Posts Tagged ‘healthy-living’

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Well, another Mother’s Day has come and gone. In case you lost count, it’s now Tuesday which marks 2 full days since Mother’s Day and it also happens to mark 2 full days since I’ve been waiting to have a waking moment of peace to myself in order to write a blog about Mother’s Day. Because that’s what happens when you’re a mother. You wait. You wait for silence. You wait for peaceful quiet bliss. You wait for the moment when the hellions stop trying to kill each other and drift into dreamland and hope to God you can stay awake long enough to squeeze a minute or two of enjoyment out of it before you pass out from exhaustion on the couch. Ahhhh…. the joys of motherhood.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Love my kids!!!! Don’t go jumping on the judgy bandwagon and thinking that a little complaining here and there means I don’t appreciate the beautiful gift of children. Because I totally, completely do. But if I’m being perfectly honest, I like to feel sorry for myself every once in a while. It’s totally cathartic. I recommend it. Wallow in self pity for a bit! You’ll feel great! You’ll feel validated! You’ll feel like your 4 year old gets to feel when he has an uninterrupted and ignored temper tantrum when you say “No” to a treat at the grocery store. Un-acknowledged, maybe, but totally satisfied and ready to take on the rest of the day. Why should our kids be the only ones who get to be selfish brats sometimes? I wanna be a brat, too!

And so, for Mother’s Day this year, I decided to be a little bit selfish. It started on Saturday when I went shopping for my own mother’s gift. This got me thinking. Mothers always say they don’t want anything for Mother’s Day, my mom included. This is not true. Not even a little bit. There had better be a gift, or some flowers, or some toast and coffee in bed, or at least a damn card waiting because let’s be honest: it is literally the LEAST you could do. Really. What mother doesn’t appreciate a little bit of thought put into her happiness, at least one day of the year? And if you give your mother or your wife or your baby momma the excuse that you “Didn’t have time to get anywhere, and you’ll make it up to her,” you’re a special kind of douchebag. Mother’s Day is marked on the calendar. It’s not a big surprise. You have warning that it’s coming, same time every year. Get something.

So I’m shopping for my mom and we happen to have similar tastes in a lot of things, so a lot of the gifts I am considering for her are REALLLY appealing to me…for myself. Does this ever happen to you? And suddenly a genius thought strikes me. I’m going to buy myself my own damn Mother’s Day present. After years of boring gifts, thoughtless gifts, no gifts, gifts chosen by sister-in-laws, last minute gifts, gifts from the checkout aisle at the grocery store, I decide that I’ve paid my dues and I am determined to have a mother’s day gift that I really enjoy. And who better to choose it than me? Who appreciates my mothering skills and virtues more than I do? Who has a better understanding of the day in day out sacrifices a mother makes, including her own personal sanity? Nobody. I wander around the store, looking at all the things I would love to have, wondering to myself just exactly how I might measure up on the Good Mom scale. I take a mental inventory of all the crappy-mom things I have done, and compare them to a list of all the pretty great-mom things in my repertoire. I finish my shopping and head to the checkout. This year, I’m not going to wait and wonder if I will be disappointed by my family’s ‘efforts’. I am not going to base my value as a mother on the thought that anyone else may or may not have put into a gift or sentiment for me. This year, on Mother’s Day, my gift to myself is a good book, a cute little purse, and my own realization that I am a really good mother.

On Sunday morning, the Big Day, I awake to a quiet house. The older ones are at their dad’s and the little one is awake and downstairs with my BF. Nobody is bothering me. For a moment I consider that I should probably get up and go downstairs, but I decide against it and lay in bed and browse Facebook instead. Lots of ‘Happy Mother’s Day’ messages. A strange phenomena is brought to my attention….all of the messages are from Mothers. A sneaking suspicion that has been gnawing at me lately is validated: The only people who truly care about Mother’s Day are mothers themselves.

Let me make myself clear. I know that all of you sons and husbands and fathers and even some daughters out there may really truly appreciate the women in your lives who happen to be mothers. You may even lavish these moms with special gifts, suppers, flowers, etc on Mother’s Day, putting a lot of thought into what might make this special woman happy. Of this is the case, good for you! You’re not a douchebag, carry on. All I’m saying is that nobody can really truly appreciate a mother like another mother can. You never truly realize what kind of sacrifices and bullshit your mother had to put up with because of you, until you become a mother yourself. And you can’t even fathom a mother’s love until you are the one giving it, unconditional and unrelenting, day in and day out for the rest of your days on earth. And this is why Mother’s Day is so important. As a mother, the best gift you can give yourself on Mother’s Day and any other day is the permission to fail, the strength to continue, and the acknowledgment that you’re doing a good job, and nobody knows that more than another mother does.

When my 8 year old daughter got home, she proudly presented me with a pile of artwork she had been working on all weekend. She had made me a Mothers Day card, of course. A big picture of my face, with a poem,
“You are specile, You are Bright, you are the best mom in the light.”
She began describing the picture in detail. “See, mom, I gave you black hair, and the little earrings you always wear. And your pink lips and the blush on your cheeks, because I know you like to put blush on your cheeks.” And then she stops, looks at the picture, looks at me, and says, “Awwww Man!” I say, “What?” She says, “I totally forgot to put those big black circles under your eyes!”.

Happy Mother’s Day to me.

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Hi, Remember Me?

It’s been awhile. Yeah, sorry about that. I’ve been soooo busy working out and focusing on eating well and living a healthy lifestyle that by the end of the day, I’m just exhausted and haven’t found the time to blog.

hahahah ya right. You wanna know what I’ve really been doing for the last 2 weeks? Eating chocolate bars. True story.

Not to mention, totally avoiding exercise at all costs. Siiiiggghhhh. It was a good run while it lasted.

OK, let me redeem myself a little here, I’m not giving up!!!! But I do have to come clean and admit to myself and the general public that I have gotten somewhat complacent and dare I say lazy in the last couple of weeks. I could feel it slowly coming on, like you know when you’re starting to get the flu, and you feel that little yucky twinge in your gut? And you stop, raise one eyebrow, and think, “huh. that was strange.” And you carry on with your day. And then a couple of hours later you hear a gurgle down below and you have a seat and wonder if maybe you should go to the bathroom, just to be safe? Until later that night, when you’re doubled over the toilet while your 6 year old holds your hair back and you’re wearing the old black sweatpants “Just In Case” an accident happens and you think, “Yep. Definitely feelin’ pretty sick!” Well that’s what it’s like when your exercise regimen is beginning to lose steam. Maybe you are forced to skip a workout one day because of logistical impossibility. The next day, suddenly, it becomes a little easier to talk yourself into skipping again. Like, “Golly Gee I sure had a lot of extra time yesterday when I didn’t do my workout, I bet if I just let one more day go I could really get a lot done off my To-Do-List and then I will get right back at it tomorrow!” MMMMM-HHMMMMM. Then you get up the next morning feeling kind of guilty, until you look in the mirror and think to yourself, “Hey, I haven’t worked out for 2 days, and I still look pretty damn good!” Then not only does it seem somewhat pointless to keep busting your ass in those crazy workouts, but the trip through the kitchen also starts to take a bit of a turn. Bread starts looking really tasty again. Just one piece of toast for breakfast won’t hurt. Geez, people eat this stuff all the time! Yogurt is getting boring! A little break won’t hurt anyone! Well, that’s where it starts. And then eventually you end up like me, eating chocolate bars every day and baking Sticky Buns at 10 pm on a Monday night. And like the pathetic mess doubled over the toilet with the flu, you eventually find yourself wondering how things went to hell so quickly.

Today was supposed to be the day that I took my “After Insanity” photos. It would have been the first day after the entire 9 week program, and the plan all along was to track my progress and report my measurements. And I have to say, I did do really well! I lost 4 jeans sizes, and definitely toned up. I have an ass I am proud of!!! I still am not really weighing myself because I don’t own a working scale, but last time I got on the Wii I has down a couple pounds. So whatever, I did well! I accomplished what I set out to… I feel good in a bathing suit! HOWEVER…..I am not posting my measurements/photos for 2 reasons: 1. I looked better 2 weeks ago before I fell off the wagon and 2. I really don’t think anybody gives a shit how many inches my waist is or how my bum looks in a bikini.
Am I right? That’s what I thought. The reason you all read my blog, I am guessing, is because it’s nice to know that somebody out there struggles with the same annoying bullshit that you do, and that you’re not alone. So that is what I’m here to report to you. The results of my exercise program and quest for a better body……here goes.

Exercise is hard goddamm work. I said it. If you want to lose weight, you gotta REALLY want it because ladies, it is ALWAYS going to be easier to sit on the couch and watch Dr. Phil. Nobody ever got a beach body or fit into their skinny jeans by taking leisurely strolls around the block and doing “5 minute abs” once a week. It takes sweat. It takes persistence. It takes a dash of vanity and a shitload of motivation; because let’s be honest here, nobody ever launches a major weight loss program “just to be healthier”. I think everyone in some way wants to look better, to some degree. And it takes momentum. You are not going to want to work out and eat clean and drink 8 glasses of water every day and all that bullshit right out of the gate. It takes time, getting used to a new routine. The results of my experience in this area, were that it does get easier. It becomes a welcome habit. Eventually you start looking forward to it, not because of the pain and agony you may feel while you are exerting yourself but because of the incredible feeling of exhaustion and elation and pride when you finish. That is the hook right there. The payoff is the power you feel when you’ve defeated your pessimism. And, of course, results, which brings me to my next point.

If hope and pride are what bring you to your workouts every day, Results are what keep you going. Results are the reason, whether your desired result is measured with a scale, a tape measure, a heart rate monitor, or a blood pressure cuff, when you finally start to achieve what you’ve been working towards, it’s kinda like crack. Very addicting! It somehow makes it much easier to keep sweating your ass off in spandex, when the spandex is getting noticeably looser. When you begin to realize that you are capable of accomplishing a goal, whether it be big or small, you definitely feel a bit more empowered. Suddenly, it’s like you’re 5 years old again and your dad is telling you that you can be anything you want to be. The world feels full of possibility. You begin to believe that you could actually achieve something, just because you decided to. Why? Cause you’re awesome! But don’t get too comfortable with those results. If you’re like me, they can turn on you.

At some point, positive results begin to work against you. You used to look in the mirror and think, “Ugh, I gotta get back on the treadmill.” And now that you’re lookin good, you sometimes look in the mirror and think, “Damn I look good!” Which can go either way. It will either make you want to keep going, or if you get to the tipping point like I did 2 weeks ago, it makes you think maybe you don’t have to work so hard and you can relax a little! This is a slippery slope, my friends. What your mirror won’t tell you, is that the reason you look so damn good is because you work hard, but your eyes are focused on your tight bum and your flatter tummy and you’re all gaga in love with how your skinny jeans are fitting you and you decide to celebrate with a nice little Hershey’s with Almonds. And before you know it your treadmill collects a layer of dust and you’re bribing your kids to get in the car and take a late night run to 7-11 because mommy needs some chocolate. Nevermind that all they want is a slurpee and some gum…that lady at the checkout thinks the 4 family sized chocolate bars are actually for The Family and I’m not going to tell her otherwise. You see, life is like that. Up and down. Sometimes you’re winning the race, sometimes you trip on your laces and eat dust. But you just gotta get back up. Right?

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I went out on the weekend and saw a lot of people I haven’t seen in a long time. It was great for my ego (ha ha). People were telling me all night how great I looked, asking me what I was doing differently, etc. I was proud of my results and hard work. But I also felt like a real douchebag! I had a big chocolate bar for supper that night, and washed it down with a Diet Pepsi. And, some fries a little later. And a couple few whiskey cokes at the bar. So as I was divulging the details of my intense workout program, there was a little chocolate bar with devil horns on my shoulder whispering in my ear, “Hee Hee Heee!!!! Don’t forget about MEEEE!!!” I felt like a fraud, actually. Like at any moment, all those chocolate bars and pastrami and cheese sandwiches would gang up on me and my ass would expand like a busted can of biscuits, Nutty Professor style.

I woke up Sunday morning, still not worried about what I was going to eat that day or if I would get a workout in. I blame the ladies at the bar and all their effin compliments. It was Sunday, after all, the glorious day of Rest otherwise known as My Diet Starts Again Tomorrow. So I did what any hungover girl would do, I grabbed an extra large milkshake on the way outta town and slept the rest of the afternoon. Later that night, my man asked me if my head had shrunken back down to size. I thought he was referring to my hangover headache but what he really meant was had I gotten over all the ego stroking that went on the night before. I had to giggle.

When I woke up Monday morning, I vowed to get this train back on track. And I did! I had a great run, and felt exhilarated, powerful and alive when I was done. I ate a really healthy lunch, and did not buy a chocolate bar for the first day in a week and a half.

And then, at 7 p.m., I started a batch of homemade sticky buns. Ironically, a recipe I found on Pinterest while browsing for Fitness Motivation. Such is life. 🙂

So the moral of the story here kids is that in many ways, perfection is an illusion. Even those fitness models who have rock hard abs and an ass to die for probably had one to many cupcakes once or twice in their lives. Jillian Michaels was a fat teenager! Everybody falls. Everybody quits. Everybody fails. Humans, we ain’t a perfect breed. But for the most part we’re stubborn, or stupid, or both, and we just keep trying. It’s pathological. It’s a curse. It’s a blessing. It’s the reason I have jeans in my closet in every size from 28 to 33. So if you’re feeling a little discouraged, no matter what your challenge may be right now, cut yourself some slack and start again.

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Does this look familiar to any of you?

This used to be me, a slave to the scale. I’d get on it in the morning. (Then I’d take a dump and get on it again…..still the same! What the hell? ha ha…..oh come on I know I’m not the only one who’s done this.) Then again after a workout. Then again before bed, because you know that’s when you’re at your heaviest and you’ll feel better the next morning when you’re a pound or two lighter! It was a vicious cycle. As a woman you also begin to learn ways to fool yourself into thinking that you’re lighter, just like Vera here. Weigh naked! Weigh hungry! Weigh after Sweating Profusely! And my personal favorite… Weigh HungOver!!!! All that alcohol dehydration really works wonders for the number on the scale. You may be feeling like someone beat you over the head with a 2×4, but Hallelujear, you’re SKINNY!

The trouble with all this weighing in is that you begin to form a love/hate relationship with not only the scale but also your body. You begin to question everything you ever knew about the science of metabolism, calories in and calories out, and just plain common sense. Tell me if this has happened to you: You work out like a crazed lunatic, or you meticulously cut back your calorie intake, or both. You’re feeling good! Pretty sure you notice a change! You’re excited to get on the scale…this should be good! Just the type of motivation you need! Then you step on, and……nothing. Maybe 1 pound. You step off and try again, thinking there must be some mistake. Nope, same results. Maybe even a pound heavier this time! You pinch your belly fat in disgust, shake your head in disbelief, and hate your body for betraying you. And then 9 times out of 10, you throw your hands up in frustration and abandon your efforts because clearly it was a colossal waste of time!

If you’ve ever watched The Biggest Loser, you may have noticed the alarming trend of the dreaded “Week 3 Plateau”. The contestants totally bust their asses and pull out amazing weight loss numbers for the first 2 weeks, we’re talking like 10-20 lbs per person per week! And then week 3 hits, and despite working out as hard as ever and watching their diets, almost all of them experience little to no weight loss. You wonder, how can this be possible? You feel crushed for these people, standing there on this huge industrial scale baring it all in front of millions of home viewers, after working harder than they ever have in their entire lives, and seeing no results. Feeling defeated. Feeling betrayed by their bodies, just like you, and me, and every other person stepping on a scale at one time or another.

The problem is that our bodies are not built to measure our self-worth, physical effort, or personal sacrifice as a number on the scale. Our bodies go about their daily business of performing millions of essential tasks that keep us alive and functioning. Our bodies work in ways we don’t always understand; storing fat when it senses a famine, raising metabolism at whim, or my personal favorite, converting fat into muscle and showing absolutely no change on the scale. Nature’s Greatest Illusionist, the human body. Showing us one thing on the outside when something totally different may be going on inside, for better or for worse.

My scale broke just before Christmas. Well, maybe it’s broken or maybe it just needs a new battery, but whatever the reason, it doesn’t work. (I once hung clothes outside to dry for over a year because I was too lazy to call a repairman for my broken dryer. It turned out to be a $10 fuse that took 2 seconds to replace.) The day I stepped on that scale and no number popped up was one of the most liberating days of my life. Since that day, I no longer obsess about the number on the scale, because I have no choice! I have to resort to the tried and true method of observing how my clothes are fitting, which happens to be much more satisfying and accurate for measuring progress anyway. I decide how much I am going to eat based on how hungry I am! What a crazy idea! I pay attention to what my body seems to want to eat, and I eat it! I no longer wait for the scale to tell me what kind of mood I am going to be in today. When I wake up and I wonder if I’m making any progress, I go do a workout and I can feel that I am. I don’t let the scale tell me if I’m good enough… and I sure as hell don’t let it tell me if I can have any more peanut butter!

I do believe that weighing yourself periodically is still a good idea in order to gauge your long-term progress. It can be a great way to celebrate reaching big milestones and goals you have set for yourself. But if you find yourself reacting like this each time you step on the scale:

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The scale is not your friend!

I know people (I was one of them) who measure their success by comparing daily fluctuations on the scale. But you must ask yourself, if you’re a pound heavier today than yesterday but 3 pounds lighter than the day before that, are you a success or a failure? Stop the Madness! Is it really worth the daily anxiety?

No Weigh, Man!!!