Posts Tagged ‘peanut butter’

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What kind of mother am I? I spent some time pondering this today. While folding 256 loads of laundry this afternoon I happened to be watching Anderson Live, which featured moms who claim that taking anxiety medications make them better mothers. And, like any good talk show, Anderson included both sides of the conversation. Translation: Moms who are RIGHT and Moms who are WRONG.

Have you ever noticed that in general, moms (because we are women and it seems to come naturally) tend to judge each other? Sometimes its passive aggressive, vague and sneaky judgement, like, “She is definitely a more “Laid Back” mom…(using those annoying finger quotes and raised eyebrows). Substituting euphemisms like “Laid Back” and “Relaxed Parenting Style” for words they really mean such as “Lazy” and “Neglectful”. And then sometimes it is just blatantly mean, like “She lets her brats do whatever they want, whenever they want, and they have no respect for anybody!”. Well hello, Judgey McJudgerton, please tell me where I can sign up for your clinic on Perfect Parenting 101. Now I don’t want to sound bitter, but this is usually the mom whose Facebook statuses paint a rosy picture of after school baking sessions with the kids and Pinterest boards full of wonderful kids craft ideas, but who hisses “Get your Ass in the Car, you Little Shits!!!” at her misbehaving kids when she thinks nobody is listening. And don’t even get me started on women who criticize other mothers, and they don’t even have any kids yet! Get real! You have no effin idea, lady!!! Keep it to yourself. Better yet, write down all your judgemental and condescending thoughts, and then once you have kids, bring that list out and marvel at what an idiot you were back before you had a clue. MMMKAY???? I have hollered at my kids! Lots! Because sometimes, getting down to eye level with a 5 year old and trying to calmly explain why their behavior is upsetting you is just plain ineffective. And for the record, so is hollering, most of the time, but I do it anyway, because it feels good. And sometimes, it makes them fear me. If I’m lucky.
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So anyway, back to Anderson. There was a mom on the panel who says that she has dealt with anxiety/depression disorders on and off for many years, and since she has had children, she finds that being on a steady prescription of anti-anxiety medication definitely helps her to be a better mother. She says that she does not abuse them, and they don’t make her “high”, they just help her to feel normal and to cope with the many demands that parenting and providing for a family presents in this day and age. She is open, and honest, and articulate. On the other side of the fence is a woman who “strongly disagrees” with this philosophy. When asked on what grounds she opposes mothers taking anti-anxiety meds, she only presents “What If” scenarios. “What if your kids are having a bad day, and based on your example, they think that the answer is just to pop a pill to make everything better? What if you get addicted to them? What if you take too many and you can’t drive your kids to school?” For the record, this looks like a very unhappy woman, but in the interest of not being judgemental I will assume she was just nervous. She did use the word “I” a lot. Long story short, what she was there to say, was “I don’t need meds to be a good mom.”

Well this may or may not be a shocker to some of you who know me, but I DO need meds to be a good mom! I also have struggled with anxiety and depression, and let me tell you, adding 3 kids to the mix who are 90% of the time on my watch and under my care, doesn’t exactly leave a lot of time to mentally decompress, de-stress, and relax.

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I love my kids!!! So much, I decided to stop the insane rollercoaster cycle of being on meds, and then trying to wean off, and then having to go back on them, over and over and over again. For someone who struggles with depression and anxiety, a normal day is never a normal day. Sunshine made me crabby. My kid spilling his milk would make ME cry. Most of the time, I wished I could just lay in bed and sometimes, hoped I would not wake up for a long, long time. This was not my kids’ fault, this was not my fault. This is a LEGITIMATE illness, people! And if I was not on medication, everyone around me was suffering, including my kids. I may not be a better mother than you are, but I am not a worse mom because I take a little medication. I am just a mom, and I suspect that I am just one of many with the same fears, troubles and insecurities about how I may be failing my children. Now all that being said, I did a little self discovery about what kind of mom I actually am. I know that I am on the “Laid Back” end of things, and I like it that way.But what does that mean? Here are some examples.

I love it when my kids want to try new foods, but this does not happen very often, and I am not the mom who is going to force my kid to eat something that makes him gag. Have you ever tried to force down food you hate? It sucks. Kids are people too. Pick your battles.
I love to bake with my kids, but I also really like it when they get bored after 10 minutes and let me do the rest in peace and quiet.
I can’t wait until bedtime each night, when I get to tuck the kids in and kiss their tiny little faces, and see them sleeping like little angels…..and then I get to park my ass on the couch and watch my shows…in peace and quiet.
I make my kids beds for them most of the time, because quite frankly, I think it looks nicer and bugs me when I walk by their room and their blankets are on crooked.
I pin a lot of cool kids activities on Pinterest, knowing full well that I will never get around to doing them with my kids but I still hold out hope that one day I will have time to be “That Mom.”
When I make homemade playdough for the kids, usually once a year, I feel like I should get a mother of the year award. Then I swear under my breath every day for the next 3 weeks every time I have to sweep up massive amounts of dried playdough crumbs off the floor.
Sometimes when my kids are whining and crying about something ridiculous and I am so frustrated I could scream, I just whine and cry right back at them until they look at me like I’m crazy and eventually stop and leave the room.
I take advantage of the fact that my kids aren’t old enough to read a clock yet and I lie to them about what time it is so they will go to bed early. This is very easy in the winter time, and I love it! I feel like an evil genius.
I occasionally let my kids eat cereal for supper. And by occasionally, I mean at least twice a week.
I think farts and butts and poop is just as funny as my 5 year old son thinks it is.
I have daily dance parties with the kids, and I like to turn the music up really loud and pretend I can’t hear them when they repeat, “Mommy Look at Me!!!!” 500 times.
I encourage my kids to dress themselves, and wear whatever they feel like wearing, as long as it is weather appropriate. My kids may not always match but they are definitely creative and proud of their self-image.
Sometimes I just really want to strangle my kids. I love them, and I would never actually do it, but when one of my kids is bawling at a ridiculous octave in my face, and I have 101 other things I need to be doing, I sometimes tune out the sound and daydream about wrapping my hands around them and squeezing really really hard. I totally understand how Shaken Baby Syndrome happens. Being a parent takes Restraint!!!
When it’s 4 a.m. and my baby is crying for the 8th time that night, and I am totally exhausted, sometimes I lay in bed with my pillow over my head thinking “Shut up, Shut up, pleaaase just shut up and go back to sleep”, hoping that when I remove the pillow, there will be silence.
I am a stay at home mom and my world, for the most part, pretty much revolves around caring for my kids and their environment. I love being able to do this, and I know that for myself, I wouldn’t have it any other way. But I also need to get out of the cage every once in a while too. I take short vacations, and love girl time and date nights and in general just time away from the kids. And I do miss them, but I don’t miss them every single second that I am gone. I was an individual before I had kids, and I still am, sometimes.

What does this all mean? I don’t know. I think it means I’m a normal mom. I’m not perfect. I make lots of mistakes. If there is a parenting manual on how to DO IT RIGHT out there somewhere, please send it my way. But for now, I’m just like you. I’m just guessing. Moms, like kids, are all so different. That’s the great part about raising kids to be individuals…we don’t all have to be the same. The world would be a pretty boring place. What works for you and yours may not work for me and mine but who cares?! Do your thing. As long as your kids are still alive and happy, you are passing the parenting test with flying colors. Moms, please stop judging each other. Be supportive, and practice acceptance! Mothers need encouragement, even the ones who seem the most confident. If you have a natural childbirth or a C-Section, if you breastfeed or bottle feed, if you choose to stay at home or go to work, just do your own thing! Who cares if your best friend feeds her baby nothing but organic fruit and you have been feeding yours Kraft Dinner? Does your baby smile at you when you pick her up? You’re doing your job. And if you feel like it’s time to up the dosage, by all means, bring on the happy! Because we all know, if momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. AMEN!

I may be a mediocre mom, but my kids seem to like me. And that’s Good enough, I guess.

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So lately, I have been staring in the mirror a lot, and wondering, “What the Hell?”. I mean, I feel stronger! I feel leaner! I feel sexier! And then I open the blinds and the natural sunlight hits me, that evil beam of truth, and it’s like, “WHOOOAAAA, wait…what…the…hell….is THAT?!” I looked pretty good in the dim dark corner, but now, as I bask in God’s spotlight 12 inches away from my mirror, I can see all of my flaws. Stretch marks. Cellulite. Saggy boobs. Bruises. Wrinkles. Moles. Grey Hair. Hairy Legs!!! Moustache!!!! hee hee. Zits. Jiggle. Oh, and the newest member of the team, half-in, half-out belly button, thanks to baby #3. I’m a freakshow in white Hanes Her Way’s. I begin to question why exactly I am busting my ass every day working out and eating right and all that other health bullshit. If this is as good as it gets, I’m screwed.

But why? What is wrong with this package? Well, nothing. Nothing is wrong with my package. I am beginning to realize that. Maybe its age, maybe it’s exhaustion, but for one reason or another, I am really starting to not give two shits about how Women’s Magazines tell me I should look. Why?

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Photoshop. That’s Why. Take this picture of Faith Hill (and shove it!!! haha just kidding). No really. Faith Hill is a stunning woman. Beautiful. And yet, strangely enough, Redbook Magazine feels that she is not quite beautiful enough to sell this “WOMEN’S” magazine to other women!!! So, like every other magazine, they perform a few minor tweaks. Soften the chin. Soften the eyes. Rub out the wrinkles around said eyes. Make her skinnier! Skim the back fat. Look, even her arm is half the size! Airbrush out all that shiny skin….we want soft, smooth baby skin on our 40 something Country singers. Oh, and might as well make her neck a little longer, just for shits and giggles. DONE! perfection.

Bet you don’t feel as bad about yourself now that you’ve seen that, right? Faith Hill has wrinkles, too! And Back Fat! She’s NORMAL. Well, not so fast. Still kind of leaves a bitter taste in your mouth, doesn’t it? After all, commoners like you and I don’t have the luxury of walking around with an entourage of lighting, hair and makeup professionals with the benefits of Photoshop. The world gets to see our ugly. Especially in sweatpants at 7-11 on a 10 pm run for chips & dip. Faith Hill has ‘people’ for that kind of stuff. And she’s over 40! Of course she has wrinkles! The young buck spring chicken celebrities obviously don’t need that much digital “detox”, right? Those ladies are the ones who really have one over on us.

Well….maybe not.
Feast your eyes on Britney Spears in all her posterior glory.

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Now don’t misunderstand me, here. I am definitely not trying to be a “mean girl” and make fun of Britney Spears’ bum!!! She has a spectacular bum!!! But more importantly, girls, she has a NORMAL bum. It is not a flawless, honey-golden perfectly plump ass like the music videos would lead you to believe. She has a bit of cellulite, too! She has been smoothed, slimmed and lifted to perfection. Whose idea of perfection? Your guess is as good as mine. But I have a rotten, sneaky suspicion that we can’t pin all the blame on the MEDIA all the time. The beauty and entertainment industry is, after all, a consumer-driven business. And who are the majority of those consumers? Women.

You may have noticed, I happen to be kind of an “ass” girl. I appreciate a nice round bum, and I have become slightly obsessed with achieving one. But when I look in the mirror, I can’t help but feel defeated and hopeless. That is, of course, until I saw this pic:

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See those slight “saddlebags”, that mild cellulite, and almost-touching inner thighs? I HAVE THAT!!! Do you know what this means? I, too, can look like the cover of MAXIM magazine. And I don’t need to work out for one more day! All I need is Photoshop! Thank GAWD….somebody get me a spoon, I’m gonna celebrate… all the way down to the bottom of the peanut butter jar!

It’s not all about the body shape either, girls. You may not have realized this, because it is a HUGE secret, but PSSSTTT……celebrities get zits too! Check it out….

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Have you ever been driving along on a nice sunny day, minding your own business, thinking about rainbows and butterflies, when you glance into the rear-view mirror and *SMACK*! A huge and angry looking red zit reaches down and bitch slaps you into reality? You could swear it wasn’t there when you left the comfortable soft lighting of your cave, but out here in the harsh light of day, your skin seems like it suddenly contracted some kind of foreign parasite and you find yourself wishing it was socially acceptable to wear a balaclava in the middle of July. Well, you’re not alone!!! Contrary to popular belief, zits don’t disappear when you turn 18, either. They’re in it for the long haul, just like Herpes! Zits are like your annoying third cousins…they’re irritating, they’re ugly, and you may not see them often but when you do, you remember why you hate them. Oh, and they like to pop in at the most inconvenient times. With friends. Just like zits. Only you can’t Photoshop your cousins out of your life…..See? Zits are better!

What I’m getting at here is that we as women have this idea in our heads about what we “should” look like….We could blame it on Hollywood, we could blame it on Magazines, we could blame it on men! But the truth is, we are doing this to ourselves. Women’s magazines Photoshop their ads because women will easily believe the lie that we are not quite good enough, but if we buy their stuff, or follow their advice, or wear their clothes, maybe we could be. And to be a nerd and quote Carrie from Sex and the City…”Why are we ‘Shoulding’ all over ourselves?”. Not to mention, we judge each other. Don’t pretend we don’t. Maybe it’s jealousy, or insecurity, or maybe we’re just plain mean sometimes, but women are guilty of the highest level of betrayal…turning on our own kind. The result of that is Photoshop! We are afraid, for fear of judgement, to present our natural selves to the world, and it’s a sad, sad shame.

I flipped on the tube last night, and while perusing the guide I found: “Dana: The 8 year old anorexic“. I have a soon to be 8 year old daughter. My pulse quickens with anxiety at the thought of her ever feeling like her perfect little body somehow doesn’t measure up, and yet I know that at some point, she will. How can I prevent this from happening? I wish I knew. I can only hope that I can instill in her enough self-confidence to know that she is not perfect, as nobody is, but she is Just Right. I would want her to become an adult who knows that her flaws do not define her, and that worrying about all the ways she isn’t perfect is just a huge waste of time that would be better spent enjoying life. Any mother would want that for her daughter.

I am somebody’s daughter. Maybe it’s time I took my own advice? I think so.

Strong Women

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Let’s do a brief Recap of today, shall we?

Today, I repeated the phrase, “Holy Shit” in my head approximately 39 times in 60 minutes.
Today, I laid on my livingroom floor gasping for breath while my 5 year old asked me if I was o.k.
Today, I started Phase 2 of Insanity.

Now, I have to admit that despite my “RAH RAH!” Go-Fitness!!! attitude lately, I was really kind of dreading today. On January 2, I made a promise to myself to get my ass in shape come hell or high water, and I’ve been doing a pretty good job. I got on the treadmill consistently. I counted my calories and kept a food journal, as annoying and crazy as it sounds, because I know that it’s the only thing that keeps me on track and accountable for what is going down the hatch. 5 weeks ago, I made a deal with devil, otherwise known as Shaun T, to take the “Insanity Challenge”. It was hard, but hell I was loving the results so I kept going. After 4 weeks, there is a one week “Recovery Period” where you basically do a slow, stretch/tone/yoga dvd every day instead of the crazy freak show workouts you’ve been doing for 6 days a week for the past month.

I did not do said Recovery dvd’s.

My plan was actually to use this week to get back to the treadmill and enjoy some jogging, as I have been missing it and too tired to do it in addition to the Insanity workouts. And then I went and got all crazy and disfigured my foot or something in a freak stiletto accident and I decided I better just use the recovery week to “take ‘er easy”. Which apparently also meant “eat whatever I want and worry about it later.” I still like healthy food, don’t get me wrong!!! But I was definitely affected by that strange phenomenon that occurs when you skip a workout (or 5) and suddenly don’t feel as motivated to put the cupcake down. At first, it was like, “Hhmmm…maybe I’ll have an extra scoop of peanut butter today”, and by the end of the week it was more like, “WWHHHEEEEEEEE! This is FUN! Cookies and Cupcakes and Butter Tarts, OH MY!!! What else can I eat?!?!?!”

Cut to today. Monday Morning. Day 1 of Insanity, Phase 2. This is no joke. Remember when i told you about laying in a puddle of my own sweat and maybe a little urine on Day 1 of Insanity Phase 1? Well today, I laid on the floor twitching, wondering if I was actually going to barf like the contestants on Biggest Loser. I had a brief vision of Jillian Michaels looming over me hurling Loser insults like rapid-fire. Sorry Jillian, you’re gonna have to take your condescending negative reinforcement tactics elsewhere, I’m way too exhausted to give a shit. According to the Fit Test, my fitness level has actually increased significantly since day one, but according to the look on my kid’s face as I panted and swore and wheezed, I clearly needed medical attention.

I had mentally prepared myself for this. I knew it was going to be a notch tougher than the last round. Shaun T does warn that you will have to “Dig Deeper!!”, after all. I also knew that after taking a luxurious and lazy week off, my body would probably go into shock. I was looking forward to getting back into a routine, but I was afraid. I spent the morning doing what I do best; procrastinating. I know I normally would be working out by 9:30, but I think I better make my bed first. Hmmm, the baby doesn’t quite look ready for a nap, I better just wait. Don’t want to have to quit halfway through! I think I’ll just have a quick snack out of the fridge first….. MY, oh my! Looks like the fridge could use a good cleaning! This could be awhile….

Finally I bit the bullet and just did it. It sucked. It was horrible, and hard, and I thought I was going to die. I counted down every second on the timer…ok just 30 more minutes….just 25 more minutes….dear jeesers please let me just make it to the 4 minute cool down. I was sucking air like my lungs had holes in them. The “actors” doing the workout behind Shaun T were dropping like flies. I began to silently question my motives. Did I really want to be in shape this bad? What the hell for?? Why am I doing this to myself?

Because I can. And I did. And I will again, tomorrow.

And because I have lost 12 inches off my hips, thighs and waist in 55 days, Bitches!!! BOOYAH!
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….. Oh, and 3 off my chest….BOOO!

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motivation

I’m coming off of a looong weekend of doing absolutely nothing and eating absolutely everything. This was a nice welcomed break from what could be described as a “strict” but enjoyed workout regimen. I welcomed the lapse, thinking that it was the perfect time to shake things up a little….I had just finished the first month of my 2 month Insanity workout program, I had a fun weekend planned, and let’s face it I was getting a little bit bored with what I was (or Wasn’t) eating. I really have learned to love working out and eating clean, but I was starting to hear that little nagging nagger in my brain, suggesting that maybe I should just take a little break? What could it hurt? I’ve been doing so well! I can afford a little down-time!

This is exactly where the wheels typically fall off of the Motivation Train. Despite my best intentions, a day or two break ends up turning into the better part of a week, and pretty soon I end up back where I started, using my treadmill as a drying rack for wet bath towels and digging my fat jeans out of the bottom of the closet. (You know damn well no sane woman ever gets rid of her fat jeans…just in case! That shit is expensive!!) I live in fear of that sinking feeling of disappointment you get the first time you realize it’s time for the fat jeans again. It doesn’t happen overnight, so there’s always a little bit of denial involved, but the end result is devastation every time. Another failed attempt. I guess this wasn’t the time “I really meant it” after all. Most of us have been there, and it sucks. New Years Resolutions, you can go to hell!

So, I am very aware this time, and vigilant. I have learned my lesson. I do not want to give up. I am seeing results! I am on a roll! Alicia Keys is the soundtrack in my head every morning as I open my eyes… “THIS…GIRL IS ON FIIIIYAAAAARRRRRR!” Yep, Feelin’ good. And still, because I am human, my motivation is waning. I feel like I am white knuckling, hanging off the side of the “workout” cliff with one finger, clinging to my last little chunk of motivation for dear life. It’s hot. Fear of failure is beating on my head like a giant laser beam, and the salty sweat of defeat drips down my face. My kids start circling overhead like vultures, just waiting to get a taste of mommy when she finally gives up and tumbles to her demise in the deep, dark chasm of hotdogs and grilled cheese. There is a mirage in the distance.

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Yes. Now, I have been eating Peanut Butter all along. I had finally decided I had enough with the ridiculous attempts at trying to give it up, and decided to allow myself as much as I wanted, as long as I was working out and watching everything else in my diet. Presto Change-o! Suddenly I didn’t have an obsession! I still loved Peanut Butter, I just didn’t “love it” 10 times a day. My evil plan worked! What a genius! Reverse Psychology is alive and well! But wait, what is this happening now? I miss a couple of workouts, and suddenly, the Peanut Butter is calling my name? Bastard. I can’t pass through the kitchen without being pulled toward the pantry by Peanut Butter’s evil peanuty force.
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Damn you, Peanut Butter.

I better get on the treadmill and work some of it off. I like to run! This shouldn’t be hard! Ugh. Was it always this annoying to move all the furniture and roll out the treadmill? What a pain in the ass! Who does this? Oh well, ok there. It’s out. I’m ready. Now where the hell are my shoes. There is a knot tied in the laces! WTF! The shit I gotta deal with, I tell ya. I am starting to smell the funk of a bad attitude, and I think it’s coming from me. oK So I finally get on and turn it up…got the baby in the swing, the music is loud, just like I like it. This feels good! I knew it would be ok if I could just make myself get on this…OWW! What in GoodGagnam’sGonads was that?! My foot feels like it has been crushed! When did this happen?

oH, YEAH. Probably on the weekend, when I was wearing those really hot 9 inch stiletto heels out dancing all night. And my feet were so swollen, I couldn’t get the shoes on the next day. Remember that? Uh-huh, it’s all coming back to me…..I’ve heard that beauty is painful but this is ridiculous! OK I’m just gonna have to push past it. Pain is gain! It’s not that bad! I….can…..

Screw it. this hurts. game over.

I shut off the machine and limped to safety. Sitting on the floor, I slowly peeled off my running shoes and wondered if this was the end. Did I hit the wall? Would this be like every other time I finally gave up?

I didn’t get back on the treadmill. I also didn’t let it beat me. I had vowed at the beginning of my “mission” that in order for something to change, I would have to change something. And that is what I did. I changed my attitude. I didn’t let my mind drift to thoughts of peanut butter, fat pants and defeat. I was kind to myself, and forgiving. I put away all my gear for the day, knowing I would try again tomorrow. I made myself a healthy lunch. I stretched. I didn’t give up.

Sometimes, motivation just ain’t there. Sometimes it is, but the body isn’t willing. Sometimes, you just want to sit on your ass and eat cheesecake. Life is unpredictable, and success shouldn’t be measured by checkmarks on your calendar. Success is a state of mind. If it didn’t come today, there’s hope for tomorrow. Don’t stop. Don’t give up. Find your inner Alicia Keys.

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“THIS….GIRL IS ON FIIIIYYYYAAAAAAAAR!”

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Do you ever wonder just who was the mastermind behind making Valentines Day a nationally recognized Reason To Buy Shit I mean Holiday? I guess I could Google it and find out but whatever. My point is that whoever it was, was a marketing genius. I know we’ve all heard the bitching about how Valentines Day is just a made up holiday created by the Walmarts of the world, but I’m going to choose to take the high ground here and discuss the OTHER problem with Valentines Day. Those pesky little relationship hemorrhoids I like to call EXPECTATIONS.

I LOVE love. Really! What’s better? The feeling of those little butterflies flittering around in your heart, reminding you with every beat that there’s somebody in this world who thinks you’re just the Best! Falling in love is like ripping the Fresh Seal off a brand new jar of peanut butter…You’re Super Excited, can’t wait to get your hands on it! You can’t wait to peel back that foil and feast your eyes on that smooth, creamy, perfectly flawless goodness. You take in the heavenly aroma…smells so good! You tremble with anticipation as you dip your spoon…and finally, you taste that familiar but oh-so-fresh flavour you’ve been longing for. Sweet sweet peanut butter, where have you been all my life?? You know you should hold back, you don’t want to seem to eager! But Damn! You just can’t seem to get enough. Day and Night all you think about is that brand new jar of peanut butter, just waiting to be enjoyed. You’ve been apart too long. But pretty soon, Peanut Butter starts to lose that ‘brand new’ feeling. The novelty is wearing off. After a few marathon binges, it somehow loses its’ appeal, just a little. It’s been in the cupboard for a while, not quite as fresh. You start to really want it only with your morning coffee, and then maybe you wonder if it’s not good for you too have so much Peanut Butter and you decide to “Take a Break”, and before you know it, you’re dipping your spoon into a fresh new jar of Nutella instead. Sigh. Tale as old as time.

Well that kind of took a negative turn but my point was that love starts out with a bang! Love is great! So exciting! Romance is at its peak, at the beginning. All you can think about is all the amazing things you can do for each other to make yourself seem impossible to live without. Text you at 5 a.m. and tell you that you’re more beautiful than the sunrise! Hide love notes in your car! Take you shopping and buy you a brand new outfit! And my personal favorite, Sending Flowers for No Reason At All! Wow, you’ve really hit the jackpot. You have finally found the most romantic partner in the entire world. How has nobody snapped this person up yet? You must be sooo special! Boy has he sure set the bar high!

And then Reality starts to rear it’s ugly little head. Nobody can be romantic all the time! Its impossible. Yes, I’M SORRY that I forgot to write “I LOVE YOU!” in the steam on the bathroom mirror but I was late for work! And I know I used to text you one hundred million times a day “Just to say hi!” but now I see you every day and I know you’re going to be there when I get home and when I go to bed and when I wake up every damn day for the rest of eternity so I guess I just don’t see the need. And yes, I know I used to take you out to our favorite restaurant every Saturday but the truth is, the garlic bread makes your breath atrocious, and I’m tired of holding in my lasagna fueled farts for the rest of the night in a gallant effort not to ruin the “mood”. It’s easier if we just stay in and have popcorn.

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What I’m saying is that sooner or later, the romance, well, dies.

And THAT’S where Valentines Day comes in!!!! If your partner is not living up to your romantic EXPECTATIONS for the other 364 days of the year, at least you know you’ve got this ONE day where he’s gonna make you feel SPECIAL, Dammit! You daydream about what crazy display of affection he might miraculously come out of nowhere with. Last year was the standard card and flowers but THIS year, this year might be different. You’ve been throwing a few vague hints around. Don’t want to seem too desperate! You tell him that you really don’t expect anything, and that you don’t need him to make a big deal because you know he loves you, but you’re secretly thinking, “That bastard better get me something good for all the bullshit I’ve put up with this year!” You might even be extra special sweet in the days preceding The Big Day, hoping your efforts won’t go unnoticed and, ahem, unrewarded. What happens is you end up sending all kinds of mixed signals. Your date is pretty sure you want something, but you keep insisting that you don’t. You swear you think Valentines Day is a big waste of time and money, and then you proceed to rip to shreds the husband of your best friend who had the audacity to “forget” about Valentines Day last year. Who are we? WOMEN! What do we want? WE DON’T KNOW! When do we want it? NOW!!

The result is what I saw yesterday….droves of men, quickly darting into the Bargain Shop and the Florist with either confused or panicked looks on their faces. They don’t know what you want, or what you need, but they’re damn sure you EXPECT something. So they do what they did last year. Card, Flowers, Done. Good Enough. You stuck around last time so they figure it’s probably worth the gamble. They hope for the best but brace for the worst. And on the off-chance they actually did go above and beyond this year, they’re just fools setting themselves up for failure. How’s a dude supposed to top that next year? And if you’re that Extra Special Man who proposes on Valentines Day… good luck with that. You’ve just created a monster. A high maintenance, sentimental, romance craving monster.

Expectations. Killing the Romance and the Mood Since The Beginning of Time. Nevermind that Valentines Day is pretty much just one huge guilt trip disguised in pink. If you get something, it doesn’t mean he loves you any more than he did yesterday! It just means he’s afraid to come home to find all his shit out on the front lawn. That, and he’d really like to up his chances of getting some tonight. So ladies, cut your man a break. If you’re gonna have expectations, at least be clear about them. And don’t do what this poor guy’s wife did:

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Don’t tell him all you want is his warm, fuzzy heart.

relax

Today, I took a time out. A mommy time out. It was long overdue, as it usually is for most moms. And it was sooooooooooo nice.

I went for a massage, which happens to be hands down one of my absolute favorite things to indulge in. The problem is that for someone who loves a massage so much, I’m really bad at making it happen. My sister got me a gift certificate for a massage for Christmas….two years ago. I used it today. My massage therapist was shocked when I called for an appointment. She thought I died. When I was finally face down on her table we had a good laugh over the fact that the last time I had seen her for a massage, I was just newly pregnant with baby #3, and the time before that I had accidentally forgotten my wedding rings at her clinic. My marriage ended over 2 years ago. (Maybe that should have been a red flag???) Anyway, it got me thinking: My, how time flies between massages!!!

Why is it so hard to make time for ourselves? Incidentally, my sister shares the same massage therapist who asked me to remind dear sis that she has TWO unused gift certificates that should really be used up! What the hell is wrong with us? Why does this angel with the magical fingers like warm butter have to beg us to come in and get a heavenly rub-down? Each time I leave her office, I promise that it won’t be nearly as long until I return next time, and every time I make a liar out of myself. Today, I vowed to change that.

I have noticed that as mothers, we tend to put ourselves fairly low on the priority list. Now I know this sounds like a very canned statement and we’ve all heard it a million times, but it is repeated a lot because its true. And if I’m being honest, the reason for being low priority isn’t always because I love my kids and my family just so darn much that I just want to do absolutely everything that I can for them. Sometimes, the reason is that I am so depended on, taken for granted, and used up that I have no other choice but to keep trudging away and hoping that maybe someday, I will get to go do something all by myself for once! Sometimes, it’s the simple fact that I am so effin busy worrying about what everybody else needs or wants that I just don’t bother to make time for what I need or want. And sometimes, let’s be honest, it’s just plain easier to complain about not having time to yourself than it is to actually arrange it and follow through. And let me tell you ladies, I don’t care how loving and attentive your man or your children may be, I can guarantee they are not thinking about your needs and wants nearly as much as you are thinking about theirs. I’m not saying he doesn’t love you. I’m just saying that when you’re lying in bed at night staring at the ceiling and thinking about all the things you didn’t have time to do today and how many things you have to do tomorrow, he’s not worrying about what he’s going to make you for supper or whether or not he will have time to wash your yoga pants before Zumba class. He is lying beside you, snoring and dreaming of bacon.

So what’s a desperate woman to do? Make some Damn Me-Time, Dammit! That’s Right. I said Damn, because that’s what women do when our kids aren’t constantly buzzing around us like a swarm of needy bees. We swear, and tell dirty jokes, and we complain about our kids. Among other things. (Or is that just me?) We commiserate about what it’s like to NEVER EVER be able to take a dump without somebody knocking on the bathroom door. (OR if you’re like me, having to leave it open because it’s quicker and less stressful to deal with what they want and get them out of your hair so you can finish your business.) But what do we do when we are, on rare occasions, by ourselves?

I’ll tell you what I do with alone time. I sit quietly and listen to the glorious sounds of NOTHING. I enjoy lots of peanut butter, knowing that nobody is going to beg me to get up and get them a spoonful too and *GASP* SHARE. I fart without saying “excuse me!”. Maybe I get to leave the house! Oooh, that’s fun! Let’s see….I don’t need to buy anything but maybe I’ll just go wander around the stores and enjoy the fact that nobody is begging me to buy them something or “Look at This!” or OOPS “Cleanup on Aisle 3!”. I might even take something into the change room and try it on, taking the time to look at what this outfit looks like from the front AND the back, before anyone sneaks out under the door and escapes to play Hide and Seek.

Today, I went for a massage, and when I got in my car afterwards, I didn’t want to go home. I went for a tan, not because I needed to but simply because I could. It had been years since I had lain in that warm relaxing bed with my eyes closed, the low comforting hum of the fan escorting me lazily off to sleep for a glorious 20 minutes of peace. If there is in fact a heavenly White Light when you die, that’s what I imagine it would feel like….a 20 minute tan. (Only you’re already dead so you don’t have to worry about Skin Cancer. BONUS!) When I eventually wandered back to the house, I was happy. Happy to see my family, happy for what I have, happy to be alive. And all it took was having 2 tiny little hours to myself.

My point is that I’ve discovered that it’s called Me-Time for a reason. Nobody else is going to make it a priority but Me. If I need some time to myself, (and we all do), I just have to find a way to make it happen. It’s like exercise…it’s sooo worth the effort in the end. Sometimes we need to just Pause, Breathe, and Relax. Life gets stressful, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed and forget who we are for a moment. We’re mothers, we’re wives, we’re so many things to so many people. But first, we’re women. We’re individuals. We’re important.

And we need some Damn Me-Time!

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your-a-loser

It’s official, I’m a loser. But hold on! Not THAT kind of a loser! I’m super cool! But I have begun noticing a certain trend going on in my life lately. I’m Losing Things. My mind? Maybe, but other things too! Here is a quick inventory of things I’ve lost:

My Boobs. This is a sad and unfair bi-product of losing weight, being in my 30’s, and breastfeeding 3 kids. I once had nice, perky, happy boobs. They joyfully greeted me every morning throughout my late highschool and college years, well into my early twenties, right where they belonged: high on my chest and pointed towards the sun like eager little trained puppies. Not too big, not too small. Just right. Then I got pregnant at 25 and it’s been a downhill slide down the slippery slope of Sag and Shrivel ever since. Don’t get me wrong, I sure enjoyed them while they were at porn-star status during my pregnancies, but I have to say it is a sick and cruel little joke God likes to play on pregnant women, giving us the boobs we’ve always wanted and at the same time, ramping up the readout on the Bitch-o-meter during one of the most unsexy times of our lives. And then, of course, the Milk Comes In, and your chest becomes some kind of freakish side-show, stretched beyond the parameters of what you ever thought was possible. And finally, after filling and emptying and feeding on demand for however long you decide you can handle it, they start to shrink. And shrink. And shrink. Until what you’re left with is most closely comparable to two tube socks with a small handful of rice in the bottom. Now throw in a little weight loss and what you’re dealing with can only be described as sad and unfortunate. I still have a sports bra that I wore when I was 15 years old. When I was 15, it was nicely filled out. Got a little snug in college when I put on the Freshman 15, but still fit. Honest to God, I still wear it today when I workout! Unfortunately, in addition to being almost totally threadbare and discolored, its also BAGGY, which is something a sports bra should never be. And I no longer wear it for the same reasons. I used to have to wear a sports bra to keep my boobs from bouncing around and getting in the way. Now I have to wear it to keep them from getting caught in the track of the treadmill when I run. Sad reality. I now spend my free time browsing breast augmentation sites on the internet.

Cravings In an effort to maximize my potential for positive results while following this Insanity workout program, I have put an effort into eating better. I’m not following any type of low carb this or cabbage soup that, just making a conscious effort to eat small, balanced meals often throughout the day. I eat leaner, cleaner, fresher. The result is not only have I noticed a difference in my energy level and my waistline, I’ve almost totally lost all of the cravings for sugar, salt and junk that used to strike often. I eat whatever I feel like eating for the most part, but I have noticed after making a few changes over the course of a few weeks, that what I feel like eating has definitely changed. I crave green crispy vegetables. I can’t get enough! I stand in front of the produce section at the grocery store and fantasize about how delicious those adorable little Brussel sprouts are going to taste for supper tonight. I used to binge on junk food, especially on the weekends. If I was left alone in the house with no kids or other adults to judge me, I would rifle through the kitchen like a greedy little toddler looking for the junkiest, most forbidden treats I could get my grubby little hands on! Now that I have removed the ban on any food and allowed myself to have whatever I want, suddenly, the desire to “cheat” on a diet is gone, because there is no “diet”. If I want it, I eat it. 9 times out of 10, when I really think about it, I don’t really want junk that bad anymore. It’s weird! But I’m totally enjoying it. And, enjoying unlimited access to peanut butter as well! Life is Good!

Excuses I have mentioned recently that I have actually started looking forward to my daily workouts, something that is a relatively new experience for me. Although I have never regretted a workout after it’s done and always feel glad that I made the effort in the end, I typically used to view exercise as a necessary evil and something to be tolerated rather than enjoyed. This attitude made it very easy to talk myself out of exercise on many occasions, and to come up with all kinds of excuses as to why I could or should skip my workouts. They ranged from fairly valid, (I’m exhausted, and they say a mother should sleep when the baby sleeps, right?) to completely irrational (If I squeeze in a workout right now, I won’t have time to shower, blow-dry, and do my makeup before I go outside to CUT THE GRASS.) Now that I have established a consistent routine, I find that there are no more excuses that hold any weight. I look forward to the “Me” time, and especially to the feeling of satisfaction that comes after I’ve just given 100%. My body feels good, my mind feels good, and it would take a lot to talk me out of that kind of reward now. Suddenly I can’t think of any good reasons to cheat myself out of feeling better. I’ve rounded up all of my excuses and traded them in for a nice tall glass of Shut The Hell Up, thank you very much. And I have to say, I don’t miss them!

Inhibitions Now as I write this I am laughing because those of you who know me best, know I never really had many inhibitions to begin with. But as many of you might be able to imagine, a few extra pounds can make even the most confident person feel a little more inhibited in their day to day life. For example, the simple act of exercise itself used to make me self-conscious. I have almost always worked out in the privacy of my own house because God Forbid anyone would see the red-faced heavy breathing sweat monster that I become when I exercise. (It always boggles my mind how anyone works out on their lunch break and then goes back to work without showering and totally getting redone again, because I become a greasy puddle whenever I physically exert myself.) Even though I used to live in total isolation on a farm, I would still close the blinds while I exercised for fear that someone driving by might catch a glimpse of me working my glutes in a deep squat. And you can forget working out while my man is in the house…totally out of the question. How embarrassing! But I am happy to say, that attitude is becoming a distant memory. I’m not sure if I am becoming more confident, or if I just don’t give a shit anymore, but the thought of someone “catching me” in a workout is much less atrocious. I know I look like a drowned weasel after I finish a run. Deal with it. The next step is to stop holding in my farts when I’m jogging! hahaha

Self Doubt. Now I realize that self-doubt is an inherent human condition, and we are all stuck with it to some extent. However, I have been noticing that successfully making positive changes in my life has quieted the annoying voice in my head that tends to second guess every decision I every make. Suddenly, I am much less confused about my personal opinions, my direction, my goals, my convictions. I feel as though my ability to take the wheel in my life has strengthened. I believe that I can do the things I set out to do. It is not just about sticking to a workout routine or an eating plan. It is about making a decision to change something, and setting a plan to be successful in changing it. Taking control. Reclaiming power over my own life! I highly recommend it. I walk around for the majority of the day with the old SNAP! remix “I’ve Got The Power” pulsing on a continuous loop in the background of my brain. My new Anthem! I’m so cool.

The moral of the story, kids, is that being a loser isn’t so bad! Gaining is sometimes overrated, watching an episode of Hoarders proves that. Losing is where it’s at! In an effort to spread a little Monday Morning Motivation, I would like to pose the question to my readers: What can you possibly do today to be a Bigger Loser?

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