In Which We Say to Hell with Resolutions

 

 

I don't do resolutions. Not usually, anyway. In my mind, resolution has always been a fancy way of saying "This Explains Aqua Net and The Bangs Wave in Middle School." Yes, a New Year is upon us, but most of us won't notice since check writing went by the wayside when smartphones and banks started going steady and writing the wrong year in the date line isn't a thing anymore.

What we will notice is the sudden influx of newspaper articles and magazine covers telling us How to Lose Those Holiday Pounds and New Year? New You! articles and blog posts that are meant to inspire us into losing the weight we put on between Thanksgiving and Today because we humans like to celebrate with food made up of easily applied labels for convenient headline writing like the Rich Fudge Brownie that morphs into Bad Brownie, BAD and Other Mantras To Repeat While Sweating Our Asses off in Spin Class.

Or Mom's Lasagna becomes Motivation for Sticking to Your Resolutions.

And you look in the mirror and hate what you see and promise to love what you will become and all of it feels right and okay and you don't even think twice about talking about your fat ass and muffin top in front of your children because of the Aqua Net and Bangs Wave in Middle School. Thing is, many of us won't stick to whatever promise we paid lip service to. I'm not judging. I'm not pointing fingers. Remember, I don't do resolutions because I'm the one relating with you, right? Exactly. I'm merely pointing out that you will have long given up on trying to look like everyone else at the exact same time so you can cross that finish line together and high five and then start all over when the Halloween candy hits the shelves in August because that's the cycle so many of us fall into.

Well, screw that.

No. No.

Fuck that.

This year, I'm trowing away the hairspray. I'm kicking my foot through the mirror. I'm dropping my scale in the trash. And I'm giving the middle finger to every media reference to Why I Am Not Good Enough Until because I.Am.Good.Enough.NOW, dammit.

I'm not making resolutions. Instead, I'm making Declarations that do not include an expiration date. I am stating Intentions for Inner Peace and standing on my soap box and speaking my Truth because resolutions are made to be broken and I'm broken enough already. I'd rather work on putting myself back together on my own terms and in my own way.

So here's my List Declarations of Intention and Truth for 2013 and the rest of my life. Let's sit down, read up, and then and sing Kumbaya in rounds while we tell each other how beautiful our spirits are because it's all about being there for each other, y'all.

 

List of Declarations of Intention and Truth for 2013

* Before I start making resolutions to "better" myself, I will change my focus and make one to accept, love, & cherish myself as I am.

* I shall forgo any and all post holiday diets and shirk any health goals directly related to how "bad" I was over the holidays because food only carries the connotations, which we seem to willingly give.

* I shall refocus my health intentions, should I have any in mind, to be centered directly on how I feel physically and emotionally because I treat my body right when I feel good about myself. End.of.Story.

* I will ignore the media and its incessant people watching, paparazzi obsessed culture, which only serves to spread the false and unattainable ideals of perfection, thereby putting undo pressure on women of all ages to conform to a singular idea of how we should look and for which our musculature may not even fit. Unless I'm blogging, on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google +, or in line at the grocery store to buy milk and I see a headline that pisses me off. Then? It' s on, bitches.

* I shall refrain from using phrases like "I hate my ass" and "Wow, that's a lot of fucking cellulite" when I happen to catch naked glimpses of myself in the mirror, especially when the five-year-old is anywhere withing hearing distance. What I say about myself is just as important as what she think about herself because what she hears shapes what she will think and she's listening whether I know it or not.

* I will and shall reread the previous Declaration again. Because it's that important. From my nose to my toes, I will lie through my teeth if necessary and convince the Littles in my life that Mommy thinks she's gorgeous just the way she is now. Pretty cool, right? Cuz Molly's mom down the street has serious self-esteem issues and hates her ankles. I think Molly is starting to develop a complex because if Mommy hates her ankles then something must be wrong with Molly's. See? Now I'll read it again. My words + her interpretation = Mama Thinks She's Beautiful Just The Way She Is.

* I shall Do (and Believe) as I Say and Do as I Intend to Do. Translation? If I say to you, my readers, that you are beautiful and wonderful and perfect as you are, I will believe the same of myself because one day mind will win over matter. If I say to you, readers, that no matter how today panned out, tomorrow is the Universe's way of giving you a chance to try again when the sun rises? I'm on that train, too.

* I will address The Mess inside of my head and face it head on, feet planted firmly in the ground and hands on my hips. I'll probably even raise an eyebrow for good measure. The Mess might suck. Dealing with it may not be pretty. But the only way around is through. And through it I will go. I'll see you on the other side. That being said, let's move on to the next item because they're totally related.

* Fuck the gym membership. I'm signing up for therapy instead. Why? Because when training a puppy, positive reinforcement is key to success. The dog has to want to learn and believe in itself and it's master's love or ain't nobody learning to roll over and play dead no matter how many Scoobie snacks being tossed its way. Translate that analogy to taking care of me and that means that unless I become my own master and love myself and believe I am worth it now, I'm most likely going to give up before I start because I won't believe myself worthy of the work involved to get to My Version of Healthy later.

* I shall try to do more yoga, start meditating for ten minutes a day, and eat the right foods for my body not because everyone headline says it's time to do so, but because these things are good for me always and make me feel better always.

* I will not beat myself up for missing a yoga session or a yoga week or even if I roll the mat back up and leave it in the closet for a few months. I will celebrate all of the good in my life instead and celebrate more when I find myself in Warrior Pose one day because I missed the feeling.

* I will stop doubting my worth, start believing in the value of my words and the message I share, and make things happen because fairy tales only have happy endings because the princess opened her eyes and walked into her happily ever after fully believing that she deserved it.

* I shall embrace the positive, accept the crazy, and deal with the bullshit as it comes because I believe I am strong enough, smart enough, and perfectly capable of doing so. Just The Way We Are. Right? Right. Rinse. Lather. And Repeat.

 

And there you have it, my friends. Words I can commit to. Intentions I will see myself through in the year to come and the one after that, too.

Who's riding shotgun? We're going for a ride.

***

I have also recorded a reading of this post as a vlog, which you can see here on Girl Body Pride. Happy New Year, my friends. I think 13 is going to be lucky.

Weightless

The Husband has been uncharacteristically quiet lately. Not in typical, every day conversation, mind you. He's got plenty to say when Buttercup asks him to pretend he's five of her princess dolls at the same time. And we're managing to keep the texting each other from across the table to the times we are paying someone else to make our dinner, so, you know, the face-to-face thing is still good. And when he's talking on the phone he has this crazy annoying habit of pacing the entire length of the house because, apparently, it's physically impossible to sit still while unconsciously raising the volume of his voice loud enough that we never actually have to tell the neighbors we are going on vacation and need to collect our mail for us.

For those who are acquainted with The Husband, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about when I say that it's kind of unnerving. I said "I Do" with the full understanding that I was becoming Mrs. My God, You Can't Help Being An Asshole, Can You? And by Asshole, I totally mean Honest to a Fault. And that fault is named San Andreas.

The time I spent sixty bucks and half the day at a salon getting my kinky curls straightened into gloriously shiny and straight tresses for a family wedding?

He said: Looks good. Don't do it again. Translation? I love your frizzy curls even if you don't.

My response as I stood on tiptoe to kiss him? You are such an asshole. Translation? You are such an asshole.

Or the time I was pregnant and was crying about the size of my ass  and my freakishly short legs and said something about how I wished the baby would inherit his genes?

He said: Yeah, I do too. Translation: Oh shit. That's totally not what I meant. Except for the freakishly short legs thing. That? I meant.

My response as I tried not to fall down laughing: You are such an asshole. Translation? You are such an asshole.

And the time I was being sewn up by the hottest resident not cast in a television hospital drama because giving birth isn't exactly a fucking picnic and my little baby was snuggled up on my chest?

He said: She really ripped you a new one, didn't she? Translation: It would have been physically impossible for me not to say that out loud.

My response as I glared at him for the first time during the entire birthing process: You are such an...

Oh never mind. We all know where this is going.

The point is, he was born with a broken filter and prides himself on it. It's one of the things I love about him that drives me absolutely insane at the same time. So I guess I was a little surprised when I realized that he has yet to comment on my recent (read: since Christmas) lack of OCD-like strict avoidance of processed foods and that brief love affair I had the with elliptical. At least until I was brainstorming writing ideas out loud and mentioned how I've realized the scale can call me a fatass one time and it blows my entire routine and reason for living out of the water and drives me straight into the nearest source of sugar-laden guilt covered in chocolate. So, I said, what if I avoided the scale? What if I told society (and my own) obsession with The Number to fuck the hell off and instead focused on how eating right and being active is just plain old Good For Me and Makes Me Feel Good? What if I just trusted how I feel instead of what the scale makes me feel?

And then, because I was just thinking out loud and had a billion ideas in my head that were spilling out at the same time, I skipped right on to the next Thing In My Head. He listened. I threw more out and then he listened some more. And when I was finally done Not Thinking Silently, The Husband stopped being quiet.

He told me how I base my entire self-worth on what the scale says and the rising of the very sun depends on it not pissing me off and making me cry. He said that I can go months and months with respectable losses that keep me motivated enough to keep going and then the One Time I weigh myself and the scale politely asks me why I want to know what the average weight of a newborn baby hippo is, I give up instantaneously and then go months and months before deciding to repeat the whole cycle again.

Then, he told me to take the batteries out of the scale.

Why? I asked.

He said: Because even if no one reads whatever it is you turn this into, you need to learn that you are not a number and stop this professional yo-yo bullshit.  Translation: I love you.

My response as I stood on tip toe to kiss him: You are such an asshole. Translation: I love you, too.

And we put the scale away.

The Vicinity of Wonderful

This is it. My last post before 2011 fades away and 2012 becomes the year that we all joke about the end of the world. I had planned for something Deep and Meaningful. But that was before I remembered that the in-laws were going to be here from Michigan and that would mean day-long outings and running out of room in the refrigerator for yet another set of restaurant leftovers and a frantic search through my non-existent draft folder in the hopes of finding something Wonderful that I might have been saving. I looked. I found plenty of Somethings. But none of them were anywhere near the vicinity of Wonderful. Some were kind of Meh and a few gems were complete Disasters. More like an exercise in free-writing while high on expired Nyquil than something I'd like to share with the world.

So that leaves me to come up with Something New. And I'm hoping it's Deep and Meaningful.

I'm supposed to talk about those as-of-yet unbroken promises I haven't quite narrowed down to committing to for the immediate future. And buy some new running shoes so I can get to that new gym with the brand new membership I'm supposed to rush out to buy so I can fight for an elliptical machine until most have decided to wait until next January to try again, right? Or am I supposed to look back on 2011 and the stories shared, memories made, and goals achieved?

I could do that, except maybe I won't. Not because I'd rather avoid the imminent panic attack next December when I finally fall asleep wondering if the world will still be there for me to wake up to or if social media will be alive and well and pointing fingers at the Mayans for being total drama queens. And that's because this (read: the me having a Conspiracy Theory-worthy panic attack) will probably happen. I'm just wired that way.

I won't wax poetic about the end of the old and the start of the new simply because, for me, I feel caught in limbo. Between what and what, I have no idea. I just know that this feels like my last post of 2011 no more than the first one did and that this was the first year that my birthday was really just another day and maybe 34 is the year that the passing of time becomes nothing more than a measure of how fast my child is growing and not a direct reflection of myself or that last grey hair I pulled out.

If I didn't have a checkbook with what will probably be a month's worth of ruined checks during the 2012 honeymoon period while I retrain my brain to write the new year, I'd probably forget that anything has changed.

Buttercup and I were out shopping the other day when a store employee asked Buttercup how her Christmas had been. After the expected excitement and squeals and Santa Brought Me's, the employee smiled and asked Buttercup what she was doing to bring in the new year. Buttercup wrinkled her nose and blinked.

New Year? The look on her face told us both that she had no concept of what was being asked of her. She simple stood there for a moment while she tried to figure out for herself what this New Year was and how exactly one was supposed to Bring It In.

Finally, she smiled and her eyes brightened.

"But it's not June yet," she said, "and that's when my new year starts. I'll be five then. I'll probably have a birthday party with my friends. Right, Mama?" And  I told her that yes, she very probably would.

Tripping Over Words

This is my third attempt to start today's blog post. It's the writer-equivalent to tripping over my own words because my mouth can't keep up with the ideas trying to pour fourth from my brain. Every time I attempt to start a sentence, my breath hitches in my chest and I stop mid-syllable because maybe I should have said this instead...or maybe it was this... Or maybe...?

I could go the easy route (for me, at least) and post a few pictures of my crafting/baking weekend with Buttercup and tell you all how the making of the spinach chips...

...and from scratch chocolate pudding...

...and Quinoa protein bars...

...and gluten-free gingerbread men cookies...

 

...and mason jar snow globes we made just kept me so busy I just plain forgot to get on the elliptical. And, to be fair, it would be at least half-true.

Or I could tell you about how I'm wondering how many of Buttercup's future issues will be a direct result of all the effort The Husband and I are putting into The Great Lie about that guy in the red suit who somehow wiggles his fat ass down our chimneys each year, despite the cookies he pounds down, and leaves gifts for our kids that We Didn't Have to Pay For because His Elves Made Them in His Workshop before The Flying Reindeer helped him circle the globe in one night to deliver the goodies just because It Makes the Children Smile? If you think I'm overreacting, then I'll just let the Asking The Husband to Sneak Downstairs to Quietly Open the Front Door last night and Ring the Doorbell before running upstairs with an Elf-Delivered envelope for Buttercup containing Santa's Magic Key slip into history as a moment of genius and not a reason to funnel Buttercup's college savings into a Ways My Parents Set Me Up for Therapy fund. And I'll spare you the details about the raised eyebrow we got in response when Buttercup told us that the elf wasted a trip because everyone knows that Santa just magically makes chimneys appear on Christmas night so Why Would He Need a Key for the Front Door, huh?

Of course, I haven't told you about new doctor on the other side of town or the MRI I have coming up on Wednesday to see if that pesky little (benign) pituitary gland tumor is back, or the skin biopsy I have scheduled for next week to try and come up with a reason behind this crazy rash on my ribcage that just won't go away, or the results of the 14 different blood tests I'm waiting on with at least one of them (hopefully) providing an explanation for the changes in hair texture and the piles I leave behind on the shower floor every time I wash it.

Remember the hat? I'm not just wearing it because I think it looks cute.

But then again, if I told you all of that, I'd feel obligated to share the fact that I'm living proof that it is entirely possible to work out almost daily and still gain so much weight that I'm now just under what I was when I gave birth four years ago and that my doctor almost brought me to tears when he told me I wasn't crazy and that we would work together to figure my body out and fix whatever is broken.

And seriously? I'd rather just avoid that topic altogether.

So instead I'll tell you about how Buttercup and I selected a snowman off of the Christmas Angel tree at her preschool and went shopping for a two-year-old girl and how I explained to my own little girl that it's important to help her Angel girl smile because Mama remembers waiting in line long ago for a wrapped toy that came from a big box and was handed to her by a kind stranger. That gift made me smile when I was little, I tell my baby girl, and she asks me if ours will make Angel Girl smile, too. Yes, I say, smiling gently. I think it will.

And then we all go on with our days.

 

Consider This the Stunt Double for a Clever Title

*The Husband had a jacket that he loved. *It's mine now.

*His pillow? Also mine...until mine no longer smells like him and I steal back the pillow he is currently using.

*Seriously, it's like a never-ending game of keep -away.

*His robe? Mine.

*His old T-shirts as my new(ish) nightshirts? Done.

*His toothbrush? Hold up. I have standards, people...

*And sometimes? All that's left clean out of the three reusable water bottle pack we bought is the pink one (which he HATES taking to work) because I have lost and or/used both of the "manly" bottles I promised him he could have because the pink one was all mine.

*And I still have the nerve to look all What The Hell is Your Problem when he gets pissy because I have a habit of going all Winona Ryder with almost all of his belongings because it's how the game is played, okay?

*For reals and true. It says so right there in little fine imaginary print.

*I'm writing this post in list form because my brain is only capable of remembering how to properly format one sentence at a time.

*Shut up. It's been a long day, which I started by kicking my own ass on the elliptical before I ate breakfast.

*Again.

*Not kidding. I've been instagramming and tweeting my new addiction progress with shots of my total time and calories burned like it's going out of style.

*No, I'm not showing off.

*What I'm actually doing is building a case for myself to prove to the rest of the world that it is entirely possible to work out every fucking day because it makes you feel good and then have to get back on the elliptical to work out again (to feel good) after you forgot the scale likes to make you feel bad that you are working out every day and not losing a fucking pound.

*No, of course I'm not bitter.

*I'm actually typing this as I elliptical again (is that a verb?) so I feel just great!

*Funny thing....

*The Husband had announced a week before our ninth wedding anniversary at the end of September that he wanted to buy an elliptical because with his crazy work schedule he doesn't have time to join a gym.

*He hasn't been on the damned thing once yet and I've been on it almost every day since.

*Which brings me to the actual point of this blog post.

*The Bastard played me.

A Letter

Dear Scale: It has come to my attention that you are feeling neglected and, quite possibly, suffering from depression related to a lack of purpose. Since I'm not speaking to you right now, I thought it best to address the situation with a letter. You know how to dish it out, so let's see if you can take it, as well.

Okay, that was mean. It's not your fault you are conditioned to be brutally honest and couldn't win a game of poker if you life depended on it. So maybe this isn't a case of you being heartless but rather a case of me jut well...needing some space.

It's not you...it's me...

See, for way too long I have been dependent on you to set the tone for my day. You told me in no uncertain terms how much of me there and depending on your verdict, I was either flying high on finding less of myself or diving head first into a pint of Ben & Jerry's to drown my sorrows. The clothes in my closet seemed to be in cahoots with you, too. It didn't matter if I woke up feeling like I had rainbows shooting out my bum if you called me a fat ass because that marked the exact moment that everything in my closet that fit me yesterday would magically shrink just to prove your point.

That's just not playing fair.

I have an idea what you would tell me if I decided to pull you out and put you to work, and I'm sure I probably wouldn't like it very much. Numbers aren't needed when I feel the softening in my belly from too much of what isn't good for me and not enough of what it. Numbers don't need to tell me that 35 minutes on the elliptical weren't this hard before I decided to kick my Lifestyle change wagon to the curb and hope it would be waiting for me when I finally got my shit together again. I'm not an idiot.  I know I stopped trying. And I certainly don't need you to gloat.

Which explains the silent treatment.

I'll come back to you. Not today. Probably not next week. But eventually. First, I need to get my head screwed on straighter than it's ever been because I'm not the only one along for this ride. I've got a kid who looks up to me for cues on how to relate to life, the mirror, and, when she gets older, the size of her own ass in relation to the rest of the world. The eating disordered thinking that still trips me up after getting myself on track forever ago creeps up and allows for self-sabotage more often than it should, the Prozac I get to cocky to take regularly is obviously something I shouldn't be getting cocky about so I can keep my shit together in the first place, and that whole focusing on health instead of the number thing is something I really need to get embedded in my brain for my kid's sake and mine. I might talk a good talk but, frankly, she's pretty damned smart and I'm quite sure she inherited her father's bullshit detector.

That means it's time to put up or shut up.

The wagon? I fell off. But then I wised up and starting popping my happy pills again and then I climbed back into myself and then I climbed onto the elliptical that's still stuck on the highest setting. I'm trying again. And as long as I try, I can hold my head up high no matter what you say.

But I'm not ready for you yet. I need to focus on the inside of my head first and the feeling of accomplishment after a workout and the example I'm setting for my daughter and the fact that numbers aren't as important as health or happiness. So just give me a little time.

Don't worry. I'm not kicking you out. I'll come back to you when I'm ready. Until then, let's just consider this a trial separation. Oh, and the Prozac is on the top shelf of my medicine cabinet. Help yourself.

Sincerely,

Me

The Mysterious Case of the Typing Monkeys

I can and will fuck up anything when I put my mind to it.

It's like a gift.

A rare talent that not many admit to possessing.

I can't exactly blame those hiding their mad I Can Burn Boiling Water skillz from the general public, but I would like to make an argument for not hiding behind a veil of secrecy anymore. The world is a depressing place and I, for one, honestly think a few more idiots like me running around asking anyone who will listen where their glasses are and then running away before it can be pointed out that I misplaced my glasses on the bridge of my fucking nose would really liven up the joint.

Take today, for instance. We got that new elliptical delivered today and not only did I not crack and ask The Husband to confirm that it is not, in fact, his 9th wedding anniversary present to the fat ass that split the seat of her pants while bending over to dust the entertainment center because, to be fair, I haven't actually told anyone that this little incident actually happened and it would be entirely unfair to blame him for an imaginary game of connect the dots that he isn't aware of happening inside of my wee little head, but I actually hopped on and used said elliptical, y'all. First workout in about six weeks. And yes, I am perfectly aware of the fact that my pants might still be with us today if I hadn't waited until this baby showed up to get the ass that split them moving again, but that thinking is so incredibly circular that it's making my head hurt and I'd really rather move on to my next point, thank you very much.

As I was saying...

The incredibly large men who entered our home and so valiantly hauled our monster piece of exercise equipment up to the second floor of our home and then proceeded to so deftly put that thing together also were kind enough to show us how to adjust the incline and such before taking the boxes and leaving. I swear on The Husband's ego that I only nodded and smiled and said I understood at the time because I did, in fact, totally understand what they had showed us...

At. The. Time.

After they left and The Husband went to bed (he's still on midnights) I purposely ignored the new elliptical. I didn't want to seem to eager. I mean, I survived high school and college and it's safe to say the most important lessons learned involved playing hard to get so the football player I had my eye on might consider for at least five minutes before deciding to take someone prettier and more popular else to the homecoming dance. There would be no immediate and enthusiastic usage of the elliptical because it's a known fact that the faster one embraces a new piece of exercise equipment in their home is directly related to the amount of time that will pass before said exercise equipment outlives its Shiny Newness and becomes nothing more than a glorified coat hanger.

So I waited. I even changed into my yoga pants in another room so it wouldn't get too cocky. And when it wasn't looking, I jumped it.

That's when I remembered that Hefty and Heftier had set the elliptical at its highest incline when they put it together. Not wanting to start out by killing myself, I jumped off to readjust it. Just like they had showed us.

I knelt down in front of the machine and scrunched my nose. That silver knob looked familiar. I was supposed to grab that. I was sure of it. Was I supposed to unscrew it? Yeah. That sounded right.

But it wasn't. The silver knob in hand, I sat staring at the exposed screw. How the hell was I supposed to grab on to that to readjust the incline? Maybe if I put the silver knob back on and unscrewed it again I could...

Nope. Still clueless.

So I repeated the process a third time. I imagine monkeys learning to type had to go through the same trial and error I did with the notable difference being that they actually succeeded in achieving success. I, on the other hand, was still holding a silver knob and staring at an exposed screw with no means of grabbing hold of it to pull it out toward me in order to lower the incline.

Unless...

Could it be?

Yes! Yes it was! The answer had been in the palm of my hand the entire time! All I had to do was screw the silver knob back on and use that ingenious piece of technology to pull the lever out that the screw was attached to so I could lower the...

Clank!

Oh.

Shit.

That's when the silver screw, which had nothing else but the knob in my hand to keep it from getting sucked back into the inner workings of the elliptical, finally gave me the mechanical finger. It had given me three slow pitches and plenty of time to figure out how to fix what I was breaking and I had struck out. All I could do was climb back on and huff my way through a thirty minute workout trying not to focus on the fact that I'm a bloody fucking idiot.

475 calories burned later, The Husband woke up and asked why the silver knob was on the floor and what the point of his paying to have the elliptical put together had been when he was now going to have to take it apart to fix it.

"Um, I love you?"

"You are such a dumbass," he said. "If you could take the single-mindedness with which you attack stuff like this and apply it to, I don't know, actual thought, the results would be staggering."

"I know! I mean, those monkeys and their typing skills..."

What She Said

I've fallen of the wagon. Or the yoga mat, depending on which way ya look at it. The kicker? It's all under doctor's orders. Sort of.

I went in to see my doctor a few weeks ago convinced I needed testing for a bunch of crazy stuff and go all kinds of insane with the diet limitations like I did in November with no grains/gluten/dairy/sugar not because the scale is pissing me off right now but because, well, I felt better then. I wasn't bloated, moody, tired, as easily depressed, and I sure as hell wasn't craving sugar all the time. So whaddya think, Doc?

"Sweetie," she said slowly, "do you really think you need tests your insurance company might not cover if you felt better when you were eating that way?"

Well....when you put it that way, I guess not.

Doctor Obvious did clear me for celiac disease testing, though. I may have gone mostly gluten-free before the new year rang in, but I haven't always been strict about it because I don't get sick like my husband and daughter do. But, says Doctor Obvious, just because I don't have the same symptoms doesn't mean I don't have the same diagnosis.

Fair enough.

The twist is that in order to get an accurate test result, you need to eat the crap that might be the reason you're feeling like crap to begin with. Enter the breads and flours and baked goods I have avoided like the plague. Add in a few extra Since I'm Already Eating the Rest of that Craps, and you've got me sitting here counting down till Thursday so I can get tested and wake up on Friday the dieting equivalent of a born again Christian.

Was that all supposed to be capitalized?

The funniest part of this whole thing is The Husband's response when I relayed Doctor Obvious' unscientific findings.

"That's what I said, isn't it?"

Semantics, buddy. Semantics.

Mamavation Monday: Mountain Climbing

8:32 a.m.: "Mama, it's daytime." 8:33 a.m.: Dammit.

8:34 a.m.: "Mama, we need to get out of bed. The sun is awake."

8:35 a.m.: Dammit.

We get out of bed and in between choosing an outfit for school and nuking the leftover pancake from yesterday's breakfast, I can't shake the nagging feeling that I should have just stayed in bed. I'm reminded why when I talk to my mother, mother-in-law, and husband  about Insert Random Family Drama Here puppies.

Again.

Somehow, the hours between 8:30 a.m. and 11:25 a.m., which, coincidentally, is the time I am supposed to have Buttercup physically present in her preschool class, fly by. It could have something to do with the fact that I've been on leaving messages for someone with a medical degree at my fertility clinic to call me back about the whole cycle-15-days-early-and-what-the-hell-do-i-do-now and alternately bitching cooing about over Insert Random Family Drama Here puppies. The school is a three-minute drive from my driveway.

There's a mad dash for the door with much flourish and internal swearing. Backpack, lunch box, my purse, Buttercup, got everything, lock the door, close the door, realize I left my keys on the buffet table. Inside the house. The Husband is sleeping because he works midnights. I'm pretty sure the dogs are snickering at me through the window while I hit the doorbell and try calling The Husband on his cell phone while Buttercup asks why I didn't bring the keys with me when I suddenly have a brain storm.

The Husband rigged up a button on the inside of the Yukon for me to press and the garage door opens. Inside the garage is The Only Unlocked Door In The House.

Today.

But the car keys are on the buffet table. Inside the house.

I try the car door anyway, mostly out of desperation. It opens. The Husband might choose to Not Believe and yell at me for leaving the fucking thing unlocked again. I, however, choose to Believe that I magically wished the door open.

We show up five minutes late. Buttercup suggests I do the Mountain Pose to calm down as I leave her with her teacher.

11:30 a.m.: I try calling the clinic again. I have an appointment in two weeks to get me some more Clomid to try and get my ovaries in baby mode and um, well, there's this time sensitivity factor here, ya know? Yeah...about that...

Nothing.

12:30 p.m.: There's a needle in my arm drawing blood at a lab 40 minutes from my home to get more baby-making levels checked. While the needle sucks me dry, I try to figure out how to best use the two hours I have left, which happens to include the 40 minutes I still need to get to the preschool on time so I don't have to pay $3 for every minute late after pick-up time.

On the List of Things to Do is grocery shop at the Sunflower, (which is Smack in the Middle of Where I am Now and Where I will Be When I Pick Up Buttercup) because The Husband wants homemade, gluten-free fish sticks. Because I'm hypoglycemic and about to jump the old woman in the lobby for her dried prunes, I choose to drive to the nearest restaurant selling grape leaves.

2:00 p.m.: I am cursing Arizona's crackpot policy which gives drivers a 30-year window before licenses have to be renewed. No, I'm not kidding. My own license is good until I'm 62. Which means? The 70-something man in front of me on the one-lane road which happens to be The Only Way to Get Where I Need To Be On Time doesn't have to have his driving skills examined until his great-grandchildren are getting their learner's permits. It also means I am driving 15-miles Under The Speed Limit.

2:22 p.m.: Phone in hand, I call information for the main office number and plead for mercy. It's granted. I arrive 10 minutes late and have used up my one free pass.

2:35 p.m.: Buttercup and I are now driving back to the grocery store. She wants to know if I've done Mountain Pose yet.

3:10 p.m.: Buttercup decides to "birth" the stuffed kitten she has been "carrying in her belly" since I got her out of her car seat. She announces the new arrival to every shopper that will listen by loudly stating her baby "has finally Been Borned." The momentous event occurred in the snack aisle.

3:58 p.m.: I contemplate the financial perks of getting a Sugar Daddy solely for the purposes of funding our Gluten-Free/Organic food habit as the clerk is ringing me up. Seriously, people, life was so much cheaper when I didn't give a shit what we were eating.

3:59 p.m.: I look at the receipt as I wheel our cart out to the car. I'm pretty sure the Husband would totally be up on me cheating on him for the sake of our budget.

5:00 p.m.: Home. dogs fed. Buttercup fed. Groceries unloaded.

5:02 p.m.: Buttercup wants to know if I've done Mountain Pose yet.

5:03 p.m.: I am standing in my kitchen, Buttercup facing me, breathing in and out, in and out, as Buttercup leads me from Mountain intro Tree and from Tree into the Volcano pose she learned in her kiddie yoga DVD.

"When you are upset, you just do this, Mama, until you are calm again." She looks up at me. "Is it working?"

"Yes."

"Yeah," she says doubtfully as she gauges my expression. "We need to do this for a few more minutes."

My kid just called me a liar.

Fair enough.

So I climb back onto my mountain.

Mamavation Monday: The Other Side of Yesterday

One step forward. Two steps back.

Three steps forward. And I've already won.

I should have seen it coming. I know me. How my head works. I'm an all or nothing kind of girl and maybe it has to do with the leftover eating disordered baggage and maybe it doesn't, but it doesn't really matter. This is where I am right now.

Two weeks ago I was months into a clean eating, loving to and making the time to work out, feeling good inside and out kind of routine. Then I decided to sprain my ankle while making a sandwich for The Husband, because obviously I was supposed to hire a personal trainer first and Get In Shape For That Shit. Or maybe I didn't do enough pre-sandwich-making stretching. Either way, the result was me in an emergency room, my foot in a brace, and orders from the nurse to keep my ass parked on the couch for a few weeks.

It didn't happen instantaneously. I didn't wake up the very next day and decide that raiding the pantry for salty carbs and chocolate because I was still holding strong. I was still focusing on how healthy I felt. Forget taking weight "off your shoulders." Taking it off my middle by reducing the bloat with limited sugars and processed foods made all the difference for me.

Until I woke up on the other side of yesterday and realized where I had landed. On my face. Hiding from the scale. Doing the Mommy version of the Toddler Potty Dance, only my dance is way less cute because it involves trying to shove my fat ass into the jeans that fit me perfectly two weeks ago. They still button, mind you. But unless I'm going for that Purposeful Muffin Top Look (and what the hell is that about, anyway?) it's a total nu-uh, Mama. Try again. There, that pair. Shut up about how they look. They fit. Right?

I did an hour long yoga session the night before last.

I polished off a package of dairy free gluten-free chocolate chip cookies last night.

I passed up on serving a heaping side of bullshit and instead wrote about the reality inside my head. It's not always funny. But it is me. And this is what I need to write about for now. I'll continue to go through the motions for a few days or so, maybe a week. I'll pay lip service to giving a damn, eat a few more things that I shouldn't, work out less than I should, and eventually wake up on the other side of tomorrow reveling in the success of having weathered another storm.

One step forward.

Two steps back.

Three steps forward. And I've already won.

Mamavation Monday: A tale of two blog posts

I once tweaked my neck sneezing. This is important to note because two days ago I sprained my ankle.

While standing in front of this...

 

I can't get into further detail because there aren't any. I limped my way through packing The Husband's work cooler, getting his dinner done before he woke up for work, and getting Buttercup into bed. I woke up yesterday morning not being able to walk, kissed The Husband goodnight as he climbed into bed to prepare for another midnight shift, and dropped Buttercup off at a friend's house. That's when HC Palmquist called to give me the same speech I gave her about being a jackass for driving myself to the ER and told me to stop by her place so she could play taxi.

Frankly, I think she was just looking for some cheap entertainment.

Observe:

check-in Nurse: And what are we seeing you for today?

Me: I either broke or sprained my ankle.

Nurse: When?

Me: Last night.

Nurse: Last night? Um, okay. Have you taken anything for the pain or swelling?

Me: *Blinking* Shit. I  didn't even realize that was an option. This is why I'd never be invited to appear on Celebrity Rehab.

HC Palmquist: Um, I think you actually have to be a celebrity for that to happen.

Me: Or shot someone in the head and had my name all over the tabloids. --yes, I'm talking about you, Amy Fisher.

HC Palmquist: *shrugs shoulders* Same difference.

Nurse: *Obviously ignoring the exchange* How did you injure yourself.

Me: I was standing in front of my refrigerator.

Nurse: *waiting.*

Me: That's it. I was standing in front of my refrigerator.

HC Palmquist: Hysterical laughter.

Or this one:

Nurse Practitioner: What did you do to yourself, dear?

Me: No idea. But I can't put weight on my foot.

NP: This happened when?

Me: Last night.

NP: last night?

Me: Why does everyone act like I should have come in right after I made the sandwich?

HC : *snickering* Because that is what a normal person would have done.

NP: (to HC) Thank you. (to me) Made the sandwich?

ME: That's how it happened. I was standing in front of the refrigerator.

NP: And?

ME: That's it. I. Was. Standing. In. Front. Of. The. Refrigerator. I grabbed what I needed to make my husband a sandwich and suddenly felt like comparing the pain in my ankle now shooting up my leg to an unmedicated childbirth.

NP: So, it never occurred to you to take an aspiring for the swelling?

ME: It's swollen?

 

NP: Really?

HC: Hysterical laughter.

Or:

NP: Well, it isn't broken. But you did really hurt yourself. You can see significant swelling on the X-ray.

Me: Thank God.

NP: It is sprained. You aren't off the hook. I'm sending you home with an ankle brace and crutches. No weight on that injured ankle for three days.

Me: That count started yesterday, right?

NP: It might have if you had come in when you almost broke your ankle making a sandwich.

HC: hysterical laughter.

It wasn't until after I sent HC home with a few tokens of appreciation for playing nursemaid all day that I realized I got had. I'm the one who should have been charging admission.

The line forms here, people. You're welcome.

***

The problem with posting on a schedule is that life happens off schedule. Today's focus was supposed to be on Leah Segedie and today's awesome two-year-anniversary celebration for her ground-breaking Mamavation social media health initiative, but then all the crap before the asterix happened. And because it wouldn't be funny on Wednesday, I figured I'd do do double duty and talk about both today.

If you are new to the blog, let me explain. Every Monday I try to post a personal health related update sharing my current experience with the Sistahs of the Mamavation community. The literal ups and downs...no harsh judgement allowed. Just support and open arms for those giving their all to trying to better themselves for their health and their families.

I also serve as an editor for Leah's Bookieboo blog and post weekly. So yes, there is a fair amount of time invested, but only because I believe firmly that Leah has created a fantastic community and love being a part of it. I also love that i can call many of the moms friends and inspirations. Shelley, Kimberly, Kia, Stephanie, and Sue...thank you for being part of this group of Awesome created by Leah.

Happy birthday, Mamavation. Can't wait to see what the next year brings you.

Mamavation Monday: Why High Heels Don't Make Good running Shoes

I stepped on the scale today. And like the jackass hot chick trying to run from the chain-saw wielding killer in the campy horror flicks in high heels, I made one crucial mistake.

It might have been the plateau I recently found myself visiting. Or perhaps it was the week of looking at the clock at the end of the day wondering how I only managed to find the time to get my yoga pants on but not actually work out. Then again, it could have been the complete and total attitude readjustment I just realized I need to take care of. I mean, I went from Yay I Lost The Baby Weight to Sure Let's Make Another Baby in the space of like, four blog posts. And don't tell me that isn't enough to make you all, Well, If I am gonna get fat again, anyway....

Hey, I'm only human.

And, it seems, the first idiot female to get slaughtered by the guy with the chain saw. She wears high heels while running for her life. Bad idea.

I got on the scale. And when I looked down, I decided running shoes are, like, totally so much more practical.

Mamavation Monday: Wait for the Punchline

Random Rambling with a point (which makes it not so random, but work with me, here.) *I lost the baby weight.

*All 40 plus pounds of it.

*It only took me about three and a half years. But who's counting?

*I am.

*Shut up.

My waistline is purty.

*Hello HOUR GLASS!

*Bu-bye, muffin top.

*Mama needs a new pair of capris! (Size 14 in the petite section at Coldwater Creek, please)

*Because?

*I am obviously the word's tallest midget measuring in at 5'6'' with legs that probably belong on an Oompa Loompa.

*Also?

*I outgrew (undergrew?) the selection at Lane Bryant

*Is that even a word?

*I am still waiting for the parade in my honor, people

*Still waiting...

*I have kicked my sweet tooth to the curb, embraced clean eating, and am all about embracing my inner hippy self

*Which? Means yoga for my insides and homemade soaps and lotions for my outsides

*Someone talk me out of opening my own Etsy store!

*No, really. I'm serious.

*Deadly serious.

*I have a cucumber and lemon habit.

*And an orange habit.

*Which is better than the mall pretzel habit I had when I was pregnant with Buttercup.

*And you know, for the two years after I pushed her out my hoo-ha.

*The Husband thinks I am HAWT.

*Like, for realz and not in that I love you no matter what you look like kind of way.

*Yes, I am only a little bit shallow.

*It's okay. He is a lot a bit shallow.

*Yes, he freely admits this.

*Which is ironic because now that I am rocking my sexy self again

*He

*wants

*to

*knock

*me

*up

*again.

*Wait for it, because that isn't the punch line....

*This is...

*I agreed to try and went to the fertility doc and started popping Clomid like Tic Tacs.

*And now? We wait...

*And practice.

*He likes it when I tell him we have, ahem, homework.

*And I tell my waistline I love her every night before I go to sleep.

*Just

*in

*case.

The End

Mamavation Monday: In which we celebrate

What do you ask for when The Husband offers a gift to celebrate losing the baby weight and winning yourself back in the process? It didn't take long to figure that out. I already own this...

...so it didn't take long to flutter my eyelashes and click submit on the order for these...

And when that little blue box arrived in the mail, I could only smile.

I have more to lose to make my goals for a healthier me, but dammit, people? I made it this far. And that's worth celebrating.

Mamavation Monday: "A" for Effort

We decided to let buttercup celebrate her fourth birthday party a little early this year so she could have include preschool friends while they are still officially her classmates. So we got up early on a Sunday which sucked for me after staying up all night baking four batches of cupcakes and got ready for the big day.

When asked where she would like to have her party (read: Our house was not on the list of options after last year's birthday hell of too many screaming kids and more headaches than I could count) she immediately responded by saying, "The Museum!" So I called up the Children's Museum of Tucson and booked the party room. Score one for not having to clean up my house just for the pint-sized guests to mess it all up upon arrival.

Buttercup had a blast and so did her friends. Here's the almost birthday girl decorating the birthday crown she received for her special day.

And while everyone else noshed on the sugar-laden cupcakes I had so lovingly baked and oohed and ahhed over the crap-ton of new toys Buttercup's friends had brought for her, I earned major points for effort in the Willpower portion of my Fitness Report Card.

The rest of the party had cupcakes. I didn't even feel like  I was missing out.

**This post originally appeared at Bookieboo

Mamavation Monday: Meet Buffy

IMG_1500.JPG "Mama! Where's my kettlebell?"

She's standing between me and the TV, arms folded and hip jutted out to the side. Buttercup has been wanting in lately on the Pauline's Search for a Smaller Ass Healty Kick and that means less solitary Ohms and more creative inclusion. I grab the remote and hit pause on the Gaiam kettlebell workout I just bought, set down my own four-pound bell of wonder, and start scanning the room.

"Let' see what we can find for you to use."

Buttercup smiles. She's in!

"What about this?" I hand her the pink Disney princess squishy softball that was wedged under the couch. I'm figuring it's small enough to handle and light enough for her to mimic the movements without hurting herself.

"No. It doesn't look like yours."

Okayyyyy....

I sigh and walk into her playroom, Buttercup hot on my trail. She isn't going to settle for a cheap substitute. She wants Mama's kettlebell. And Mama isn't gonna get her workout in until Buttercup is happy.

I'm not going to argue. I'm thrilled my little girl gets to see me setting a good example. And I am doubly happy that she associates exercise with being healthy and strong instead of the words that plagued my formative years.

Fat. Big. Calories.

I was bulimic by the time I was 15. I was eating disordered long before then, hiding in the food pantry to binge as a small child.

Buttercup wants a kettlebell to be healthy and strong. I want to encourage the positive.

"Baby, I can't find anything for you to use. Will you let Mama finish my 20-minute workout and then you can sit down with me on the computer to order you a kettlebell for kids? One that is safe for you to use?"

She considers while I hope like hell that such a thing exists. If not, it's back to working out after she is asleep, knowing full well I will have lost all motivation by then and go back to making excuses.

"Okay, mama."

So I work out. She plays. And when we are both done, we sit down on the couch with my laptop. Thanks to a twitter recommendation, I find a sweet stuffed kettlebell toy named Buffy on etsy. I buy it. And Buttercup is beaming.

When it shows up in the mail, Buttercup declares it her new best friend and wants to sleep with it. I, however, did not just pay $28 for a new addition to the Ignored Stuffed Animal Collection.

"Does Mama sleep with my workout equipment?" I point to my yoga mat, kettlebell, and hand weights sitting in the corner of the living room. "Or do I only use them for being healthy and strong?"

Buttercup chews on her lip, torn between the desire to play with her toy and the one to be like me. She breaks into a huge grin.

"No," she says, laughing. "That would be silly."

"Yeah," I say, "it would.

"Being healthy and strong isn't silly, right?"

"Of course not."

She nods her head at my response and sits down on the floor to velcro on her her sparkly gym shoes. She stands up, Buffy at the ready and her own little face the very picture of determination.

"Then let's do this."

Yes, ma'm.

IMG_1501.JPG

This post originally appeared on Bookieboo

Mamavation Monday: Changing my Focus

I learned a new term today. Behavior Centered Health.

According to Ragen Chastain on Dances with Fat, behavior centered health is a concept in which healthy choices and behaviors are the goal, not a particular size, weight, or shape. I have officially been riding the diet yo-yo since the first time I begged my parents into letting me sign up for Weight Watchers as a sophomore in high school. At 5' 6'', I weighed 150 pounds and wore a size 10. My ass was admittedly not the issue. My head? Big fucking problem.

I've dealt with an eating disorder and a negative body image. I've binged and exercised. I've lost and gained the same 50 pounds only to gain and lose them again. So why did Ragen's blog strike a chord with me?

Because every diet I have ever been on, every workout I have ever done, and every goal I have ever set for myself (until recently) has been focused only on the scale and the size on the clothing tag. Maybe that's why every time I hit a snag on the Path to a Smaller Ass (like pregnancy and the resulting body aftermath) I just plain gave up.

My bottom line kind of read like this:  Why bother trying if I wasn't going to get where I wanted to be? Why put in the effort for something I could never see happening?

Yeah...I know. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Because every time I ended up giving up on myself. And if I wasn't trying, I was hell-bent on making it worse. If I can't lose the weight I might as well have that Twinkie, right? Hello Ben & Jerry. Secret late night binges followed by even more secret late night cry-fests followed by The Hiding of the Evidence at the bottom of the trash can lest The Husband have actual proof of what I had been up to when I was supposed to have been sleeping peacefully next to him.

It would take months (and sometime years) to drag myself back out of the pity party and back to the Land of the Living. Eventually I would wake up ready and willing to Give it My All and Try Again. And everything would be hunky-dory until another snag would knock me back on my ass and into the nearest pint of Cookie Dough ice-cream.

Not very productive, if you ask me.

Then, one day? My head fixed itself. I'm not sure what happened. Maybe it was the year I spent trying to lose more weight so I could have material for a book only to realize the journey was the destination and not the other way around. Maybe it was my daughter looking at me with the truth that can only be found in the eyes of a child and telling me that I am beautiful. Or maybe it was realization that the scale didn't fucking matter; how I feel when I eat right and take care of myself does.

So even though I am still in it for health and still strive to reach a lower number on the scale for that single reason, the number on said scale is no longer my only reason for living. Instead, I focus on how I feel. I'm going to keep working out because my body needs it. I'm going to eat clean because my body needs it. I'm going to smile in spite of the scale.

And telling myself that I'm pretty. Because that's always a plus.

***

What about you? What do you think? Is Behavior Centered Health the way to go?

Mamavation: Celebrating Me; Celebrating Now

I am 33.

I weigh 203 pounds.

I have kinky hair.

I have curves that fill clothes out in all the right places.

And for the first time in my life, I am appreciative of it all.

I've spent far too many years looking forward to where I wanted to be, ignoring where I actually was.

We all want to be older when we are kids. We can't wait to be 10. We can't wait to be 13. We can't wait to get our licenses. Or be old enough to not have to hope the homeless guy hanging out in front of the closest liquor store to campus will actually return with our hard earned cash and our cheap vodka.

I suppose it's normal enough. As is the eventual wish to be granted the power to slow down when our own little ones are growing before our very eyes; their hopes to be bigger and older reminding us of how fast it really goes by.

Then there are the Untils...You know, the ones that are supposed to come prepackaged with happiness and a pretty little bow?

I can't wait until I lose (five, 10, 20, 50) pounds. I'll celebrate with a cruise.

I can't wait until I can do downward facing dog without looking like a hospital patient in traction. That's when I'll know yoga is working for me.

Or: I can't wait until I get that (tummy tuck, boob lift, nose job). I'll feel so good about myself then.

But what about now? Why put our happiness and self-worth on hold for a future we can't predict, no matter how hard we workout, how many calories we count, or how much we plan to take out of our retirement funds to pay for that plastic surgery? Why not just open our eyes, look in a mirror, and be happy with what is?

I've spent so much energy planning for a better/skinnier/prettier me when I should have been saving some of that Until for the Here and Now. I'm not telling you to forget about your health goals or to give up on your dreams of a six-pack, but I am asking you to take a moment to honor the you in the mirror. The one looking back at you this very minute. The one who deserves to be applauded for getting out of bed another day and just fucking trying.

There's a photo of me on my dresser that The Husband took on our first vacation together. I was 21 and looking happy, care-free, and thin...

There are times I look at my former self and wish I could look like that again. That my thighs would be as toned. My waist as trim. But that's the hindsight talking. If you had asked the me in the photo how I felt, I would have told you I couldn't wait until...

Until what? I lost 10 more pounds? So I could look exactly like I did in high school?

But the high school me wasn't happy, either. She was miserable and lost in sea of self-loathing, only coming up for air to binge again in preparation for the next purge. But both the 33-year-old me and the 21-year-old me wish that we could go back in time and explain to the 15-year-old with the eating disorder that she is beautiful. That she is not meant to look like the cheerleaders she admires.

That her curves are something to be admired, not cursed. That her body is exactly what it should be.

Maybe the 15-year-old would have listened. Maybe she would have realized that the reflection she sees in the mirror needs acceptance and love. Maybe it would have made all the difference in the world.

I am 33.

I weight 203 pounds.

I have kinky hair.

I have curves that fill out clothes in all the right places.

And I am beautiful.

Now it's your turn. What will you tell the woman looking at your from the other side of the mirror?

***

This post originally appeared on Bookieboo.

Mamavation Monday: Because Dear John is so Cliche

Dear Lane Bryant, I know I've been kind of...distant lately. *Shuffles feet* And I know I've stood you up on more than one promised shopping date. *Stares at the ground* So really, I would totally understand if you wanted to break up with me. Frankly, it would save me the trouble of having to do it myself.

Look, Lane. We've had this conversation before. You being too needy? And why do I always have to pick up the tab? I NEED MY SPACE!

I've thought about this long and hard, Lane. And because you haven't really taken any of the hints I have been dropping, I've decided to just drop the "letting you down easy" bit and just tell it like it is.

So here are my Top Ten reasons for why I am dumping you for Other Stores.

10- You lie. A size 14 at your store is not a size 14 for the Rest of the World. You want proof? Just take a look in my pre-pregnancy clothes bin from five years ago. I have size 14's in there that I JUST GOT BACK INTO (and yes, thank you, my ass looks pretty cute in them) so it makes no sense that the 14's in your store today are falling off of me after I have zipped them up.

9- You are a not a cheap date. Have you looked at your price tags, lately?

8- It's not you...it's me. No, really. I've outgrown you. And by that? I really mean I've gotten too small for your britches.

7- I don't want to be tied down right now. It's true. Go ahead and call me a retail slut. I don't care. But I have had no choice but to shop at your store since I pushed Buttercup out my hooha, and this retail monogamy has gotten kind of stale. And really...it's not like you were being all that faithful to me.

6- Have you seen the rest of that big world out there? I just realized it was here in front of me the whole time. Old Navy. Coldwater Creek. New York and Company...new styles. New sizes. New reasons to stare at my Cuter Than it's Been in Four Years and Nine Months Ass in the full length mirrors in the dressing room.

5- I need to be able to express myself. And frankly, having to send the sales attendant morsecode messages for her to decipher in silence indicating my frustration that the smallest size in your store is too big for me to avoid the Evil Death Stares from bigger women doing their shopping was really just stifling me. I'd much rather walk into Any Other Store and ask for a 14 without having to give a damn what the size 0's are snickering about.

4- Don't take it personally. We had a good time while it lasted. And you really were good to me. I swear that a few of my favorite wardrobe staples say Lane Bryant on the label. If you hadn't changed your sizing, things might be different today.

3- The irony here is that now that I am too small for you, Lane, I may find myself in need of you again. At least if The Husband has his way. Which is why...

2- I'm not necessarily calling this a break up.

1- Just a trial separation.

Rolling with the Punches

The Husband has a new work schedule. Related? I am majorly confuzzled about my workout schedule.

I've talked a lot about how I find my happy place when I put myself second. And for the past three months, I have been doing pretty spiffy. The Husband was on days and was gone by 6 am. I was up by 8 with Buttercup and three days a week had her off to school by no later than 11:30 a.m. and as soon as I got home? It was instant Ohm time, kettlebell time, or zumba time. I would usually have just enough time to shower and go pick her up before returning home to figure out dinner, which would (usually) be ready when The Husband got home from work.

Quaint. I know.

There was some family chit-chat, How was your day, Honeys, and Smooch Smooch as we finished up dinner. Then I went one way to bathe Buttercup and tuck her into bed while he went the other to tuck himself in start the whole process over again.

By 9 p.m., both Buttercup and The Husband were counting sheep. Which meant I would start chanting the adult-mama-writer version of party, party, party! and promptly sit my happy ass down on the couch with my netbook and categorize music on iTunes while working on writing projects and blogging.

Twitter? What's that? Never touch the stuff.

Sometime between midnight and 1 a.m., I was off to dreamland myself. Or at least tweeting that I should be. Shut up.

The bottom line is that in the last three months, I figured it all out. There was a time and a place for everything. I knew when to work out. I knew when to play house. And I knew when to follow my dreams.

Hello book deal!

Then, of course, everything changed.

I knew it was coming. How could I not? His schedule rotates every few months. So I can't act like I had no idea. He even warned reminded me a few weeks back that the shift change was coming!

Now? It's all kinds of jacked up. He wakes up at 10. I've been up since 8. He shuffles downstairs to eat as I am getting Buttercup ready for school. I return home to find him sprawled on the living room couch in front of the TV I usually use to work out.

So instead? I make our lunch and pack his cooler for dinner and Hug, Hug, Kiss, Kiss, Have a good Day at Work, Honey. And then suddenly it's time to pick up Buttercup from school. I might be able to talk her into a fun Zumba or kettlebell routine but honestly, it depends on what kind of  day she had at school. So maybe I work out. Or maybe I pretend to be Super Mommy who just got turned into an apple by the evil Dr. No-No until bath, book, and bed time. It's kind of a crap-shoot.

I'll be honest...I really don't want to start sweating at 9 p.m. 'Cuz then I have to shower and wash my hair and really, by the time I'm done with all of that, I may as well just get into bed. Besides, my brain is already primed to use that time for ahem, creative expression.

He's only been on his new shift for a few days and I'm going to figure that the me not working out for the last few days isn't entirely unrelated.

Don't worry. I'll figure it out. I'll get myself on a brand new schedule. It'll be fine.

Just until the next schedule change, that is.

***This post originally appeared on Bookieboo.