Sunday, October 31, 2010


Since he was born, I love watching Little Brother, wondering what he’s thinking. He’s such a little miracle and I often marvel at the tiny fingers, pink lips, and perfect dimples that grew inside of me for nine months or so. He is amazing and his big, blue eyes are so full of wonder that I can’t imagine what’s going on inside his sweet, bald head.

Tonight, I watched him while he nursed before bedtime, and it struck me what he might be thinking tomorrow. Because, tomorrow, I’m going back to work. And he’s still at the age where he thinks I’ve actually disappeared when I hide behind a blanket, so tomorrow, what will he think? That I’ve abandoned him completely? Where is my mommy and who is this lady holding me and why do I have to drink out of a bottle all day?

I KNOW it’s ridiculous. I know that he will be fine and we will both survive and I am being completely irrational. But I can’t help it. Familiar panic and anxiety well up inside of me and I can’t breathe and the tears burst from eyes before I can stop them. I get angry. I hate my husband and the fact that he doesn’t make enough money so that I don’t have to work. I hate my friends who are able to stay home with their children. I hate the women who work because they want something to do other than being a wife and a mother. I hate myself for starting my maternity leave two days before giving birth, stealing time away from the precious baby boy I’ve spent nearly every second with for the last 88 days. I hate my life.

I know that everything will be okay. Little Brother will be at a home daycare with a woman I know and I trust and I love. The Hubster and I will both be only a few miles away if we’re needed. I know that millions of women before me have endured and overcome this same obstacle. But tonight, I am still sad.

I am sad and angry and anxious, and I rocked Little Brother long after he had fallen asleep, dreading the moment I’d have to kiss him goodnight. I am avoiding my bedroom, avoiding sleep. Agonizing over waking up tomorrow morning and deserting my son, if only a few hours. Tonight is impossible.

(I’m sorry. I don’t really hate anyone—I am just feeling very, very sorry for myself tonight. I am SO grateful for the time I have been able to spend with him, and I know that many women aren’t able to do the same—I have been there, too. With Little Sister, I was on bed rest for 2 months, and I went back to work when she was 4 weeks and 6 days old. When that day rolled around this time, I sent up prayers and thanks that I got nearly two more months with Little Brother. I know I am lucky, but this is still so, so hard.)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


[in-spuh-rey-shuh n]
a thing or person that inspires

[moh-tuh-vey-shuh n]
something that motivates; inducement; incentive

a person who teaches or instructs, esp. as a profession; instructor

a person or thing that leads

a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard

Turbo Jennie called me out tonight. (It was not the first time. It will not be the last. And I. Love. It.) The music was loud (it usually is) and there was something wrong with the microphone (also very normal) and I heard her say my name a couple of times…and at one point, she came over and pointed her finger in my face a la Jillian. I knew I must be doing something wrong, but couldn’t figure out what it was.

After class, I asked her what she was saying. Turns out, it was because I was going low impact. I had excuses…I usually do. My boobs are too big. My foot hurts. I’ll pee on the studio floor. But she just shook her head. “Those days are over!” she told me.

I thought about what she’d said for the rest of the evening. And damn it, if she isn’t right, AGAIN. I’ve gotten comfortable. I don’t jump too high. I don’t get too low. And why the hell not? It’s not that I CAN’T because I CAN. I’m doing what I’m used to. Doing what’s safe. But how can I grow? (Well, shrink?) How can I get better if I don’t try something new? If I don’t challenge myself?

So that’s exactly what I’m going to do—challenge myself. Jump higher. Get Lower. Work harder. Do MORE.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The "I've Only"s

I’ve got them. Not the Mondays. The “I’ve Only”s. And it gets worse…it seems I have passed them along to my kids.

Little Sister’s school has a fitness challenge going on where the kids run during recess and someone tallies their laps. Once they reach five miles, they get a little keychain charm in the shape of a foot. She was talking to Leader Pam about it today, and I overheard her telling her, “I’ve only run 2 miles.”

Big Sister is getting great grades in high school, which is a relief, because she struggled in middle school. At the beginning of the year, it because she’d “only” had a few assignments, but she’s keeping up with it and we are so proud of her. She’s a great artist, too, but “only” because she had a picture to guide her.

And me. Since giving birth ten and a half weeks ago, I’ve only lost 25 pounds. Since joining Weight Watchers again 9 weeks ago, I’ve only lost 8.6 pounds. I went back to the gym recently, but I’ve only been 6 times in the last three weeks.

Why? Why do we qualify our successes with that word? Why do we make them seem less important, less impressive than they should be? Leader Pam asked the question at my Weight Watchers meeting this morning—why can’t we celebrate our own successes?

For me, it’s because I’m not done yet. I have a hard time seeing the place I came from because I’m looking at how far I have to go. It’s hard to celebrate fitting into regular, not maternity clothes because I’ve still got boxes of clothes I can’t fit into. It’s hard to celebrate losing five or ten pounds because I’m nowhere near where I want to be.

It breaks my heart that my children have picked up on this and started qualifying their own achievements.

So, this week, I’m challenging myself to celebrate the small things and stop demeaning my success. I DID go back to Weight Watchers. I DID go back to the gym. I WILL continue to lose. And I will set a better example for my children while I’m working on it.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Written in the Stars

A few months ago, I signed up at some website to have my horoscope texted to me every day. (Thank goodness for unlimited texting, or Big Sister would text us out of house and home—she’d racked up over 300 texts before she’d even owned the phone for 24 hours!)

Most of the time, “my” horoscope is way off and it has absolutely nothing to do with me. (“We know you like to bottle up your feelings, Gemini…” What?!?) Every once in a while, though, it hits the nail on its head and tells me exactly what I need to hear. The week I went back to Turbo, my horoscope said that Venus was in retrograde in the fitness sector and it would turn my routine around. (Something like that.)

Yesterday, I received this message: “There’s nothing wrong with your goals of getting healthier and finally fitting into your skinny jeans. But the way you go about it can make all the difference in the world—be careful not to get too obsessed, Gemini. All good things take time, so check the scale weekly, not hourly.” Considering I read the text at 11:30 in the morning and I’d already been on the scale 4 times, I think it was definitely advice I needed. (Advice I’ve heard before. Advice I never listen to.)

This morning, I got this one: “You’ve counted calories all weekend. Tonight, ditch that Weight Watchers scale and head out for a feast with your friends. You won’t undo all the good work you’ve done if you remember that tonight is about friendship, not stuffing your face.” Turns out, I actually did have a social afternoon planned with friends. Weird, right? Since I weighed in this morning, I did over-indulge indulge OVER-indulge in some artichoke-spinach dip, but I also spent a lot of time visiting. I’m absolutely loving spending all my time with Little Brother, but it’s nice to talk to grown-ups, too.

This week’s challenge: Not checking the scale! I rely on that thing WEIGH (ha-ha!) too much and I’ll admit that I let it affect food decisions that I make. This week, I’m going to eat smart, track my points, and keep up with my activities. I am NOT going to step on the scale until my meeting next Sunday morning. (In fact, I stashed it in my bathroom cupboard, just in case I feel the need.) I hate weighing “blind,” but the scale is definitely something I need to conquer.