Monday, February 23, 2015

Hour By Hour

Although my little peanut is approaching the nine month mark, some things are dawning on me just now.  As in, routine usually works really well for the baby's health and why haven't I applied a regular schedule to my daily life, too?!

I'm one of those probably not-so-rare people who needs boundaries and deadlines in order to make things happen, because I'm exactly 0% self-motivated when it comes to most things.  However, for that very reason, I find myself unwilling to actually set those boundaries for myself.  It's a vicious cycle of laziness and anxiety.  But it's time to break it.

As things are, we've developed regular days and times for baby's bath, for example.  (He's doesn't get so insanely dirty yet that daily scrub-downs are necessary, and he might - like his daddy - be prone to dry skin, so why push the envelope?)  Regular feeding times are crucial for a baby, especially a formula-fed one, so I've become pretty adept at working my own life around bottles and naps.  Still, things fall apart.  Laundry piles up.  Plans come undone.  Photo and writing projects linger in purgatory, wondering silently to themselves if they will ever be complete.  Even this blog languishes, perking up like an old lap dog for its once or twice a month visit and petting session.

So, I think it's finally time.  It's time to spend a few extra dollars and go pick up one of those giant "mom" calendars.  You know what I mean - those ones with daily slots as big as an iPhone for you to write everything in.  Dinner plans, doctors' appointments, social events (ha, ha, ha - what are those again?), chores, etc.  

Part of the reason for this is, well, housekeeping and homemaking is kind of my full-time gig right now.  I'll probably end up having to work part-time once the baby is a little older, unless things change for us financially, but right now, why not do the best I can to make my house a happier place?  More welcoming for my husband, who works hard at a job he generally dislikes.  More pleasant for myself and my baby, who - at least until spring - spend the majority of our time here.  More organized, less stressful, more inviting, less cluttered.

I've always been that awful creative stereotype.  The one with clever and fun ideas, the one with half a dozen projects started and three or four more tumbling around in my head at any given time.  The one who finally gets that electric storm of inspiration and sits down to write/work/create for hours while the dirty dishes pile up and the curtains collect cat hair. (I mean, even more than usual.)  I'm finding now, after years of these fits of productivity mixed with months of sloth, that, well, it's not a great approach.

Slow and steady is supposed to win the race, right?  You don't lose weight from a single day of clean-eating after weeks of Egg McMuffins, nor does a novel come from an hour of frenzied, divinely-inspired genius followed by distracted musing.  So, what I have to do is create a schedule for myself.  An honest-to-goodness, real-life daily schedule with time for cooking, exercising, leisure, housekeeping, prayer, reading, and writing.  

Oh my gosh, just seeing that in black and white is terrifying.  How do I fit that all in a day?  Even without a baby, that would seem impossible.

I guess I'm going to have to start very, very small.  Like planning out the week's dinners.  And deciding which two weekdays I want to use as laundry days.  

Hey - writing this blog is a start, right?  Check one thing off my daily list.  Now, let's see...can I make two more posts this week?

...and still make sure the cats get fed?

Monday, February 2, 2015

Weighing In - A Heavy Matter

Recently, Weight Watchers has been airing a pretty clever little radio spot I've been hearing a lot. It talks about how we (as middle class Americans, I'm guessing) are losing our ability to tell when we're hungry, versus when we're bored, upset, or tired. That, and my stepmum's recent 50-pound weight loss (you go, girl!), got me thinking. What kind of eater have I become?

When I was trying to lose weight in 2013, I became a calorie counter. I was concerned about sodium and a few other nutrients, but mostly, it was the calories that got me. I was willing to eat a rich, delicious donut for a meal once in a while, as long as my total calorie consumption was within reason. When I added regular exercise, I lost 18 pounds in about 5 months. That's nothing spectacular, but slow-and-steady worked for me, and at my slimmest, I was still medically considered overweight. Still, I felt confident, attractive, and healthy.  

Then, one complicated pregnancy and recovery later, I'm back at my original weight. The confidence I had gained when I was thinner, which manifested itself in a more fun fashion sense and experimentation, still remains, for the most part. I had to pack away a lot of my "skinny" clothes, but I'm certainly not giving anything away just yet!

Today, I restarted my calorie-counting routine. Some people go organic. Some prepare only whole foods. Some cut sugar. Or artificial sweeteners. Some stop snacking between meals. I think that, because people have such different needs and such different habits, there are plenty of methods that work. I'm a person who dislikes but NEEDS routine. I had to exercise at the same time each day (my lunch break at work) and record my calories as soon as I ate them. So, it's back to it.

After some thought, I've realized that I'm not really a person who "eats my feelings". I'm generally more of what I call an "opportunity eater". If food is available, then I'm all up in that. (This makes gatherings with lots of food a huuuuuuuge danger for me.) And grocery day? Coming home with all those delicious packages of unopened food? Getting to try a new recipe with the (gasp!) cauliflower I snagged! I can't even talk about it. Honestly.

It's interesting to me that a plus-size woman has recently been signed to a major modeling company. I think this is a good thing. A very good thing. I do not think, as some do, that we are glorifying or glamorizing obesity in celebrating this. I think we are finally acknowledging that American women would like to have a haute couture model who is not a size zero to admire. We already have a good many women of all different races, builds, and ages to admire who are athletes, writers, actresses, singers, leaders.  The world of modeling is among the last uncharted territories for unconventional body types. "Thin" is a medical fact - more or less. "Sexy" is a state of mind. "Healthy" is a medical diagnosis, charted by blood pressure and BMI. "Happy" is a choice.  

Why do I mention that in the same post as a discussion about weight loss? Because I'm not trying to lose weight to please or impress anyone. I'm not doing it to make myself more attractive. I'm doing it because, right now, I'm not really healthy. My habits aren't healthy. My own self-image isn't always healthy - and obviously, a good self-image something this model has going for her that I do not. But I'm inspired by a lot of healthy and getting-healthy women in my life, and it's really inspirational to see them making changes in their attitudes, their habits, and their lifestyles.

So, the first step to recovery - of any type - is admitting you have a problem, right?  

My name is Rebecca Godlove, and I'm an opportunity eater. But, the good news is...I'm excited to make a change! 

Today is Day One.