Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Oh where, oh where has my little Blog gone . . .

So, as I've been a deliquent blogger, let's start off with something interesting. As of the Monday night meeting, I've officially lost 15.4 pounds! Only 4.6 pounds to go to my 10% goal of 20 pounds lost. Trouble is, that's about all there is to report.

Coffee. Oatmeal. Salad. Portions. Blog. It's all going pretty well, but you probably wonder where I've been. Well, to be honest, I'm starting to feel like I don't have a whole lot new to say. To begin with, all these changes were new and exciting. Now, though the results are exciting, the lifestyle changes are becoming . . . a lifestyle. I won't say I'm bored; just settling in.

Now the rest of my life has not been entirely unwritable; infact, my life has been such a tornado in the last two weeks, it ought to qualify as it's own aerobics program. After being in business for myself for almost six months, I finally have a full house as defined by the state of South Carolina. Every week day by 9:30am, there are six little people looking to me for everything from breakfast to boo-boos.

Statistically, I'm out of my mind. Between the hours of 8am and 5pm alone, I supervise 18 potty stops, change approximately 30 diapers, rock three infants through a total of 12 bottle feedings, pick up hundreds of toys, and sanitize the same surfaces more than 60 times. Add to the previous totals all the kisses, hugs, bandaids, stories, songs, hung artwork, horsey rides, snack handouts, zipped zippers, buttoned buttons, and tied shoe laces included in my daily paces--technically, I really should be in a coma. Perhaps this accounts for my current lack of evening creativity. Indeed, it has taken me almost two hours to write this much out of a pure sense of obligation.

After hours, my son offers sundry mental challenges with the to-be-expected quandries of an almost four year old. Monday night's series of brainbusters? "Mommy, what are (bum) cracks for? Why can't I see mine? Are cracks because of turd-les?" I really didn't even know what to say. I had to leave the room. It was just too much. This scenario is repeated almost daily. I honestly don't know where he gets this stuff. Maybe I should ask him. I might find some subject matter to save my blog.

Feel free to send me your ideas, and hang in there with me through this plateau in my creativity. Who EVER would have thought my BLOG would be stuck before the number on my scale. Ah well. Surprises like that are always pleasant. Thanks to my hubby, my grandma, my mom, and all you friends out there who make up my support group. I couldn't do it without you!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Pavlov's Mom

Pavlov. Pretty hard to make it through a psychology class without running into this guy. He was the one who offered poor, impressionable doggies nummy treats just to watch them drool. Then he started ringing a bell during the droolistic ritual, hoping to prove that this would create some kind of mental connection between bells and smells in the dogs, so that either stimulus would activate the slobber response.

Well known fact: Pavlov succeeded. Not so well known fiction: Pavlov first tested his theories on his dieting mother. To help her along, it seems he attempted to associate the utensil-to-mouth reflex with his every childhood cry. I'm here to tell you, his early hypothesis had something to them, because just as it's said that everytime a bell rings, an angel gets his wings; and everytime a baby laughs, a fairy is born;--everytime I put a fork to my lips, a baby burst into tears and requires my immediate attention.

I'm not recommending it as an official weight loss technique, but maybe I should. Get 4 to 6 kids in your house, Monday through Friday, 8 to 6, and your likelyhood of ever consuming calories in peace has decreased by a large percentile. Yesterday, for example, I finally managed to eat my breakfast--a long ago thickened and stickened bowl of oatmeal--at twenty of one in afternoon. By the time I sat down to a Valentine dinner with my husband that evening around seven, my points total for the day was at a grand total of FIVE.

Think of it! The markenting potential is huge! What should I call it? The Mouth Leach Diet? No. Maybe something more original like Restyled By Child or Redeemed by Screams. I can see the tabloids now: "Lose 50 pounds changing diapers!"

But seriously, there are some days--some weeks, infact--that I feel like it's impossible to enjoy a meal or snack without listening to a child whine, scream, or cry. When you're trying to be smart about what you eat, the whole screaming stigma places a lot of negative stress on eating. You're distracted from what you really want to taste and enjoy. You're tempted to rush through what you've carefully chosen to consume.

My current solution? Ix-nay on the multi-task-nay for just a few minutes. Most of the time, I just can't help multi-tasking, and it takes conscious effort NOT to do it, but for just the few minutes it takes me to eat my meal or snack, I try to remove myself from the caterwauling. I put up a babygate or close a door or crank a swing or wind a mobile. And then I tell myself to chew and taste each bite, because chances are good, nobody's going to suffer permanent damage to their psyche if I take five minutes to eat.

Again, returning to the topic of Monday's meeting, sometimes you have to make yourself a priority, because you can't take care of everyone else unless you take care of yourself. I'm bad at this, but I'm working on it. Actually, I practiced on Thursday night when I went out with my husband. We went to an Applebees for dinner, and I had done my homework. I knew already, exactly what I was going to order--a seven ounce sirlion, seasoned red-skinned potatoes, steamed vegetables, and a tall, cold Diet Coke.

Then the hostess walked us to a booth that was sandwiched between a wall and a family with a young baby about 4 months old. Across from our booth was a little two-seater table on which they had placed their carseat and all other baby accoutrements. For the first time in my thirty-one years, I asked for another table. The hostess was very accomodating, and seated us around the next corner at a table with no children in sight.

My sirlion arrived, and with great joie de vivre I lifted the firt morsel to my lips. Somewhere around the corner, a baby cried.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Who Unplugged My Chi?

First of all, I have to confess that today's blog tag did not come from somewhere deep in my soul, but rather from scream-induced deafness. You see, the last few days have not found the happy cloud to be residing over Best of Both World's Day Care. Much the contrary. No one wants to eat their green beans. No one wants to nap. No one wants to chew on colorful rubber blocks. Everyone wants to cry, and I'll admit, at several points in time--the universal "everyone" has included me.

However, I've had to contain myself. Parents don't think much of it, if they pull into a daycare and hear children crying inside--that is--as long as the children are in normal locations like exersaucers, bouncy seats, and bassinetts; and not hung from their toes by the ceiling fans. However, I fear I would lose business if I myself stood on the front porch with my favorite afghan, rubbing my eyes, and sobbing as if my teddy bear had been un-stuffed and my pacifier had been dropped into the garbage disposal.

Nevertheless, as my husband headed off to school this afternoon, and I attempted to say my goodbyes while holding one of four malcontents, he said something to me that was lost among the noise. What I though he said was "Your chi is unplugged." And I laughed and answered, "Your right, my chi IS unplugged." He looked at me funny and then at the baby I was holding. "No," he laughed. "I SAID, she lost her plug. Her pacifier is on the floor."

Despite the accidental nature of the thought, it got me back to the keyboard, which is where I've needed to be. As a friend of mine wrote on my wall, "You haven't posted since February 3rd! What's up with that!?"

Well, let me alliterate. What's up? Wizards, whizzing walls, and woeful whipper-snappers. First of all: Wizards. Remind me to leave the metaphors alone. I'm fatalistically drawn to them; however, they are exhausting. After typing on for days about my REM Remix of the Wizard of Oz, I think my creativity had done-gone and oozed out for the week. I missed my Sunday update, and that's a first.

Secondly, whizzing walls. Yep. My basement was leaking like an uncovered boy-child. Believe me. On Friday, I kept waiting for a cyclone to carry me off to Oz, but as the day wore on, I became convinced we would arrive by flood instead. It rained and it rained and it rained. And our poor basement, which has never been entirely sound, cried from ceiling to floor. I had six towels down, sopping it all up. My dutch oven was under a drip that dropped about six cups every two hours. I had been planning on running several loads of wash that day; however, I thought it unwise to run a dryer that was sitting in a puddle.

Very close to being that person previously described--the one standing on the porch soliloquizing about her cannibalized security animal--I called the calvary. My mother and grandmother arrived ready to lend a hand and leave with the laundry and half of my work load. The children were only too happy to spend the day with their grandmas. I spent the rest of the day juggling my remaining two charges, and trying to empty out the basement in preparation for the work that will most certainly have to be done. The moisture related issues wreaked havoc on my eyes, nose, and chest; and today I am still blowing and hacking.

Finally, let us address the issue of the woeful whipper-snappers. I went to aerobics last night; it was the only session I would be able to attend this week. Talk about Chis coming unplugged. My Maggie, who rarely cries, stood in the pak-n-play and HOWLED. You could hardly hear the instructor's boom-box over her vocal orchestration. It was a new arrangement from Off D. Handel amplified by the CHBC chamber gymnasium in Gee-Whiz Minor. The child composer's inspiration was said to have come from the injustice of being corralled during her mother's aerobic quest to lower her chances of diabetes and heart disease.

Nearby, my son dumped his 100 piece puzzle on the gymnasium floor. Keep in mind, this boy is the guy who spends hours at the dining room table at home, working intensely on puzzles. He loves them. Two minutes later, I hear him announce above his sister's screaming, "I be done with this puzzle now." I wanted to cry. I was ready to pack them all up and go home, and honestly, if it hadn't been for a very nice lady from my church insisting that she would sit with them while I exercised, I would have.

But I won't lie. It was extremely discouraging, and I called my mother on the way home, bewailing my lot and asking her how I was ever going to accomplish fitness in this current state of insanity. Rain and red lights and realism. They almost got me. If I hadn't gone to my meeting on Monday, I would have been in trouble. In the meeting we had talked about making ourselves priority when it came to accomplishing our health goals, and in addition, we received a copy of Weight Watchers weekly to take home.

The article that caught my eye was "A Little Help from your Friends," and in that article, four different types of helpful friends were described. One of those types of friends was called "The Straight Shooter." This person "tells you exactly what she thinks, and there's no fooling her. She demands the best of you, so that's what you give her. And she inspires you to be more honest and forthright with yourself and others." She also "might suggest that you replace your unhelpful actions with healthier ones."

I called my Straight Shooter. I called my mom. She does tell me what she thinks--though she always seems to know when to be gentle and when to give me the old "Suck it up, Marine!" After I'd spent a good ten minutes whining, there was a pause, and then mom said, "So you're telling me, after all the success you've had, you're just going to throw it all aside because things feel a little impossible right now?!" Sputter. Sob. Snirk. "N-n-n-no." Sniff. And I don't know how she did it, but she had me laughing and upbeat by the time I got home.

So thanks, mom, for being the friend who plugged my chi back in. I know I'm halfway through Week 9 already, but better late than never. At the Monday meeting, I had lost 1.8 pounds, which got me half way to my next 5 pound goal of 15 pounds. I'm gonna make it this week! I can feel it! My week nine commitment is to keep working on the exercise dilemma until I find a good fit for my life--something I can enjoy and be consistent at. Something realistic.

As for aerobics, oh I'll be back when I can. I absolutely love being there. It's nice to be out of the house and with other women, but as much as I've enjoyed it, I won't be back with the kids. Its not fair to the others gals or to the instructor, though as God is my witness, my children do not act like Thing One and Thing Two under most other circumstances.

So if you're Chi is unplugged, don't give up. Pick up the connection where you lost it, and keep going. But golly, if you've had a couple kids, and now you're the "she" who's lost her plug, all I can tell you is Bi-Lo. Aisle Five. Depends.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I'm Melting! I'm Melting!

Friends! Countrymen! Lend me your mirrors! The strangest thing is happening to me. My jeans have these odd wrinkles in them--indeed--I suddenly find them ROOMY! Last week, I pulled out a pair of x-large jeans that did not fit at the beginning of December, and now they do fit--quite comfortably, I might add. I have to admit, I am more than a little ecstatic.

I have tried so, so many approaches to losing weight; and though yes, I have given up prematurely at times, I have also made many admirable attempts in which I have persevered for 3 or 4 months, and then finally thrown my hands in the air and pulled out the Moosetracks. After all, why not? I wasn't getting anywhere exercising like a fiend and NOT eating Moosetracks, so bring it on.

Weight Watchers is just so different. I mean, outside of the fact that, IT'S WORKING--it's also so simply livable. I can still enjoy food, but I'm learning so much about true flavor and the joy--yes the JOY--of moderation. Of course, splurges are still inevitable, but with flex points built into every week, you can know that you can still enjoy that special treat with a little control.

The point. You can be in control if you choose to be. Think about it. We say that we want to be able to eat whatever we want, whenever we want, and this is how we define being in control of our diet and our lifestyle. However, in reality when your nutrition and health choices are dictated by mood, whim, excess, and availability; you are not in control, they are.

So I fully intend to stay in control, because I like what's happening. The Moosetracks is just going to have to melt . . . just like me.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Off to See the Wizard, Part III

So whatever happened to the Wicked Witch Hormonees, you might ask? Well, as my comrades and I discovered upon our ill-fated visit to the Wizard, her evil clutches were far reaching. Not only did she cast her spell over all of our efforts--whatever they might happen to be at the moment--apparently, she also affected sales in GNC city; because no matter how well a product seemed to work, when Hormonees got involved, there was always a set back. The day we went to see the Wizard, he'd gone and had himself a meltdown. He wasn't helping anyone else until somebody did something about that Witch.

My friends and I were at a loss. We could either join the somewhat rabid group that was forming outside the Wizard's residence with knives and pitchforks, or we could set out to get the job done. Unfortunately, the way to the witch was treacherous, lined with miles and miles of nothing but vegetables and vegetarian proteins. The witch knew how to deter travelers, that was for sure, because when she hit them with her Hormonees Enchantment, there was nothing remotely sweet or fatty around to consume. Consequently, by the time her minions, the Flying Funkies, arrived to lift the travelers to great heights and drop them here and there to their deaths, they were already caught up in hallucinations of despair.

Two weeks into our bold journey, we found ourselves in exactly this desperate plight. The flying funkies dropped all of us exactly back were we had started--Bootyca back under her fence, Rotunda back in the forest of Far-Flung Dessert, Bambi (as we had come to call her since she still couldn't remember her name) back in the Dark Forest, and me right back in the Treadmill Field. The Munchies were very surprised to see me, and quite frankly, I was embarrassed to see them again after all this time.

But the only thing in life to really be embarrassed about is making the same mistake twice (or three, or four, or five times). I stayed one night with the Munchies, and not having any idea where my three friends had landed, I made the best choice I could. The next day, I started out down the Slow Blue Road. Over the months that followed, I traveled through Moolinda's well-endowed kingdom and then on to meet her sister, the Good Witch of the Feast, one kingdom over. As I traveled I wrote down my meals, my activities, and my experiences. I set a goal and moved toward the Skinny City one day at a time.

Much to my happiness, I found Bootyca and Rotunda at a crossroads between the two kingdoms. Both of them were much changed, having also decided to travel the Slow Blue Road. We were sad though, for Bambi, as we traveled along, wondering what had become of her. Then one day, we saw a traveler far ahead, standing on a Mountain top, and waving madly. "My name is Barbara!" she yelled at us. "I love pantsuits, and stilletos, and roller skating, and I look GREAT in RED!" Sure enough, Barbara was our long-lost companion Bambi, and her stories of survival and victory filled many miles of our journey.

It won't be long now, until we come over a hilltop and see our destination. The Wicked Witch Hormonees still flies by about once a month to see what's going on with us, but we throw a lot of water at her, because she hates hydration, and she flies away defeated yet again. So. Skip the Wizard. Skip the Yellow Brick Road. The long way is the best thing you could do for yourself. Set your goal, and set out for the Skinny City. There's no place like goal. There's no place like goal.

The end. Exit beloved characters. Play emotionally charged music. Roll credits.

Seriously though. There is no place like goal. That's what my Weight Watchers coach said this morning at my meeting, which I found very ironic since she had NO IDEA I had been at home all weekend writing a cockamamie metaphor for the weight loss journey, based on the Wizard of Oz and brought on by a hunger induced dream.

But I made it through the journey of the week, and much to my surprise, I did way more than maintain. I lost 2.4 pounds, totaling 11.4 pounds, and meeting my 5% weight loss goal of 10 pounds. I was ecstatic, and suddenly ready to do it all over again next week. We also talked about "anchors" today--the things you come back to that anchor you to your personal commitments when things really get hard. One of my big anchors is this blog, so I have to thank you all now for your part in my success. Thanks for coming along. Thanks for keeping me company!