I don't have a 5 on Friday post today. Instead I am going to bare my soul and finally post something that I've had half completed for over a week now. The following is the post as I started it last Wednesday:
Greg and I are going away in a little over a month for a weeks holiday sans children!
I am starting to feel the pressure of having suitable clothes to wear. We are spending some time in San Fransisco, then heading to the Napa Valley to do some wine tasting and finally taking a 3-day repositioning cruise from LA back to Vancouver. It's the cruise part that really worries me wardrobe-wise. As a stay-at-home Mom I spend most of my days in jeans or yoga pants and t-shirts. Preferrably long, loose tees that cover all the jiggly bits! Finding dressy clothes for a date is a challenge. Finding cruise wear in my closet is impossible.
The fact that I rarely need nicer clothes means I rarely buy them but the biggest factor in the whole clothes shopping thing is the weight gain. I hate going clothes shopping! It seems like every time I do I have to look at bigger and bigger sizes. I can use all sorts of excuses ... 3 kids, rough 3rd pregnancy, SO tired all the time, the kids are in the fridge every 15 minutes so why shouldn't I be? You name it, I can use it! But the truth is, I gave up. It just became easier to give in than to keep fighting day after day through the pain in my knee, back, hips, etc. It became easier to stop looking for positive results when they seemed to never come. Or worse, they'd come, get celebrated and then disappear again amidst yet another injury setback!
Yesterday was the last straw though. I called Greg up at work and told him I would be taking off shortly after he got home so I could have some "me" time to shop. I'd seen some cute tops in a store at Richmond Centre that I wanted to try on. Optimistically I set off to enjoy my couple hours of peace and quiet and pretty things.
What a total waste of time, energy and gas! A complete exercise in frustration and self-loathing with a dollop of self-pity on top! I left the store choking back tears, got in my car and drove to a different mall to regroup. I had some dinner (yummy sushi that I'd been craving for awhile), sat, read a paper, and found the fortitude to try one more store. This store has a Plus section and I (rather sheepishly) entered it for the first time ever. Wow. What a feeling that was. And not a good feeling at all!! I ended up coming home with some (hopefully) cute things for my trip along with an overwhleming desire to never have to buy Plus again!
Enter Cathy Zielske's Move More, Eat Less Challenge
Okay, so that was as far as I got. Honestly this is such a tough post for me! Having to "come clean" that the weight I've been slowly putting on since ... well, since a miscarriage almost 6 years ago (wow, that speaks volumes in itself doesn't it? Thought I'd gotten over that. Anyway, carrying on ...) has gotten to the point where regular clothes don't fit anymore and the numbers on the scale tell me I weigh as much (if not more) than Greg is just ... well, there are no words for it. Actually, there are plenty of words for it but I don't think they're allowed in G-rated posts!!
After the humiliation of shopping and buying Plus sized clothes, I vowed to do something about it. I'd read about the Move More, Eat Less (hereby known as MMEL) program/idea/whatever you want to call it and decided to check it out again and commit to it. Not just in my head but by paying for the journalling sheets and committing to doing the work. So I did. You buy and download her journalling project (here) and use it to track your food intake, your exercise and measurements. Once a month we are to take a picture and do a layout documenting our progress. Every few months she suggests doing an additional progress report with side by side before and after pictures. (I have yet to take my before picture but it's not totally for lack of trying! Call it technical difficulties if you will and we'll leave it there!)
For me, MMEL has got the good bits that worked for me from Weight Watchers (namely the food and exercise tracking) minus the bad bits that drove me nuts (the points counting!) So far so good. Or should I say, so far so honest. I'll not even attempt to say I've been "good" for the past week with my food. I'm not sure what it's going to take to get me to have a healthy relationship with food. I know I comfort myself with food, I reward myself with food, I punish myself with food, ... you get the idea. The only thing I probably don't do with food is nourish and fuel myself with it!
And then there's the MOVE component ... with school back in session again after Spring Break that means I am automatically moving more as I walk to the Elementary school twice a day when I drop off and pick up Marley. Also, we've been fortunate the last few days to have had some nicer weather so staying at the school and letting the kids play on the playground or walking over to one of their friends to pick them up from a playdate is happening too. Last night was the start of field hockey practices for Marley so that was the 3rd trip of the day to the school and another hour spent on my feet walking around the field keeping LC from harm. It's not sweat inducing, heart pounding workouts but I'm on my feet, moving my body and getting fresh air. All good!
Okay, there you have it. I am not revealing my weight or measurements because quite frnakly I am too embarassed by them. As the months go on I may post some of my progression layouts ... I'll see. Right now, the point of this post, is to publically committ to making a change in my life. It helps to stay accountable when you have people to be accountable to!!
This is not the first change in my life. I've been working on myself for about a year now. In fact I was asked the other day if I looked back to a year ago, did I feel my life had improved? The answer was a resounding "yes!" I know Greg would agree with me too. I feel happier overall. I still have my moments when I feel I can't cope with the girls, with the constant mess/clutter, with the 24/7 demands on my time, with the "constantness" of it all. But they are not so much the norm now. Many things can be called contributing factors in my improved mood. One of which is actually my scrapbooking. Having a creative outlet has been so good! Focussing on documenting the family memories creates a desire to make family memories. And good ones at that! Pouring out my love for my family onto the scrapbook page actually helps me feel it "in real life". I'm not sure if that make sense but I don't care. :)
I had told myself that even though I knew my ultimate satisfaction with myself was going to be tied to my physical fitness and size, I wasn't going to focus on that "right now". It was one thing too many to try and work on. There were other more important things. Things like finding the joy in being a mother again. Things like laughing, playing with my kids, reading, socializing with MY friends. I have made progress in these areas and now the time is right to tackle the (pun intended) elephant in the room!
So I hope you'll join me on my journey. It's not going to be a hugely creative journey and even if I do some layouts I most likely will keep them pretty close to my chest for now. It's going to be a tough journey for me so I need the encouragement and support from you all. Thanks. It means a lot!
Wish me luck!!