Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Reading the few blogs I've posted would make it obvious that I struggle with my weight and with my self-image.  I last posted that I was quitting weight watchers and striking out on my own.  My hope was to simply, casually watch what I eat, not obsess over the scale and move more. 

Let's just say that I'm still working on all three and may be considering WW meetings once again.

In this weightloss journey, I have experienced my share of days that I've looked at myself in the mirror and when I didn't like what I saw, I cursed and called myself several names.  I walked away from the mirror feeling ugly, worthless and like a failure.  I question why I can't be blessed with a faster metabolism, or grab my belly in disgust, or berate myself at my lack of willpower.

But then I heard this song "Beautiful" by Gungor.  The words are simple and pure.  "You make beautiful things...You make beautiful things out of us." It took a few times of hearing those words for it to sink in.  Regardless of what I see in the mirror and regardless of what the world sees or what it perceives as beautiful, I was made and am continually being made...beautiful by a perfect God that doesn't make mistakes.  

Now that is not to say that every time I look in the mirror or get on the scale, I like what I see.  That would be ridiculously optimistic.  But when I hear that song or remember its chorus, it helps me to put things in perspective.  

Arming myself with what is new  knowledge to me, I know that I was lovingly made by God and when I was made I know that he looked at me as only a father could and called me beautiful.


Hear Gungor's song Here.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

10 Years

It has been ten years.

I had just started my job at the Museum, we were still newlyweds living in an apartment in Tampa. And while we were still very much undergoing change in our every day lives - new jobs for both of us, looking for a new house, and no children; neither of us knew just how much our lives and those of the entire country would change in a matter of moments.

Noah was home, he worked in the evenings, and I was already in St. Pete and leaving the coffee shop. Noah called me and told me that a plan had hit the World Trade Center. I remember thinking, "how is that possible?" The furthest thing from my mind was that it was deliberate.

Once at work, I tried to watch coverage on the internet, and got updates from Noah and from the small tv with bad reception in the board room.

All that day and the next and the next, I was glued to the television. I kept trying to look away, to shut it off, but it was impossible. For weeks I was filled with worry, with the images of the planes going into the buildings and the buildings collapsing burned in my brain. I prayed, I cried, I questioned God and his absence. How could he let this happen? So much innocence lost without any cause.

Initially, the nation rallied together. People were more patient and friendly. But eventually that faded. We got caught up in our lives and our busy schedules once again.

For the next few years, I secretly wrestled with God. If one was to ask me, I would have said I was a Christian, that I undeniably had faith in Jesus Christ. But in private, I begged for God to be real to me, for Him to return to me as He was with me before.

Two years later, we decided we would have children. I'm not sure why as we had previously said we didn't want any. So, we had our first boy and five years later our second. They are the light of my life. Once I had my first, I knew just how real God was. And when I had my second, I thanked him for blessing me with so much I didn't deserve.

Today I watched some footage from ten years ago, and the horror and pain I felt was just as sharp as it was then. And while I don't know why 911 occurred and why there is so much suffering, I do know where God is. I know He is very real.

I just have to look at my boys.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Trying Something Different

So, I think there has been a shift in my attitude regarding my weight loss. Since I made my resolutions in January, I've lost a total of three pounds. Sad, right? In truth, I've lost over 10 pounds since then, but gained and lost the same five pounds. I was trying (when I remembered) to use the online Weight Watchers program, but I have a block. For whatever reason, I forget...no....subconsciously refuse to track what I eat. And, since I've lost a heifer-load of weight before on WW, I know that it is the tracking that makes it work. In regards to any moving I've done, it has been sporadic at best. What can I say, I have no excuses for my lack of focus or persistence. Trust me, I want and need to lose at least 25 pounds, so it isn't for a lack of motivation. I have a whole
closet full.

Today, as I was sitting outside watching my boys play, it dawned on me. I'm going to try to lose weight without trying to lose weight. I know it doesn't make sense, and it will likely backfire, but I'm at an impasse. I'm tired of feeling guilty for eating something i shouldn't or for not exercising when i should. I'm tired of self-depricating when I look at myself in the mirror or step on the scale. And while in truth I know that I'm all about the excuses, I am still saying that I've tried everything. For the most part, I make healthy choices when it comes to food and I exercise at least twice a week. For whatever reason I'm on a yo-yo and can't get off.

For better or worse, my weight will do one of three things. It will go up, it will stay the same, or with the grace of God, it will go down.

I am not saying that I'm going to just eat whatever I feel like or become a couch potato. I do have some ground rules.

1. I won't feel guilty when I throw away the food my kid's don't eat, nor will I try a bite or two of their mac and cheese.

2. I am going to restrict myself to wine only once a week (God help me).

3. I will drink more water.

4. I will eat more fruits and veggies.

5. I will eat less meat.

6. I will eat less sweets or other foods that have no nutritional value.

7. I will only weigh myself once a week and not every time I enter the bathroom.

8. I will walk/do some cardio at east four times a week.

9. I will do yoga at least once a week.

10. I will eat smaller portions and always leave food on my plate.

I have no fantasies that I will end up losing all the weight I want or will go down a few sizes. In fact I'm not very optimistic at this point. However, this is still the best option for me. If I can get away from obsessing about my weight, or feeling guilty, or feeling ugly or fat, even if it is for just part of thie time, it will give me a chance to focus on some other things, like my boys, then it will be worth it no matter what the outcome.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Road Trip

Today we took a road trip to North Carolina for a 6 day vacation. I have fabulous memories of road trips from our small town in Maine to visit relatives in New York. I remember sitting in the backseat amongst all of the road trip imperatives - my book, a blanket and pillow, and snacks. We would stop only to use the bathroom and then take a ferry - which always seemed so adventurous - from Connecticut to Long Island. Our once-a-year trips remain some of my best childhood memories.

Our road trip, was slightly different. My man, my boys and I started out the drive at 4 am still under the cover of darkness.

We were followed by our best friend and her teenage son as they would be joining us in NC. Our plan was to drive until it was time for breakfast and then not stop again till lunch. All in all, we stopped no less than 6 times.

We stopped to use the restroom. We stopped to get breakfast - at McDonalds and at Dunkin Donuts (to please all of the palattes). We stopped to use the restroom again. We stopped to get our youngest a burger, and to use the bathroom. We stopped again to get lunch. We stopped to get gas. We stopped to get directions. You get the picture.

Our boys went through various stages of excitement, sleepiness, irritability, and histeria. Liam even began nibbling on his big toe and then using it as you would your forefinger to move your lips up and down to make the noise -bibibibibibibb...

It all climaxed when we pulled up at our destination talking in our best southern accents and laughing out load. I think my oldest boy is permanently scarred from the experience.  Not bad for a 12 hours.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

On Forgiveness

Recently, I had the opportunity to attend two events which had a similar focus:  forgiveness.  One event was a film screening of Fambul Tok, a documentary about an effort in Sierra Leone to bring together perpetrators and their victims in order to not only reconcile the individuals but also the communities they live in.  The other event featured a victim of genocidal acts in the Congo, named Rose Mapendo, who in spite of her husband being tortured and executed and herself and her children being starved, tortured and held captive in a death camp, has forgiven the murderers of her husband and her captors.  So, this is not forgiving a lie, nor is it forgiving a theft or a cheat, but this is forgiving the worst kind of wrong. 

Since the events I've spoken with a few others who also attended.  Many of these people said that there is no way they could forgive these type of crimes.  They said this with strong conviction.  Not only would their be no forgiveness on their part, but there should be no forgiveness from anyone for these horrible crimes. 
And I understand their position.  I do. 

Murder deserves no forgiveness.  Rape deserves no forgiveness.  Tearing an infant from his mother deserves no forgiveness.

I thank God that I do not have to forgive something so horrible; to forgive something like the murder of a loved one is inconceivable.  However, I know, that if my life was ripped apart by such atrocities I would have to find a to forgive the perpetrators rigardless of my pain and loss. 

When Rose spoke, she said that, "when we forgive, we forgive for ourselves."  And it is true.  Often, a perpetrator of such horrible acts is so cold that they do not care if they are forgiven by their victim, let alone by God.  But what happens when we hold on to that unforgiveness?  I happen to think, that in whatever space in our hearts that unforgiveness remains, it turns into regret, anger or hate.  These cannot coexist with true happiness.  True peace cannot live side by side with anger and hate. 

So...real forgiveness is a gift.  Being able to offer forgiveness for any wrong is a gift from God.  Where else does true grace come from?  And when we are the wrong-doers, being offered forgiveness from the one we've wronged is a gift like no other.  Forgiveness leads to more gifts:  peace, healing and real happiness. 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

I'd Do It Again.

Yesterday, my little man competed in his first ever karate tournament.  We are apprehensive: I, because I was "making" him take part, and he, because he said he wasn't a good fighter. 

He has been taking karate at an afterschool program for more than two years, since he was in kindergarten and is a "brown belt-black stripe" (one below black belt).  However, he has never been in a tournament.  When I asked him weeks ago if he wanted to fight in the tournament, he excitedly said yes. 

Things changed as the day got closer.  Earlier this week, when I asked my little man if he was getting excited about the tournament, he told me he didn't want to fight. Ugh... So, what's a good mother to do? Lie, of course!  I quickly thought to tell him, "Too bad, I already signed you up and paid the entrance fee." 

Yesterday morning came and we were there just a few minutes after the doors opened.  It was in a recreation center gym, but transformed by mats surrounded by chairs, however, there weren't so many set up that I thought might intimidate him. 

He first insisted on putting his fighting gear on, even though the fighting was the last event to occur.  He waited with the other kids for his turn in the ring.  I breathed a sigh of relief that he seemed to be calm and not the least bit nervous.

And when he stepped into the ring, and "touched gloves" with his opponent, I should have been thinking, "I hope my baby doesn't get hurt." or "Be careful." I was thinking, "Punch him!  Kick him!" "Kick harder!"  Of course, I can't cheer him on by shouting those things aloud for the other parents to hear, so instead, I shouted silly things that don't really make sense, now that I think about it, like, "Get in there!"

He ended the fighting competition after fighting in twice, winning one and losing one.  They lined the kids up, and all I was thinking was, "Please get a trophy!!" Otherwise, I could see him never participating in a tournament again. 

To his (and my) delight, he received THIRD PLACE in fighting for his age and level group!!! 

For this, I would lie to him all over again!! (Just joking. Or not.)

Monday, January 10, 2011

More Than Just Numbers

When I last posted, I reluctantly posted that I was "happy" about my over three pound weight loss. And I was. Really.

Today, I feel a need to write down other non-scale benefits I have noticed because there are noted differences in myself:

1. I have more energy. I've noticed that throughout the course of the day, I'm not having energy ups and downs. I feel a pretty steady stream of energy. Now, I'm not saying that I wouldn't love a cup of coffee at around 3pm but still eating better really has made a difference.

2. For whatever reason I am enjoying, and even craving, fruit more. I don't know how many times in recent months I have looked into the produce drawer of my fridge at whatever chosen fruits and veggies I had bought at the store with good intentions, only to quickly close the drawer with nothing in my hand. But now I am actually thinking crazy things like, "Cold grapes would be really refreshing right about now," or "I could really go for some kiwi." (As an aside, right now I am obsessed with kiwi. It has been my chosen fruit for a few days now. I have to buy some tomorrow.)

3. I feel determined. I feel more confident in myself and my capability to make better choices.

4. I am eating less. I don't know if it is some psychological thing or really some sort of physiological change in me, but I've changed my portions and now, I fill up faster on smaller amounts than what I was eating pre-1/1/11.

These are some non-scale victories this week - looking forward to scale victories now.