Monday, June 15, 2009
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
If I had a dollar for every weight loss program I have stopped and started, I would be pretty wealthy.
If I had a dollar for every time I asked myself, "When are you going to start eating healthy and get rid of this weight?" - I would be able to afford a personal trainer and cook on a regular basis.
I started this blog to share my trials and tribulations with you as a mom and wife and as to be honest, weight is a large (ok, no laughing!) part of who I am and something clicked in me the last few weeks that I really need to start dealing with my weight and start getting healthy. While this is not going to be a weight loss blog, I am going to use this as a venue to both get support and hold myself accountable.
What is the big impetus this time that is motivating me ? Come on, for those of you who battle with weight, you know there is always a reason and/or event that springs you into action. . .and the key is to hope that while that event/reason may come and go, the motivation to get healthy says with you. . .before I get into that, let's look at my past motivations.
I remember starting diets as early as high school - I was on Weight Watchers (all the way back when they had "exchanges", not points and the only fruit you could eat for like the first week was apples, oranges & grapefruits - anyone remember that?) and I believe my mother even signed me up for Diet Center too. . .I am sure this is an exaggeration, but I remember that diet required me to weigh-in every day (I used to take my earrings off for fear they would add an ounce!) and I don't remember being allowed anything to eat other than like Wasa Crackers and a piece of fruit here and there. I don't remember having any motivation for them - I think I was just put on them. Now, I was not thin in high school, but I was definitely not obese. I have a warped memory of how much I had to lose, but it certainly wasn't a large amount.
Fast forward years and lots of pounds later to my junior year in college. I had wanted to go to Spain for the following summer or fall as an exchange student. I vividly remember my parents bribe - if you lose weight, you can go to Spain. So, they signed me up for my first of three times with Nutrisystem. I was ultimately pretty successful and lost quite a bit of weight. I actually just dug up some pictures from college and there were quite a few of me taken during that time and I was even bordering on a weight that someone could call thin. . .or certainly normal!! I'm not sure if I ever reached my goal weight or whatever happened to Spain and why I didn't go, but I can tell you that over the next year or two I had gained all my weight back that I lost.
While in law school, I joined Weight Watchers a few times and even took a stab again at Nutrisystem. ..other than successfully giving my money and time to these programs, I wasn't too successful at them. I lost a little bit here and there, but nothing substantial and whatever I lost always came back.
While I played around with trying to go on a diet before my wedding, I didn't. . .but that is okay, I still felt like a beautiful princess and loved every minute of being in my wedding dress.
Now after my wedding, my mother suggested I go on Phen Fen (back in 1995 or 1996) and boy - that was like gold to me!! Those drugs were the best invention on the planet. Without much effort at all, the weight melted off of me and I thought I had finally licked my food problem. Well, I did, until they took my drugs off the market.. .how could they??? In truth, those drugs did exactly what they were supposed to do - curb my appetite (the upper) and mentally made not care about food and do the mental gymnastics that I always do (should I eat that? should I not? should I make a better choice?) - but they didn't teach me to address the problem when I was off the drug.
So, the drug was taken away from me cold turkey and I ate my way through the next few years. I did try some other weight loss drugs, but nothing ever had the success rate that Phen Fen had for me.
Jump forward a few years later while I am trying to get pregnant. After a few years of trying, we went to a fertility specialist and while I didn't want any of us to be "the broken one" - I think I had hoped it was my husband because that was an easier fix. Well, it was me who was broken, not him. In addition to producing very very very few eggs and follicles during ovulation (some months I didn't even ovulate), it was discovered after a number of tests and a round of Super Clomid that I had Type 2 Diabetes. The plan was to wait until the Diabetes was under control before we continued with fertility treatment because having a baby with Diabetes can put you into a high risk category.
Well, guess what? I was already pregnant! We found out about a week later. .. and immediately I was put on insulin and transferred to a high risk ob and I had to test my blood 6 times a day. And guess what? I was the healthiest pregnant person around - I lost quite a bit of weight (the insulin helped tremendously with regulating my blood sugar and cravings, etc) and once again, while I was upset I had diabetes, I was happy to have found a possible reason for my weight challenges.
Thankfully my pregnancy was easy and wonderful and my daughter was born healthy with no blood sugar issues. Three months after my pregnancy, I was still pumping (my daughter never latched on, so I pumped for the first 3 - 4 months) and on insulin and losing more weight and happy as could be. Then. . .they took my insulin away. Apparently one cannot be on insulin long term when they no longer have diabetes.
Yep - go figure -when I went back to my endocrinologist, my blood sugar was no longer in the diabetic range (and hasn't been again in the last 6.5 years, despite numerous tests and eating like crap). So, once the scare of diabetes and my insulin was taken away, I headed again down the path of eating, eating and more eating.
So, over the last few years I have joined and dropped out of Weight Watchers a few times and last January I even joined Nutrisystem for the 3rd time. I did lose almost 30 pounds - but once the Jewish Holiday Passover hit (one of my fave holidays!), I fell off the diet and was never able to get motivated to get back on. . ..
So, you ask, why am I motivated now? Yes, there is the obvious reason of wanting to be healthy and living a long time for my daughter and husband. . .but come on, that reason is always there in one form or another for most of us and sadly, often that just isn't enough.
Here is my motivation - simple, yet pretty powerful.
My daughter is not embarrassed by having a Mommy who is fat (forget being politically correct and saying overweight - let's just call it what it is. . .). . .yet. And I say yet, because we all know , it will come. Her mommy will be the one wearing a skirt on the bottom of her bathing suit - whether its trendy that year or not. Her mother will be the one with her tushy always hanging over the kids' seats in the classroom. I could go on and on. . .
Last week it was pretty hot in Phoenix for March - it was in the 90s. Allie had on an adorable tank top and skirt. I was in a short-sleeved t-shirt and capris. Allie asked me why I wasn't in a tank top because it was so hot out. I fumphered some answer and she said I would be so much cooler if I wore a tank top and she wanted to go pick one out for me in my closet. I told her I didn't have any tank tops -she proceeded to dig a couple of out my drawers (I'm not sure why they are even there, because I can guarantee you with arms like mine, I don't wear them!) and told me to try it on. I tried to protest as much as I could (too old, too small, too big, etc) - finally I put it on. Allie looked at me with a really funny look and said to take it off, it looked horrible.
OMG - I am wondering and thinking about all the things going through her head about how she sees me in this tank top. Then I see her mouth opening to say more. . .god, I didn't want to hear it. What more than telling me it looked horrible did she have to say.
"Mommy", Allie says, "you should throw that away, there is a big stain on the front and that is a really yucky orange color and it just looks horrible. But here, try this purple one on, I bet that will be pretty on you. . ."
So, bottom line. I want to lose weight and hopefully look okay in a tank top BEFORE Allie knows I don't look okay in a tank top and a person with my arms should never consider wearing a tank top!
So, intermingled with my posts, I am sure I’ll be posting an update about the program and my personal weight loss successes and disappointments each week after my Weight Watchers meeting.
Oh yeah, and who is that in the picture with me? None other than Adam Pascal from Rent. Rent is my all time favorite musical (I have seen the musical 3 times and the movie countless times- I am one of those annoying people to sit next to while watching Rent because I sing/mouth all the words. . .yes, for the entire show!) and one of the most amazing gifts my hubby gave me for my 40th birthday was 3rd row tickets to Rent which we just went to last Friday. And to make the experience even more fabulous, a friend of a friend invited me to the Cast Party and I can tell you, I felt like Allie going to Disneyland for the first time - to get to meet Adam Pascal (who was just sooooo kind and warm and chatty. . . not to mention, rather hot!) and Anthony Rapp (I was always taught if you don't have something nice to say, don't say it. . .) was nothing less than FABULOUS!! I mean I got to share plates of pita bread and hummus with them. . .way cool as far as I am concerned!!
In any event, I promised myself there was not way I am going to be that large when I meet someone so famous and so hot again. . .
Hopefully this time is different and it lasts for more than a minute. . .care to join me on my journey?
Saturday, March 14, 2009
I love my daughter to pieces, but an academic prowess she is not. She loves school - or rather, she loves her friends, PE, Computers (which no thanks to Jan Brewer and her education budget cuts that Allie's school won't have as a special next year!), Recess and homework (yes, homework!). Oh yes, and field trips too! And she loves raising her hand and listening to her own voice (as well as knowing others are listening too - ok, yes, she is a bit like Mommy here!). She doesn't even love lunch -because she says that takes away too much time for her recess (I am hoping that she always feels this way about food - would rather play than eat - you go girl!) - although she does love Thursday lunch because I give her extra money to get ice-cream.
Now, don't get me wrong - her reading group is the 2nd from top in the class and her report cards have all been excellent and she is testing all above grade level- but I think there is a BIG difference and jump between the top group in her class and Allie's group. And before you leave me comments in all caps, telling me to take it easy and I'm not giving her enough credit - I'm not passing any judgment - just telling it like it is. She is definitely in the top half of her class and she is bright - but she has to work for it and it doesn't come quickly or easily and, let's just say, she would rather be jump roping, hula-hooping (is that even a word?), on her trampoline or riding her scooter than reading.
As I curled up on the couch last night to try and get through the first book of the Twilight series (normally I am a fast reader, but unlike most of America I have yet to be grabbed by this book. . .but I keep promising my friends that I will finish it because they promise me that unless I am just a loser that I will love it. Well, sad to say, a loser I think I might be. . .), Allie told me that if I practice my hula-hooping more then maybe I could win a hula-hoop contest for adults like she just won that day at school for their Field Day.
I told Allie that I thought that was great and I was so proud of her, but maybe if she practiced reading more she would get better at it just like she thinks I could get better at hula-hooping. She paused, took it in, looked at me and said what I said didn't make sense because they didn't have contests at school for who was the best reader - only who was the best AT DOING SOMETHING.
And there you have it. . .maybe if they offer a blue ribbon for the fastest reader, Allie could be enticed to read more???
Friday, March 13, 2009
I feel that I am truly blessed in that I have surrounded myself with some really wonderful and amazing friends...we laugh together, cry together, giggle together, worry together, eat together and of course - whine and vent a bit about our hubbies or kids together!!
I firmly believe that behind every good marriage is a great group of girlfriends. . .and a good therapist!! :-)
But seriously, I find some of my friends are more work than others. . .do you ever find you walk on eggshells around some of your friends? I would say 99.9% of my friends treat me and make me feel like I can be who I am and while they might have different opinions than I, they are not judgmental.
But that other teeny tiny percentage- oy! Its like I can never win. And I'm not saying that I'm perfect and they are not. I'm not even saying that they aren't warm, loving people that if I needed something I could definitely ask them and I do believe they would be there for me. But the day-to-day relationship is challenging. Sometimes even toxic (or so my other friends and therapist say). Its like oil and water - yet our kids and history perhaps keep us together and coming back for more. And I am not a letter goer - not very easily anyways. I think I allow myself to be treated poorly for awhile - or you would have to do something pretty horrific for me to call it quits (and then its probably more out of self preservation and protection than a truly healthy decision to say "if this person is going to treat me this way, I don't need this friend anymore"). My therapist says I have no boundaries. . .
Do you have friends that you feel don't really treat you the way you deserve to be treated, but for nostalgia purposes you keep them in your life as well? Or are you a lot healthier than me?
Saturday, January 24, 2009
So, last week I bought the package of zone bars at Costco and they come with the fudge graham and peanut butter flavor. Allie doesn't like the peanut butter one (which why is that, because 3 out of 5 days during the week she always has peanut butter for lunch??), so she gives me those to keep and she gets the other ones for her to take to school for her snack. So, over the course of the last week I have eaten 5 or 6 of them. . .
Then Costco leaves me a message (which, by the way, how in the world do they know I bought those???? that will make me think twice what I buy there. . .next time I might get a call from them that says "hey lady, I think you have purchased too much unhealthy food - most people only buy one jar of chocolate covered raisins not one jar of chocolate covered raisins and another jar of jelly bellys at the same time!) telling me that zone bars are doing a voluntary recall of their peanut butter bars and I can bring it back to the store for a refund. . .
Ok - so I will admit - I momentarily panic - the thought of food poisoning freaks me out and I hate throwing up - when that happens, I revert back to a child and cry and whine and want to be taken care of. Then I think if I am going to die of food poisoning, eating a peanut butter zone bar would not be the food I chose to end my life with.. . .that is kinda depressing.
But after I express my concern all over Facebook and most everyone assures me that I would have been sick by now, I begin to get a grip and realize that I am fine.
But, I still have about half the box of Peanut Butter zone bars left - so, what to do?
Someone I work with, suggested if I am not going to want to eat them I can donate them to food bank. . .HELLO. . .if this product has any potential of making anyone sick I would never do that AND, I should donate them to a food bank so someone who can't afford food and probably doesn't have health insurance should eat them and get sick??? Won't that ultimately cost me more money than the $7 I originally spent on them at Costco as somewhere along the line you and I will be paying for that person who couldn't pay for their health care? No, not an option.
I could simply eat them? Well. .. .gotta tell you, I'm a little uncomfortable with that. I mean if someone is recalling their product, voluntarily or not, do you really intentionally eat them? Nah, plus I would not get the sympathy nod if I got sick after my own stupidity. . .totally not worth it on so many levels (and yes, I will admit it - I don't pass up the sympathy nods every now and then when they are deserved - makes me feel loved and cared for at times!).
I can return them to Costco. . .well, if I was already going to Costco, I could see doing that - but I'm not. So, as I see it, to return them to get a few dollars back (and how much will they give me back because I'm not returning the fudge graham ones that come in the same package???) will cost me much more in the long run as this is how I picture it. . .
I spend the gas money to drive to Costco (okay, not so far away, but I'm really trying to see if its worth it. . . ) when I don't have to go there, I see the return line is out the door (seems to always be that even a month after the holidays) and I groan. Allie says, "Mom, that line is soooo long - do we really have to wait? " I tell her that maybe if we go in and just look around the line will be shorter. So, I go in and how can you walk into Costco without buying something???? Even if its only a couple of items, its not stuff I planned to get or necessarily needed. . .so, we buy our few things and then we are hungry and so we buy lunch (which is the cheapest lunch on the planet - yet money I didn't need to spend) and we finally get in maybe a reasonable line to return the 5 or 6 zone bars I have left.
So, you suggest I wait to go return the zone bars when I don't have Allie - let's be honest here, I wouldn't feel like waiting in line either and I probably would go in the store myself "to kill time" to hope the line was shorter and buy things too!!
So, no, I have decided that in light of my promise to my husband to curb my unnecessary spending and the reality that returning the zone bars to Costco will end up in just that, I am opting to keep the Peanut Butter Zone Bars, but not eat them. . .until such time as the voluntary recall is lifted.
Hope they are still good by then. . .because if not, I'm out like $7!
Friday, January 23, 2009
Allie: Mommy, I want to be sisters with Malia and Sasha Obama.
Mommy Meryl: Why?
Allie: Because they got to go on a 'avenger hunt in The White House and find the Jonas Brothers in their house.
Mommy Meryl: Ahhh, pretty cool.
Allie: Yeah. I'm so glad you voted for Barack Obama. . .maybe if Daddy knew about the Jonas Brothers he would have voted for Obama too.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Thanks to Label Daddy sending me some samples of their amazing labels, I have found the PERFECT labels for all of Allie's "stuff" - i.e., backpack, lunchbox, waterbottle, etc.
In Allie's six years, she has had 3 experiences with those close to her dying - 2 dogs and her paternal Grandfather. I have to say, she took those in stride - like most 2 (when our first dog, Audi died), 3 (when our 2nd dog Budi died) and 5 year olds (when her grandpa died) do. She wasn't overly sad or weepy - more matter-of-fact about it.
As she gets older, she is much more emotional about her dogs and grandpa. Out-of-the-blue, Allie will ask questions about death and dying - I'm sure typical questions that most kids ask, that most parents really have no answer to (i.e., what does it feel like to die, can you still hear and see your friends and family when you die, do you eat when you die, are there restaurants in heaven, can dead people go swimming, is it cold, etc).
My father-in-law's birthday is in October and Allie asked a simple, yet thought provoking question. Even though Grandpa is dead, does he still get older on his birthday? My initial answer, was "no, I don't think so". But then Allie said that didn't make sense. I asked her why and she told me it was because if his body was buried in the ground, his body was still there and why wouldn't it get older each year. I thought for a minute and decided how could I immediately dismiss her thinking? So, while I was silent, she asked me what I thought about what she said. I told her that it sounded good to me.
I thought it we could let it go. But no - she said, "well, is it true"? I said, I'm not sure. She then said we should ask our Rabbi because they know everything about God and "stuff". I thought that was a great idea.
Even though we have seen our rabbi lots of times since then, Allie never remembered to ask. We were at the Temple selling girl scout cookies yesterday when Allie remembered she had a question for our rabbi. After he bought his girl scout cookies, she asked him her question. And he was just as stumped as I was!
So, he tried to take a rabbinical path and discuss with Allie all the wonderful things you can do to remember a person when they die and how you can honor their memory and that it doesn't matter what the answer is, its more important to just remember and celebrate them.
Do you think Allie was satisfied with that answer? No. She wasn't interested in what he was saying - however eloquent and thoughtful and inspiring it was. She just wanted the answer to her question. We left the rabbi's office, happy that he bought girl scout cookies, but unsatisfied as she wondered who would know her answer because someone HAS to know.
So, after our stint at the Temple, Allie had her Brownies meeting and I thought all was forgotten about death and dying for the moment. Not so.
For her bedtime story, she wanted to read Saying Goodbye to Lulu by Corinee Demas (which I strongly recommend if you want a way to introduce a young child to the concept of a pet dying) - one of her preschool teachers gave her that when she was 3.5 and our dog Budi was dying of cancer. It is a beautifully written book - but a tear jerker!
I tried to steer her away from reading it last night and she asked me why and I said, "well, its just so sad - do you really want to read it now?". She said yes, that it was okay to be sad sometimes and she was really missing Budi & Audi and that book makes her feel better. So we read it and I'm trying to hide/stiffle my tears (why don't we like to let our kids see us cry?) and all of a sudden, Allie looks at me and starts crying and simply says, "that book always makes me cry - how about you?" So, then I feel soooooooooooooooooo silly for stifling my tears and I say, "yes, me too". And she says, "Then, how come I can't hear you cry?"
Wow, they don't let us get away with anything, huh?
Monday, December 15, 2008
This is an amazing deal! Whether you are looking for that last minute holiday gift or you want to treat yourself to dinner out! You cannot beat this - a $25 gift certificate at a restaurant of your choice FOR ONLY $2!!
Friday, December 12, 2008
As I am in the midst of all the fun, food, shopping, lights, celebrations, gift giving and receiving that goes along with Holiday seasons, I am hoping that this season finds you and your family doing well. During these challenging economic times, I've can't help but remind myself about what's really important. While I know there are families who have fortunately not been injured by the economy, there are some who I know have been hit much worse that my family has. While I can't deny the excitement I get in giving and receiving gifts, this year in particular has made me really think about what I have in my life. And as silly as it sounds, to wake up everyday to the annoying snoring of my husband and the Hannah Montana singing of my daughter, I truly know that those are the best holiday gifts in the world.
I always think back to something my maternal grandmother said and I think at times my mother may have quoted her as well. "That what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" and "This too shall pass". While not everything has a storybook ending, lessons can always be learned from hard times and hopefully we come out better and stronger people.
And while these economic times are scary - I have my health, my husband, my daughter and an amazing array of other family members and friends and we all have each other.
There is no time of year that is more special than the holiday season - whether you celebrate Chanukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa or a combination, I urge you to look around at the happenings in your city and be creative - I guarantee you that you will find lots of wonderful things to do that will fit any budget. Personally, nothing beats driving around looking at the amazing array of Holiday Lights with my hubby and daughter while Chanukah songs are playing in the car. . .
Monday, December 1, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Act now - $25 restaurant gift certificates for ONLY $2.00.
New restaurants join the program all the time!
Great gifts for your employees, childrens' teachers, co-workers, or anyone else who likes to enjoy dinner out!!
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
So, Miss Allie asks me how come she doesn't see me "blogging" much or on my Chit Chat for Mommies website as much - and I realized that not only didn't I have a very good answer (anymore) but that I really missed it.
I think I first got "out of the loop" when I was starting to feel sick and and tired and then we finally figured out I had Mono and I was just too exhausted to stay up and blog or work on my website.
Then 2 weeks ago our house was broken into and I'm still have issues about feeling safe in my own home - its better, but I'm still a bit anxious about every noise I hear. Thankfully no one (including the dogs) were hurt - but things were taken, stuff was rifled through and it left me with a really yucky feeling.
But mostly, I had a really nice (albeit some might say a little late at night) routine - I would work on my website after Allie and Rich were both sleeping - when my creative juices would flow. It didn't leave me time for lots of sleep, but I didn't feel draggy and it wasn't until I got sick that I thought the lack of sleep was impacting me.
So, I know I miss connecting with my readers and blogging and working on my website and one of my birthday presents that I am going to give myself (along with my yearly promise of promising I'm going to lose weight so I can feel good in a bathing suit by the summer. . .that is the one good thing about a November birthday - its a nice motivation to be able to feel good in a bathing suit. Unfortunately, I have never quite actually made good on that gift to myself. . .) is to find another routine that works.
So, thank you to all of you who still continue to subscribe to my blog - even though its been very sparse lately. And thanks to all of you who send me amazing little emails asking if I'm okay and where I am. . .
And I'd like to leave you with one little chuckle. . .on Saturday night my girlfriends are planning a sleepover party for me to celebrate my 40th -can I tell you how excited I am??? Why should Allie have all the fun at sleepovers??
Anyways, Rich & Allie are having a daddy/daughter date and her choice is to go rock climbing and see High School Musical 3 (for a 4th time!). . .so Allie told me that she is really excited for my birthday in "3 more wake-ups". I told her, no, my birthday is on Friday, 2 more wake ups. She said, no I'm really excited to celebrate your birthday with Daddy at High School Musical 3 when you are having a sleepover with your friends. . .