Feeling Fat

I feel fat.
It’s not that I jumped on a scale or couldn’t fit into my pants. It’s just a feeling. I am by no means in the best of shape nor the shape I dream of being, but I have lived many a day like this and haven’t felt fat. Today is my fat day. I think this comes around ever so often. I hate feeling fat.
Feeling fat usually leads to feeling ugly and feeling all around yuck. It doesn’t motivate. It doesn’t energize. It depleats. It slugs and moans and groans. It begs for compliments while the claws are out. The inside is soft and hurting. The outside is a fortress ready for the inevitable attacks.
The feeling will go at some point. Maybe even later this day–I did take some extra time with my hair and face. That’s good, right? Oh, to fight back and win the war.
The war isn’t won by exercise and eating right–even though they are great to do. It isn’t defeated with compliments as good as it might feel in the moment. It could be battled with the right combination of hormones; I’m just dreaming now. The answer eludes me just as much as when the monster will strike again.
I think of my daughters and want to solve it for them. If I can capture the monster, I can give them tools to fight it too. I think many girls fight it regardless of their shape and size. In the end, I know it has nothing to do with reality. Sometimes feelings are just that way.
Here’s what I’ve done so far:
1. I took a nap. It’s not something I can do always, but I could today. Having rested, I am in a better place to think.
2. I did a reasonable amount of grooming and chose clothes I feel comfortable and attractive in. Not going to win a fashion award in this, but I don’t want to hide myself either.
3. I am writing. That is a salve for me. It doesn’t work for everyone. But for me, it gets it out and, usually, it leads to better resolve.

What do I need to do next? I do need to do things that are positive. Things that are good to do. It doesn’t have to solve it all. I have responsibilities that need my attention. I’m already moving in the right direction. I have won.

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Things I Hear Myself Say Day After Day…

Here are some of the things I might say on a typical day. Most of it isn’t original to me. I hope the repetition of the good will stick with my children all their lives, and the repetition of the bad, gulp, will fade into the background.

Was it loving, necessary or true? If not, don’t say it.

Obey, right away, with a happy heart.

This is going to take a lot longer now that you said, “When is this talk going to be over?”

You win or lose by the way you choose.

The answer to nagging is “no.”

I would be glad to talk with you if you would come into the same room I am in.

If what you are trying isn’t working out, try something different or get help.

If I have to clean up your stuff, I get to decide if it is trash or treasure.

You can do whatever you want, but you have to face the consequences of your choices.

Have you had any water today?

I love you.

Grumpy gets 15 minutes on his/her bed. (That includes me, but none of my kids have sent me there. I have sent myself.)

You really can’t find anything to do? I can make some suggestions.

When you are an adult, you can stay up as late as you want.

Yes, I know you don’t want a nap. Only adults want naps.

Posted in Parenting, Writing | 2 Comments

Skype Baby Cam

I have been working in my girl cave to do some creating while my baby girl naps. The problem is the distance. She is on the other end of the house. I can’t hear or see if she is awake. It is problematic because I wonder if she’s awake and constantly check on her outside her door. One reason for the extra checking is because she is keeps her knee caught between the slats. Loads of mommy guilt piles up after knowing she’s been crying because of her knee predicament. Red tired, angry eyes. I shutter to think about it.
I did a google search for some free solutions and found one here. Since I already have Skype and multiple devices, I decided to set it up. I tried it on my Mac and a netbook.
I found my little girl fascinated with looking at herself in the video. This is fine when I am watching her from the kitchen and she is in the living room. Not fine when I want her to be sleeping. An added bonus is the ability to talk to her and hear her. My six year old had a silly smirk once he realized where my voice was coming from. He was truly impressed.
So I am trying it out for the first time as a nap cam. It was very cool to see her on my iPad. When I laid her down, she wasn’t exactly excited to be in bed. I watched her go through her routine of playing and resting. Currently, she is all quiet. I am happy to be able to peek in on her without needless running up and down the stairs. Very cool solution. Thanks tecklore guy!

Posted in Geeky me, Parenting | Tagged | 2 Comments

Blogsy

BlogsyI just uploaded a new app called Blogsy. I am hoping this will make my updates easier. While there is an app for WordPress, I have found it stifled my creativity. I had no trouble with the writing portion. But when I wanted to add pictures and adjust it to make it look like I really wanted, I needed to move over to my Mac. Not what I want when I am feeling particularly inspired. I am hopeful and excited this will fit the bill. I’ll keep you posted on how it works–or doesn’t.

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So, do you work or are you at-home?

Somehow, I have always found the “Do you work or are you at-home?” a difficult question to answer. The answer is yes. Yes, I do work. Yes, I am at-home. There is an awkward silence followed by the “I wish I was lucky enough to be at-home,” or, equally awkward, “I don’t know if I could stand being at home all day.” I’m not sure how to answer those comments either. There seems to be an under-the-surface battle between the work-ers and the at-home-ers. It’s fought with subtle comments and internal struggle–at least for some of us.

Since I am at-home, I can’t fully speak to the work-ers. What I do know is there are many reasons a mom goes to work. The two I am aware of is financial and fulfillment. It’s a tough economic world, and bills need to be paid. Many homes have two incomes. The other reason for mom going to work is a sense of fulfillment. What does one do with that college education–0r other training–except benefit the world with those mad skills. There is something wonderful about being able to know and do something and get paid for it. Not everyone is working because they just love it. Usually there is a myriad of reasons. We are complicated creatures.

So, I speak as one who is at-home. My reasons are equally complicated. I have a college education and have marketable skills. It is both a sacrifice and a gift to be at home.

But, regardless of my reasons, there is a part of me that feels a bit apologetic about my at-home status. Like I need to ramp it up to make it sound more impressive. I do know that what I am doing is important–even if others don’t see it. The main issue is many people don’t know what at-home-ers do. So, I think I have found my solution by labeling my activities as my job the next time someone asks me what I do for a living. Every effort I make does reduce the amount of money we shell out, so it’s a reverse sort of payout. Hugs, kisses and magic memories count too, but, as wonderful as they may be, they don’t pay the rent. The following are some important definitions to consider. While most of them are definition 1, I cannot fool myself into thinking I am getting paid.  The first two are not occupations but are foundational to understand, from my perspective, how I can honestly state I have those jobs. Thanks dictionary.com.

oc·cu·pa·tion–noun

1. a person’s usual or principal work or business, especially as a means of earning a living; vocation: Her occupation was dentistry.

2. any activity in which a person is engaged.

pro·fes·sion·al–adj

3. a. extremely competent in a job, etc

b. (of a piece of work or anything performed) produced with competence or skill

Here are some of my recent jobs:

hair·dress·er–noun

1. a person who arranges or cuts hair.

chef–noun

1. the chief cook, especially in a restaurant or hotel, usually responsible for planning menus, ordering foodstuffs, overseeing food preparation, and supervising the kitchen staff.

2. any cook.

bak·er–noun

1. a person who bakes.

seam·stress–noun

a woman whose occupation is sewing.

writ·er–noun

1. a person engaged in writing  books, articles, stories, etc.,especially as an occupation or profession; an author or journalist.

I thought about adding waste management professional. Which is defined, according to Wikipedia, as the collectiontransportprocessingrecycling or disposal, and monitoring of waste materials. Any mother–and every equally engaged dad–knows more than one would like to know about collecting, transporting and disposing of waste materials. It’s just not a job most people want to talk about further.

It’s taken me about a week to get these words out. It speaks a little about my job which takes me on a new road with twists and turns everyday.

Posted in Cooking and Baking, Crafting, Knit and Crochet, Sew, Writing | 3 Comments

Comfort Eating or Comfort Starving: Which is Your Guilty Pleasure?

I have heard many people talk about weight they need to lose because they gained weight as a result of comfort eating. Comfort eating is eating not out of true physical need to eat but to soothe unpleasant emotions. Just got rejected? Pint of double-chocolate goodness. Then guilt. It’s a common method of coping. Been there many times.
Some people actually have difficulty eating when they are stressed. I have been there too–not very much because, in general, I am a fan of food. They are doing the opposite. While it’s not comfortable, it’s the other side of the coping coin. What I have never heard is someone who lost weight because of emotional stress say they need to eat more to gain the weight they lost during that difficult time. In fact, it appears to be a more respected way of coping. Moreover, it’s the envy of all of us who could “lose 10 pounds.” Why is that?
Why is the sin weight gain and not weight loss? Aren’t both unhealthy responses? Why is one with emotionally induced weight gain to hang her head in shame and the emotionally induced skinny to hold her head up high? I have a theory.
Our culture is trapped by image. Image is everything. The envied image is projected in every direction. We all know what it is and where we rank. The farther we are from the imagine–or the closest attainable version we’ve created in our head–we either feel shame or pride. It’s very difficult to fight the pull. Clearly, skinny is in.
There’s a second whammy for those that are in the Christian subculture. Discipline is highly valued. Did you not x,y or z today? Good for you! You are on the right path. You did x, y and z? How can you call yourself a Christian? You got to get it together. The stress induced weight loss can look like disciple. The gain–sloth or glutton.
This can be applied to other areas of life as well. Do you work too much? Do you play too much? Both of those can be coping. One of those looks more responsible on the outside. Only God fully knows how much of that is just avoiding the real issues of life. Keeping busy is just another way of coping.
It is so difficult to see the disciplined-looking behaviors as something to stop doing or turn away from especially since the accolades are given and the reputation is established. People will be disappointed and may even chide. That fear may be an indication there are other motivators than being the wonderful–exceptionally committed, amazingly disciplined–person you are hailed to be.
So, what does repentance look like. Painfully frightening. Incredibly freeing. Repentance might be giving yourself permission to have a day off and to play. It might be be to break all the rules of “shoulds” for a time–this is for the person who struggles with relying on being good.
For the person who downed the box of yummy goodness and is sitting in crumb-faced guilt, the answer isn’t found in a great diet. There are deeper issues to be resolved than trying to be good–otherwise that person is just swinging to the other side.
Whether you tighten the belt or let it all hang out as your way to live with the you, you wish you weren’t, both don’t lead to rest and peace in your soul. While I am not recommending ditching all responsibilities to soul search, time looking deep within is necessary. Where is your identity rooted? Where can you find true rest in being…in just being? It’s no easy task but well worth the effort. I haven’t attained it, but I want to get there.

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Get changed from your purpose-ident

After changing my daughter’s utterly disgusting diaper, I connected the parallels between her situation and the human condition. She was happily playing while boldly proclaiming, by visible stain soaked clothes and telltale odor, her mess. I laid her down and changed her. Then she was free to play.
We, too, are caught with blatantly obvious signs of our mess, our sin. Like her, we hide or pretend as if all is well. We’re too busy to stop and let God change us. We tell ourselves we’re having so much fun and can put up with the stink and discomfort. Sure, my bum is raw with blisters, but I don’t want to miss anything; getting changed is so inconvenient and takes forever. I’ll just make it as comfortable as possible and just keep playing (this was something another child of mine rationalized).
While I am only human and need to discover my precious one’s predicament, God is ever aware. He doesn’t discover anything. He knows it before we make the choice. Sometimes, he prompts us to be more aware with the hope we will come to be clean.
What’s involved in a change? First, we need to go to the Father and lay down our will and our way. If we are unwilling, He may need to humble us. Once we are reposed, our mess is exposed. Oh, the vulnerability! There’s no hiding nor prettying it up. Then, God has all the resources necessary to make us clean. There is no scolding. This is absolutely a loving act solely for our good. Now, fresh and clean, we are free.
One big difference between us and my 1 1/2 year old: she is not willfully choosing this lifestyle and cannot be any other way. As she grows and learns, she will have accidents until she is fully trained.
Conversely, we don’t have accidents with sin. Once we are God’s child, we willing choose. We purpose to go God’s way or our own. We want to believe we fell into it. We can’t oopsy into sin. We know what we’re doing. We have purpose-idents. Then there is a mess. While we may have fewer purpose-idents with a particular sin, we will continue to struggle. Thankfully, God not only cleans us up, He grows us up as we are willing to let Him. Smell the stink? It might be you. Go to the Father and be changed.

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