Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Health Nut

For my birthday, my friend gave me this little pin.  It makes me happy every time I look at it.  Because it's cute, for sure.  But also because when she gave it to me she said, "When I saw this I thought of you." 

I know I'm a health nut.  And I like that I'm a health nut.  But lately I've been having a hard time finding balance.  I'm fine when it comes to me.  I have my guidelines and I follow them 90% of the time.  But when it comes to my kids, I really struggle.   I want them to be healthy.  I want them to learn to make the healthy decisions on their own.  But I also want them to have fun and enjoy being kids! 

On the one hand I have guilt over letting them have peanut butter and sugary jelly sandwiches.  On the other hand, I feel bad when I hear that other kids have Oreos in their lunch and my kids' dessert is an apple. 

The other night we met my parents at a restaurant.  We placed our orders and I must not have been paying attention because the next thing I knew the server showed up with a chocolate milk, a lemonade and a Sprite.  I said, "What's this?" and my kids said, "Dad said we could order what we wanted."  Had I been privy to that conversation I know I would have made them order waters.  And I had to work really hard not to be annoyed that my husband had let them order glasses of sugar with their pizza.  But I reminded myself that it was a treat and treats are ok sometimes. 

I have cut sugar out of my diet almost completely (expect for my creamer...that's my vice.  And the occasional ice cream cone).  But lately I have noticed that I'm seeing sugar every where I look!  I'm not that tempted by it anymore, but when I see my kids eating a bowl of cereal (8g of sugar per serving) it's like I am watching them shovel spoonfuls of pure sugar in their mouths. Even watching them drink a glass of milk (12g of sugar!!) makes me cringe.  I am trying to switch them to almond milk (0g of sugar), but they don't like to drink it.  I insist they have it on their cereal, though, so they aren't having 20g of sugar to start off the day. 

Speaking of almond milk, am I going nutty?  Both my husband and I have struggled with our weight our entire lives.  I don't want to watch my kids go through that.  But I also feel like I'm fighting a losing battle.  My husband, who grew up on sugary junk food, has come a looooong way, but he's definitely more relaxed about what the kids eat.  Therefore, he's the fun parent...letting the kids put chocolate syrup (20g of sugar) on their waffles and giving them juice (26g of sugar!).  I'm the one who swoops in and says, "That's more than enough syrup!" and makes sure they have half a glass or less of juice.  My husband takes them to the school carnival and lets them get candy.  I'm the one who throws it all away when they aren't looking.  They aren't shy about letting it be known who they prefer to hang out with.  And, frankly, if I were 8 and 10 years old, I'm not sure I would want to hang out with me either.

Maybe I should be grateful that I have a husband who keeps me from going completely over the edge.  Who lets our kids have a treat every once in a while.  And maybe, just maybe, those same kids will thank me someday. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


I am 1 1/2 days into a 3 day sugar detox.  So far so good, but I would gladly give away any one of my children for a piece of chocolate right now.  Just pick one...totally your choice.

My goal during this detox is to reset myself.  Over the past three weeks, and due to a series of circumstances, I relaxed some of my "rules" when it comes to eating.  I stayed gluten-free.  I still had very little dairy.  But I started eating a little more sugar.  And then a little more. Three weeks ago, when things began to slide, I was aware of the slippery slope but made the conscious decision to go a little easy on myself.  I was struggling with some hormone stuff and, while I'm sure the sugar wasn't helping my situation, it was mentally soothing.  But then my eating slid out of my control. 

I can tell you the exact moment I lost control (and anyone who knows me knows that I do not like when I don't have control!).  For Sophie's birthday party we ordered pizza.  Usually, when I know I'm going to be around something tempting I have a plan.  I make sure I have something gluten-free that I am looking forward to eating.  I think ahead and don't let myself get in a situation where I'm feeling deprived.  But we'd had a busy day.  Wade was gone, so I was on my own for dinner.  All of the kids were running around outside playing with Sophie's new football and the left over pizza sat on the counter staring at me.  Ok, fine.  I was staring at the pizza.  My mind was carefully weighing my options.  But my hungry stomach took charge.  I quickly stuffed one piece of pizza into my mouth.  Then second.  Then a third. 

And then I waited.  I waited to feel bloated.  I waited for my stomach to revolt against the bready crust and the cheesy cheese. 

But nothing happened.

I went to bed that night definitely feeling guilt over my transgression, but also thinking that maybe gluten didn't really have much of an effect on me afterall. 

Had the last 9 months all been for nothing?

The next morning I felt sluggish.  Lazy.  And I had cravings like I hadn't had in months.  I craved bread.  I craved carbs.  I snacked all day long.  No gluten, but I had chips and GF cookies and these GF buns that Wade had bought that I didn't even like.  I kept telling myself that it was ok because it was gluten-free, conveniently forgetting that carbs and I don't get along.

The next morning was more of the same.  And each day, as I had these carby cravings, I felt powerless as I constantly gave in to them.  One full week and five pounds later, it occurred to me that this is how I used to feel.  All the time.  When "evil gluten" was only something I heard annoyingly healthy people talk about. 

I am very aware that I am now one of those annoying people.  When I asked a friend of mine, who had done this detox with me last summer, to remind me what the rules were, she responded, "No gluten.  No dairy.  No sugar.  So pretty much what you've been doing for the last 9 months." And I suppose that's true...until I wasn't.  It only took three weeks to completely derail everything I had worked really hard to achieve.  I was finally at a size and weight where I felt good.  Healthy.  I was where I wanted to be.  But once I let my guard down my pants got tight and I lost my motivation to stay on track.  Hence, the detox.

But it's not all bad.  Along with the five pounds, I've also gained the knowledge that I really do feel better without gluten, and with limited amounts of dairy and sugar.  That being said...I'm serious.  Any one of my kids for a piece of chocolate.  The offer still stands.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Handle It

My favorite coffee cup is breaking.  It hasn't officially broken yet, but it's going to happen.  There is a crack where the handle meets the mug and I can hear it creaking when I lift it to my mouth to take a sip.

I bought this coffee cup when I was sixteen or seventeen years old.  At a coffee shop in Saratoga Springs, NY called Madeline's; I spent quite a bit of time there when I was in high school.  I remember seeing it on display with other coffee cups, all designed by kids. I was new to drinking coffee, but I bought it because I loved the stars and the Earth and the faces, and I figured buying a coffee cup made me an official coffee drinker.

It went to college with me.  And then to the house I shared with some girlfriends.  To my first apartment.  Then to the house Wade and I bought after we got married.  Now here, where I like to make sure I can see it in the cupboard with the glass door. 

One day I was taking it out of the dishwasher and I noticed that I had inadvertently named my daughter after my coffee cup.  Seriously!  And now my Sophia is nine years old, the same age as the coffee cup Sophia when she drew this picture.

I know it's just a coffee cup and I had intended to end this post with something like, "I know it's just a coffee cup, but it holds a little bit of my history."  Blah Blah Blah.  Something like that...I hadn't thought that far ahead yet.  But, on a whim, I googled "Save the Children coffee cup" and guess what showed up at the top of the list?!  I forwarded the link to Wade who just informed me that the delivery date is March 6th.  Even though it won't be the same mug, it's close enough.  And I can totally handle that.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

65 Degree Mom

Today I need to clean bathrooms, fold laundry and vacuum my whole house.  So, I decided to sit down and write a blog post instead.  My first of 2014!  I love Tuesdays.  All three kids are at school and I usually don't have to go into work, so it's a day all to myself.  But, it's 9:30am right now and, in the blink of an eye, it will be 3:30 and Lily will be dropped off and I'll be heading out the door to pick up Sophie and Max.  And the quiet will all be over.

Don't get me wrong.  I love my kids.  I would give my life to protect them.  But lately, I worry I might strangle them with my own bare hands.  The constant fighting, the constant messes, and the snotty attitudes are wearing on my last nerve.  This winter has turned me into a terrible mom.  Too much screen time.  Too much yelling.  Too many days trapped inside.  Lily keeps saying, "It's almost summer, Mom."  But she's wrong.  I'm losing faith that I'll ever see summer again.

I'm a better summer mom than I am a winter mom.  I don't like to do winter things.  The one and only time I've ever been downhill skiing my brother left me in a heap on the side of a mountain and it left a bad taste in my mouth.  I'm not coordinated enough for ice-skating and it just looks like a whole lot of cold anyway.  Snow-shoeing and cross country skiing sound like more work than fun with a four-year-old in tow.  I'm chilly even on a warm day; I'm just not built for these long Minnesota winters.

I like heading to the park to play Monster tag (moms are monsters, kids run and scream a lot).  I like sitting on the patio with a glass of wine while my husband grills dinner and my kids run around with the neighbor boys.  I like hiking (no cliffs!) and camping and going to the beach.  I love being outside...but only when it's above 65 degrees.
But somehow I always manage to survive.  If only because of hot coffee and my electric blanket.  This is the worst winter that I can remember, and I suppose I'll survive this one, too.  But maybe a shot of Bailey's in that hot coffee wouldn't hurt.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

One Size Fits Few

I was in my car running errands the other day and I heard a radio ad for a weight loss company.  They were interviewing one of their "success stories" and she was saying that until this program she had back problems, was tired all of the time and over all wasn't enjoying her life (that was the message she gave, at least).  Then they asked the big question...how much did she lose?  Her answer was "I went from a size 8 to a size 2."

ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!  My GOAL is a size 8.

I get that these companies target overweight people (mostly women).  I understand that when you are 20, 30, 50, 80 pounds overweight that those extra pounds do things to your body that you don't even realize they are doing.  But unless you are under 3 feet tall, a size 8 is a healthy weight.  A beautiful weight.  And to target women who are at a healthy weight...to imply that unless you are a size 2 you need to lose weight...well, that's bullshit.  (Sorry mom!)

A couple of years ago I made a vow on this very blog to stop talking about my body issues.  And I'm not going to start again now.  But I am going to say this...  I eat a gluten-free, almost sugar free diet.  I exercise 5 - 6 days week for 1 1/2 hours.  I can't say that none of that is for my weight, but I can say that each day that passes it's less and less about my weight and more about how I feel.  I may not have reached my goal (I'm close!), but for anyone to imply that my size 8 isn't good enough...isn't thin enough...that because I'm not a size 2 I need to lose another 40 pounds, that really gets my goat.

I'm sure you've all seen this by now, but it's something that I think all women, not just young girls, need to see.  We have unrealistic expectations for ourselves and for others and it's destroying healthy female self-esteem throughout our entire country.


I'm going to forget about what the scale says and what size pants I buy...my new goal is to teach my daughters (and son, too) to eat healthy and to love their bodies and the beautiful array of bodies God has created.  Even bodies that aren't a size 2.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Happy National Coffee Day!

This morning I woke up and my entire family was still sleeping.  My kids are very early risers, so this rarely happens.  I decided to take advantage of it!  I started a pot of coffee, and because I am an impatient person, I waited only long enough for one cup to have brewed and then I poured it into my favorite mug.  I enjoyed that first cup in pure silence and it was bliss.  I hope your day got off to such a perfect start as well.



Friday, August 30, 2013

A letter from the College of Veterinary Medicine

This just arrived in the mail today.  Doesn't make losing our dog any easier, but makes me love our vet even more than I did before. 

Thanks, Dr. Melbo!