Getting a little more JOLLY, a little more GREEN, and a little less GIANT.

21 August 2013

Of Growing Children and Coping Mechanisms

Today was the first day of school for my two oldest. Third grade and second grade. (Aren't they cute?)

I'm very excited for them! A new school year was always one of my favorite times as a kid. It's a fresh start. Lots of new and fun things. Friends, old and new. Opportunities to learn cool, new material.

But as a mom, I find it tremendously difficult to hand my children over to the world again. The world can be cold and cruel. I know it's just elementary school and that they are in the capable hands of wonderful teachers. It's just very difficult to sit back and let them go. I cannot be with them, available to help or correct or comfort at any moment.

And they're just growing up so fast! Third and second grade?? How did this happen?! I never considered myself to be a helicopter mom and trust me, I love having a bit of a break, but it's always quite emotionally stirring to watch my children begin a new school year.

Between the contradicting emotions of the first day of school and feeling so overwhelmed with other things going on in my life right now this is what I want to do today:

Lay in bed. Eat. Cry a little. Eat. Lay on the coach. Eat. Watch TV while eating. And then eat some more.

Man, those bad habits and old coping mechanisms die hard!

But eating and crying and laying in bed aren't going to make me feel any better (most definitely worse!!) and not help me to accomplish the tremendous amount of things I need to accomplish this week.

So this is what I AM going to do today:

Pray. Get up. Turn on some loud music. Dance. Clean my bathrooms (it's Watercloset Wednesday after all!). Drink lots of water. Feed and nourish my body. Pray some more. Tackle my to do list with vigor. Clean my house. Do some computer work. Go for a walk. Make a treat for my kids and be ready to listen to all the great things they will have to say about their first day. 

Guess I better get busy!

16 August 2013

Donut Distress

Over my weight loss journey I have learned (and relearned and relearned) a very important lesson.

Important Lesson: When I am very good about only having ONE single solitary treat a week, I am so much more successful at losing and keeping weight off.

That may seem extreme to some. It may not seem extreme enough to others. It's not total abstinence from goodies and sugar, but it's a way I have found to still indulge, but not lose total self-control.

So when I am being very good, I plan ahead and ponder (sometimes rather obsessively) on just what my one special treat will be for the week. If I'm only going to be able to have one, I want to make it gooooood.

I think about what I've been craving most. Chocolate. Ice cream. Soft pretzel. Chocolate. No Bake Cookies. Cheesecake. Chocolate. Icee. Coke. Chocolate. It's usually chocolate.

I want my treat to be high quality and fresh and hot or cold or whatever condition it needs to be in to be at it's peak of deliciousness. If I'm going to consume those empty calories, they need to be the most amazing empty calories I have ever eaten!

So this week, all week, every single day and night, I have been dreaming about donuts. Hometown Bakery chocolate cake with chocolate frosting donuts to be exact. Soft, moist, sweet, delicious! I'm not the biggest donut fan, but these just call my name.

Over the week there was more than one occasion where the thought popped in my head, "They sell Hometown Bakery chocolate cake with chocolate frosting donuts just half a mile down the road at the gas station. Just go grab one really quick. It's okay. You've had a hard week with the kids. It's okay. You've been really good today. You got your exercise done. It's just one little donut. Do it! Eat it! Just go! NOW!"

But I shoved those naughty thoughts aside and eagerly waited for today, my treat day.

After running a couple of errands, we stopped at Hometown Bakery. Now if you're going to eat a donut, this is the way to do it. Straight from the bakery. Fresh and soft. Delicious. In the past we would purchase a dozen (or more) of these bad boys and devour a few before we even got home. Then I would pick at the rest for the next day or two until I had eaten more than my fair share of a dozen sugary, fatty, enriched, carb-filled donuts. This time I told everyone they could pick out ONE. One donut for each of us. No donuts leftover=no temptation.

My daughter held them lovingly in her lap all the way home. She placed them on the counter and I dashed to the bathroom. When I indulge in my ONE treat, I make sure every single circumstance is right. I don't want to be hurried or distracted by anything. Full bladders, noisy kids, the phone, the computer, the TV, NOTHING gets in the way of my weekly treat experience. That's right. I typed "experience". Because that's exactly what it is. Smell, sight, touch, taste, even sound. All those senses are coming to the party.

So...Kids outside? Check. (Good. No one begging for a bite or asking me to tie their shoes.) Bladder? Empty. Hands? Washed. Now...on to get my Hometown Bakery chocolate cake with chocolate frosting donut that I've been planning on, dreaming about, abstaining for all week long.


Where's my donut?! My fresh Hometown Bakery chocolate cake with chocolate frosting donut?! WHERE?!

Panicked, I ran outside. And it was there that I found my donut. The donut I had been craving all week. The donut I had shunned all other goodies for. The donut I had saved myself for. The donut I had lovingly chosen from the dozens of other donuts. The donut I had been savoring even before I had held it in my hands.

At first I tried to laugh about it. Ha ha! Those darn two year olds. He...he...

I even plucked it from her hands, triaging it to see if it was worth saving. It wasn't.

I tried to convince myself I didn't really need it. "I'm tougher than donuts these days."

I even thought about running down to the gas station to get another one that was "only" a day old.

But after I saw her toss it on the ground, half-eaten, for the neighbor dog, I walked into the house and had one of these moments:

It's quite possible that big wet tears came to my eyes and began rolling down my cheeks. Read "quite possible" as: it happened.

And it was in that moment, as I was crying over one stupid lost chocolate donut--a fully grown, 32 year old woman, a mother of four, someone who has been through a two year weight loss journey--that I realized just how emotionally connected I am to food. How I will always be connected no matter how much I weigh. How I will eternally struggle with this addiction, just the same as an alcoholic or a drug addict will wrestle with life long demons and temptations.

Now this isn't an entirely original realization. I've known for a long time how bound my emotions are to food. It was just so sudden and shocking and embarrassing that it became instantly and starkly obvious. My husband walked in the house and caught me in my "moment". I don't know if he could understand what was going through my head. But at least Ross does.

And if he doesn't, Monica for sure does.

I'm sure there's some clever line that should go here about how you can take the fat from the fat girl, but you can never take the "fat girl" problems from the girl.