The Weight Watchers Thing

First things first. I went to my meeting today and woo-hoo! down 7 pounds. Happy Dance. I didn’t even start working out yet! Just goes to show you that tracking what you eat — paying attention to the amount and all that stuff — goes a long way on this weight management thing.

So, Weight Watchers has always been an organization open to continual improvement (evolvement?) which is why they have stayed successful in the weight loss industry for so long. One thing that I found to be true on my last turn around this track was that losing the weight — while always a challenge¬†— is not the most difficult part of the journey. Maintenance is. The idea that paying attention to food intake and staying active and attending meetings is something I have to do forever is a hard thing to grasp. When I started on my last round, I told myself: “Self…you need to commit to a meeting every week for the long haul. You know being active is the fun part for you so you need to remember that mindless eating is what got you here and tracking food, accountability weigh-ins and all that stuff is what’s going to get you out and keep you out of overweight land.”

WWGAnimated

I listened to myself, too. I never missed meetings while I was losing. I tracked and I got really good at Crossfit and running and all those things I needed to do to be active. But then, I hit “Lifetime.” I was so happy! and for four more months, I still attended meetings and accountability weigh-ins. But somewhere along the line, I lost sight of why I was still doing that and … stopped.

Weight Watchers has evolved over the past year or so to try to be an organization that keeps ME coming to meetings and staying focused on health management even when I don’t need to lose weight. (BTW — getting Oprah on your payroll is probably the absolute BEST way to grow your market share. Well played, WW.) The tone of the meetings has changed. They are not leaving it up to members to figure out for themselves that this LIFESTYLE CHANGE is forever…they are saying it, often, every week. I’ve only been to two meetings, but I hear it over and over. and I love it. The main thing I love about it is that when I lose this weight again…there’s a chance I won’t fall off the wagon and stop going to meetings because I’m going to be getting something out of the meetings even if I’m not trying to LOSE WEIGHT. That’s fabulous to me. I need that. Sure…I don’t want to pay the fee every month, so I need to figure out what happens about that. BUT — I suppose even if there’s a fee, if there’s a benefit to the meetings once I am lifetime, I will probably be willing to pay it.

wl2

I just don’t want to keep going through life being focused for 18 months and getting to where I feel awesome…then losing focus and 6 months later being overweight again. In today’s meeting the leader said no less than three times, “Remember…this is forever!” and one time she followed it up with, “So how are you going to cook in a healthy way, forever?” and another time she followed it up with, “So how are you going to make sure you keep your activity going forever?” (The topic this week was VARIETY.)

Oh! I almost forgot. There is a change that kind of made me do a double-take. So…last week I had 30 daily points and 42 weekly points. Today after my weigh in, I still had 30 daily points (cool…but drop a few more pounds and that is probably going to drop) but I had only 35 weekly points. Not gonna lie…I was like… W.T.F.? (sorry for you non-cussers out there) I was trying to figure out why they would go and do that sort of nonsense? I had logged my activity from this morning (22 minute run this morning — go me!!) but that shouldn’t make your weekly points go down. Well, I asked the leader and she said, “Hmmm, did you have a birthday?” No. So I offered that I had a 7.0 pound loss and she said, “Well, I have only had three other people tell me their weekly points changed and they had all had birthdays. And your drop is an even drop (42 to 35) so I would bet it had to be your loss. Good to know!” Indeed. Harrumph. Not that I use them all…but it’s just nice to see them there, lol.

Well, I guess that’s it for a weight watchers update. I”m doing this on Thursday, so the alliteration won’t work for me. Oh well, I’m not back to regularly blogging yet anyway, so it will just be a Weight Watchers update (without the Wednesday). ūüôā

Why I Stopped Facebooking

It’s a pretty big deal that I deactivated Facebook. Especially with it not being for any defined period of time, or spurred on by the beginning of Lent, or Advent or some other period of time that many¬†people stop Facebook. I’ll admit, I thought about it for a long time before I did it. Honestly, the fact that I thought about it for so long was a HUGE indicator to me that I needed to do it. Additionally, I was able to set up a way that I can still post my blog to the Facebook page without getting onto Facebook myself. That was nice to figure out.

images

The main reason I deactivated my account was because it was far too invasive in my life. The invasion was self-inflicted, of course. No one FORCED me to start Facebook. But, I was so active on it. A few months ago, I started doing some self-reflection on why I was so active and how I felt about it. Who are all these people that Facebook calls “Friends”? Why am I so careful to label some of them “acquaintances” and others “close friends” and shield my posts accordingly? Why did I accept (or send) a “Friend Request” to this or that person? “Why do I worry when no one ‘likes’ or comments on something I have posted?” Or even the comparisons…constant comparisons!!

f8cdc04501db658067621a95a42a02fd

 

A long time ago, a friend of mine who was on Facebook (and has since left it behind) said something I have often thought about. She said something along the lines of the following, which I paraphrase: Facebook¬†seems like an¬†invitation to peek into the windows of my home to many people I would never invite to cross the threshold of my front door. How insightful she was! The more I think about the things I shared on Facebook and the reactions I received, didn’t receive, hoped to receive…the more I realize how self-centered Facebook had made me. Some of my activity shouted — “Hey! look at me!! Look at my beautiful children! Tell me how awesome they are!” And what I’ve learned at this point is that I don’t need a bunch of people on Facebook to tell me how awesome my children are. I know it without all of that. And while I tell my children (at least daily) how awesome I think they are — THAT is enough. My children don’t care what my many “Friends” on Facebook think of them, as they shouldn’t! They just want to hear their Mommy share her love for them…WITH THEM. Sure, it’s nice to share with the world how in love with my children I am, but in the end — showing that love to my children directly is far more important.

Of course, the other things I shared — about myself, and not my children — wow, what an eye opener. I’ve written over and over about my struggle to embrace humility. Well, my historical posts on Facebook are enough to show me that I sure don’t struggle all that hard. Matter of fact, I run completely in the other direction. Holy smokes!! So…I won’t go too much into detail on this one. We’ll just suffice to say that deactivating Facebook should help me grow in humility — at least that is one of my fervent desires.

While reviewing my “Friends” list, another eye-opener. My first exercise was to trim down my “Friends” because I know that I don’t really have 500 “Friends.” I mean, even if I count all my family on Facebook…I really come nowhere close to that many honest-to-goodness friends. So, I went through the list to “unfriend” people that I would most likely never talk to (maybe not even recognize!!) if I met them on the street. As I was “unfriending,” I took note of how I became “friends” with them in the first place. There were quite a few¬†Crossfit people — people I had shared workouts with for a time. But, to be honest…some of the people I became “friends” with — rarely even spoke to me at workouts. I realized I had become “friends” on Facebook after attending one of the social events (a “Ladies Wine Night” at someone’s home). But I rarely had interactions with any of these people on Facebook and even though we’d had a fun time on that social evening, no real friendships came from it. Therefore, I “unfriended” many of them. Then there are some people from the parish/school — who rarely interact with me on Facebook or in person — that I just decided to hit the “unfriend” button for them as well. All in all, I think I got my list down to 400 or less — and at that time, I was happy to have done that.

images-2

The few months I considered removing Facebook altogether from my life, I reflected strongly any time I would check back on something I posted to see who had liked it. I found that I would look for certain people’s names — and often not find them. Then, sometimes a mutual “friend” shared something and I would see these same names that I had searched for on my own posts (and not found) “like” or comment on that post.¬†I spent time reflecting how it made me feel and why. I realized that I am not in a healthy enough state to handle all the comparison and competition Facebook brings into my life. Especially the TYPE of comparison and competition. I don’t need it. I never did. I realized how it caused me to worry about things that are so far BEYOND anything I need to worry about in my life. I mean — don’t I worry enough about the in-person interactions (or lack thereof) that I have in my life?!? Why would I continue to add the angst that accompanies online interactions (or lack thereof) of people that are only a marginal part of my life?

Finally, much like this blog…I think that I thought Facebook was a way that I could share and help someone else. I think that’s why I was attracted to it for so long. But what I think I have discovered is that helping people face-to-face…person-to-person is far more useful, meaningful and, yes, gratifying. It’s easy to see someone’s words in a Facebook post or on a blog and click away to something that makes us feel better. When someone shares something face-to-face or over the phone in a non-public, more intimate setting, that experience stays with both parties to the interaction far longer than anything online. I do want to share experiences, loves, heartaches with others…but I want to be far more intentional about it. The blog feels a little bit different in that I do not have a wide audience. I don’t see that changing, either. I’m not a magnetic personality with a unique ability to connect online with millions of people. I can, however, connect with some through this medium and probably have enough interactions with those who read me to make me feel like I make a difference with what I share, but not feel like I’m sending out signals over the waves to a bunch of people who don’t care.

When I deactivated Facebook, I didn’t know how long I’d stay gone. A friend (who gave up Facebook for good long ago) warned me that I may feel pulled back to it for awhile. I am not sure if what I have felt is a pull. Sure, it’s crossed my mind — “Wonder what so-and-so has posted recently…” but the pull isn’t as great as I feared it would be.

I actually feel quite a bit of peace that I haven’t felt in a long time. You see, I joined Facebook in 2006. But I never posted anything — hardly viewed it at all. I posted a little more frequently in 2008, but really got active in 2009. Dominic was born in January 2009. I suffered postpartum depression with him pretty badly…his birth in the midst of winter coupled with my already stubborn Seasonal Affective Disorder (not officially diagnosed, by the way) really did a number on my psyche. So, I turned to Facebook. I wanted to see happy things, and I wanted people to talk to me. And so it began.

The past couple of weeks without Facebook have gotten me thinking about my life before high activity on Facebook and the events that happened in my life and how I dealt with them. I changed jobs at the end of 2007. My grandfather passed away suddenly on January 1, 2008. I became quite ill in February 2008 (strep and the flu) and recovery was difficult. I also began counseling in March 2008, continuing for a couple of years. The Jayhawks won the NCAA tournament in 2008 — and I remember the text conversations throughout the Final Four with my brother. We announced our pregnancy with Dominic in the summer of 2008 — a period of time that was quite¬†difficult for me because the reactions we received from some people close to us were hurtful. Our ultrasound was early that fall where we found out Dominic was a boy and we were so surprised (after three girls)! All of those things happened and the only thing I shared on Facebook was my last day at my job when I switched jobs. Quite the eye-opener when I think about all the things I have shared since becoming more active on Facebook.

Peace. Quiet. Purpose. I have peace in my mind as I am not worried about who “liked” so-and-so’s photo of her kids and never comments or “likes” mine. I feel a¬†quiet calm in my life as I don’t have my phone shoved in my face seemingly 24/7. There is quiet in my life because I reflect more on meaningful interactions that happen person-to-person. I find greater purpose in my communication with friends and with family.

I’m not saying this giving-up-Facebook stuff is something everyone should do. Only you can decide for yourself. But I am saying that I sure am happy I gave it a try and I’m not sure I’ll ever go back.

My Scale is a Broken Record

How many times have I re-focused on my health, only to have a change in my routine (pregnancy, job change, etc) undo all of my hard work? I am not going to lie, about a year ago, I thought I had beaten all of that this time around!

What is it that encourages the breakdown? Or Better yet…what is the magic formula that keeps us focused, over months of no change, to maintain the healthy habits even when the weight on the scale stays the same (or fluctuates only a couple of pounds one way or the other)?

What I am¬†trying to figure out right now is how I can work my butt off (literally!) doing Crossfit, running, tracking my food for 8 months and attain a goal of a healthy BMI and then….in a matter of months lose my grasp on all of that and end up right back where I started? A couple of years ago, I set out on a journey to a healthy new me. I never missed a Weight Watchers Meeting. I tracked my food. I checked in on this blog as an extra accountability measure. I practiced Crossfit and got good at stuff like pushups and rope climbing and got really fast at running (for me).

Then, somewhere along the line, I lost my focus where food is concerned. I stopped weighing in at Weight Watchers meetings. I stopped tracking things on my WW app. Eventually, it sounded like a good idea to stop doing Crossfit. I was tired. Changes happened in my life and I stopped feeling committed to getting up early to make sure I got it in. Over the past couple of months everything has completely unraveled.

weighing-scale-omg

So…I printed out my monthly pass from signing up online this morning and I am headed out to my first Weight Watchers weigh-in once again.

Do you think I’ll learn this time? Time will tell. But either way — focusing in and getting started is half the battle. I’ll check in again next week and let you know how it goes.

Ramblings of a 42-year-old Nobody

Even years down the road, there are some things that will never change. I will never fit in anywhere. Therefore, my children will never fit in anywhere. And no matter how hard I try I will fail to make up for some perceived lacking in my life in¬†my children’s lives.

We are going through a lot of changes around here. Not just on the blog (yeah, about that…one of these days I’ll get some pictures and links and things put up to adorn the white space). Internally, I have been making some changes in myself — some good, some bad, some about to change back. Within our family, we have been making some changes — everyone is growing up, of course, but even more than that. Within our daily environments some big changes are coming, as a result of the changing that’s been going¬†on already.

Change-My-Life

First, as for me: Remember all those Weight Watchers Wednesday posts I did a couple years ago? Yeah…I switched jobs (actually a major career move/switch), subsequently got all out of routine, and ate my way back to overweight status. Blah. So one change I am returning to this week is attending Weight Watchers meetings and getting back on track in that vein. And next week, I am returning to Crossfit and running to get my activity back in order.

Secondly, for me: I deactivated Facebook recently. For any of you that know me, you know that’s a HUGE deal. I decided it was necessary. That little “Memories” function that Facebook came up with (after Timehop, of course) that puts your memories in front of you every day? Yeah…that kind of woke me up a little bit to how attached I was to Facebook and how I used it as a way to get attention. I don’t need that much attention, I have decided. I want to be more deliberate about what I communicate about my life and to whom. I’m rather surprised at how little I miss it, even after only a couple of weeks.

Thirdly, for me: I stayed in the real estate biz, but have moved into something of a spin-off as I joined on with “professional landlords” and began doing leasing work. I’m still in the first month, so I am busy building a pipeline and getting my bearings. The best part about it is that I am able to work from my home and set my schedule. I have never had that before! So far, I love it…now for that pipeline to come to fruition.

The changes in the family aren’t so drastic at this point. It’s been quite the eye-opener having Sarah in the public high school. We have actually found ourselves quite impressed with the teachers, the programs and of course, Sarah’s made some good friends. Public school is not this big scary thing to be feared anymore — at least not for us. As a matter of fact, we see many opportunities available there that are not available in the parochial schools. It’s definitely been something we have taken notice of and added to our ongoing discernment with regard to educating our children.

Even with changes, many things remain the same. I continue to feel like an odd woman out among most of the women I know. For some women, I still feel like I’m not holy enough to be included in their inner circle (especially since I chose the big bad public school for high school…). For other women, I still feel like I’m not put together enough (I am able to keep up my hair style, but the manicures, pedicures, makeup and wardrobe are usually lacking). And yet for others, I don’t have enough time to give to my children — I can’t attend every event with them, I shuttle them around to all their activities, but can’t stay to watch and enjoy all that often. I don’t pray enough. I don’t chit-chat enough. I don’t have enough money for all the fun things. I am not with-it enough to get registrations and payments for camps and teams and every gosh darn thing in on time.

Thank God family adores me. They truly keep me from believing I am a useless piece of you-know-what. Craig supports me in all of my changes and doesn’t nit-pick at the ways I’ve fallen short. I pick the kids up from school and they are ecstatic. I walk through the door and the kids rush to me and hug me. I leave for an appointment and they don’t want me to leave without giving them a kiss. Yes, thank God my family keeps me from breaking down most days.

The hardest part is that I feel like my shortcomings really hurt my children in the social arena. I mean, some of the same things happen to Dani that happened to Sarah in middle school — so now I’m thinking the constant here is their mother and her inability to do the social networking correctly. I thank God that Dani’s self-esteem is not rooted in how many invitations she gets to things because that could be very bad. No, Dani is a sweet, kind-hearted and loving child who is comfortable in her own skin. I could learn a thing or two from Dani. She’s an easy kid to sweep aside…probably because it’s happened her whole life that she doesn’t even see it that way. And maybe it’s not really that way. Maybe I just can’t see things clearly because my mind’s eye is clouded with the visions of all the times I feel excluded or neglected. Who knows? All I can say is…middle school still sucks. Good Lord, I can’t believe I have to do middle school four more times.

And I wish I could say I have evidence it will be better for my younger kids — like I have learned lessons and become a bit more likable — but, I don’t. Dominic’s class threw a baby shower for his teacher earlier this school year — and I didn’t even know about it until I got tagged in a photo from it on Facebook. I know it wasn’t intentional — a simple overlooking of including my e-mail address. Of course, I felt awful missing it because I surely would have wanted to contribute in some way. But I also felt invisible…again.

Over the years, all these instances of things happening that surely aren’t intentional, but yet always happening to me or my children, it all takes a toll. I’ve worked hard to control my anxiety on some levels and over different time periods. But the anxiety increases every time something happens that hurts. At some point, I think I’m going to decide to remove myself altogether from situations that hurt. And most likely, no one will notice or care anyway. And part of me hates that. And another part of me doesn’t care anymore.

3 Years

It is true that¬†I have thought of Gregory at least once every day for the last three years. Actually, I’ve thought of him every day for longer than that because while I was pregnant with him, I thought of him every day, too.

This year, Craig and I went to visit him at the cemetery. We marveled at the weather. I notice how no matter what the weather is — it can be sunny and warm everywhere — it is windy and chilly at the cemetery.

12794648_10154078720849739_270508413589993797_o

I wish I could say that I have all this figured out. I remember writing my letter to Gregory three years ago, telling him that I¬†was trying hard to figure out why losing him was part of God’s plan. I have to say, that I still wonder. I have greater peace with it now, of course. But as Vincent edges closer to age 5 and our family charges into this new world of “all the kids in school” I still wonder what we would all be like having Gregory here with us instead of there with Him.

What kind of mother would I be? Surely, I would be a different mother¬†who may never have experienced the loss of her child. I most likely would not have taken the risk I did 7 months ago with the switch in career-paths. What kind of kids would I have? Vincent would not be “the baby” of the family and would most likely not whine to get get what he wants (and so easily obtain it). Sarah — ah, my sweet oldest child — she might be having a different experience during her first year of high school having an almost 3-year-old diverting attention. Gosh, all of my kids would be experiencing something different, I think!

12771556_10154083184319739_4793822718188048631_o
I happened to spend some of March 1 on Gregory Blvd…It was nice

When I came here to write tonight, I wanted to come up with something moving. But after sitting here for awhile, I realize there’s really no way to write about it any better than I did three years ago. As I read through that blog post, I found myself crying…almost sobbing all over again. But the overall feeling I had was relief that I had written it and posted it so that I had it to go back to. I always want to remember everything in that letter to my Gregory. It’s painful as it reopens my wounded heart. But I need it. It helps me remember how real Gregory is, how necessary he is to me. He is necessary for me to remember the pain of our loss. And he is necessary for me to be able to re-read that letter and have a chance to feel that love, longing and loss any time I feel called to it.

I still miss you, Gregory. I still ask that you pray for me. My breath still catches at times and the hole inside of me aches sometimes. I think it will always be that way as long as I am here and not with you.

There is more peace now. Sadness still, yes. I think there will always be some of that. But the peace dulls the edge. I am grateful for the peace.