Saturday, April 12, 2008

Post Weight Loss Dysmorphia

For those of you who don't recognize my uniform, this is me... or I should say... this is my torso:

These were all taken tonight. My feet are about 5" apart... I don't know why you'd need to know that but just in case. I weigh 111 pounds, am 5' 3" tall, have 20.6% body fat, I have a BMI of 19.7, and am a size 2 (all my measurements are up in the sidebar if you're curious).

I mention this because I just watched these videos and the girl in them at the start of her journey has a BMI of 22 and 29% body fat and I thought she looked great and do NOT see myself (or maybe should say I don't perceive myself) as being any thinner than that. I still don't. I even know somebody in real life who is my exact same weight and height... and I have always thought that they were "really thin" and yet I don't see myself as looking like she does. As if I mysteriously weigh the same and yet might look 15 - 20 pounds heavier.

I was at Kid's dance class today and after class I looked at myself in the huge wall of mirrors and thought "my God I'm actually a really tiny person." Not thin yucky thin by any means but when I saw myself I thought that no one who saw me would ever think I was fat or big just... tiny. But it is still hard for me to feel with certainty that I look that way. I mean, I see my reflection everyday, but since we don't have a full length mirror, it is only in bits & pieces, and I guess I don't absorb it really. I think I am most struck by the reality of my thinnest when I'm out of my natural habitat. And I have to say I do look significantly heavier on my videos and I generally take that to be my "real" external look and kind of forget that A) the camera adds 10 pounds and B) using a wide angled lens zoomed on to my torso adds the 10 pounds to my stomach!

And I'm not saying that I think I'm fat or that I see myself that way. I'm just saying that my brain has still not caught up to my weight loss. My mental image of myself is still heavier than my actual self. I spent the majority of my life being pretty average weight wise and feeling a little fat or critical when I saw my reflection. Two years ago I weighed 126. I got pregnant and gained 52 lbs. I gave birth on January 31st 2007. Ten months later I had lost 68 pounds. So in just over a year and a half my body had not only created a child but had put on and taken off a tremendous amount of weight. And I think it has been more than my brain can really compute. I spent 10 months gaining about a pound a week and then 10 months losing about a pound a week... and even though I've been maintaining my weight for the last 4 months I still can't really believe it or own it yet.

It really makes me think about the Biggest Loser contestants who lose 100 pounds in 4 months. That is such a fast transformation... I wonder how they handle that and if it ends up backfiring later.

FYI I am not posting these pictures to try and eek out a whole bunch of "you look thin" comments... I'm not really sure why I'm posting them....
I think I might have more to say on this subject in the morning...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Because I'm Not Sure Why You Wouldn't...

Many of you know that I am passionate about feeding my family as much organic, hormone and antibiotic free food as possible. Now this doesn't mean that we are perfect or "saints" about it. I do what I can to control the food that we eat at home but we aren't psychotic. There are days when we do go to Mc Donalds (no fries though!) and we've been known to eat a Twix or two (okay I've got a whole pack in the fridge right now). And before we had kids I don't think we ate anything that was organic... if we did it was certainly incidental.

Once Kid was born and I went to the store to pick out her first foods I just naturally went for the organic version of things. It was available and we could afford it and I couldn't not buy it. I wanted to give Kid the purest best food available. So it started with baby food. And then as Kid got older and her diet expanded so did our organic purchases... until now when we are probably up to about 85-90% organic with about 99% of our produce being organic.

I realize that buying organic produce is often more expensive... but honestly... not always (at least here in Ann Arbor). There is a reason I shop at 3-4 stores and it does take work to do that (and obviously not every one has the time or drive to do that) but I can say with certainty that I've switched us over from 0% organic to 90% organic without raising our costs per person. The way that we have done that is by cutting out most of the pre-packaged foods that we used to eat. I buy very few "snacks" and mostly whole foods and ingredients.

Hands down my biggest expense is produce. But I don't buy things that are crazy expensive I stick to organic fresh fruits and vegetables that are reasonably priced. I buy most fruits in-season only so often (and yes I'm serious) I can get organic berries at the exact same price in the same store as regular (same with kiwis, avocados, etc) and often stumble upon sales on these fruits when they get a shipment and want to move it out before it goes bad. So in the winter we really stick with bananas, kiwi, avocados, apples & oranges. Fresh vegetables I get in the winter are lettuces, onions, potatoes, winter squash, & broccoli. The rest of the fruit and vegetables I cook with I buy frozen from Whole Foods. They have their own brand of organic frozen produce that is much cheaper than the name brand organic foods you find at a regular store... and comparable with name brand conventional frozen foods as well.

When I do buy packaged foods I typically stick with either Whole Foods or Trader Joe's store brands. Both of these stores carry an organic version of almost anything at very reasonable prices. If I want name brand organic products I do find that they are often cheaper at a regular store and that Whole Foods raises those prices to offset their own store brand prices. The only thing that I cannot find a cheap source for is organic packaged bread... which is why I've been making more of my own lately.

As for meat, fish, and dairy I have decided to focus on antibiotic and hormone free meats and dairy as opposed to organic. When I was a social worker I worked with families in very impoverished neighborhoods in NYC. One thing I witnessed again and again, among young girls that I worked with, was early onset puberty. And it scared the shit out of me. Many people feel that it is due to increased hormone consumption in young girls from diary and meat products. So when I had girls I knew that it was imperative for me to provide them with hormone free food sources.

I don't buy organic milk because we have great local dairies that are hormone and antibiotic free and I choose to support them. I buy chicken from a regional Amish distributer that is widely available in all our local stores. When I buy beef and pork (which I do only once or twice a month) I have now switched to buying "natural" meats that are hormone and antibiotic free (but not always grass fed), which are also available at our local store. I buy only sustainable fish... which was actually a fortunate coincidence since we really only eat wild salmon and farmed tilapia on a regular basis anyway.

I'm still learning about a lot of this stuff and adding new products as I find out more about how things are farmed and produced.

If you haven't made the switch and don't know where to start...
Dirty Dozen... the most contaminated and least contaminated.
Organic Produce...the Top 10 fruits and vegtables you should buy.
Sara Snow, I actually really like her show and have found it to be both informative and accessible.
Sustainable Seafood Guide... this is really important folks. Please read this list and keep it in mind next time you hit the store.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Oh Good Grief

Today was a two shower day.
You know the kind where you take one shower in the morning to get clean... and another one... later... so that you don't kill somebody?

Yeah that was me this evening.

"I'm taking a shower. You guys are driving me crazy." Mrs F mutters as she approaches the bathroom.

"Prepare for what you will find in the shower." Kid says ominously

Oh Jesus Christ... what the hell does that mean?!


Sorry folks you'll just have to watch this one...

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Money Talk Tuesday

You know what time it is!

First, you can review the final poll results to your left. What I find most interesting is that not ONE single person (who stated their partner was responsible for their finances) thought that their partner was maybe a little shady with their finances... yet several people profess to being shady themselves. Just something that made me go "Hmm". (Oh and a shout out to the one brave & honest soul who marked themselves as "clueless"!)

Second.... the meat and potatoes of this week's financial post...

Why are so many smart, educated, people living their lives completely uninformed about their personal finances?
I'm one of you and I'm the first to admit it. Why does it seem complicated? Why so daunting? It isn't really... is it? The truth. The absolute real truth is that it's not. It is no more complicated than any other cause and effect type relationship. And it isn't any different (on many fronts) as, say, a diet and exercise plan.

And yet both of these things... things that require discipline and follow through... are easy to write off as complicated. Why?... because we want them to be. Because if they are then we can't be expected to do them.

Well I'm doing it. I'm really doing it. I don't know what I'm doing but I'm learning. It is time. We are all, clearly, smart enough to figure this out. This is not our accountant's job, or our financial advisor's job, or our partner's job. This is really life. This is our job. I'm doing it.

And I expect you to do it.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Kid Calls It Like She Sees It

"That's funny, I've never done that before." Mrs F exclaims

"What?" Kid asks

"Left my wallet." Mrs F replies

"Oh... Dad's done that hundreds of times." Kid says

This Week The Plan

Arrgh... I've already tried to type this out and get it up once today. Damn Blogger.

Well last night I finally finished my part of the taxes. Thank God that is over... what a goddamn nightmare. Mr F still needs to finish up his business end but I'm done and I can relax.

Purging took a back seat to tax preparation this weekend but fear not we have not thrown in the towel. I have finished clipping all the recipes out of my massive back issue collection and the carcasses will be hitting the curb this Thursday!

On the health front Baby is much improved and has been sleeping much better. 6 years of sleep deprivation down... 2 more to go!

Kid is off of school all week, the weather is finally GORGEOUS, and we'll be heading out a lot the next few days. I'm even planning to load 'em up and take them out to the Toledo Zoo.... such a beautiful zoo well worth the hours drive.

Okay on to this week...


Monday - whole grain penne w/ sauteed peppers & onions, peas & tomato sauce

Tuesday - Trader Joe's Chinese take-out style chicken, rice & broccoli

Wednesday - Chicken Noodle Soup & Apple Carrot Muffins

Thursday - Chicken Caesar Salad w/ Homemade Bread

Friday - take out

Saturday - take out

Sunday - Meatball Soup w/ crescent rolls

Diet & Exercise:
I'm back on board. I'm back to calorie counting, cookie dough eating, & increased exercising. I've got a doable but challenging goal in place and I'm moving forward. With the turn in the weather I'm really going to try and see how much activity I can fit into my days with the kids so I can enjoy the evenings a bit more. I'm still going to schedule 3 hardcore treadmill workouts and one full pilates just to be sure I keep the intensity up. I'm going to start making Mondays a pilates workout day and try to keep that consistent... I've still be having trouble trading off a cardio for a strength and I think putting it at the start of the week might help. I've also started doing sit ups and push ups and tri dips sprinkled through my day... why was I not doing that before?

Errands & Chores:
Well having Kid home does throw a wrench into my usual routine....

Monday - vacuum, clean downstairs bathroom

Tuesday - grocery shop, laundry

Wednesday - zoo

Thursday - vacuum, clean floors

Friday - vacuum upstairs

Sat & Sunday - sell my body on the corner in efforts to earn quick cash to pay taxes

Technical Difficulties....

Blogger is giving me grief today.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

The Furious Family Biking Adventure

The weather has finally started to warm up and so we've been getting all our bikes and outdoor gear in order.

Here's Mr F and Kid trying out their new tandem arrangement....

Thumbs up to this contraption!

I took Baby out on her first bike ride and let's just say it didn't go as smoothly. Someone does NOT like having their feet tied down and so managed to wiggle her feet out of her secured shoes and proceed to kick the shit out of my butt while I pedaled her straight home. Ah well... the good news is that my fitness is so vastly improved from this time last year (or any year for that matter) that I was able to (even with a good 10 month long break) ride that bike with cardiovascular ease... even while being kicked violently from the rear!
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