Saturday, July 21, 2007

Is it too late for a New Year's Resolution?

So after watching hours and hours of videotapes that we've taken over the past several years, I've come to realize one thing. I am not on very many of the tapes, since I'm usually the one behind the camera. And that's actually a very good thing.

I have a distorted self-image. When I look at myself in the mirror, I 'see' myself as I think I look, which is to say how I looked several years ago - before kids. I don't 'see' how I look now, which is 50 pounds heavier. I know on an intellectual level that I am way too heavy. I just don't think of myself as a 'heavy' or 'fat' person. But I am.

Watching the few clips of myself on these tapes, I am forced to see myself as I really am. And I'm not happy at all with what I see. I hate the way my clothes fit, the way my face looks - even my fingers look puffy. So I know that I need to do something about this. For health reasons. For self-esteem reasons. For my kids.

But what to do? Diet fads aside, I know that the best way to lose weight is healthy eating and exercise. Let's explore those options, shall we...

Exercise. Well, I already get up at 6:30am just to make it out the door on time as it is. Getting up any earlier would guarantee that nobody would want to be around me and I would probably end up conking out at my desk. Believe me, not an option. So on to other possibilities. I work all day, so no luck there. I hear and read all of the suggestions - take walks, bike rides, do workout videos with your kids. First of all, I've tried to walk with my kids. And I've realized that my kids must be the sloooowwweeesssttt walkers in the known universe. Turtles go faster than my kids. So not much value for exercise there. And not to mention that our neighborhood doesn't have sidewalks so any walking has to happen in the street, which is a major source of stress for me. So no walks.

Bike riding is a somewhat attractive option since we do all have bikes and a bike trailer for Becca. However, there is one major problem with this idea too. Namely, Abby. Abby, whose idea of bike riding is to pedal very, very, very slowly. Did I mention that my kids are slow walkers? Well Abby probably walks faster than she rides her bike. Honest. This kid is never going to get rid of her training wheels. And Hannah rides at a normal/fast pace, so therefore I end up somewhere in between with Hannah getting frustrated at how slow we're going and Abby complaining about how fast Hannah is going. And there's also the fact that we'll get halfway around the block and Abby decides she's done riding and then walks her bike the rest of the way. So, bike riding is out. And honestly, I really, really hate workout videos. I hate that the people in them are facing me and by the time I figure out way which way I need to move which limb to copy what they're doing, they're 16 moves ahead of me. I also have a living room with very little space.

So am I just making excuses? Probably. Here's another one though. Now that I'm no longer running to daycare every day at lunch to nurse Becca, that does leave one hour every weekday where exercise is at least a possibility. Joining a gym is not. Cost-wise, just not going to happen. I did start walking at lunchtime during the spring when it was just warm out. But walking in 80+ degree weather is not an attractive option - especially not to my co-workers who would have to be subjected to a sweaty, stinky me afterward. I'm still thinking of ways to make this one work - being sick most of last week didn't help either but I'm hoping to get out and walk at least a few days next week. I do have a co-worker who walks too, so that might just be an idea.

Ok, healthy eating. Yes, we really need to eat healthier. I know that. There are 2 things working against this in my household though. First of all, neither Ron or I enjoy cooking. I especially hate the idea of cooking after a full day of work when I arrive home with hungry, grumpy kids. We tend to end up eating things that are convenient, quick and easy. Things that most healthier alternatives aren't. Also, I apparently married the world's pickiest eater. Yes, this is a distinction that I could rather do without and apparently being married to a horribly picky eater doesn't get you any kind of prizes or kudos. All it gets me is a husband who will not eat most of the things that I want to eat, and therefore kids who are only exposed to a few food options and therefore have become picky eaters themselves. Yes, I should've done more to prevent this, and am trying wholeheartedly with Becca, but it's a lost cause with Hannah, who seems to have inherited her dad's pickiness. And mine - I'm somewhat picky myself, but nowhere near as bad as Ron.

So food is a major struggle for me. Especially dinner and snacks. And especially sweets. I have a horrible sweet tooth that I've struggled with my entire life. Which is probably one of the main reasons for the 20 pounds that I have been unable to lose after each pregnancy (10 from Becca but then again, I only gained a total of 8 pounds when I was pregnant with her anyway so I now weigh more than I did at 9 months pregnant. Nice, huh!). Stress causes sweet tooth which causes stress... The usual vicious circle. And one I've so far been unable to break.

But I have to. Because I hate how I look and I hate how I feel. And I want to teach my kids healthier habits than I have. So in honor of this goal, I am going to post a picture here of myself as I currently look. Hopefully sometime in the future, I can refer to this picture as how I 'used to look'. I'm going to try my best anyway.

Should I mention that even with eating fast food for lunch almost every day, Ron has lost over 30 pounds this year?? If I could carry an 8o-pound ladder, I'd consider becoming a cable tv installer just to lose some darn weight!

Here is a photo of me, my mom and Abby taken in late 2001 when Abby was a baby. Even here I was overweight, but not too bad, especially compared to now:

Here is a family photo that we had done last year (5 years after the above photo) after Becca was born. We haven't done one since because I hate how fat my face and neck are in this one... Ron has lost weight since this picture was taken - I'm realizing how much better he looks now as I see this picture again. That cable tv installer thing just looks better and better, LOL.

Do you have any exercise/diet tips? If so, I'd love to hear them!

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