Monday, September 22, 2008

Almost there...

Ok, definitely regretting scheduling closing the day we leave for Chicago. As is my usual method for getting ready, I am blogging instead of actually doing anything useful. I still need to pack up Emily's clothes and food for her 4-day stay at Grammys. This is complicated by the fact that one of Emily's favorite passtimes is putting clothes into and pulling them out of laundry baskets, especially if I have placed them there in order to collect them neatly in once place before packing them up. Also, every time she sees me trying to cook ahead a little bit and assemble dinners for her she wants to eat them NOW. I am also trying to schedule people to come over and fix our siding and our hot tub, pack things up (starting to get panicky, moving day is next Wednesday, which leaves me about 3 days to finish packing) and getting all the last-minute documents to our mortgage company, which is being frustratingly slow about everything. Locating and faxing documents is relatively easy so I have been doing pretty well keeping on top of that, but new requests keep popping up and I don't appreciate things being left until the final 24 hours when I've been trying my hardest to keep things organized and get them done early. Here we are, the day before closing, and they're still requesting that I send them things. Didn't they know they'd need my 2005 tax return several weeks ago? Why are they just telling me this now? And I'm pretty sure if they need my 2005 they'll want my 2006 also so why haven't they asked for THAT yet? I'm glad it is more difficult to get a mortgage now because, let's face it, they kind of ruined the economy by making it too easy, but I'm not enjoying the results. Especially not all the "What was this deposit back in May for?" questions. I feel like I'm being audited, and while I don't have anything to hide, it still feels like a 3-week nonstop invasion of privacy. Thank God for having organized and responsive accountants and a scanner at home. Otherwise I'd be going even crazier.

I am lapsing into the same mode I used to get into during college when I was having an especially difficult week, or when finals week was approaching; the one where I tell myself "It'll all be over soon, one way or another, and in a little over a week I'll have managed somehow". That mode usually only serves to calm me down enough to enjoy procrastinating a bit more. Instead of reading the entire Harry Potter series to calm my nerves like I used to do instead of studying in college, I'll be heading to Chicago instead of just getting this whole house emptied and us moved out of it.

But the bright note is that by 10:45 tomorrow we should have the keys to our new house, and by the time we get back from Chicago the hot tub should be fixed. That leaves only the packing to do. Oh yeah, and the unpacking. But I have time to do all of that, and as long as we can get the new house baby-proofed and the boxes away from Emily so she won't keep injuring herself at every step, I'll be happy.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Raising the bar

I could never do chinups as a child. Every term we'd have to do that danged president's physical fitness test, and I'd have to walk up in front of the class and demonstrate my weakness once again. And the evil gym teachers didn't just let you say "I can't do a chinup", or even just hang there listlessly. No, they forced you to "try", so you had to wriggle around like a worm on a hook while the class sat indian-style and giggled. I was always inevitably followed by a guy who could do about 40. It's ok though, I always blew the guys away at sit and reach. That's equally impressive, right?

I still can't do chinups, although I am pretty sure I did one once. It was on a bar that was part of a fitness trail at a hotel in St. Thomas and it was too low to the ground to do chinups without bending your knees so there is some question as to whether or not it actually counted (Will being the one questioning) but I'm 98% sure I did a chinup.

And these days, the chinup bar is not the only bar I can't seem to get up to. A couple weeks ago, the bar was set at "Keep your child alive, keep a clean house, and manage to get SOMETHING made for dinner every night". I'm pretty good at the keeping my child alive part, but I can never keep my house clean (probably because there's a living child occupying it) and dinner is usually a pretty frantic affair.

This week, the bar is set at "Keep your child alive, keep a clean house, manage to get SOMETHING made for dinner every night, and make some sort of progress packing every day". Strangely enough, the floor is clean, the dishes are done, and I've already made dinner for tonight. Emily is alive last time I checked, but I can't seem to make myself pack. If this were last week, I'd be pretty impressed with myself. I'd be close enough to the bar for it to count. But since it's this week, and I NEED to pack desperately, I am not impressed with myself. Instead, I am overwhelmed and panicked so I'm doing anything BUT packing.

I seem to be able to always do about 80%, even when that 80% is the same as what would've passed for 100% last week. As long as I'm not getting EVERYTHING done, the nasty little voices in my head are happy because they have something to pick at me about. So maybe it's not just procrastination. Maybe it's low self esteem too!

Either way, I'd better go do something useful or else risk falling below 80% efficiency.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

New Goal

When it comes to food, my husband has the willpower of a....something that has an incredible amount of willpower. Once he decided to eat well, he simply wasn't interested in any bad-for-you foods anymore. He happily crunches through piles of raw vegetables, downs fat free plain yogurt without so much as a flinch, and chugs gallons of water every day. He boldly marches into lunch meetings where people are scarfing down cookies and candy and sandwiches with creamy salads and fixes himself a plate consisting of a couple slices of lunchmeat with some lettuce and tomato, or else brings his own food and cheerfully declines any offers of heart-clogging deliciousness.

Then there's me. If the thought of cheesecake, or ice cream, or doughnuts, or pretty much anything I'm not SUPPOSED to eat crosses my mind, it haunts me. I obsess about it until I break down and have it. In the worst times, I try to eat other things to satisfy my cravings first, and then end up eating the thing I'm craving after all. I've tried keeping a list of things I am craving so that after a week of eating virtuously I can reward myself with something from the list, but then an angry little voice inside my head screams "Eat it all right now and just restart tomorrow". The solution, for me, is to just cut out sugar, cut back on the volume of food I eat, and pretty much stick to the straight and narrow for 2-3 miserable days until it becomes much easier and I can continue eating that way for an extended period of time.

Will is a wonderful, supportive guy, who has learned over the years to tread carefully when discussing food with me. He wants to help so much, but it's difficult for a person who doesn't have food issues to understand what motivates someone who does, and it's VERY difficult for me to tell someone else how they can help me when I don't know how to help myself. It has to be very confusing for him to come home one night to a wife who eagerly hops over and says "Guess how many points I have left for the day!?", and then the next night to a trash can full of cookie wrappers and a wife who is sugar-crashing and over-reacts to any food-related comment with a warning flash of the eyes. He has learned to veil any comments about food or dieting, but I can usually tell what he means (mostly because it's in the forefront of my mind because of my guilty conscience).

So this morning, when he casually said "So you reached your goal of getting back to what you weighed right after you delivered Emily, what is your next goal going to be?" I knew that he had been looking at the weight chart I hung in the bathroom where I log my weight every day. What it shows right now is that I did indeed hit that weight goal last week, but I have been steadily gaining since then, and the last day or so I haven't even been able to bring myself to look at my weight so the slots on the chart remain blank. So what he really meant was "I KNOW you want to lose weight and it looks like you're starting to lose control, how do I help?".

Of course, as I always do, I felt a pang of guilt and answered by reciting my ultimate goal of getting back to what I weighed before Emily was born. We had a little conversation, and I was determined to eat well today (as I have been every day this week) and right about lunch time, as soon as the thought of a cookie crossed my mind, I ate one. And not just a little no-harm-done cookie, but a whole 300-some calorie monster (although it WAS 100% whole wheat and has no processed sugars). Emily saw me and recognized the wrapper, and asked for a bite. I gave her a bite, and then realized my goal. I am NOT going to eat any food that I would not want to share with Emily, at a time I would not want Emily to have said food. She is old enough now to realize what I am doing, and I need to stop.

So I can eat those cookies, but only at night after dinner when I wouldn't mind her having cookies. I will give up diet soda, because when she sees me drinking it she wants some. I will eat only things that are 100% whole wheat, and I will only eat things that are good for me. The exceptions will be tea with caffeine, coffee/espresso, and the occasional glass of wine. I won't feed those things to Emily, but I think they're still ok for me to have :-) It's not just about me anymore, I need to set an example for my daughter so she doesn't grow up with the same screwed up food issues that I have.

So three cheers for Will, who did his job and got me re-motivated without offending me. THAT my friends, is incredibly hard to do.