Tough Love

On so many levels.

Level 1: It’s all about ME
So the whole weight loss thing can be a bit frustrating. Hubbs isn’t exactly following the WW plan and has his late-night drinks and loses almost 2 pounds last week. Me? I stick to it as closely as possible and do you know what happens? Do you?! I lose 0.4 pounds. Now, the optimist would say: Hey, at least you didn’t maintain or gain weight. You still lost weight! Good job! The pessimist says: WTF dude? That’s it?

I’m leaning pessimist these days.

Back in high school I played sports 24-7. Well, not sports, I played softball. And I was a pitcher. (Go ahead, snicker and insert jokes here. The Hubbs always does.) I’ll tell you straight-up that I have the utmost respect for all pitchers out there on the professional level. Know why? They work the hardest. That’s right, I said it. The pitcher works harder than anyone else on the field to maintain their game. Who is involved in every play? Where does every pitch come from? See?

Anyway, here’s a rundown of my “normal” daily activity level back then:

  • Monday: School, then 2 hours with a personal trainer to work on endurance and explosive power.
  • Tuesday: School, then at least 1 hour of pitching practice when my dad got home — we’d do game-day scenarios after a 30-minute warm up.
  • Wednesday: School, 2 hours with the personal trainer, where “warming up” meant 20 minutes on the stair climber before circuit training.
  • Thursday: School, then 1 hour of pitching practice (with my pitching coach) followed by 1 hour of hitting practice (hip twists and bat speed drills).
  • Friday: 30 minutes of arm whips by the front door followed by 100 hip twists.
  • Saturday: At least 2 games.
  • Sunday: Off

I went from that to … well .. nothing. No wonder my ass is so big.

Nowadays, my exercise is running after a 2-year-old and taking care of a 5-month-old. But I need to do more during the week. I’ve been making the “no time” excuse for too long. I need someone (myself) to get into that trainer mode and tell me to quit making excuses. No whining. Get off your ass and just do it. Get it done with. Because — I know this for a fact — you feel so freaking good after those endorphins kick in.

What I think this boils down to is making myself a priority. It sounds simple, it really does. But in reality, its much harder. At least for me.

My other problem is snacking. I’m a grazer. I graze when I’m making dinner and packing the kids’ lunches for the next day. Yesterday I horked down half a package of club crackers while cooking dinner and making the kids’ lunches. Was I hungry? Kinda. Why did I eat them?  

Because they were there. 

I really need to cut that crap out. I mindlessly ate like 16 points worth of crackers — more than I allot myself for most meals — and I wasn’t even hungry. If I have to graze, I need to eat an apple — or something healthy — instead. Mind over matter, as my dad used to say. Everything I need to succeed is in my mind.

Level 2: Being 2 Can Suck Sometimes
They call it the “terrible twos” for a reason. Kids suddenly have very strong wills and want to exert their independence. They have these really big emotions — like frustration and sadness and anger — but don’t have the tools or the vocabulary to express them. Put those all together and what do you get?

In a word, tantrums. Horrible, ear-splitting tantrums. Embarrassing tantrums. Roll your eyes and grit your teeth tantrums. We’ve rocked the spectrum here.

And really? There’s not much you can do about it. So we make sure he’s safe as he flops dramatically to the ground and then let him flail about like a possessed sock monkey. We tell him that he needs to calm down and stop crying and that once he does, we can go play again. And then? We walk away. Preferably into another room if we’re at home. Two seconds later the crying stops and little feet come slapping across the floor behind us. This is often followed by a “harrumph” as he drops to the floor to play with a toy or a “powe” with arms extended, indicating he wants us to pick him up. (Powes are followed by hugs and snuggles, which I prefer.)

The public tantrums are harder: As in, we’re in the baby section at Target and he pulls an ear-shattering tantrum. We have no idea why. And then he wants me to powe him. Not Dad. No way. He wants Momma. Who has his sister strapped to her in the baby carrier. So the sister gets unstrapped and handed off to Dad and the two of them spirit away to another aisle/section/store/country while I turn to the crying, sniffling, shouting, kicking, and writhing mass that is my son.

Me: “Do you want Mommy powe?” He screams and shrieks but doesn’t answer. I kneel down, pull him into my lap, and wrap my arms around his little body. He’s still screaming and my right ear starts to ring. “Buddy? I need you to calm down and stop crying so you can tell me what you want. Can you use your words?” Cue louder shriek and the left ear vibrates.”Dude.” A little firmer now. “Hey.” He looks at me. “Do you want Mommy powe?”

“Yeah.”

“OK then!” And he’s up in my arms, his little hands are coming around my neck and his head lays against my shoulder. He’s still crying, just not as loud. “Do you know what you want? Can you use your words and tell Mommy?”

“Powe.”

…. Hmmmm …. “Mommy’s already powe-ing you. Did you want to snuggle in the carrier?”

“Yeah.”

Oh my lord. “OK….” So I strap my 29-pound toddler into the baby carrier, silently thanking the manufacturer for making it so strong: It’s officially approved for children up to 40 pounds. He stays like that for about two minutes before crying because he wants down. But he doesn’t want down-down. He’s jumping and whining and I’m about the pull my hair out when it hits me: “Are you hungry?”

“Yeah.”

I bust out some caramel rice cakes, graham cracker cookies, and a sippy cup of water, plunk him down into the basket and smile at him. The crisis is averted for another 10 minutes.

Dear Universe: If I ever said anything about screaming kids before or made some comment about their parents? I apologize. I really, really do. Because I am now that parent with the screaming child, and it is an obscenely uncomfortable position to be in sometimes.

Goals

Fact: I’ve given birth to two children in less than two years.
Fact: I love those two kids so much that it hurts sometimes.
Fact: They freaking ravaged my body.

I’m under no illusions: I wasn’t even close to being a supermodel before I was a mom. I’ve always been pudgy or portly or downright fat. I’m not going to get into the hows and whys of it, but there you go. But now? Lets just say I feel downright disgusting.

Pre-babies: My stomach, while not thin or cut by any means, was at least pretty flat. I had hips. I had shape and knew how to dress so I could at least pull off a polished look.

Post-babies: My stomach is paunchy. I have a paunch. I constantly look bloated. My stomach itself is puckered by surgery scars. Stretch marks streak down from my rib cage to panty line like lightning bolts. Lightning bolts on a beach ball. Or a zebra. Take your pick. (I’ll never, ever, wear a bikini.) My hips are nonexistent. My hair is falling out around the temples (standard for me after birth/surgery. It’ll take at least a year to look normal again.). My skin is freaking out and can’t decide if its going to be oily or scaly like a lizard. The bags under my eyes are so dark they look like bruises.

People, I am the definition of a hot mess. And I’m not going to take it anymore.

I joined Weight Watchers about a month ago, and I’ve almost lost 10 pounds. I’m doing the online only program, because the thought of finding the time to squeeze in a meeting every week made me break out into hives. Plus, I don’t like meetings. I don’t like stepping onto a scale in front of anyone else. And I don’t like sitting in a room full of strangers talking about swimsuit season. I don’t do group therapy. At least not that way.

I’ve told my parents, and my dad has been super-duper supportive in his wonderful, non-annoying way. He told me that was great and that he knew I could do it and then he shut up about it. (Lovely man!) He’ll listen to my updates when I want to give them, but never pries. He did, however, tell me I looked really good the last time I saw him, which gave me the warm fuzzies.

Also supportive? The Hubbs. As in “we’re in this together” supportive. The Weight Watchers food tracker bugs the crap out of him, so he’s kinda piggy backing off me, but we’ve got solidarity going on, which totally helps.

I don’t have a magic number as a goal. I’m going more for “being less than XXX lbs” and “feeling good about myself.” But: I also have another goal: The Dress.

I ordered this last week and got it Saturday afternoon. (Because who has time to go to a store and try clothes on? Not me! At least not until the yard monkeys are asleep.) Anyway, when I saw this dress I saw sophistication. Glamour. Elegance. Someone who is put together. Something I would LOVE to be able to pull off. Something I could wear to a wedding and for a special night out with the Hubbs.

I bought it in my pre-pregnancy size. And technically it fit. Which is to say, it zipped without busting the seams or the zipper. (Also: If not for the nearly 10 pounds lost already, I would have had no hope of fitting into this, so progress!) From the bust up, it was gorgeous. My skin looked luminous in it. Length-wise? Slamming. But the stomach-area … I looked five months pregnant. If I invested in a good pair of Spanx I could probably knock that down to three or four months pregnant.

I do not want to look that way anymore. I loved being pregnant and I loved my belly when my children were in there because it wasn’t me. It was the child. That little life. But now I look like I’ve got a deflated basketball attached to my torso. Its not flattering to say the least.

So my short-term goal is this: Fit — and look good — in this dress by October, when the Hubbs and I are leaving the kiddos with their grandparents (and uncle) so we can go to a wedding.

Don’t wish me luck — wish me perseverance. 

Little Things

Dear Munchkin,
Thank you. Thank you so much for your smile.
For the way your eyes crinkle at the corners when you’re amused.
For the way you squirm with your entire body fishtailing all over the place, limbs akimbo and back arched.
For the way you look at your brother when he’s running around like a crazy person.
For the way you smile at him after he gives you a hug and a kiss.

For the way you smile at me when I go into your room each morning.
For the way you snuggle against me and sigh with content when I bring you into my bed.
For the way you hold my hand when we’re cuddling.

For seamlessly adjusting to practically everything we throw at you.
For the way you have easily wrapped each of us around your little finger.
For the fact that you don’t abuse that ability. Yet.

For the way that you obviously love and worship your brother.
For the way that you smile at your father — like you’re seeing the sun for the first time.
For your mellowness. For your happiness. For your joy.

Most of all, thank you for your laughter.
Love,
Momma