Thursday, September 27, 2007

William Tell Overture for Moms- This is my life right now!

From the Mouths of Babes

"Iz dat a Muff-dang?" These words floated up the van from the far back seat where my two year-old was avidly looking out the window. My mind slowly translated from toddler to English. "What was that, honey?" I play for time while my mind searches it's database for possible matches. What comes up makes me stifle a laugh. I whip my head around to see what he was looking at. A yellow sports car that does, indeed, look like a Mustang.
You see, he copies everything his older brothers do. His very oldest brother is currently obsessed with sports cars. As we drive, he keeps up a running commentary on every car we pass of interest to him. This habit has spread to even the littlest boy. They all do it now. Brother #2 is an avid Hot Wheels fan, so I was only mildly surprised at what I heard this morning. He was turning a little car over in his hands, examining it from every angle. "I yike dat Fwah-wee" Yes, honey, but what kind of Ferarri is it? When you can tell me, then we'll talk.

He shocked my dear husband the other day, when he was studying for a lesson in bed. This little angel walked up and said, "Dat's Missy and Mee-um's bed, not Daddy's bed." Now, he's never referred to me as anything but Mommy before. To emphasize his point, he pointed to the pillow. "Dat's Missy and Mee-um's bwoo piddow." Well, possession is 9/10 of the law, and we do spend WAY more time in that bed than Daddy, but was a little freaky!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I've changed my life

That sounds a bit inflated and grand, but it's true.

It all started after I weaned my fifth child. When I nurse, my baby weight just falls off me. I actually have to cut back on nursing toward the end, because I get dangerously thin. I always put on a few pounds when I wean, and I'm fine with that. I've weighed the same since I got married.

After #5, something changed. My favorite jeans started getting tighter, more and more unflattering photos were cropping up. I chocked it up to laundry shrinkage, and bad angles, maybe I was retaining water. When most of my clothes no longer fit, and more than a few hideous jowly pictures surfaced, I knew this wasn't just "a bit of a bloat". After years of eating with impunity, I'd hit the wall: the big 30's metabolic slowdown.

I panicked and lost the weight in a crash diet, but hated controlling what I ate so I gained it back and then some. Then I decided to just own it. So I'm almost middle aged, I've had 5 kids, I'm going to end up a squishy, cookie grandma anyway, why fight it? I should embrace my jiggles, exult that I can finally fill an A cup! My husband, whose muscles had looked like they were carved from stone, was getting softer too, so I thought "how cute, we're getting pudgy together!" But he was not as accepting of this as I was, and started working out during lunch. Those chiseled features returned, and I thought "Dang." It's not nearly so fun to get pudgy when your husband looks like you won him in a raffle!

I decided that yes, the day would come when I would become a cookie grandma, but (cue the inspirational music) today is not that day! I would reclaim that young, lithe body whilst it was still within my grasp! I bought a treadmill, and began to run every day. At first it was pretty gross to feel just how much of me was trembling, jiggling and bouncing as I ran, but I kept it up. I loved the glorious feeling of sweat dripping off of me, of my heart pounding and my legs pounding and the power of my body as it worked. I would feel antsy and eager as the time for my workout approached.

I had avoided weighing myself for the first month of my "big life change" because I wanted to be bowled over by my success. Finally, I couldn't resist. I stepped on the scale and CURSES, I had GAINED two pounds! Yes, I know, they were probably two pounds of muscle, but honestly, who needs that? I still couldn't fit into my jeans!

Then, it finally clicked in my brain: I hadn't changed the way I was eating. All those weeks of running, of watching the number of calories burned slowly creep up, one truth sank in. It takes a long time, and a lot of work to burn calories, and my body doesn't need very many of them. I started reading labels, and I was shocked at the things I had been eating. I began filling myself up with real food: fruits, vegetables, or my favorite- beans and rice with pico de gallo on top.

I knew it was finally ingrained in me when I went with my sweety to Carls Jr. I would usually get a milkshake and fries for a snack. This time, I looked at their nutritional information, and almost gagged. A milkshake was 700 calories! Do you know how long that would take me to burn? I was repulsed by what I read. I sat, and watched as my husband consumed almost 2,000 calories. Every now and then he would ask me, "are you sure you don't want any?" Yeah, I'm sure.