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.

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One comment on “Tough Love

  1. Erin says:

    Maybe you need a vegan cleanse! 😉 But seriously I know how you feel. My husband stops drinking soda and will lose like five pounds in a week. He stopped eating gluten and lost 30 pounds. I stopped eating gluten and … nothing.

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