Thursday, September 30, 2010

One Of My Greatest Parenting Accomplishments (To Date)

The New Deal

I have officially embarked on Operation Physique Transformation. That is what I like to refer to it as, since so far the kids don't know that that means that I think I'm fat.

It's gotten colder and I do not fit in ANYTHING. No exaggeration.... not even my fatter pants I bought last year. I finally busted out the old scale and, welp, I've managed to gain ANOTHER 5 pounds. On top of the 8 I've been battling ever since I broke me ol' ass... almost two freaking years ago! I was really hoping walking Kid to and from school would help. Who knows maybe it has?... which is even more frightening to contemplate.

Either way, I'm having to come to terms with some unfortunate facts:

I'm older, and FOR REAL being in your 30s makes losing weight a lot harder. Every year since I turned 30 has seemed to make letting go of a few pounds much, much, harder.

I'm probably only burning about 1200 calories a day. I think I've been eating closer to 2000. There is quite a large discrepancy there. One that includes cupcakes.

My life is different than it was a couple of years ago when I was so successful at losing weight. My kids are older and need me more and require even more of my time. Not just the activities and such, but the homework, the sexiness guidance, etc. There is a lot more involved time now than when they were little. And because of that, and other family management factors, I don't have time I can devote to working out in the evenings (my preferred and tried and true timing). It's very hard for me to accept this reality, because I know that evening workouts is a recipe for personal success and I'm frustrated that I can't do that now.

I was hoping the walking I'm doing with the kids (up to 5 miles a day) would be enough... but it's not. I might be able to maintain that way, but it is not enough to help me to lose this extra weight. I'm going to need to add other workouts in during my time home with Baby in the day. Unfortunately with errands and meals and classes, etc... there is little time and I'm feeling tired and overwhelmed by it all already. Or am I just sabotaging? I debate that everyday. Should I listen to myself... or am I lying to myself? I'm already walking 1.5-2 hours a day... I don't really have more time than that. (Although I found the time to write this) On Tuesday I did the step aerobic dvd when I got home from taking Kid to school. Baby played quietly next to me with the doll house we left in the basement. It was doable... I know I just have to suck it up and do it until I get back in the groove. It's so much easier once you get going... I know that... but it doesn't make it easier NOW.

I need to calorie count and stop buying snacks allegedly for the kids at Trader Joe's. 99% of the time I eat them. TJ why do you do it to me? Anyway, I've been counting for the last 3 days. I know if I can stick with it I'll see results soon and the rest of this will then be much easier to follow through on. I can either do this now, or I can feel badly about myself indefinitely. I know I can do this and that it will be so much more rewarding and fulfilling to KEEP doing it... once the ball gets rolling. It's just hard to toe the line the first couple weeks.

I must prevail, dammit!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Monday, September 27, 2010

A List (Of Recommendations)

Or boring life details you never cared to know.

#1 I like for us to eat oats for breakfast. I think limiting wheat is important, and we've gone through different phases of wheat avoidance for health reasons... but in general the kids and I eat oat cereal, or some such oat product, for breakfast. Even this one small change does make a difference.

On that note I have recently discovered a new oat cereal (warning: not organic)
I originally picked this up for Mr F. He is, by far, the pickiest most "white bready" style eater in the house. For this I damn him all the time. Anyway, Mr F loves to eat Apple Cinnamon Cheerios or something like that and pretend it's healthy. It's not. Even the raisin bran he likes has more sugar than Lucky Charms. So this seemed like a good compromise choice. Yes, it has some sugar (8g) but it also has 9 g of Fiber... 5 insoluble. It also has slightly more protein and similar sodium to plain Cheerios. I prefer to mix it half and half with regular Os for myself. It isn't very sweet but it does have a strong cinnamon taste. But more importantly, I will report that Kid said last week "Mom, when I eat that cereal I don't have a sick butt in the morning." So. Nuff said. Because that had been a problem. I promptly went to the store and bought two more boxes!

#2 Mr F and I have been watching 2-5 episodes of Lost EVERY.SINGLE.NIGHT. for the last month. We're just starting season 4 now. Holy Mother. We mocked Lost and Lost viewers relentlessly over the years. Anytime we saw a Lost commercial we'd say ... "Thank God we never got started with that crap!"
Um... we beg your forgiveness. There really aren't words to describe how awesome it is. Even, now, in the 4th season when things have kind of gotten a little crappy... it's still good.

Since moving we have not gotten any kind of TV service. And, people, I love it. Yes, I miss an occasional Oprah or Top Chef... but for the most part (thanks in no small part to Lost being such a prolific show) we don't regret it. We went through a phase during our separation where in order to survive I had to have the TV on... a lot. As a family we've had different TV viewing habits. I am a strong proponent of NO TV for kids... and we managed to maintain that with Kid for several years. Baby, not so much. And with the kids I do find that when it isn't an option they play SO MUCH MORE. There is no whining and asking for shows. There is no caving in. There is no feeling guilty for letting one show turn into 3 because I'm kind of enjoying the break. When they watch TV regularly it is always an issue... they are always asking for it... and when they aren't watching it during those higher TV viewing phases they are needier and more demanding and less satisfied to play on their own. When we don't have it at all ... I don't know how to even describe it... it's like we NEVER had it. They don't ask. (Although I should note that there is a short adjustment period. I found actually NOT having TV service was easier for them to accept, and there were only a few days of complaining, than in the past when I've just tried to put a ban on. No TV is kind of hard to get around when there is NO TV service.)

So, in light of that. We have not turned it on. We go to the library (where they have all the seasons of Lost!) and I rent Lost and a couple kid movies and on the weekend, or whenever the kids might watch a movie. This is completely satisfying to them. And there are no more sexy/violent commercials for me to have to intercept!

This weekend, after finding someone had checked out season 4 of Lost (the horrors!!!) we signed up for a free trial of Netflix (they have Lost for live streaming!). We got a Samsung blu-ray player with a 10 year old store credit Mr F found (go Crutchfield! They honored it!) so we could get Netflix (seriously, we are that behind the times... and we don't have a gaming system we could have used).

When we sat down to watch Lost, and brought it up through Netflix, Mr F said "I can't believe this magic box!"

And, really, I had that feeling people must have had when they first got a TV.

It's kind of amazing.

That's that. On average the kids watch 1 or 2 movies a week. I'm hoping Netflix doesn't push us over that. Only time will tell.

#3 I'm kind of loving this right now...

In general I am not a juice for kids person. And I am slightly disgruntled that Naked doesn't make this in an Organic version (which heads up Naked I'd be happy to pay a little more for!). But I've been happy to have this on hand these days. The summer fruit season is coming to an end here and this product has some crazy amount of fruit in it. It is a fruit puree and juice mix (strawberry & banana puree, apple & orange juice). It has more strawberries than anything else (11 per serving) and nothing is added to this product. And it is naturally low in sodium and high in potassium. On the days when Baby isn't eating anything (99 out of 100) she will drink a cup of this. And on the day that Kid buys lunch at school (Mac & Cheese day) I send her a thermos of this so I know she at least had some kind of vegetation. If you buy the little bottles this is extremely expensive. But I've recently found these large 64 oz bottles for 6 bucks. Which for the 94 strawberries alone is cheaper than I could make this at home for. Plus, we all know, if I tried to make this the kids would not drink it. It would surely be, in Baby's words, "agusting". That's just how the cookie crumbles around here.

On the lunch front Kid still brings her lunch the rest of the days. I had to go buy a lumberjack's lunch bag because Kid told me I wasn't sending her enough food. I had filled her lunch bag! Well, I had to upsize. It is hilarious. And it weighs about 10 pounds. It comes home empty. Typically she is getting sent a thermos of milk (with milk ice cubes to keep it extra cold!), an cheese stick, and fruit (berries,etc) for her snack. A water bottle, an entree (yes I said that... typically pasta dish... or leftovers... or a smoked salmon sandwich... or a turkey hotdog), a cut up orange, and chocolate bear crackers (everyone has dessert!). It takes me 30 minutes to prepare and pack her lunch everyday. It is my least favorite parenting responsibility. I hate it! This is why I've conceded to let her buy on Mac & Cheese day. And on that day, when all I have to do is make her snack... I think "ah, this is why people let their kids buy lunch". I just wish they had healthier lunches. Thankfully, on that front, Kid isn't interested in most of them.

When she gets home from school she has another snack.

That girl keeps me in the kitchen.

Oh on the lunch front I'm obsessed with this mother's lunches. I would really like to be able to do something like that. But with Kid's intake requirements I'd be at it all morning.

#4 The Safety Vests. By now, the vest are deserving of their own post. But I would like to report that since wearing them, we have a MUCH easier time crossing the main road. Previously we had to wait & wait & wait until there was a sufficient break in traffic. Now everyone sees us. I can see every driver turn and notice us, whether we're waiting at the crosswalk or walking down the sidewalk, or along our street that has no sidewalks. This is key when you want to not get hit by a car... being noticed. It is very easy (as we all know) to be distracted (the number of people on their phones is insane) or in a zone and not notice what is going on outside of your car. Not anymore. And because of our visibility I have seen a significant increase in decent drivers that realize... oh... they want to cross the street. Not every car, mind you. But 2-3 out of 4 trips a car will stop AT THE CROSSWALK and let us cross. Which in turn gets the other cars to stop. This is huge. And it seems to be catching on. And SO completely worth any wardrobe angst. Also, on the way home from school, when I have Baby in her stroller, I attach my vest to her stroller hood (perfectly covers it) and that makes a great high visibility stroller (which is important since the stroller hits the road FIRST).

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Please Hit Me With Lightening Now

"How was your marriage?" Kid asks looming one inch from my face.

"How was my marriage... or how was my wedding day?" I ask seeking clarity.

"Your marriage." Kid replies.

"Well, you've borne witness to it your whole life." I return.

"Yes, but I don't know about the sexy moments at midnight." Kid says mysteriously.

Mr F and I laugh (while gagging).

"Well, usually at midnight we're done watching Lost and go to bed." I inform her.

"Dad in your room... and me with your sister." I continue.

"It's very sexy." I add.

Kid cackles.

I pray that that thwarts her for now...
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