Today I will not take a drink

18 May

I wasn’t a drinker until I was. I’m not a party drinker, not a social drinker, not a drinker to have fun. I enjoy wine. The smell, the taste, the numbing qualities. Yes. The numbing qualities. I drink to relax and not feel all the feelings so intensely.

As a mom, it’s cool to drink. Wine o’clock is all the rave. The reality for me is that wine o’clock is just an excuse to do what I always do. Have a few glasses. In the past it was because I had a lot of pain that I hadn’t dealt with. Let’s be real. The pain is still there. It won’t go away. Pain is so uncomfortably part of life. But I’ve been facing my pain. I’ve been allowing myself to feel it and notice how to feel joy at the same time.

AND I have found my purpose – that is being healthy inside and out, and helping others do the same through fitness. I have made a promise to myself to live that purpose every day, and I do. Except for cheese crackers and wine and probably a few other things. Drinking is really where I have been living out of alignment with my integrity.

Here’s how I coach my ladies. I ask them to do one small thing today to make change.

I have been doing one small thing towards not drinking for quite a while but it hasn’t helped me throw the bottle away or stop buying wine. Actually, it has. One month here, three months there. I started drinking again.

Here’s my one small step for the day. I forgive myself. My second small step for the day – writing this. I’ll let you know how it goes by tomorrow.

All I know is that putting my story out there and possibly making some new friends who are in the same boat is what I need to do to make my change. It’s not going to be polished, witty or awesome. I don’t have time for that right now! It’s just going to be me. Really really me.

 

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It’s easier to change than I thought – how I lost 25 pounds

26 Oct

I’ve never been comfortable showing my body off to the world, but here it is! The two pics on the left are my after pics in June 2012. The two on the right are my before pics in Feb 2012. It still floors me!

Weight loss was a long time dream of mine and getting to where I am today was a long process. My weight has yo-yoed through much of my adult life.

Through my 20s, as I rollerbladed, danced salsa, trained for marathons and then competed in triathlons, I stayed lean. I felt fit and great. Maybe I gained a couple of pounds here and there, but then I’d get super active and I’d lose the weight.

Then I met my husband. He’s active, but not like me. After we got married, I gained a couple of pounds. A couple of years later, I started working on my Master’s degree. I stayed active, running and cycling as much as I could manage with my school work. But it wasn’t enough to keep me from gaining weight.

I had thought that the ups and downs of weight gain and loss were normal until reality smacked me in the face; I was at the Pier to Pier ocean swim, a 2 mile swim from Hermosa to Manhattan (in the LA area in California), when I saw “the picture.” It was of me in my competitive swim bikini. The love handles spilling over the edge of the suit made my heart sink in sadness. I was heavier than I thought I was, and I had been in denial about how much weight I had gained over the years.

I had continued to see myself as I was before I got married, denying the reality of my heavier body. When I saw that picture, my heart dropped and it was then that I knew that I needed to make a change.

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Testing out the birthday suit

15 Jan

I’ve heard stories about toddlers running around in the buff . Even though I halfway expected it, when C pulled her pants down, tugged her shirt up around her shoulders and requested, “Off,” I was amused and a little worried. I thought I’d give it a week or so to see if it was just a quick passing thing.

The reader, all dressed up! Jan 12th.

Nope! As long as we’re home, or at someone else’s home, for longer than an hour, C begins to request help in getting her clothes off. At home I figure, why not? Although this does mean that my un-potty-trained toddler could pee (or poop!) anywhere. I’m grateful that she feels comfortable enough at other people’s homes to take her clothes off, but that has become the sign that it’s time to go. Potty training has suddenly become a priority. But is she ready? Am I ready?

It feels like all sorts of issues are piling up – getting her to sleep on her own, toddler tantrums (oh yes, I was the lady at the mall with the screaming baby..sorry guys!), and now potty training?? It is all happening so quickly, and I feel like I barely have the time to figure out what to do next.

Top that off with the fact that I’m trying to run a small business, grow as a fitness instructor, and fit all of that into the 45 minute nap that has begun to evolve and an hour of sanity in the evening after dinner, and I’m feeling a little overwhelmed!

What stands out to me, though, is that I need to enjoy that cuddly and spirited little girl who loves running around in her birthday suit as much as I can. This time will be gone in a blink and what I will remember most was her joy in exploring the world in utter abandon and freedom.

The Chair Photos

13 Jan

One day, when my daughter was about four weeks old, I posted a picture of her propped in the corner of our glider/rocking chair on Facebook. A wonderful, inspirational mom commented that one of her friends had taken a picture of her children every month for as long as they’ve been alive in the same spot. I decided then and there that I would take a picture of C in the chair once a week for as long as I could.

Nearly 18 months later, I have a large collection of photos of C sitting in the chair. Many bring back memories of the week that I took them. Because infants and toddlers develop so quickly, each week really is quite unique!

May I introduce you to the collection? 

I make this introduction so that you have some familiarity with where I’m coming from as I begin to post a weekly update on what is happening with C, the joys and the challenges!

A Year of Positive Thinking

11 Jan

After a long hiatus, a year full of loving my baby and learning how to run a small business, I’m back. Writing is catharsis in my world. And I need catharsis right now!

One of my goals for 2012 is to cultivate more positive thinking. I stumbled on the book Things I Want My Daughters to Know by Alexandra Stoddard when I was at Anthropologie trying to figure out how to best use a $100 gift card. I figured that advice from a sane, interesting mom might help fill the “mom void” that I feel. So I got the book with high hopes.

For me, it’s full of many right messages at the right time in my life. My favorite quote, which is now prominently posted in orange on my office wall is going to be my anthem for the year. Stoddard says, “Search, not for the ideal later, but for the actual good now. You must have a point of view, a perspective on life. You always have a choice to select the window you look out from. Choose the best possible view.” The italics are mine.

Choosing the best possible view is going to be tough for me! I trust I’m not alone in struggling to see the positive side of things. I’m pretty sure that the work of finding that view is going to pay off tremendously for me. This year is going to be about finding ways to get to that best view.

The first idea I’ve had to help myself get there is to take the first ten minutes of my daughter’s nap to find three positive things to say to myself about myself. I struggle to no end to be happy with myself.In the few days that I have done this, I sense a lightness of  being. I want more of it! I hope to find more as I write and share my journey with whoever wants to join me.

Do Fun Stuff!

30 Aug

It’s hard not to admire people who seize every opportunity to do something meaningful and beautiful.  Ryan Marshall, blogger of Pacing the Panic Room, has done just that.  Marshall made the choice to love his stepson fully.  And then he and his wife learned that his stepson, who he refers to as his Little Buddy, has a rare genetic disorder, Smith-Magenis Syndrome.  Upon finding out that there is very little known about this syndrome, Marshall and his wife decided that they would set out to inspire more research.

To raise money to create awareness and a larger knowledge base about SMS, Marshall got a number of very cool artists to donate their time and energy to create a “kid’s record for parents.”

I bought the album not only because I wanted to support the cause, but also because I really enjoyed the music and knew it would be appropriate for my little one sometime in the near future.  Honestly, it’s a fun, positive album, and many of the songs are so low key kid songs that the tag line Marshall adopted is spot on.

You can learn more about SMS and the project that Marshall is endeavoring upon by clicking HERE. If you are inspired, you can link to the widget in your blog or send the link on to your Facebook friends!

Here’s to learning, contributing, and doing fun stuff.

Newborn @ week 7: Blogpost Interrupted

12 Aug

Having a baby takes a lot of time and energy in a way I didn’t anticipate. I’m not physically or mentally exhausted except for on the days when mosquitoes have kept me up after a baby feeding session. Rather my schedule is all awry. It’s hard to fill a to-be-specified time with something meaningful when you’re not sure whether you should be talking or singing to, or rocking the baby to sleep. Alternatively you might actually have some free time. I’ve never been very good at being spontaneous, and it seems as if someone who’s good at that might do really well in the first three months of parenthood.

If I were better at being spontaneous, maybe I would have written this sooner.
I have been in the midst of writing the second part of my birth story for the last three weeks (soon to come). I began by drafting the story on my computer, but I quickly realized that I would never finish it that way. Breastfeeding and the desire to not move from the couch once the babe has fallen asleep after breastfeeding have kept me relegated to the couch. So then I thought I could write in my notebook and later transfer my words onto the Word document and finally to the WordPress post box.

No, no, no. For a while, I think I’ll be composing my posts by iPhone. Even that might be hard as the just woken up squirming baby on my lap makes it difficult to know how much longer I have.

Life with a baby, and perhaps with an child of any age, is schedule interrupted. That’s a new and sometimes welcome kind of tired, like the tired you feel after a workout. Sometimes you’re happy you did it, sometimes you wonder what you were thinking.

That turned out not to work either. For the last week I’ve been treading water, uncertain how to proceed.