20 pounds…and counting!

So, blogging hasn’t been on my agenda recently.  Well, not for my personal blog anyway.  And while I have a lot of catching up to do, I figured I’d start of with something simple.  An accomplishment.

Recently, my bff got married.  And I had so much anxiety about her wedding day.  I tried everything I could to lose weight.  Diets, starving, constant exercise, medicine from the doctor.  You name it.  And I kept gaining and gaining and gaining.  And I got more and more stressed.  I didn’t understand how this was happening.  How could I eat so healthy, exercise daily and GAIN WEIGHT?

While at her wedding, I met a lovely friend of hers.  And she had recently lost 30 or so pounds.  I was in awe.  I wanted to try the diet she was on.  When I found out it was a cleanse, I remember reading about a cleanse on a Lupus forum that was recommend to help get lupies like me out of a flare up.  So, I chatted with her about the process and her weight loss journey.  And then she said something that really made sense.  Maybe I’m holding onto my weight because of other trauma.  She was totally right.  I was.  I never really allowed myself to mourn all the loss I experienced last year.  So, I let it go.   It’s not forgotten, but I forgave myself for wanting to move on — and the weight has been flying off.  I visited my Nanny for the first time since she passed.  I mean, I talk to her every day…but I never visited her crypt.  I just couldn’t.  Visiting her meant this was all real.  My best friend was gone and she wasn’t ever coming back.  Seeing her and putting my hand near her and letting Ellie give her a kiss — it was so needed.  I needed to do that.  I needed to show Nanny I was OK.  And I needed to tell myself that it’s OK that I’m OK.

I started this weight loss journey on May 22nd.  And I’ve lost 20 pounds so far.  All the clothes I bought are loose, which is a blessing and a curse.  Thankfully, most of the items I bought will work even when I’ve lost another 20 pounds.  Everything except the jeans.  But, what can you do.

Ryan’s lost 10 pounds so far, as well.

We’re just calorie counting right now.  Eating healthy, tasty food and making sure to eat less calories than what our bodies burn each day.  Super simple, straight forward and delicious.  I had my wisdom teeth pulled out, so it helped with the craving portion of that first week.  It was perfect timing.  Best part?  I feel better.  My lupus flare up has ended!

I have 78 more pounds to lose.  That sounds like a lot.  And it is.  But, I finally feel mentally ready to tackle it. I know it is possible.  And I know it will take some time.  But…it’s worth it.

 

 

 

When does enthusiasm turn to ‘preachy’?

A friend mentioned that when folks go on diets, like Paleo, they can turn preachy fairly quickly, which can be interpreted as judgmental.  This comment hit home, since I am extremely passionate about my Paleo lifestyle.  I’ve even tested it, by trying to reincorporate gluten/dairy into my diet, only to be reminded that my body is not meant to tolerate these things!

It seems a lot of commentary about dieting often discusses judgment — from both sides.  Dieters feel non-dieters are judging them for a multitude of reasons, including 1) having to diet, 2) changing their lifestyle.  Non-dieters feel dieters are judging them, as well, by 1) trying to invalidate their lifestyle choices, 2) pushing the diet on them as if they need it.

I think this all stems from a place of insecurity (obviously), but also is a commentary about health and well-being.  When we aren’t perfect (who is?), we feel judged.  Whether it’s our family and friends, a co-worker, a stranger, our mirror.  We feel like they are judging us.  A sideways glance at me while I’m checking out at the grocery store with my bag of chips and obviously she thinks I’m a fat slob who doesn’t exercise or eat right ever.

I always say, “Think the best before you think the worst.”  I know, I know, such a platitude, lol.  But, I truly believe this is one we should live by.

I can be hyper-critical.  Of myself, of others.  And my mantra is always to think the best.  Best intentions.  And yes, road to hell, yada yada.  But, at least people are trying, folks!

I am committed to try to take advice or commentary about dieting as something meant to be helpful, not critical.  I am committed to believing my friends, family, strangers at the grocery store, the mirror are all just being nice and caring and perhaps a tad inquisitive or nosy, but nothing negative.  I am committed to my lifestyle choices and the fact that I feel they are the best path for me.  I am committed to understanding that this lifestyle choice is not for everyone, while still maintaining that I do believe most people will benefit from it.  I am committed to realizing that just because most people will benefit from it doesn’t mean they have to do it.

I hope others can be as committed to understand that my lifestyle choice is not a commentary about their lifestyle choices or a way for me to try to show them that they are inadequate or less than.  This is my journey, not theirs.

 

Forgiveness

When looking at any issue life seems to throw at me, I am always reminded of the advice my Nanny would give me.  Whether it was requested or unsolicited.  :)

One thing she always warned me about was my black and white nature.  She cautioned that if I remained unwilling to ‘bend’, I’d end up very unhappy.  She was proud that I stand by my convictions, but concerned that I would find myself in a situation in which it becomes impossible to be happy because no one would ever live up to my exacting expectations.

I am proud of all of my life choices.  I am not the type of person to regret things.  Honestly, my only real regret is not spending more time with my Nanny.  But, I don’t think any amount of time with her would’ve cured that regret I now have.  I think even if I spent every day with her, I’d wish there was more time in a day.  But, I digress.  Back on track — I’m not the type of person who sits around wishing I could’ve done things differently.

That being said, I am the type who constantly plays out different scenarios in my head.  Not because I feel I made the wrong choice, but because I am always intrigued by how our choices set an often unexpected path.  

I have ended many friendships because I either felt the ex-friend was no longer the type of person I wanted to be around or because I felt there were hurdles that I couldn’t overcome.  And many people have ended friendships with me for lots of reasons, as well.  Some folks feel I am unwilling to compromise.  Some folks feel I am hyper-critical or mean.

And guess what, they are probably right.  

My Nanny would always tell me that I was unwilling to compromise.  And I’d tell her that I would compromise…if I felt I should.  Why compromise if someone is wrong?  And there we have it.  It’s my black and white nature again.  Wrong.  Of course, who is the judge and jury of this ‘wrongness’?  Me.

I’m not sure why I am so militant about these things.  Or why I feel I should constantly correct people.  It’s easy to blame my mother or my upbringing.  But, really, I’m not sure.  And this isn’t me saying I regret my decisions.  I know this part of me comes from a good place.  I know I truly believe I am helping people — requested or unsolicited.  But, this is me saying that I don’t want to be angry at people.  And I don’t want to dwell on the past.  

For a long time, I felt these people wronged me.  But, really, we probably just wronged each other.  My Spock-ian side knows that there are two or more stories to every break-up, argument, etc.  And for every trespass I believe they committed, I’m sure they have a matching list for me.  But, why dwell on that?  Why let a dead friendship live only in negative memories?

To those friends who are now gone, I’ll remember our laughter.  And I’ll remember the lessons we taught each other.  All of those friendships happened for a reason.  And perhaps familiarity did breed contempt, but who cares?  I won’t speak ill of them and I hope they don’t speak ill of me.  Our lives are so blessed, so why let 1000 great memories be marred by 10 bad ones?  I think, as a culture, we spend so much time eloquently explaining why we’re upset/disappointed/mad, that we forget to give just as much, if not more, time to the reasons we’re happy/appreciative/thankful.  My goal is to no longer be that person.  

January 1st, 2013

The first day of the new year.  The first day where we try to maintain all of our resolution promises we’ve made to ourselves (and our facebook friends).

Most people will try to convince themselves that they don’t really have a “resolution” per se, but they are most likely lying.

 

Since I’m not a liar, here are my resolutions:

 

  • Blog more.  I really enjoy sharing my thoughts with…the internet.  I need to promise to do so on a more regular basis
  • Collect happy memories.  I want to keep a jar and collect all of our happy memories throughout 2013.  Next New Year’s Eve, we can go through the jar and remember all of the amazing memories we shared.
  • Celebrate life.  2012 brought with it great joy and great sadness.  I was able to watch the beauty of life (Ellie) and the sadness of lost life (Nanny, Grandpa Steve).  Both of these things taught me and reminded me that life deserves to be celebrated.
  • Take a day off.  I am a workaholic.  I am a perfectionist.  And no matter what I do, I always feel like I am not successful enough.  In 2013, I want to remember to take a day off every once in a while.

I’m excited to see what 2013 brings.  Today was a day of relaxing with my family.  We laughed together, shared delicious food and stayed inside.  The weather was pretty gloomy and my Ellie had her first diaper rash ever.  She’s been pretty sick, actually.  That being said, I know the rest of 2013 is full of excitement for us.  Hopefully a new house and maybe…a book?  Not just buying a book, but writing one.

I think that’s enough for now.

 

To Sir, With Love,

Beth

 

 

 

 

Idiosyncrasies

i • d • i • o • syn • cra • sy

1. A structural or behavioral characteristic peculiar to an individual or group.
2. A physiological or temperamental peculiarity.
3. An unusual individual reaction to food or a drug.

List five of your own idiosyncrasies and then tag five friends to do the same.

1. Popcorn always makes me throw up. Any kind. Caramel. Movie Theatre. Pop Secret, whatever. I eat even a little bit – I throw up. Sadly, I love the stuff. Get it every time I go to see a movie – or make it when I watch a movie at home. Glutton and Punishment come to mind.

2. I can’t wear socks. Not ever with sneakers, but especially not when I am sleeping or walking around inside. Wearing socks is the equivalent of putting tape over my mouth. I feel like I am suffocating. It causes anxiety attacks. I think it has to do with my fear of athletes foot. Or maybe just athletes?

3. If I am in a group and we are interested in ‘googling’ something, I have to be the one to do it. Most people are just terrible ‘googlers’ and they waste time with inefficient quandaries. Basically, they lack Google-fu.  They don’t understand the fine are of the search engine – and I start to get anxious watching them waste that precious time. It gets so bad that I will literally just push them out of the way – to perform the search on my own. OCD – anyone?

4. My clothes – when they are hanging up, have to be in color and genre order. Obviously, color order makes sense, but genre order separates the items more thoroughly. For example: my pants are separated into: capris, sleepy pants, exercise pants, dress pants (business formal and casual), khakis, jeans, and then there are the ‘everyday non-jean pants’ that are separated by color and material.

5. I wash my feet – often. Like, a lot. I have this weird foot thing. I don’t want them to smell like anything but clean. My feel don’t smell, but I guess it is a combination of not wearing socks, walking around barefoot all the time and that one time when I was little and I had this tiny wart on my toe and it freaked me out and then I cut it out of my toe myself with nail clippers – never to be bothered again by it. I think that gave me a complex about foot cleanliness. Like, if I had been more tidy with the toesies, I would have never had a little wart. Regardless, I wash them about 3 times a day. I am strange.

Baby Weight

During a recent IM conversation (as in a few seconds ago), a friend said my comments seems fatphobic. I was talking about how I perceive my body currently. You see, prior to pregnancy, I was what my doctor would call “a healthy body weight”. I wore a size 5-6 jeans, which American culture deems an “appropriate” size. I dressed in revealing costumes, such as Black Canary, Queen Gorgo, Fire Faerie or wore full spandex outfits, such as Batwoman. I prided myself on being proud of my body because it was “right”.

After my wedding and honeymoon, I gained 30 lbs in what seemed like an over-night period of time. I had a bad lupus flare-up and couldn’t go to the gym or do much that involved going outside, really. When my clothes stopped fitting well, and I told him — “Hey, I’ve gained a lot of weight”, we thought one of two things: 1) I was having complications due to lupus and needed to get to a specialist the next day or 2) I was pregnant, which wasn’t supposed to be possible. He ran out and got a pregnancy test, always the optimist. A few minutes later, a plus sign. We were pregnant. A miracle.

Throughout my pregnancy, from that point, my weight gain was normal. It is expected you’ll gain around 25-40 lbs. I was within that amount. If you didn’t count the 30 lbs I gained prior to knowing I was pregnant.

I saw my ob/gyn, my GP. I asked them why I was gaining weight. I mean, I was on bed rest, restricted from exercise, but I was eating healthier and far less than normal. I also suffered from pretty severe “morning” sickness. Both told me that my abnormally high progesterone levels caused my normally hyperactive thyroid to go inactive. Unfortunately, neither felt the medicine required to help jump-start the little bugger would be safe for me to take while pregnancy, especially since they both know how I feel about taking pills. (Hell, I fought and fought about pre-natals. I dislike non-homeopathic medicine.) When I begged them to give me a solution, like letting me exercise or diet — they both told me my body knew what was best for my baby. They warned me that if I took my medical care into my own hands, there could be repercussions. So, I continued to eat right, walk as much as possible and hide from all mirrors. I covered my body in large dresses and jackets or scarves. I avoided photography. When people would post pictures of me on facebook, I’d delete them, as though that would invalidate them or make them “less real”.

I saw a baby book of photography at my ob/gyn’s office. It was filled with these adorable photos of little babies, most were less than a week old, and it helped Ryan and I realize we wanted to do some new born photography with Ellie. We emailed the photographer and tentatively set-up a date. She also said she would be able to give us a discounted maternity shoot, as well. I hadn’t thought of doing any maternity photography. I mean, I had only taken three real belly photos and they were cropped in a way that most of my body was hidden — the only way I was able to deal with posting any pregnancy photos. The more we thought about it, especially how much of a miracle Ellie is, the more we felt we should document this occasion and my pregnancy. So, I set up a date. And then was sick for that date. So, I set up another date. And missed that date. And another and another. I somehow subconsciously orchestrated reasons to not go to this scheduled photoshoot. I was too sick, too busy, too puffy, too this, too that.

Abby contacted me again and scheduled a shoot for Friday, November 11th. I’d been dealing with contractions, although not bad enough to expect labor right away, as well as my mucus plug already saying “Ciao!” to us. I knew — it’s either now or, potentially, never. It’s not like I can call a redo on this moment after I have Ellie. So, I picked out an outfit, put a little powder on my face, got my nails done and trekked out in the 35 degree weather to do our maternity photoshoot in Liberty Hills. I knew I wasn’t going to like what was represented on film, but I convinced myself it would be fine.

After the shoot, I stayed positive. Ryan told me I looked beautiful and my Ellie Belly looked beautiful, too. The photographer said we were a beautiful couple and complimented me on my ease in front of the camera. (Yay cosplay!)

She told us to expect a few photos to go on her blog today. And so, I checked it out. And there they were.

And there I was.

And…there I was.

I had to repeat that to myself. Over and over again. This is what I look like. That is me. What I saw staring back at me seemed like a stranger. I didn’t recognize that girl. And I thought to myself, “God, she’s fat. She’s ugly.”

And I kept thinking that over and over again. And this shame washed over me, like I was bad. I was wrong. Who would want to look at these photos? Everyone would judge me and think I was lazy, eating poorly, disgusting.

I was having trouble dealing with these emotions and the thought that ANYONE could see these photos. I mean, they were posted on a public blog. I talked to one of my oldest friends and she made the accurate statement that my comments seemed very “fatphobic”. And they did. They were. They are.

I’ve always considered myself an open person. I’m open to different people, different circumstances. I’ve never chosen a friend over something superficial, like weight. But, I’ve also always given “excuses” for their weight. This person is supposed to look this way — they do everything “right” but still look this way, etc. I would reason in my head why my friends were “allowed” to be zaftig. I would never just let them be. There always had to be a justification.

Why?

Why does weight matter to me so much?

It all stems from my own perception issues.

I was a heavier kid. My family was full of tall, thin people. I was surrounded by beautiful aunts, cousins, second cousins. I was raised to believe that thin was the right way to be. If you’re not thin, something is wrong. You must work at being thin by dieting and exercising. My mother was heavier than the rest of her sisters and was constantly judged because of this. When she reached over 300 lbs or so, due to an inactive thyroid, combined with some bad eating habits, I never thought she was anything but beautiful. Everyone else would call her disgusting or ugly. I never saw it, though. And, as if my perception was grossly inappropriate, people tried to force their opinion on me. “Your mother needs to change,” or “You never want to be that fat, because it’s ugly.” Now, I agree that obesity is unhealthy. But, people would rarely talk about her health concerns. It was always about aesthetics. How she looked, not how her health was doing. Eventually, my mother went through a medical procedure of having her stomach stapled that would almost end her life. At least three times, I remember being in the hospital and the doctor telling us she may not make it. Once, they were ready to read last rites. But, she wanted to be thin. And it came at a price. That was the first time I’d learn a lesson about being thin at any and all cost.

While growing up, I was compared to other people. “She’s a size zero, doesn’t she look nice?” “You’d look so cute in that outfit, if you could fit into it.” Even my mother would say things to me about what I could and could not wear. She would take me clothing shopping and tell me not to look at certain things because girls like me could never wear those things. Funny, though, I never once questioned why she was allowed to judge me. I just thought that I wished I could be one of those girls. The girls who could wear those things.

Even after my mom experienced being “heavy” and the unfair treatment she received, once she lost the weight, she continued to perpetuate this idea that skinny was right and that being fat meant you were wrong. She told me I, “need to drop my baby weight, so people will think I’m pretty.” She would say, “At least you have a pretty face.”

Baby weight was a term I got very familiar with. “She still has her baby weight,” my grandmother would tell people, in order to justify my extra weight. I heard this term constantly through most of my young life and into high school. Baby weight. Baby weight was the justification for why I wasn’t thin, like I should be.

I remember two instances, involving uncles, that stuck with me as I got older. To preface, people didn’t call me pretty very often. I can’t recall being called pretty at all, although I’m guessing it happened. They called me smart, funny, interesting. Not pretty, though. I guess, maybe, that should matter. I’d rather be smart, funny and interesting, but…the grass is always greener. When I was young, likely 8 or so, I was at my uncle’s house. He was always particularly mean to me. I never knew why, but when I was older, he apologized for his actions. That being said, this one day really stuck with me. I was playing and joking, per usual. I ran into the kitchen to get a drink and he yelled at me. He told me I was too fat to get anything else from the kitchen. He put me in the corner and told me to stand there until I learned my lesson. I can’t recall how long I had to stand there. In kid time, it was years. I do remember running into my grandmother’s arm when she finally came to get me and asking never to have to go there again, which she obliged. Another instance was after my prom. My uncle was visiting and Nanny gave him a picture of me in my prom dress. He looked at it and said, “Wow, Beth, you really look kind of pretty in this picture.” It was the first time he’d ever said anything like that to me. I remember this feeling of validation that washed over me. I looked kind of pretty. Me. This same uncle would make fun of my weight when I was younger, so this was a small victory.

When I got old enough to take control, I promised myself I would always be in shape. I became obsessed with looking “pretty”. And, in my mind, pretty meant thin. I exercised daily. I took different diet pills that I would later learn were fairly unhealthy (and somewhat illegal). I was losing weight, but not fast enough. I starved myself, purged what I’d eat. I just wanted to be thin at any cost.

Once I reached 19 or so, my weight started to regulate. By the time I was 21, my metabolism shifted and I could eat what I wanted without penalty. This stayed with me until this pregnancy, really. My weight would fluctuate by 5-10 pounds, but the doctor said, for me, that was normal. I have a lot of internal issues from my illnesses that cause water weight, digestive issues, etc.

So, as one can imagine, this pregnancy and weight gain has triggered a lot of emotional and psychological baggage. This pregnancy and weight gain brought back this old trauma that I buried because it no longer mattered. I had won. I was skinny.

And with everything going on, I still haven’t truly been able to cope or deal with it — other than recognizing what it is I’m feeling and why I’m feeling it. Recognizing that I had this prejudice, this fatphobia, but that it had nothing to do with others and only had to do with myself.

I know, if I work at it, I can lose 8 pounds a month. And do it in a healthy manner. Eat right, exercise. Eat right, exercise. Lather, rinse, repeat. But, my biggest concern is…will it fix this problem? Or will it be another band-aid. I’m pretty again. Things are fine.

As I work on losing this pregnancy weight, I will need to work on my body issues and my perception issues. And really work on them. Not just get to a happy place because I’m “skinny”, but get to a place where I find myself beautiful no matter what I look like.

In the meantime, at least I can just call this “baby weight” again.

Heart to Heart

I’ve had a little excess stress in my life lately. I’ve tried to squash it, to make it “ok”, but it was much harder to control those emotions than I expected. Pregnancy hormones are no joke, honestly. Normally, I’d compartmentalize my feelings and deal with them when it was more time appropriate, but I didn’t have that same control this time around.

How it started:

I got some really frustrating news on Sunday night that was compounded by someone telling me numerous lies to try to cover up said news. It related to a very special event for Baby Ellie that we’ll never be able to recreate. I just couldn’t understand how this person let this happen or why they would do this to me. Honestly, the only thing I could think about was that it was some sort of sabotage. I know, that sounds nuts, but what else should I think? My friend decides to do something so terrible and has nothing but lies trying to cover it up — and now I’m expected to be compassionate? Well, I’m always the nice guy. I’m always compassionate. I’m always the one who tries to be reasonable.

I was going to cancel my spa appointment set for early Monday morning, as well as the above special event, but Ryan wouldn’t let me. He said that I needed to go to the spa for me and the Baby. I had a really nice time. While the facial did its thing, I think I wasted my massage.

I found out later that day about the majority of the above-mentioned lying, including the fact that there was no real reason for it. To make matters better, the person tried to blame me for this situation, when I was never involved until it became known that there was a problem. I couldn’t help myself but get so upset over this. This person has done things like this to me over and over again. It’s like a sickness that they seemingly can’t control. And, like the masochist I am, I continue to try to help them, but to what avail? They ruin a special day meant for my unborn baby who is such a miracle? Why would they do that? Hatred? Selfishness? Jealousy? Spite? I couldn’t figure out a reason that made sense.

I started feeling particularly bad on the way to my doctor’s appointment. I didn’t know what was wrong, but I had a lot of abdominal cramping. The nurse took my blood pressure, which was 145/95 — much higher than normal. My pulse rate was up, as well. I was feeling a little dehydrated, but figured I’d wait until after we saw the baby.

Once we were moved into the sonogram room, the doctor had me lie back. I tried to keep it together, but I felt like I was going to have a panic attack. I just couldn’t breathe. It was like I knew something was wrong and I didn’t want to face it.

The doctor start with an image of Baby and her heartbeat. She spent over 10 minutes on this, which is unusual. She tried her heartbeat from numerous angles, positions. She said she just couldn’t get a good read for the sonogram photo. Ryan and I knew there was more to that story, though.

After that, she started measuring fluid, bones, length, weight. She showed us Baby’s face, which was covered up by her hands. We’re not sure what she was doing, but we’re are fairly certain she will be a thumb sucker. She loves trying to eat her fingers. We got this one adorable photo of the baby with her mouth open will she’s trying to eat her entire hand, it seems.

Ryan said she looks just like me. I didn’t see it, but his smile made me believe him. He said she was the most gorgeous baby he’s ever seen. Now, I know we’re supposed to say that. And, well, hell…all parents think that of their kids. But hearing Ryan say that really calmed me down some.

After those quick measurements and close-up views, the doctor went back to Baby’s heart rate again. It was obvious she was concerned.

She cleaned me off and told me she needed to monitor Baby’s heart on a separate machine, as well as her movement and the activity of my uterus. I was still having trouble composing myself, so sitting up and getting into a regular chair while I waited to be moved was a pleasant change.

The new room was much cooler, which assisted me, some, with my breathing. This room just had a Fetal Monitoring system in it. The nurse said it was a particularly cool room since it is rarely used. I know she was making small talk, but that definitely didn’t make me feel better. They placed two monitor leads onto my abdomen, outside of my uterus using these velcro straps. I felt like I was in an asylum.

I asked what the issue was — and wanted a straight answer.

A normal, or average, baby’s heart rate ranges from 110 to 160 beats per minute. When monitoring an average baby’s heart, the heart rate tracing should look like a choppy, irregular lines with a lot of “up and down” points.

They gave me a movement indicator, as well, so I could mark on the heart rate tracing when Baby moved. They wanted to make sure Baby’s heart rate wasn’t dropping substantially during movement, among other things.

Baby Ellie’s heart rate was extremely elevated and wouldn’t go down to a normal rate. She was staying very high. This was not normal for her at all.

My heart sank when they explained the problem to me. I knew my stress caused this issue. I just knew it. They said it wasn’t my fault, but that was the variable, wasn’t it? Baby Ellie has been perfect since day one — and now, on this terrible day, she happens to have these issues of concern. And here I am, needing Ryan to fan me with magazines — in the coldest room of the office — so I don’t pass out from stress and anxiety? Yeah, it’s not my fault. Right.

They kept me on the machine for a little over 20 minutes. After reading the results, the doctor said things regulated themselves.

We have scheduled a follow-up so we can make sure that this was just a one-time incident and not something to be concerned about.

It’s a scary thing to have this life inside of you, knowing that every choice you make can negatively or positively affect it. A bad day can extend to your baby. It’s truly terrifying.

One person did something cruel to me and I let it affect me so adversely that Baby Ellie had to deal with it, as well.

We’re still not in the clear. We have an appointment right after I get back from NYC. If there are any concerns while we’re there, we will head straight to the ER. We’re 8 months pregnant and I will do everything in my power to NEVER let this happen again.

I won’t put myself in a position to allow someone to do something like this to me and my Baby ever again.

Keep Baby Ellie in your thoughts.

It’s raining….rain! Hallelujah!

While living in New York, I never thought about rain as a needed entity.  Obviously, I knew the benefits and detriments of rainfall, but since it didn’t really affect me, it wasn’t on the radar.  (I promise not to weather pun…much.)

When I moved to Texas, I heard about the droughts, but they never seemed substantial.  We’d be in need of rain…and then eventually it would rain.  Occasionally, there would be a fire, but the fire would be contained. (Yeah, and now I’m the drought Dr. Seuss.)

This year has set records in Texas for numerous reasons.  It’s been a scary year for us. Thousands of homes lost, millions of acres of land lost, billions of dollars of agriculture lost. And people are dying.  Just a couple of days ago, announcements were made that we’re very close to being out of water due to some pump related issues, as well as, well, this ridiculous drought.  We were banned from any outdoor watering or water related activities.

From Austin-American Statesman:

Lake Georgetown, which is 25 feet below its normal water level, is losing 3 inches per day, Hofmann said.

If Lake Georgetown falls 10 more feet, the water level will be below the intake pipes for the City of Round Rock, Thane said. If that happens, the city has an agreement to buy water from Georgetown and would continue using its own well water, he said.

Yes, it’s so bad, we’re at the point of buying water from other cities because we won’t be able to pump our own water.

And then yesterday and today happens. Some are calling it a miracle. It’s raining. We got .49″ of rain yesterday. I went for a walk in it — soaked to the bone, but it felt amazing. And this morning? I awoke to the sound of rain and thunder. I never thought that sound would usher in such a feeling of relief, but it did. Now, of course, we have flash flood warnings all over the place. But, beggars can’t be choosers. I’d rather have more rain than we can handle right now then have nothing at all and suffer more fires and, well, no water.

Question: How did this drought affect you?

My Favorite Game

Most people who know me well tell me I’m a Sheldon. Those who are like me will know that reference straight away.

I’ve been told he and I share similar traits, including:

 

    - strict adherence to routine
    - high IQ
    - stubborn
    - extreme dislike of being interrupted
    - super geek
    - mysophobia
    - dislike of people being in my personal space, especially my house/bedroom.

I could go on and on, but you get the point.

Well, one of my obsessive qualities manifests itself in the form of searching for IKEA furniture while watching television shows.

Yes. Drink that in.

It’s one of my favorite games to play. I scream out “IKEA” whenever I recognize a product from their store. Even Ryan does it now.

And, truth be told, almost every show I’ve ever watched in the last couple years has something from IKEA, whether it be a bookshelf or a vase.

Now, I’m not sure which is more sad: the fact that I play this game or the fact that I am that intimately familiar with what IKEA stocks, considering you could fit Rhode Island in your average IKEA store.

Question – what is the weirdest game you play (even if you are the only competitor)?

Mermaid or Whale?

I’ve been seeing these Facebook posts saying: “This summer, do you want to be a mermaid or a whale?”

And they showed a nude (tastefully done) photo of plus-size model Tara Lynn.

—-

My weight has always been a battle for me. When I was younger, I was a normal kid. As I got older, I gained weight. A lot of it was because when I was with my mom, she rarely made health-conscious food. We’d eat loads of fried foods, carb-rich foods, sugar-rich foods, etc. She didn’t lead a very active lifestyle, either, so I was often stuck inside watching my siblings. Don’t get me wrong — I love all my siblings. But, kids should be with their friends and active — not built-in babysitters.

Once I was in high school, I realized I wanted to get into shape. Not because I think “thin is beautiful“, but because I believe being healthy leads to a longer, happier life. I exercised more and realized that if I led an active lifestyle, I could eat those tasty treats I enjoyed without feeling guilty.

My grandmother taught me that I could eat whatever I wanted, as long as I ate within moderation.

As an adult, I’ve been slim. Most of my clothing, since late high school, is a size 6. Until pregnancy, I could still fit into all my late-teen, early twenties clothing.

This pregnancy has caused me to gain a lot of weight. My doctor informs me that this is just how it is for some women, especially women with my medical concerns. She also tells me I am FULL of water weight, as evident by my full-body swelling when I’ve over-tired or stressed.

So, why does this matter?

That question got me thinking. Do I find that model beautiful? More importantly, do I find her physically attractive? My first instinct was to wonder why her body is that way? Is she naturally curvy, or what is a professional choice? (Some models who can’t keep a size 0/2, but can’t work at a size 10, increase their body weight in order to be a plus-size model.) Does she suffer from any health problems that would cause her to be that size? Does she suffer from any health problems because of her size. I was automatically concerned for her. Should I be? No. It’s her body and her lifestyle. Her choice. But, I automatically felt it.

What does that say about me?

I think my own weight gain has definitely changed the way I look at other people. I have sympathy for my curvy friends, regardless of it they want it or care. I have sympathy because I know how bad I feel right now. With this extra 60+ pounds, my joints hurt. My back hurts. My shoulders hurt. Hell, my neck hurts. I feel uncomfortable and I feel unattractive. I’m having a hard time finding anything that I feel looks good on me, as well. And yes, I’m pregnant, so it’s a little different, but I don’t think I’m going to shrink back to a size 6 after I have Baby. I am going to still be at least 35 pounds overweight, based on the docs calculations. I will not fit into any of my normal clothing. I will be stuck wearing my maternity clothing until I lose the weight.

So, mermaid or whale? Yes, I know, mermaids aren’t real, but whales have a purpose to their size, as well. Are you naturally curvy? More power to you! But, does your curvy physique cause you any medical or physical problems? Well, then, let’s get healthy together. Size doesn’t matter. Weight doesn’t matter. You can be curvy and be the healthiest lady in the room. All that matters to me — is being healthy.

Who wants to get healthy with me — after I give birth to this adorable baby girl?

Question — would you rather be a mermaid or a whale?