Obviously if they had celiac I would be far more strict, but they don't and it's been a personal choice to go gluten-free and try to take them off meds or at least reduce them.  In Nathan, I've seen more "hyperness" but not really any other changes.  In Noah, I can't really describe what I've seen other than to say that he seems "more autistic" than he does when he sticks to the plan.  Also, it's worth noting that he has mentioned several times "not feeling well" after eating things off his diet.  So if this experiment has shown me anything, it's that going gluten-free was a good choice for my family.  When they return from camp, we'll be going back to it completely.  In the meantime, I've chosen to remain GF except for rare exceptions.  This is because it's just not really worth it to me to feel lousy and be in pain for a couple of days when I have other options.   In that same vein, I'm excited to try out a bunch of new recipes and products. As always, I'm happy to share what I like, so be on the look out!

I've stopped going to physical therapy for my shoulder.  We'd gone as far as we could with it, and all the exercises I was doing I could do at home.  It's really just about pain management at this point, since the ortho has no intention of fixing it and I'm honestly too busy to seek out a second opinion.  However, I have STARTED going to physical therapy (the same dr) for my neck.  It was injured at the same time as my shoulder (back in October 2010), but I could never get anyone to do anything about it til now.  Some of the problem is irreparable (it's very very straight, no curve), but we are working on stretching and strengthening the muscles and that will hopefully reduce the pain, stiffness, and limited mobility that I've been living with.

Ohhhh, there are probably a dozen other things I could write about. I should really start keeping a notepad handy for when I have the the thought "I should blog this!" because right now I can't remember any of them! This is already pretty long though, and I really SHOULD be packing my kids' clothes, so I'll end this now and promise to NOT wait another month before I blog again. :)