Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Ambulations and Meditations

To begin with, the report you are all waiting for. Today, I am right on track. I have eaten 24 points, and have five more planned. I get to subtract a point for my exercise this morning, so that should land me right on 28. Day 1 of the rest of my life, right?

Did you know it was 29 degrees here in South Carolina this morning? Well, I do, because I was outside at 6:30 a.m. testing out my new pedometer. This new fangled gadget tracks my steps, the distance I've traveled, and how many calories I've burned. Tomorrow should be less of a hassle, but this morning it wanted to know my stride length and weight.

Weight was easy, but you should have seen me trying to figure out my stride length at 6:15 in the morning. At that point, I think I still had drool on my chin and my shoes on the wrong feet. I was supposed to walk ten normal walking steps, measure the distance, and then divide by ten. This task seemed simple at the outset, but became more complicated when I could not find Wade's tape measure. Consequently, I ended up crawling across the floor on my hands and knees with a twelve inch ruler to satisfy the pedometer's lust for silly little details.

My next challenge was to position the pedometer upon my person in such a fashion as to induce an accurate reading. To begin with, I placed the device near my front middle--just over my hipbone (the existence of which, I still do take by faith). Apparently, my current "sea of adiposity" (thank you mom) interfered with it's proper function. I walked ten steps; the pedometer tracked two. This just would NOT do.

Next, I tried attaching the clip to my left shoe. I walked another ten steps, and woe was me; now 21 steps were recorded. As a final resort, I clipped the addled pedometer just above my left butt cheek. Ten steps later all was right in the world, my new friend clicking along happily every time the left side of the universe rose and fell. But you realize what this means? I sure hope when I lose all this weight (because I am going to lose all this weight), I lose it off my stomach before my behind, or I'm going to have major issues with a key piece of my lifestyle adjustment equipment.

Now that the pedometer was properly installed, I headed down the street at a good clip, walking through my own clouds of visible breath, and wondering if I would burn more calories because of the two pounds of scarf wrapped six times around my head. As I walked, I felt thankful to be doing three things that I consistently find it practically impossible to do without being interrupted--praying, meditating on God and His Word, and exercising.

At our WW meeting last night, we learned that positive thinking was a big part of being successful in a healthy lifestyle, and as I walked my final lap, though my fingers were numb, my nose was stiff, and my legs were icicles, I was warmed by the thought of success. I was glad I hadn't hit the snooze button, even though I was freezing my tush off.

And then, as a relation of mine was witty enough to point out this evening, I turned around.

Darn. Still there. My tush, that is.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Afterthoughts and Vintage Diet Rootbeer

Tonight, my Diet IBC Rootbeer and I salute you. Why is it vintage? Well, I bought it Wednesday, and the last of the six pack survived until Monday. Around here, that's some pretty old IBC, so I've waited until the children were abed, and I am opening it, as I prepare to relay to you the experience of my very first Weight Watchers meeting.

At 5:35, after a day of anticipation, I tossed Texas toast onto the childrens' plates along with the rest of their dinners, kissed my husband, grabbed my purse and my keys, and raced out the door. My meeting was at 6:00, and the on-line instructions said to be thirty minutes early, but I was going anyway. Mayhem had reigned at my house, right up to the moment of my departure, but nothing was going to stop me from making my rendezvous--not the make-up-less-ness of my face, not the spit-up on my sweatpants, not the dog hair on my sweater, and not the fear in my little palpitating heart.

Five minutes later, I parked, grabbed my pocketbook, and headed toward the store front emblazoned with "Weight Watchers" before my mind had a chance to catch up with my feet. As I approached, I noted that the entire front of my chosen headquarters was glass. Shouldn't they have blinds or something? Lots of blinds? You know, blinds to close to protect--well, maybe not the innocent--but at least the embarrassed, the shy, and the utterly cowed.

At least, in any case, to protect those of us who were walking through the door feeling like a three-tiered potato garden with legs. And that is exactly how I felt as I faced the lovely AND THIN women behind the counter. Now what you should know, is that the reason I have probably left Weight Watchers as a last resort for all these years--aside from the money issue--is that I always felt that Weight Watchers was a sentence. You know, kind of like community service--you've been bad, so you deserve some kind of punishment.

Then a couple ladies at my church who I thought looked pretty good anyway, starting looking more and more fabulous, and come to find out, they were doing Weight Watchers. I still wasn't convinced though, as it took me up until a couple of years ago, to admit I had a problem with food addiction. So, with this better understanding, when my brother asked me what Weight Watchers was, I told him it was like AAA, only for people with food addictions.

Yeah. After he got done laughing at me, he informed me that AAA was for cars, and AA was for alcoholics, but that he wished me the best with WW. Well, I needed all the good wishes I could get when all 6 of us got on the scale in front of the big glass windows. I'm not sure the truth set us free, but here it is for all of you who are sickly desiring to know. Me, myself, the ta-ta tier, the mid-torso tier, the tushy tier, and I weighed in at 206 pounds.

I waited for the ghastly number to flash somewhere in foot tall digital letters accompanied by lights and sirens, but nothing like that happened. In fact, not even I got to find out until later. The wonderful woman behind the counter didn't even raise her eyebrows. She just printed out this little sticker, stuck it in my book over the place that said "WEEK 1" and welcomed me warmly with a manageable handful of beginners materials and instructions.

During the meeting, I sat next to another newby, a woman who looked about my size, and listened to an older couple talk about beating their children at "Wii: Just Dance" over Christmas. I found out later, the man has lost 115 pounds in the last year. Suddenly, I felt like maybe, just maybe, I could do it too.

I left the meeting with my first goal in mind--just 5% of my body weight--10 pounds; and I also felt encouraged that I was already on the right track with some goal setting of my own. During the meeting, a GOAL was defined in the following way:

"A goal is created three times. First as a mental picture. Second, when written down to add clarity and dimension. And third, when you take action toward achievement."

So here goes. I am making my mental picture: me and my skinny jeans--with the potato garden days left behind for good. I am writing it down to create clarity and dimension--might be causing a rift in the space time continuum--but I'm writing it down. And tonight, I took another step toward achieving my goal.

I am allowed 28 points a day, with 35 flex points throughout the week if needed. I'll be reporting my points here everyday. Yep. I'll be standing in front of the glass window, and the whole world's gonna know how I did every, single day.

What a time for my root beer to be gone . . .

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Wii Spit Plus

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Before I launch off into this evening's diatribe, I hope that your turkey stupor has worn off, that the chocolate in your stockings is gone before you make your New Year's resolutions on Thursday, and that everyone's favorite chubby celebrity brought you something from your wish list. For some of you, that item may have been the Wii Fit Plus, the fond topic of today's blog. And no, my blog title is not a typo.

The Wii Fit became a fixture at our house back in August, and though I'm about to pick fun at it a little, I actually think it's one of the most enjoyable ways to exercise I have ever encountered--though like so many other forms of exercise I have tried--relatively ineffective on my form and figure. I used the Wii Fit for almost eight weeks straight, for at least thirty minutes a day, six to seven days a week, and there I was, still within five pounds of my starting point.

However, as if this was not exasperating enough, and to add insult to injury, the Wii Fit seems to have been programmed without any of today's wildly popular emphasis on self-esteem. Yes, every time I step on that perky little balance board, and it urges me ever so sweetly to do my daily body check, how am I rewarded? After I stand perfectly still and do exactly as I am told, it stands my Mii next to a BMI line, which rises to the very, very top of the scale; and then I am informed with out tact or tenderness: "THAT'S OBESE!"

One can really only hear such unfeeling sentiments so many days in a row before losing motivation to bend and bond with the Wii Spit. I mean, hello, couldn't those Japanese dudes come up with something they wouldn't be embarrassed to present to their honorable mothers and grandmothers? I thought the Japanese were into that kind of thing. I think I'll write and suggest some of the following: "My! You're well endowed!" "Bless your heart! I guess we'll see YOU again tomorrow!" or "Please be kind, lose some behind . . ." Any of this would be better than "THAT'S OBESE!"

I'm also terribly unamused by the Wii Spits regular insistence that I "visualize the ideal me." Who exactly is this person? I have never met her, so how the heck am I supposed to visualize her. Well, perhaps I will meet her this year, as I set out to boldly go where I'm sure a few booties like mine have gone before: Weight Watchers. Yep, that's right, tomorrow night at six o'clock, this booty will be in it's first Weight Watchers meeting, and thus, I present to you the Week 3 challenge.

And as it is Sunday, it's time for me to give you my little report card. Not as good this week, I'm afraid. Multivitamin: A- Water: C. Definitely, some room to improve; the holidays threw me off a little, but I'll do better next week. What I've learned is that I have to fill my water jug first thing in the morning, or I'm hopelessly behind in the chug-a-lug department by lunch time.

Well, think of me tomorrow, as I stand on the little scale at the Weight Watchers clinic, and get told I need to lose 50 pounds, when I've spent the last year trying to lose 10. I have to tell you all, I am scared to death of one more round of try and fail. But on the bright side, I have found a way to make the cheeky little Balance Board play nice. Just lie and tell it your 6 foot 5.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Battle of the Buffet, Part II

This afternoon, it occurred to me, that all of mankind's problem came about because of a buffet. In the beginning, God gave Adam and Eve the perfect buffet--a garden full of wonderful things to see, smell, taste, and experience. Only one item on the buffet was forbidden, and that was the one item Eve had to put on her plate. I have to wonder if that means something.

Sunday night, I was Eve at the buffet all over again. Obviously, I didn't do any better than she did, and I've decided that for the moment, I'm just not strong enough for the valley of the shadow of the dessert line. From now on, I'm sending someone else to put one item on my plate. I'm not even going to go look, because there's bound to be twenty plates there whispering, "Yea, the fat grams cannot be that bad . . ."

So. With all these dessert platters, bread baskets, hot plates, and dressing vats having their way with us, can any of us really win? Fortunately, before Sunday was Saturday (no, I am not attempting profundity), and on Saturday, I walked away from a buffet with my head held high. Consequently, there must be something to be gleaned from the scenario, because anyone who has ever been to a Golden Coral knows that is not a location void of temptation. In fact, it rivals the Potluck for variety, for which reason, I walked my son the full length of the buffet to find out what he wanted to eat. This meander proved my saving grace.

During our exploratory mission, the food did not fail to become animate, especially in the cases of those foods sure to cause eventual corinary blockage, or to induce indigestion such as most of us do not care to imagine. For instance, the mashed potatoes and gravy. Floating in the midst of the steam above the dynamic duo, was an angel with her halo tilted in the direction of the green vegetables, facing off austerely with a devil, gravy dripping off his pitchfork.

Angel: White potatoes are a starch. She could have three green vegetables and then some for the empty carbs in these potatoes.

Devil: Potatoes are a vegetable! And white is the color of purity!

Angel: Yes, potatoes are a vegetable, when they don't come from FLAKES! And what about that gravy? There's is absolutely no redeeming value in that gravy.

Devil: It makes people happy, doesn't it?

Angel: So do a lot of other things people shouldn't have.

Devil: Yes, but happiness makes people produce seratonin, and people with seratonin are happy, and happy people are more likely to lose weight . . .

And on the conversation usually goes, over everything from salad dressing to sorbet. If you're one of those lucky people tuned into this conversation (like I am) you leave the line with too much on your plate, and feeling like you've visited the stock market. Saturday night, though, I managed to tune them out, because Saturday night, I heard it all WITHOUT a plate.

This accidental happenstance could change the future of me and the buffet. What if went first for a salad, and then browsed the buffet beforehand, so that I could consider my options while enjoying my salad? Then, I could return to the line looking only for what I had predetermined I was going to eat, with the edge taken off of my hunger because of the salad. Dessert? Same strategy, though as previously discussed, my hubby is going to fetch that morsel for me, so that I stay out of trouble.

Is it these kinds of little life changes that really make a difference? Is it this kind of honesty with yourself that finally makes it all gel? I'm starting to think so, because tonight, when we ate out, I didn't want to come home with one more sob story. I dipped my fork in my salad dressing instead of pouring it on my salad, I chose a balanced combination of side dishes, I stopped eating when I was full, and I drank water. It was delicious--in large part, because there was no aftertaste of regret.

Well, I'll close this evening's blog on that positive note, since the kiddos are asleep, and I have some serious gift wrapping to do before the fat man makes his appearance tomorrow night. My son informs me it's not Christmas yet, because "Santa is not in the sky yet . . ." So where is the AWOL benevolent? Judging from his girth, my guess is the buffet.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Battle of the Buffet, Part I

So. Do you feel waterlogged yet? This morning I dutifully filled a family sized water jug with eight, 16 ounce glasses of water. By 6:00, I had guzzled the last of it, and I don't think I have EVER seen the inside of my bathroom that often in the space of ten hours. I guess I felt I just had to get something right after my miserable failure in the valley of the shadow of the dessert line last night.

I did so well at dinner. The potluck was a soup fellowship, so I wandered up and down the three tables FULL of soup crocks, looking for just the right supper for my little styrofoam bowl. I felt like Indiana Jones painstakingly selecting the Holy Grail. "No . . . the skinny woman wouldn't choose the cream based soup. No . . . the svelt woman wouldn't choose the succulent broccoli and cheese . . ." Finally, the slim and delicious choice appeared before me in the form of a turkey and vegetable mixture; and ironically, when I got back to the table, I discovered I had managed to choose my grandmother's soup out of like, forty crockpots. Incidentally, nobody makes better soup than my grandma.

Anyway, with my soup, I ate five whole grain Ritz crackers mingled among a tablespoon of cheese spread. I tasted, I chewed, I swallowed, and I felt confident as I approached the dessert table. Alas, I faltered in the face of the brownies, the tassies, the coconut cream cake, the pineapple upside down delight, the gingernsnaps, the biscotti, and the peanut butter brittle.

My first mistake? Choices. My commitment for the evening had been either two cookies or one dessert. This commitment involved too many avenues for my alter-ego's surreptitious mental processes. Consequently, when my grandmother offered to split a very yummy looking chocolate and peanut butter something-or-other with me, did I head back to the table? Nooooo. I thought to myself, "Let's see--is this a dessert or a cookie? It's kind of puddingy like cake. That means I can have 1/2 of another dessert. But if its a cookie, I can have another 1 and a half cookies. Yep. I think it's a cookie. Definitely a cookie."

Back at the table, I felt as guilty as a well-dressed baby with her patties in the potty. On my plate, was 1/2 of a chocolate and peanut butter something-or-other, a truffle, a toffee square, and a caramel browny.

I blame this on my printer. It had to run out of ink at the worst possible moment, and I was not able to print my Potluck Psalm. If I had only had my Potluck Psalm . . . .

I probably would have done exactly the same thing, because truth be told, I am the only one responsible for the food that goes in my mouth. I am responsible for my choices and my actions, so something that has to go right now, is the blame shifting. My years of dieting have been fraught with "If only I hadn't been so busy, if only I hadn't been so stressed, if only the children had napped when they were supposed to, if only it hadn't been the holidays, if only we'd had more money to buy better groceries, if only we hadn't had to stop at that fast food restaurant" and on and on and on. I have been the queen of excuses.

Well, no more. I'm giving up my throne, and I'm moving to a new kingdom where I'm going to be busy but better, stressed but slim, exhausted but exercised, and hot right through the holidays. The next time I face a buffet, I will be ready, and I will win.

Stay tuned for Beating the Buffet, Part 2, which takes us to the Golden Corral the night before last. Don't miss the epic struggle between good and evil, playing out over the mashed potatoes and gravy.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Psalm 23: A Potluck Preparation

Well, Sunday is here again, and though I definitely have not worked all the bad habits out of my lifestyle (this is a journey, not a jump), I feel very positive about the fact that writing this blog has already started affecting my mentality about food, exercise, and wellness. Last week, I felt excited about my blog, but skeptical about it's subject matter. Today, I am ready to embrace another change-albeit small-and see what the week will bring.

So, without further ado, my challenge for WEEK 2 in the journey towards my skinny jeans, (drum roll, please) will be: WATER. Everyday, I will strive to drink eight glasses of water. This change may seem trivial, but in the light of all the stuff I drink INSTEAD of water, it could make a big difference.

My report card for last week is a solid A. My multivitamin made down the hatch everyday, although I did switch to taking it in the evening after I was revisited by it on Wednesday morning. Now, to add the second card to a deck of 52 (weeks in a year). I am optimistic that this years card game will not disintegrate into a round of 52 card pick-up with you all cheering me on. Ya'll are like my Verizon network. So. Do you want to go to a potluck with me?

Potlucks are a Baptist tradition. For those of you unfamiliar, these gatherings involve, food, fellowship, and yeah, food--lots and lots of food. The great irony is, Baptists are naturally great promoters of moderation, just as Scripture is a great promoter of moderation. Unfortunately, in our humanness, we've forgotten to add "Don't eat yourself into a diabetic coma," to the list of more commonly held Baptist boycotts--you know--don't Shake Your Groove Thing, inhale, or imbibe.

But MAN! Do we love to eat!

Tonight, I am going to go armed for the fray. I am going to eat well, and come home with my head high. I am not going to feel half conscious because of carbohydrate consumption. I will think carefully about what goes on my plate, and when I get to the dessert line, I will choose either one dessert or two cookies to enjoy with my decaf. I will not feel deprived of the 25 other varieties of dessert I missed. I will feel glad for the one I tasted.

However, I realize I can't accomplish this feat alone, so, I am taking my good Shepherd with me through the potluck line. The following paraphrase of Psalm 23 will be in my pocket.

"The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want the whole buffet.
He leads me beside the green vegetables, he makes me to drink the un-carbonated waters,
He restores my stomach, for I will feel full in about twenty minutes,
And He leads me in the path of good choices for His Name's sake.
Yeah, though I walk through the dessert line, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me
Your Word and the commitments You have helped me to make will comfort me.
You prepare a table for me in the presence of my enemies (the mashed potatoes, the fried chicken, and the trip back for seconds).
You anoint my head with the oil of victorious living;
My cup runs over, because I am happy for all I have on my plate and not regretful of what is left in the casserole dishes.
Surely good health and mercy for others seeking the same will follow me all the days of my life;
And I shall dwell in God's will for me all the days of my life.


Saturday, December 19, 2009

What My Daughter's Good Dress, The Toilet, and My Past Have In Common

My apologies to anyone who got up early this morning just to drink coffee and read my blog (ha, ha, ha . . .) but alas, I spent Friday evening putting a few good hours into a Christmas project with a fast approaching deadline. No. It wasn't my Christmas cards, though they're a close second on the project list.

Today was supposed to be mom and dad's day out. We were headed out on a little road trip, just the two of us, to attend a wedding in Aiken, SC. We had a baby sitter. We were set. And here came winter. Our sitter called at 7:15, and sadly, their driveway was iced, their power was out, and their heat was kaput.

Well, since we'd been up since 5:30, and everyone was dressed, the car was packed, and we were ready to go, we decided just to make the day a family outing. Of course, Wade and I were dressed for the wedding, but the children weren't. Hmmm. I opted to leave them as they were, especially considering Maggie's current propensity for toilet exploration. Oddly enough, one of her last toilet fishing expeditions gave way to the strangest epiphany.

About three weeks ago on a Sunday, I was thrilled to put a dress on Maggie that I had been saving for the holiday season. A black and white plaid three piece, this little dress was all doll and drama. I chased Maggie down, slid the short sleeved dress over her head, buttoned the buttons, wrangled on the long sleeved overcoat, battled the buttons, stretched the white tights, fought with the black shoes, and finally, popped the matching hat onto the blond head that was shaking "no, no, no!" She was all cuteness from head to toe. I moved onto her brother's wardrobe.

Fifteen minutes later, we were all but ready to go. I had my purse, the diaper bag, the car seats, a couple of prepared Christmas gifts, Wade, and . . . where was Maggie? That's when I heard the happy splashing. I dashed around the corner to the bathroom, hoping to divert disaster, but much to my chagrin, Miss Maggie was drenched to the elbows. Feeling much downcast, I took off the hat, slipped off the shoes, peeled off the tights, juiced off the overcoat, unbuttoned the dress buttons, and pulled off the dress. Then, I sanitized her appendages, and dressed her quickly in a cute--but far inferior--outfit.

That week, I washed the dress, pressed it perfect, and hung it over the dryer for my next attempt.
The next Sunday, I assembled her majesty's ensemble once again, and this time, I kept a close eye on her. When she headed for the bathroom--and she did--I beat her there and closed the door. She complained loudly, but I stood my ground. No, I said, you are not going in their and ruin yourself AGAIN!

At that moment, I was hit right between the eye-liner with this thought: I have been ruining myself for years. Periodically, I get unhappy with how I look or how I feel. I brush off what I know about health and nutrition, or I find a shiny new plan that could possibly change my life. I spend lots of time preparing for the shiny new plan. I'm excited about the plan; I put the new plan into action. But then, there I am, standing over that beautiful, porcelain bowl of shining waters--or, for those of you who might be metaphorically impaired--the 2nd dessert, the extra three slices of pizza, the puddle of sweet, sticky syrup on peanut-buttered pancakes.

Yep. There I am, one more time, and you guessed it; pretty soon I'm up to my elbows in potty water just like the times before. Then I have to take off all my hard work, go to the closet, and choose from one of the outfits thats left for me. On one hanger, hangs guilt; on another, a dress in the next size up; on another, regret, that looks an awful lot like my favorite skirt from last year.

Today, at that wedding, I had my picture taken with the groom--a former student of mine--the student that coined my nickname--Shankspeare. When I looked at the picture later on, I thought, is that really ME? I'm so ROUND! At that moment, I felt my resolve steeling. Next Christmas, my face is not going to look like something that needs a loop stuck to the back of it and hung on the Christmas tree. I'm done dunking my good dress in the toilet. This year, I'm stepping out skinny, just like I planned.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Burn, Baby, Burn!"

Hi. Ya'll know my name, and my last cookies were at 1:00 p.m. Yeah. All four of them. Why do I think that one of my weekly commitments is going to have to do with cookies very soon . . .

I'm also eventually going to have to step on a scale and resign myself to spending the only quiet hour and a half of my day to burning off my ample behind and then showering, because burning calories inevitably causes one to sweat like a swine in a sauna. As I said, "Burn, Baby, Burn!"

So, before future weeks of joyous weight loss sweep over me in happy waves (please, note sarcasm), I have to whine just a little bit. The female metabolism is one of the great injustices of the cosmos. I mean, I'm a mom, right? I get up at 6:30 most mornings--earlier when my three year old shows up at my bedside, shoves my glasses in my face, and announces that he wants to watch cartoons, or that he can't to go to the bathroom alone because it's dark, or that he needs me to close his closet door because a giant pair of gold fingernail clippers is trying to pinch him.

After that, I don't stop running. Your familiar with my daily climb up Mount St. Dishmore. Let me tell you about the rest of my work out. I do bicep curls every time I pick up a crying child, put a baby on the changing table, or lift a hungry mouth into a high chair. I do work abs every time I give way to persistent pleas for horsey rides. I work those triceps and calves every time I work a top shelf for my multivitamin, baby tylenol, cleaning products, cereal, goldfish crackers, and the list goes on.

And then there's my varied work out--the walks up and down our street, jogging to keep up with a running toddler while pushing a stroller, pulling a wagon, and somehow managing to hold the dog's leash too. There's the millions of times I get up from the table when I've almost got my fork in my mouth (but not quite), not to mention the sweeping, the scrubbing, the vacuuming, the laundry-hauling, and--on rare days like today--climbing up on the roof and wrapping my chimney in old vinyl table clothes, so the torrential rains expected tomorrow do not end up on my basement floor.

By the time I put my kids to bed, I feel like I've done enough. Surely, I've burned off today's calories--maybe yesterday's too--maybe even a little of last week's. So forgive me. Please forgive me if I feel like just a little bit annoyed, miffed, and otherwise disgruntled--that in that quiet moment that finally comes about 8:01 p.m., I am supposed to turn on an exercise video and huff and puff alongside some woman who probably couldn't keep up with me on an average day anyway.

If you're sensing righteous indignation, yep, you're right on. But. As our parents were so good to remind us so often as children, life ain't fair, them's the breaks, suck it up Marine, etc. Come January 4, my commitment of the week, will have something to do with exercise, and for the sake of positive mental energy, I shall do my best to decease with the whining. I will put on my baggies (or at least I hope they're baggy eventually), I will exercise my index finger, and I will push the button on my DVD player. And later, when my poor body falls like a piece of soggy celery onto the bed, and my jaw spreads itself across the pillow like that of a knocked out boxer, I shall mutter to the Sandman: "Burn, baby, burn . . ."

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

What Momdi learned on the Mountain

December 16, 2009

This morning, I faced one of the most daunting landscapes existent within the U.S. Though this geographical wonder is not yet listed in public school text books or recognized by mountain climbers world wide, it weekly approaches World Book proportions and threatens to erupt. This towering precipice breeds over my kitchen sink. Ladies and Gentleman, I give you: Mount Saint Dishmore.

Sadly, I live in fairly consistent bondage to this mountain. Why is this you ask? Is it because you do not have a dishwasher? (I don't.) Is it because you procrastinate shamefully? (Maybe.) Is it because you can't afford paper products at the moment? (Somewhat). As is parenthetically evident, all of these situations do play into my conundrum; however, my #1 problem can be summed up in a singular concept: DISTRACTION!

Let me map out my morning quest of the mountain, and perhaps you will understand.

7:00--Cleaned out enough of sink to put coffee pot under tap. Poured water in pot. Made Wade's lunch with my eyes shut. Hope it turned out all right for him.
7:15--Finished clearing one side of the sink. Ran hot, soapy water in the sink and put first round of dishes in the suds. Picked up first dish.
7:15 and 5 seconds--"Mommy, I be thirsty."
7:16--Thirsty child given juice. Picked up same dish.
7:16 and 5 seconds--"Mommy, I be cold. Can I sit on your lap?
7:45--Coffee finished. Child warmed. Finished first dish. Added coffee cup to suds. Water is cold.
7:50--New hot, soapy water in sink. Washed coffee cup.
7:50 and five seconds--"Mommy. Maggie is awake. Get her!"
7:51--Maggie retrieved from crib, changed, and given bottle. Now I have 20 minutes until my first little charge arrives. I had better get dressed, and while I'm at it, I'd better tidy the bedroom, because that's where the baby sleeps, and then I decided I'd better toss in a load of laundry because I wouldn't be able to after baby arrived and decided to get around to sleeping.
9:00--Me dressed, children dressed, breakfast accomplished, baby sleeping. Add breakfast dishes to sink. Water is cold.
9:01--New hot, sudsy water in sink. Pick up a handful of silverware.
9:01 and five seconds--"Mommy! Maggie is touching the buttons!"
9:02--Rinse silver wear. Wash out bottle.
9:02 and five seconds--"Mommy! Maggie is touching my train!"
9:03--Rinse bottle. Pick up plate. All's quiet. Ahhhhhh.
9:08--Strangely quiet. One sinkful done. New round in the suds. The splashing I hear is not mine. "Mommy! Maggie is in the toilet!"
9:20--Maggie changed, sanitized, and snapped into her carseat for a time out. Another sink accomplished. The mountain is slightly diminished.
9:30--Maggie moved from time out to the pack and play. She doth protest. More dishes finished.
9:35--Baby awake. I feel a bit off.
9:35 and thirty seconds--Baby most displeased but forced to wait while I toss up my multivitamin. Apparently, it did not agree with me.
9:38--"Mommy? Why can't Maggie play in the toilet if you can?
9:40--Wade in the pack 'n play with Maggie. Baby desires a live cradle, hence, the mountain is abandoned yet again.

Happily, and thanks entirely to my grandmother, the mountain did meet it's match, but in the midst of the climb, I had time to consider how much my past failures in the health and nutrition department had to do with distractions. In the past I've spent incredible amounts of time planning how I was going to be successful, but when I actually got into the plan, I was easily waylaid and defeated. These distractions snowballed until I finally abandoned my latest effort entirely.

Consequently, if you are wondering why I don't seem to have a plan, and why what little plan I have seems to be developing so slowly, it is because I am determined to concentrate on one little step, one little day, one little bite at a time. I'm not gonna stare up the mountain. Instead, I'm not only going to stay focused--even in the face of set-backs--but I'm also going to take each victory for what it is--not a tiny step in the shadow of a whole mountain, but a strong mile in the light of the day's sojourn.

So, come on everybody. Join Momdi on the mountain. Oooooooooom. Oooooooooooom.
Visualize the crumbling mountain, the crumbling, crumbling. Oh dear. I'm getting cookie here.
Anybody else visualizing cookie?!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

"So let it be written; so let it be done."

December 15, 2009

These iconic words, spoken so regally by Hollywood's play-pharaohs, suit my purposes nicely. These kings walked the ornate hallways of Egypt, surrounded by slaves, adored by countrymen, and changing the course of history one edict at a time. We're similar, they and I, though you may not think so. I may not be filthy rich, but my halls are ornate. With obstacles, that is. Blocks, dolls, dropped food, emptied laundry baskets, and capsized toy boxes usually litter my home by nine a.m. My maid cleans these items up every night. She's great! She leaves the house immaculate and ready for next-day's business before the clock strikes twelve. The doctor keeps trying to get me to take medication to get rid of her, but I won't do it.

I am also adored by my countrymen (and women). Granted, all of my countrymen are short, but this fact is not a problem for me, as many rulers of note, rose to fame while ruling peoples short of stature. I give you the munchkins and their Good Witch of the East, the Oompa-Loompas and Willie Wanka, the Lilliputians and Gulliver--see, size really DOESN'T matter!

SO WHY IN THE NAME OF DAD'S PAJAMAS AM I ABOUT TO CUT COOKIES OUT OF MY LIFE?! Hi. My name's Sarah, and I did not have a cookie today. But I did have a Berry Ice Cream Sunday, so ah, where exactly do I stand on the success plateau today? Obviously, I need some guidelines.

Hence, I look to the pharaohs. I'm gonna make some edicts of my own. And since my husband would no doubt be VERY disturbed if I started carving my dietary laws in our drywall, my blog has just been nominated as my personal pyramid. I'm going to make one change to my life every week, and in making that change, I am going to pursue it with absolute commitment. Ideally, this time next year, I will have implemented 52 really great lifestyle changes, and followed them cumulatively to effect something very like the parting of the Red Sea.

This week, my lifestyle change is going to seem absolutely menial. It is a habit that I habitually put off, forget, practice irregularly, and profane. I say I'll do it after breakfast, and then I don't get to finish breakfast. I say I'll do it after the kids are down for naps, and then I get caught up with the cocoa and cookie thing I obviously have a huge issue with. I tell myself I'm doing pretty good if I did it 4 days out of 7. I tell myself that it really doesn't matter that much.

I am GOING to take my multivitamin EVERYDAY.

With my cookie.


Monday, December 14, 2009

My Alli: Invocation to the Muse

December 14, 2009

First of all, for those friends who sit here with me in the cyber-circle of the CCA (Cookie Crunchers Anonymous)--hi--my name's Sarah, and my last cookie was at nine-thirty. Obviously, I'm off to a great start.

Seriously though, I've tried it all, and now, left in the wake of failure after failure, I think--so where do I start this time? Who goes to the chopping block first? The calories, the carbs, or the fat grams? Well, not the cookies, that's for sure. The cookies fuel the brain cells, so before you start any new diet, get your plan together, because when the cookies go, so does the logical order of things.

I gave this dilemma some thought today, and from today's blog title, many of you may assume I decided to use the Alli Diet Pill. Alas no. I have learned my lesson about diet pills, and could tell many a horror story, but none so recent and poignant as when I confessed as much to my doctor at my last annual physical, and in the next moment found myself surrounded by the doctor and two nurses who were hooking me up to an EKG. Apparently this is routine practice in the case of confessions such as mine. They had very nearly charged the paddles and yelled "CLEAR!" when I threw myself onto the exam room floor--little paper sheet and all--and promised "Please, Spirit, Please--I will carry Christmas in my heart all year, I will--" oh wait. Sorry. Wrong life epiphany. Anyway, I promised no more pills.

But what then. What was going to work between wet diapers, screaming children, and bottle feedings? I resorted in my mind the classic order of the epic poem. You see, before I had children, and then started a day care in my home so that I could draw an income and stay home with my children, I taught high school English. My students called me "Shankspeare" which stuck, even after I got married. One of my favorite literature sections to teach was on epic poetry, and in an epic poem, the hero always begins with an invocation to his (or her) muse--the divine being that the hero looks to as an "Ally" in the epic journey that is to come. Yes, that seems like a good place to start. Today, the first step I took in the epic journey to my skinny jeans was to ask for God's Divine Help, and believe me when I say that getting the lard off these lats is going to take something akin to a miracle.