Monday, June 28, 2010


I will confess in bullet points. Makes it seem more coherent somehow.

* June was a parade of houseguests, intense inlaw discussions, 19,000 hours of ballet rehearsal and performance, end of school stuff, graduation, anxiety about getting 3 kids productively employed for the summer, and fostering a cat which is AWOL somewhere in the house at the moment.

*I hurt myself doing dumbbell rows, but I'm better now.

*My tummy hurts and my ever-lurking health anxiety is at Defcon 3.

*My MIL is failing physically, is anxious and (justifiably) needy and does not wish to be either. She needs more from my husband and me than we're used to, and she has less internal strength to cope. My 79 year old FIL is planning to move to the area this August and my husband will need to divide himself into smaller pieces than he does now.

*I haven't been able to make any time for Finishing My Book, which was supposed to be this summer's project.

*I feel inefficient and divided and mad at myself for becoming so.

*My tummy hurts, did I say that?

*I have been getting some workouts in, eating pretty well, and keeping my weight just this side of red line which is 2 pounds higher than what it says on my sidebar.

I feel like I shouldn't be this stressed because, knock wood please God, nothing is really wrong. But I feel anxious and guilty much of the time which is not how I want to live my life.

Advice, please? Anybody?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tennis is Fun

We all played in the last half hour before dark. My 8 year old is a terrible server who is bitterly determined to get better-- that's how she learned to roller skate and master a tour jete. She's cranky and absolutely set on getting it.

My older daughter has long arms and legs that still need to master the mechanics.

My son is like a spider who can stay in one spot and amazingly return the ball without moving anything but his grain elevator arms. Serve needs work.

My husband has some innate sports sense but he can't see so he springs into action at the last possible moment, or a millisecond after.

I'm absolutely terrible and I get mad at whoever served the ball I wasn't able to return.

We had a wonderful time.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

On Balance

Gina over at Fit by 42 has a good Challenge going on. Nothing like a juicy challenge to start summer.

So I was thinking, and this is what I gave up over the last year (except for Cheat Days, of course):

basing meals around easy, tasty floury stuff
ordering the fabulous-looking cheesy fried dish
eating out wherever without having to decide whether the menu will be too difficult
shopping once or twice a week instead of three or four times (fresh produce doesn't keep that well)
dessert every night
eating candy while I read
pancakes for breakfast
cheese quesadillas for lunch
nachos for dinner
water ice or ice cream just because it's hot
curling up with a book versus suiting up to work out

This is the rest of what I gave up:

shopping at Lane Bryant
frequent indigestion
feeling tired and foggy
not being able to run after a frisbee
fear of blood pressure cuffs and cameras (I am still twitchy around scales)
sizes 18, 16, 1X and XL
candy wrappers in my car
constantly feeling like I need to eat
worrying about my health a lot
feeling bigger than average

This year, my fasting glucose was 84, not a 104 like last year's. When I went shopping for my son's graduation in the middle of a whirlwind of activity, I didn't have to think, "Oh crap, why didn't I lose twenty pounds?"

If I'd had to stick to 1400 calories or give up licorice forever, I might have said, "Hell with that!" But I eat plenty (probably 2,000 calories on a non-cheat day) and I work out moderately (5 hours or so a week) and the modest sacrifices I've made would have been worth it just to get one or two things on my second list.

OK, it doesn't always feel modest when you really really really want that pastry at Wegman's and it's not time for it. It feels major. But that feeling passes. It always passes. Fifteen minutes later, I'm through it and it's gone (provided I was not so unwise as to bring the pastry home with me.)

I still have oodles of room to clean things up and do better, but I wanted to take a minute to reflect on what it took to get me this far. And, the great majority of the time, it wasn't all that bad.

What are you willing to sacrifice? What feels like too much? I'd love to hear how other people find their balance.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Mission Statement

I'm coming out the other side of the whirlwind of my son's graduation, with its houseguests and partying and dinners out. He is graduated, thank you Lord, and we can all breathe now. The last of my well-loved guests left this morning. All the unwise eats are out of the house apart from half a French Silk Pie which I will be dealing with one way or another shortly. We had gorgeous weather. Today, appropriately, it's raining as we all come back down to earth and take stock. The best thing I can say about myself was that I got in a good weight workout and one C25K (still limping through week 2, but hey, it's a workout). The next best thing I can say is that miraculously, I didn't gain any weight-- I suspect it's coming though. Have you ever had that? Dodged the metaphorical check and then 2 days later the bill comes to your house. I'll keep you posted.

My family reunion is in one month, and I have lots of photos from graduation to prove to me that, while I don't look like I need a dolly to get around, I am definitely still too fat. One month would be a perfect span to lose the 4 pounds I would need to get back to my 18 year low. 5 pounds would be a new low.

So I made a list of what I plan to eat most days. Concrete planning is very helpful for my pulled in all directions, ADD self.

water X 6 glasses
berries 1-2 cups
leafy greens 1-2 cups
broccoli or cauliflower, 1 c
whey protein
1/2 c beans
1-2 T nuts or PB
apple or pear
2 dates or prunes
greek or whole yogurt 1/2 c
chicken or similar 4-5 oz
chocolate and or cocoa
olive oil

Wonder how many calories that represents? Guess I better look it up!

I'll be eating other stuff too but I want to make these my staples and keep them on hand. I'm putting a 1/2 of soy mix in my purse for I'm-hungry moments or when I'm getting a starving ballet dancer something at McDonald's and I'm tempted. I plan to keep up with my 5-factor workouts plus a few sessions of calorie chewing stuff like Zumba, trail hiking, C25K or Kettlenetics (you can laugh at the name if you want, I don't mind.)

It was nice to shop in regular sizes for my mom-of-the-graduate wear, so yay for that.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Oooh, I'm in one of those spaces. My primary job is as a stay at home mom and there are days I don't think I'm doing such a hot job. I think about instituting a regime of flash cards, room checks, and compulsory reading, but I was thinking back to my recent reread of French Women Don't Get Fat, and the central theme of the book seems very pertinent. Apply some discipline in the right places, but enjoy yourself as you go. Meals shouldn't go down like medicine, nor do you need sugar and bread all the time. I've been doing well with drinking water or tea versus diet soda, which made a swift difference in my sense of sweet. I've been remembering to sit down to eat rather than nibbling stray bits. I exercise for my health and because I like how it makes me look and feel-- not every minute's fun, but a lot of it is things I enjoy.

So I need to apply that useful philosophy-- enjoyment in a framework of discipline-- to the process of parenting. I have good and dear kids and they deserve the best I am able to give them. My husband provides awesome backup and I truly have no excuse. I'm setting myself a "Don't Be a Disgraceful Lazy Ass" Challenge for parenting. Now all I need is a logo.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Eat Like a Grown Up

That's my secret subtitle for this blog. It's all I want, really. How a grown-up eats is still an evolving idea for me, but there are a few basics.

Grownups eat meals. At the table. With fruits and vegetables.

Grownups drink tea or water, not soda.

Grownups don't need dessert every day. Definitely not twice a day.

Grownups watch the starchy stuff.

Grownups don't snack on junk.

Am I a grownup? Getting there, I guess. I'm poignantly aware of how important it is to provide a healthy food culture to my kids, and how far I have to go. It's hard, with recitals and practices and rehearsals, to get a good dinner on the table every night. It's hard to limit sugar without demonizing it.

I had one hell of a day-- son is stranded at an airport 1,000 miles away, youngest got in hot water for bringing her rubber Prince of Persia dagger to school. I really wanted a diet soda, which is my selected vice. Instead I had a glass of wine. Much more effective :)

What does "grown up" mean to you?