Energy

I’m moving right along still on my weight loss journey.  Last week I was definitely more hungry and had a few more treats that my “perfect” first two weeks, but still managed to lose 3 more pounds.  I started a private IG account too in order to track myself.  It’s fun to connect with people but I’m still being very protective of what I’m doing here, so I haven’t opened it up just yet.

I did tell one of my best friends about the medication.  She’s super supportive and is even helping me tonight when we go to a wine tasting and dinner together with friends.  She will be around me the most when we are at parties or out to eat, so it felt like a good idea to have an ally.

Speaking of tonight, I have a game plan: Doing a 3 small tasting & sharing with my boyfriend and giving another person my 8 tasting.  I’m ordering off the low calorie menu and staying clear of the bread at the table.  I’m also having iced tea with my meal vs. a glass of wine.  I’m going to do a 10 minute ab series before we leave after work, as well, since I was too tired this morning to get out of bed.

My partner who I live with mentioned working out in the basement with me.  I don’t know if this was to get me to stop asking him if he was going to join the gym with me (I haven’t been pestering, just mentioned it over dinner).  So this morning I tried to get him up and he wouldn’t budge, so I went back to sleep too, as I didn’t sleep well and every muscle is sore on me.

That is exactly what I was worried about if we did join a gym together.  His lack of motivation would drag me down.  I’m going to stop asking him to join or worry about him for now.  I look at this morning as a test.  I need to do this on my own, for myself.  I do not want to share my victories with anyone quite frankly.  This is my work to do.

I’m also noticing that my energy for everything in my life is not infinite.  Now that I’m spending a lot more time on me and my weight and nutrition, I don’t have the capacity to extend or compromise myself for my partner’s shortcomings.  I don’t know what this will mean for us, but if I have been patient with him, he will need to be patient with me.

I’m nervous for the holidays.  It’s a lot of buffets, alcohol and food presented to me that is not in my control.  I have set a small goal to get to and through the 270’s by 1/1.  That’s 2 weeks to lose 11 lbs.  I lost 11 lbs. in 2 weeks since Dec 1, so I don’t think it’s unattainable.

I’ve already let a few family parties know I’m not drinking so no reason to stock up for me (when they asked).  I’m being the designated driver for a few events at restaurants and bars.  I’m making plans head of time.  I’m also using the time off work to get in a ton of workouts.  Last night I swam laps since I didn’t have my kid with me.

No alcohol is going well too.  One of these days I literally had one sip of wine to taste a bottle before choosing it as a gift, but it still counted.  My skin is definitely showing the rewards, as well as the scale.  I just need to figure out what to do with myself sober.

streaks

This last Friday I went to my company’s holiday party and did indulge in 2 glasses of wine over the course of 5 hours.  I was pretty much sober for the event and as everyone moved to the dance portion of the evening, I just found myself standing at the side of the dance floor bored.  My date was a little drunk and having a good time, I was trying to make small talk, we danced to one song, but mostly I just wanted out of there.  Afterwards we went to our local dive bar to listen to music and I had an iced tea.  I lip read some movie on the NFL network about a linebacker from the Steelers career while a cover band played and tried not to fall asleep.  I’m feeling super boring without booze.  I don’t MISS it at all, honestly.  But i don’t know who I thought I was if I’m not the life or the party girl.  Something else to figure out as I go.

It’s insane to me how protective I feel about myself right now.  Like I’m holding the little girl in me that is afraid of the world.  This is an interesting journey for me, for sure.

-Lulu

Fat Girl Tears

On December 1st I went to my doctor to check up on a cough that wouldn’t go away.  Turns out I was ultimately fine, getting over Whooping Cough.  I’ll live.  At the appointment I purposefully didn’t want to be weighed because I knew it was probably not good and I had been halfheartedly working out for awhile, so I thought I was okay.  However, those pictures from Thanksgiving where I was at a side angle, not posed, had been haunting me.

When the nurse left I jumped on the scale anyways and to my horror realized I gained more weight since August.  I was 8 lbs. away from 300 lbs.  A number I didn’t even see when I was carrying another human being on my person.

I don’t know why I was shocked or why exactly this was the turning point, but I suddenly knew that I needed help outside of my own abilities.  We got through the exam on my lungs, etc. and I asked the doctor if she had a few more minutes to talk.  I laid it all out there.  That I was gaining (we looked at my chart, I have gained 40 lbs in the last year) and it’s not stopping.  I told her I was binging at times without using that word, that I was discouraged and desperate to try something further before we got to the point of surgery.  I am terrified of surgery.  That I know exactly what I’m supposed to do but I feel stuck and scared.  She listened and then suggested an appetite suppressant.

She told me it’s not a magic pill.  It may make me lose weight but I will gain it all back when I go off of it if that’s all I use, and I will have to stop taking it because it’s not a long term solution.  I have to do work with it.  She has seen some success but not much because people usually have that attitude.  I agreed to give it a shot for 3 months.  My blood pressure has always been fine and that was the only thing that would stop her.  It does not mess with any of my other medications and I should have no real side effects.  I agreed to try it for 3 months.

I left her office and walked to my car, closed the door and bawled.  I cried all the way to Walgreens to pick it up.  I took my first pill in my car before picking up the Thai I ordered for lunch and going back to work, still crying.  I looked up a ton of information on the pill at work to prepare myself for any lesser side effects (dry mouth, high energy, trouble sleeping, bad taste in mouth).  When I got home from work that night I went upstairs and sat in my dark bedroom on the floor and bawled some more.  Sobbing, heaving cries.  I gave myself 30 minutes of tears and decided to get up and get going.

I got myself here, I can get myself out.  No, these pills aren’t the same pills I found in our spare bathroom when I was a kid and realized my mom hated herself (why did my mother keep her diet pills in the kids bathroom anyways? Ah, probably hiding them from her husband.)  I’m not a failure for asking for help.  I trust my doctor to know if these are dangerous and I have a time line of 3 months to get my ass in gear.  USE THIS TIME.

USE THIS TIME has been my mantra for the past two weeks.

Immediately, day one, I noticed I wasn’t hungry like I normally am.  That all-consuming constant nag that says “EAT SOMETHING RIGHT NOW” was and is gone.  It has been, dare I say, EASY to stay under 1,500 calories, even 1,300 most days.  The hardest thing for me in the past is now suddenly a non-issue.  I can see why this works temporarily for people.

I don’t want temporary but I’m not sure where I’m going just yet either. When I start to spiral or shame talk myself I start worrying about the end of this 3 months and how much I’ll put back on. Are these pills a crutch?  Can I unlearn this behavior?

I haven’t set a weight goal or anything, because I don’t have a tangible goal like that yet.  Mostly I want to fit into my clothes again.  I want to be active for my kid.  I could give two shits about a size in a piece of clothing.  I can’t even fathom being lower than a 14, so I’m just going by “how much can I lose this week.”  I know this will change, but I can’t get past day to day right now.  It’s also dangerous for me to do so, I’m learning, as I spiral quick. Day to day.

December 1 I started logging my food, every bit of it and continue to do so.  If you know me, you know that I absolutely HATE this.  It’s why I resented Weight Watchers, etc.  But I haven’t hated it.  It’s felt like a science experiment on myself.  Day to day.

I rejoined the YMCA the next night and swam laps, weekly, for 45 minutes.  I walked my 292 lbs. ass across the pool and swam in the lanes next to the high school swim team practice.  I didn’t waiver.  I have a set workout routine at home and the Y that I use almost every day (except Wednesdays) that includes weight lifting and cardio, plus yoga that I do every morning before my family wakes up.  I am planful and I don’t miss anything, so far.  I even sleep in my workout clothes so there are no excuses.

I also haven’t told a soul I’m doing this.  My boyfriend knows I’m eating better and working out and it’s important to me, but I haven’t told him about the pills.  I’ve told none of my friends or family.  I do not want to even post about any pounds I’ve lost or will eventually lose on Facebook, etc.  I feel protective of my body and where it’s at.  Everything feels very fragile and I don’t need approval or input for where I’m going or how I’m getting there.  I am also scared that people really don’t have faith in me, like I always fear.

I trust myself enough to know that if these pills start making me act weird, I’ll stop.  I’m in contact with my doctor weekly about progress.  I have had no real bad side effects other than I can attest that the dry mouth is NUTS.

That nagging hunger being erased has given me a freedom to really start examining how I got here and where I’m currently sitting.  I’m only two weeks in here, I’m not naive enough to think I’ve conquered some hill.  There have been a few victories mentally that I can claim though.

Not having this all-consuming hunger has made me realize I don’t really need to eat as much as I did.  I was WAY under estimating just how much was going into my body and I was eating for reasons other than hunger.  I eat when I’m not hungry, when I procrastinate, when I’m tired, when I’m anything emotion and I eat enormous portions.  After work one day last week I went directly to the pantry to look for a snack and realized “Wait, I’m not hungry” it was just that time of day where I check the pantry.  I’ve caught myself doing this numerous times.

I also listen and watch those around me.  My mom came up and spent a lot of time talking about what she was eating or wasn’t eating, how “good” she was being, how much weight she was losing etc.  I sound exactly like her yet I watched her eat garbage, exactly what I had been doing.  My boyfriend eats terrible and constantly.  Mounds of food, snacks on a constant rotation to his mouth and never much greenery.  He has the luxury of moving all day at his job vs. me where I sit, but still, how long can that last?  Have I been trying to keep up with him when we eat together?

I didn’t really ever taste food as much as I thought I was.  I’ve shared the memes on Facebook that were all “fuck this, i want chocolate” and yet I’m sitting here turning down cookies for strawberries because I actually don’t like how sugar tastes in my mouth after I’m done swallowing. This Sunday I made my famous chili that I normally stuff a half sleeve of Saltines in.  I ate it without crackers, measured by a measuring cup, and I was a little nervous I was going to have to power through it.  It tasted amazing!

I have also almost completely erased alcohol.  I drank fat free hot chocolate Friday when my neighbors brought over Not Your Father’s Root Beer.  I’ve turned down cocktails when out to dinner with family.  I drink iced tea when we watch hockey at the bar.  I don’t exactly miss that either.  After two weeks my skin looks way better, as well.  I’m canceling my wine club membership in January with no regrets.

The spiraling is still going strong, but I’m trying to learn from it as I go.  Yesterday we had our office xmas party at lunch and there were a ton of cookies and brownies, etc.  I indulged in 5 cookies and half a cupcake and felt that binge mentality come on quick, like I couldn’t get enough.  I stopped, pounded water and had a very sensible dinner later but the guilt and fear that I had after it stayed with me until this morning.  I had to tell myself that I’m working out today not as punishment for yesterday but because it’s good for me.  I made myself work out when it’s normally been easy because giving up over one bad day wasn’t an option.  I’ve had to tell myself that if I don’t lose another 7 lbs. like last week, it’s OK as long it’s going down.  I cannot believe (well yes I can) how much guilt and fear and shame is ingrained in me over this.

When I start to tell myself this is just another phase, that my boyfriend has no faith in me that I’ll be successful, that I’m setting myself up to gain 30 more pounds after I eventually stop I have to really adjust.  As in, it’s a physical hard stop I have to make.  During work outs when I’m tired and want to give up, I just keep saying “use this time, use this time.”

For all the body positive work I have done over the past 3 years, I completely forgot about a huge chunk of my brain that still holds on to 13 year old chubby Lulu with new big boobs, 5’9″ sudden frame and hips and thighs that don’t look anything like her tiny sister’s.

Mostly, in a nutshell, I’m amazed at how I’m doing and how different this feels.  Did I hit rock bottom?  I’m terrified to tell anyone that I’m doing this.  I’m in awe of throwing away half a small salad because I’m full.  I’m proud that I can turn down booze or grab a protein shake instead of burgers and fries.  I don’t get sad when I think I have to do this life for the rest of my life, instead I’m excited to see where I go.

That all-consuming hunger I had that died, hopefully forever, but maybe temporarily until I know how to work with it, has left me with a clear head for the first time in my life.  I’m scared of it, but I’m hoping to replace it with something else.

Wish me luck.

-Lulu

All the Single Ladies

Everyone, and I mean everyone, even my hairdresser has told me to just “get out there,” “let a guy take you to dinner,” “just have some fun” and eventually I thought “fuck it why not.”  Well, what I found out was that there are a million reasons for why not.  At least, why not yet.

I did the respectable thing first: I cleared it with my ex-husband.  I didn’t ask for permission but I’m trying to be very sensitive to this tricky situation.  I want to keep a friendship with him and I want to be respectful because we are still married technically and I would appreciate him asking me my feelings.  Our kid is the main reason for any of that.  I hold my tongue and check in with his feelings even when I am seething with anger because I will cut off my legs if it means keeping this family a family, separate houses or not.

I also wanted to set some ground rules should one or both of us find some true love one day.  No parading dates in front of our daughter, the dates would know our situation up front, and they would HAVE to be okay with us being friends and raising our kid together or no deal.  He agreed and I knew he would.  A good match for me, maybe not, but an excellent caring father?  Totally.

Plus, I suppose in a tiny subconscious way, I wanted him to say “No!  Come back!  I’ll change!” or show some emotion.  Sadly, his initial reaction didn’t show much concern at all.  Sigh.

So onward to http://www.datingdudesthatlooklikeTomSelleck.com.  I uploaded a profile, co-written by BeBe herself, put some decent and realistic pictures of myself on there and waited.  Uncomfortably.  It wasn’t the 50 guys that “liked my profile” that were either shirtless, smirking or emailing me to ask to wrestle, but just the idea of dating in general.  I could tell I wasn’t ready, serial killer dudes or not.  My gut was talking LOUDLY and the alarm bells were ringing.  Still, I’m an ambitious bitch and when I say I’m going to try something, I follow through.

Got several hits of guys I thought were kind of interesting, they could spell, used punctuation and didn’t list “working out” as one of their main hobbies, but mostly it was weirdos.  I had one guy ask if he could drive from Minneapolis to wrestle.  Another asked if I would like to go for drinks but he nicely warned me of his “small package.”  I even got one marriage proposal.  I’m also 100% confident I’m not being conceited, it was just mostly a sausage party and I came with the bun.  In fact, anyone with a bun would do for these dudes.

I emailed back and forth with a couple, mostly guys that lived way too far to actually meet (thank you subconscious), but my overall reaction was a mixture of “FUCK THIS I WANT OUT WHERE IS THE ESCAPE HATCH” and “see how many I can collect & show my girlfriends for fun.”

Then I saw a guy that seemed decent, quiet, interesting, and could spell.  He asked me to a movie and I got all school-girl giddy and went.  I spent the day preparing my outfit, what I would talk about, calming my nerves and when we met it was fine.  I was nervous but after a few emails and phone conversations I felt like I already knew him enough.  We had a good enough time.  The movie was fast paced and fun, the ride to and from were full of conversation, no empty silences.  It was overall, okay.  I pushed away my disappointment at being taken to a movie (clearly he didn’t want to talk to me in person) because he seemed sweet and just as nervous as me.  And honestly, it was okay.  Not head over heels, but okay and I still had my torso on me and not made into a jacket, which was another fear of mine and online dating.

A day later and I’m staring at the phone, over analyzing emails, he’s sending me weird texts and turned 180 degrees from the nice guy at the movies and I realized all too suddenly, I didn’t like this one bit.  I was ALREADY compromising myself for some guy because I was lonely, because he took me to a movie and spent money on me, because he thought I was pretty and smart.  Really?  That’s all it takes?

I quickly realized I started to slip back into the girl that hid in a marriage that wasn’t right for her for years for fear of change.  It was absolutely startling.  I removed my profile online and have decided that until I have reached the end of the 7 steps to grieving I am in no way shape or form ready for any boyfriend hunting.  So who knows, maybe after a year, if the Mayans weren’t right about 2012 anyways, and my divorce is final one day, some guy will sweep me off my feet.  But for now I am closing up shop on this heart and the dating world until I am 100% secure in what I want.

Right now I want just want to crawl back in bed, I’m not done crying.

-Lulu

I’m angry

So I’m here, I’m a little drunk, I just went grocery shopping at 10:30 p.m. at night on a Tuesday, the day my daughter stays with her father.  Do you know how depressing it is to get random groceries like a stoner in a short skirt and heels at 10:30 on a Tuesday??

I am in a skirt & heels because I got dressed up and went out tonight with my girlfriends to see Sex & The City like a good vagina carrying person on this  planet and it was fun.  But afterwards?  I come home to a dark house, I listen to sad music (have you heard the Pink album Funhouse??  It’s MADE for break-ups) and all I want to do is rage and break shit and cry.

I’m not good.  I’m not.  I try.  Oh how I try.  But in reality it’s hard, especially the nights.  I’m tired, I’m sad, and I’m so incredibly angry.  I’m angry that he gave up so easily.  He didn’t even fight for me for one second.  Nothing.  And hasn’t acted bothered since.  I feel mad that it bothers me that I’m so incredibly worthless to him after 12 years that he can’t even show any emotion.  HE can’t be bothered.  And I am no longer in love with him, I know this, but it still bothers me that he doesn’t love me?  Fucked up logic, I know.  But vanilla vodka is flowing so bear with me.

It’s not all his fault, I am not saying that nor have I ever.  But I know the effort I put in.  I can account for the tears and the heartache and the hope and the yearning.  And he says things to me to this day that show he never knew me at all.  12 years?  12 years of growing together through our 20’s and he probably couldn’t tell you my favorite flower.

I’m just so hurt and mad and angry and I’m desperately trying not to become bitter.  I won’t give this divorce that part of myself that is caring and trusting and loving.  I won’t, but it feels so slippery to hold on to.

I tried dating, online (ugh) for the first time and it bit me in the ass.  Thought I met a nice guy but I have a feeling I’m getting played.  We will see.  After this I’m done for awhile.  I cannot give any part of myself to someone new when so much of me is taken up wiht this anger.  Yet on the other hand, I’m incredibly lonely and longing to be held, to be treated tenderly in a way my marriage never did.

I want someone to notice me and then keep noticing me.

Where do I put all of the hope I had for us?  Where do I focus the energy I had trying to compromise and deal with our problems?  My kid?  My friends?  Myself?  Please tell me.  I’m taking suggestions and until then, if you need me, I’ll be on this cold dining room wood floor with my cocktail, my bare feet in this short skirt and all of this poison in my heart.

Probably shouldn’t refill my glass.

-Lulu

Stack of Boxes

I don’t have any married role models.  I have relationships I envy in certain ways, sure, but not necessarily for the status of their marriage license or the number after the “Happy” and before “Anniversary.”   I have marriages in my life that have lasted years and years, but that doesn’t mean they are my idea of a good marriage.  Even those I thought I envied turn out to be missing something crucial in my eyes.  But, of course, isn’t that the case with anything you think you are so jealous of. So I suppose I couldn’t tell you what makes a good marriage either, as it’s so different for everyone.  Hell, one of my favorite human beings, Dolly Parton, admits her relationship works because she doesn’t see her husband for weeks on end.  I’m sure that wouldn’t fly with most people.

Obviously I’m not most people, I’m me, and currently my marriage is sitting on that cliff in that convertible with Thelma & Louise trying to figure out if it’d be better to just keep going on our current path of certain death or turn around and find a road a little less “flammable.”

We married very very young.  Fresh out of high school and one year of college under my belt, I was on a mission to grow up and get things started in the direction due north from the area my life had been up to that point, or at least the people’s lives around me.  Being an overly anxious gal, I needed to get things in order quickly and efficiently as it was the first time I was in control and I wanted no more chaos thankyouverymuch.  So I found someone who made me laugh, who I could be my crude self with and who I could live with pretty harmoniously. He was easy to please and as long as either of us didn’t make too much of a fuss, we got along famously for a long time.  We then spent the next 10 years going here and there, having fun together and apart, mostly apart.  The apart thing though, that’s where I’m going here for those taking notes.

Now that we’ve had a child, well it certainly puts a damper on the “apart” time, doesn’t it?  All of those friends I would visit or hang out with to get what I didn’t have with my partner have to be put on hold due to taking care of my lil’ lady.  Before her I could see him when I wanted too and vice versa, and we certainly weren’t chained to the house and sharing huge responsibilities together.  We weren’t forced to rely on each other in ways we probably should have all along.  We’d piss each other off or let each other down and no big whoop, we’d just go out for a few hours and let off some steam.  Now though, we’re together a lot more and trying to work as a team to raise a child.  A team we never really got around to forming when we should have.

As I’ve aged in my married life, I’m now a huge believer in not putting all of your expectations on one person.  Even in friendships.  One person cannot possibly fulfill everything you need or want in life.  It’s not going to happen.  Thus the reason for girlfriends, work friends, that one guy that loves French films as much as you, but that you wouldn’t have anything in common with outside of the movie theater, the Starbucks barista you chat with every morning about music…you get my drift.  One person is not going to be everything you have ever wanted unless you are one of the most fortunate people on the planet.  That’s a lot to put on a guy, actually.  So my husband isn’t everything to me.  Just like I’m sure I’m not everything to him.  However, I think somewhere in the back of my heart I’d always hoped he would be and I sure drug him along hoping he’d figure that out.

When I got my prescription for medication to help with my depression the doctor warned “You may be forced to think clearly on subjects that you weren’t before.  Whether you want to or not.”  How true.

So we are separating.  Simple as that, yet the most complicated thing ever.  I asked for it and he agreed.  We haven’t fought, we haven’t screamed.  It’s been peaceful and we are communicating more than ever.  Hell, we still sleep next to each other in our bed until I move out at the end of the month.  Sadly, it’s like we took the pressure off of being married and now we can be what we were, great friends.

My anxiety is wanting me to plow through this, get my ducks in a row and keep going forward.  Pay the price for what you want and get it.  That sort of thing.  What I want to know ahead of time is how much exactly is it going to cost to have what I want?

I’m not scared of being alone.  I’m not fearful of those long nights in a dark house by myself or getting my own groceries or changing my own oil.  Though there is a difference between sadness and fear, fear I do not have.  Sadness weighs on my shoulders in a physical ache.

What I am absolutely terrified of is everything for my daughter.  The only sobbing I have done is when I consider how much she loves having both of us put her to bed, how much she loves when both of us read her stories or give her a bath or just in general be together as a family.  I remind myself even before the new arrangement, we didn’t do these things often and when we did there was an undercurrent of negativity and tension.  However, to her sweet little innocent eyes, it’s all of us loving her together and that will change at least logistically for her very soon.

I am eternally grateful that my husband & I agree to make her life the best we can, even if that means living next door to each other until she is 18 and putting in the effort we never could for each other.  But her life will still change in the next month, I know it to my bones as I pack my things for our new house.  I may end up picking her up from daycare now, instead of coming home to her and her father and fixing dinner.  She might not see me every day or him, even though that is our main goal.

I could only recently think that last thought without crying immediately.

What I hope to give her, whatever the outcome of this separation, is the knowledge that getting what you need out of life comes with a price, but it’s important and you are worth it to try and that she knows not even a drop less of the love she has felt all along.  Not a drop.

In fact, she is the one that taught me all of that.  Maybe one day, if she’s sitting on that cliff in that convertible, I can tell her way before she gets to the edge.

-Lulu

9 Months On

During my maternity leave, oh so long ago, I feverishly did sit-ups, yoga, walks, chugged water…to no avail.  I lost 0.4 lbs. the entire 3 months.  Then I remembered the wisest words in that entire Girlfriend’s Guide to Pregnancy book I found at a used bookstore: “9 months to put it on, 9 months to take it off.  Don’t even try.”

So I eased back.  I cut back on the cupcakes, sure (oh god how I loved those during pregnancy…) but I didn’t worry too much about this pooch or my ever increasing dread of looking down in the shower.  Then on the 23rd of this month I realized, as we were wishing our girl a “happy birthday!” that the deadline had finally come.  What a glorious 18 months it was.  Eating whatever I wanted, minus of course anything causing heartburn in those last months of pregnancy (which would be oh I don’t know, air? That seemed to make it really bad).

Now I’m staring down the barrel of a 15 lb. weight loss just to get back to the pre-pregnancy weight I was which was ALREADY considered obese, morbidly obese by my BMI.

I don’t take stock too much in BMI’s, never did.  However, when I was being wheeled to the OR I remember hearing them discussing my weight and if I qualified for some kind of intervention, I’m assuming pain medication.  I have no idea and I was humiliated to ask afterwards.  Instead I’m going to assume it was discussed because they couldn’t believe someone with that number on the scale could look this gorgeous even bloated, bawling and hair askew from 18 hours of labor.  That they were considering changing the enter BMI indexing system based on the lies it was telling about me alone.

I’d say my motivation to lose weight was to get into skinny jeans or some other such 20-year-old girl nonsense, but no.  It’s not even that my doctor wants me to lose weight along with the anti-depressant medication treatment.  What I want is another baby in the next 6 months.  I want to give her a sister, and there is no way in hell I’m starting another pregnancy this big and full of all of these remaining unhealthy eating habits.

Bonus round if I get to actually shop for jeans from the women’s department and not Metro Tent & Awning.

When I was pregnant I felt gorgeous: round, beautiful, feminine.  Since giving birth I’ve felt motherly.  Which is still beautiful, really.  I feel so relaxed, but it’s a different kind of beautiful.

I’m not concerned with fashion or how I look as much and as comforting as that is, it’s also a little scary to me too.  I look at my closet now and my new outfit is cardigans, v-neck t-shirts, flat shoes, hair brushed, maybe, no make-up, no jewelry…I feel my age.  I feel good mentally, but now it’s time to make the body match the brain.

Sitting here this morning feeding my daughter the homemade oatmeal/tofu/banana concoction I make her every day, as I munch on a egg & bacon sandwich from a fast food joint, it hit me that there is obviously food in this house that is nutritious.  I spend hours making sure she gets nothing but the best, healthiest, organic, balanced diet ever.  I read books, plan menus, comparison shop, research all for every morsel that goes into her.  Then I fill myself with whatever is fastest and usually crappy all while sporting a ragged ponytail and stained pj pants.

If I want her to have a healthy body image, a healthy weight and a healthy general life, seems like I should show her how important it is to take care of myself too.

Mothering…that term apparently also includes the need to mother ourselves, as well as those little pink ham loafs lying in that bassinet.

So come on thighs!  You with me??

-Lulu

Superhero for Hire

2009? What a freaking year…I usually spend my end-of-December making goals, setting a path, examining life and learning, but this winter well, I have been just showing up and seeing what happens.  I admit, I have drug my feet on thinking back over this past year.  It was so huge.  HUGE.  I didn’t know if I should look back and if I did, would I be too overwhelmed?  I was being chicken shit, I admit.

However, Superhero Journal always has a way of making me think about myself and life a lot more thoughtfully and artfully than I usually admit I need to do.  Need is exactly what it is.  I need to do this in honor of this year of my life, if for nothing else.  To honor one of the biggest years I have ever experienced.

Her recent post, Completion Ritual for 2009, got me thinking and on a path to do just that.  2009 was a year of intensity.  There isn’t a better word to describe it for me really.  I entered my last trimester of my first pregnancy, a pregnancy I always hoped I’d have but never allowed myself to daydream about out of fear.  I gave birth to a gorgeous little spitfire who completely opened my heart.  Opened?  Hell, she reached in and grabbed it from my chest Indiana Jones-style and pinned it to the outside of my jacket lapels so it would be exposed to the elements.  So I would feel everything.  Also, sadly yet proudly, I went down to the bottom, the very bottom of despair and halfway back up of one of the darkest periods of my entire life mentally.  I found myself in the process and am fiercely holding on to me as I finish my ascent up to where I want to be.

Everything, every single emotion I felt in 2009 was intense.  There was no room for wishy-washy, no room for blahs or brush-offs.  This was it, man.  This was all of it, all at once, for me to experience.

So here goes my Superhero journey…

1. What do you want to acknowledge yourself for in regard to 2009?
(What did you create? What challenges did you face with courage and strength? What promises did you keep to yourself? What brave choices did you make? What are you proud of?)

Answer: Most importantly, I was allowed to create the life of one of the most beautiful human beings I have ever met.  A little girl so excited for everything, so sure of herself and so easy to laugh, that she makes me a better person for knowing her and we have yet to even have a conversation.  A little girl that showed me exactly the woman I always was and the person I want to be.  A little girl that means absolutely everything to me.

I don’t want to dwell too much on my PPD, what I went through, but I always always always want to give myself compassion for getting through it.  I did.  I got myself to the doctor, I got myself to not get in that car and take a handful of pills, I got myself in a headspace that could survive.  Thankfully I was surrounded by people that loved me and wanted me to stick around, but I did it.  Me.  I have never been so brave, quite frankly.  I will forever be proud of this and I will always look back at this time whenever I face a challenge in the future.

I kept a promise to live for myself and take care of those I love.  I am most proud of this.

2. What is there to grieve about 2009?
(What was disappointing? What was scary? What was hard? What can you forgive yourself for?)

If you asked me months ago I would have said my girls’ birth.  It took quite awhile for me not to be disappointed about how it went down.  Now though, I look back proud.  So, moving on from that…disappointing?  Scary?

I’m not particularly keen on focusing on the negative any longer, regretting, that sort of thing.  There are things I wish I would have done differently.  I wish I would have taken care of myself better: my health, my weight, my alcohol intake, surrounding myself with people that really cared about me.  But I’m working on these things now.  Onward and upward I say!

I forgive myself for not feeling more grateful for everything that is already good in my life.  I forgive myself for my jealousy and hateful feelings towards others.  I forgive myself for not putting my needs first always.

3. What else do you need to say about the year to declare it complete?

(What is your primary intention or theme for 2009? Is it the year of joy? the year of self-care? the year of partnership? Stand up and say it proud, “2009 is my year of….”

2009 was my year of new beginnings!  After all this looking back, all these new themes and feelings and emotional states in my life I’m pretty sure I went through labor in more ways that just for my daughter last year.

So just to sound like a complete god damn hippie, in 2009 I gave birth to myself.  In 2010?  It’s time to get to the task of raising me up right then.  😉

-Lulu

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