Tuesday, May 27, 2008

30 pounds. That's a lot of beef!

Every month, I've committed to holding something that's the amount of weight I've lost. Here was month #1. Here's month #2:

That's beef. 20 pounds of brisket, 6 pounds of t-bones, and 4 pounds of ground sirloin.
That's nasty. Raw meat makes me gag. But MORE than that...
THAT's HEAVY! My arms were burning by the time Cara snapped an in-focus picture! To think, I've been carrying that around on my butt for all these years. Ack.

People keep asking me how I'm doing it.
"You've lost 30 pounds in 8 weeks! I wanna do what you're doing! Teach me how to have the willpower you have! What's your secret??"

I always answer honestly, even though it sounds a little hokey when I say it.
I'll answer here the same way.... tomorrow.

Friday, May 23, 2008

recognizing triggers: emotional

Two weeks ago, I received some upsetting news about someone I love dearly. As I tried to process the information in my head, I found myself taking the boys to Braum's for an after school ice cream treat. At the counter, I ordered their ice cream, and looked at the menu hanging above, where a big glossy photo of a Black Forest Sundae was featured.

It looked wonderful.
I needed to have it.
I opened my mouth to order it.

And then I thought, "No. You don't want it. You're not even hungry. You're acting out of emotion."

See, food has always been a coping mechanism for me. It's always comforted me. It's the first thing I turn to in times of trial.

I stood there at the ice cream counter, BonQuiQui smacking her gum, getting tired of waiting on me to finish my order. Do I want the sundae? Yes. No. But yes. BUT NO! Major internal struggle. I'm eating out of emotion, don't do it. BUT I DON'T CARE THAT I'M EATING OUT OF EMOTION. Yes I do. NO I DON'T! Yes. I do. I'm stronger than this.

Finally, I ordered a kid-sized 96% fat free frozen yogurt.

I walked every day that week except Friday, and went to both Nia sessions. On Thursday morning, I SO didn't want to go to Nia. I knew it would benefit me emotionally and spiritually, but physically, the emotional roller coaster had left me with NO energy. I went anyway. Sure enough, I kept running out of steam and thought about quitting. Several times, a cry rose up in my throat and I considered running out to the stairwell and having a good bawl. Other times, I'd be so lost in my thoughts and worries that I'd forget I was at Nia - the class would be doing something completely different and I'd be either doing the moves from the previous set, or pacing back and forth, oblivious to anyone around me. After class, Megan said, "You look like you could cry." She took me into her arms and held me tight. I knew I'd cry if she didn't let me go, and despite me trying to pull away several times, she wouldn't release me. Eventually, I relaxed into her embrace and let the tears fall. It was cleansing and such a relief to let a little of it out. I love her for seeing that need and for gifting me with her amazing spirit of compassion.

Turns out, the calming effect of Nia on my heart and soul and mind is EXACTLY what I needed to quiet the emotional triggers. Even though every fiber of my being protested me being there, it was the weapon I needed to beat down the monsters once and for all. The next session I attended put the monster out of his wounded misery, as I pounded the crap out him during the martial arts portions of class. It is an AMAZING feeling to face and beat such a beast.

Never again will I allow emotional triggers to get the best of me. I'm a new woman, and this new life of mine is so much bigger than me and my weaknesses. It's becoming a spiritual and an emotional journey more and more everyday. The physical changes are just icing!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

to Tiffany, and my other Mom friends everywhere

My dear sweet friend Tiffany is having a hard time. She's fighting that ugly beast that all Moms have to beat off every now and then. You know it - you've confronted it before. It's the lie that tells you that you're a bad Mom. That you're not doing your kids justice. That you should be the one holding The Bad Mother Award.

Tiffany wrote,
I get tired of being a mom every now and then and I am not the perfect mother....the one who enjoys every single minute with their child and thinks that all of their antics are delightful. I tire of the whining and yes (GASP) I even get tired of playing Candyland and Hullabaloo. Sometimes I even breathe a sigh of relief when the child is down for the night.

And for those reasons, I suppose, I am a bad mom (per my husband's definition). Please tell me I am not the only one who doubts herself? Please tell me that I am really a lot like other people. Please.

It's the mothers who claim to NEVER have those feelings.... who claim that they ALWAYS gaily anticipate another round of Hi Ho Cherry-O... who say that they still read Go Dog Go with fresh enthusiasm, even on the 348th night in a row...who expect us to believe that they've NEVER sent baby to bed with a bottle, or have NEVER shoved a cold Pop Tart in to a 6-year old's hand on the way out the door in the morning, or have NEVER pulled dirty socks out of the hamper because there were no clean ones in the drawer...THOSE are the bad mothers, because they're liars.

You, my dear friend, are real. And honest. And while you might have occasional thoughts of "get this kid away from me!!!!", the majority of the time, you're rational even when stretched to the limit, nurturing even when sleep-deprived, and a wonderful, loving Mom, even when the doubt monster thumbs his nose at you.

I have my moments, I'll admit it. I'm not always a GOOD mom, as is evidenced by the layout following this post. But by golly, I'm certainly not a BAD mom, and neither are you.

Cut yourself some slack today. Let yourself be honored, and honor yourself. You deserve it!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

plugging along

Spring is always a crazy-busy time around here. This year is no exception.

We've all had the regular business of spring to contend with, but on top of that, we've each had new individual goals this year.

This time last spring, Dani was choosing classes for her junior year. she chose to take five (5!) Advanced Placement classes. I told her then that it was too many... that AP Test time would kill her, and she'd hate her life. Well, in many ways, I was right. She's stressed to her limits right now. Last Friday, she took her SAT. The following Monday, she took her first AP test (in Government - she feels very confident about a good score on it!), and then yesterday, she took her 2nd, in US History. Next week, she has Latin, Chemistry and English. Good enough scores on these tests mean that she'll receive college credit for those classes, so it's a big deal to her. During all of this studying, she's also performed her duty as Choir Historian by creating an AWESOME video highlighting all 4 of Paschal's choirs this school year. The banquet was Thursday evening, and she was awarded "Most Improved Junior" in the A Capella choir. She also tried out and was given a spot in next year's Madrigal Choir. All of this, on top of a trip to New York (with choir), her job, and household responsibilities. She's ending her junior year with a bang, and I suspect she'll sleep all summer to make up for it!

Darren has finally wrapped up a horrendous project at work, and received his review for last year. He got excellent marks in every area of the review, and was rewarded with a nice raise, which has already gone into effect. He ran another 5k this morning, and here's what he had to say about that, in his own words:

I had 3 goals for this race. First, I wanted to finish in under 30:00 for
the first time ever. (Also, Aidan's last 5K was 30:00 so I could finally beat
him, hehehe.) Second, I wanted to not walk at all during the whole race. Third,
if everything went well, I really wanted to get down to 28:00.

The race started out fast going downhill for the first 1/2 mile. Bryan was flying and I was trying to keep up with him. He finished his first mile in 8:01 and I was
about 15 seconds back at the time. I dropped further behind him throughout the
race and the last time I saw him was when I was at the 2 mile mark.

The fast pace, the high humidity and the last uphill mile did me in. I had to stop and walk twice for a total of about 100 yards during the last 1-1/4 miles.
With about 3/4 mile to go I found someone else to mutually encourage to the end. That was good, because I was really starting to lag and droop my head.

I sped up a little for the last 1/4 mile and watched the clock tick right up to the finish. 29:29 was what it read as I passed under.

Yeah! My first sub-30:00 5K! My chip time is probably a few seconds over 29:00, but given the rough conditions I felt it was overall a good effort.


As for me, I've lost another 3 pounds, for a total of 24 pounds lost.
I'm wearing a smaller size in pants, and I'm buttoning shirts that I've always had to wear open with a cami underneath. I feel fantastic, and it amazes me that I'd rather walk these days than drive. I feel so good after only 24 pounds that I simply can not IMAGINE how good I'll feel when I finally reach my goal. Only 126 pounds to go!! :)

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


Last week, I de-cat-haired my house in anticipation of company. I knew that at least one of my guest was allergic to cats, so I put forth my best effort in cleaning every corner and baseboard. If only I'd known that one of them would be allergic to TEXAS!! The pecan pollen just about did poor Melissa in!

On Thursday, when everyone began to arrive, Kristi and I met three of them - Melissa, Sarah, and Lee - at the airport, then whisked them away to my corner of the metroplex for Fuzzy's Tacos - my favorite! From there, we picked up Cara, then headed back to the airport for Desiree. After spending the day shopping at my favorite scrapbook store, we made our way back to Fort Worth and the historic Stockyards, where we scarfed down tender, juicy, perfectly seasoned filets.

The next morning, 4 more friends arrived, and Darren prepared a scrumptious brunch of fresh fruit, miniature quiches, muffins, and pigs in a blanket. (I don't think I could ever entertain if not for Costco. The muffins and little quiches came from there.) By noon, we were on the road, headed for Summers Mill, outside of Salado, for a scrapbooking retreat.

Don't laugh, but we (by we, I mean Sheri) rented a U-Haul trailer to haul all of our scrap crap! Seriously... 11 women, a weekend's worth of clothes and toiletries, and our scrap stuff. We filled the floor of the trailer, and even had some stuff stacked on top of it!
On our way down to Summers Mill, we stopped in Waco to visit fellow scrapbooking friend Melissa, and to meet her 1-week old baby. He was adorable, and Melissa, as always, looked radiant. Her other two children were thrilled to have visitors, and were delightful and sweet, just like their Mommy.

I had a BLAST at the retreat! I have proof, too. Usually, I'm able to get anywhere from 20-30 layouts done, but this time, I only finished FIVE! And they were five simple ones at that! Since I largely work on client jobs here at home, I make myself work on my own photos at retreats. That's usually enough to motivate me and keep me working throughout the weekend; it's fun to work on my own memories! But this weekend, I was feeling more social than motivated. I don't regret it, though. Between visiting with the other 41 women there and reconnecting with old friends, I had the BEST time! We found time to shop in Salado (a treat in itself), sing karaoke (I did Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'"), and to take a 2 mile walk around the pastoral property.
Sunday night, we returned to Fort Worth, where Melissa, Sarah, Tiffany, Desiree and I managed to stay up all night long! At about 2:00, I said, "We have to leave for the airport in 3 hours. We might as well stay up." And so we did.
Great friends.
Great times.
What a blast!