bookmark_borderWeigh In + Weekend Recap

I’m part of a challenge group on Facebook, and last week’s challenge was to drink 100oz of water every day… I’m definitely going to keep it up because check out my weigh in from Saturday!

I lost the 2 pounds I “gained” the previous week (thanks constipation), plus an additional 2 (and change), putting me in a new weight decade! I even had Taco Bell (a Mexican pizza and Meximelt, no chicken soft tacos for me!) Thursday night and still lost–I completely owe it to all the water I’m drinking. (Though, I did jokingly say to Marc, “I bet if not for Taco Bell, I would’ve lost 5 pounds!”)

Karinne didn’t want to go to her dance class on Saturday (I hope that’s not a permanent feeling), so after Weight Watchers I took Ryan to get a hair cut. Now, he doesn’t exactly love hair cuts yet… in fact, I’d go as far as to say he hates hair cuts. He’s a very difficult customer, but we’ve always managed to get it done with the help of a very quick/efficient stylist. I took him to the same place we always take him, and it was already packed (apparently, everyone goes right when they open at 9am). We waited a few minutes, and then it was his turn. What happened next still blows my mind.

Stylist: (arms crossed, scowling at us walking towards her) Is he going to thrash around?!
Me: (taken aback) Um, I’m not sure…
Stylist: Because if he’s going to thrash around, I can’t cut his hair. What if I cut him?!
Me: Okay, well, I’m not going to force you to cut his hair if you don’t want to.
Stylist: Well, you don’t want to have him in a headlock the whole time, do you?!
Me: Um…we’ve held him still before…
Stylist: DON’T YOU THINK THAT’S TRAUMATIC FOR THE CHILD!?!?
Me: (glaring) No, he’s just fine.

And it just sort of devolved from there. Basically, she was very rude and hostile to us from the moment she saw us walking toward her. No smile, no pleasant greeting, nothing but hostility. How did she think he was going to act after all that?! Of course he put his hands up and didn’t want her to come near him! So she asked if someone else would cut his hair, and then looked at me and said very loudly, “Ma’am, you need to go sit over there and wait for someone else.” The stylist next to us have me a sympathetic smile and said she’d cut his hair for us, but unfortunately he was already so upset by that time that it was no use. As we left, I heard her say to her client, “Yeah, she gets really nervous around kids…”. So here’s my issue… if you know you’re not good with kids, then why don’t you just tell the front desk not to give you any kids?! Why be so rude and hostile, humiliating a mom and her child in front of a store full of people? I wish I hadn’t been so dumbfounded in the moment, and would have thought to get her name for when I talk to a manager about the experience (they’re closed Sunday and Monday).

Despite all of that, we still had a decent Saturday. Sunday I got up and made homemade Orange Sweet Rolls that were soooo good! I also made my go-to Breakfast Casserole that’s always a hit. It was a good Father’s Day breakfast! I definitely ate too many orange rolls, but they were totally worth it. As soon as I plug the recipe into the Weight Watchers Recipe Builder, I’ll know exactly how much damage they did, lol. It was a good weekend!

Oh, I also wore this shirt dress that I’ve had for 2 years and have never worn–the buttons didn’t even gap when I sat down!

bookmark_borderFriday Thoughts

  • Thank you so much for the supportive comments regarding my last post. It’s not easy to post such honest posts sometimes, but I’m glad I did – no regrets 😀
  • Marc & I have been freaking out over most recent power bills; they’ve been ridiculous, and we keep the a/c on about 78 most of the time! I get e-bills and have it on autopay, so I don’t normally examine my bill. I see the amount and that’s that, really. Well, today I actually went into our account and looked at the last couple of bills, and it turns out that our bills actually aren’t that bad; it’s way too complicated to type out (I barely understand it myself), but it has to do with our auto-pay date and the way the billing cycles fall. Basically, one bill shows 2 billing cycles, with 2 due dates. It’s weird.
  • I have no idea what to expect at my weigh in tomorrow. I kind of expect a gain since I’m on my period, but a lot of times when I’m expecting a gain I wind up losing. Soooo, we’ll just have to see. My eating hasn’t been terrible–not awesome, but not horrible either.
  • The house that we sold when we left Alabama 2 years ago is up for sale again. They listed it for about $20k more than it’s worth and the pictures are awful–the house looks dark, crowded, and half the pictures are blurry! I seriously considered contacting the realtor and being like, “What are you thinking?! Do you actually want to sell that house?!” It’s been listed for about a month; we had a fantastic realtor who had a professional photographer take the photos when we were selling, and we had an offer for the asking price in less than a week. Just sayin’… since I’m a real estate professional and all.
  • Marc and I have come to the conclusion that we are burnt out on parenting right now; it might sound bad, but it’s the truth, y’all. We’ve literally never had a night without the kids. That’s almost FOUR YEARS without a night to ourselves! Well, my dad and stepmom kept them overnight once, but we fed them dinner before we dropped them off, and picked them up after breakfast–I don’t really count that. It doesn’t help that our darling children have been especially trying as of late. We just need a break. Desperately. Marc’s parents live in Texas and just moved into their new house this week (they’ve been between houses for a while… sold their house 3 years ago to downsize and it sold much faster than they anticipated; broke ground on this house over a year ago and it’s finally finished); we’re already trying to see when they’ll be ready to host their sweet grandchildren for a week!
Have a great weekend!

bookmark_borderBehind Closed Doors

I’ve touched on vulnerability before, in one of my earliest posts before I knew whether I even really wanted a public blog. Well, you guys, it’s one thing to talk about vulnerability; it’s another to actually be vulnerable. It’s hard to be vulnerable; it’s hard to open yourself up and let people really know who you are, inside and out.

In Brene Brown’s TED Talk, “The Power of Vulnerability,” she says that vulnerability is “…the birthplace of joy, of creativity, of belonging, of love…”. This is so true. Through my own experience, I have learned that when I set aside my fear of rejection and stop concerning myself with what other people might think, and I choose to open up to people and allow myself to truly just be myself, it turns out that I am much happier, more joyful, and hey, bonus–people aren’t as bad as my subconscious would have me to believe.
Speaking of Brene, if you’ve never taken the time to listen to this particular TED Talk, please set aside 20 minutes to watch it. Her closing statements get me every time:

“This is what I have found: to let ourselves be seen, deeply seen, vulnerably seen; to love with our whole hearts, even though there’s no guarantee — and that’s really hard, and I can tell you as a parent, that’s excruciatingly difficult — to practice gratitude and joy in those moments of terror, when we’re wondering, “Can I love you this much? Can I believe in this this passionately? Can I be this fierce about this?” just to be able to stop and, instead of catastrophizing what might happen, to say, “I’m just so grateful, because to feel this vulnerable means I’m alive.” And the last, which I think is probably the most important, is to believe that we’re enough. Because when we work from a place, I believe, that says, “I’m enough,” then we stop screaming and start listening, we’re kinder and gentler to the people around us, and we’re kinder and gentler to ourselves.”

So, why all this talk about vulnerability today? Well, here’s thing… I’ve had this post sitting in Drafts for a few days now. I had it scheduled to post Monday evening, but I chickened out at the last minute and cancelled it. I’ve added some, subtracted some, added some more, and subtracted some more. I want to open up and be honest because that’s what I want this blog to be about, yet I still struggle.

I struggle because I don’t want to demonize my family, but at the same time, I don’t want to minimize my own pain. I fear that people who’ve “had it worse” will read this and think, “She really needs to get over herself. This is nothing.” But then, I’m reminded of what I know to be true: that pain is pain, and it doesn’t matter how someone else perceives your pain; all that matters is how you perceive it and how it affects you.

———————————————————————————————————————–

Father’s Day. 

I was grouchy all morning. I snapped at the kids and snapped at Marc over everything and nothing at all. I didn’t want to do anything. I didn’t take a shower. 

The lack of a shower should have been my kick in the pants that something wasn’t right, that something more was going on. It took Marc finally snapping back at me (can you blame him?) for me to actually stop and think that maybe it was more than just waking up on the wrong side of the bed.

Father’s Day. 

I scrolled through Facebook several times on Sunday morning. Post after post of profile pictures changed to images of friends and their fathers, status updates regaling their feeds with tales of awesome fathers and beautiful relationships… it was all too much. I longed to be able to block all posts regarding the day–hear that, Facebook? You need to add that feature!

I love my father. Growing up, I admired his work ethic, working long hours to provide for us. I was enthralled with his stories of far away lands, places that his work took him–Egypt and Saudi Arabia, Germany and American Samoa, to name a few. He could fix anything, and he could build anything. He was my hero.

I also know that he loves me, and I know that he loved my mother. Although he was completely emotionally unavailable to me for my entire childhood and adolescence, he was there for me when I needed him most; the day my mother died, he held me and I held him and we cried in each other’s arms until we had nothing left to give.

There’s a gap, though… a gap that exists between that love and all the times he made me believe I wasn’t good enough, the time he told me I was getting a “secretary ass” at 16 (when asked to explain, he said it meant it was getting wider), and all the humiliation and belittlement and abuse he put my mother through throughout their 25 years together.

I always believed this to be normal behavior between husband and wife, between mom and dad, because I never knew anything different. At some point though, I realized that I shouldn’t talk about what went on behind our closed doors. So I stayed quiet, and everything was perfect and happy and my life was one of fairy tales.

That is, until June 2014.

That’s when I told my husband the truth.

I told my therapist the truth at our first appointment soon thereafter.

Then I told my mother-in-law the truth.

And suddenly, the truth didn’t seem so shameful anymore.

Despite all of this, I longed for the happyperfect relationship with my father that I’d imagined in my head so many times. He and my stepmom came to visit us in New Orleans last year… it was after that visit, the one that left me reeling for days afterward, that my therapist suggested I release my expectations and take a break. Why call him, when every phone call led me to binge? Let him lead the relationship, rather than me dragging him.

I’m still on that break. I don’t call him anymore; I wait for him to call me. We’ve spoken about 3 times since then, not including obligatory text messages on holidays and birthdays. I let go of my expectations for our relationship, and life has gotten much better for me. I understand now that his not calling or visiting isn’t a reflection on me; it is not his way of saying that I’m a bad daughter. It’s just who he is. He loves me the best he knows how.

So Father’s Day, for me, is complicated.

bookmark_borderFriday Thoughts

It’s Friday again! I’ve noticed that several other bloggers do sort of a random, bulleted post on Fridays; I did one a few weeks ago and enjoyed it, so I think I’m hopping on that train.

  • Even though it’s Father’s Day weekend, we don’t have anything special planned. I suppose I could always take the kids out and leave Marc alone, but considering that he gets at least 1-2 days every week totally kid-free due to his work schedule, I don’t feel any particular pressure to go that route. I think it’ll just be another average Sunday (not a bad thing for us!).
  • Ashleigh (whom I mentioned in this post) is not doing well. The cancer has spread to her liver, and I know she had a brain MRI on Tuesday to check for evidence of cancer and it was clear (thank God). I haven’t heard much else, but I’m certain that’s not a good sign. Thank you for all the sweet comments the last time I talked about her; please continue to keep her and her husband, and their two little boys in your thoughts and prayers. (Her blog: My Journey With Inflammatory Breast Cancer)
  • I have really been struggling these last few weeks with getting up to exercise in the mornings. I honestly do not know what my deal is–I just have to get tough with myself and make myself get out of bed. I’ve gotten to the point that I really do enjoy running, and other exercise, but it’s the whole getting up at 5:30 and getting out the door that I’m stuck on. I’ve thought about making a proper running schedule, that way if I don’t go run then I’ve actually skipped out on something that I scheduled–what do you think? Any other ideas or advice? Tough love is also welcome 🙂
  • I’ve been doing well with my June Goals. I’ve been excellent at staying within my PointsPlus for the week. Also, despite not getting up in the mornings to exercise, I’ve still managed to exercise at least 3x per week; running on Saturdays, and an at-home workout here and there. I’ve also managed to get to bed before 11 nearly every night; I didn’t last night because I started watching this season of Orange is the New Black (I’m so tired of Piper and Alex drama, btw) and I just kept letting Netflix play the next episode.
  • I’ve tried to be really open and honest about my journey at my WW meetings, because I know I appreciate hearing stories similar to mine and if hearing my story helps even one person who is struggling, then it’s worth baring my soul. Well, at my WW meeting last week, someone actually said that I inspired them. ME! She’d just reached her goal weight again, (she’s a longtime Lifetime member and came back to lose 30lbs she’d put back on), and the previous week I’d talked about how it took me a year to lose my first 30 lbs but I didn’t quit and I kept coming to the meetings because without them, I’m certain I would’ve gained another 30 lbs. She’d been trying to lose her last couple of pounds for several weeks, and she said the fact that I didn’t give up inspired her not to give up and to just power through it. And she did!
I just looked at my phone and I’ve taken 0 pictures this week, so I apologize for the lack of imagery. I hope you all have a great weekend!

bookmark_borderThe Dress – or, the day I had 6 NSV’s

The plus-size section at my Target is in a really weird place; it’s randomly thrown in between clearance (yes!), maternity, and regular clothing. Due to its placement, and the fact that the setup seems to change every other week, I’m constantly looking at clothes that are NOT my size (see map below).

Okay, so I always wander around the Clearance and Plus-size clothing, but during my last couple of trips I noticed this really cute blue and green striped dress in the regular sizes that are on the wall directly behind the clearance stuff. During my most recent trip there, I noticed that they had an XXL, and the material was actually pretty stretchy. I decided to try it on, just for shits and giggles.

Well, you guys, it zipped! It actually zipped! I had to take a picture.

I did not buy the dress, as it’s way too short and I would never ever wear it out (probably a good 4-5 inches above my knee, though you can’t tell in the pic), but there are so many NSV’s in this one picture!

A) I had the confidence to even attempt trying it on
B) It actually fit
C) I didn’t instantly burst into tears upon seeing my belly rolls or my jiggly legs
D) I took a picture
E) I did not crop my legs out of the picture
F) I PUT THE PICTURE ON THE INTERNET WITH NO FILTER WHERE EVERYONE CAN SEE MY ROLLS AND JIGGLY LEGS!

Seeing this picture just makes me smile; it represents so much for me. All the effort, all the work I’ve done over the last 13 months–it’s so worth it just to have this picture and to be able to have so many reasons why I love it. I’m still fighting the voices in my head that are saying, “Ugh, your legs are so ugly,” “Definitely can’t post this without cropping it,” “You really need some Spanx…” But you know what? I’m ignoring them. I’m posting the picture despite what those voices are telling me, because I deserve it.

bookmark_borderWeigh In + Weekend Recap

I left my weight record book at home today, so no photo of my weigh in sticker–you’ll just have to take my word for it!

I gained 2.2 pounds this week, though I’m certain that most (if not all) of it was water. Since I don’t have a scale at home, I won’t know for sure until Saturday. However, I stayed within my points all week but had Chinese food on Wednesday (wonton soup, dumplings, and crab rangoons), and finished the leftover soup on Friday–I always bloat like crazy with Chinese food. I’ve also been constipated again–I’ve NEVER experienced constipation like this in my life (except when I was pregnant), and now I’ve dealt with it multiple times over the last 2 months. This is the pits!

On Saturday, I walked Karinne to her dance class and went for a run while I waited to pick her up. I didn’t want another experience like the previous Saturday, so this time I did 3:2 intervals, and ran super slowly, but I was able to finish my run!  I also made sure to have water with me, so no doubt that helped.

On Sunday, Marc took the kids out for a while and I cleaned like crazy. I didn’t do any “formal” exercise, but I still managed to earn 5 AP’s. After he got home, we put the kids down for naps and then I went to Starbucks to read for a while. One day, we’ll have a house with our own porch and I won’t have to go to Starbucks to enjoy reading (ha, who am I kidding?! I’m sure I’d still go.). I downloaded The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing on my Kindle; I keep hearing great things about it, so I’m looking forward to continuing my decluttering project with renewed zeal. My hope is that images like this…

and this…

will become a thing of the past. Fingers crossed!

bookmark_borderMy Future Self…

Inspired by Alissa’s post on things her future at-goal self would do, I decided to sit down and think about things my future at-goal self would be doing. During one of my therapy sessions, Mary asked me to visualize myself at my healthy weight, whatever that may be–I immediately told her that was impossible, how could I visualize something I’d never experienced?

I finally gave in and just tried, but all I could come up with was myself in 2004, the summer before my junior year of college when I took diet pills and weighed 175. I wouldn’t exactly consider that healthy, considering I was living off of Phentermine, Diet Coke, Ben & Jerry’s and french fries. Oh, and beer… lots of beer.

I’ve since attempted this exercise a few other times, mostly ending up with some weird jigsawed version of myself, so maybe by writing it out in list form, I can paint a better picture of the person I hope to become when I’m finally out of the weight loss phase of my journey…

  • Wake up between 5-5:30, go for a 3-4 mile run and run the entirety.
  • Maintain a proper workout schedule, incorporating running and other cardio and strength training.
  • Have a minimal wardrobe made up of clothing that I love, that is easily mixed and matched.
  • Prepare breakfast and lunches and outfits the night before so mornings aren’t so rushed and crazy and stressful.
  • Have a (mostly) clutter-free house; be more conscientious about the new items we bring into the house. Encourage gifts of experiences rather than more “stuff” from family and friends.
  • Have a dedicated meal planning day and grocery shopping day. Incorporate 1 new recipe each week. Have several crock-pot meals and “cook once, eat twice” meals in the rotation so I’m not so stressed in the evenings after work.
  • Since I’ve stopped biting my nails, get regular manicures to keep my nails healthy.
  • Be more intentional with the time I have in the mornings/evenings and on the weekends with the kids. Much less TV for them.
  • Be more intentional with the time I have to myself after the kids are in bed. Don’t just veg out until I pass out on the couch.
  • Love all my wobbly bits, and have the confidence to wear shorts during these God-forsaken New Orleans summers.
  • Be warm and open with everyone I meet; be vulnerable enough to open myself up to making the first moves toward new friendship.
  • Sugar is a sometimes food, no longer a daily food. Get to the store/farmer’s market often enough to have fresh produce on hand always.
  • Be at peace with myself and the person I’ve become.
Obviously, not everything is weight-related, but I think it all goes hand-in-hand. I know that when I’m on track and feeling good, I’m more inclined to follow through on my intentions. It might take time, but I WILL get there. I already see several things that I can start working on now in order to make this vision a reality, and I know the only thing holding me back is me. So now I’m going to print out this list and put it in a prominent place and get to work!