Sunday, January 31, 2010

Off to See the Wizard, Part II

For those of you who need to be brought abreast of my odd dream's beginnings, a freak southern blizzard had swept me off my Wii Balance Board and into a magical land full of exercise equipment. Yada. Yada. Then, my hefty self landed in the middle of a treadmill field right on top of the Wicked Nutrisystem Witch, who was busy harvesting chubby Munchie sweat. Having ended the info-mercial career of the notorious Nutri-Witch and having nabbed her ruby sneakers, I then proceeded to ask the Munchies how I could go about getting skinny again.

One of the Munchie leaders stepped forward, a jiggly little fellow named Cheeto, and informed me that sadly, I would never get skinny if I stayed in their country, because everyone in Munchie Land ever was subject to the Nutri-Witch's curse, which involved emotionally induced eating that resulted from overmuch time spent in the treadmill fields. Who could direct me? I inquired, and at that moment the Good Witch Moolinda descended from the sky. I couldn't help but think how much she resembled Pippi Longstocking as she explained to me that she--along with her sister, the Good Witch of the Feast--ruled over the kingdoms responsible for all the skim dairy, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.

Moolinda said she could direct me toward my success if I would but travel over the Slow Brick Road, which involved a long but steady journey toward the Skinny City. Those that persisted on their journey, she said, were few in number, but often chose to stay a lifetime. Moolinda acted disappointed when I told her I was really looking for something much less time-consuming, and grueling, and involved. In that case, she said, she would have to send me to the Wizard, a renowned weight-loss coach in the City of GNC. I would find my way down the Yellow Brick Road. Perhaps he would be able to help me on my way.

I thanked Moolinda for her advice and the Munchies for the basket of goodies they had prepared for my journey; and then I began my trek down the Yellow Brick Road. Not far down the path, next to a field of rowing machines, I met a woman of the Scarecrow variety, stuck hopelessly beneath a fence by her hinderparts. She introduced herself as Bootyca, and then recounted how the Nutri-Witch had stuffed her so, and then laughed as she tried to escape under the fence. Well, now I have the Witch's ruby sneakers, I told her, so you will never be intimidated by her tiny be-hinny again; and while I helped Bootyca more evenly distribute the straw between her hind-side and her thighs, I told her that I was going to see the Wizard in the City of GNC. Maybe he could help her too.

So we set off together, and very soon we were passing through a delectable forest where all the trees cruelly threw desserts at us, and it was all we could do not to give into temptation. It was there in the woods that we found our next companion--the Tin Gymnast--lodged by her large waist between two trees. Her name was Rotunda, and while Bootyca and I used some smashed Black Forest Cake to help her slip from her tight spot, she explained that she had made a good effort in her journey toward the Skinny City, but she had been sidetracked in this terrible forest. Now, though she had wondrous biceps and great flexibility, she was in danger of not being able to pass between the trees. At this point in the story, Rotunda burst into tears, and began cramming deserts into her mouth as fast as the tears fell.

Bootyca and I wrestled the remaining deserts from Rotunda's strong hands and convinced her to join us on our journey to see the wizard. Toward nightfall, the path got darker and darker, but the three of us proceeded into the darkness with our hearts beating madly along with our quickening steps: "Failure and fatness and fear, oh my! Failure and fatness and fear, oh my! When suddenly our pathway was blocked by a fearsome creature who refused to let us pass. She growled and grimaced and groaned, and when she did the latter, we realized her predicament. It was not that she WOULD not let us pass, but she COULD not. She had been paralyzed on her journey but the very mantras we had be carrying with us in our own hearts. She had tried it all, and she was afraid to see herself in the light and afraid to try again. She couldn't tell us her name, because she had forgotten it when she lost her identity many pounds ago.

We spent many days in the forest with her, convincing her to try again, and to travel with us to see the Wizard. Perhaps he could help her find herself again. At last, with my three new found friends, I emerged from the dark forest, and there, shining in all of it's neon lights was the City of GNC. Without considering the danger, all of us began to run through a delicious field of what looks like grain--every stalk hung with just what hungry travelers think they want: french fries, pasta, pancakes, potato chips. Alas, we'd missed the sign that said: Beware, Carbohydrate Crossing, and before we new it, my nameless friend and I had eaten ourselves into a carb-induced coma.

When we woke up on the side of the yellow brick road, Bootyca and Rotunda told us we surely would have been lost forever if Moolinda hadn't floated in to give us a hand. Now we were only a short walk from the gates of the City of GNC. Upon approaching the gates, we noticed some strange fine print beneath the emblazoned letters. It almost looked like the tiny writing said "City of the Great Next Crock." But we were to eager to pay much attention to fine print, and soon we were surrounded by the excitement of the city. Every part of the city seemed dedicated to some new fad. Venders sold Acai Berry, various Colon Cleansers, books about somebody named Atkins, and a cookbook from somewhere called South Beach. Further on, you could buy protein bars, low calorie shakes, muscle milk, fat absorbing pills, carb absorbing supplements, caffeine laden energy drinks. But it seemed no one could tell you which to choose until you saw the Wizard.

Sadly, appointments were expensive and booked into nearly the next decade, so my friends and I remained, citizens of the City of GNC, waiting for our turn and trying a little bit of everything in the mean time. Though I didn't say it, I did have the thought that I probably could have traveled the long way and made it to the Skinny City by now. That's about when we were called to see the Wizard.

Don't miss Part III of "Off to See the Wizard" to be posted tomorrow!

Off to See the Wizard, Intermission

First off, the answer to yesterday's quiz question, that I'm sure you are all chomping at the bit to procure. Or not. The question was "Why did Dorothy ACTUALLY throw the water at the Wicked Witch of the West?" And the answer (that will no doubt bring a smile to the faces of all my female readers) is C. Dorothy was ticked off that the witch was trying to rip off her favorite shoes. You see, in the original story, the shoes that Glinda the Good conveys to Dorothy after her house falls on the Wicked Witch of the East, are silver--not ruby--and Dorothy gets quite attached to them. She doesn't know that they do anything special, she just likes them.

Consequently, when the Wicked Witch of the West enslaves Dorothy in her castle, those pretty shoes are the bright spot in Dorothy's day while she's busy fixing the witch's meals and mopping the witch's floors. One day, the witch puts an invisible board in the middle of the kitchen, which Dorothy trips over, and in so doing, loses one of her silver shoes. The witch snatches it up, laughs at Dorothy's distress, and promises that one day, she will steal the other shoe as well. The cruel trick is just too much, and sweet little Dorothy loses her temper. She picks up a bucket of dirty dish water and flings it at the witch, and thus ends the witch.

Well, let me tell you, I had some bad days this week. Maybe I should have gone out and bought myself some shoes, but honestly, I'm not sure it would have helped. For about three days, it seemed that nothing--absolutely nothing--would satisfy me. All I wanted to do was eat; every hour was a battle. I was determined to win, but miserable all the way. Sorry to say, it was a female thing, so all male readers immediately concerned with "Too Much Information," please skip to paragraph five.

Female hormones are a mixed pot--wonderful and horrible all at the same time. This month, I was feeling all of the horrible and none of the wonderful. I was eating just like I had all the previous weeks--filling foods--whole grains, veggies, and lean protein. But every time I opened the fridge, I fought the urge throw tracking and accountability to the wind. I wanted the ice cream, no bowl, just me and the carton. And after that, I wanted a pimiento cheese sandwich with a generous side of cocktail weenies. What was a girl to do?

Well, you already know what I did. I went to bed early two days in a row. I felt utterly depressed, but as low as I felt, I knew I'd feel worse if I ate all those things and then saw it on the scale Monday morning. I did use some flex points, but tomorrow is weigh in, and I still have six flex points left, so I definitely didn't blow it entirely; and for my trouble, my subconscious came up with a terrific villain. So, thank you for indulging me, and without further ado, return with me to the land of Oz, where I'm about to get some direction, make some friends, and do battle with Evil Witch Hormonees.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Off to See the Wizard

Forgive me readers, for I have been a slacker. It has been six days since my last blog session. Yes really. I was a slacker. No other excuse offered, other than I just did not feel like laying fingertips to keyboard; however, I was very busy trying to get all that SLEEP I had committed to this week. Sleeping seven and a half hours a day is actually harder than you'd think. Do you realize that adds up to fifty-two and a half hours a week?! That means you spend two days out of seven with your eyes closed--eight days out of every 28 visiting the Sandman!

I have to say, those numbers just make me want to sleep less. After all, life is short, and I have a lot to get done! I'm already two weeks behind on my spring cleaning thanks to my sore ankle, so this week, I've got a boat load of projects to catch up on, not to mention, I'm supposed to start SLOWLY back to aerobics. Anyway, the conclusion on the sleep issue, is that I will record sleep accomplished in my tracker along with points, and shoot for 50 hours a week, but that's about the best I can do.

Well, the highlight of my week was finishing the final chapters of "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" with my three year old. I don't know if you've ever actually read L. Frank Baum's original work, but it is a delight, with a lot of variations from the Hollywood version. What I have really always loved about that story though--Hollywood or Baum--is that everyone in the story already HAD what they were looking for.

For instance, the Scarecrow wants brains, but he's really the thoughtful one in the group anyway. The Tin Woodsman (who little Wade insists is a robot) wants the Wizard of Oz to give him a heart, though he's already so caring, he cries and rusts if he accidentally steps on a bug. Then there's the lion, who's supposedly a coward who dreams of being king of the forest, but in the book especially, he acts courageously throughout the entire adventure. And Dorothy, Dorothy just wants to go home, which is where she was to begin with.

The story must have dug its way into my subconscious, because Friday night I went to bed early because it was just SOOOO freezing cold (and also because I wanted to eat the entire contents of my refrigerator, and I was practicing escapism through slumber) . . . anyway, on Friday night, I had some dream. In my dream, a freak southern blizzard swept me off my Wii Balance Board and into a magical land full of exercise equipment. Unfortunately, my hefty self landed in the middle of a treadmill field right on top of the Wicked Nutrisystem Witch, who was busy harvesting chubby Munchkin sweat.

Let's just say, that particular Witch won't be doing any more info-mercials. Having harvested Nutri-Witch's ruby sneakers, I asked the munchkins how I could go about getting skinny again.

O.k. and this is where I commence slacking. Another words, to be continued. My sugar free hot cocoa is ready, and I have a scrap book page to finish. So. See you again tomorrow night for another journey into the strange, strange world that is my subconscious mind.

Your homework, and super bonus question for the night: Why did Dorothy ACTUALLY throw the water on the Wicked Witch of the West? Was it:
a) she thought the witch hadn't bathed in a while
b) the scarecrow was on fire
c) she was ticked off that the witch was trying to rip off her favorite shoes
d) she wanted to find out if "green" was really an ethnicity in Oz

I think you'll be surprised!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Pinch the Grinch

Was it just last Sunday that I had myself worked into a frenzy over a gain of 0.2 pounds?! To encourage anyone who might be experiencing a plateau, last Sunday already seems like a million years ago, especially with today's news. Five pounds. I lost 5 pounds this week! That's like a sack of sugar or a bag of potatoes.

What is even more remarkable, are the circumstances of the week. As you all know, I'd had my wings clipped and was lazing about the house (ha-ha) in an air cast. Walking and aerobics were taboo for me this week; I just tried really hard to stick to my 28 points a day, and though I did end up using some flex points, I did not use as many as previous weeks.

Consequently, when I got on that scale today, I totally felt like the Grinch after he stole Christmas. Who's not familiar with that story? Enter Green Dude living on craggy mountain top, wearing clothes that directly communicate his lack of proximity to the Who-ville Wal-mart, and treating dog Max shamefully. Someone call PETA.

The plot advances. Grinch is bored and bitter; hence, engages in destructive behavior. No he does not eat all the Little Debbies in his cupboard, but he does burgle Who-ville's Christmas cache, right down to the last can of Who-hash. Then, with a fake sleigh piled about three stores high with holiday Who-hah, he schleps to a cliff and prepares to dump the garbage.

And that's when he hears them--all the Whos down in Who-ville SINGING even though they've been utterly fleeced. Thus commences the Grinch's moving monologue regarding the arrival of Christmas despite the absence of materialism and his subsequent conversion to star citizen and carver of the roast beast! That's kind of how I felt standing on the scale today.

But . . . but . . .
It left without sweating,
or getting up early!
Without bicep curling
Or getting all burly.
It left without leaping
It left without panting!
It left without push-ups
and subsequent ranting!
It left without leg-lifts
Or a Bo-flex by Fed-Ex
It left without lights from
Fleet paramedics!

Yes, it left without ALL
of the fore-mentioned headaches!

And all the folks down in Greenville say
That Shankspeare's huge hips
Dropped a dress size that day!

So yes, at last, it seems that the skinny-bug has pinched the Grinch. Mind you, I'm not giving up exercise. But I have learned that I'm not going to give up just because something might cause me to have to miss the activity I've planned. Eating well obviously goes a long way.

Reflection has also been very valuable this week. Though, I did take time to set short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals; in retrospect, I feel I may have set them a bit too rigorously in the long-term. Time will tell, but I need to remember this week and not guilt myself too much if I have to back off activity at some point in time--or maybe even take a week off. As for this next week, my ankle is feeling much improved. I'll still be taking it slow--no aerobics yet this week--just an easy one mile walk each morning with my air cast on.

If anything, this week has trumpeted the virtues of rest, so this week's commitment will be to get seven and a half hours of sleep each night. Also, I will be making every sixth week of this year a week to reflect on and re-evaluate where I am on the journey to my skinny jeans. When I get there, I'm gonna put them on, do a happy-dance, and walk down to Who-ville to carve the roast beast.

And then I'm going to write down "Roast Beast" in my tracker, and carefully portion that Who-hash.

So, ah, exactly how many points ARE in Who-Hash, anyway?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Blogger's Block

I think I'm suffering from blog block, so bear with me everyone, while I TRY to post something this evening before falling into bed. I don't promise to be profound, original, or grammatically correct. It's only fair I warn you up front.

Let me start with a confession that will make you all feel my humanness. I totally had a ten point piece of ice cream cake tonight! I haven't had ice cream in six weeks, and absence does make the heart grow fonder (and the hips grow smaller . . .). What sweetened the deal further was that FATE brought the cake to me. Oh. Stop rolling your eyes. IT DID! I was sitting there minding my own business. I didn't get up and go to the dessert line. I turned around, and there it was--Hello Gorgeous! Four layers of cake and ice cream heaven with a little HALLELUJAH on top. Two hands extended the cake to me on a styrofoam plate, and at this time, I would like to thank the hands; and then apologize for not remembering to whom the hands belonged. All I saw was the cake.

Whew! Afterwards, I had a little sugar headache, but it was so worth it. Besides, what's a girl to do? It would have been rude to run shrieking from the cake--especially since the artist that crafted that scandal of a Carbohydrate Wonder was sitting right next to me. I had her feelings to think of . . .

Fortunately, I have used my tracker religiously this week, so all was not lost. In fact, I've really done great this week, in spite of doctor's orders to rest, elevate, and icepack (BTW, bought more frozen veggies; mercifully, they are mute). To compensate for my evenings on the couch, I have been eating JUST my 28 points. Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday were flawless; and today, after my pork BBQ sandwich, my coleslaw, and my southern-style sweet potato casserole, I came out right at 28. That piece of cake marked my first use of flex points all week long. I'm feeling good about that.

And while we're throwing around pixie dust and happy thoughts, last night I got on the Wii Balance Board and did a body check. Though its manners haven't improved in the least (I was still lightly informed that I was heavy), my BMI had dropped into the low 33s, and I weighed in at 195 and change. I've got to believe that means good things for Mondays meeting, and it definitely serves as motivation to keep on keeping on through the weekend.

So now that I have bull-dozed through tonight's blogger's block, I will succumb to sleep, and only hope tomorrow finds me less tempted by delightful desserts and far, far more poetic.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Me, Myself, and the Icepack

Well, it is official. I am a hopeless multi-tasker! I say this, because after a Tuesday morning trip to the doctor, and a two week condemnation to minimal activity, I suffer from a complete inability to just sit on the couch and do nothing. Now, during the day, there is really not a thing I can do to switch the setting on my hamster wheel to "slow"; I just gimp along as best I can at "lightspeed," hoping not to fall onto my nose. However, in the interests of being a partially compliant patience, I have determined to put the children to bed at 7:30 this week, and spend my evenings quietly, with an icepack on my elevated foot, enjoying some television.

Last night, as I prepared to carry out the first evening of my resolution, I discovered my fatal flaw. With the best of intentions, I got out my make-shift ice pack: a bag of frozen veggies. Then, I proceeded to spend the next thirty minutes piling the coffee table with projects to do while convalescing, and thus allowing my ice pack to melt. I returned it to the freezer, retrieved a fully frozen replica, and settled into my sick bed. There, with my foot above the level of my heart and propped on 12 ounces of mixed corn, peas, carrots, and green beans--I picked up my first project. I figured if I had to lie around all evening, I should at least be accomplishing something during commercials. See? Hopeless.

To add insult to injury, after all that preparation, I didn't get anything done anyway, because I fell asleep. My first self-appointed task was to read this week's Weight Watcher's booklet: Habits of Successful Members. They really do provide wonderful self-help materials, if you take the time to read them, and if you stay awake while you read. After browsing the first couple of pages, I took pencil in hand, and began to take the "Habits Profile Quiz."

First statement. "I always seem to put the needs of others before my own needs." Let's see. I'm the first one up. Last one to eat. Last one to pee. Haven't finished a book intended for an adult audience since my firstborn. Yep. Check.

Second statement. "I don't like to throw away leftovers." Hmm. What's in the line-up? Wade's leftover shredded wheat, uncrusted P&J from lunch, abandoned casserole from dinner, and if somebody doesn't hurry up and eat this cake, it's gonna go bad. That would be a crime against heaven. And hasn't the dog finished that kibble yet? Ahh! What am I doing? Guilty--yes, so guilty.

Third statement. "I eat more when I'm unhappy, angry, or stressed." Three words. Cookie. Moosetracks. Chocolate. The prosecution rests. Case closed.

And the list goes on. I rarely have time to myself. I usually put my own needs at the bottom of the list of what's important. I have high expectations of myself. I eat for comfort.I always expect to do well, and get very disappointed if I don't. I often give in to food cravings. I feel unlikely to succeed at weight loss. I'm very strict with myself. If I slip up even a little, I will give myself a hard time.

The parade of accuracies must have exhausted me, because soon I was asleep, and reading to my ice pack. Imagine my surprise when the cheeky little thing spoke up.

"Eating can be a problem for me." I read out loud.

"Naw, really?" said the icepack. "What was your first clue? The permanent necklace under your chin or the cinnamon buns you're propped up on?"

"Hey!" I sputtered, but the ice pack paid no attention.

"Keep reading," it said.

"If certain foods are around, I can't help but eat them."

"Yeah, honey. You need an armed guard in the frozen dairy isle."

"I do not!" I said, indignant now.

"Really. What about that bag of chips you bought--TWICE--for the family's road trip. If I recall, there were still no chips at the time of departure. Read on."

"In certain situations, I don't feel sure I can stay motivated."

"Guess this bum ankle is gonna be the end game this time, huh?" asked the ice pack.

"What are you talking about?" I said. I propped myself up on my elbows, only to find the ice pack smirking at me. I never knew vegetables could smirk.

"Well, it's always something with you," said the ice pack. You quit, because you didn't lose the weight the book said you should; or you didn't lose the weight your friend did; or it's your birthday and you shouldn't have to be on a diet on your birthday; or you got sick and you'll never catch up for the lost time now; or you followed Santa's bad example and ate everybody's cookies and now you're definitely on the naughty list; or--"

"All right! All right! I get your point!" I moved my foot off the ice pack. "But it's gonna be different this time."

"Ooohhhh," said the ice pack, dripping condensation and sarcasm. "Sure it is. I'm sorry. I'm just the stupid pack of veggies, icing the foot that's gonna keep you from making any progress for the next two week or MORE!"


"Really?" it said.

"Yes, REALLY."

When I woke up, I had kicked my ice pack onto the floor, and though it now lay in a comforting heap of inanimateness, what the dream revealed to me about how I saw myself, where I went for comfort, and how I had undermined my own efforts again and again, haunted me.

I decided right then and there, that things WERE going to be different this time. Immediately, I picked up my calendar and began planning my recovery. I was going to expect set-backs and have a plan to overcome them. By ten, I'd finished planning the short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals for exercise that I was supposed to plan out last week. I don't expect to be perfect, but I am going to PERSIST.

And what about that cheeky bag of vegetables, you ask? Let's just say, I took care of them. They are silenced forever.

Num. Num.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Lessons from a Swaddled Child

Up 0.2 pounds. Not at all what I wanted to hear, even though the woman behind the counter placed a furtive hand at the corner of her mouth and whispered, "Oh honey, you could lose that the next time you ti-ti!" No, I was not comforted in the least, and my emotions began to run a deep-seated gambit from disappointment, to fear, to frustration, to just plain miffed.

I was so miffed, in fact, that I left my program materials on the counter at WW. About the time I discovered this and launched off into a miniature hissy fit, I received a phone call from WW confirming my state of brainless derangement. Stomping off to the van with my purse in tow, the full state of my negativity manifested itself verbally, as I announced to my husband: "I'm an idiot. A FAT idiot." And then I did something perfectly rational for a hurting child in a state of hysteria. I called my mother.

Truth be told, it has not been an easy week. As you may have noticed, I have only blogged twice, and Thursday night's entry was a fair reflection of the week's mood. I have encountered some speed bumps that really have nothing to do with my own self-determination, but rather, factors that I cannot control. These factors involved a minor injury and exhaustion.

That's right, I was just plum-tuckered-out, and I felt it every day, all week long. I didn't want to get out of bed to walk. I was ready to nap with the kids every day at high noon (though they rarely coordinated their naps so that I could do so), and by Friday I was in a tearful slump and surrounded by so much unfinished work, I didn't know where to begin. All I wanted to do was sleep.

At this point, my still tired mind could wander in several directions--the kind friend who let my kids spend the night with her Friday while I did some catching up, the wonderful conversation I had with my mom (after I got done bawling), or how our fears can stop us in our tracks if we let them, but I think I'm going to settle on a simple thought I had while caring for the children this week.

While talking with my mom this afternoon, she made me laugh when she informed me that the quivery-lip pose is definitely not my best look. Let's face it. It's not anybody's best look. I have had some adorable infants in my care, but when their faces are beet red and screwed up into a roiling stew of indignation, they are considerably less cute. Usually, they are tired, or hungry, or messy, or just plain ticked off; however, the more they scream and squirm, the more difficult it is to calm them, and provide them with whatever it is they need. At this point, it often becomes necessary to swaddle the child. 99% of the time, your efforts are not appreciated.

The process goes something like the following: Lay child on stretchable blanket with head placed in one corner; hold child's left arm down, draw blanket over torso, and tuck beneath back; repeat on right side; and finally, wrap excess around child's feet and tuck under bum. When you begin, the child is normally irate beyond belief; however, when you've finished, you are often rewarded with a surprising calm. The child is secure, and their options have now been limited to eliminating gas (had to mention that one, realistically), eating, sleeping, or looking up into your face.

Today, I had some lessons to learn from that child. I was pitching my best fit. I was tired of being tired; I was ticked off because my extremely sore ankle was slowing me down; and I was past annoyed with these fatalistic elements that were keeping me from my goals. My hands were tied, and I was walking with a gimp, and . . . that's when I realized, I'd been swaddled. The One who was in control of it all, had noted my noisy anxiety, and He had limited my movements to resting, taking nourishment, and looking into His face.

So that's where I am. If I gave you the week's report card, it wouldn't look great. I fell short in a lot of places, and my homework is not done; however, the reason it's not going to matter, is because I'M NOT GOING TO STAY HERE. I'm going to maintain what I've accomplished, but I'm also going to take this week to appreciate the journey thus far and to re-evaluate the journey to come. I'm going to rest, eat carefully, and look up.

But be warned.

When the swaddled child gets done eating, or sleeping, or bonding; they're ready to GO, GO, GO! And there's no stopping them.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Angels and Demons

For those fiction fans out there, forgive my passing reference to the currently crazed Dan Browne movement, and join me again at my aerobics class, where recycling Dan's book title seems best to suit my needs. The crisis: the necessary destruction of my rear-facing adiposity. The setting: the church's old and cold gymnasium. The angel: My friend Cindy. The demons: My own, my very own, offspring.

We arrived behind the gymnasium at 5:28, with two minutes to spare before the class's official opening comments. The feeling of a routine was beginning to emerge among the children and I, so I left them behind briefly to unload and unfold the pack n' play inside the gym. I then returned, released the three year old from his carseat, and watched him pull his Thomas Tank Engine rolling backpack into the gym. In the meantime, I had unfastened his sister from her five point harness, only to discover that the plot had thickened. "Rank" only begins to describe the scent delegated to my nostrils through her two layers of winter clothing.

By the time I finished changing the recalcitrant receptacle of bio-hazardous waste, it was 5:31, and the strength training portion of the workout was about to begin. Though I felt chagrined to have missed my opportunity for a warm-up with the other ladies, my optimism held.

And then I had to take my son to the bathroom. He was surprisingly time efficient, and upon our return, I had only missed "mountain climbers," and as I am not much into scaling great heights quickly while maintaining a parallel relationship to the hard floor, I shed no tears.

A couple of minutes later, the group reached a section of stretch band exercises, and I realized that I had missed getting my stretch band whilst supervising the recent bathroom break. Consequently, off to the gear closet I went to get a spare band. I returned just in time to do bicep curls, when I was intercepted by my son, who had excavated a banana from my purse (intended for an after-class family treat), and insisted upon its being opened immediately. His sister saw the banana, and began to reach for it, so I instructed him to share.

Moments later, Maggie's cries of distress distracted me, and I ran over to find that her brother's definition of sharing was to toss the 2nd unopened banana into the pac n' play. I opened it for her, and she was content--apparently more offended at the inaccessibility of the banana than the insult of having food tossed at her like an monkey in a cage.

For about ten minutes, both mouths were full and kept full, so all was well; but just as my heart rate began to rise to an optimum level with the onset of the aerobic portion of the workout, Wade appeared at the front of the gymnasium, standing there authoritatively as if he were about to lead the jumping jacks. He cupped his hands to his mouth and shouted at me, "Momma! I have to go POOOOOOOPY in the potty!"

Once again, I sprang from the class, dragging all three feet and three years behind me. After setting him on the toilet to take care of his business, I ran sprints across the six foot bathroom, hoping to keep my heart rate high. When we returned, I directed him to the train he had brought with him to play with, and ran back to my position, where a new set of exercises had commenced.

I spent the next three exercises watching my daring demon, squirrel back and forth between the ball closet and the pac n' play, each time carrying a new ball with him. At one point I caught his eye and mouthed "No!" but he pretended not to see me, and not wanting to leave the class again, I vowed to address the disciplinary situation directly after class. Somewhere between ball 9 and 12, he emerged with a softball
. . . which he threw at his sister's head.

The onset of a new chorus of screams caused me to move forward with a more immediate plan of disciplinary action, following which, I tried to comfort my daughter and then return to class. She wanted nothing to do with the later, and cried with excessive determination. Her incendiary objection echoed throughout the gymnasium, at which point I gave audible expression to my heartfelt exasperation: "Why do I even TRY?!"

Enter the angel. My friend Cindy is a joy to know, and believe me, you can't be around her, and not know her, because her enthusiasm for life and God are infectious. When excitement overtakes Cindy, her charismatic expressions make everyone around her smile; and confronted with pessimism, she is the first one to point a finger toward heaven and take the first steps in that direction. Yes, on this day, she was definitely my angel. She looked me in the eye and said, "Don't you let your mind be filled with thoughts like that!" and then she jogged from the group, picked up Maggie, and ran laps with her until the next exercise, which was one that Maggie could pretend to participate in.

Ten minutes later, I was encouraged, Maggie was back in the pack n' play along with her brother, and I had hope of finishing class without further incident. However, more screaming ensued, and casting an embarrassed glance at my children yet again, witnessed Wade knock his sister over and proceed to lay on his back and kick her. I could not believe my eyes. My children are by no means perfect, but 80% of the time, they are fairly well behaved.

I picked Maggie up, promised her brother consequences, and proceeded to run my final laps around the gym with my daughter tossed over my shoulder like a sack of potatoes. To make matters more comic, the instructor's CD had begun to skip sporadically throughout the class's final minutes. The auditory mahem, combined with the class's confused steps, and my childrens' misbehavior created anything but utopia.

But who lives in utopia? Not me, that's for sure. I live up there. Right up there in those paragraphs you just read--with the angels and the demons. We all have our demons (mine aren't usually my kids)--our schedules, our bosses, our bills, our dreams on hold, our failures--just life. We all have our angels too--the people who encourage us and cheer us on. The people who read our blogs. =)

But in order to have angels, there have to be people who choose to BE angels. Who have I encouraged today? Who's low-hanging head have I been the one to lift-up with a hug or a few well-spoken words? Who's dragging south beach have I been the one to light a fire under with a little inspiration?

In the meantime, take your demons to the ball closet and have an old fashioned heart-to-heart with them, do not pass go, do not take them to McDonald's on the way home. Put them to bed early, and next week on the way to aerobics, remind them that cheese-burger-less-ness is not a good way to be. Unless you're me.

And maybe, just maybe, next week your demons will act a little more . . . like angels.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Epic Epiphany a Day Late

The epiphany. The discovery. The light. The revelation. Everyone's story has one--some many more than others--but everybody has at least one. Me? I had one on Monday whilst sitting in my weight watchers meeting.

So why are you only hearing about it today? Well, DUH! Don't you know it's bad luck to have an epiphany on Monday?! Then what does the rest of the week have to aspire too? Anyway, before I begin explaining my proverbial "light bulb poised above head" experience, I am excited to announce the extermination of another 2.6 of my pounds. My total loss is now 4.2 pounds. Next week could be extremely important to me, since I will likely hit the 5 pound mile marker (that's half way to 10!!!) and also get under 200 pounds. Baby steps!

Now, on to the epiphany. If you'll recall, last Monday wasn't exactly great for me. This valley came as a surprise, because I had just finished my stay on the little black scale, and learned that I'd been successful in the week's endeavors. Then I spent the rest of the day feeling like a ravening wolf--hungry and irritable. As last week's blog will attest, I chalked these feelings up to an emotional low, but yesterday, as the group's leader talked about "filling" foods, I really did see the light.

We were instructed to look at the previous days tracker and place a diamond next to all the foods we had eaten that WW considers "filling." These foods include whole grains, lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy. Looking at Sunday's tracker, most of my foods had been filling, and in direct correspondence no doubt, the day had been positive.

And then I thought about last Monday, and I pulled out last weeks tracker. Less than half of the items I had eaten that day were filling. For breakfast, I'd had a bowl of Rice Crispies, since that's what the rest of the family was eating. However, by lunchtime when my body was communicating to me a desperate need for something filling, I responded with emotionalism. It wasn't that my choices were dead AWFUL, they just weren't filling; consequently, the day's struggles did not improve.

So live and learn, right? Tonight, on my way home from aerobics, I really, really thought I wanted a cheeseburger, but then I thought about the exercise I had just survived, how many points I had left, and what I had learned from last Monday, and I drove by McDonald's without stopping. Instead, I pulled through a Bi-Lo and picked up an avocado (one of my favorites!) and a can of salmon in water. Then I came home and fixed these two filling foods over a bed of lettuce and tomato, alongside a serving of spaghetti and tomato sauce.

That was more than two hours ago, and I'm still feeling satisfied. I doubt the cheeseburger would still being hanging around . . . well, maybe around my mid-section, but that's about it.

And here's a deeper thought for you. How much of our lives are REALLY filling? I mean, we're definitely great at running around like dismembered cockroaches (don't tell PETA where I live), but how many of the things that we cram into our days are really that FILLING. When we finish the day, can we say we took time to make someone feel special, or important, or noticed. Did we hear our children? Did we encourage our loved ones? Did we notice the sun shining in on our chaos?

So there's my epiphany. I'm not just going to EAT filling foods; I going to live a full life. If that means letting the dish water get cold to help my daughter find all the teddies in her favorite book, the water is gonna get cold. If that means leaving the tub un-scrubbed until tomorrow, so I can read another chapter of the Wizard of Oz to my son, the tub is going to wait.

In the mean time, I have bad news for Snap, Crackle, and Pop. The economy just got bad for foods that evaporate before they reach the stomach.

Guys: . . . you're fired.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Should Have Named Him Simon

He's caustic. He's cynical. He's arrogant and annoying, though systematically and statistically correct. He is Simon Cowell.

Now, even if you've never watched or followed a season of American Idol (I did one year, because there was a guy from Greenville, SC in the contest), you have to be practically cut off from all news of any kind never to have at least seen some excerpt of Simon reading someone the riot act after a performance. Yes, on the stage stands some poor star-struck performer, having just sung his heart out, only to be drawn and quartered by the show's legendary lemon.

This morning, I thought perhaps, just perhaps, my son had been misnamed. After dressing the children for church and setting them down to breakfast, I retreated to my room with a second cup of coffee, to dress for service and to attempt a revival of my features that would spare my church family that morning look that we all love to pretend we don't actually have. On whim, I decided to try on a dress that hadn't fit me correctly at all eight weeks ago.

To my great delight, it buttoned without behest! Its fold lay naturally upon my person! Could it be that all this counting and exercising was paying off?! Strutting proudly from my boudoir, I asked the children--"Doesn't mommy look nice?" It wasn't really a rhetorical questions, but my husband was gone to work. I just had to ask someone for affirmation, and kids are usually a pretty safe bet.

And that's when my son turned Simon on me. He said, "No Mommy. That dress doesn't look nice at all. Go put on another one."

OY.VE. My new found self-esteem crushed utterly, I went back to the bedroom and did as my three year old had commanded me. Perhaps this seems pathetic, but I was unsure which perspective of his opinion to take. Paula would have told me I looked great and that I should embrace my new dress with confidence. She would have told me that little Simon was young and foolish. Randy would have congratulated me for having courage to try something new, but then he would have reminded me that "out of the mouths of babes."

Consequently, I left for church wearing a long plum-hued dress that passed the judgement of the highchair panel. Maybe I'll try this week's rejection again a couple Sundays from now. After all, there can be no doubt that I am making some progress. Once again, I am eagerly anticipating my Monday Weight Watchers meeting. This week has gone quite well after the Monday slump, and thus far, I have stuck to my guns and still have more than half of my flex points left, even after eating out at a pizza buffet.

Here are my grades for the week. For multi-vitamin--an A. For water--a B (not so much for lack of drinking, but for lack of writing it down, which is important for me). For Weight Watchers--A plus. And finally, for walking--a C--though in my defense, I think I deserve some copious extra credit. I only walked 5 miles, instead of the proposed 8 to 10; however, I did attend 3 grueling sessions of aerobics, and that aught to count for something.

My commitment for week #5 has to do with a little homework. This week I am going to create some short term, mid-term, and long term goals for myself in regards to nutrition and exercise, which I must then report to you next week, and make myself accountable. In addition, I'll give last week's commitment another try.

So Simon. Just wait until you see me next week. I've got my eye on the skinny jeans, and I've got what it takes.

Friday, January 8, 2010


Sounds sinful doesn't it? But truth be told, I'm finding that soup is one of my best friends. Northern bean and ham: 5 points; ham hock soaked in split peas: 3 points; chicken and veggie: 2 points; stewed tomato and quinoa: 1 point; veggie rich in chicken broth: no points at all. Yet, everyone of these soups--mainly because they're water based--is very filling; though the fact that most of these soups' ingredients are "filling" foods, also makes them remarkable. Imagine eating two bowls of soup for dinner and feeling full, all for five points or less!

Now keep in mind, these are water based soups, and also, not the canned kind. I've always liked to make soup, but with my grandma in town, I've been watching over her shoulder and picking up some new tricks--garlic in chicken soup with loads of carrots and celery--otherwise known in our family as Jewish penicillin. Nyquil brand just doesn't make anything like that for a cold. Also, I've learned to use cabbage or rice to fill out a thin broth.

So why this obsession with soup? Well, first off, you're all well aware by now that I LIKE to eat. It's been that way for about . . . oh . . . 31 years. The girls nearest my dorm room in college thought my life Scripture verse was "O taste and see that the Lord is good." Oh yes. I took that one QUITE literally.

However, there's also some family history involved. Many times, I heard my grandpa say in his joking way, "Never marry a woman who can't make soup!" Silly and memorable, I still smile to think of it, but as I later found out, he had a reason for feeling that way. I learned that, in the beginning was George, Pat, and a pot of soup. If there had been no soup, there might not have been George and Pat; if there had been no George and Pat, there would have been no Deb; and if there had been no Deb, there sure wouldn't have been any me. Apparently, I owe soup a lot.

Now I'm going to be honest. I know. You're all terribly surprised by this. The fact is, I'm feeling lazy tonight. I've exercised my little self into a state of exhaustion and still have aerobics in the morning, so I'm going to copy and paste a short section of a memoir I have been working on since my grandfather's passing last February. It's been part of how I've dealt with my own personal grief, but I share it now with you here. Ladies and gentlemen: the Soup Story.

"I enjoyed thinking about this scenario for a while [had been discussing how they had met]--the first time they saw each other, what they might have said, and how one thing must have let to another, because soon George found himself on the front stoop of the Prinz home stead, dressed to the nines and pushing daisies.

To say that society has lost something with courtship is no small understatement. Pat had made soup to quietly suggest her culinary panache, and the family was all gathered for an early interrogation of this prospector, vying for the affection of the clan's youngest daughter. After the suitor had been shown in and offered a place in the parlor, the women had huddled behind the kitchen's swinging half door, peeking and whispering. Hadn't she been lucky to catch this one home for dinner? He was 25, after all, and handsome didn't hurt either.

Meanwhile, in the parlor, guns were not present, just implied. "So you have a job, George? How long have you been in the Navy? Do you have a criminal rec-I mean, have you stayed out of trouble? Do you drink George? And you're 24, you say? What exactly are your intentions for a 16-year-old girl?

And so it went until dinner was announced, at which point the Manish Inquisition ended, and civility was tucked into place along with napkins after Mr. Prinz said grace. Most likely, this civility was more for Pat's mother, than Pat. Mrs. Prinz was not the type of woman you wanted kicking you under the table. Conversation came and went between carefully swallowed spoonfuls. Pat glowed when she heard George's spoon scrape the bottom of his bowl, and he promptly asked for more. Everything seemed to have gone splendidly.

Later though, when good-nights had been said, and Pat went to clear George's dishes, she made the dread discovery. Under the edge of his bowl, where he had discreetly slipped it during dinner, was a stone from his soup. The beans had been carefully culled for tiny stones, prior to cooking, but one, it seemed, had slipped into the mix, and into George's bowl.

"Now he'll never come back!" Pat had wailed.

But he had, the next week, and the next. Until finally, after a July wedding, he started coming home every night for dinner. The soup just got better."

See? Soupendipity.

Behavior Management

So I'm Irish. I have an itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny, tiny-winy temper. Those that know me well are laughing right now, but it's true. I have been called compassionate and long-suffering. On some occasions, the gracious euphemism "patience of Job" has even been applied, of which, I might add, I am entirely unworthy. Nevertheless, neither am I prone to quickly letting previously mentioned Irish temper fly off the handle. It takes some pushing. But when I'm pushed to the edge--or rather OVER the edge--my husband and other loved ones will attest, ground zero is no place to be.

Such was the case yesterday, when I received a bill from my child's dentist for $68.00. This charge was stated to be for "Behavior Management." Here, some back story is required. My son is three. He grinds his teeth while sleeping (just like his daddy). Consequently, at his three year check up, it was concluded that the poor child would need crowns, because his front teeth were naught but stubs. These crowns were not covered by insurance, and were going to cost us $360.

Now understand, we had just passed through a very expensive spring. We had replaced the transmission in our van; our toilet had overflowed and soaked multiple rooms, thus requiring our carpet to be replaced; and because none of our ice-age-dated windows would open to properly vent the wet floors, those had to be replaced as well. In the words of Bing Crosby, the bill loomed somewhere "between ouch and boing!"

For this reason, we decided to save for three months to pay for the crowns in cash. Three months later, we visited accordingly, at which point, we were informed, they could not see him for the procedure for another three months, and that because we had waited, a pulpotomy might be necessary. This possible necessity was mentioned only lightly and in passing, neither was it explained at any length. Layman's terms PLEASE. I'm just a mom, and I may know many large words, but unfortunately, "pulpotomy" was not on my vocabulary list. In fact, spell check is informing me now, I don't even know how to spell it.

Well, on the day of the appointment, I arrived timely, but alone with the two children, and the drama unfolded. For those of you as lost as I was, a pulpotomy is a root canal. My poor baby had to have a root canal and then two crowns. To make matters worse, because I was alone and had my youngest with me as well, they informed me that I would not be allowed to go with him into the procedure. They used no sedation, only a local anesthetic in the gums. Naturally, the poor child was distressed, so they had to use a child's straight jacket--known in the dental world as a papoose.

The total experience was horrific. They brought him to me thirty minutes later, terrified, tearful, and extremely traumatized. To add insult to injury, with his two silver front teeth, he looked something akin to a white rapper. They gave him a little rubber bath fish for his trouble, and believe me, when you've had a morning like that, cheap toys just don't count for bling.

So, how does all this tie in. Well, yesterday, right before my aerobics class, I received the aforementioned bill. They were going to charge me $68.00 for the use of the papoose. My precipice had been reached. I picked up the phone, and with a terribly low degree of sanctification, told them I was not paying for the use of the trauma-inducing piece of equipment that they confirmed to have sanitized and used on their next poor victim. I must have been fairly formidable, because when the office manager called me back thirty minutes later, she had made the bill disappear.

I was now so very ready for aerobics. I was ready to sweat out my tension. I was ready to get it on, and since my hubby was supposed to be home in time to watch the children, I had especially been anticipating my sweat session through the day--ahhhh--a few moments of mental clarity and singular focus. And then. One of Wade's terribly responsible co-workers did not show up for shift (this happens habitually) and suddenly, the children were coming with me. Again.

Into the car we and all of our network went--the children, the diaper bag, my purse, the cups, the snacks, the toys, the coats, the pac n' play, etc., etc., etc. My sanity, however, I left on the front porch for sheer lack of space. We arrived on time, and my two aerobics programs commenced.

One, two, three, four! Jump, run, sweat, pant.

"Mommy! my nose is running!" Jog over; wipe nose while jogging in place; return to position.
One, two, five, seven! Jump, trip, sweat, lurch.

"Mommy! Maggie dumped the cookies!" Jog over; jog in place while bent at 20 degree angle to pick up cookies; return to position.

"Mommy! I have to go potty!" Jog over; take child out of pack and play; jog to bathroom; jog in front of stall while directing child to pee while standing (since he's actually tall enough now). Stupid mommy. Jog in place while cleaning up mess; child's skill level at directed activity is currently at blind gardener level. Return child to pack n' play. Return to position.

I am now too out of breath to count aloud. I try to stay at least six steps behind the instructor while watching her with one eye and my children with the other. I step out of rank yet another time to instruct one child not to stand on the other.

And about now I'm thinking that I really WOULD pay good money for behavior management.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Drumroll Please . . .

Yesterday, at approximately 10:00 a.m., I stood on the confidential black scale in front of the plate glass Weight Watchers windows, and was informed that I had lost 1.6 lbs. Can I just say, I love meetings? They all cheered and carried on like I had lost 10. I got a bookmark to keep future "Bravo!" stickers on and also a free WW snack bar. Nummy. Only 2 points.

After I left the meeting, I thought to myself, well, it's not much, but it's a start--and hey, if I lose 1.6 pounds every week for a year; it could add up! So, I'm not sure what exactly what happened then, but I proceeded to have one of my most challenging days on the program thus far. I wanted to eat, and I wanted to eat big. I heard my inner sumo wrestler crying out: "Me want meat! Me want carbs! Me want chocolate! Me want the WHOLE BOX!"

But ME stuck to the program with the exception of using my last two flex points of the week on chocolates from my stocking. I could, and most likely will, discuss at length my propensity for stress eating and emotional eating, but for now, let it suffice to say that having the kind of day I had on Monday, and ONLY eating those two chocolates was a remarkable victory for me. I've seen days when a Monday like that would have called for a second dinner and a triple scoop sundae, but this Monday was different, and at this time I would like to thank the friend who thought to send me a bag of oranges and a note of encouragement at a most dire hour indeed!

History is rife with characters who pass through mountain top and valley experiences, and I believe that is what I experienced Monday; however, since most of my valley experiences are directly related to lack of sleep, I made it a point to be poised over my pillow by a quarter after ten last night. This morning, I did not get up and walk (explanation to follow), ignored the world until eight o'clock, and thus, indulged myself.

Alas, I paid a price for my frivolity. I woke to the sound of children banging on doors. My daughter had shut herself in her brother's room, wet herself through her pajamas, and in revenge, had dumped an entire bucket of legos all over the floor. My son had taken himself to the potty and was now stuck behind the closed door, because he is not yet coordinated enough to hold his half-dropped drawers and open the door at once. You see, he wanted to visually inform me of a poop streak in his pull-up. Very thoughtful of him.

However, though I did start the day behind the curb, I still managed to do that "thang" I do, feed everyone a 4:30 snack, pre-prepare dinner, dress everyone for a new outing, load the car, and have my last charge of the day all ready to go home with mommy. And where were we going, you ask? Had you been there to see the preparations--the sweatpants, the high impact unmentionables, the tennis shoes, the IBU profen, etc, you would have no doubt deduced one thing. Aerobics, my dear Watson.

In addition to the Jitsu of the Walker, I have chosen to embrace an unplanned-for opportunity. A local aerobics instructor is using the gymnasium of our church in which to teach her class; consequently, the female members of the church have been invited to join in sans registration fee. So, as fortune certainly does seem to favor the bold, I signed up before I had a chance to scare myself out of the idea.

Pre-fright and flight might have been appropriate, because after this evening's initial session, I might have unwittingly become part of Europe's next traveling sensation: the lame Irish. The workout was set primarily to music of a Celtic flavor, and the footwork had many of us toe-tangled to say the least. Those in the class who actually had their acts together will never make the cut. They'll just have to stay in Greenville and recruit the next round of unsuspecting celebrities.

Can I say that the gym was also sub-temperature? Apparently, it had been assumed that a gym full of so many hot, sweaty women would not require any heat. AT ALL. Thus, the instructor had no need to issue a warm-up order as every one was already obeying the natural impulse to jog in place, hop up and down, and run in small circles. These maneuvers, combined with our general measure of kinetic incompetence created quite a show. I can see the billboard advertisement now! Who needs "Lord of the Dance" when you can pay good money to see "Horde of Sweat Pants" and not forgetting it's sequel "Shiver Pants."

Yep. We'll all be rich, and then I can hire a personal trainer, and lose my 1.6 pounds a week while foregoing public humiliation. In the meantime however, I'll be back in the gym on Thursday for another rehearsal.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Jitsu of the Plus-Sized Momma

I'll never forget my first encounter with Naruto. My husband was watching the Cartoon Network, and for those of you unfamiliar (as I was), Naruto is a young ninja, training to be a warrior. At least, that's what he is to the best of my understanding. He and all his high energy comrades-in-arms, leap about, whilst fighting formidable enemies with their "jitsus." I admit, I really don't get it, but the best my western mind can do with it, is "Go, go Gadget Lightning Eyes!" or "Go, go Gadget Super Fists."

Every time Naruto gains understanding and use of a new "jitsu," he becomes a more powerful warrior. So, with that in mind, it is time for the Jitsu of the Plus-Sized Momma. It's time for me to make my Week 4 Commitment.

First though, let me report. Here's this week's report card.
Jitsu of the Multi-vitamin: A plus
Jitsu of the Water: A-
Jitsu of the Weight Watcher: A plus, plus. Stayed on target daily, and still have 3 flex points left.

This week, I introduce to you the Jitsu of the Walker. Last Monday, I got started with my first laps up and down our street, which I did hint at in one of this week's blogs. I'll admit, I wanted to get a head start as exercise remains a key struggle for me. I tend to hold a grudge against it, as you've read. And when I expend all that energy against my will, and gain weight, I respond in a matter very similar to Naruto's. My eyes get unrealistically large and blood shot, and I get really ticked off. Sometimes, things get broken--though in my conscious recollection, I have not thrown about any animals or people.

Consequently, I decided to start quietly, and to try to attach the activity to something that was much more deeply important to me: prayer.

The results were good. I used the Jitsu of the walker five mornings this week and walked six miles total. This week, I'm shooting for two miles on 4 to 5 mornings. Somewhere in the recesses of my heart, I hope to seek something more ambitious--say, the Jitsu of the Runner--however, it is much, much to soon to entertain those hopes. First of all, I am not exactly at peak in the cardio department, and second, I'm not sure running about and heaving in great breaths of 15 to 25 degree air is a great idea. I can't get fit with pneumonia!

So, WEEK FOUR COMMITMENT: Walk four to five mornings this week, for a total of 8 to 10 miles by Saturday night. Continue taking a daily multi-vitamin, drinking 6 to 8 glasses of water daily, and following the WW guidelines.

Wow. This Jitsu stuff is pretty cool after-all. What should I try next? I might become a powerful ninja afterall. Jitsu of the Snotty-nosed toddler. Jitsu of the exploded toy box. Jitsu of the coffee deficient zombie. Jitsu of the spit-up. Jitsu of the drooly drone. Oh yes. Not to forget the most powerful jitsu of all. The jitsu of the poopy diaper.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Point VonPoint

As as child, one of my favorite Sesame Street characters was Count VonCount, and I have to say, in this first week of assigning points to every little morsel that goes in my mouth, I'm feeling a strangely converging point of view with him. "Banana, two points, ha, ha, ha! Whole wheat bagel, four points, ha, ha, ha! Carrots! NO POINTS! HA! HA! HA!" You see what I mean?

Seriously though, as programs go, this one is EASY to follow. As busy as my days are, "easy" was a major qualifications, and this program is quick, flexible, and sensible. Another point (pun intended) I am liking, is the fact that you get paid points for exercise. I get 1 to 3 points for my morning walks depending on how long they are, and for more strenuous, gut wrenching, sweat-like-a-pig kind of affairs, as many as 10 points! Now for that kind of compensation, I'll turn the Wii on after 8:00 and "just dance!" my little heart out. Nine points, ha! ha! ha!

So with the introduction, I'll move quickly onto the day's confessions. Yesterday, though you did not hear from me, I was on track, finishing the day with 28 points. Today, I committed my first major trespass of the week, and the trespass occurred in the form of a divine slice of triple-layer chocolate cream pie. Andrea outdid herself. Unfortunately, 353 calories and 16 grams of fat translate into a 10 point penalty. 10 points! Ha! Ha! Oooh . . . .

However, the pie balanced out with a copious veggie plate (thank you Tammy and Lorraine), a 1 mile walk at a good clip, and an hour getting my groove on with "Just Dance!" 10 points back! Ha! Ha! Ha! So Madame Point VonPoint got through the day point for point, and still has 3 more left to eat before bed tonight.

And you know what else? I'm already feeling geared up for my Monday meeting. I'm looking forward to next week's new commitment, and little miracle that it is, I am seeing myself reach that 10 pound goal, and that 12 week mile marker of sticking with it--but more than that--a life effected by good choices. I want to see myself at 70 looking just as good, and being just as active, as my own grandmother is--enjoying her family; getting down on the floor to play with her great-grandkids.

So quick, somebody tell my balance board, I think I've gone and started visualizing the ideal me. What surprises me, is that it really doesn't seem associated with a number on a scale, or a number in the tag in the back of a dress. Health and vitality and availability to the ones I love, suddenly seem to trump a waist and hip measurement. Certainly, the two are directly associated, but the motivational elements change the equation drastically. They change the addends that equal success.

If success isn't dictated by a scale, but by a week of consistently good and healthful choices, success suddenly becomes readily and daily attainable. So, if after a week of following the WW plan, staying active, and keeping the personal commitments I've made for myself; I get on the scale and find that I've gained three pounds (as is typical of me), I've succeeded.

Number--shnumber! Ha! Ha! Ha!