Fitness Rollercoaster

I’m approaching my 5 year wedding anniversary with my husband.  My wedding photos are on display in my home.  I was fat in those pictures.  Not obese, but not fit.  I just didn’t commit to losing weight in the year between the engagement and the wedding.  I guess I was ‘fat and happy’ at the time.

About 6 months into our marriage, I was pregnant with my second child (my first is 10 years older than the second).  I ate well, but gave in to cravings while I was pregnant.  I gained a few pounds during that pregnancy and the baby came out nearly 10 pounds.  I was breastfeeding him and found it difficult to find time to work out.  I also felt hungry all the time.  I started working out and eating better when he was 6 months old.  I started feeling ill, discovered I was pregnant, and then suffered a miscarriage early on.

A couple of months after that, I was pregnant again with my 3rd child.  I stopped working out because I was experiencing spotting and didn’t want to risk loss of pregnancy.  I was doing well at eating good foods for most of the pregnancy.  Near the end of my 2nd trimester, my husband applied for a new position with his company that was nearly 200 miles from our home.  Trying to pack things to present our house for sale, deal with finding a new home in a new town, and everyday stresses resulted in eating my feelings.  My 3rd baby was my smallest newborn at less than 8 pounds.  My pregnancy weight gain was mostly me.  That was bad news.

When my baby was 7 months old, I was so ashamed of my size, I decided to do something about it.  My closest friend had been successful at losing a large amount of weight and getting fit.  She helped keep me motivated via text.  She directed me to web sites and phone applications that were helpful.  We were able to exchange stories and experiences.  I lost 27 lbs and hung there wanting to lose nearly 20 more, but somehow feeling stuck and like I’d failed.

This past November, I felt stressed out and I decided to take a break from the workout routine.   Little did I know this would result in me losing my commitment and gaining back 20 lbs.  My clothes got tight.  My body got bigger.  My face looked fat in pictures.

I just now am getting back on track.  This Monday, I started logging my food again and working out daily.  My goals this time are less weight oriented and more fitness oriented.  I want to run in a real 5k this fall.  I want to have more energy.  I’d like to have my depression and anxiety lessened through physical fitness.

So far, I find it hard to squeeze in a workout at the same time each day, but I haven’t let myself off the hook if I don’t feel like it.  I am trying my best this time to develop a habit so I don’t have to start over again.

I’m excited about this fresh start.  I’ve felt a little more optimistic and confident in the past few days.  I hope this feeling continues and I hope that writing this will make me feel more accountable this time so that I’m less likely to stop.  I need health for myself and for my family.  I have control over this aspect of my life.  I need to control it.

I appreciate you reading my blog.  Thanks!

Mommy brain clutter

I am a mom.  I don’t work outside of the home.  I don’t have each kid involved in a sport I have to tote them around to.  I am almost constantly stressed out and tired.  I let the opinions and expectations of other people get into my head.  I get into my own head.  I am constantly criticizing myself.

Part of my problem is depression.  It is a big, mean liar.  It tells me that anyone could do what I do better than I do it.  It tells me that every minor roadblock is total failure.  It tells me that everyone is judging me negatively for everything I say and do.

The job I left to stay at home was not my favorite.  I was in an entry-level position for almost 7 years.  I felt like I worked hard and just couldn’t get ahead no matter how hard I tried.  I worked in the same field for over 10 years and was still entry-level.  I failed at working.

My youngest two are home with me all day.  They’re 2 and 3 years old.  I’ve tried having preschool with them .  It was structured; I had all the supplies and teaching information I thought I needed. I set out to do it and it was frustrating.  My husband and I are shopping preschools to  put our 3-year-old son into.  While this is more about socializing him with other children, I feel like it’s because I failed at teaching.  Then, there’s the fact that I get so annoyed with the kids sometimes that I want to go back to working.  It couldn’t be the same thing since I live nearly 200 miles from the old place.  I also don’t want to feel like I failed at being a stay at home mom since I already failed at working.

There’s also the matter of the 13-year-old girl.  She can be sweet, but can also be extremely difficult.  She can be downright mean.  She says she’s extremely unhappy living with us (her parents).  That breaks my heart.  I want to be a good mom to her, but I get so mad at her when she is ungrateful that I’m just as mean in return.

In conclusion, I am just me, but it’s so hard to accept.  I don’t know where the idea came from, but I have this image of the way everything is supposed to be in my head.  I want everything to be that way instead of the way that it is.  I want things to be just perfect and to make everyone happy and everyone proud of me.  Even though if they said they were proud, I wouldn’t believe them. I’d chalk it up to sympathy or simply stroking my ego.  It’s the same way when I see people.  I don’t think they ask how I’m doing because they want to know.  I assume they want something juicy to talk about.  Here’s the juicy truth…I am pretty average and I live a very boring life.  I have something to give, but for some reason I have no idea what the hell that is.

Teens kind of suck

In a couple of past posts, I’ve mentioned my daughter being one of the many teens experiencing harassment at the hands of a fellow teen hiding behind the confines of a keyboard to make terrible comments.  I even expressed concern for her friend Ally, who was suffering from online bullying and even in person bullying at school.  I was so wrong.

Ally, who is 13, recently started having sex with her boyfriend.  She told my daughter about this.  Someone told Ally’s mom about it, which was likely her sister who is close in age to her.  Somehow, her ‘cool mom’ managed to get Ally to blame my daughter for this.  Ally has now targeted my daughter.  I read the text discussions between the two.  While my daughter used language that is inappropriate for her age, Ally made threats of physical harm to her and tried to instigate a fight with her.  I blocked Ally’s number from texting or calling my daughter’s phone.  She went on to anonymously harass her within 10 minutes of me blocking her.  The next day at school, Ally and another girl named Leah tried to instigate a fight at lunchtime.  They all had to go to the school office where they talked things out and the principal let me know they’ve smoothed things over, cried, and made up.  This…was bullshit.  I knew it, but I waited until my daughter got home to confirm my suspicion.

Ally continued sending her messages asking my daughter to  punch her (so Ally wouldn’t be the one starting the fight) and telling my daughter she was too much of a coward to fight.  Ally spoke to friends of my daughter and had them send her texts about fighting.  Also, she told my daughters close friend Renee that she was talking bad about her at the lunch table.  This is stupid on so many levels.  I would talk to Ally’s mom again, but I think that she knows who her daughter is and is comfortable lying for her .  I think she believes her own bullshit.

I’ve talked to  my daughter, who doesn’t want anything to do with Ally, about the situation.  She absolutely doesn’t want to fight her.  She has verbally expressed that physical violence solves nothing in the matter of personal conflict and I am proud of her for that.  She’s also said that fighting is for people who are “trashy”, which I agree.  I’ve let her know that the only reason Ally is upset is because she’s ashamed of what she did when she had sex and her anger toward my daughter is misdirected shame for herself.  I’ve also let her know that hanging out with people who do that sort of thing can unfortunately put a mark on her own reputation even if she isn’t involved in the same activities.

What I’ve learned is that I’m a sucker for a sad story and that I’ll defend people when I think they are going through something hard.  I don’t lie, and therefore assume that other people don’t.   Some naïve part of me wants to be the person who stands up for what I believe is right and fair.  Sometimes, the two aren’t the same thing.   I wasted an hour talking on the phone with Ally’s mom about her daughter being bullied at school and getting beat up for no reason, then getting suspending for egging it on.  I did research for this woman on how to discuss the matter with the school board.  I believed her because my daughter was being picked on and because she said that she was involved to the point of checking her daughter’s communication tools.  These were most likely lies.  The mom wasn’t being vigilant.  Ally was lying to her mom and instigating a fight just like she’s trying to do now with my daughter.  So either her mom is lying or she’s trying so hard to be friends with her kids, that she forgot to parent them.

I’d like to note that I know my teen daughter, and my other children, are not perfect angels who can do no wrong.  Children and teens are young people who require that we nurture them and that we keep an eye on their path.  They sometimes need a nudge in the right direction and sometimes need to be permitted to get lost and find their own way back or blaze their own trail.  While I cannot watch and correct each move, I’m clear about my expectations.   My daughter might not always say the right thing in the heat of the moment, but its unlikely that she would enlist people to hurt someone else through words or threats of physical violence.