blogging, learning, losing weight, Maintaining Weight Loss, Medical Weight Loss Program, perfectionism, self improvement, self-esteem, self-worth, Writing

An Acceptable Title

I’m having a hard time titling this post.  The reason is because I’m a perfectionist.  I want a title that draws in readers; a title that’s clever and impressive; a title that makes people think, “This girl really knows her shit.”  The truth is I don’t know my shit.  At 53, I question my shit daily.  I overthink, and rethink, edit and over edit, and spend 99.999% of my time working to make sure that other people are happy.  I eat things that aren’t healthy for me (I just ate a doughnut). I skip exercise. I struggle for the right words to say to say to everyone and constantly worry about what people think of me.  I clean and re-clean my house. I pray that no-one at a get together asks me what I do for a living, or notices the extra weight I’ve put on. I say yes when I want to say no.  I do this all because I doubt myself and question my worthiness.  I’ve done this since I was a very little girl.

Self-confidence, or my lack there of, is the number one thing I’m working on with my weight-loss counselor. I’ve learned how to eat and exercise correctly.  I know the “magic” formula for conquering my metabolism and maintaining my weight.  I’m introspective and know why I feel so worthless, yet my whole life I’ve not been able to drop the events in my past, or the words in my head, that have made me feel like I don’t measure up to others.

A few weeks ago, my counselor recommended an amazing book by Dr. Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection, Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are.  Brown is a researcher  at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work who has spent her career studying vulnerability, shame, worthiness, and courage.  I skeptically ordered it and for two weeks it hung out on my bedside stand.  My thought was that this was going be yet another book full of psycho-babble that would end up on my overflowing bookshelf collecting dust.  No so!  When I finally cracked the cover last week at the beach, I found that it was full of simple truths that have begun to cause me to challenge my lack of worthiness, my perfectionism, and my constant need to please others. There were literally mere sentences that flipped my way of thinking.  For the next few weeks I’m going to write about my thought processes and progress as I digest, and hopefully, put into practice the information in this very worthwhile book.  In the meantime, here’s a short clip, courtesy of YouTube, of Brown speaking about her book:

 

PS–I decided to gift myself a break and not worry about a perfect title!

Please only answer these questions in the comments if you feel comfortable doing so.

  • What self-esteem issues do you suffer from?
  • What do you think the cause is/was?
  • What do you do to bolster, soothe, or celebrate how you feel about yourself?

PS–I decided to give myself a break and not worry about a perfect title! 🙂

beach, enjoying family, Having fun, love, Outer Banks, vacations, Writing

The Day After Vacation

My husband and I desperately needed a getaway.  The first two times this year that we tried to grab a vacation fate intervened and distinctly told us “NO!”  First, we missed the Steampunk World’s Fair because my husband’s small umbilical hernia decided to go rogue and need emergency surgery.  Then, a  month later we attempted a camping trip, but I ended up with Norovirus, courtesy of my grandson.  Knowing that we still had our August beach trip to the Outer Banks of North Carolina coming up, my husband and I guarded our health like the Hope Diamond.  It seemed miraculous that we reached our day of departure unscathed and  happily made it to the shore of Kill Devil Hills on August 12th, as planned.

We had our usual blast.  We scoured the beach for shells and joked that our shell overlord would punish us if we didn’t find the best and brightest shells on the beach. (Yes, we’re slightly silly!)  We visited the newly renovated aquarium in Manteo. We ate a ton of delicious seafood from all of our favorite restaurants (I’m not weighing myself until next week!). We swam and sunned with SPF 50, went to an arts and crafts festival in Manteo, and a drag queen brunch in Nag’s Head.  We saw four really good movies and viewed the eclipse* whilst on the beach (unlike our “president,” we managed to look ONLY with our little paper eclipse glasses).  While these were all wonderful activities, my favorite part of the trip was limiting our usage of all screened devices and just talking, reconnecting, and remembering why we’re so great together.

Today, my husband is back to work with a better attitude. I’m home, reinvigorated, knowing that by the weekend things will get busy again, but that I’ll happily embrace what comes my way.

Here are some delicious highlights from our trip:

We managed to take in the gorgeous sunset on only one morning–we managed to sleep in all of the rest!

I’m usually a wine drinker, but I just had to try the Lemon Grass Ale at the Outer Bank’s Brewery.  Their food is also quite amazing!

The two drag queens pictured are Jennifer Werner  and Naomi Black at J.J. Brewbaker’s Eggs, Bacon and Diva’s Drag Brunch.  Both were so naturally funny and  just lovely people inside and out!

The NC Aquarium has a sea turtle rescue.  The turtle shown in the specialized tank is Izzy.  She suffers from a balance problem and was unable to dive down to feed.  She’s fitted with special weights that allow her to regain her balance.

The Osprey nest was outside of where we were seated at Basnight’s Lone Cedar restaurant in Nag’s Head. Ospreys mate for life and they shared their nest with their juvenile offspring. The food and view were awesome!

*The eclipse pictures are courtesy of my daughter.  They were shot in WV. In NC, the eclipse had slightly more coverage at it’s peak, but I had no devices to film it with. The rest of the pics were taken by me.

Hope everyone is having a fabulous week!

blogging, dealing with food cravings, emotional eating, finding balance, losing weight, Maintaining Weight Loss, The Daily Prompt, Uncategorized, weight loss and deprivation, weight loss journal, Writing

In that place where I don’t bulge out…

via Daily Prompt: Caper

Oh, but I fall into excuses, even when I promise myself, and my world, that I won’t.  There’s one more hot dog, because it’s the fourth.  There’s the giant crab cake sandwich, because I’m sick and the prednisone makes me so hungry.  There’s frozen yogurt because, well, because it’s Sunday and I’m with my daughter who loves fro-yo, and it has protein in it.

There’s an extra cup of coffee with cream, because I got up so damn early this morning, and I have a headache from the cough syrup.  I can keep going, but I know what I sound like.  My real personal truth is that I like food and I like coffee and I like doing things that I like.  I don’t want to practice self-control because self-control isn’t fun. Self-control is like being mired in dog shit in the middle of an amusement park.

My shunning of self-control would be awesome if it didn’t conflict with other things that I  adore; like cute clothing and my underlying desire to fit neatly in the same box as most other people.  In essence, my secretive shallow nature is in constant disagreement with my lack of constraint.

So, I have “start-fresh-Mondays” where I get out my food journal and log every calorie and nibble until they are all I can think about.  As I shower, 190 runs through my head.  I vacuum with 370 and watch Friends reruns with 860 on my mind.  Is it too many, is it enough? Can I just have a cheese stick?  Always that damn careful balance!  I pray I can go to bed with the gnawing. I can picture angry little flesh-colored “pac-men” eating away my fat as I run my hand flat against my torso.  Are those my ribs sticking out?  I’ll look great in that skirt; no one will know I’m a fat girl on the inside.

I know I’m wrong, and different, but maybe not.  It’s  simply a caper against myself.  We all have secrets, some salacious some mundane. I’m hoping to be somewhere in the middle; in that place where I don’t bulge out.

blogging, learning, memories, Wisdom, Writing

A Smile and a Puff of Smoke

“You just never know,” is something I find myself thinking lately.  I’m only 53, but have lost several high school classmates within the past few years.  This has led me to a relatively morbid new hobby of reading the online obituaries from my old hometown’s newspaper.  After all, when death comes creeping closer to those that you’ve spent time with from the sandbox to algebra class, you begin getting curious.

My most recent read was about a guy I hardly knew named Jake.  He was a nice enough fellow and managed to do very well, something that I never could–blend in.  In the late 70’s I remember him with long wavy hair and an attempted beard, a flannel shirt and a cigarette hanging from his mouth, as he talked with his similar friends at the “smoke hole,” an allotted space for high schoolers 16 and older to light up between classes.  I remember he was a general studies kind of guy, as were most of the 112 people that I graduated with.  There were only six of us that went on to college. I was sure there, among friends, they were talking about how drunk they’d gotten the past weekend or how far they’d gotten with some girl.  I remember Jake’s ready smile and the way he tossed his hair as he laughed with his friends. They all seemed so at ease and so in their right place in life.  It was pretty hard for a girl like me, who had to hold my breath as I passed the “smoke hole” to avoid an asthma attack, to understand how to feel so in place or at ease in my small town.

At that time in my life I was secretly envious of people like Jake.  They seemed so simple and unencumbered by the daily chore of being liked. While I was doing what all not-so-cool kids were doing, listening to show tunes in the respite of my bedroom, or going out  in public with my face painted like Peter Criss of KISS, I pictured that guys like Jake were having fabulous times down by the river  hanging with their friends.  Turns out, I imagined mostly wrong.

Jake’s obituary was obviously written by someone who knew him very well and loved him very much, because through the eloquent detail of it, I came to better know the guy I shared so many spaces with.  Jake’s life was a hard one.  His mother left shortly after he was born.  He was the youngest of eight children.  When Jake was 10, his father collapsed and died of a heart attack in his arms.  He and his siblings were placed in foster care with a relative and managed to forge on.  Did I mention that I don’t remember Jake ever missing school?  After graduation, he went on to become a Marine and served his country for 20 years before retiring to work as a mechanic.  He had two marriages, three children, and was preceded in death by four of his elder siblings.  He fought cancer for 12 years before finally succumbing a few weeks ago at 53.

So often, the things we imagine about people are simply figments of what we think life would be like if we were living on the greener side of it.  So often we’re wrong. So often we don’t know the true path of those we share a space with and we make judgements based on a smile or a puff of smoke.

 

 

blogging, Crafting to lose weight, enjoying family, finding balance, Finding old friends, fitness, following your dreams, Friendship, losing weight, Maintaining Weight Loss, Medical Weight Loss Program, Mindful Eating, optifast, setting goals, weight loss journal, Wellness Center, Writing

Starting at Square Two

 

Being a stay-at-home Nana has been a joy 99.999% of the time.  I wasn’t able to stay home with my daughters when they were little, so it’s been amazing watching Baby C unfold from a tiny preemie to a big boy.  However, as triumphant as watching each milestone was, there was part of me that had to hugely adjust to being home with a baby all day.  After all, my daughter’s schedule as a resident physician can only be described as grueling.  Her 16 hour a day shifts, coupled with my son-in-law’s odd work hours, often left me watching him for much longer than a traditional work day. Things happened that I didn’t imagine.  Any sort of routine or self-care schedule that I’d established basically became non-existent. I became a greasy haired, yoga pants wearing woman, in an oversized spit up covered tee-shirt.  My food plan of five small high protein meals per day dissolved to grabbing whatever seemed semi-edible from my fridge or pantry  Exercise, beyond walking and bouncing a wailing baby, went out the window, as did, reading, blogging, hanging out with friends, crafting and most things that I’d used as a substitute for overeating.  I began speaking fluent Sesame Street  (not a bad thing) and forgot how to have an interesting conversation. Though my snuggle and love ratio increased, my weight management plan rolled out the door like a trashcan full of dirty diapers and I gained weight; 35 pounds to be exact.

I’d committed to watching Baby C his first year of life, however finding just the right daycare didn’t happen until he turned 18 months old.  As soon as he began his first week there, I scanned my closet for something non-grubby to wear and went directly to my weight management physician and to the weight management trainers at the wellness center. Last week, I entered a comprehensive weight maintenance program and yesterday my weigh-in revealed a 4.5 pound weight loss! I’m proud of making progress and even prouder that I’m catching myself before my weight spirals too out of control.  Having to lose 30.5 pounds sure seems more doable than my previous goal of nearly 100 pounds.  Fortunately, instead of starting at square one, I’ve glided on to square two!

Life is a constant recalibration to find the perfect balance. I’m still spending plenty of time with my awesome grandson, but it’s more quality than quantity.  I’m back to making glass art that’s more intricate than before. I’m back to having time to nurture my relationship with my husband and friends.  I’m also back to posting on WordPress and, oh-so-hopefully reconnecting with the wonderful friends I’ve made on here over the years!

So, friends, how have you been? 🙂 

 

 

blogging, enjoying family, Exercise, fitness, grandparenting, Nana, sleeping baby, sweet baby, family, memories, blogging, Having fun, setting goals, Tips fot weight loss, weight loss journal, Writing

Taking a Stand

With just a few minutes before Baby C arrives to spend the day with Nana, I have just enough time for a coffee and a quick post.  Lately, sitting down has not been a part of my daily routine; and that’s a really good thing!  Anyone involved in health and fitness knows that being too sedentary increases the risk of cardiovascular problems (yes, dear husband, this post is for you).  Since losing weight, I’ve really attempted to spend the day moving as much as possible.  My grandson certainly makes that easy; especially since he seems to be seconds away from beginning to crawl!  Another thing that’s helped me keep active is the fitness tracker that my hubby so graciously got me for my 52nd birthday.  Most days I meet the American Heart Association’s 10,000 step goal before the afternoon.  Often, my goal is achieved by doing a little extra of something I’d normally do; like taking Baby C for a walk or making a few extra trips up and down the stairs while doing housework.  I also take advantage of Baby C’s naptime by doing abdominal workouts while he snoozes!

For those of you committed to staying healthy–what are some ways you add movement and exercise to your daily life?  I’m always looking for ways to stay on my feet.  For those of you who lead sedentary lifestyles, what would motivate you to move more?

 

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Sitting, Nana?  Yeah, good luck with that!!  I’m Baby Coach C!!!

 

blogging, Uncategorized, Writing

This Little Person

There’s a little person gently snoring in the little bed beside of mine.

He’s on his side with his arms flung wild and his perfect mouth so still that I can trace the tiny cupid’s bow just like his mother’s.

Fingers wiggle at the end of chubby arms as if he’s conducting a symphony in his dreams.

How is it that fraught with lack of sleep I can’t close my eyes to this little mystery?

The tiny up-and-down of his chest, the scent of his hair, his button nose, so like mine, are all things I must drink in, I must record, I must never forget.

Sleep, sweet baby, and I will watch in fascination.

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