Monday, December 20, 2010

No Shame

12 years ago I joined the ranks of those who are often called "survivors." I accept and also hate that term, however it is better than "victim." I am not a victim. I have kept my story quiet for many reasons, one being that I don't want to feel the need to validate myself and my claims. Two being that I was abused as a child, and felt that no one would ever believe that one person would be so "unlucky." I knew I wouldn't be believed. But did you know, those who are victimized as children are much more likely to be victimized again and even again? Bet that's something you didn't know! Neither did I! But that knowledge can and should be out there! I felt so relieved when i found out it wasn't just me! I want other people to know that they are not alone.

So why talk about it now? Simple! I truly feel that God has laid it on my heart to work towards assisting other victims in ridding themselves of the shame that encumbers those of us who have experienced rape, sexual assault, and abuse.  I don't know how it will play out long term, but I envision opening and running a facility similar to RAAP in Denver.

Also, I suddenly felt that one of the best ways to shrug off shame is to open your mouth and be honest!  These events no longer rule my life and thoughts. They no longer haunt my every day and night. They have certainly been a part of shaping me, but they do not define me.  I am a happily married, perfectly functional wife and mother! I do not need support, looks of pity, or to air my hurts, heck, I no longer even care if my story is believed or not!  I am not a mess that needs to be cleaned up, but I no longer care to hide the stains!  

Thank you for hanging in there while I jumped up on my soapbox- I will now step down.  This is me, it's who I am, and I am not ashamed! -and neither should you be, for I know that I am not alone...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Not Really On The Edge of My Thirties Anymore...

I totally rock at denial in all forms. This last year I have been 30. Something I rarely even allowed myself to utter. In my mind though, I made myself feel better (I know, I know, its not that bad) by thinking that, at least I am just barely in my 30s. I could almost go either way, really, right? Like if I just grow younger this year I'll be back to my 20s in no time. Like, I'm only 30 because I just whipped out 3 kids and had three major surgeries, but as soon as I remove the physical evidence of said adventures I'll be right back to that twenty-something "girl". Haha! Well, it was fun while it lasted! Now I am officially 31. Well, in an hour anyway. It will be interesting to see what new form my denial takes on now!

Life is good. I am in for a good birthday. Its not even my birthday yet, and its already a good birthday. First off, I have known all week that the day of my birthday is going to be fantabulous. 2 hours at the gym, one of which will be spent doing yoga... the other will probably be spent feeding Sara and chit-chatting with my yoga/mommy/gym/wine-drinking buddy. Sans kids. Which means conversations will actually get completed. Sentences will be uninterrupted. It will be GREAT! Then I'll take the kids home in time for nap... I hope to take a little snooze myself. And then, no sooner than they wake up, I'll be dropping them off at the previously mentioned friend's house so that I can go get an aromatherapy massage. Then, saving the best for last, two of my friends and I will be doing "Painting with a Twist." Basically you show up with wine and snacks, you talk, you drink wine, and these artists make you think you painted a masterpiece. I am convinced they bank on you drinking enough wine that you won't notice when they sneak in behind you and correct all your painting mistakes, and at some point, pretty much just take over. But all accounts so far report that you do indeed come home with a wall-worthy painting!

Then, Saturday night hubby and I will have a date night! I have such wonderful friends who are not only watching my gaggle of children for me on two different days, but who also set aside their time specifically to come play with me on my birthday! And a wonderful husband who will let me drag him wherever I decide, and who I know I will have fun with no matter where we end up.

Aaaand, we're not done. There are more reasons still why this birthday is totally rocking. I got some birthday money. And I bought fabric with it. I know that sounds soooo very boring, and so not the twenty-something chick I was hoping to sound like, but this is good fabric. Fantastic fabric actually. Fabric I would have NEVER bought for myself because it is literally $17 a yard! I have no idea how I will ever convince myself to actually cut into this beautiful fabric, but I will! See, here's the fabric:

The designer is Heather Ross, one of the designers whose fabrics I constantly gawk at, fill shopping carts with online, and then sadly delete because it is just too expensive to use "regular money" on... but birthday money is a whole different thing! Here is a few of the other prints in her collection.

In case you were wondering, my other favorite favorite favorite designers are:

Amy Butler

Valori Wells

Jennifer Paganelli

Anna Maria Horner and

Tula Pink

Oh, and I'm trying to design my own fabric to be printed by inspired by a childrens book who's pictures instantly begged me to make them into fabric... we'll see how that goes, my Illustrator skills are a little rusty, but I think I finished the first one already!!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Ups and Downs

So, apparently the body they gave me is defective. It seems it requires a certain amount of this lame thing called "rest." What is that all about. So I guess the deal is that, A) I'm not eating well enough yet, and B)I'm not giving my body enough time to recover between workouts. Add that to a life in which a full nights sleep is little more than a fairytale, mornings that start at the a$$-crack of dawn early, and rarely a break to slow down, and what you get is me walking out early from a step/strength class exhausted and frustrated. Only to break down in tears in the car. Requiring my three year old and then my mom to console me. Yes, it was that bad.

Last week I weighed myself on my Wii and found that after no results for a month and a half, 10 lbs had suddenly, magically, disappeared. Sound fishy? It was. After glowing and gloating for a day and a half, I weighed myself again to find that all but 2 lbs of that had been a fluke. Yep. I lost 2 lbs. In my tired exhausted state, after getting up about 4 times each night with the kids, I was knocked down about as low as I could go.

I had a little chat with Gabriel. He told me not to cry and that he would make me laugh if I wanted him to. Then I had a chat with my mom and she reminded me that moderation is not my strong suit, and that maybe, just maybe, hitting the gym for the most intense class offered every day without any recovery days in between is not the best way to go. At least until I have kids that sleep. When you put it like that...

So decisions haven't been made, but tonight, wine was poured, a good dinner was had, and I spent $130 buying healthy snacks and meals at Sprouts. (Again with the lack of moderation!). Tonight I plan to sew the two purses I've been working on, maybe take a bath, maybe stay up late. Tomorrow I will not excercise, and I will not consider it a step backwards. I will call it rest. And I will develop a plan that spans M-Sat and involves a day off and only two or three days of cardio. And Sundays I will rest. And I will feel good about it. The rest remains to be seen.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Weight Thing

I just read a friend's blog post about her weight struggles, and what her size means as far as how she defines herself. After reading it, I guess I kind of feel ready to do some exploration on here of my own. Before I say anything else, I will say that I blog for my own purposes more than anything else, and have decided not to focus on who might or might read this. That said, I apologize if I give too much information. If you don't like it then skip it.

The whole concept of weight loss has been a touchy one for me for my entire life. I grew up strong and athletic, and also very self conscious. There is not a day in my life that I haven't felt fat, however, looking back, I now know that I was pretty thin/normal for my height for the most part. I'd give anything to look like that again! Long story short, I struggled with bulimia for about 8 years, and ultimately bulimerexia for about two and a half of those years. My weight and weight loss were my obsession, my only thoughts, my only care. They ruled my life. Ultimately, in a miracle I can't even describe, God healed me. I won't go into those details, but I will say I have not thrown up intentionally in years, and I no longer even struggle with the temptation not to eat. All this is just background knowledge.

Here I am, years later. Literally 90 lbs heavier than my lowest weight. I was in reasonably good shape until I got pregnant with Gabriel. I was then, basically pregnant or recovering from pregnancy/C-sections for the next three years straight. Now, for the first time, with all that behind me, I am faced with my body as it is now. Suddenly my body is not just the product of a "condition." This is me. I have had, and still have, such trouble adapting to this new version of myself. For the first time, when I go to the gym, I'm the fat girl in the back struggling to keep up. I have never known that perspective before. It is so not easy. I literally cannot find clothes that fit both my height and my width. It is bizarre and depressing.

I am determined to lose weight. To not be this person anymore. But I have count the costs as I go along the way. I daily jump from (possibly obsessive) determination, hitting the gym every single day, to despair at how far I have to go. Wondering how I can possibly make it happen with three kids pulling me in every other direction. Plus, taking my kids to the gym means they get sick more often... which means I can't go to the gym. We've already spoken to their pediatritian and determined that they can either build up their immunity now, or when they start school, and decided that we are ok with doing it now, but I certainly can't take them with me when they have fevers or are germy etc.

Nothing in life is ever simple. I am just going to have be flexible and persistant; not letting bumps in the road throw me off track. I think the lessons I need to keep in my head for now are that first of all, I cannot let my weight define me as I do. I cannot think about what others see when they look at me, and I must look at that mirror and not criticize my body for its size, but instead, evaluate my direction and commitment to doing what is right for my body. Day by day. I will not just suddenly wake up skinny one morning. It is going to take a lot of work, and it will be very gradual. I can do it, and I will do it without crossing back into that dangerous territory where weight trumps all. After all, I have so much more to live for, love, and think of first now. My family is so much more important to me than my image of myself. They are certainly too precious to risk losing.

Anyway, heavy post I guess, but that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Phew. Just felt I needed to get that off my chest! Speaking of sick kids, Sara has had a fever today, so we stayed home, and will have to stay home tomorrow... and I got called out of class early yesterday because she was so fussy. But I did take an evening walk with Gabriel today, and we'll see about tomorrow. Sick kids mean no sleep, so right now, taking care of myself may mean getting as much sleep as I can. I plan to be back at the gym on Friday, and to continue on Monday with full momentum.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


I wanted to post a big old entry today about all sorts of things, but there just isn't time in the here's a list:

1. 3 lbs and 3 inches down... many to go, but happy to see the progress and really enjoying my gym time - it doesn't feel like work, I am always excited to go!

2. Sewing: Working on a cute new outfit for Sara including an adorable shirt/dress with an open back for the hot summer, bloomers, and a hat - a big first for me. So far very cute. Still need to update Etsy with the new dresses - again, no time. Excited to sew some dresses for a couple of my friend's daughters with some cute fabric we picked out together! Also, I sewed a longish, lightweight summer wrap skirt for me (pics to come) and learned French Seams in the process - very cool. The skirt is a little small, so I might make another one, but I'm looking forward to fitting into the original one soon! I owe an Etsy buyer a purse but I'm having a hard time getting motivated to make it because I'm having so much fun on the dresses!

3. Gabriel - is almost done with Preschool for the year. This summer we are going to work on swimming, writing and recognizing letters, and riding a bike.

4. Maddox is talking like crazy, even stringing sentences together - so cute!!

5. Sara is rolling over with ease from back to tummy, but still working on tummy to back. She is still a sweetie and working on a few teeth! Time is flying!

I think that's it!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Going Strong...and Being Flexible

Week one of Project Self-Esteem is going great! I'm having to be a little flexible with schedules and expectations, but ultimately that is probably a good thing, as it is keeping me from jumping in too fast and going overboard which will only lead to injury and/or burnout. Friday and Saturday I just did small workouts at home, and Sunday after going to the Farmer's Market I mowed the lawn, sprayed for weeds, and worked in the garden for awhile which felt like a workout in itself - though I'm not counting it. Monday I went to a dance fusion class and had a great time. The kids did pretty well, although they were just about to call me to pick up Sara when I came in because she had gotten fussy.

Yesterday I took the day off and just did some light ab work, and a few excercises on the Wii Fit. These are decent excercizes but I have trouble calling it a workout since there is really no flow to it, and you just do little bits and pieces. I'll keep using it though for when I'm trying to workout during kids naps etc, when I don't know how much time I'll have. We also went for a nice long walk yesterday.

Today after sending Gabriel off to preschool, the little ones and I headed to the gym. This time though, Maddox was not having it. He cried the whole time, and after 20 minutes on the elliptical machine they paged me to come get him. I did work up a good sweat, but didn't really do enough to call it a whole workout. Tonight I'll try to do an EA Active workout on the Wii. Those are a little more challenging and time consuming than the Wii Fit, but also customizeable.

Overall I am feeling great! My body is a little tired because it isn't used to all this, but I don't think I'm overdoing it, since I'm doing bits and pieces, and working different parts of my body on different days. Its too early for any results yet, but I can already feel myself walking taller, feeling better, and using better posture. I still have to work on eating less and eating better, but I think it is wise to wait awhile to focus on that. I don't want to try to do too much at once.

I went to Target and bought some new workout shorts and tops and socks, and I'm pretty much going around in gym clothes all day, but it makes me feel good and reminds me constantly of my new goals, of my posture, to take a few extra steps and stairs here and there, etc. I am determined to make this work! I think the biggest motivator for me came during the dance fusion class. It didn't help that the teacher was the thinnest waifish woman I have ever seen, but looking in that huge mirror I saw a body that I didn't even recognize as my own. I was horrified and upset, but decided right then and there that I am just going to defeat myself if I focus on the negative. So here I go!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Project Self Esteem

Today I am starting a new "project" so to speak. After having three C-Sections in 3.5 years my body has taken a beating, and I have been so busy I haven't been able to focus on getting back in shape. That combined with being a stress-eater has led me to top out at my highest non-pregnant weight ever - which is only a few pounds less than when I was pregnant! Ultimately the goal is to lose weight, but I'm going to try not to focus on the numbers. The most important part is for me to start feeling better about myself, and getting in shape and eating better is going to help that. This seemed like a truly insurmountable task since I am home all day with three kids, and too exhausted after they got to bed to do anything. Enter Frisco Rec Center.

I had heard that I would be able to bring my kids, drop them off at their childcare facility and go work out for up to two hours, but I have to admit I didn't really believe it. There had to be some sort of catch. So yesterday while my mom was in town and watching the kids, I finally dragged my butt over there and checked it out. And its true!!! For $35 a month I can work out there EVERY DAY and drop the kids off for up to 2 hours a day! EVERY DAY! FOR FREE!! It will be a little tricky planning around feeding schedules, class schedules, nap schedules, and preschool schedules - not to mention just getting out the door with diaper bags, strollers etc, but I am motivated to do it!

Today was the first day. I checked in, dropped the kids off, did the eliptical machine for a 20 minute work out, and then went to 45 minutes of a cardio-boxing/aerobics class that totally kicked my butt, but it felt SO GOOD!! I was a little self conscious, but I think once I go a few more times I'll be more comfortable. My goal is to make sure I'm doing what I enjoy while I'm there, and remembering that its MY time, not some other obligation I HAVE to fill, and as long as I keep the pressure off I will enjoy it, continue to go, and the weight will start to fall off!

So... I'm going to be more honest here than I'm really comfortable with, but I've got to track my starting point somewhere. I weighed in today at 237! Yikes! I just have to keep remembering that my body has been through three major stomach surgeries in 3.5 years, and that it could take up to a year to recover. I'm only on month 4. The most important goal is progress of some sort. I'm going to set weight goals, but for now they will not have time limits. My first goal is 10 lbs. Then, when I reach pre-pregnancy weight (3rd pregnancy)(211 lbs) I will treat myself to something - maybe new clothes, maybe new bras, maybe new workout clothes... we'll see. The next goal will be to get under 200. I am not going to look beyond that right now. I will have more work to do when I get there, but if I think about the total amount I need to lose I am afraid it will just frustrate and discourage me, and I won't be able to focus on the smaller goals.

I was planning on going to the gym 5 days a week, but I think sticking to 3 days a week may be a wiser start. Plus that will allow me some time for playdates etc.

Wish me luck!!

Oh, by the way, the kids are doing great, lol. More on them later, this post is all about me!!!

The Slightly Selfish Mama

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Worth a Thousand Words

So, here are a bunch of pictures from our day. 







Some priceless family time...