Posts Tagged ‘self esteem’

p37058_500

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.

Advertisements

Some eCards I'm 30

Ah, Girls Night Out. Who doesn’t love a good one of those? From the time we are little girls doing each others hair at slumber parties, we grow up truly appreciating the value of Girl Time.

The funny thing about Girls Nights is that they tend to change, the older you get. 20 was over a decade ago for me, but I still remember it, somewhat. Let’s dust the cobwebs off of those memories for a moment. When you’re 20, before marriage and kids and mortgage payments, life is like one big old carnival. You may have to pay to get in and stand in line for tickets, but chances are if you’re 20, you have nice boobs, a young face and a carefree attitude and that will probably get you a free sno cone and escorted to the front of the line. Being 20 is great. You can eat cotton candy, caramel apples AND mini donuts and your metabolism will burn that shit up like 10 year old kindling. Your bank account might be a little low but your spirits are high and a lack of funds isn’t going to stop you. You’re gonna get your ass on that Ring of Fire and scream until your lungs burn. And even if you barf afterwards, who cares? You’re young! By the time you get to the next ride, you’re ready to go again. You throw caution to the wind and buy the ride-all-day bracelet because you know you’re capable of riding all day. And all night. Who cares? You probably don’t have a job to go to the next day, but if you do, you’ll just call in sick. Or skip your 9:20 a.m. Music Appreciation class.

Youth. Gravity and Common Sense need not apply.

Well nothing bitch slaps you back into reality like going out to a dance club on a Saturday Night with the girls, shall we say….later in life. Now I’m not gonna say we’re old, because we’re not! But we are older than 92% of the women who were in the bar last Saturday night. I should start at the beginning.

Every once in a while, I need a break with the girls. We all do. It’s soooo fun and sooo necessary! There is no better way to Pause the world of Responsibility and Kids and Relationships and Stress like a good old fashioned Girls Night. Why? Because when girls go out together, we let it allllll hang out, ok? Girls are gross. Picture a bunch of guys in a locker room and multiply that by 10. Or 5 at least. Vulgarity, with pretty pink lip gloss. When you’re with the girls, not only do you not have to suck in your gut, but you also don’t have to worry that your swearing is a tad too manly or that a fart will kill the mood. You can talk freely about periods and IUD’s and one night stands and nobody gets offended. There is no imaginary line you can not cross. Or maybe that’s just my friends, but if that’s the case, I have the best damn friends you can get.

So I organized a little girls trip to the city. Just one night! Don’t wanna push our luck with the men at home doing all the babysitting oops I mean parenting. Hotel Room? Check. Wheels? Check. Better make that 2 hotel rooms. 6 girls trying to shower and poop in one room might be a bit much. OK! All set! So bright and early Saturday morning, we all pile in and get the hell outta town. WOOOHOOO!!!!! Let’s get this party started!?!?! Who wants to do a shot?

Just kidding. It’s 9 am. we’re not 20 anymore. We stop at Tim Hortons and get a coffee and a bagel. So far, nobody has said a swear word. I reach in my pocket for change and find a Ziploc bag of Cheerios. Oh, yeah. I’m Badass. Sigh. And because we’re old and we all have kids and we’ve just had a coffee, we need to stop 45 minutes later for a pee break. A couple swears and poop jokes surface. Someone mentions something about a penis. Buckle up ladies, things are getting crazy!

Finally, we make it to our destination. Time to hit the mall! Can’t wait to find a sexy new outfit to wear to the bar! It’s been awhile since I’ve been shopping for clothes! To my delight, I can suddenly buy shirts in size small or medium instead of large. This puts me on cloud 9 until I realize that it’s only because my boobs have shrunken to their former 8th Grade cup size. Double Sigh. Better go drown my sorrows in a TacoTime Beef Burrito Supreme. Supersized. Thanks. So much for the diet. Who cares? It’s Girls weekend! No calorie counting allowed!!!

Following an afternoon of shopping, we compare notes and realize that for the most part, we have failed to complete our new outfit scavenger hunt but have all managed to buy something for each of our kids whom we have left at home and came here to forget about for a day. And you can be damn sure each kid got an equal dollar amount of stuff, because we all know that it’s easier to calculate fairness by price and avoid the “She got more than me!!!” fight at home. By this time, it’s closing in on suppertime and we are getting thirsty. We make a stop at the liquor store. Swearing and laughing is getting louder and more frequent. We are getting excited! Someone turns the music up a little louder and we all sing along to Taylor Swift. hahahaha I’m not even kidding.

So back at the hotel, it’s time to order some supper, pour some drinks, and start getting primped for the evening. We are getting loud. Somebody is walking around bare boobed. I’m not going to say it was me but I can’t say it wasn’t. There is a lot of penis talk. More swearing. We are soooo coool. Our room is starting to smell like farts and a good time. If there are any guys out there with the idea that girls like to get together in hotel rooms and have naked pillow fights, I’m pretty sure I just ruined that fantasy. Sorry! Now it’s time for shots, for real. The hard stuff, bring it on!!!! heee heee my ears are red and my cheeks are burning from laughing so hard. I don’t know what is so damn funny but those brownies sure tasted good! How thoughtful of her to bring dessert!

ANYWAYS! Off to the bar. There was a brief and disappointing stint at a super lame Karaoke bar, and we knew it was time to leave when the 75 year old crowd started filing in. I’m not even kidding. We needed to get the eff outta there, but to where? This is the dilemma. No matter what city you are in, there is always a bar that is known for, shall we say, Cougars. Women of a certain age. Which, nowadays, means anyone over the age of 25. We did NOT want to go to that bar. We are not old! We are not Cougars! We are good lookin hot chicks in the prime of our lives!! Take us to the cool place! We are still young and we want to dance!!!

So, we show up at the cool place. Early enough to avoid the lines, because as my sister said “I’m 30, I don’t stand in lines.” She was right, we avoided the line and walked in. This is how we thought we looked before we went in:

imagesCAHNGOOQ

This is how we felt, when we went in and looked around:

dancing_533

My mother warned me about this. She told me once that there comes a point in your life as a woman when you suddenly realize you are not part of the young and cool crowd anymore. You will always feel like you are, but that’s just an illusion God gives you to keep getting yourself out of bed in the morning. We’re at the teetering point, where you’re not quite sure if people are staring at you because they think you look good, or because they’re wondering what the hell you are doing there. You go to the bathroom for a pee break, and listen to conversations like “OhMyGod!!!! You look ssseeoooooo cute!!! I totally think Dylan is totally into you tonight!! Do you think I look cute? Is my hair totally cute or what?” Then you come out and wash your hands and make awkward eye contact with them in the mirror and you’re pretty sure if they had a thought bubble above their heads it would say, “Go Home, You’re Old.”

So what’s a girl to do in this situation. Loosen up with drinks, and dance. Dance like you’re 20. Dance like you’re cool. Dance like your boobs aren’t chafing your bellybutton. Dance like you don’t give a shit! You know why? Because when you’re 30, you pretty much don’t, anymore. You don’t care what the tight bodied 20 year old in the hoochie dress dancing on the speaker thinks of you. You came to have a good time, and you’re damn well gonna. And that’s just what we did. We danced until the sweat forced us outside to cool off. We may have danced with each other all night, but let’s be honest, we were the best dancers there anyway so it was a win-win. And we all went home happy. Drrunkety drunk drunk, but happy. When we get back to the hotel, we fill our faces full of food as we bitch about the 20 year old hoochies. We take a dose of Tylenol and guzzle water. This ain’t our first rodeo. We pass out and hope for the best.

The next morning, it’s a slow moving crew. The hangovers last a little longer when you’re 30. Like 3 days longer. We enjoyed a nice quiet lunch, making sure to pack in as many calories as possible because as usual, we all have a diet that starts again on Monday. We slept all the way home. It’s Tuesday and I’m still tired. And yet, oddly refreshed. Because that’s what girl time does. It recharges your batteries. It reminds you that it’s ok every once in a while to only be responsible for yourself, and not have to worry about your pets and your kids and your man. It reminds you that you can be fun and immature, even if it’s only once a year! And, most importantly, it reminds you that your pets and your kids and your man aren’t that bad after all, and you go home to them appreciative, and ready to take on tomorrow.

When you’re 30, the carnival isn’t as fun. You definitely are not buying the ride-all-day bracelet. If you escape to the carnival without your kids, you’re constantly scanning the crowd every time you hear someone yell “Mommy!”. You make sure to show up at a nice sensible time when you know the lineups are the shortest and you’ll be home at a reasonable time so that your babysitter doesn’t have to walk home in the dark. You probably pack your own lunch because everybody knows that carnival food prices are insanely inflated and totally loaded with trans fats and sodium. At 30, the carnival is all about being as efficient as possible. Get in, have as much fun as you can for the least amount of money as possible, and get the hell back to your cage where the lights aren’t so bright and the noises aren’t as loud. And start planning the next Girls Night Out.

AAA

16e5ebf692a49e7a8efa4622e5a1684b

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?

photoshop

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.

britney-spears-before-after-candies-photoshop2

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:

photoshop_lipo_maxim

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….

beforeandafter

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

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.

funny-dog-tongue-peanut-butter<

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.
Evil_Peanut_Butter_2_by_NewtMan
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.

wkout

“THIS….GIRL IS ON FIIIIYYYYAAAAAAAAR!”

dosequiseat

My head hurts today, for a number of reasons. Number one, I am feeling the effects of over-indulging in copious amounts of my good old friend, rye whiskey. I don’t do it often anymore, but when I do, I rarely do it halfway. My mama didn’t raise no quitter! The second reason I’m a little sore? I fell off the diet and exercise wagon and hit every meat and cheese sandwich on the way down.

As the weekend was approaching, I noticed I was slowly losing my resolve to work out and eat well. I had been really enjoying the new routine! The regular exercise and newfound love of all things healthy really were making a big difference not only in my waistline but also in my energy, mood and general mindset, so I was surprised when I began noticing my old frenemies “Procrastination” and “Laziness” coming around again. Oh well, no biggie. I stuck to the routine for 6 weeks without fail, a couple of lazy days wouldn’t kill me, right?

But soon enough, a few other old acquaintances were joining the party. On Friday night, the last thing I felt like doing after a long day in the kitchen making cakes was cooking supper. Enter my old pal, “Take Out.” Mommy doesn’t feel like cooking, Chinese Food it is! Isn’t it ironic that on the days you don’t exercise, you suddenly don’t care as much about eating junk? It’s like, “hey! I didn’t work out today, I guess I don’t have to worry about this doughnut totally negating the calories I just busted my ass to burn off! Today’s a write-off! Bring on the ice-cream!” Yumm, that was delicious. Probably could have and should have just whipped up something quick and healthy but what the hell, it’s the weekend! I worked hard this week! Everybody needs a break every once in a while, right? By this point, I was not feeling bad at all yet about my decisions. I have spent the last 6 weeks working on changing my attitude about diet and exercise so that I truly do view it as a long term lifestyle change…a marathon not a sprint. So allowing myself treats here or junk food there is not a big issue…generally I find that allowance translates into less guilt and ultimately less indulgence. However, I did seem to be going overboard on the internal dialogue regarding all the reasons it was ok to skip workouts and eat take-out. Hello, “Rationalization”! How nice to see you again!

Saturday arrived. I was very excited. I had plans! I had friends! I had a babysitter!!!! And, adding to my delight, I had a somewhat leaner, sexier body to dress up and take out! What could make this night any better? Whiskey. Whiskey makes it better! Not only do my friends seem funnier, but I get funnier as well! And better looking! And did I mention, I become a MUCH better dancer with whiskey? Anyway, I got dressed up and met up with my friends….everyone was in the mood to party! Excellent! Who needs “Procrastination”, “Laziness”, “TakeOut”, and “Rationalization”? I left those losers at home! Time to get my party on!

Now I know I don’t have to tell you that alcohol has calories. But let’s be honest. Who cares?! The whole purpose of alcohol is to be able to let loose a little and not focus so much on the deadlines, rules and hum-drum minutiae of day-today life. So if I’m going out, and I’m drinking alcohol, you can bet your ass I am NOT worrying about how many calories are in my cocktail. Now that being said, Alcohol also has another interesting side effect. It tends to “lower your inhibitions”. And by this, what I really mean is that it tends to remove your desire to “Give a Shit” about things you normally would. Like, for instance, overt public displays of affection, embarrassing yourself, or in my case, eating like you’re the defending champion of a sandwich eating contest. I know I’m not the only one this happens to, either. Have you ever seen a 7-11 at 3 a.m.? I’m sure they sell the most chicken wings between the hours of 1 and 4 in the morning. Drunk people are hungry people!!

By midnight, I was feeling pretty darn good about myself. I had a hot date. I was being complimented left and right on my new “improvements” and I was feeling like all my hard work was finally paying off. And, I was drunkety drunk drunk and that of course didn’t hurt my self confidence. So when the ‘midnight lunch’ made its appearance, I thought to myself, “YES!” I’m hungry! What better than a good old fashioned bunwich to soak up some of this booze? There’s something to be said for the fabled Bunwich. Nice big carb-loaded bun, fill it up with the finest cuts of salty deli meat, add a pound of cheese or so, top it off with some pickles and a generous smattering of mustard. Voila`! When it’s late, and you’re drunk, the Bunwich is like the Filet Mignon of the over-imbibed masses. The trouble is that it is also like a Pringle potato chip…you can’t eat just one!

I had finished my sandwich, and graciously ‘helped’ a friend finish hers. I was still hungry. My date was on his way to the lunch table so I politely asked, “Babe, do you think you could grab a little something for me while you’re up? Thanks!” But I think it cam out like, “HeyTHERE baaaaabe, you wanna make me another Sammidge??? I’mSOHUNGRY I could eat the ass out of a dead Rhino!!!” Sexy, hey? I know. Blame it on the whiskey. By the time we left the party and headed to the after-party (after enjoying a quick bunwich on the cab ride over) I think the sammidge tally was at about 4. For reals. We had one less passenger with us in the cab. My new friend, “Self Control” had left the building.
binge-eating-how-to-stop-this-destructive-habit-image_1161297
The after-party had cake. It was somebody’s birthday. Would I like a piece? Don’t mind if I do! Make it a big one too, I made the damn thing and I’m gonna taste it!!! Damn that’s good. I make good cake. Not sure I could actually taste anything at this point but what the hell, it looked delicious. The cake kept me going until about 3:30, when I fell asleep on the couch, and woke up this morning feeling like death.

Today, like every hung over day, was a write off. You gotta allow yourself a few of those in life. I feel like the walking dead but it was worth it! I had fun! I leet loose! I ate a lot and drank a lot and laughed a lot, and I am so glad I did. I needed a break. I needed a reason to keep going! A fun and vibrant life worth living is the reason I want to be healthy in the first place. I want to work hard and do things right 80% of the time so I can be lazy and do everything wrong for the other 20%. It’s all about balance! Reward yourself for your efforts. Take breaks. Have fun. Hang your guilt and remorse for all your bad choices at the door and join the party every once in a while. Life is for living!

I haven’t heard from “Self Control” yet today but I’m sure she’ll be back tomorrow. She probably got drunk and had a one night stand with “Responsibility.” As for those other motley characters “Procrastination” “Laziness” “Take-Out” and “Rationalization”….they’re packing their bags and leaving tonight. I’m sure they’ll be back as well, but for now they’ve overstayed their welcome. I can only handle them in small doses. Besides, they’re loud, they leave a mess, and they make my house smell like sammidges and failure. Good Riddance!

eef1eb1b2cf8a527491f8d76e5c2eacc

Just a quick post tonight… I want to take the time to thank everyone who has been so supportive of my blog and basically just of me in general these days. I truly am loving life, and feeling great about the positive changes I have been making. I realize that nobody thinks my life is as interesting as I do 🙂 but it does give me some kind of a sense of purpose to know that I might be in some way inspiring someone else to make positive changes as well, or possibly adding my voice as someone somebody can relate to in some way. OR, if nothing else, spreading a little of my warped sense of humour around out there to add a chuckle to your morning coffee, perhaps.

I find this sentiment to be meaningful and true: “A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.” Be supportive of your friends and family, hell even people you don’t know. It takes nothing away from you, but adds so much to someone else. Just think about the warm and fuzzies you get when someone simply “Likes” your facebook status or comments on a picture of your kids. It took almost no effort on their part, but made you feel important, even if just for a second. Now imagine that in “Real Life” form. Encourage someone. It will make you feel amazing. It reminds me of that Friends episode when Phoebe is on a desperate quest to perform a selfless act of kindness on someone, but she discovers it is impossible. The simple act of expressing kindness alone left her feeling all warm and wonderful inside and ultimately made the kindness feel selfish.

We all want to feel loved, accepted and important. It is the human condition. It is important to realize that how we treat others in life is a direct reflection of our character. Karma is alive and well out there in the universe, people. Be afraid!!!! But more importantly, Be Nice! Nice guys don’t finish last, they finish happy. Negativity is like junk food…it may taste good on the tongue and can become addictive, but it leaves you feeling yucky and when you finally give up the habit you feel so much better!

Finally, encourage yourself. Sometimes, the person we tend to dish out the most negativity to is ourselves. If your inner dialogue sounds more like an angry EMINEM rap song than an Al Green love ballad, I’m talking to you. Be kind to yourself. Believe in yourself. Let go of any limitations you may have set in your own mind. Sometimes the best way to feel better about yourself is to make someone else feel better. The Dalai Lama says, “It is very important to generate a good attitude, a good heart, as much as possible. From this, happiness in both the short term and the long term for both yourself and others will come.”

We are all independant individual souls in this world, but we are not alone. We are all sharing the experience of Life, and none of us is an expert. We are all beginners, we are all learning. Let’s help each other.

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?

beauty-contest-loser