Friday, April 30, 2010

RRREEEEEWWWWIIIIIIINNNNNNDDDDDD

So, I came home from work today feeling tired and cranky and generally ill-natured.  I think my old bad attitude was sneaking up on me a little bit.  I really didn't feel like interacting with any members of my family, I didn't feel like doing anything productive, I didn't feel like moving.  After some amount of wasted time, I started a boring and uninspired blog about how it is important to sometimes just sit and do nothing.

But then, I was saved from myself and my negativity.  It was the barbarians that did it.  I was really all for having the whole family veg out in front of various screens for several hours.  The boys, however, were not quite with me on this plan.  They wanted out, and they wanted me out with them.

If you have children, you know that they can be quite persistent when they want something.  My boys are no exception, in fact I think they have a particular talent for persistence.  When they want something, they don't let it go, and they work as a team to keep the momentum going.  So, luckily for you, I finally walked away from the boring nothing blog I was writing, and went outside.

An amazing thing happened.  The moment I was out in the fresh air, my rotten attitude began to lift.  We found and caught a toad, and then had to search for toad food (consisting of worms and slugs), and began digging holes, and searching under rocks and logs.  This eventually led to playing ball, and riding bikes, and a great afternoon right there in our own yard.  Before I knew it, several hours had passed, and it was time to move on to our next planned event.

Thinking back, I wonder what was keeping me from just going outside and enjoying the beautiful afternoon.  I think that as adults we something feel so overwhelmed by things needing to be done that we forget to simply enjoy ourselves sometimes.  My theory is that the negative mood, and lack of motivation have to do with feeling overwhelmed by what we perceive as obligations - and this leads to a kind of shut down that leaves us neither accomplishing tasks nor enjoying life.

I am thinking that the solution is creating a balance.  Leaving piles of tasks unfinished isn't good for the psyche.  I think it leaves us feeling unhappy with our living space and environment, and leaves us feeling overwhelmed with what needs to get done.  At the same time, finding no joy in daily living leaves us feeling dissatisfied with our lives and leaves us spiritually restless.

So, like I said - a balance must be achieved.  We must feel accomplished in different areas of our lives, but we must have time for simple play and enjoyment without a particular agenda or planned outcome.  Like children, we must do things for fun simply because fun feels good.  Without having some of both, we cannot find contentment with our lives.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Body Magic

So, this friend of mine has decided to sell Body Magic Girdles as a little side business.  I mentioned it once before - you know, the same friend who said I had fat arms.  Anyway, she keeps looking at me in this funny way.  I think my fat deposits are beginning to look like dollar signs before her very eyes.  Plus, she keeps dropping these subtle hints like "you really need a girdle" and "when are you going to buy a girdle?"  I have to admit that she is looking pretty hot, with all of her curves exactly where curves should be, but I'm all about comfort - I'm the loose ankle length dress and sandals type.  But then I'm thinking "You know, Fat Lazy Soccer Mom, maybe the comfortable clothes are allowing you to stay in the fat and lazy mode.  Maybe it is time for a change."  I have admit that chillin' in my maxi dress makes it a lot easier to ignore extra pounds, because the dress allows plenty of space for them.


It's definitely easier than trying to stuff all that fat into some blue jeans so tight that you you can't sit down all day.

Looking at it that way, though, makes me think that maybe a little discomfort would serve as a reminder that there is some weight to be lost.  Plus, the Body Magic promises to sculpt your fat into something attractive while you work towards having something truly attractive. In addition, it squeezes your stomach so you can't eat very much anyway.  So I decided to look into this Body Magic thing a little bit.  Check this out:




Pretty amazing, huh.  A long time ago a friend said to me "I wish that if we all had to be a certain weight, we could at least decide where we wanted that weight to be."  It looks like this Body Magic does exactly that.  Maybe it could really squish all the fat out of my thighs and stomach and push it to my chest and butt.  It's like a beautiful fantasy, realized.

The temptation is strong.  For a mere $85, I could go from this:



To this:


Pretty awesome, huh?  It really is Body Magic.  

I am practically sold, if for no other reason than that I can blog about Body Magic due to first hand experience (B, if you are reading this, how about a free girdle so that I can write to the world all about it.  I got a free lunch for my poem, you know.)

I said practically sold because, even though the photos are persuasive, and B's recent hot bodness is extra persuasive, I do have one concern.  Here it is:  I wear my Body Magic all day, and I look super fly for all the preschoolers in my classes (and for their single dads - and the cute nice guy that comes to assess the kids - and especially for my favorite UPS man).  Then I take my kids to the park where I stand around looking sexy, earning the jealous glances of all the other moms.  Then I get home and make some dinner while looking spicy in my French Maid Costume (which I always wear while doing household chores - I didn't end up with four sons for nothing, you know).  Then, looking seductive in my flannel pajamas and fuzzy slippers I get the boys off to bed.  My husband and I are finally alone together - and he has been waiting all day to get at my new curvaceousness, so now it is time to remove my Body Magic - and this happens:

 
And he runs screaming out the front door.  

A Letter To Kirstie Alley

Dear Kirstie,

I noticed your picture on the front of Ladies Home Journal, and I respect your plan to lose 100 pounds, again. Well, believe me, I know how important it is to move forward with a weight loss plan when you are feeling inspired and ready.  However, I am writing to implore you to wait.  You see, generally actresses need to be thin to get the best roles - but I have a great opportunity for you, but it will require you to hold on to those extra pounds for a little while longer.



I am sure you have read the popular, and excellent, blog, The Fat Lazy Soccer Mom Gets Healthy.  Well, I happen to be the author of that blog.  I understand if you are feeling somewhat starstruck, but, yes, I am The Fat Lazy Soccer Mom, and , yes, I am writing to you.

Anyway - getting to the point.  You see, I am sure that several script writers and producers are scouting my blog as we speak.  I actually expect I will be approached any day now for a feature film with an inexhaustible budget.  You, Kirstie, are the person I envision playing me in the movie.  A role like this could be the pivotal moment in your career (think Oscars), and I am also sure that by really getting into, and becoming the character of The Fat Lazy soccer Mom, you will be able to realize the type of lifestyle change required to become the person you are really hoping to be.

Just imagine it Kirsti - this is you when we begin filming:

And this is you, after experiencing my own transformation for yourself, preparing to accept your first Academy Award:



Kirstie - I emplore you to seriously consider this amazing opportunity.  You are the person I want for this role, and I would be willing to insist on you as the precondition before I would agree to sign any contract.  But, you would have to begin the role with the extra 100 pounds, or it simply wouldn't work.  You will be able to lose weight during the filming, using my presence and my words as your inspiration.

If you feel you simply cannot wait, I will be disappointed, but I will understand.  I have, like you, gone through  the weight loss process enough times to know how important it is to act when feeling motivated - but I just really believe that working alongside me will be more beneficial for you in the long run.

I will not think less of you if you decide to move forward with your weight loss plans.  I have been told by reliable sources that Oprah is already putting on the pounds in the hopes of obtaining this crucial role. Just know that you were always my first choice - in my mind and heart you, Kirstie, are the epitome of The Fat Lazy Soccer Mom - you will always be my Fat Lazy Soccer Mom.

Please, Kirstie, do not feel intimidated by me.  I want you to know that I am just like any normal person, and I want you to contact me any time - be it about the movie, or just because you need kind words and strength in your efforts to better yourself.  Know that I am here for you, whatever decision you make.

Yours Truly,

FLSM

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Poop

The other day I was reading a book about going on an airplane to my five year old class.  Pretty harmless, right? well, it was, until the little boy in the book went to the bathroom on the airplane.  They just went crazy - "eeeeew," "yuck," "disgusting."  I said something like "It's no big deal, everybody goes to the bathroom."  The response from the class remained the same, until one brave little boy, a sage really, said "I think it feels good."  This comment was met with a solemn silence.  In our hearts we all agreed, and this wise child was the only one among us with the courage to say it out loud.  You know it's true, though, poop feels good.  It is actually up there with some of the best feelings in the world.

One of my favorite books.


Every morning I get out of bed and have a cup of tea (you thought I was going to say coffee, didn't you?)  Anyway, every morning I get up and have a cup of tea, and soon it hits me - it is time to poop.  some days it is slow to come, and even though the sensation is there, I can sit and read or play farmville for a few minutes before I have to make my way to the bathroom.  Other days I have to jump up and rush because it's coming out.  But no matter what type of day it is, my little friend is right, it just plain feels good.

You know it's true.  When it's all soft and sliding out, you feel proud because you really stuck to a healthy diet the day before.  When it's diarrhea, you feel satisfied that you are probably losing weight.  When you've been constipated, and it finally comes out, you feel such a sense of relief.  And, of course, theres The Biggie.  You know the one. It doesn't fit down the toilet hole, so you have to break it up with a wire hanger.  That one is definitely the best!  (Wait, I had to pause for a minute while I was thinking about The Biggie).

If you are lucky enough to have a diet that leads to The Biggie, you should look into getting one of these:

The Big Toilet for Big People

Honestly, though, I once took a biology class and the professor explained that you can monitor the quality of your diet by checking on your poop before you flush.  If the poop is liquidy or mushy, then you have too much fiber in your diet and you need to balance it out.  If it sinks, that means too much fat.  If it leaves tracks in the toilet, then it's much too much fat.  If it is hard little balls, then you need more water fruits and vegetables.  If it is soft but formed and it floats, then you have a balanced diet.  Good to know, right?

Poop really is a great thing.  One time I was in Dominicks with my friend, R.  She left me searching for some particular wine she wanted to buy while she ran to the bathroom.  She came back with a HUGE smile on her face - and told me that her poop had been like soft serve ice cream and that it almost swirled right up to her butt.  Such joy this brought her.  (and yes, all you young teenagers and men - women, especially weight conscious women, do discuss their poop).

 It swirled like soft serve ice cream

In fact, I am quite jealous of R, because, where I poop regularly in the morning, she poops regularly after every meal.  She gets to experience that climactic feeling at least three times a day - like a breast fed baby (which explains why they are generally happier than the bottle fed variety).  Ah well, I suppose some of us are just more blessed than others.

Anyway - the point is, appereciate your poop.  Even when nothing else is going right in your life, you can count on your poop being there to make you feel better.  It is a beautiful thing.  When you are sad, lonely, or disappointed - when you feel you are without a friend in the world, as long as you are still breathing, your poop will be there.  Your poop loves you, and you should love your poop.

To learn more, go to:

IMG00061-20100427-1409.jpg

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Spring blossoms

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Monday, April 26, 2010

The Anti Shoe

I know that by now everyone has heard about the awesome shoes that tone your muscles while you walk around all day long.  I even saw them at K-mart the other day.  But - I, always being up on the latest get thin craze, happen to still own one of the first pairs of MBT shoes (the original). I don't really know why they call them the anti-shoe - like they are shoes that are against shoes - like they're going to start a revolution or something.  Who knows. Anyway - even though they don't get along well with other shoes, I do have a pair, and I know my pair isn't armed - so I pulled them out and put them on today:

My foot wearing an MBT shoe.

So, I bet you are wondering how it is to wear these super awesome exercise shoes all day.  Well, imagine you are in a room full of three year olds trying to balance on two inverted turtle shells all day long.  That is a basic description of how my day went (sounds like a punishment in Dante's Inferno, doesn't it?)
Imagine balancing on two of these all day long!

But I didn't stop there - no, not me!  I also took a walk over my lunch break and went to the park where I played Frisbee while holding the dog on his leash - all while balancing on two turtles.  so, now I'm home, and while my glutes don't feel any different - my feet really hurt.  

Do you want to know how much they hurt?  Well, usually if I am wearing shoes with ties, I wait until after my husband finishes making dinner and doing the dishes to have him untie and remove my shoes so that he can rub my feet and put my slippers on them.  Today - I went ahead and took off my own shoes WHILE he was making dinner, AND I put on my own slippers.  But it's really a good kind of pain, because now that the shoes are off and my feet are up, they are so relieved to be out of the shoes that they feel great.  Besides, I feel like I'm probably going to sleep really well tonight.  My feet are looking so forward to going to bed.  

But I am going to do it again tomorrow - and here's why:

Weird a-sexual naked guy wearing exercise shoes.

As weird a-sexual naked guy demonstrates - these shoes target all of my trouble spots (except for the fat arms - I still need the hand weights for those).  Really, if you think about it, sore feet are not a huge price to pay for a high quality work out like this one.  As the MBT web site states "you'll exercise muscles your trainer didn't even know you had."  Before you know it I will look just like weird a-sexual naked guy!

In other news - I packed my first work 'waste free' lunch:

My healthy 'waste free' lunch.

Yeah, I'm pretty proud of that right there.  It was a little harder than I expected .I usually toss in a yogurt and a fiber bar - but they both have waste.  I was going to just take them out of their packages at home and put them in containers so there would be no waste in my lunch, but I figured thats kind of like cheating - so, more changes to work on.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Earth Day Part 2

Today we went to yet another Earth Day celebration, this time at another favorite place, Thorn Creek Nature Preserve in Park Forest, IL.  Unfortunately, it was raining - which generally puts a bit of a damper (literally) on an Earth Day celebration.  In fact, I have an idea.  Maybe, instead of healthcare, what Obama should be working on is passing a law that it only rains at night.  That way, we would get all the benefits of rain without getting stuck inside on the weekends.


Pass legislation # 487.  Never let this happen to any child again!

Fortunately, because the new law has not yet been passed, Thorn Creek had an indoor contingency plan and the day was really fun, once again, quite educational, and really well attended.  Unfortunately, I didn't want to carry my very awesome camera through the rain, so I didn't get any pictures at the event to share with you.


I did, however, get such a wonderful simple idea which is probably a huge step towards my new 'green attitude.' If you already thought of this idea, and want to tell me that I am way behind the times - sorry - but you can keep your criticism to yourself (I'm really not good with criticism - ask my husband, I almost knifed him when he told me I made a grammatical mistake), (but then I went on the computer and corrected it, shhhhhhh).


So, here it is - Waste Free Lunches!  There is even a website:  www.wastefreelunches.org.  Tara at Thorn Creek came up with a challenge.  every family who brought a waste free lunch (meaning no garbage at all) got to take home a prize.  Well, you know I love winning, and you know I love prizes, so I was all over that challenge.  At first I was going to just bring bananas and oranges - but I didn't really feel like listening to my children whining that they were hungry.  Then I was going to try to find a bunch of little tiny containers, but we didn't have enough in the house.  Then - I went to K-mart, and found the most awesome things - ON SALE.
Ziploc Divided Container



Ziploc makes these sectioned off containers with a big section for a main course, and two smaller sections for fruit or snacks or dips or whatever.  They're like re-usable lunchable containers.  I got one for each of us, and each member of the family had their own personalized lunch - with no garbage - OOH OOH!


Best part - I GOT A PRIZE!  And such a nice prize, too.  I got a beautiful garden starter kit.  Love It!


So - this is one idea I plan to stick to.  When I pack my healthy lunch every day, I am going to continue with the NO WASTE challenge.  My husband does all the dishes, anyway, so its no skin off my nose to bring containers back home instead of throwing baggies away.  So, it's gone with the days of "all disposable sack lunches," and in with "Eco-lunches."  How cool is that?  I'm feeling greener every second.  Thank you Thorn Creek for the great idea, and the great day!
A Green Lunch.  Yummy!!!


Oh yeah - and, bad news.  I started reading Yoga for Smartasses, and so far it's not funny at all.The only funny thing is the cover - but we'll see.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Earth Day 2010

Today we went to the Earth Day Celebration at Goodenow Grove (Plum creek Nature Center) in Beecher, IL.  This is the same place where my children were swarmed and stung mercilessly by angry yellow jackets last fall, but it is also a place we always have, and always will, love.  Even the most traumatic experience in my children's lives thus far couldn't keep them away for ever - and on this visit - all of their fear seemed to have dissipated.

Anyhoo - that is another story.  I kinda figured that dragging the little bambinos to the site of their greatest fear would be a big boost to my new 'eco-attitude'.  Earth day was lovely, peaceful, educational, and enjoyable.  We loved it as a family.  There was good organic food, lots of information, games, recycleable arts and crafts, honey bees, nature hikes, worm composting and a lovely family picnic in the pavilion.  Here's some pictures:

Elijah and the bees.  See - no more trauma!

Mikey searching for critters under a log.

Marko with his friend "Worm."

It was really great, and I learned a lot about worm composting and about honey bees - but by far, for me, the best part of the day was laying on a picnic table in the sun with my eyes closed listening to the sounds of spring birds and frogs.  Relaxing out in nature is definitely the best thing in the world to do as far as I'm concerned.  Be it at the beach, at lilacia park, or at the forest preserve - there is nothing I like more that laying down, closing my eyes, feeling the sun and the breeze on my skin.

So I was laying there, feeling great, when it hit me.  two things were happening here.  One good and one not so good.  The good - I am realizing that I am happiest in nature and that is where I should be.  I used to know that - but I think I forgot it somewhere along the way.  The not so good thing is that I am realizing that I am also happiest when I am laying around - which may be directly related to my fat laziness problem.  So - there is a problem needing to be solved.

How can I stay true to myself if I truly want a healthier body when my true self is truly happiest laying around being truly fat?  These are two ideas of self at odds with each other.  On the one hand we have the fit, hot, energetic me running along the beach in my bikini, long braids blowing in the ocean breezes.  Then there is the relaxed, peaceful, fat me smiling in my mumu with a giant BBQ turkey leg in my hand.  

So, I was laying there, in the sunlight, listening to the birds, considering this dilemma - when an idea popped into my head - a simple, beautiful idea - YOGA.  I can lay on my bench, peaceful, eyes closed, birds singing, butterflies playing with my hair, bunnies hopping all around, gentle does gazing at me through the grass - doing YOGA!!!!  So - I'm not being fat and lazy - I'm being progressive, enlightened, and cosmic minded.  It's the perfect solution!

So, I whipped out my computer (I know I promised to leave it at home, but, hey, I'm not perfect - yet).  I searched for available yoga books on my kindle.  You see, whenever I get a great new idea about something I want to do, like building trellises, or making furniture, or experimenting with nuclear reactors, I immediately order a book on the subject.  So, I checked the kindle site for a yoga book that seemed right for me and I found the perfect one!!!  Check this out:

YOGA FOR SMARTASSES

Isn't that just made for me?  I am just so psyched about smartass yoga!  so, I can be all cool and new age and STILL be a smartass!  Life just doesn't get much better than this!!!!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Attitude

Have you ever heard about the "I am so thin and beautiful" affirmation?  If you haven't, here's how it goes.  You look at yourself in a full length mirror, and keep repeating the words "I am so thin and beautiful" (or "I have a small cute nose," or "I have lovely white teeth," or whatever your physical issue might be).  The idea being that if you say it enough you will convince yourself, and you will magically transform right there in the mirror.  Well it really works - and here's proof:

"I am so thin and beautiful."


Anyway, I have been told many things about my attitude throughout my life (at least since my teenage years), and it has never been very positive.  Actually, I have never viewed the word "attitude" with any positive connotations (probably because no one ever used those connotations on me), but it was recently explained to me that there is such a thing as a positive attitude.  There is also a cheerful attitude, an altruistic attitude, a caring attitude, and an optimistic attitude.  I might have to take this up with my mother, because, I mean, who knew?

Anyway I  was also told about another attitude, and that is the attitude I want to discuss.  Apparently, there is such a thing as a "healthy attitude."  You're probably, as I was, saying "What?  What is that?"  Well, it turns out that if you approach your life with a generally healthy outlook, you will be a generally healthy person.  Also, if you create a healthy culture for yourself, and for those around you, you will then lead a healthy lifestyle.  It's not about diets or forced exercise - it's a belief system and a way of life.  Like, a permanent thing.  Pretty weird, huh?  In other words, instead of saying "I should do that because it is healthy," you say "I am healthy, so I am going to do that."

There is also, consequently, a "green attitude" or "eco-attitude."  This is taking the whole "healthy attitude" thing a step farther.  It means an attitude of personal health as well as global health.  So, I said - "isn't that the same as 'altruistic attitude,' then?"  But it turns out their different - but I still don't really get what the difference is.  All I know is that "green attitude" means you recycle all the time all year long instead of seeing the Earth Day commercial on nickelodeon, and saying, "we really should recycle, you know?"  It is like, the ultimate healthy lifestyle - living in symbiosis with the earth.

Well, I've been trying all day, but it turns out that a total attitude overhaul isn't as easy as it sounds.  It's like going from this:

To this:


It simply takes more than one day.

So - I'm still on my one healthy change a week thing - but now I have to make these changes part of my "attitude."  So, not just physical, emotional and spiritual health, but attitudal health as well.  Isn't it impressive how I keep evolving - I know I'm impressed.

Last thing - while I'm sitting here at the computer - I said to my husband "you are a really good sweeper - so thorough."  Now he's just sweeping away.  Check out the power of compliments - I don't have to do anything now!  That's not lazy, is it? 

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Washing, Peeling and Chopping. Is It For Me?

So - I sent my husband to the store to buy carrots and hummus for a snack.  (sounding healthier already, aren't I?)  Anyway, I may have mentioned how much my husband annoys me - and this is a perfect example.  I am sure you will agree with me that the level of ignorance is incredible.  You will probably have a lot of empathy for what I have to live with day in and day out.

There was something in this bag that I haven't seen since childhood!


He went to the store and returned with a plastic handle bag.  I was so excited (or at least I was trying to convince myself I was excited since it wasn't ice cream).  I opened the bag and the hummus was there, and the carrots were there, but something was amiss.  There was something in this bag that I haven't seen since childhood.  Something so completely obsolete that I didn't realize it even existed anymore.  I stood in shocked silence for a moment, staring with my mouth open.  I then reached in, and pulled out a bunch of whole carrots with the greens still attached.  These weren't the convenient baby carrots that come in handy  pre-packed baggies - peeled, washed and cut into adorable little oblong shapes - all ready to dip into the hummus.  These things required washing, peeling and chopping - three acts that I generally do not partake in.  I stared at them, confused, wondering what I should do.

I turned my gaze from these strange, foreign objects, to my husband, standing there with that silly grin on his face.  I was thinking to myself, "How could he just be standing there looking so proud when he messed this up so completely?  He looks like a little kid, or a terrier waiting for a  treat, or a scratch behind the ears.He really thinks he did this right."  so, before I went all Kate Gosselin on him, I took a deep breath and reassessed the situation.

UM, THESE DON'T LOOK LIKE BABY CARROTS.  WTF!


Here I am writing this blog about healthy changes - and maybe I needed a bit of an attitude adjustment.  Maybe I should try to appreciate all the things my husband does for me instead of focusing on how he ALWAYS MESSES THEM UP!  So, with a look of understanding and forgiveness, and a slight nod of my head, I patted him on the shoulder, took my bag to the kitchen, and said a silent prayer that we owned a peeler.

Turns out we have a very nice peeler.  It also turns out that washing, peeling and chopping aren't as bad as I thought they would be.  There is a certain sense of connectedness to the food and to the earth when one is involved in the preparation of fresh produce.  There is a feeling of accomplishment that cannot be achieved when eating baby carrots straight out of the bag so as not to dirty a dish.  There is a meditation-like awareness while chopping carrots.  The involvement with the food made me feel I was a part of the process, and therefore linked to the food I would consume.

So, it's not so bad - chopping carrots. It might even be good.  I will have to experiment to make sure the feeling passes over the various produce boundaries.  Like, can one feel connected to bell peppers, or to watermelon, perhaps?  What about bananas?  I will keep chopping and considering, and I will keep you updated.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Dedicated to RL

While in my over-sized T-shirt
On the beach I'm sunning.
You're eating healthy lunches
And a marathon you're running.

For you meals consist
of quinoa, chicken, and fish.
For me it's cake and ice cream
And an empty weight loss wish.

Oh what an inspiration
You are each day to me.
Maybe healthy food and exercise
Really are the key.

But in dark and lonely moments
I have a different wish.
To see you sit exhausted
Consuming dish after dish.



But that will never happen
Your dedication is strong.
Time for me to join your team
And admit I might be wrong.

So it's healthy food and exercise
In a big huge bunch.
And since I wrote this poem for you,
Think you could bring me lunch?













Play With A Purpose



When my oldest son was little, I was envious of the "bench moms" who seemed to be able to sit and read or talk while their children played at the park. My son was accustomed to me playing with him, so he expected it, and so I did it. Well, while my oldest is now 17, my youngest son is 4, and I do take him to the park - but I have become a bench mom. But - this has definitely added to my fatness and laziness.
So, maybe I was wrong all those years ago. Maybe the bench moms were not to be envied - maybe they envied me my energy, stamina and ability to crawl through tunnels and slide down slides without getting worn out. Well, I will never be in my 20s again, but I can be an active park mom again. I will leave my book, computer and (shuddering) cell phone behind - and play with my kids. This kills two birds with one stone - I will get exercise, and I will get "quality time" with my babies.
I am dedicated to making one healthy change per week.  Last week I gave up coffee, and this week I am going to give up the park bench.  How I went from the woman who crawled through Discovery Zone tunnels with babies and toddlers to the woman I am now, I am not quite sure - but I am sure that I want to reverse that process.  I think one of the worst things about being fat and lazy is that I don't have energy to play with my kids.
I don't think it will be easy - I'm glad I have my boys to keep me going.  They have plenty of energy and enthusiasm, so I'm sure they'll make great personal trainers.  I am sure that if I give them permission to keep me off the bench they will go at it with gusto - and they can be pretty brutal, so I will quickly lose interest in the bench - if only to avoid physical punishment.

OK - well gotta go pull on my spandex pants and tennis shoes - I'm heading for the park  Talk to you tomorrow

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sorry About Sunday

So - I guess people weren't happy that I missed my blog on Sunday - based on the e-mails I received and the one threat.  So, I'll admit it - Sunday didn't turn out to be such a healthy day for me, and I didn't feel very inspired or inspirational at the end of it.  At the suggestion of a friend (the same one who threatened me), I will tell you how Sunday went awry, and you can tell me whether or not you relate.

It began like any other Sunday - in some ways better than most.  I slept in luxuriously late (or so I thought), stretched and got up.  Upon checking the clock, I found it was actually only 7:00 AM.  I drank some tea, and surfed the web a bit.  I then attended a weight watchers meeting and was told I have lost 2 pounds (I know, I ROCK!).  Then I rushed home and picked up my son and we went to church.  I then rushed back home, and got the rest of the family and we headed out for The Camp Shaw Open House (Camp shaw is, by the way, a wonderful residential summer camp if you are looking for a great place to send your kids this summer).

anyway, none of us had eaten, so we discussed where to stop for food.  We decided on Subway -  a healthy choice - but also the pivotal moment of my day.  Here's how the unhealthiness began:

We pulled up to Subway - everyone happy and chatty and getting along great.  My husband was going in with my oldest son while I waited in the car with the other boys, so I wrote down EXACTLY what I wanted.  here is what I wrote:

Chicken Teriyaki
Honey Wheat Bread
PJ Cheese
Toasted
No Onions
All Peppers
Sweet Onion Sauce
Mustard
Oil and Vinegar, S & P

Pretty clear what I wanted, right?  Apparently wrong.  They exited Subway long skinny bags in hand.  They got in the car and we drove off.  Then they passed out the sandwiches.

I need to interject that a friend of mine, (the same one who threatened me), usually does the ordering at Subway, and what I get is a salad inside of bread, oozing with Sweet Onion Sauce, with so many vegetables that I can't even fit my mouth around it.  I am accustomed to a sandwich that requires both a fork for all of the fallen vegetables, and 32 napkins for all of that sweet sticky sauce.  This is not the sandwich I got.


Mouth watering, I opened my long skinny bag, and unwrapped my very light, thin sandwich.  I sensed there was something missing in this sandwich so I opened it to peek inside.The first thing I noticed was the sauce.

Me: "This isn't Sweet Onion Sauce - what is this yellow stuff."

  My husband immediately blamed my teenage son saying that he had done the ordering.

 Steven: "There was no Sweet Onion Sauce on the menu so thats Southwest Sauce."

Then I noticed the major lack of vegetables - there was only a little lettuce and a few green peppers.

Steven: "All you wrote was no onions, so I thought thats what you meant."

Me: "I meant I wanted everything but onions and where are all the peppers?  I said ALL PEPPERS."

Steven:  "There are peppers!"

Me:  "You mean this one green pepper?  I wanted ALL the peppers.  Where's the jalapenos, the banana peppers, the gardinaire?"

Anyway it went on like this for a few minutes - and then I decided to let it go.  I ate the pitiful little sandwich, and we were on our way.

So we got to Camp Shaw Open House, and they were giving away hamburgers, for FREE.  So, because I was still feeling disappointed and unsatisfied by my Subway Sandwich, I ate one.  But that wasn't all.  They also had FREE marshmallow roasting.  There is nothing better than a warm, lightly browned marshmallow, all gooey and sweet - so I decided to go ahead and have one.  I lost count around 6 (or was it 8?).


We did have a great time there - but those marshmallows reminded me of another favorite dessert, so I checked my GPS for a TGI Fridays nearby, and there was one!  If you haven't had Vanilla Bean Cheesecake at TGI Fridays, you might want to save up your diet points and get one some time - it is SOOOOO GOOOOOOD!!  My kids were pretty filthy after playing at camp all afternoon, so we didn't feel we could go into Fridays - so I just sent in my ever attentive husband, and he brought out the cheesecake - and we ate it right there in the car.

Then when we got home, it was time for dinner.  Since my eating plan for the day was already shot - i decided we could go ahead and eat some............

It just goes on and on.

The good news is - I didn't let it ruin my eating for the next three years.  Yesterday, I was back on track - and even dragged my 60 lb 4 year old home from work in a wagon (BIG MISTAKE).  Ant today, when my time to take a walk alarm went off, I took a walk.  So I am back in the saddle - putting the horror of Sunday behind me (but not the horror of Vanilla bean Cheese Cake).

I just keep telloing myself - the only thing standing between me and my weight loss goals is food - lots and lots of food.  I am stronger than food!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Fat Arms


So, I teach preschool, and there is a three year old boy in my classroom who can't seem to get enough of my arms - especially these days in tank top weather.  He is always touching, rubbing, squeezing, and leaning his face against my arms.  While it is nice to be loved, at times it drives me a little crazy.  So, I decided to mention this odd behavior to his mom.

Me: "Your son seems to have a thing for my arms.  He's always touching my upper arms."

The Mom:  "Yeah, he really loves fat arms."

Don't be too upset at this treatment I received from this parent - I've known her for many years and through many sizes (for both of us).  She also recently looked pointedly at me recently when she said:

"I'm gonna start selling girdles.  I know a lot of people who REALLY(nodding head) NEED a girdle."

But still, you know?

Anyway - I started to think that maybe this child sees some beauty that I am not seeing.  They say that young children can see and understand things that we don't - so maybe this is true in the case of this young boy.  So I started really looking at the fat arms all around me.  Wherever I have gone, I have taken assessment of the fat arms I have seen.  I have looked for the appeal of the fat arms.  I have tried to overcome learned prejudice, and see the inner sexiness of the fat arm.  I have tried, and failed.

Turns out this kid just has a weird obsession with fat arms - maybe he just wonders why they are so bumpy and jiggly.  I am guessing that within a few years time he will get over this fat arm thing, and be just as judgmental as the rest of us.

Yes - I believe in inner beauty.  Yes, I believe that the body is simply the vessel that carries the soul - and therefore is not necessarily the personification of true goodness and light.  But, man oh man, the fat upper arm just isn't the place to look for inner beauty and light.  



So yeah - the answer to that is probably hand weights - which I'll have to dig out of the bottom of the pile of unused crap in our back closet.  I used to have an awesome thing called a Power Belt that was a belt with handles that pulled out on cords that could be set to different tensions - but my boys (the barbarians) used it to climb a tree during one of my anti-exercise periods - so hand weights it is.  I hate to give up my laziness, but this little boy's adoration is a constant reminder of my fat arms - so I simply can't ignore them anymore. 

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Lovely Lilacs


Today was such a lovely day.  I joined my husband and my boys on a trip to Lilacia Park in Lombard, IL.  If you have never been there, you should go, and soon.  It is a beautiful little green area full of cobblestone paths, gardens and lilacs.  The lilacs are the reason to go soon.  They are blooming now - and will only last until mid-May at the most.  As you walk along the paths and admire the spring flowers, you become overwhelmed by the sweet, clean, lovely smell of the blooming lilacs.  I wish I could send that smell through the computer so that you could experience the full impact of  this beautiful place and state of being.  The calm atmosphere, the tender sunshine, the whisper of cool spring air, the visual beauty, and the enticing smell gently lull you into a spirit of peacefulness.  Seriously, even MY barbaric children were calmed and tranquil.  I think that the sense of inner peace I have been talking about was achieved in this simple, lovely place.

For those of you non-believers - I have proof of the awesome power of spring in Lilacia Park.  I walked happily down these paths with my husband - a truly annoying person  - and I wasn't the least bit irked by his presence or by him talking to me.  Actually, this general feeling of happiness with his company has continued for several hours now (wierd, but acceptible).  My boys also have been kind to one another, sharing, complimenting, playing together, and acting as though they actually like eachother.  And guess what, all this with NO COFFEE? The lovely lilac is a powerful thing.




My children before Lilacia Park




And After


I now have a renewed belief in aroma-therapy, and am going to look into lilac oil, lilac bushes, lilac potpourri, and strategiacally placed sprigs of lilac throughout my home,  for my own peace and the peace of my family.  I want to hold onto this lilac feeling I have, and improve brotherly relations.  So, the next time you are sitting in a quiet spot, happily reading some blog, laughing heartily, and you suddenly notice a waft of lilac scent on the air, and you look up to see a smiling family skipping down the street hand in hand with smiles on their faces and love in their eyes, you will know it is me.  You can wave, and I will know it is you.



Friday, April 16, 2010

Quitting Coffee


I apologize in advance to my family and close friends, but beginning tomorrow - I am quitting coffee. I am sure that all of the people who are forced to spend time with me are screaming "WHY? PLEASE DON'T DO IT!" You see, they've been through it before. They were forced to suffer through my previous attempts to give up the good stuff - and they know what its like. The physical addiction is strong, but the mental and emotional addiction goes on for months - possibly years.

The last time I put the coffee pot away, we almost lost our house. You see, I figured it would be easy to quit as long as there was no coffee in the house. Instead, I sent my husband to Starbucks daily - and he went because he was frightened of my coffee free me. I generally asked for at least two skim milk lattes - and at the end of the month there simply weren't enough funds for the mortgage.

Back to first grade math - here's a word problem for you:

One venti skim milk latte from Starbucks costs $4.65. The fat lazy soccer mom drank two venti skim milk lattes per day for 31 days. How much money did the fat lazy soccer mom's frightened husband spend in 31 days?

So, in order to lead a healthier financial life, I dusted off the coffee pot, spent a total of $8.96 on filters and ground Dunkin Donuts coffee - and was good for the month.

Still - I keep reading about the health benefits of tea over coffee. I also keep reading how drinking 14 cups of coffee a day leads to premature death - so I'm doing it again. I think my family would rather I lived a few extra years than that I walk around in a coffee-induced state of non-b***hiness. At least, that's what I think - maybe they would want to give up the additional years with me and avoid the coffeeless monster I become. It would probably be a tough decision.



I wont make them decide, though (because I would be hurt when they chose coffee and peace over time). I am deciding for them. They will have to stand by me as I suffer through the withdrawal. But I will try to protect you, my readers, because you don't have to stick by me due to blood or legal relationships, and you might leave.

Wish me luck. Wish my family luck. Wish my friends luck. Wish my co-workers luck. Wish yourselves luck. Tomorrow is the big day, the big experiment. so, we'll see what happens.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

"Fat Is Not Funny"

Well - I've been reading up on it - and it looks like the best way to go about losing weight and gaining health is eating right and exercise! Actually sounds pretty simple - if I repeat the mantra 400 times a day "Eat Right And Exercise," I should be set in say, one week?

But if it's so simple, then how did I become "THE FAT LAZY SOCCER MOM?"

I know the answer - and it is that I really like to eat things that are not healthy, and I really don't like to exercise. Actually, I really really really really like to eat things that are not healthy, and I really really really really don't like to exercise.

The thing is this: french fries = happiness, chocolate peanut butter ice cream = pure joy and I recently discovered that two scoops of black cherry ice cream in a chocolate dipped waffle cone = absolute rapture. So, thinking of this logically, if I want to be happy - I should eat all of the things that make me happy. I have been trying - and carrot sticks just don't make me happy.

Then there's that exercise part of the mantra. This also poses a problem. I don't like exercise, I don't like moving, and I definitely don't like sweat. Although texting and typing on a keyboard do require dexterous fingers and movement of the interosseous (Muscles which produce finger pronation and radial deviation), I am told that these activities do not burn enough calories to be considered exercise.

So, this whole crazy health idea might have a negative impact on my inner peace idea. No more happy foods, and I have to move around in real life (not just on my farmville farm). Bummer.

Still, always the optimist I decided to give it a try - but once I got around to the 300th repetition of my "Eat Healthy And Exercise" mantra, I was really pissed off. And the solution for that? Black Cherry Ice cream......

Maybe I need a different plan, huh? I decided to come up with a list of five non-food ways to deal with my feelings. Number one was going to be wine - but, too many calories. So, number one is - sitting outside on a beautiful day, number two - laying on a blanket at the beach, number three - sitting on the bench while my kids fight, I mean play, at the park, number four - ignoring my kids fighting while I talk and laugh with a friend, number five - make fun of things or people (even if it's just to myself). Notice how none of these stress relieving activities require food or exercise - and I think I can live with that.

I also found a better mantra - "Fat is not Funny." Since my current idea for a road to inner peace is laughter - I will remind myself that I do not find my fat body amusing - and when I reach for my most favorite delicious flavor of ice cream - I will remind myself that my physical lack of health is deterring from my emotional and spiritual health, and even though carrot sticks do not bring instant joy - they will bring long term joy which is much more important.



Oh yeah - I also read that lemons are just about the best thing in the world for everything. But - I will save that for another day.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Kids say the darndest thing


A letter Mikey (age 7) wrote to me at school:



Mom,

I love you so much! You make me diner and you help me with my homework. I hope this gets me more thime on the computer.

Love,
Mikey



OK - now, that one made me laugh out loud. Think he might be being slightly manipulative there? No - he just appreciates all of the wonderful things I do for him each day. I am feeling the love and the desire to make more, better dinners.

Other than the "awwwwwwww" factor and the humor factor - maybe you are wondering why this has been included in a blog about getting healthy. Well - the humor factor is it. I had been feeling a little down - but that simple, lovely note, where Mikey thought he was being slick trying to wrangle some extra computer time, brought a smile to my face and a soaring of joy to my heart.

Yes - the boys running screaming naked through the house while I am trying to watch the Idol results gets on my nerves. Yes, I get tired of hearing who did what to whom. Yes the whining over the computer is enough to make my head explode. But, man oh man, those little guys can fill me with glee (except for when they wont shut up while I am trying to watch GLEE. I mean, I have no idea what happened on the series premier last night - did anyone get to see it?).

Oh yeah - where was I? They fill my heart with glee - even when they're awake.

The key is to hold onto that joy even when things aren't going so great. No matter how bad things get - Mikey's letter will bring a smile to my face, and peace to my soul. I love that crazy little guy.

This may be breakthrough number one. Holding onto and remembering at least one bit of delightfulness even when things seem untenable.

OK readers - you decide. Can we count this as step one of enlightenment? Or am I way off base?

The inner peace buzz kill

OK - inner peace buzz kill number one - I wrote this whole thing last night about taking responsibility for my own feelings and actions - it even included a quote - and now it's not here. Stupid computer! I was going to get up this morning and read my brilliant prose, then comment on it further, and then think about all of the lives I would be touching with my words of wisdom - with my unwillingness to let outside forces, negative people, and incidences out of my control ruin my personal sense of joy and peace - but NOOOOOO. Now the whole day is ruined!

After reviewing my late night feel good words, I was going to then add that the #1 killer of inner peace is getting my kids up for school, which I should have started doing four minutes ago, except I then had to search frantically for my missing blog draft. So now, not only do I have to tell them it is time to get up only to be yelled at, kicked and ignored - I have to do it late - making it a much worse situation than it could have been otherwise.

In conclusion - # 1 inner peace killer is a computer glitch. #2 inner peace killer is getting my kids up for school. # 3 inner peace killer is getting my kids up for school late. So - time to face the piper I guess.

How can a person be expected to pursue a healthy lifestyle with all of these obstacles standing in the way? Maybe some answer will come later. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Day Two

OK - maybe thee term "get healthy is too broad and too much to do all at once. I know that a lot of times on blogs - people give themselves a time limit, but because this is a lifelong pursuit - I am going to make death the end of my project.

Anyway - overnight health is harder than it sounds. Even though I know in my brain what it takes to live a healthy life - my body and emotions seem to keep over-riding my logic. For instance - yesterday went pretty well until I loaded up a spoonful of peanut butter right before bed and then stuck a bunch of M&M's in it. It was a lovely piece f art - but I ruined the aesthetic appeal when I ate it. Here is the positive point - I just admitted it in my blog.

Anyway - I think I will aim for one change at a time. Here is the first - I am going to take my kids to the park after school each day that it is nice. There are many factors here that will lead me to more inner peace - 1. I'm getting the kids away from electronic screens 2. I am spending quality time with my children 3. We are all getting exercise 4. They are not driving me nuts with their screaming, fighting, jumping and throwing sharp objects in the house. Looks like we may have to leave real soon (I say as a ninja star flies past my head sticking into the wall behind me).

Last thing - I posted the following on facebook "Looking for inner peace, any suggestions?" I got many suggestions - from wine (the ultimate bringer of inner peace if it weren't so full of calories) to prayer to spending time in the woods. The woods sound the most likely to me at the moment - maybe combined with the wine and the prayer - I'll have to test that theory and let you know. Any more ideas for instant inner peace? All suggestions are welcome, and testable.

Off to the park - hope the kids don't fight so that I can sit quietly on the bench ignoring them and feeling joy with the world (even though I have no wine).

Monday, April 12, 2010

Day One.

So far so good. I packed a healthy lunch for work and set my phone alarm to go off at 12:30 and remind me to take a walk during my lunch break. I stuck to this plan until.... somebody asked if I had gone to my favorite ice cream shop yet which just re-opened for the season. AAAAAARRRRRGHH.


I first thought "Oh yeah I can take the kids there after work." Then, less enthusiastically, I thought "Oh yeah, I changed my life this morning."
What a bummer! I am now wondering if improving my healthy outlook will really help me achieve inner peace - or is it ice cream that does that?

Well - the next step for the day is to write down all of the foods I ate as well as the exercise I got. Then I have to consider whether I am going to forgive the skinny little twenty something girl who was a total b**** today, or give up speaking to, assisting or giving advice to her for all of eternity. Not sure which of those choices leads to inner peace either.

This might be harder than I thought.

The decision to get healthy

Well - here it is. Yesterday I decided it was time to get healthy - in mind, body and spirit. That was after me, my husband and three of our four sons headed out in our mini-van and stoppped at burger king for Mikey, McDonalds for Marko and Elijah, and Oberweis for all of us. We went to a beach where I climbed halfway up a sand dune - and was then out of breath plus my knees were cracking under the weight and in protest of this activity. I stood there halfway up the dune thining - what happened to me? I will be 39 this year - and somehow the decade between 30 and 40 has changed me. Not only physically, but mentally as well.

I used to be idealistic. I was all for world peace, living at one with the earth, being connected to nature, eating healthful foods, listening to music, traveling to national parks, etc. so - where did I go? How does a nature loving hippie become a fat mini-van driving disillusioned mother of fast food, computer, television loving children living in the midwest?

I think coming close to 40 is the natural time to ask these questions - right?? Maybe also the natural time to do something about it - which is what I have decided to do. So, starting today, I am beginning a major change. I am going to try to find the person I once was and try to infuse that person into the life I now lead. And what better way to record those changes than to blog about it.

All right world - if you're out there paying attention. This is officially day one. I will let you know later how it went.