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Keeping Me On My Toes

The alarm went off and I had just enough energy to reach out and slap it into snooze mode. I was tired. My son was snoring next to me with his little toes curled under my belly.  It was warm in my little cocoon of blankets and body heat. Outside it was dark and rainy, the clouds drizzling down enough to make the ground slick.

Soon the alarm was buzzing again and I reached out to smack my alarm clock into silence. I rubbed my eyes and stretched. It was getting to that point. If I rested in bed any longer, we'd be very late so, no more snoozing, it was time to get up.

Thus began our morning hustle. The breakfast packing, the lunch making, the uniform dressing and the shower for me. Getting us into the car and out of the garage is like escaping a falling house. It's hectic, chaotic and sometimes it's even dangerous. We are lucky if we escape to school with our lives.

Today was especially chaotic as I was not only packing a breakfast and lunch for each of us but also the dinner I had prepared days ahead of time for a visit to a friend after work. Marinaded steaks are easy to manage but still, it added to the craziness.

When the prep work was done, I headed upstairs for a quick shower. Knowing time was short, I figured a simple scrub and go was good enough for me. And while I did this, my son was to get dressed. Simple....

As I stepped out of the steamy shower into my chilly room, I pulled on my underthings to find my son's uniform still lying on the floor. Odd...he was to be dressed by now.

Then, looking up into the mirrored door of my closet, I spotted my son. My son in his pajamas, not in his uniform. He had taken the liberty of using my heart reat monitor chest strap and fashioned a "fishing pole". While in his flannel pants and Transformer tee-shirt, he knelt off the side of the bed, pretending to "fish" for creatures of the sea that swam just out of reach on the floor.

I stepped around the corner of the room, coming into full view. There I stood, hair dripping, barely dressed, hands on hips. My son, devilishly cute and mischievously funny, looks up and smiles. 

"Look, mama," he says. "I'm fishing. Want some?"

Without missing a beat, I lunge forward and grasp at him. His wild shrieks and giggles ring through the cold morning air as he rolled just out of my range and tumbles along the bed. I scurry to my hands and knees and crawl after him, leaving watermarks along my down comforter and baby blue bedsheets. 

"COME HERE YOU!" I growl at my son. 

He rolls off the bed with the agility that can only be attributed to his other DNA half and lands on his feet with a wide grin. He thinks it is a game, that we are playing. I glance at the clock and I choke on the time. It's late, we're late and I'm rushing after my giggling child while half dressed and dripping wet.

Finally I capture him in a motherly bear hug and wrangle him to the ground. His laughter increases. Now I'm trying not to release a bubble of laughter sitting in my throat. If I laugh, I lose my credibility. If I give in and giggle with him, I lose all respect from this wriggling 50 pound child still not dressed and making us later and later.

Then a miracle happened. His clothes ended up on his body. I win....

Into the car we go and off to school we head.

The day can only get better, right?


Lesser Of The Evils

Stress....I haz it.

And I haz it in abundance. 

I get up tired at 6:30am. I get us ready for school and work, which tires me. Uniforms on, my shower done. Lunches packed and breakfast on the go. Oh and let's not forget the shoes with sand in them and the laughing dragon toy that MUST go with us. Then I get the boy into the car and off to school and I fight traffic to get myself to work. By the time I'm at my desk at 8:15 or so, an hour late per usual, I'm exhausted.

Down goes the coffee and in goes my first vitamin of the day. One of three. And this week,  my breakfast is a pack of instant oatmeal due to a holiday party on Sunday that cut into my grocery shopping time. And that is only if I remember to bring the damn thing. Then I'm off....rushing to complete this email, that project, start that credit application and hound those customers for money. Whew....

Lunch is a rush at 12pm. I've been good in the past about packing an easily logged lunch and one that covers all the bases. And it's usually pretty yummy too. But that weekend full of parties and baking has left my neatly planned lunches as a thing of last week. I've got nothing pre-planned and that's making it harder to make better decisions. So I scramble and pack whatever I can find in a hurry or I buy lunch.Yikes.....

Let's not forget the holiday cheer being delivered daily into the office. The See's candies, the muffin baskets, the Turkish Delights and other yummy treats my body is now disgusted with. Nasty....too much. But it's there and it's tempting. I can't lie and say I haven't had any. I've had enough.

The day ends and I rush off to pick-up the little monster by 5pm. On the way home, I  run an errand or two and make some stops before hitting the homestead. The gift buying seems to never end. Somewhere in there I stop for dinner. There is little to fix at the house for an actual meal due to the baking that is happening currently. Candies and cookies and other goodies that we are making as gifts to teacher, supervisors, principals, and friends. Sigh....I have more chocolate in my house that I intend to melt for gifts than I have of any other type of food.

Which reminds me, I need to buy more chocolate.

That's about the time I arrive home around 6:15pm with all my loot and food. We lug our goodies into the house and we eat whatever we've brought home. I'm usually standing while I have dinner because I'm unloading the dishwasher or I'm reading recipes that I'm about to attempt for that long list of gifts I need to accomplish. At the same time, I'm mommy/daddy. The only parent, or adult, in the house to entertain, take care of and manage my little monster. I'm helping with reading, with coloring or some other pre-school project. When that's finished, I'm helping with the uniform removal and helping find that one dragon doll he *has* to have RIGHT NOW! Patching knees on pants, washing the favorite blanket and sewing up holes.

DING! DING! The clock strikes 7:30pm and we begin the nightly battle into bed. My son, the wonderfully mischievious little man that he is, hates bedtime. But we have a deal. I read to him and he will lay down quietly in his own bed. It works. A book or two later and he's settled and ready to look at the pictures while I head dowstairs to wrap up whatever project I've left undone.

It's close to 8pm and I've come to that point in the evening when I have a choice. I can choose to workout (which is usually a no brainer) or I can choose to finish something I can't accomplish while at work. Like wrapping gifts, making cards, cleaning, dumping the trash, folding the laundry, wiping down the can see where this list is going.

Are you tired yet?! Because I'm exhausted just writing this out. And by this point in the evening I'm close to tears as I have to decide between the lesser of the evils. I have to decide between accomplishing something off my ever growing list of things to-do or getting in some much needed exercise or getting to bed earlier for some sleep.

There are SO many things I'd like to do in that time between Jake's bedtime and my bedtime but there are only so many minutes in an hour and only so many hours in a day. So I choose and right now it's been about accomplishing things that need to be done. 

By the time I'm in bed around 10:15pm, I am thoroughly tired and I fall asleep almost instantly to dream of zombies and other weird things. And those hours asleep don't seem to be enough because in merely a blink I am up again to start ALL OVER. 

This is a day in our life right now. The holidays are here and I'm struggling to find time just to breathe. I'd like to slow down but at what cost? Where do I find the extra minutes to squeeze from my day?

Instead, I'm just getting through and getting done with the hope that I come out the other side of these holidays mostly sane....Mostly...



SandyFeet and Me

In September I had a child free week.

During that time I had paid for and scheduled to run a 5k in San Diego. As the time approached to head down there, I noticed a date change on their website. So I quickly emailed them and found that the schedule had been changed and that instead of a refund, I would be able to run another 5k in January.

Sure, I said.

Well, I'm a month away now. And I've realized that the change in date is prosing quite a problem. You see, in October, that race I was scheduled for interested that child free week while my son visited his father. But now this new date isn't as easy to work around. 

But wait....Is that really the reason it's so difficult to make the necessary reservation and preparation to run this race?

No. In the end, it's my fear of failure. I'm not a runner. It's not enjoyable to me and with my hip, bum ankle, asthma and bad knee, I find myself quitting rather than finishing my runs. Also I'm not training for it. I'm an aerobic workout lover. I love to dance and move, just not run. 

But somewhere in my mind I have this idea that a sign of real fitness is to be able to run a distance. So, in my little fantasty world, I want to run a 5k. I want to be able to start and finish a race in a decent time and without as much as taking a break.

3 miles, it's not so bad, right?

So what's my hold up?

SandyFeet's The Resolution Run is set to go off January 9th, 2011. I have a place within the 5 k adult group to run it.

And as it gets closer and the preparations are in the works, I find myself chickening out.

What if I get down there and fail? What if I can't run it and I just fall flat on my face (meant both literally and figuratively)? Maybe I'm not cut out for running, so why am I pushing myself?

I don't know....I have a month now. Certain decisions need to be made sooner than later.

I guess I've got some thinking to do.


UPDATE: I have, at this point, booked a hotel room in the area. I am scheduled to run. Let's hope I don't change my mind!

Abstinence vs Moderation

I've been reading a lot since I started this healthier lifestyle journey. Reading a lot about nutrition and body systems and how we are not cookie cutter people, that we are each different and individual. That each of us has a plan and a path that may seem the same as others but in reality is ours alone.

No two people are a like. 

Why was I thinking about this?

Because the more time I spend on the forums and message boards, the more data I collect and information read from different sources, I'm finding that what works for a lot of people doesn't necessarily work for moi.

Thus began the great debate within myself. The debate over whether I should choose to abstain completely from certain foods or to choose to moderate these foods instead. The foods I'm specifically targeting are sugar and alcohol.

And let me tell you, it's not an easy choice.

A little background info on me. Weight issues, diabetes and eating disorders are apparent in my family. And let's add alcoholism to that list, too. So I know, without looking at me personally, that I have my genetic history against me. I have a family rife with addiction issues that lead to greater health problems including diabetes and obesity.

As I've aged it's become tougher and tougher to stay fit. To lose weight. To be at my best. At first I thought it was because I wasn't trying. And for about a year or more, I wasn't trying. I didn't even care or think about it. I just lived.

But now I'm not only trying to stay in shape and lead a healthier life, I'm DOING it. I'm logging what I eat as best I can, I'm exercising and watching the inches fall away. My energy is up and I'm more clear headed than before.

Things are improving because I'm not trying anymore, I'm doing.

Even with all this, I still seem to be stuck. Stuck in a chasm of emotional eating, addiction and fear.

Without the help of a professional and based only on what I know about myself, I get the feeling that eating sweets or sugary foods (in particular refined sugar and desserts or candy) does nothing for me. In fact, I feel it deters all my hard work because my body is intolerant to it. It digests it and instead of feeling satisified after one bite or one serving, I feel hungrier for more. I crave another one, just one more. One turns into tw, two turns into four.

Next thing I know, I'm depressed, I'm crashing, and I'm beating myself up for even having just that one. 

Sugar not only affects my digestive processing, it seems to affect my emotional and mental abilities. I get sluggish and depressed, sometimes antsy and irritable.

Moderation doesn't seem to work for me when it comes to sugar.

On the whole I don't eat a lot of sweets. I don't eat it unless it's a special occasion. But it only takes just a nibble and I find myself craving it and cranky for it. I think completely staying away from desserts and foods with sugar as one of the main ingredients is the best option since it only takes a single bite to throw me into a binge mode.

As for the other food/drink, alcohol isn't as much of an issue. Personally, I'm not a big drinker. I like my wine with a meal and I usually have a single glass. That is, a glass when I'm not with friends or family. The moment I get into a social situation, I almost feel obligated to have that second glass. And half way through that second glass I start to feel gross. I'm not a drink and going beyond my one serving does nothing for me.

This past weekend I celebrated in a big way and was sick for 3 days after. Not worth it. The party was fun and the pictures even better but still, the feeling of total body illness for 3 days afterward made my one night of letting go completely null and void.

In the case of alcohol, I know I can stop at just one. I don't feel the need to continue past that first glass and I rarely crave a drink unless I step outside of my comfort zone and drink anything other than wine. I just need to stick to my guns and do what I'm comfortable with. And that will be a challenge in social situations with family and friends who don't have this issue. I do believe that because they love me and I love them, being honest and setting my boundaries might be a good idea.

For alcohol, moderation seems best. One glass and wine only. Anything else just isn't worth the feeling. And for sugar or sweets, none at all.

Will this work? Yes. 

I just need to quite trying and start doing.


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