Saturday, July 7, 2012

Losin' It

So my previous blog described my issues with food, stress and other assorted health issues.  Well, I have been true to my word and, in the spirit of still keeping myself accountable, I have lost 25 pounds in a little over 2 months.  I have a loooong way to go, but I am making progress.  It hasn't been nearly as hard as I imagined it.   I think something finally clicked in my head, made me be able to see this through.  I really am not on a diet per se, more a lifestyle change.  I slowly see myself becoming me again and it is a good feeling.  I truly think that if I had tried to do this even six months ago, I would have only made it a week or two.  I wish I could pinpoint what the difference is this time, why I am succeeding now where failure reigned before.  I am just grateful that I am feeling better and finally taking care of myself.

So, my title refers to losin' it.  Well, I addressed one type of losing, pounds, and now I will address something else I lose from time to time - my mind.  You see, I have a toddler now and, well, sometimes I feel like I am losing my mind.  Certain days, between working all day and coming home and being a mother, I end up empty at the end of the day.  When I read these soaring and beautiful stories of motherhood in all its glory, I feel like I am doing something wrong.  Why do I feel relief once I have two minutes to myself when she finally gets into bed and goes to sleep?  Why do I let her watch that extra cartoon so I can relax for five minutes before the going to sleep merry go round begins?  I feel like the crappiest mother alive.  I love my daughter more than anything in this world, but sometimes I just can't pull it all together, be that perfect wife and mother and professional.  The people that say you can have it all are full of shit.  Yeah, I said it.  It's a fairy tale we are supposed to buy hook, line and sinker.  And that is all it is - a made up story.  All these bloggers, advice givers and "authorities" don't have my life.  Advice that works for one kid, one family, won't work for another.  I am trying to go forward, keeping in mind my strengths as a mother and not beating myself up for my failures and weaknesses.  We are all just trying to do the best we can for the kid or kids we have. 

I have a tendency to give of myself until there is nothing left,  I am tapped clean out.  If I could give advice or a suggestion to other moms out there as well as to myself, it is to remember to fill ourselves up with some of the things we love to do, to take time for ourselves, to recharge our batteries.  I know this isn't new advice or an earth shattering idea, but it is something I am coming to realize that I need.  I need a night of just reading a crazy good book.  Or heading out to the botanic gardens and just walking around, gaining my peace of mind.  Enjoying a cup of coffee at my favorite coffeehouse.  I am slowly coming to realize that time for myself is not selfish, it is necessary to be the best mother and wife I can be.  Finding the time to do this will be difficult with a husband working nights, but I have to do it. 

I have these moments of panic, wondering if I am screwing my Madeline up for life by letting her have that second cookie or zone out in front of the TV so I can get some work done around the house.  And then I really look at her.  She is a funny, polite, spirited, empathetic, smart and wonderful little girl.  That is in no small part to her father that takes care of her during the day and loves her to pieces.  But there is some of me in there too.  I must be doing something right.

"You and me against the world,
Sometimes it seems like you and me against the world,
When all the others turn their backs and walked away,
You can count on me to stay."

You and Me Against the World - Helen Reddy

Friday, April 27, 2012

Ch Ch Changes

Well, nothing like getting the crap scared out of you to change your life.  I went for my annual checkup to the lady parts doctor and got an earful of warnings on high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and other bad health things happening with me.  I get the thrill of a mammogram to check out a small lump, which is probably nothing but still needs to be checked out.  I decided then and there that enough was enough.  What caused all these issues you may ask?  Me and my relationship with food and my tendency to take care of everybody and everything else except for myself.  For too many years, I have let myself get worn down, stressed and exhausted to the point of making myself sick.  I average 5 hours of sleep a night and walk around like a zombie most of the time.  But that isn't the biggest problem.

My name is Melissa and I am a chronic overeater.  I have used food as my reward, my security blanket, my refuge and my escape.  I spent most of the first half of my life eating whatever whenever.  I was stick skinny and never really thought of food all that much.  When I went to college, something shifted.  I dealt with loneliness and sadness by eating a pizza here and an ice cream there.  For many years after that, I gained weight but not a huge amount due to activity and metabolism.  And then as the stresses built and life got more real, I started really amping it up.  Then pregnancy and loss of job and dealing with being a new parent, trying to run a new business, etc. etc.  There was always a reason to make myself feel better with food.  And then, reality, in the form of a kindly doctor telling me to look at what I am doing to myself.  Do I really want to continue this way?  Die of a heart attack at 42?  Leave my family behind?  All because I stuff bad things away with food?  An epiphany occurred.

So I have started this week to use an iPhone app called Lose It! to watch my calories and keep track of my food choices and make sure I start making good ones.  I am hoping to start at least walking a little more for exercise.  I am trying to make this work.  I am determined to get down to a healthy weight again.  I have to.  For my health and well being and as an example to my daughter.

Why am I writing this all out in a blog?  Because I am trying to make myself accountable, to force myself to stick with this.  I also know that a lot of women struggle with weight and food issues.  Maybe we can encourage each other to keep working at this.  Don't we as women have a lot more to do than waste time on worrying about our weight and whether we look a certain way?  I am doing this for my health and to feel better about myself.  It's not for my man or for society's sake.  Will I ever weigh what I did in high school?  Hell no.  But I can get back to being healthier, back to caring for myself, back to me.

"What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, stronger
Just me, myself and I
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger
Stand a little taller"

-Kelly Clarkson