Tuesday, May 31, 2011

being "polite" versus speaking your mind.

so, ladies (this isn't to exclude the gentlemen who might be reading this...this is just a female thing, i think), what's the deal with being polite to the exclusion of saying what you really think?

now i don't mean speaking every little snarky thing that comes to mind. i really don't.  my mama taught me to be respectful and, if you don't have something nice to say, to not say anything at all. i have made use of those lessons many a day (as a teacher, let me just let you imagine how many times i have bitten my snarky retorts back and proceeded with decorum...let me help by telling you that the answer is "a lot"). 

but i'm talking about the feeling that i need to, perhaps in fear of not being polite enough, not say what i really think or not confront a situation.

case in point: church and a new baby.  most of the people that i know at church are more than welcome to fawn over and adore my baby, and a few of them have even held her. i have zero problem with this.  i know them, i trust them, and thus i have no problem with this.  even as an overanxious first time mother with delusions of germs everywhere, i have no problem with this.

i do, however, have a problem with people i don't know coming up to my baby, touching her and kissing (!) her head, reaching back behind their chair to pat her when she's fussing (even though i am clearly in the middle of burping her), suggesting that perhaps the reason that she's fussing is that she's wet (no, actually, it's because i stopped her foodfest in order to prevent catastrophic gassiness), and telling me that her head is red and, upon hearing that she had a headband on earlier, telling me to be careful.

if you're a mom, i just want you to pause for a moment and imagine how you might feel when encountered by this situation. if you're not, i want you to ask yourself if you would ever have the audacity to do these things (the last three all happened in fairly quick succession, by the way). 

did i say anything? did i kindly suggest that she mind her own dang business, that our baby is fine and healthy and that we really didn't need any suggestions from the proverbial peanut gallery?

no. i didn't. i stewed in my own juices a little bit until the end of church, when my husband and i were in the car.  then, i said that if this particular person said one more thing to me i was going to LOSE MY MIND. 

but this whole situation has gotten me thinking about what we do as women. i feel like there are many times when i swallow what i really want to say in favor of either saying nothing or saying the socially appropriate thing.  i think there's definite merit in that--please don't get me wrong--but i wonder if there are times when i should be saying more than i'm saying.

when did we learn that we weren't allowed to stand up for ourselves in every circumstance? or, perhaps the better question: when is it appropriate to speak your mind and when is it more appropriate to keep quiet?

has anyone else had an experience like this? how did you decide?

Friday, May 27, 2011

Skinny people

Hmmm...now that the blog will be expanded, I will have to think of what other things from my glamourous life I can share with our readers :). For now, I will move forward with my previously contemplated topic of my skinny husband...

I married a skinny man. He's not sickly or even bony, but the guy is a lean machine! This is not due to his diet (which has dramatically improved since I stepped in). But, if I'm not around, he will eat donuts or pop tarts for breakfast, peanut butter and jam sandwich with chips, a snickers bar for a snack, a frozen skillet meal for dinner, and a heaping bowl of ice cream for dessert. Mind you he's very active, but he seems to burn off whatever he eats so dang easily! Now, I realize that there's more to health then merely just being skinny, but I can't help but be jealous of him when I feel it takes so much effort for me to control my weight.

And this isn't about just husbands. I've had my share of skinny roommates and other family members who eat whatever they want. They'll buy junk food and keep it around with no problem.

What I have to keep reminding myself is that just because someone eats unhealthily, I DON'T have to. I can find alternatives, I can have some self control, I can stop trying to compare myself to them, but it is really hard sometimes. Anyone else have this problem? What have you found to be helpful?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Branching out...

Because we may be branching out into other aspects beyond "health", I thought it would be fun to tell you a little bit more about myself, beyond what you see on this blog. 

Things that I am:
A daughter/granddaughter/cousin/sister/niece
A friend
A teacher
A roommate
A traveler
A foodie
A baker
An occasional cross-stitcher
A failed crocheter
A music lover
An occasional actress (my name will be in lights on Broadway one day)

The list can go on and on. I guess what I am trying to say is that there are so many different sides of me and everyone else, that we at So Maybe Your Mom Was Right felt the blog needed to move in a direction that could appeal to more people around us. So please please please, tell us what you want to hear. When we have happy readers, you have happy bloggers!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

what we're thinking.

the gals here at SMMWR have been talking.

we think maybe we want to expand this blog to be about women and what makes them tick, including of course our quests to live healthy lives, but expanding that to include not just the physical elements of living healthy lives but all of the things that make us well-rounded daughters, wives, mothers, friends, and employees.

quite frankly, i'll admit it--i don't feel like anybody's posterchild for physical fitness, so i feel like a great big flashing neon sign that says HYPOCRITE starts going off whenever i think about posting about a non-existent exercise regime or my less than stellar food choices. 

(i'm nothing if not honest--you've got to give me that.)

so when ashlee suggested this change, i thought it was brilliant. 

so i pose this question to you, our loyal readers: what would you like to read about, talk about, learn about? what would you like to share with us or get advice about? i know that, as a new mom, i would love to open the floor for parenting issues and suggestions.  what would help you? what would you like to see?

i'm excited about these changes, and would love to hear about what you might be interested in. it will help us figure out our new directions and focus, both individually and as a blog crew.

tell us!

Friday, May 20, 2011

A fiasco...

Yesterday I tried to go to Zumba. I haven't been to a Zumba class since December because I don't really like the instructor that teaches at the time I can go. I mean, she is a good instructor and in fantastic shape, but she turns her class more into a hip-hop class, when I really want Latin dancing. It's not a big deal, but you know, everyone has their preferences...

I digress.

As I said, I tried to go to Zumba. When I arrived at the building, there was a security guard outside the door, pointing to a sign that said "Zumba: SOLD OUT". I asked him about that and he said the class really was sold out. I asked how this could be, and how I could get on the list in order to be admitted to the class. 

He replied that there was no list, but people had to line up for the class and when all the spots were taken, everyone else was turned away. I looked at my watch (it was 7:20 pm) and asked what time people lined up for the 7:40 pm class. He said they started lining up at 6pm. SIX PM! Are you kidding me?? Who has time for that?? 

I'm glad Zumba is gaining popularity, but really, this is starting to border on ridiculous. So I walked back to my car and drove home, really upset. There was no way I was going to the gym (all the machines would be taken and I didn't have time to make it to the 8 pm aerobics class). 

So I did the next best thing. I went for a walk. I walked about 2 miles before it started to get dark, and I stopped by my old house to get my bike (its been in the basement for about a year). 

The point to all this is that I didn't let this Zumba fiasco derail me. I could have easily gone home and watched Glee instead of working out. It wasn't the best workout (although walking uphill with a bike with flat tires is no easy feat), but when I got home I was sweaty and felt accomplished. 

Which is really the point to all of this (Feeling accomplished. Not sweaty, although its good to be sweaty sometimes....oh, never mind...).

On the agenda for tonight: Sand Volleyball (if the courts aren't all in use).

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Doing good for yourself and others!

First of all, Adriana, those were really great insights you posted...I think I'm in love with eating...

So, I think I'm going to get back on the weight watchers train. I joined back in 2005 and became a lifetime member. I've tried to keep up with it but then I start estimating points values and start thinking I don't actually need to "track". I cheat it and then get frustrated that I'm not making any progress. But the bottom-line is that the system really does work if you do it right.

Anyhow, someone who is close to me is starting to get very serious about losing weight. I recommended weight watchers and even volunteered to get back on track so that they could have some support.

I know you should be healthy and feel good for yourself, but it's motivating to do it for others too. I'm not talking about looking good to please someone, but making healthy decisions can affect those around you in a positive way. Trying to support this person by joining them has made me more careful with my actions. I can find ways to cheat myself, but when it comes to someone else, I want to be loyal and dependable.

I would say whether you have a buddy you're working toward healthy goals with or if you have family/friends that want to see you happy and healthy (and vice/versa), it helps to think about how you can set an example and help them by making good choices!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A foodie's revelation

The other day I was blogging browsing and I came upon a weight loss blog, All the Weigh. Great blog, and its writer has done some amazing things with her weight loss goals. Anyway, the entry was from a guest blogger, who also has lost a fair amount of weight. She wrote about how to be a foodie but still lose weight.

Now I should back up and say that I consider myself a foodie. I love love love trying new food (my last adventure was Ethiopian food. It was a divine!) and I love cooking new recipes. But alas, with that comes the addition of pounds. 

Back to the original story, in this blog I found a quote that I wanted to share with you:

One character asks the very slim owner of a gourmet deli how he can be a foodie and be so thin.  The deli owner replies: "If you're surrounded by gourmet food and you gain weight, you don't love food - you love eating.  You can experience a burst of flavor in a tiny bite of roasted red pepper."

All of a sudden, I had a revelation. It is so true! The first few bites of something are always the best and when as you finish off what ever you are eating, you are trying to recreate the first bite (with little success). So you stuff yourself, trying to get back to the first bite, when really, you should be moving on to something else. 

Which is why people who take small bites of everything, instead of plate fulls of everything, are better able to lose weight/maintain their weight. This is a lesson I should have learned from my friend Laura, who has always been very slender. She just needs a bite here and there to satisfy herself. I used to join her in her bites here and there...and then serve myself a a bigger portion. But if I can somehow rewire my brain to be satisfied with a few bites...imagine the possibilities!

So that is going to be my goal this week. I am going to New York City this weekend and am going to put my plan into action! I am going to enjoy my meals, and stop when I am moderately full. I'll let you know how it goes!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

the most important meal of the day.

i am a nontraditional type of meal gal.

if there's leftover turkey burgers, for example, in the fridge, i think they make a most excellent breakfast. i often don't even heat them up (don't judge me!), finding leftover burgers almost better when they're cold. (i also think that way about pizza, but i think that's less rare than the burger thing.)  this morning, i ate leftover pasta.

in short, my best breakfasts often look like lunch or dinner or some hybrid variation inbetween.

sometimes i try to do the traditional breakfast route, eating cold cereal in carefully proportioned amounts, hoping that it sustains me.

it doesn't. for me, cold cereal is best eaten as a snack or as a dessert.

everything else seems like a terrible idea--why are so many breakfast foods so incredibly terrible for you? (don't ask me about my foray into donuts a week ago.  remember how i said one of my successes was not having eaten donuts in 2011? yeah, not so much anymore.)

so, here i am, asking for breakfast suggestions. now that i am ready to start reining in the calorie content and slowly, but surely, start chipping away at the extra weight, i want to start at the very beginning (it's a very good place to start!).  but, as the mother of a 6 week old baby, i don't really have the time or the 95 extra hands to cook eggs every morning (though i do find them delicious AND filling AND healthy), and i'm often lucky if i get the chance to eat before about 11. 

so i need ideas.  ideas that are a) relatively inexpensive and b) healthy options to start the day. if it can have a good proportion of carbs and protein, that would be awesome too.  and if it's doable for someone like me, that's even better.

what do you eat for breakfast? what do you find helps you make it, with energy and without wanting to gnaw on your own arm by 10am, to lunchtime?

help me, please!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

there's no easy way out.

when i was nearing the end of my pregnancy, i was thinking how much i was going to look forward to the miraculous wonders of breastfeeding for getting my body back into shape fast. i had heard the stories of weight lost plus some, and i was definitely hoping for some extra help on the journey.

this, like many of my expectations relating to labor and delivery, has been dashed by circumstance.

see, much as i wanted to breastfeed, the girls just don't seem up to the challenge. perhaps my complicated delivery (which brought with it a blood transfusion and a surprise emergency procedure) had something to do with it, but i'm simply not making enough, no matter how many herbs and lactation consultant and pumping sessions i go through.  nothing's working to elevate my numbers, so me and my baby girl and my husband are dealing with the realities of a supplementing life. i'm still pumping, and still doing my best, but i sincerely doubt that the numbers that i'm producing are going to do much for the scale's numbers.

so even though i've lost half the weight i gained with my pregnancy already, i am dealing with the reality of a pretty uphill battle.  there are lots of things i'd like to have be true, but none of them is truer than the fact that i'd like to fit into my pants again. i just feel soft and flabby and large. so very very large.

i'm ever so slowly getting back onto the wagon.  first will be writing things down. i haven't been doing it for a while now, and i know that's the first key to my success.

the second thing i'm doing is going back to exercise--hard core.  i went back to body combat on saturday and again on monday. it's been something like nine months since i've gone (i counted...37 weeks), and it was surprisingly not as bad as i thought it would be.  but i am more clumsy and less self-assured than i once was, and i'm modifying the heck out of some of the moves (scissors? jumping jacks? no way. not now.) while giving my all into the others (jab-jab-cross? you got it. with my whole heart.). 

this battle's a hard one.  and i'm not going to lie--it's super discouraging to be in this place. people tell me all of the time right now how good i look.  i don't see it. all i see is a burning desire to have my old body back ASAP, and the feeling that somehow i'm not doing enough to make that happen.  and hips that are two sizes bigger than they used to be. 

even when i am eating right and exercising, the reality of being a new mom is that i am severely sleep deprived and often running on empty, physically and emotionally at times.  that's not been, in my experience, the best fountain of successful weight loss. so it may be, i know intellectually, a while before i start to see real results. 

but i can try to see in myself the good stuff rather than focusing on the bad.  i'm going to work on that one.  that might be my third step.

so my three goals for this week are this:

1) write down my food for the next week, even if i'm not sure what i ate or how much it was, i will guesstimate as accurately as i can and be accountable. 

2) go to body combat every time it's offered. that means that i will go on wednesday, friday, and monday.   i will also try to incorporate at least one walk in there as well, which will mean that i am exercising 4 days this week.

3) i will stifle the negative self-talk. every day, i will find something positive to say about my physical appearance, and i will work earnestly to believe it. 

so there you go, dear readers.  i'm back, and i'm on a journey. i hope you will come along with me and, especially for those of you who have been there, will tell me what worked for you and what lessons you've learned along the way. i know ashlee has been incredibly successful of late, and i know many of you have as well.

what did you do that kickstarted your postpartum weight loss? what advice do you have for me?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Tis the Season... Strawberry Season!

It is Strawberry season here in Virginia and now is the time when all the you-pick farms are open. I found a farm close to us using PickYourOwn.org, check it out and see what's growing near you.

We picked A LOT... four gallons. Each gallon bucket was $8.50 and when full weighed about 5.5 lbs. It was a ton of fruit. I had plans for all this fruit, plans that involved pretty little jars, sugar, and pectin. You guessed it... JAM!

This was my first time making jam, so I went the easy route and made freezer jam. For 5.5 lbs of strawberries I used 3 cups of sugar and 8 tablespoons of instant pectin. This filled 11 8-ounce jars (be sure to use freezer-safe jars).

The instructions on the jar of pectin (I used Ball Instant Pectin and used the recipe on the inside of the label) said to use a potato masher to prepare the strawberries. This was a bad idea.

So I gave the mixer a shot. Also a bad (and messy) idea.

Finally I moved to the food processor and the jam was well on its way. This is when I learned something about hulling a strawberry.

It's not enough to cut the top off, you have to cut in to remove all the white part (the hull... duh). If you don't hull them properly, you'll be left with nice jam with weird white things throughout that don't taste like anything good.

Once the strawberries are ready (5.5 lbs made 7.5 cups of processed strawberries), mix the sugar and pectin in a large bowl. To this, add the strawberries and stir for 3 minutes. Once thoroughly mixed, ladle into jars, place lids, and let it sit for 30 minutes before putting it in the freezer (good for 1 year) or refrigerator (good for 3 weeks).

This stuff is good. So good that we ate 3 jars in 24 hours. I ended up making more with the remaining strawberries and we should be set for a good while. I'm very excited to now have a freezer stocked of delicious, homemade organic jam for very little out of pocket.

Anthony used some of our jam to make my Mother's Day breakfast. He made my favorite... my mom's strawberry french toast. Here's the recipe:

Strawberry French Toast

Strawberry preserves
1 egg
1/3 c milk
1 1/2 T sugar
1/4 t vanilla
2 T butter
Powdered sugar
Fresh strawberries, sliced
French or Italian bread, cut into 1" slices

Mix egg, milk, vanilla, and sugar in shallow bowl. Melt butter in pan on medium or medium-high heat. Dip bread in egg mixture and turn to coat. Put on skillet and brown lightly on both sides. Garnish with preserves and strawberries and dust with sugar.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Post-op update

So don't worry, I won't be blogging about my little knee surgery every week, but I would like to mention that today the doctor told me I could start working more aggressively to flex my knee - yay! It was SO uncomfortable to keep my knee straight in the brace 24/7 (I still have the brace, I can just take it off more...). I anticipate that getting it back to normal will also be very uncomfortable as all the tissue is extremely tight. Oh well, you never know how much you appreciate something until you lose it right? Same goes for full knee range of motion...

The swelling is down, the incision is clean, everything looks great, BUT I am extremely weak in my quads. Of course, I expected this to a degree - I'm continually providing education to patients about how quickly you can lose strength when you aren't working your muscles - but I do have an increased appreciation for this principle. I was shocked to see what 2 weeks of inactivity did to my little thigh...and I mean little. It's nice and skinny now, but not in a good way. I have a while to go before to turn that squishy mess back into strong muscle of any sort.

Moral of the story? Keep moving! You can never stop or you will have to face the consequences. When I think of it like that, it's rather depressing but I have to remember all the amazing functions that I've retained what a miracle the normal, healthy human body can do.

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to all you moms out there!!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Are you living?

Sorry for the lateness of the post, Wednesday just kinda snuck up on me and I have been going nonstop!

Question: What is the craziest thing you have ever done? How did it make you feel?

I have a quick story for you, from my college days, back when I was dating a biker. There are all sorts of tricks that riders can do on bikes, pop a wheelies, or stoppies, or christ air. But these should always be done with a single rider, not a rider and passenger. Unless you are dumb like me and my ex-boyfriend, who regularly tried these tricks with me on the back of his bike. And almost wrecked. More than a few times (Mom, don't worry, we never did. All is well).

You may be asking yourself why I would share such a story. Not because it was smart, or anything like that. But when I think back to those times, I can think that I was really enjoying the moment. I was living, however dumb it was, and doing something that I really enjoyed. I look back with fondness to those times with a little smile on my face, close my eyes and shake my head.

I was facebook stalking browsing and came upon an interesting quote a friend from high school had posted:
The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, answered :“Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.
Now, I have no idea if The Dalai Lama actually said this, but it does give food for thought. Are we experiencing the present? I have written in the past about comparing ourselves to other people.  But what happens when we don't even enjoy where we are now? Here at So Maybe Your Mom Was Right, we are at all different stages of life. We have all sorts of relationship situations, from single to married with two children. We have teachers, a physical therapist, a stay at home mom, and a grad student. We live in different parts of the country and experience different things everyday. Yet I imagine that none of us would give it what we have for something else or something "better".

We each experience life according to to our individual timetable and we need to be sure that we enjoy each stage that we are in, or else it will fly by. So whether you are a stay at home mom with five children or a career woman or whatever the case may be, be sure to be thankful for each day that you have and each moment that you experience.

So again, I ask what was the craziest thing you have ever done? How did it make you feel?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

oh hi.

hello again!

i'm emerging from the blogging hiatus to poke my head in and tell you that exciting things have happened today.

my doctor said i can resume normal activities, which in my mind meant I CAN GO BACK TO THE GYM!

i am so excited. i have lost half of the baby weight just by, you know, having the baby, but the rest of it has caused my pants to not fit at all, which is frustrating to say the least but even more frustrating when that's usually what happens with pants normally. it's a whole saga, me and pants, and so to have no pants to wear is ANNOYING and DEPRESSING.

so tomorrow, i'm back to body combat.  i am SO excited. 

i may die, but i'll die trying.

i'll be back next week to start chronicling my journey back to post-baby fitness as well as a few thoughts on new motherhood, and i think next week we might be unveiling what we've been thinking about doing with SMMWR.  i think you'll like it, and i think you'll likely find it to be an even more awesome place to come and stay a while.

it's nice to be back!