Sunday, May 26, 2013

Take a Deep Breath

I hate getting up once I go to bed - especially after I've been asleep. If one of the boys have trouble in the night and come in to get me, I just put him in the middle of our bed (to the annoyance of my Lobster), give him a pat on the back, and go back to sleep (Hallelujah for king sized beds!). Luckily, it doesn't happen so often anymore, and very rarely do the boys come in the same night.

Well, earlier this week, Boy 1 came into our room. When he was little, Boy 1 woke 4-5 times a night and was a frequent middle-of-the-night visitor. But he's grown out of most of that. He's still a VERY light sleeper and has trouble getting to sleep. A small bit of Melatonin helps him to relax and quiet his mind just enough of the many troubles that have a chance to catch up when he's lying still in his darkened room. 

He had had a nightmare. My usual patting on the back and falling promptly to sleep wasn't working. He was shaking and still frightened although he had his mom and dad on either side of him. He was whimpering and wanting to talk about his dream. Sometimes, I don't indulge him in talking it out  because he often works himself up to inconsolable. I tried to get him to start some deep breathing and told him that we'd talk about it in the morning. Luckily, with a little help from my soft, doughy  snugly arms, he was able to settle down and fall back asleep. I'm sure my snoring in his ear helped, too. ;)

 Apparently, in his dream, a blimp caught fire and crashed into his room, engulfing one of his walls in flames. Can you blame him for needing a little comfort? I sure can't. When we talked the next morning, he still remembered many details. I had hoped that he would forget. Those details made his next bedtime (and almost every other one since) a little more difficult. Poor kid.

Ok, so if you know me, you know how organizationally challenged I am. I try, but man, it's a struggle.

If you've been reading for a while, you'll also know that I've been stuck. I've been losing and gaining the same 5 pounds over and over for months. Exercise has been hard because of my foot/ankle and I let myself "off" way too easily. How else do you think I got this big? I have such good intentions, but I'm sure you've heard which pathway is paved with those.

Anyway, one of the blogs that I regularly read, Back To Her Roots, is sponsoring the Super Summer Mind and Body Challenge starting on June 1. It's just what I've been needing, but too lazy to put together myself. She even has free printables for point tally sheets, ideas for points for both mind and body and blank sheets so you can customize activities and point values for yourself/your family. Check it out - she's got some great ideas. I'd love to know if you end up working on the challenge. We could help motivate each other!

I'm going to try a version of this to help in the activities that I plan for the boys and me this summer - encouraging them to stay more active, positive with each other and working individually and together toward a goal with a big reward at the end of summer. They get to help decide the reward.

I'm feeling frustrated. I've been doing so awesome at tracking all of my food on My Fitness Pal. And I only went over my calorie goal once this past week. I gained almost a pound this week after gaining a half pound last week. I'm noticing that although I stay under my total calorie goal, I'm not staying under the individual goals for sugar and sodium. Those two categories are where I go over most often. So I'm keeping an extra eye on those. I also really have to up my water intake - especially in the afternoons. 

I'm frustrated. I'm a bit discouraged. But just like my 9-year-old, I'm trying to get through things by doing some deep breathing and keeping calm - not working myself up. I'm going to pat myself on the back for the things I'm doing well, get some good sleep and keep working. 

I'll get there.

EXERCISE: Yard work and a little walking - not great
FOOD: I made some really good choices this week.
FOOD TRACKING: Excellent! 6 of 7 days!
HYDRATION: Okayish. Need more water!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

And So She Tries a Limerick

There once was a full-figured lady
Who's brain kept coming up empty.
All words took their flight,
When she sat down to write. 
So she'll try when her head is less achy.

Have a great week!

Weight gain/loss: +0.6 lbs
Total weight loss: -24.4 lbs
Food: Snacking was a problem this week
Food Tracking: Awesome! 6 of 7 days
Exercise: Lots of yard work
Hydration: Still struggling to get more water in afternoons

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day Invaders

The sun was shining. A cool morning wind was gently blowing through the leaves of the plants around me as I pulled weeds - trying to make sure to get the roots. I admired the shrubby ground cover that spilled over the wall in the bed. It was in full bloom. The bright yellow cheerfully popped against the red barberry and pink azalea.

As I continued to pull weeds, a flash of green caught my eye. Green where it was supposed to be yellow. I went to investigate, and found it. Here...and there...and over there.

I had Invaders.

Plants that weren't supposed to be there. There was some English Ivy hiding out just under the flowers. A couple of volunteer baby maple trees on the edge of the bed and a Japanese Snowbell coming up right between the azalea and the Barberry. How did all of these trouble makers get there without me noticing? They were big and established enough to have been there at least a couple of years.

These Invaders had grown undetected. In fact, they were protected by my own carefully selected plants. Small and inconspicuous, they sat, biding their time, waiting for their root systems to become strong. Pretending they belonged there.

Removing them from these beds will be difficult. To make sure it's permanent, I must pull them out roots and all. Getting a shovel or other tool in there could cause damage to my other plants. But if I don't remove them, they could all too quickly take over, or displace my carefully chosen arrangement.

As I was thinking about how I needed to get them out, it occurred to me that I had other Invaders with which I must contend. 

These Invaders aren't overtaking my flower beds. But they do just as much damage. 

They have grown protected and sheltered. But unlike the unwanted plants in my yard, these other Invaders don't reach for the sun. They stay below the surface, preferring the dark. They bubble and foam and froth - eroding from within.

These Invaders tell me that I'm not doing enough. That I'm doing it all wrong. They tell me that, on this Mother's Day, I should not be celebrated. Contrary to the card on the window sill, I am not the "Best Mom Ever!" and that maybe, just maybe I'm not cut out for this Mom Stuff.

I used to hate Mother's Day. It seemed like a cruel joke that anyone would celebrate when I was being denied what I wanted most. And those Invaders told me that I wasn't supposed to be a mother - that I didn't deserve to be a mother.

And then it happened! Finally, we were parents. And all of a sudden, we had what we wanted and it was wonderful! It was an answer to our prayers and our wishes and our dreams and we were so, so happy. But it was also so, so hard, and it was exhausting, and although we had been waiting twelve long years, we had an almost two-year-old and suddenly it seemed too fast. What did we really know about being parents? And then, there were two. What a blessing and how scary!

After we had waited so long, how could I complain about how hard it is? After finally getting what we wanted, how could I not enjoy every minute? After having our house be so quiet how could I now curse the craziness? My Invaders told me I must be doing something wrong. 

Those Invaders are well established. They've been here long enough that they think they belong here. Getting in there to pluck them out, root and all, will be difficult.

I know that I'm a good mom. I also know that I have a lot to work on. Just like the invading plants steal the water and nutrients from my desired plants, these Invading Thoughts suck my confidence and steal my joy and break my spirit.

I'm not sure why it is so easy to believe those darn Invaders.

They have to go. They must be plucked. I need to make room for the positive, for the joy, for the fun.

 So don't let those Invaders take root, my friends. Let's make room only for what reaches for the sun - for the light. It's worth the work.

This week's weight gain/loss: -3.2 lbs
Total weight loss: -24.8 lbs
Exercise: Not great - just yard work - no formal exercise
Food: Not too shabby - down a bit on the veggie intake, though
Food Tracking: Excellent! 6 days out of 7
Hydration: Good

Monday, May 6, 2013

Last week

I have felt really good this past week. I logged (in My Fitness Pal) just about every single thing that got in mah belleh. And all days but one, I stayed below my calorie goal. I missed tracking Saturday and I usually don't track n Sunday. I don't give myself a free pass on Sundays. I just take a break from tracking.

It is the day of rest, after all. ;)

Saturday night, we had some people over and I spent most of the day cleaning and cooking after Boy 2's soccer game. Those little Kindergartners are so cute chasing that ball all over the field.

My feet are so sore and swollen today. As I'm sitting here my left foot is just pulsing and cramping up. Being on my feet so much yesterday and then today at church was too much for my tootsies. Combine that with not enough water and too much sodium and my feet are a sight. I'll spare you.

I gained 3 pounds this week. I think I can partly blame the Great Harvest pizza bread I bought on Thursday. I bought it thinking my family would love it with the spaghetti we were having for dinner. My guys love bread.  Hey, I love bread. Especially that soft, chewy, crusty bread. We don't have it so often anymore because it's one of the (many) things I can't keep my hands off. Any way, Great Harvest makes a pizza bread with herbs and hunks of pepperoni and cheese throughout. It's delicious, by the way.

Well, the boys - including Lobster - didn't like it.

While I tracked each piece I ate, I ate way too much of that bread. I just couldn't see wasting a loaf of bread that cost $10. After the fact, I feel silly to have wasted so many calories on $10.

Although the bread gave me some trouble, and although I gained this week, I'm feeling strangely positive.  It's not a race and I just need to take it one day at a time.

It's been warm lately. The sunshine is great - a nice little preview of summer. I'm afraid to get too attached. It's supposed to last through this week, at least. My peas are over a foot tall, now. I can't wait to eat them. 

It's almost time to plant my warm season veggies. We'd better get those raised beds built. I'm all about the tomatoes. And zucchini. Oh, and cucumbers. I love me some cucumbers straight out of the garden.