Monday, January 23, 2012

Journal Entry

Since getting married, I haven't done as much writing as I used to do.  I've done a lot more blogging, but for some reason I think that spilling my emotions onto a piece of paper is somehow immature.  I view it as a sign of distrust for my partner.  Before I had him, so often all I had was paper.  I need him to know, and I need me to know, that I trust him with everything.

Today, though, I was upset.  Then, I was stupid.  It's funny how often I get stupid when I'm upset.  I went to my usual antidepressant: food.  After eating two days' worth of calories in one sitting and watching an hour and a half of silly tv shows on the internet, I finally calmed down enough to think my way logically through the upset and subsequent stupid.  As often happens, I got a little depressed about the stupid. 

Then, as always, I got into a battle with myself.  You see, the depressed wanted to turn into resignation and acceptance of my inadequate self and my un-shining fate.  That fought with my ever-present but relatively unsupported sense of determination and belief that I can be better than what I am. 

I need to be different.  I need to do things differently, to reach my goals, to be fulfilled, to be happy.  Perhaps I need to start writing again.  This won't be my journal writing... that's for posterity and obedience.  This writing is strictly for me, for processing, for living and loving who I am.  It's remarkable how hard those two things are.

On a happy note, I bought a pair of jeans on Saturday.  It was the fastest, happiest shopping trip I've ever had.  I found a pair of jeans at Sears for half their original price.  Size 12 looked like it might fit me, so I dared to try them.  They slid on nicely, fit beautifully, and were more comfortable than any jeans I've worn in years.  It's a step in the right direction.

Monday, January 2, 2012


Last year was an interesting year, health-wise.  I began the year pregnant, which precluded any weight loss.  I then had a baby, which meant learning to live with two children.  The first three months were all about healing and dealing with not enough sleep.  During that time, though, I did buy an exercise bike, which I have been faithfully using several times a week since then. 

I also started being more strict with myself in my diet.  I eat more fresh vegetables, and limit my intake of white grains and sugars.  With those efforts, I have lost 20 pounds.

My overriding goal for last year was to eat two desserts per week.  I did really well until Christmas.  The plethora of sweets surrounding me, combined with a lack of my own kitchen, my own cooking, and my own comfort foods, led to disastrous results.  I did like the goal, though.  It was doable, and it worked to decrease my desire for sweets.

This year, I will continue with my goal of only eating two desserts per week.  This year, maybe I can make it through Christmas.  I will change one thing, though.  The words of the goal will not change:  My goal is to eat no more than two desserts each week.  As an underlying strategy, however, I will try to eat one very small dessert at the beginning of the week.  The idea is that by eating a cookie or a piece of candy, I will be barring myself from eating two large bowls of ice cream, thus cutting the amount of calories I consume each week.  It's a good plan, I think. 

Stay tuned!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Halfway There!!!

Woohoo! I've reached 250,000 steps! I'm halfway to my jewelry! And I'm already drooling over it... planning what I'm going to get. It's fun.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


So, in case you were wondering, I'm counting steps. I bought myself a little pedometer, and I have a couple of goals. My ultimate goal is to reach 500,000 steps. This will earn me a new piece of jewelry. My standard for every day is 5,000 steps. My goal is 10,000 every day. I usually make that goal twice a week when I go walking with a friend.

So far, it's helped. I know it's not burning mega calories or anything, but I feel more fit, it keeps me moving more than usual, and Ryan often goes with me to the park in the evening to finish up whatever I'm missing. I've heard that, in order to be healthy, we're supposed to get 10,000 steps per day. That's kinda tough for a stay-at-home mom, really. Yes, you're moving all day, but you're also having to be down at the kid's level, and most of my activity is mental rather than physical. I have to make a conscious effort to get my 5,000 steps every day. If I don't, I frequently end up with only a thousand or so. It's amazing, really, given how much I do in a day, that I'm just not getting that much exercise. Hence, the pedometer helps. I'll probably use it at various times throughout my life.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A New Culture

I grew up hating my body and thinking I was fat. Part of that had to do with the fact that I was tall- much taller than all of the girls and the boys my age. That is, at least, until I reached high school. Then at least some of the girls were taller than me, though most were still skinnier. Part of it, too, had to do with the fact that my mom always complained about her body.

For those of you who know my mom, you know that she is quite skinny, and always has been. She is tall, but has small bones. She isn't a muscle machine fitness guru, and she has some natural life scars... Pregnancy, for example, left her with the normal extra skin around her midsection that she often complains about. Genetically, too, our family tends to carry weight there, and so that was her normal area of attack when she complained. However, overall she is very fit, very strong, she exercises regularly and eats well, and she is generally a fabulous woman with a fabulous body.

As a young girl who didn't know any better, I believed her when she said that she was fat. This, naturally, skewed my perception of myself. Because I was fatter and bigger than all my little friends, and my mom was either the same size as or skinnier than her friends, I felt even worse about my body.

Quick anecdote that I have to laugh over a little bit now: When I was quite young, my very best friend in the whole world was a very smart, very athletic, very short and petite and beautiful girl. Why she was friends with me I'm still not entirely sure. Anyway, I used to complain to her that I was fat. She very nicely said that I was not fat... I was only chubby. I was grateful to her and for a long time thought of myself as chubby.

During my teenage years, I came to realize that most girls think of themselves as fat. This was always difficult for me to hear. "How can you say you are fat as you stand there looking in the mirror at yourself in your skinny clothes when I am sitting over here and obviously bigger than you? If you, who are so beautiful, are fat, then what on earth am I? I must be truly horrendous to behold!" Of course, as I matured I began to understand that this attitude is ingrained by a culture of skinny-obsessed models, actresses, gyms, weight-loss programs, and clothing sizes.

Now, I am not fat. I have too much fat on my body, I admit. And, according to the BMI scale, I am obese. Anyone who looks at me can see that I am not obese. I have need of more exercise and less sugar in my diet. I am working on that. I also have need of a chest-reduction surgery. Perhaps that will come. In the meantime, I have specific plans in place and in effect that are helping me to have the best body I can.

But the point of this post is this: Cara deserves better. She deserves better thoughts of herself, better thoughts of her mother, and better thoughts of others. She deserves a culture that is more interested in moving her body for the simple joy of moving, in eating healthy food because it tastes good, and in looking in the mirror without disgust every day for the image reflected back to her.

As her mother, the best thing I can think to do is to make this pledge:

I will do my very best to like my body for what it is. I will try to enjoy and take care of my body. I will not speak unkindly of my looks, or of hers, or of anyone else's. I will learn to participate in and enjoy exercise and to incorporate it regularly into my life. I will learn to cook and eat vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and meats in good proportions and in a timely manner. I will learn to be happy in this lifestyle and to enjoy not only the benefits but also the process of having a healthy body and a healthy outlook on wellness.

Perhaps I can help her to cultivate healthy attitudes where I developed unhealthy ones.

P.S. I do not mean to demean my Mom in this post. She is wonderful, and part of her bodily concern has helped her to stay fit and trim over the years. I wish I could have the strength that she does.