Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Weight loss and the perpetually 10-year-old mind

I've come up with a new strategy to motivate myself to lose weight/train for the triathlon: I've made myself a star chart.  Star charts were commonplace in my household growing up; it was my mom's go-to technique for motivating my sister and I to do chores, save for things, or pretty much anything that she needed to force us to do in a really nice way.  I think that star charts resonate so well with me also because I inherited from my dad a compulsive need to log and chart progress and achievements.  My dad fulfills this compulsion through his geocaching habit; I prefer to break out the crayola and make myself an old-fashioned star chart.

So, my exercise star chart is color coded (naturally), and it includes a category for every possible method of exercise available to me: running, biking, swimming, walking, wii fit, biggest loser for wii, and all my various exercise DVDs.  I also included a category for when I stay within my daily point value (haven't gotten many stars in that category this week).  I'll be rewarding myself with triathlon gear (athletic swimsuit, road bike, babysitting $$ so I can train for the swim) and also indulgence rewards (can't wait to earn the MASSAGE!).  I'll just have to see how well it works: so far it's mostly been successful in making me feel more guilty about neglecting my exercise.  I do have seven stars so far though, and I gotta say it gives me great pleasure sticking those little sparkly stickers on my chart.

IF I had the ability to get my hands free of BABY for more than a few minutes of time, I'd love to make myself a star chart for all the other stuff that I need to do daily but dread.  At least with exercise, you eventually get the pay off of feeling better and looking better.  But what's my payoff for doing the stupid dishes?  Nothing, yet I still have to do them, over and over again, and still I find the sink full again the next morning.  I think I'd feel much more fulfilled if I got stars for doing the dishes and laundry, cooking dinner and fixing lunch, changing the baby, organizing the cabinets, scrubbing the floors, and all the other mind-numbingly tedious tasks of a SAHM.  It'd mean a lot more rewards earned, but the problem is, what can I really use as motivational awards at this point?  Indulgent food is a no-no right now, and being fiscally responsible is another current goal of mine that I can't neglect for the sake of staying motivated to clean the house.  So, what are my options for fun rewards that don't contain calories and don't cost money?  Suggestions appreciated!

Friday, January 8, 2010

I'm back! And, with a sidekick!

So, I haven't blogged in just over a year.  Oops.  But I'm back with good intentions, and I am sporting the cutest of accessories, a ridiculously cute 4 month-old named Evelyn Vera.  She's the reason (if you want the really simplified version) of why I haven't written here since last January.  Also, I gave birth to her!  Yup, she is my daughter and my greatest accomplishment.  She's also the 'news' I hinted at in my last post (a year ago) which I never got around to sharing here (but I'm fairly certain everyone who knows me outside the web has figured out by now).

Of course, things have changed dramatically for me since I last posted, and so the focus of my blog will have to change as well.  I've given up the freelancing- temporarily at least- as it wasn't working out and I had a lot of other things to do, like grow and deliver a baby and move across the country.  Now my main thrusts in life are being a mom and losing all the weight that I should have lost BEFORE I got pregnant.  I'm proud to say that I've lost 55 lbs since giving birth on September 1st, which puts me at 20 lbs lighter than I was when I got pregnant.  I've set a goal for myself to lose an additional 40 lbs, which would put me at the lower end of my 'healthy BMI' range, but I'd be happy with 30 lbs too.  25 even.  In fact, it's interesting how your perspective changes with age and experience:  Right now I am at the weight that I was the 1st time I joined weight watchers, my sophomore year of college.  At that time I felt terribly chubby and like I had failed myself.  This time around, 6 years older and wiser, I feel like I look fabulous at this weight and I'm proud of myself for having gotten (back) to it!  I wish I could have had this perspective in high school, so I could have really enjoyed my little waist and not-flabby thighs instead of comparing myself to the stick-figures on the cheerleading team and finding myself inferior.  Oh well.  I hope I can use my experiences and lessons to save my daughter from the body image agony that I've felt over the years, but I'm pretty sure she'll have to learn the hard way, as we all do. 

So I guess I'm a mommy blogger now, and a weight loss chronicler, and maybe some other stuff depending on what I feel like writing about.  My posts may be short or infrequent.  In order to get this written, I've had to wave various toys in front of Evie's face, shouting, "Look!  Birdie!  Ball!  Horsie!  Pretty colors!" in order to buy a few second to type a couple of words ... and then repeat the process all over again.  Of course there is always her naps, but I need those to accomplish other things, like taking a shower, eating food that can't be consumed using only one hand, keeping the household mess to a managable disaster, and of course catching my own naps.  Seriously, being the primary caregiver for an infant is a special brand of insanity that you cannot understand until you'v been there.  Prior to having Evie, I thought I knew.  I DID NOT!!