July 31, 2012

Week 34: Back on the Wagon!

Current Weight:  217.6
+/-  this week:  -2.0
+/- this round:   -32.2
+/- total:    -49.6
Current Short Term Goal:  217 (50 pounds lighter)

I finally made it in to town to a meeting after being back on the wagon for a week - counted points for everything I ate and even got a little activity.  It's been a while, but I realized if I want to reach my birthday goal of being under 200 lbs on Nov 23, I needed to start getting serious again.

I was pleased at the scales today - two pounds gone and I'm less than 1/2 a pound away from being down a total of 50 pounds.  Lately everything has been changing, and I am feeling proud of myself for the weight I've already lost.  I often just think about how much is left to go, but the reality is that 50 lbs is nothing to sneer at, is it?

I was talking to some ladies in my book club about running and how I would like to try running, but I don't like how it feels.  They recommended getting some compression gear so I could run with less... movement... I might look into that.  I feel like I would like to do Couch to 5K, so maybe when I get a job I'll invest in some gear and some good shoes.

Well, I am going to sneak in a quick workout before I go over and pick up the boys from my Mom's house.

Starting Weight 1 (Feb 2009):  267 lbs
Starting Weight 2 (Dec 2011):  249.8 lbs
Starting BMI:  41.8

Weight Lost:  49.6 lbs
Goal Weight: 160 lbs
Goal BMI:  25.1

Short Term Goal 1: 237.8 (5%) - Met 1/24/12
Short Term Goal 2: 225.8 (10%) - Met 4/10/12
Short Term Goal 3:  217 (50 pounds down)
Short Term Goal 4: 213.5 (50% of final goal)
Short Term Goal 5:  207 (60 pounds down)
Short Term Goal 6: 199.9 (under 200 for the first time in 7+ years)
Short Term Goal 7: 192 (75 pounds down)
Short Term Goal 8: 189.8 (25% &  no longer "obese")

Long Term Goal: 160 lbs
Total to Lose:  107 lbs
To Go: 57.6 lbs

July 27, 2012

Endings and Beginnings: Big Announcements & Humble Requests

Hi.  Remember me?  I am still here.

In the last several months, my life has changed fairly dramatically.

There is no easy way to say this.  Justin and I are getting a divorce.  Everything behind it has just been A LOT.  This is the thing I couldn't talk about before.  Nothing official as far as paperwork has been done, but we have been living apart for a little while.  It seems to go without saying that the whole thing has been really hard, but it's the best thing for us and our family.

Since we've been apart, I have been looking more seriously for a job, and considering full time work instead of just part time.  This has also been a real challenge, and I have not found one yet.  It's a little frustrating.  But I'm chugging along.

During this time, I also started a project which began as a little blog and has since morphed into a big website that I am working on a lot and totally in love with.

Born in Bellingham

I am very, very excited about it and am hoping to develop a comprehensive resource for my community.  I have tons of ideas about networking and things that I am working on and brainstorming about.

During this time, I have been reconnecting with old friends and connecting with new friends.  I met a woman in my mom's group who is also passionate about birth and we talked about the website and other things.  I told her that someday, I want to become a birth educator.  Lately, I have found myself telling that to several people with the caveat someday, eventually, when I'm able.

Last weekend, I was looking at the website for Birth Boot Camp (again).  Birth Boot Camp is a new childbirth education class that was developed this year and focuses on natural birth and breastfeeding education.  It's not widespread yet because it's new, and they are putting on workshops every few months to educate new instructors.  On a whim, I decided to apply.  When I looked at it a few months ago, the fact that it was in Dallas and the cost of the workshop seemed insurmountable.  When I looked at it last week I started to think... well, I could probably raise the money... right?

I applied.


I wish I even had the words to describe how I feel about this.  It's a dream for me.  I am taking this chance and following my heart and my passion.  I will still need to get another job, but this is my focus for the moment, and I am excited and feel blessed that I will get to follow my dreams and not wait for "someday."

But... there's a catch.  The thing is that right now, I don't actually have the money for the full cost of the workshop, plane tickets, hotel and materials.  The total is going to be around $1700.  I am doing a garage sale tomorrow, and I have a few other ideas, but I need help.

Like most people, I don't like asking for help.  I like asking for financial help even less.  It just seems so... tacky?  Personal?  Weak?  I don't know.  The thing is, right now, asking could be the difference between doing what I really, really want to in life and... well, not doing it.

So, I've decided that just this once, I am going to flat out ask.  I'm trusting the universe here, and relying on the kindness and generosity of my family, my friends, and of any generous strangers that may happen to be out there.  I'm putting my pride aside because this is more important to me than almost anything I've ever done before.  And I'm hoping and praying and trusting that I will find a way to make this happen.

This is a button.  You can use it to donate if you feel like you want to.  It's directly connected to my paypal account and you can use paypal or a card.  Select 'gift' as the reason for sending money.

Some people will think this is completely tactless or inappropriate.  Maybe it is.  That's fine.  I'm okay with whatever people think.  If you don't like it, just ignore it.  I am just as happy to receive well wishes, prayers, and good thoughts.  But for once in my life, I am not going to feel embarrassed reaching out to people who may be kind and want to help me do something.  If When I reach my goal, I'll remove it.  Every penny I get will be put towards the cost of the workshop, airfare, hotel and my reading materials.  If you feel inclined to share this, I'd appreciate it.  If you sort of want to punch me right now, then please just move on and try to forget this ever happened.  :-)

This year, everything in my life is changing.  Instead of just going about my business waiting for my life to be the life I want, I am going to find it.  I'm going to find it, and grab it, and hold on for dear life and see where it takes me.

July 20, 2012

A Prayer for Aurora

It is 10:07 on a Friday night, and in our culture is one of information-this-minute.  It feels like old news to talk about something that happened 22 hours ago, even though in reality the ramifications of this morning's tragedy will last years.

I had a busy day without much computer time until after the kids were in bed, and I didn't have time to think about last night's shooting at the midnight show of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado.  It is so hard to think about these things happening in the places where we are most relaxed, and where we feel safe.  At school, at work, places we are comfortable because we are there every day.  And now, at the movie theater, where we go to get away.  Christopher Nolan, director of the movie, said the following:
"The movie theatre is my home, and the idea that someone would violate that innocent and hopeful place in such an unbearably savage way is devastating to me," Nolan said in a statement on behalf of the cast and crew of the film. "Nothing any of us can say could ever adequately express our feelings for the innocent victims of this appalling crime, but our thoughts are with them and their families."
I can imagine how devastating it would be, in much the same way it was devastating for teachers when the first school shootings started to happen.  This is his livelihood, his life, his ART, and it is painful to have this kind of mark thrown across it.

Then the kids were in bed, and a story came up in my feedreader on MamaPop.  In "The Batman Massacre And How We Grapple With Tragedy", Kristine wrote:
"At the time of this writing, there’s still very little known about the details surrounding this shooting. We do know that it happened in a packed movie theater during a midnight showing of Batman. We also know that the gunman was 24 years old and was taken, without struggle, into police custody shortly after the shooting. And we know that many people–children included–are dead, and even more–an infant included–are wounded.
And what the hell are we supposed to do with this information? Other than rage and plead and beg for it to stop?"
Honestly, what can we do?  We cannot do anything.  It is done.  For whatever reason, this young man decided to go out and murder a bunch of people, and in a setting where they felt completely safe.  He did not discriminate by age, sex, or anything.  People can argue about security, gun control, weapons control; but it seems like those who are compelled to harm in this manor will always find a way.

For whatever reason, because of the way things are, everyone has to give a quote about how sad and shocked they are, from the studio heads to the directer to others in Hollywood.  They have to worry about the trailers being shown in the theaters and be asked if they think this will affect the box office for opening weekend of their new movie.  I see the headlines and wonder how ridiculous the media can be to ask these questions, but for some people this is their livelihood.  Movie theater owners and workers, and who knows who else.  For some people, asking these questions is how they will try to push down their feelings about what's happened, they will look at the numbers and facts and forget about the emotions.

Other people will immerse themselves in debate.  Is this movie too violent?  Are movies these days too violent as a whole?  Have we become desensitized?!  Do we need more gun control?  In one comment I read, someone jokingly mentioned an Entertainment Safety Administration ala the TSA.  It seems ridiculous, but honestly, before 9/11 you could walk into the airport without much of a problem.  People will start to question and start to blame, and they will put police at the doors even though the likelihood of anything like this happening again this weekend is probably absurdly low.

In her article, Kristin ended by saying this:
"Each of us is trying to wrestle with some massive and intangible monster. Sometimes that fight looks like anger. Sometimes it looks like disillusionment. Sometimes it is simply a tremendous pile of sorrow and helplessness.  
 Let’s be gentle with each other. Let’s be self-aware and kind and do our best to shine a little extra light into a day that is so filled with darkness."
That is where my heart lies.  As human beings, it is not our job to debate about gun control, to demonize the shooter, to discuss little kids in movie theaters at midnight or to judge the situation in any number of ways, really.  It IS our job to feel compassion, to offer whatever love we have, and to hold each other up.  To help others when they need it in whatever tiny way we can.  This is not about gun control or politics, this is about people.

I can scarcely bring myself to imagine the terror of being in a movie theater by myself and having this kind of thing happen.  Let alone being in a crowded theater.  Let alone with my best friends or children, the people I love most in the world.  I cannot comprehend the horror of it.  Some of them will not be able to go out in public.  Some of them will never go to the movies again.  Some of them will need years of therapy.

Tonight I will lie awake in bed, and I will pray for the victims of the shooting.  For their peace, their eventual happiness to return.  I will send any positive thoughts and energy I have to these people, who are confused, and hurt, and terrified, and feeling things they didn't even know were possible.  I will pray for the families of the people who died.  They have lost the ones they love suddenly and tragically and violently.  I will pray for their peace, and for the ability to remember the good times, and to be left alone if that is what they want.  There are probably hundreds of people in Aurora who are currently having the worst day of their entire life, and that is... well, there are no words.  For some, it won't be, because one of the first major school shootings ever happened in Littleton, only 13 miles away.  And there are no words for that either.  No one should have to experience one tragedy like this, let alone two.

I will pray for the owner of the theater, whose workplace has been turned into a place of tragedy.  I will pray for the workers whose regular shift turned into something terrible.  For the police who had to respond, and for the EMTs and doctors and nurses who saved lives, and for those who couldn't because there was nothing they could do.

This is also not about crucifying the shooter.  I will pray for him too, because he obviously has monumental problems that I cannot imagine.  Because until more news comes out, I don't know if he is sick or crazy or has had terrible things happen to him.  I do not know why he did this, and I don't care.  He is in custody, and he cannot hurt anyone else now.  I hope that if he needs help, he gets it.  I know it won't be a comfort to anyone who was in that theater, or lives in that town, but maybe it will be to his family.  Speaking of whom, they'll be in my prayers as well.  In these cases, it seems like at some point people always decide to question and blame the parents.  How insensitive can you get?  They have lost everything too, their child, the life they had, it is all gone.  They will worry for their son, their brother, or whoever it is to them, and they will wonder how this possibly could have happened.  Before people start to blame them, they will probably wonder if they could have somehow prevented this.  They will forever be conflicted with the love and pain in their hearts over their son and the pain and desperation they will feel when thinking about the victim's and their families.  I will not judge them.  I will pray that somehow they'll find peace too.

In the end, none of this will affect my everyday life.  I don't know these people, and it is a terrible, sad, tragic event, but it will have no impact.  But for tonight, I will wonder why, and I will let myself cry and in the end I will pray.  Because it's all I can do.

July 12, 2012

Week 31: 19 Weeks to Lose 19 Pounds

Current Weight:  219.6
+/-  this week:  -0.0
+/- this round:   -30.2
+/- total:    -47.6
Current Short Term Goal:  217 (50 pounds lighter)

I didn't got to a meeting this week or go get weighed in.  We are in the middle of a sort of cleanse with Sam that makes it easiest to stick close to home.  

When I wrote up my goals for 2012, one of them was to be under 200 lbs by my birthday (Nov 23).  I am halfway to that goal, and there are 19 weeks left.  I need to lose 19 pounds by then.  This should not be hard.  Maybe I can even make it to 192, which would be a total loss of 75 lbs.  Mostly though, before I turn 32, I want to see 199.9 on my scale.

One of my other goals was to exercise at least 3 times a week, which up until summer vacation, I've actually been doing pretty well on.  Now that I'm counting and getting back to accountability, I'll have to start looking for my activity points again.  I have been making an effort to still get the kids to bed fairly close to their usual time, but really I could do it after I put Danny to bed even if Sam's still up.  Maybe.  We'll see.

So that's that.  I'll do an official weigh in next week.

Starting Weight 1 (Feb 2009):  267 lbs
Starting Weight 2 (Dec 2011):  249.8 lbs
Starting BMI:  41.8

Weight Lost:  47.6 lbs
Goal Weight: 160 lbs
Goal BMI:  25.1

Short Term Goal 1: 237.8 (5%) - Met 1/24/12
Short Term Goal 2: 225.8 (10%) - Met 4/10/12
Short Term Goal 3:  217 (50 pounds down)
Short Term Goal 4: 213.5 (50% of final goal)
Short Term Goal 5:  207 (60 pounds down)
Short Term Goal 6: 199.9 (under 200 for the first time in 7+ years)
Short Term Goal 7: 192 (75 pounds down)
Short Term Goal 8: 189.8 (25% &  no longer "obese")

Long Term Goal: 160 lbs
Total to Lose:  107 lbs
To Go: 59.6 lbs

July 10, 2012

A Conversation

This occurred when Sam was almost 4.

Sam:  I'm the Mayor, what do you want?

Me:  A hundred dollars.

Sam:  No, you give us money and we give stuff back.

Me:  A unicorn.

Sam:  A real one?

Me:  Yes.

Sam:  That's alive?

Me:  Yes.

Sam:  That's unavailable.  There's only one that's made of crap.

July 8, 2012

Introducing: Born in Bellingham

Yesterday, an idea struck me and I couldn't let it go.  After reading another inspiring birth story in my Bellingham Mamas group on Facebook, I started to think that it would be really cool to have a place online for all of us to share our stories and inspire other women.  Out of that, this was born.

From the homepage:

This is a place for local mamas to share their inspiring birth stories. From time to time, we will also feature birth stories from outside of Washington, but we're starting right here at home. We believe that birth is amazing and can be one of the most empowering things a woman experiences in life. We also believe that all mothers deserve recognition for their strength, whether their baby was had at home, in a hospital, with an epidural or without, or by c-section. Each birth is different, and each is powerful in it's own way. By sharing our stories, we hope to inspire, empower and educate other women in Bellingham and the rest of the world.

So, I would love for you to check it out.  And if you're in Bellingham, or Washington in general, or wherever really, I want to include YOUR birth story.  This is small for now, but I'm hoping that it will grow and be something really special for my community.  I feel a little spark... like maybe this is just the beginning of me getting involved in a field I am really passionate about.

July 6, 2012

Bad Days

Yesterday was a bad day.

It started okay, with Sam sleeping in until 9.

We were going to a garden party, hosted by one of the moms from my Facebook mama's group.

I was really looking forward to meeting and chatting with a bunch of awesome women I'd never met before.

20 minutes into it Sam started to whine and complain about how he didn't want to be there.

After another 20 minutes, including whining and sitting down in the grass and crying and begging me to leave, I decided we would.

There was no point in sitting there and making everyone else listen to it, and I wasn't getting to talk to anyone other than Sam.

I was mad at him because there was another kid there his age, who had ninja turtle toys no less, and Sam refused to even talk to him.

He would not make any effort to have a good time.

I said, fine, let's go but told him we were NOT going home to watch game videos or play the Wii, and that he would not get everything he wanted today.

Total meltdown.

He cried all the way home and for a while after.

Telling me he was sad, telling me to apologize, telling me he felt like I didn't love him, that it was not a good day etc.

I cried too.

It's hard when things like this happen normally, but with the extra rawness of my emotions and stress from other stuff going on, it is horrible.

He finally calmed down but had another mini meltdown when I would not let him watch one of his videos before leaving for the doctor.

Then we went to the doctor.

Sam's encopresis is not solved in any way.

We got an X-Ray and it turns out that, in fact, it is WORSE now than it was in April.

Which means either the cleanout we did before did not work all the way.  OR it has somehow gotten this bad again in only 2 months, despite regular BMs.

I know this is gross, but I am so incredibly frustrated.

We have to do the cleanout again, and it's really hard for both of us.

He has to take a lot of medicine, and we are pretty much housebound for at least 4-5 days.

It is messy.

And unpleasant.

I am worried that there is something else wrong, but everything I read about impacted bowels just says this is the cause.

We are supposed to go back to the doctor in 2-3 weeks.

I will ask for another X-Ray then, to make sure that it worked and we are really starting from empty this time.

Part of me hopes that it will show that it didn't fully work.

Because then I wouldn't feel so crappy about not doing it right the first time, and somehow messing up the last 2 months so we have to go through all of this again.

I cried on the way home from there too.

Danny was super fussy after we got home.

I am exhausted.

I got time to myself last night, but now it's 9 am and I'm already on the edge today.

Sam is being good, but Danny is being a pill.

He won't eat the food I give him, and I can tell he is hungry and would be happier if he would eat something.

He is whining and hitting his brother.

Justin and I conflicted this morning too which never helps the day start off well.

I feel like I want to run away for a week and just be by myself.

Maybe in a few hours I will feel better.

But for now, it's just bad days.

July 3, 2012

Week 30: An Interesting Change

Current Weight:  219.6
+/-  this week:  -0.8
+/- this round:   -30.2
+/- total:    -47.6
Current Short Term Goal:  217 (50 pounds lighter)

You may have noticed that I haven't posted a weekly update in three weeks.  That's because - guess what?  I skipped not one but TWO weigh ins.  Not only that, but I haven't tracked in three weeks.  Yet, look at my weigh in...  I lost 0.8 lbs which is negligible.  But it's NOT A GAIN.  For the last three weeks I have been eating in a way that feels completely off the rails for me, and not getting any regular exercise.  For me, the fact that I haven't gained weight in the last few weeks is a HUGE change from the past.  Even when I am not working towards weight loss and feel like I am eating out of control, I am obviously not eating to the degree I used to.  I know that eating because of stress or depression is not healthy, but I also see now that I am more in control of tings than I may have thought.  This also gives me hope because it makes me feel like if I can get back on track with counting points & exercise that I WILL lose weight.

My Mom's husband came over the other day and brought my elliptical machine in to the house for me.  This is good because my main form of exercise thus far has been walking, and that is majorly thrown off by Sam being on summer vacation.  He can't walk the distance I want or for the amount of time I need in order to get real exercise.  So, now my plan is to use the elliptical machine 4 or more times a week after the kids go to bed.  Being able to watch TV while I exercise is a good motivator for me, which is kind of funny, but also true.

So that's that.  I am chugging along around here.

Starting Weight 1 (Feb 2009):  267 lbs
Starting Weight 2 (Dec 2011):  249.8 lbs
Starting BMI:  41.8

Weight Lost:  47.6 lbs
Goal Weight: 160 lbs
Goal BMI:  25.1

Short Term Goal 1: 237.8 (5%) - Met 1/24/12
Short Term Goal 2: 225.8 (10%) - Met 4/10/12
Short Term Goal 3:  217 (50 pounds down)
Short Term Goal 4: 213.5 (50% of final goal)
Short Term Goal 5:  207 (60 pounds down)
Short Term Goal 6: 199.9 (under 200 for the first time in 7+ years)
Short Term Goal 7: 192 (75 pounds down)
Short Term Goal 8: 189.8 (25% &  no longer "obese")

Long Term Goal: 160 lbs
Total to Lose:  107 lbs
To Go: 59.6 lbs

July 2, 2012

Prayer Requests

It has been quite a while since I updated or changed my prayer request list.  You can find a permanent link over in the right sidebar or by clicking here.  In the past week I've been feeling very strongly that it's time to reach out again.

In my journeys through life and the blogosphere, I often come across people who could use a little bit of positive energy or prayer directed their way. If you're the praying type, if you have positive energy to spare, virtual hugs to send out, or just want to send some smiles or hugs out through the universe, here are some people who could really use them:

Updated July 2, 2012

- As I wrote the other day, stuff is going on.  I could really use your prayers for strength and clarity and peace right now.

- Last week, the fabulous Lindsay Ferrier of Suburban Turmoil unexpectedly lost her stepmother.  I can't even imagine losing a parent, and I've been very lucky that my parents are young and, for the most part, healthy.  I know that she and her family will appreciate any prayers sent their way for peace right now.

- Sarah at Redefining Perfect shared recently about her family's struggle with depression.  It can be such a difficult thing to deal with. Though I have some firsthand experience dealing with it, I've been lucky that most of the people I love who struggle suffer from fairly mild depression. It is hard to imagine being in the dark place that Sarah's husband is, and knowing how to make it through. Let's pray for peace and a way into the light for this wonderful family.

- One of the local Moms in my Facebook group just found out her 9 year old brother has cancer. I am also waiting right now to hear about the most recent scan in a long time friend of mine who was diagnosed last fall with stage 4 breast cancer. Prayers for healing, comfort, and good news.

- A friend of mine just found out she's pregnant.  Prayers for a happy and healthy 9 months for her!

- Another friend's husband just lost his uncle.  It's never easy to lose someone close to you, and I pray for comfort for anyone who is struggling with this kind of loss.

- Mir at Coulda Woulda Shoulda shared the other day about her 14 year old daughter's ongoing struggle with serious mental illness.  The story isn't for the faint of heart, but can be found here: In the never after.  I don't have the words to even say how much I feel for her, and how hard it is for me to even imagine what her family is going through right now.  There are so many prayers we can offer.  For healing, for treatment plans that work, for love between a family, for peace, for acceptance, and for comfort.

- I have just fallen in love with Finding Magnolia, the blog of a family that's been made complete by two gorgeous little girls they've adopted from Ethiopia.  In fact, they just traveled to meet their 2nd daughter last week.  Little Elvie has some health issues, and the full extent and treatment plan cannot be known until they are back in the US with their doctors here.  She is severely malnourished, which must be difficult for anyone to see in any person, let alone a child, let alone a child you've fallen in love with. I want to pray for everything for them.  For a good treatment plan, a great outcome, and most of all for their happiness and meshing together as a now family of four.  These people have so much love to give that you can just see it, and I wish them all the best as their journey continues.

- My heart just goes out to all of the people in Colorado who have lost their homes in the last week or two to the wildfires there.  They are all in my prayers.


- My father in law Harold has been having increasing issues with his Parkinson's Disease and his health. Please pray for his health, his well being, and for us to all find the right ways to interact with each other and protect each other.

- One of my best friends, Sati, is trying to start a family. She is an amazing woman, and she's waited a long time for this. So far, she hasn't been able to conceive, and just found out her sister is expecting a little surprise. Please keep her in your thoughts and send lots of fertility vibes to her. I struggled with watching friends get pregnant while I was waiting for my turn, and it was really hard.

- The Unnamed Women - I don't have faces, I don't have names. But I'd like to ask for prayers and positive thoughts for the women we serve through our volunteer work at Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services. We see sad things, things that make us angry, and things that just make us desperately want to help in some way. Unfortunately, we can't always do that. I pray every time that every woman out there who is assaulted has the strength and self-worth to get out, to value themselves, and to heal from the things that have held them down.

Please feel free to leave a comment with anyone you'd like to add, whether you need prayers or know someone else who does, and I'll add them to the list. I'll add, remove, and give updates as time goes by... Thanks for your positivity!