Tuesday, December 29, 2009

We Love Them But...

There are some things men JUST don't get!
Whether they be our husbands, significant others, brothers, fathers, sons, or buddies, sometimes we just want to smack them upside the head.
Am I right, ladies?
Or, even better, let them live our lives for a week.
If they last that long.
I'd LOVE for the men in my life to live as me for a month. To REALLY live as me, with my body, my thoughts and feelings, my memories, my menstrual cycle, work schedule, the whole 9 yards. Doing the grocery shopping, laundry, dishes, the bulk of the child care (including meetings with teachers and therapists, doctors' appointments, baths, staying awake with them at night, etc), doing my job, paying the utility bills...ALL of it!
Because they think we nag them. But when someone is coming to the house and we ask them to PLEASE pick their crap up off the floor and they don't do it, YES, it makes us crazy! You know why? Because if the house is a mess, guess who gets the blame! NOT the guys! US!!!! Even in our more enlightened times, it is the women who are seen as the caretakers, the keepers of home and hearth, and the ones who are expected to be on our knees scrubbing the toilet. Guys are SUPPOSED to be messy, right? If we know a guy who keeps his home clean, there's something *different* about him, right? (And let me just say, I know PLENTY of gay men [and women] who make me look like Martha Freakin' Stewart, so lets cut the stereotypical crap, shall we?!?!?!)
I think that if men experienced the kind of pressure we are under, from outside sources and from ourselves, they might just self-destruct. Or, if they care about us, they might step up and help out more.
I try to remember that. When I am at the end of my rope with one or another of the men in my life, I try, I really do, to remember that they don't understand. That I cannot expect them to understand unless I explain it to them. Calmly and rationally. In a way that a young child would comprehend.
But sometimes I'm only human, and I get upset. I don't yell and scream anymore, but I cannot be calm and in control all the time, especially when others around me are losing their sh*t. Or simply being rude. (Like when I'm driving, either alone or with my kids. I guess some guys see me in my red minivan and assume they can either tailgate and/or yell at me and I'll be intimidated. I soon prove them wrong. In fact, they usually drive away wondering if and when that psycho minivan lady is coming to hunt them down. Heh heh heh!!!!)
Don't get me wrong; for the most part, I love men. I'm a long way from my days in college in New York, when I was convinced that males were inherently evil, incapable of love, and rapists waiting to happen. (Yeah, New York'll do that to ya, especially if you're young.) I try not to buy into group-think: the whole Mars/Venus thing. I try to see people as individuals. But when people live up to their stereotypes, it can be hard ("Real Housewives," anyone?).
But all that doesn't stop me from complaining! Or shouting out the occasional "Men SUCK!", usually while I'm driving. (I try not to do this when the kids are in the car. One of this is, after all, a boy.) Then I come home to find that Hubby has vacuumed the house, washed the dishes, and walked the dog, and all is well again.
At least until next time.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

To all who celebrate it. Happy New Year to us all, and have a wonderful weekend!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Temptation and Time

The past few days have been crazy. (In the words of my B-I-L as he was driving from San Diego to San Francisco 2 days before Christmas a few years ago, "Man, the holidays SUCK!") Hubby took his wriiten and practical fianl exams for his EMT training and...
They even asked if he'd be interested in coming back next semester to help with the new crop of students! Now he just needs to take the national exam, and he'll be certified!
Then it's on to Paramedic school.
My kids are on vacation, my mother is in town, I'm subbing a whole bunch of classes at 3 different gyms, and there's no parking to be had ANYWHERE ON THE PLANET! (At least, that's how it feels.)
I haven't done any journaling in the past 2 days and, surprise surprise, I've eaten more than I wanted.
Ah well. It's all part of the process, right?
But I've also been overdoing the workouts, and woke up with aches and cramps this morning. Which are always my first sign that I need to ease up. I guess working out hard 10 hours a week is a teeny bit too much.
And I need to ease up on the cokkies left over from my holiday bake-a-thon. My hips and my teeth can't take it. And I'm not even enjoying them anymore!

So, remember when we were kids and the 3 weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas were the longest weeks EVER?!?!?! Now it feels like we just got back from our vacation in Tahoe. Which was in mid-August.
Where did the year go?
It hit me, in the middle of yoga the other day, that I'm 40 freakin' years old! How did that happen? Wasn't I just 28? Not that I wanna go back there, thankyouverymuch. But I still feel like I'm 12.
And Hubby and I will be celebrating our 9 year wedding anniversary just after New Year's. Which means we've been together for 15 years. So I CAN'T be 12! And my mom turned 72 yesterday!
And my dog is 11 1/2! She's getting old!!!!! I want her to live forever!
And how can it be 2010?!?!?! We don't even have flying cars yet! We don't walk around in our houses on the moon wearing matching silver unitards! This can't possibly be the 2010 we all read about when we were kids. OK, when SOME OF US were kids. A LOOOONG time ago.

OK, freakout ending. That's just WAY TOO MANY exclamation points! -Sorry-.

Anyway, gotta go occupy the kinder before they destroy the house.

Oh, and R.I.P, Brittany Murphy! SO sad!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Journals: A Slippery Slope, or a Path to Self-Acceptance?

As I mentioned in my last post, I've started food journaling again, something I swore a couple of years ago I'd NEVER do. Because when I did it before, it was all about calorie counts, fat grams, and points, and it made me psychotic. It made me exercise for hours on end in order to "earn the right" to eat more. I was CONSTANTLY thinking about food: How much can I eat? When can I eat again? Can I have that mochachino and coffee cake at Starbucks after I finish this workout? (I usually did, regardless.)
One of the big hurdles for me, when trying to eat intuitively, is paying attention. To how I'm feeling emotionally, how hungry/satisfied I am, and what or even IF I really want to eat.
I know I'm an emotional eater, and have been for almost as long as I can remember. I also know I use food as a reward. I'm also the type who has trouble just sitting and eating and not doing anything else. I LOVE to read while I eat! A lot of this comes from my days as a New Yorker, when I'd eat alone most of the time because my schedule was so different from any of my friends'. They had 9-5 jobs, while I worked nights so my days could be free, on the off chance I should actually have an audition. So I would always have a book with me. Still do. I LOVE to read! I don't do big shopping excursions, I'm not a Lady Who Lunches, and I don't take many vacations. So reading is my Me Time. And I really, REALLY do not want to give up reading while eating!
I recently came across a book I bought about a year or so ago, called "The Eating Well Diet." "Eating Well" is a GREAT food magazine, and it's published out of Vermont (one of my favorite states) which is ALSO the home of VTrim, and this book combines the two. MizFit blogged about them recently. They are a group of physicians and dieticians who created an online weight loss program after performing a study at the University of Vermont. The program consists of behavioral changes that have helped many people lose weight and keep it off. I LIKE programs like this, because they work on understanding WHY we overeat, without the what, how, or when to eat. There are no forbidden foods, food combinations, pills, shakes, etc.
But what IS a big part of it is journaling. Including calorie counts, both for food eaten and calories burned off during exercise. Which raises a HUGE red flag for me. Because while I understand the reasoning behind it, it can be triggering for those of us with a history of disordered eating and exercising. They also recommend regular weigh-ins. Yikes! Also triggering.
However, I have decided to give it a try. Not the weighing part, yet. (I weighed myself 2 weeks ago and haven't gotten the courage up yet to step back up on the scale.) But the journaling. And I'm adding in how I feel when I eat, and how hungry I am before and after. Because that is very helpful for me. I'm only on day 3, but I feel much more aware of what, how much, and WHY I eat. The one drawback is that I can feel myself falling into the "If I exercise this much I can eat that much" mentality. But at least I'm recognizing it, and can hopefully put a stop to it.
Something else that has convinced me to return to journaling is reading "The Amazing Adventires of Dietgirl" by Shauna Reid. She lost 175 pounds over the course of 7 years, and kept a journal. It's a great read, and is about so much more than weight loss.
I'm also working my way, S-L-O-W-L-Y, through "The Appetite Awareness Workbook." Also very helpful, and includes a journal.
And all this navel contemplation, while making me seem self-centered, has led me to a light bulb moment; my old pal Guilt has not only paid me a visit, but he's camped out on the couch, taken possession of the remote, and seems to have no plans to leave. Or pay rent. So I've no choice but to kick him to the curb again.
What, you may ask (if you haven't fallen asleep yet) am I feeling guilty about NOW?!?!?! Well, lots of things, but the main one is this; wanting to lose weight.
I know, bizarre. After all, most people in this country, particularly women, want to lose weight, so why am I agonizing over it? Because of my belief in the Fat Acceptance movement. I truly believe that our bodies are our own, and no one else has the right to make snide, snarky comments, or to try to force someone into weith loss surgery, or deny them health care. I also believe that the objectification of the "perfect" body is doing horrible damage to us. We are driving women AND men ito eating disorders, multiple plastic surgeries, disordered exercise. We are also objectifying women to the point where 14 year-old boys are raping 12 year-old girls in staircases at school, while classes are in session! And 14 year-old girls are being gang-raped outside of homecoming dances.
It HAS to stop! (And if it doesn't, I think I just may grab a knife and start castrating the rapists myself.)
We are told, on one hand, that we are not worthy unless we have that perfect body. On the other hand, it is dangerous to be attractive, because then we are "asking" to be attacked. So the FA movement, among others, tells us we can truly love ourselves the way we are. And I BELIEVE that! I believe we MUST love ourselves as we are! But a part of me then thinks, well, if I love myself the way I am, why should I want to change anything? And if I can accept others, regardless of their size, why can't I accept myself?
Hence the guilt.
Until I realized that, hey, this acceptance thing goes both ways! If I can accept someone at their size, then they can accept the fact that I want to lose weight. I can accept that I want to lose weight! Specifically, the 30 pounds I've put on in the last 4 years. My family has a history of heart problems, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Why SHOULDN'T I do everything possible to keep myself healthy? If losing weight is going to help me lower my (borderline high) cholesterol, why SHOULDN'T I do it? If I can accept that a heavy person is not necessarily unhealthy and that thin does NOT automatically equal healthy, why shouldn't I pay attention to my own risk factors? I want to be around for my kids! And, yes, I want to like how I look. And I don't particularly like the way I look right now.
After all, IT'S MY BODY!!!!!!
As long as I'm not abusing it, it's no one else's business!
And just as I have the right to my own body, I also have the right to my emotions, WHATEVER they are. So, enough stuffing them down with food, or ignoring them, or pretending everything is hunky-dory when it isn't, or not being deliriously happy when it is. Enough of stifling my own opinions just to keep the peace. Enough of being told how to feel and what to think. And enough of being bullied! I have lived so much of my life in fear! And you know what? That's just bullshit! I'm THROUGH with being a second-class citizen. As a woman, and a mother, I'm supposed to sacrifice EVERYTHING?!?!?! Screw that! I'm not gonna be that kins of role model for my kids! I'm not going to raise my kids to believe that girls are less important than boys, or that children should be seen and not heard, or that just because they are "different" they are any less deserving. The world can be a harsh place. But we are ALL worthy of our place in it!
Including ME, dammit!

Monday, December 14, 2009


Gotta love watching futbol!

So it's creeping up on Jan. 1, and most folks will be setting their New Years' resolutions. A lot of those resolutions will involve weight loss and/or getting to the gym. For 3 months, our JCC will be filled to the brim with well-meaning folk sweating it out over treadmills, free weights, bikes, Pilates reformers, and crowding the already-crowded kickboxing classes. Then the numbers will taper off, leaving the Faithful. Pounds will remain un-lost, biceps flabby, water un-drunk (drank?), and Happy Hours will take the place of after-work sweat sessions.
So, like Charlotte, I am making changes NOW. I gave up on New Year's resolutions years ago, deciding, instead, to make changes whenever I was ready, be it January 1st, July 4th, or, say, December 13th.
See, yesterday morning I subbed a Pilates mat class. I then realized that there was a Spinning class right after, upstairs. And I thought, what the heck? I haven't been to a Spin class in 4 years, and I always enjoy it.
So I went.
And in the first 10 minutes I thought I was gonna die.
Then I got the hang of it.
Then I started enjoying it!
Then I realized that DAMN, I gotta work on my endurance!
Our gym has, like 14 Spin classes a week. And then there's Equinox, which I can still use for free, even though I'm only a sub, 'cause that's how they roll. And they have, like 20 Spin classes a week!
I can pretty much take a class whenever I want. I mean, aside from when I'm, y'know, working or watching my kids and all.
To add to that, our local Bikram yoga studio MIGHT be adding 2 early morning, hour-long classes. YAY! So if I can swing at least one yoga and 2 spin classes, added to my pilates and bar workouts (that's "bar" as in ballet barre, not shot-of-tequila-bar, unfortunately), I'll not only have my cardio endurance back, but I'll be strong and bendy, too! Maybe even bendy enough to grab both kids as they run off in different directions!
So, those are some of my new goals.
Along with keeping an emotional food journal.
OK, that sounds like a weepy notebook. I mean, a notebook to write down what I'm feeling every time I eat, so I can figure out when I'm truly hungry and when I'm simply avoiding feeling stuff.

Finally, I am going to show my gratitude for and appreciation of all the support we have for our kids. I just found out that my daughters' therapists, as well as the head of special ed for the school district, have been keeping an eye on her in her new classroom, and, like me, they believe it is not the right placement for her. Even as I write this, the search is on for a new classroom, and this is without my lifting a finger! (Meanwhile, the teachers in her current classroom have been bending over backwards trying to make her happy and comfortable, even as she scratches, pinches, and pulls their hair.)
Her ABA therapists have been working with her for over 3 years. Her Occupational Therapist has been with her for almost 2. They adore her, and she loves them right back. They are wonderful, as are my son's teachers (and he has the same OT).
We are very, VERY lucky!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Can't. Flippin'. TAKE IT ANYMORE!!!!!!

I think I needs must get off the internet. Or at least focus on blogs I like and lolcats. Because if I read one more comment referring to the president as "monkey boy," I'm gonna go postal! I'm gonna find Glenn Beck and do something horrible, like force him to clean my house INCLUDING THE BATHROOMS! It's almost 2010, people! Racism is SO 1950's! Get the hell over it!
And the environment? Yeah. We all gotta live here, and I don't feel like breathing in your pollution. So recycle a bottle every once in a while. It's not gonna kill ya.
Global warming is a sign of the Apocolypse? Perhaps. But you're all set, 'cause your going to Heaven, so who cares? The folks in parts of the world whose kids have no clean water care quite a bit. And that whole guarantee of getting into Heaven? When you turn away from the poorest people on earth, I wouldn't bet on it.
Finally, to anyone who is conducting a job interview: when you speak to someone on the phone and they tell you they're looking for part-time work in the morning? NOW would be a good time to let them know you're looking for someone to work full-time, especially evenings! Waiting until they've driven into the city, spent 30 minutes looking for parking and another 45 minutes looking for the address (because no one in your office is answering the damn phone!) is NOT the right time to tell them all this stuff. And when they tell you they MIGHT be able to work 2 evenings a week, don't yell at them when they say that it could be a challenge, a'ight?! They...I am trying to accommodate you, even though you are making no such effort. I just told you my availability. You told me your company's ridiculous (IMHO) requirements. They don't mesh. Other than adding more hours to the day, there is no way to make this work. So stop gettin' all up in my face with the 'tude, got it?

Plus I got my period this morning. It's been a hell of a day.

Monday, December 7, 2009

I Have A Confession to Make, or: Gettin' Political Up in Here!)

I am a card-carrying, old-school, bleeding-heart liberal.
I haven't always been a proud one, especially in the past few years. I admit I was more of a closet liberal. That was motivated by fear.
But no more. I am going to wear it proudly. Not obnoxiously, and not closed-mindedly. 'Cause I have lots of friends and family members who are absolutely, positively NOT liberals, and while we may shake our heads good-naturedly at one another from time to time, we do not denigrate each others' beliefs. Although I feel absolutely no qualms about doing so toward Shaun Hannity. But then, Keith Olberman drives me bonkers as well. (Can I just say kudos to Ben Affleck for his dead-on impersonation of the Olbster on SNL? I think it's on YouTube.) So I avoid cable news like the plague. Unless something big happens, like a pilot lands a passenger jet on the Hudson, saving the lives of every person on that plane. Then I'll tune in. In the meantime, I'll stick with NPR and the BBC. At least they're QUIET!
I just have to wonder, if regular Joes and Josephines like me can just agree to disagree, why can't the politicians? Why does EVERYTHING have to be about towing the party line? Are they THAT afraid of the Olbermans and Limbaughs?
OK, I just answered my own question.
The country is being run by the pundits. The talking heads. The people who HAVE to be outrageous, because their jobs depend on ratings, and the more outrageous you are, apparently the more entertaining you are.
Oh, and the more rumors you spread, the better you'll be at derailing ANY project the opposition is trying to set in motion.
We've turned Congress into Beverly Hills High School.
Wow, that's a scary thought!
The people running our country are a bunch of pretty, rich adolescents vying for Homecoming King and Queen.
And CNN, FOX News and CNBC may as well call themselves the WB. What's next? Democrats and Republicans change their names to Team Edward and Team Jacob?
If we look at history, we see things like the Roman and British Empires... Collapsing. I have to wonder if we are now on the verge of collapse. When we get to the point where our society is un-governable, it will happen. Is this the beginning of the end? And what happens next? Another dark Ages? Or perhaps we'll simply get back the common sense we seem to have lost. We'll take a look around, realize we are more alike than different, and that we all need each other. Maybe we'll stop worshipping the wealthy and foolish, and have REAL role models again; people who make a difference, and not just bundles of cash. Maybe we'll remember that fame isn't a goal in and of itself, and that famous doesn't necessarily equal good. Maybe we'll stop laughing at others' downfall, and reach out a hand to help them up.
Maybe we can turn on the morning news WITHOUT having to listen to 30 minutes of "What's going to happen to Tiger Woods/Carrie Prejean/BritenyLindseyMiley?"
THAT is my hope. That we can remember to see one anothers' humanity, beyond religious or political beliefs.
Not that I'm holding my breath.
But I refuse to give up hope.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


First of all, let me thank you for putting up with all my kvetching in the last post. I promise not to let that happen too often. And I'm working on that bumper sticker!

Remember that Thomas Dolby song, "She Blinded Me With Science?" At various intervals throughout the song, a famous physicist (whose name I have forgotten, which is a small part of the reason I'M not a famous physicist) would yell out "Science!" Well, I have that stuck in my head, because I just watched a news story about robotic therapy for cerebral palsy. Basically, these robotic arms and legs are teaching kids with CP how to use their limbs again, and it's REALLY cool! They also mentioned that stem cells will be coming into play for CP, and it made me wonder if they will play any role in Autism.
I was also thinking about the controversy, and while there is a part of me that understands and even sympathizes with the anti-stem cell folks, I respectfully disagree. I believe that we are given this knowledge by G-d for a reason. If we can help people, make them healthy, and maybe find cures for things like CP, paralysis, Alzheimer's, Lou Gehrig's Disease, even cancer, isn't that G-d's work?
I also read a poem in "Dear Abby" about how special needs kids are sent to the parents who can best care for them. I like to believe that. And I also believe that knowledge is NOT a sin, but a gift. And our responsibility as human beings. Whether it's scientific knowledge, how to cook, the best way to catch lightening bugs, whatever. We all have knowledge about something, and, like they taught us in kindergarten, it's good to share.
I also, obviously, have a vested interest in any research that can help people with Autism. My husband and I won't be around forever to take care of our kids. Everyone worries about their kids, but, of course, we worry more about our kids with special needs. The world isn't always kind to people who are "different," and we want our kids to be independent.

I have to wonder why it has to be religion vs. science. Einstein, arguably the greatest scientist ever, believed that science, art and spirituality were all connected. And I think he was right.

I hope my kids will grow up in a world that is open and accepting of all kinds of people. At this moment in time, I'm not all that optimistic, but I also know that the only constant is change. I hope we adults can find a way to live together and accept each other, rather than deride and despise anyone who is not the same as us.
ANd I really hope we can continue to find ways to heal.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Oh, the Pain!!!!

It seems that for as long as I can remember I've had stomach issues. I've been a worrier princess since I was about 5, and it goes straight to my stomach. When I was in 5th grade, I went to the hospital and had to have a battery of tests done to see if there was anything seriously wrong, because I'd missed almost half the school year with stomachaches.
I had to drink barium. YUCK! I was feeling pretty sorry for myself, until I met another little girl my age who had to have a barium enema.
Yeah, perspective.
Anyway, they didn't find anything wrong, and I think it could be attributed to stress.
I was a neurotic little kid.
These days, though, it's different. I'm certainly less neurotic than I used to be, and I don't have panic attacks anymore, but I'm still an anxious person. But I'm also getting acid reflux, which is pretty new. It started a couple of months ago, and was a sign of PMS. But now it's pretty much constant.
I'm also getting stomach aches that feel like the lining of my stomach is being eaten away by paint thinner.
I don't think that's a good sign.
Which means a trip to the doctor.
Which means a co-payment.
And getting on the scale.
None of which I want to deal with.
I know I need to lose some weight (which will most likely help with the reflux), and I don't want to get weighed. Or be told what I already know. Or hear about the Paleo diet again. Or spend 40 bucks!!!!
So I guess I'll change my diet (again!), and have some whine with my food. See if that helps. (I don't know if whining and complaining are useful tools against acid reflux, but who knows?)
So I guess we could call this post "Bellyaching."(Get it? Huh? Huh? Oh c'mon, that's funny!)
Alright. I'm gonna go drink some water, have a Pepcid, and go to bed.
Thanks for listening, er, reading!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

It's THAT Time of Year!

Time to think about what we are thankful for. Ideally, we'd do this every day (yes, something else to put on the To Do list, but at least this is kinda fun and makes you fell better.)
So, here we go:

First of all, my family. Always and forever, and always first and foremost.

Maturity. Sort of. I turned 40 this year, and while I still have the mentality of a 12 year-old boy, I do have a much better perspective on things than I did when I was in my 20's and even my 30's. I wouldn't be 25 again for all the money in the world, all the tea in China, or any other cliche. Even if I did have a rockin' bod (which I couldn't see at the time, so, really, what was the point?). Which makes me think, that's how it's supposed to be, right? We make stupid mistakes in our youth, hopefully learn from them, and get smarter as we age. The wrinkles and cellulite seem a small price to pay for the wisdom and peace we gain as we get older, if we allow ourselves to acknowledge and accept it. Granted, we live in a society that despises age, so this can be difficult. (Tangent: does "anti-aging" mean "pro-death?" 'Cause the only way NOT to age is to shuffle off one's mortal coil. Should we be wary of all those face creams?)
And this is coming from someone who cannot stop lamenting the 30 pounds gained in the past 4 years. Or the fact that THEY WON'T GO AWAY!!!!!

Dogs and cats. Especially the ones we have/had. They really do make life better. I've never had a pet iguana or bird, fish, skunk, etc., but I would imagine they add to the quality of life, as well. They have their own distinct personalities, and it's so nice to just hang out with them. When I come home from work, the dog is the only one who rushes to the door to greet me. (Yesterday I gave her a bath; I filled the tub and called her upstairs. When she came up, she took one look at the tub and turned right back around again. I had to lift her up to put her in, and she tried to escape at first, but then she stoically accepted her fate. It's things like this that make the day fun. Plus, she's very protective of/patient with the kids. She is the PERFECT dog for our family, and we are blessed to have her with us.)
And my neighbors cat cracks me up. And sometimes he even lets me pet him!

Therapy. Sometimes it just helps to have someone, a trained professional, to tell you that you're not crazy.

My bloggong buddies. You guys. I feel like we've known each other for years, even though we've never met in person. I don't have many friends close by, and it's so wonderful to know that I can write down my thoughts and you will understand the vague, odd patterings of what's left of my brain. Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There's lots more, but I've gotta go give my kids their baths. Have a great Thanksgiving, everyone!

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Brain, Even Mine, is a Powerful Thing

I've been reading up on nutrition lately. Books such as
"The End of Overeating," "Eat to Live," "The Gorgeously Green Diet," and "The Appetite Awareness Workbook." All useful and VERY interesting.
I've been thinking, again, about whether or not to become a vegetarian. And I've decided, for the time being, to be flexitarian. To focus on getting plenty of fruits and veggies, as well as veggie sources of protein, and cutting down on the flesh.
Tonight I made pizza for dinner. Veggie for me, plain for the kids, and "supreme" for Hubby. I ate a bit of the "supreme," and now I'm REALLY wishing I hadn't!
My tummy has been in an uproar for the past 3 1/2 hours (which was a whole bunch 0' fun while I was teaching 2 Pilates classes, let me tell ya!), and I think it's because of the supreme pizza. I could be wrong. It could be that I simply ate too much. Which wouldn't be anything new. OR, it could be GUILT from eating that supreme pizza! I knew I "shouldn't," but I did anyway. And now I'm paying for it.
So. Jewish guilt, a tricky tummy, or malicious meat?
Unless it's something more sinister, like a virus.
Wow. Way to be an alarmist, Alyssa!

See, THIS is why meditation would be so good for me, if I could just remember to actually DO it! My brain is able to conjure up the most far-fetched scenarios. And, y'know, your body doesn't know the difference between reality and fantasy. So I could IMAGINE I'm on a beach in Hawaii, and my body would relax and chill. Without the plane trip and $400 round-trip ticket. I could make my crazy, over-active imagination work FOR me instead of against.
Wow! What a concept!!!!!!
OK. I'm off to Hawaii. Talk to ya soon!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Snark Time: Pet Peeves

I've said it before, I'll say it again: While I LOVE the holidays, I REALLYREALLYREALLYREALLYREALLY DESPISE all the "expert advice" that shows up this time of year regarding "Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain!" To be followed, after the last gift has been unwrapped and the last piece of confetti vacuumed up, by the inevitable "10 Tips for Losing Those Holiday Pounds!"
GAAAAAHHHHH!!!! Shut the hell up!!!!!! If your tips are so all-fired terrific, why do you have to keep reiterating THE SAME ONES, YEAR AFTER YEAR?!?!?!
I actually saw one this year, from some clean eating folks, about how to create a "clean" Thanksgiving meal for only 500 calories!
OK, fine. You wanna do that, more power to ya. Mazel-tov, G-d bless. I understand that eating clean is a way of life, is quite healthy, and gives you lots of energy. In fact, I'm trying to clean up my own diet, so I feel less sluggish.
But, see, I happen to LOVE stuffing, and I only eat one time per year. OK, with leftovers, more like 12, but you know what I mean. And if I were to, say, SKIP the stuffing and serve my extended family plain brussels sprouts with naked baked sweet potatoes? I wouldn't survive to see who wins the football game. Not that I care about the game (see earlier post regarding football). But I'm kinda fond of breathing.

Now let's move on to another topic: PEOPLE WHO COME TO THE GYM WHILE SICK. Look, I understand we live in a no-pain-no-gain, suck-it-up,I'll-sleep-when-I'm-dead type of society, and that perhaps your trainer/lifecoach/boss/mom has instilled in you to keep going, no matter what. Or maybe you just watch "The Biggest Loser" and imagine Jillian screaming insults at you if you even consider staying home when you have the sniffles. So off you go, getting in your workout.
As a fitness professional, I am BEGGING you; stay home! Even if it's just the sniffles, or a cold, or you feel "something coming on." OK, ESPECIALLY if you fell "something coming on," because guess what? NOW is when you are most contagious! Now is the time that you will spread all your icky little germs all over the place, even if you wipe down the equipment, sanitize everything you touch within an inch of its life, and pretty much take every precaution short of wearing a haz-mat suit. You. Will. Spread.Your.Virus. And chances are you'll probably make yourself feel worse. Stay home!!!!!
You wanna work out while you're sick? Buy a DVD. I'm not saying this to be flip. I'm saying this because I'm selfish. I and all the other employees of the gym do not want your cold. We definitely don't want your flu. Most of us are paid by the hour. We don't work, we don't get paid. I CANNOT afford to miss a week (or more) of work because you felt you couldn't miss a workout.
STAY HOME!!!!!!!

Finally, my %^$#@*&-ing Dell laptop!!!!! The first battery died within a year. So I bought another one (which I'm STILL paying for!), and it died within a year. I cannot keep a wireless connection for more than 20 minutes. I get "reconnect" signals literally every 3 seconds. But it doesn't reconnect. I cannot get a hold of anyone at Dell to help me. I am seriously considering throwing my laptop out the window and reverting to smoke signals instead of email.
Or maybe I'll just get a fancy-schmancy new phone and forget the computer.

OK. Done grousing. Have a great weekend!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Bit of Trauma, but First...

On the birth of your beautiful baby girl!!!!!
(Seriously, she is gorgeous! Go check her out on The Great Fitness Experiment. I'll wait.
Cute, huh?)

OK, back to ME!
I also, as you know, have a couple of gorgeous kids. Unfortunately, right now, one of them , the female, is giving us a whole lotta trouble. Yes, fresh off of her month-long, no-sleep scream fest, she is now pulling hair, pinching, scratching, and trying to bite. Her parents, her teachers, her therapists, her fellow students, her bus driver, and even her poor brother, who, even though he is older and bigger, refuses to retaliate. (He is one of the truly sweetest boys in the history of the universe, in my unbiased opinion.)
We had a meeting at her school on Friday, and we have some theories. For one thing, she is at a new school for the 3rd time in 3 years, which wasn't supposed to happen. She was SUPPOSED to stay in preschool an extra year, but then the county decided she was too old and put her in kindergarten. She had a REALLY hard time adjusting to BOTH schools, and it took about 4 months of crying before she got used to the routine. Once she did get used to it, she loved it. But at the end of last year, the district which owned the county classroom she was in booted them out. She was supposed to stay in that class for AT LEAST 2-3 years, with the same teacher, but the district, which is NOTORIOUSLY TERRIBLE to special needs kids and their families (yes, Burlingame California, I'm talking to YOU!) basically told the county "Too bad, so sad, we need the room for our rich white kids who DON'T have special needs. Goodbye and good luck."
So she was transferred to a school in San Carlos, which is a lot closer. She's also in a "mobile classroom" (read: trailer) which is owned by the county, rather than the district, so it's a lot harder to kick them out. But, it is YET another new school, with another set of new teachers (who, BTW, are terrific!), and she is the youngest one in the class.
She also doesn't speak, which is a source of great frustration to her (and to us, especially when she's shrieking at 3 AM and we don't know why). So it's basically a perfect storm of events culminating in some really negative and difficult behaviors.
And they didn't start until VERY recently.
See, I've been so relieved to have kids who, while they have Autism, didn't have any of the self-destructive or acting out behaviors you often see. Until now. I'm REALLY hoping it's just a phase. She's been drawing blood on her teachers' arms, and that's not good! I also figure that, developmentally, she's about 2 years old, so maybe this is part of her terrible twos? Just another part of that perfect storm.
It's also completely unpredictable: one minute she is laughing and happy and literally the next she's got a fistfull of her brother's hair and is screaming. Her pediatrician can't find anything wrong. I'm starting to wonder if we need to find a doctor who is a bit more versed is ASD. The one we have is a great doc, he just doesn't have many special needs patients.
In the meantime, her therapist will spend 3 hours a week with her at school. I REALLY hope we can (forgive the pun) nip this behavior in the bud. 'Cause she's already REALLY strong, and she ain't gettin' any smaller or weaker as time goes on!
Oh, and she'll be wearing gloves at school.
Wish us luck!!!!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Spirit is Willing, but the Schedule is Full

OK, see, one of my issues (among MANY) is that I have a childlike curiosity about things, coupled with a childlike attention span. Last week I went back to hot yoga after having missed almost 3 weeks of classes. And I started thinking "Y'know what'd be really cool? If I did the 30-day challenge!" That's where you do (at least) 1 Bikram class a day, every day, for a month. There are also 60 and 90-day challenges.
Then reality kicked in. I currently teach 7 hours of Pilates a week, and will be teaching more as the holidays come around and I start subbing. I also ride my bike to and from work on Fridays (30 minutes one way), when I don't have access to the car in the morning.
I have 2 kids with Autism. They have in-home therapy 3 days a week, as well as outside therapy 2 days a week. And I do it with them, as well as driving them to and fro.
WG is FINALLY sleeping through the night again, after a monh of waking up in the middle of the night and screaming for hours. (I'll be talking to her pediatrician about giving her melatonin; apparently it's very helpful with other Autistic kids who have sleeping issues.)
And now, WG and I have colds. She's been home for the past couple of days, and we've had to postpone her birthday party (she turns 6 tomorrow!!!!)
We're also dealing with things like semi-annual meetings at school, to gauge the progress of WG and LG, annual meetings with their social workers, and the fact that the school district is trying to take away WG's therapy. (Economics.)
So, not the best time to add on 7 1/2 hours a week of hot yoga, lol!
Lululemon in Palo Alto, which is not too terribly far, is offering FREE Crossfit classes every Sunday in November!!!!!! I've been wanting to try Crossfit, and now I can! For FREE! And I can still do yoga 2 or 3 times a week without killing myself.
I am a happy camper!

And here's hoping WG's cold is JUST a cold, and no the flu. 'Cause while Wall Streeters may have access to the flu vaccine, my kids still don't.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


About 10 or 11 years ago, when hubby and I were still living in L.A, in our last gasp of the 20-somethings and childless, we were both actors. We lived in a condo in Los Feliz, a really nice section of the city that has lots of cool shops and cafes, and sits at the base of the Hollywood Hills. Just beneath the Observatory, in fact. We often walked up to the Observatory, passing by the Greek Theater, Griffith Park, and one of many homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, on the way. (L.A. could be SUCH a cool city if it weren't for the entertainment industry!)
A few blockes from where we lived was a retaurant called "No Place Like Home." It was a favorite of ours; lots of outdoor (but covered) seating, good food, good coffee, friendly waitstaff, mellow customers, and they loved our dog.
One fine morning we were sitting at breakfast when a large group of early-20 somethings sat down near us. Turns out they were meeting before class.
Acting class.
There was a small studio down the street that offered acting classes.
Now, I should qualify this next bit by saying that New York and L.A have literally THOUSANDS of acting classes. Many, MANY unemployed actors will rent space and set up classes. Some are very good. The majority, unfortunately, are terrible. Even those which have decent reputations can be scams. (Cough-Beverly Hills Playhouse-cough. I mean, come on! $300 dollars a month to watch your peers get ripped a new one? Yes, observation is important. But not THAT important!)
So anyway, there sat these young, fresh-faced, exuberant hopefuls proclaiming, rather loudly (as well as numerously) that they were ACTORS.
'Cause that's rare in L.A.
Meeting actors.
Other than, y'know, your neighbors, your mailman, the busboy, bus driver, barista, the rabbi, etc. etc.
And they were going around the table talking about their "wins." I assume this was something they learned in class; talk about a good thing that happened during the past week, career-wise. Things like "I had an audition, and they only asked me to strip down to my panties, so I didn't have to be COMPLETELY naked! Yes, they videotaped it. Funny, I never knew there was a studio in that skanky area downtown!"
OK, no one actually said that, but you get the idea.
And now I must admit that Hubby and I sat there and rolled our eyes. Because A) Quite honestly, they were incredibly obnoxious and loud (seriously, other customers were leaving in a huff) and B) We'd been there, done that, bought the T-shirt, and whatever other cliches you can think of to say we'd lived through it, all of it, and survived. And were at the point where we knew it was not as sunny and wonderful and special as these kids were making it out to be.
Now, a part of me wanted to think "Oh, how sweet! They're not bitter and jaded yet!" But I just couldn't. (See above mention of their being obnoxious.) And I was also angry at this teacher, who was probably making a nice chunk of change off of these students and not giving them a lot in return. Hey, I could be wrong; maybe s/he was the most brillaint teacher EVER. Maybe they UNDERcharged theit students, while at the same time providing them with priceless knowledge of both art and industry. Maybe each one of those students is now living the most perfefect life thay could ever have imagined.
But I doubt it.
Because in L.A., particularly the entertainment industry, we all become whores. We do pretty much whatever it takes to make money, and, even more so, to get a toe in the industry. Even if it goes against everything we believe in and hold dear.
This morning I was thinking about commercials. Specifically campaign ads, it being election day. And I was wondering; if I were offered A LOT of money to do an ad for a program or candidate I violently disagreed with, would I do it? SHOULD I do it? Would the fact that the money would help my family override the damage I would do by endorsing something or someone that made me sick?
I'd like to think I'd refuse the job.
If I were still in L.A., however, I know that here would be A LOT of pressure on me to accept it. I'd be threatened with being let go by my agents, wth being blacklisted from the ad agency AND casting agents, and generally flayed alive by everyone I knew, possibly including my own union. (Don't get me wrong, I am very much pro-union, and proud to be a member of the ones I'm in, but they're far from perfect.)
Which brings me (finally!) to the point of this post: I think I'm learning to trust my own opinions and instincts. It started with food and IE. Last night, for example, I made dinner, went to the gym and taught 2 hours of Pilates, then came home and ate a bit more before bed. Which everyone knows is a BIG diet no-no! DO NOT, he experts say, eat before bed! Wait AT LEAST 2 hours (preferably 3) after eating to hit the hay!
But I didn't. I was sound asleep within the hour. And I woke up this morning, thought about it, and said "It's OK."
And it is!
But this goes way beyond food. It hearkens back to, you guessed it,childhood, when I learned, at a VERY young age, that my opinions and instincts were not to be trusted. There were others who knew what was best for me, and I was to obey at all times. Having my own ideas or, G-d forbid, ARGUING, was verboten.
And I took this message into adulthood. I absorbed it so completely I didn't even realize I felt this way. It was automatic. I became a chameleon, and not in a good way. I lost myself. I truly believed that in order to survive I had to shut up. Listen to the "experts." Do what "they" said. Never disagree (at least, not out loud), and never, EVER make a mistake!
This seems to be , unfortunately, very common in girls and women. And at the root of a lot of eating disorders. We feel we must be perfect; perfect grades, perfect hair, perfect bodies, perfect resumes, perfect personalities. For me, I became withdrawn and terrified, plagued by stomachaches and headaches. For others, it can be the opposite; overly aggressive (spurred on by self-doubt, which is TOTALLY different from aggressiveness spurred on by true confidence), unable to truly accept help or friendship from anyone, believing, as I did, that once someone truly gets to know them, they won't like them anymore.
We are surrounded by advice. There are "experts" everywhere. TV, magazines, billboards all spout advice. At work and school, we have meetings or "retreats" with these experts, all telling how we "should" run our company, be team players, spend our money, yada yada yada.
OK, yes, sometimes we need experts. Having a solid financial plan is a good thing. Food labels can be helpful.
We are rapidly approaching the pont where we no longer think for ourselves. Yes, Cocoa Crispies have a label saying they can boost immunity and, yes, it's pretty much a scam. But do we REALLY need the FDA to step in and TELL us it's a scam? Did people REALLY believe, when they bought Baby Einstein DVDs, that watching them would help their kid get into Harvard, hence the company now offering refunds on said DVDs?
Have we really lost all our common sense?
I don't know. Perhaps we have.
Perhaps it's time to step back, take a good hard look at the experts, and lisen to our own opinions again. Yes, "The Biggest Loser" contestants lose 30 pounds in a week. But is working out 6 hours a day really feasible for you? Do you think that losing so much weight, so quickly, is really a good idea? Is that Ab Rocker that they sell on TV at 3 AM REALLY the answer to your fitness prayers? And remember that old adage, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is? Well, that still holds. Maybe more so now than ever. (Just ask anyone who took out a sub-prime housing loan a few years ago!)
Every once in a while I think about those young actors and where they are now. They're in their mid-30's. Are they still performing? Do they look back and think how naive they were, or are they nostalgic? Do they still count their wins? Or are they too caught up in the things they "should" be doing and in the competitiveness of it all that they can't see the good stuff? Can they see past the careers and the money (or lack thereof) and the accolades (or lack thereof) and all the external stuff? My guess, if they're still in L.A, is no.
So, once again, I find myslef thanking G-d, Fate, Nature, and anyone else who helped me open my eyes and get the heck outta there. Because, while I know it's not just in L.A. that we find all this crap, being there cerainly didn't help my state of mind. And my kids WILL MOT grow up there.
Which is DEFINITELY a win!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


It's a good thing I don't blog for a living, 'cause I'd be broke right about now.

Yesterday was what I think of as our family's celebration of Halloween. Every year the kids' therapy group takes a trip to a really cool pumpkin patch in Half Moon Bay. There are A LOT of pumpkin patches in Half Moon Bay, which is a lovely fishing/farming town on the coast. But this particular patch is nice because it's a little bit off the beaten path, so it's not as crowded as the others. It's also bigger, and has a HUGE hay maze. Which we've never done, 'cause it takes at least 30 minutes to do, and my sense of direction is pretty rotten.
But they also have hay rides, pony rides, train rides, a (not-so) haunted house, and a play area with a bouncy house. AND, all the kids get free pumpkins.
So we dressed our kids up (LG as Spider Man, WG as a leopard) and went to the Patch.
And had a GREAT time!
LG loves his costume. He even wore he gloves and mask, which we didn't think he'd do. And he ran to the mirror and started posing; it was so cute! (We took the mask off so he could play. And, y'know, see.) And WG looked SO ADORABLE in hers! One of her therapists said "It's the perfect costume; you just want to pet her!!!"
Last year we couldn't get LG on the pony. This year he rode by himself, with a perfect seat and a HUGE smile on his face! And WG laughed and giggled the whole time we were there. No a single tear. (We have a photo of her, from the first trip 3 years ago, dressed as an elephant and sitting on a stack of pumpkins, crying. It's awfully cute but kinda sad, too.)
On actual Halloween night, we'll go to SIL's house for a potluck and to pass out candy to all the adorable munchkins who come by. LG will help pass out candy ( and hopefully refrain from stealing other kids' lollipops, like he did last year). WG will jump on the couch for a few hours.

I must say, I LOVE Halloween! Sure, I have some issues with it. Mainly the slutty costumes. I mean, OK, fine, if you're in college and you wanna dress like a slutty pirate, a slutty nurse, a slutty witch, whatever, FINE. Just don't get so drunk that you don't know who you are, where you are, or who you're with.
But does EVERY costume designed for a woman, or worse, a GIRL, have to be slutty? Not all of us want to let it all hang out. Most of us don't want our YOUNG DAUGHTERS to let it all hang out! And some of us would actually like to be WARM.
And that's all I'm gonna say on the subject, 'cause I can feel my blood pressure rising.
I'm just going to enjoy seeing all the kids in their CUTE costumes.
Then we'll start planning Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Hooray! Hooray! It's National Love Your Body Day!!!!!

On Sunday I took a yoga class, then went swimming with my kids while hubby was at work. I managed to get 30 minutes of laps in. I then corralled the kids out of the pool (a Herculean effort, I must say), gave them baths, walked the dog, took them all out for a drive, fed them, brushed their teeth and (eventually) got them to bed.
Monday I took them to school, taught 2 Pilates classes back-to-back, cleaned the house, picked the kids up from school, calmed WG after she had (yet another) meltdown, made dinner, did the dishes, and went back to the gym to teach 2 more hours of Pilates. That night, I stayed up with WG as she continued her (so far) week-and-a-half-long tradition of waking up and shrieking for hours for no apparent reason. (She does this every so often. Usually a couple times a year. We have no idea why.)
Yesterday I felt a cold coming on. And I skipped my yoga class. WG was STILL melting down, so it's a good thing I was home. She continued her meltdown into the wee hours of the morning. Today I'm teaching 3 classes. Tonight Hubby and I will be wearing earplugs as we deal with the shrieking. (We've taken her to her doctor, talked to her teachers, therapists, to other parents with Autisic kids, no one has any answers. Eventually she will stop. And she'll be fine, until next time.)
Through all of this, my body has kept going. Oh sure, I'm exhausted, and a bit under the weather, but I'm still going. (Thank goodness for school! I can take a nap while the kids improve their minds!)
So it makes me wonder why I'm so down on this body of mine. OK, so I don't look like a model. Truthfully? I don't WANT to look like a model! They're so skinny it's scary! I find it REALLY unnatractive, and I feel so horribly sorry for these poor girls who are forced to starve themselves. Been there, done that, NO THANKS!!!
So, yeah, I'm pudgy. But I'm also STRONG. I can multitask like no one's business, my kids are thriving, and I'm healthy. Isn't THAT what's important?
Today, on this International Love Your Body Day, I will notice all the negative thoughts I have about this amazing body of mine. I will then stop the thought, and replace it with one or more positive ones. And I will continue to do so until he positives outnumber the negatives. It'll take a while, but that's OK.
So if you're reading this, take a moment to appreciate something about YOUR incredible body.
Happy Love Your Body Day!!!!!!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Need Vs. Want

I want to lose weight. Do I NEED to? I honestly don't know. My doctor hasn't said anything to me about it.
I want chocolate. Do I NEED it? Probably not; at least, not for survival. (For quality of life, maybe.)
What I REALLY need is to make peace. With food and my body. I REALLY don't want to turn to food anymore out of boredom, sadness, anxiety, etc.
So last month I signed up for an online program out of the U.K. called "Beyond Chocolate." I's ideas are very similar to Intuitive Eating, but this is an actual, step-by-step program. Every week I get a new "assignment." (I'm about 4 weeks behind, but that's OK. I go at my own pace.) It's something concrete, and I can feel myself making progress.
Every once in a while I get derailed by Diet Think. You know, pre-planning my meals, swearing to have flax/blueberry/spinach smoothies every morning, vowing to eat clean/raw/low-fat/vegan, etc., all for the sole purpose of losing weight.
But here's the thing; I've lost weight before. Many, MANY times. And I ALWAYS gain it back. And there's the definintion of insanity right there. So what's different now? What will I change this time around? WHY do I want to lose weight?
In he past it has been for reasons outside of myself: people will like me more if I'm thin; I need to be skinny in order to get an acting job; others are starting to comment on my weight, so I'd beter do something about it.
No wonder I never STAYED thin!
This time, it's not about pounds lost, the number on the scale, or employment. (In fact, I just got a new class and have added a bunch of clients to my existing classes. Yay!) This time, it's not even primarily about losing weight. It's about getting mentally healthy. I'm tired of thinking about food and weight ALL THE TIME!
When I first started Inuitive Eating, I kept wanting to skip to the end: the part where I would no longer worry about food, eat when I was hungry, stop when I was satisfied, and exercise for health and enjoyment. The problem was, I HAD to focus on food, so I could stop eating mindlessly, and I kinda skipped that part. So here I am, starting (almost) at square one. But I can feel myself changing. I can feel my atitude becoming different. I am learning to accept myself AS I AM, RIGHT NOW, and worrying less about how I look. (OK, except maybe during that time of the month {NOW!} when I'm bloated and my face looks like a constellation. But that's a WHOLE different post!)
Last night, for the first time in about 4 years, I was excited about cooking dinner. I made a brand-new recipe for Hubby and myself, and made the kids one of their favorite meals. I ate enough to satisfy myself, and even had enough energy left to do the dishes and give the kids their baths! When Hubby got home from school, he warmed up the food and told me he felt like he was eating at a restaurant. I was so excited that I actually prepared food, last night, for tonight! It's marinating as we speak. (And this morning, HUBBY MADE ME BREAKFAST!!!!!!! He said I'd inspired him, so he cooked us some eggs.)
The best part, for me, is that I was inspired by a non-diety cookbook. Don't get me wrong, I love me a good recipe from "Eating Well" or "Cooking Light," but sometimes it's nice to use ingredients that don't say "substitute" or "fat-free" on the label. For last night's fish, I made a lemon vinaigrette from scratch. It took about 3 minutes and was delicious. And all the ingredients, except for the olive oil, came from the produce section. Of Trader Joe's. Which I adore with a burning, abiding passion.(BTW, in case you're wondering, the cook book was "Giada's Family Dinner," by Giada DeLaurentis. It's WONDERFUL!!!!!)
So, if I can get to a place where I genuinely love cooking and eating (the cleaning part? Yeah, not so much), make good food that we all enjoy, and exercise because I want to and not because I HAVE to, then I'll be in a MUCH healthier place. All around.
Now, if I could only organize all the clutter around here...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


She's at it again. WG is waking up at 3:15 in the morning and partying like a rock star. She cries at first, because she's lonely. So I go in and cuddle, and then she wants to play. And she's so darn cute I just have to! So this morning we stayed up from 3:15 until about 5:30. Then we both fell asleep on her bed and Hubby had to wake us at 7.
Luckily I didn't have to work today, and I thought I'd take a little nap. So I fell asleep around 9:30 and woke up at...2:00!!!!!!!! I slept the ENTIRE school day away!
I've noticed, since I first became a mom 8 YEARS AGO, that I'm pretty much exhausted all he time. Last year I even went and had my thyroid checked, just to make sure it was working (it is).
So I blame my kids.
Actually, I just attribute it to being a mom. I think it comes with the territory. I've always been one of those people who need AT LEAST 8-10 hours of sleep a night, and with kids, especially very energetic, special needs kids who have sleeping issues, that just ain't gonna happen, lol!
Now, Hubby is the exact opposite; he can get 4 hours of sleep, wake up, and hit the ground running. And LG could sleep through a nuclear war. But WG and I are light sleepers, and we sometimes have trouble sleeping. My poor girl was in the middle of her therapy session this afternoon when she started bawling; she was exhausted, she'd put in a full day at school, and she'd had enough.
Tonight, after a good meal and a nice warm bath, she went to sleep at 9. I'm hoping she'll sleep tonight and get back on track with her schedule. (And I can teach my 3 classes without falling over.)
But I'm guessing it'll be a few years before I'm able to get my 9 hours a night again!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

1 Year

Dad died a year ago today.

Monday, September 28, 2009

I've Found My Heart in San Francisco

Yesterday it was 100 degrees. My SIL came over and we took the kids to the pool. For 2 hours. (And they STILL weren't tired!!!!)
It was about 35 degrees cooler today. A perfect Northern California autumn day! After school we took the kids to the Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park, and they had a GREAT time!!!!! They just love it there! And we got to see the albino alligator for the first time. He's beautiful, and I swear he was posing for us!
(And I think the penguins believe that they're the observers and we're the display. They all turn to look at us when we watch them. "Look! The humans are back! Boy, are they weird. And kinda ugly. At least the tall ones are. The short ones are pretty cute."
Then tonight we watched the pilot episode of "Trauma," which is not only set but actually filmed in San Francisco. (Hubby had an audition for an episode of it, but didn't get it. He will get cast in it, eventually, I just know it.) I must say I'm not CRAZY about the show, but the exteriors are pretty darn nice!
As we were driving home, I realized (again!) how happy I am that we live here. Did you know that Golden Gate Park is bigger than Central Park? I love that we're surrounded by water; the Pacific on one side and the Bay on the other. I REALLY love the complete and utter lack of snow and ice. (Can you imagine driving around the hills of SF in the snow?!?!?!)
But one of the things I love the most is that IT'S NOT LOS ANGELES!!!!!!!!
The kids are really happy here. They have family nearby, wonderful teachers and therapists, and things like the Academy of Sciences, Exploratorium, Stow Lake, Crissy Field, etc. It's a great place for kids.
And did I mention the lack of snow?
OK, I know some people cannot wait to go to Tahoe to go snowboarding, skiing, sledding, etc. I prefer Tahoe in the summer, when you can swim in the
Really freakin' cold) lake. Maybe it's because I grew up in New England, but I HATE being cold. (And, actually, WG agrees with me. We went to Tahoe for New Year's a couple of years ago, and tried to take her sledding. Let me tell ya, she was having none of it! She preferred to stay in the nice warm hotel room, and I didn't blame her one bit!) I think because many folks in certain areas of California didn't grow up with the snow, and don't have to deal with the everyday headaches it brings (shoveling the car out 14 times a day, letting it warm up, scraping the ice off the windows, slipping on the ice on the ground, etc.) it's a novelty. Something to play in.
When I was a junior in college, I spent a year at Boston University, where my mother is a professor. My cousin was a freshman there. He grew up in El Salvador and then Miami. He stayed with us over Thanksgiving weekend, and saw snow for the first time ever. At 7 AM he was running around the backyard, playing in it like a little kid on a snow day.
By February he was completely over it and wondering why he didn't go to Florida State.
He and his family live in Atlanta now.
Not a lot of snow there, either.
Anyway, I just want to say that I love San Francisco. And so does my family. I hope we can stay here forever.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Working Out Without a Mirror

The studio at the gym is getting a facelift. Or rather, a floorlift? They're putting in a new floor. (Why, Alyssa, do you have to try and be so CLEVER all the time? It rarely works!) Anyway, the studio is closed for a few days, and all our classes are being held in the multi-purpose room at the pre-school. So last night I taught my mat class in there.
Normally I teach with my back to the clients, facing the mirror. That way I can say "right leg" and mean it. I get very confused when I'm facing them, and say "right leg" while using my left. I have ENOUGH trouble with right and left! I can also look in the mirror to check their form. But the multi-purpose room doesn't have a mirror.
And you know what? I really, REALLY like it!
Now I know that having a mirror is important so that students can be sure they're moving properly, but I also find them distracting. I notice all the little things about my body that I don't like. I realize that, when we're doing the Hundred, I have rolls of fat on my tummy, or that, yes, my face does INDEED turn bright, Defcon 1-red when I sweat.
All of which detracts, I think, from my teaching. Last night I felt MUCH more focused than I normally do, and I think I taught a better class because of it. So now I'm thinking I should teach AWAY from the mirror whenever possible. Turn around and face the clients. Deal with my left/right dyslexia. And, the truth is, if I'm not LOOKING at myself in the mirror, I'm FEELING a lot more. Within my body. I feel how I'm lifting my head and shoulders off the mat by using my core, rather than my neck. And I can translate that to my students.
Next week we will be back in the studio. With a brand-new floor, which is great, and hopefully I'll have a brand-new attitude. (What I WILL miss from the multi-purpose room are the hula hoops, parachutes, and ITTY-BITTY ADORABLE gym equipment used for the pre-schoolers!)

And I noticed something else, too: On Wednesdays, I spend the entire morning and afternoon dreading my full schedule (teaching from 4 PM until 8:30). Then I get to work, and I have so much fun! I LOVE teaching my classes, I ADORE my clients, and it's a blast! Sure, I'm tired at the end of it, but it's a good tired, a "wow, I really got a lot done, got a good workout, AND I'm getting paid for it" tired. The total opposite of grad school "I'm exhausted all the time and the work is never-ending" tired, or the Mom-tired, where you just float through the days in a haze of exhaustion, dirty laundry, carpools, doctor's appointments, and caffeine.
Ijust need to remember how much I enjoy my work, and how lucky I am to have it!
And to face away from the mirror when I teach.
Oh, and to pay the electric bill.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I Think The Universe is Trying To Tell Me Something

So between Toothgate, which forced me to miss my 3 classes last Thursday AND my yoga workshop on Friday, the cold I had over the weekend, the extreme exhaustion (I think from said cold), and then, this morning, pulling a neck muscle, I think I'm being told, in no uncertain terms, to TAKE A BREAK!
Up until last Wednesday, I was doing A LOT of working out, despite my resolution to ease up. Bikram yoga, 2x/week, teaching 4 or more Pilates classes (often teaching off the reformer), and doing CardioBarre or other barre-based workouts 1 or 2 times a week. And taking the kids to the pool.
So, yeah. Today I took a LOOOOOOONG nap, and it was GOOD, lol!
And tomorrow, I'll be teaching all my classes off of the reformer and off the mat.
Yup. I'm 40.

On the plus side, I have a brand-new blender! My Magic Bullet finally shuffled off its, erm, metal coil? So I ordered the Master Health blender, and we'll see how it goes. (Luckily it has a 30-day guarantee. Someday I may have a VitaMix, but not today.)
And, to end on a REALLY good note, in the past couple of days I've heard from 2 friends whom I haven't seen/spoken with in a very long time!!!!!! Through Facebook, of course!
OK, I'm off to brush the infamous Teeth. And to put away the dinosaur currently sitting on the bed. 'Cause it's plastic (did you think I meant a REAL dinosaur? I'm not THAT crazy. Yet.) and I keep poking my arm on its claws.

Friday, September 18, 2009

"Toof" Update

The second of LG's permanent teeth started coming loose last night. Hubby was in school, again, so I called my mother (at 11 PM her time) and had a phone freak-out with her. Then I left ANOTHER message with the dentist and, before he had a chance to call back, had my SIL pick up WG so I could take LG to the local emergency room.
Unfortunately, there wasn't really anything they could do. So we picked up (a very much awake, at 10:30 PM) WG and went home. Hubby, meanwhile, had been home for a bit and was able to speak to the dentist. He referred us to Oakland Children's Hospital, which is where LG and I spent the entire day today. First in the emergency room (ERs at childrens' hospitals are NOT fun! All these poor little bunnies who are sick and unhappy!) (Oh, and the patient in the room across the hall had SWINE FLU!) and then in the dental clinic.
The dentist there had an idea that maybe there's been a slight trauma to LG's mouth recently that we didn't know about. Perhaps he fell at school, or while jumping on his bed (after we've told him NOT TO a billion times!), and just picked himself up, dusted himself off, and went on his way. Maybe that jarred his teeth a bit, and he just kept poking at them until they loosened up and one of them came out. Because, as the dentist pointed out, pulling out your own stable teeth HURTS! And LG hasn't been in pain.
LG also has a bad habit of using his teeth in ways he REALLY oughtn't; like opening water bottles. I've caught him doing that a few times, so who knows how many times he's tried it when no one was looking?!
The good news is, even if this second tooth comes out (he's on a strict regimen of soft foods and no-fingers-in-the-mouth for the next 2 weeks, until his follow-up appointment), he can have dental implants put in a few years down the road. And who knows what dental technology will be like then? Maybe we'll be able to grow teeth in a test tube and plant them in a human mouth! Maybe they'll be BIONIC! That'd be COOL!!!!!!
But until that time comes, he's still as handsome and adorable and sweet as can be. I just hope his sister, who just lost her first two baby teeth, doesn't decide to follow in his footsteps.
(Oh, and I had to miss my yoga teacher-training, but I can make it up another time.)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Oy! Such is Life!

Last night, after his bath, LG came up to me and said "toof out." I was kind of excited; another baby tooth coming out to make way for a permanent one! Except when he showed me which tooth was loose, I freaked.
Because it wasn't a baby tooth. It was one of the bottom front teeth, and it was a permanent one. It was loose and bleeding, and I called Hubby's phone and left a message saying "CALL ME AS SOON AS YOU GET THIS!!!!!!"
Suffice to say, it was a rough night. LG didn't sleep well and cried a lot, which woke up WG, who also started crying. The poor dog wanted to help, but ended up pacing the hallway nervously (her short legs, and lack of opposable thumbs, were a distinct disadvantage in this case).
This morning we got WG on the schoolbus and left to take LG to his dentist in the city. About two minutes out, I saw that the tooth had disappeared from his mouth. So we turned the car around and searched the house for the tooth, finally finding it in his pocket (?!?!?!) I then put the tooth in milk (it said to do that on the internet) and off we went.
After fighting rush-hour traffic, we arrived at the dentist's office. Only to cool our heels while he finished surgery on a two-year old. This dentist is very popular, and for good reason; he's AWESOME!!!!!! I had actually called him at 11:30 the night before to get advice, apologizing profusely for calling so late. He not only waved off my apology, he apologized TO ME, saying he normally didn't go to sleep that early!
Anyway, a valiant effort was made to temporarily replace the tooth until we could get to a specialist in the afternoon who would try and replace it permanently. It took 5 people to restrain and work on LG. Who then proceeded to rip the tooth right out of his mouth again. So then he had to be placed in restraints; it basically looked like a sleeping bag with heavy-duty velcro. Then they re-sealed the tooth. Let me tell ya, seeing my son in restraints, listening to him scream and cry, is NOT an experience I wish to repeat. Ever. But it had to be done. And they didn't like it any more than I did.
So then we had to spend the next 2 1/2 hours holding his tooth in place, so he wouldn't rip it out again. Because our appointment with the specialist wasn't until 2 PM, and Hubby had to drive back home, pick up WG from school, then come back and pick us up.
The staff was AMAZING! One of the assistants sat for the first 2 hours holding the tooth in place. The dentist and all the other assistants came in every few minutes to check up on him, and to tell him what a wonderful, brave, smart boy he is. Even when he was crying and saying "All done dentist!" (One even made a point of coming in to say goodbye before leaving for his lunch break.)
Eventually it was time to drive across town: the same assistant who had sat with us also walked us to the car, keeping the tooth in place. Hubby drove while I took over tooth-holding duties, then we came into the specialist's waiting room, where I filled out paperwork with one hand while still holding the tooth in place with the other.
Hubby and I switched duties on and off (alternating between tooth patrol and looking after WG). It took 2 more hours of waiting to see the doc, during which time my SIL (who deserves a medal) drove into the city to pick up WG and take care of her until we were finished.
Oh, and I should mention that I had to find last-minute subs to teach the 3 pilates classes I was supposed to teach today. And they were found! Including one instructor who threw her back out yesterday and called on her way home from the chiropractor to volunteer to teach the evening class!
OK, so the doc looked st the tooth, consulted with our regular dentist, and it was decided that, despite the brave efforts to save the tooth, it would have to come back out. Because the prognosis for the tooth itself wasn't good; even if they HAD restored it, it would probably only last 2 years, and then LG would have to have root canal. Plus, it could contaminate the surrounding teeth.
So, he's got a big ol' gap in the front of his mouth. We still have the tooth: one option is, in a few years, the dentist could cut it in half and try to re-plant it. but the best option seems to be putting a dental transplant in, eventually.
The weird thing (OK, weirdEST) is, none of us could figure out how the heck the tooth got loose and came out in the first place! 'Cause the ENTIRE thing came out, including the roots! (Sorry if this is grossing you out!) And the tooth was healthy.
But, apparently, LG wanted it out, and out it came. I'm just praying that it doesn't happen to anymore of his permanent teeth!
And I must say, that between the dental professionals, my SIL, and everyone at the Peninsula JCC, my faith in humaniy has been hugely restored!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

WWSBD? (What Would SpongeBob Do?)

For many years, I have been engaged in a half-assed pursuit of what we call Balance. Finding my Zen. Centeredness. Equanimity.
And failing miserably.
Especially in the car.
(I HATE it when someone tailgates me! Especially when there are 20 cars in front of me. And it's rush hour. And we're in the slow lane. I mean, come on! Whaddaya want me to do, levitate?
Or the idiots who try not to let you in when two lanes merge into one and your car is in front of theirs. Or you stop at a stop sign and the idiot behind you starts honking their horn and screaming at you to move. Although, when that happens, I tend to stay at that stop sign for a loooooooong time, mwha-ha-ha-ha-ha!!!!!!!)
Lately, however, it's been (slowly) dawning on me that the calm I seek isn't necessarily about NOT getting angry, it's more about dealing with the anger differently. Intellectually I've known this for some time. But knowing something and KNOWING something are two different things, ya KNOW?
I realize that I have to cut MYSELF a break or two before I can do that for others. Just like I had to learn to love and forgive myself before I could truly love and forgive anyone else.
It's OK to have feelings. Even the "bad" ones, like anger, hurt, sadness. I don't have to be pleasant and reasonable all the time. I'm not a robot. On the other hand, I don't have to have tantrums and take my anger/hurt/sadness, etc. out on anyone else. Writing things down helps. As does therapy. And, hey, letting loose with a string of curses that would make a truck driver blush when I'm alone in my car isn't bad, either!
But I've also realized that my Zen model isn't a Bhuddist monk or my yoga instructor, it's Spongbob.
Spongebob gets mad. He gets sad. Sometimes he cries so much he puffs himself out to the point of near-bursting. He gets confused. But he always manages to find a solution, and to make everyone happy in the end. He's also very sweet, and never intentionally hurts anyone. He takes off his pants and runs with the jellyfish.
OK, so maybe I'll skip that part.
But The Spongy Dude ALWAYS tries to help his friends, and he is full of love.
So I have to ask myself, the next time someone is riding my bumper, what would Spongebob do?

Monday, September 7, 2009

Confession Time!

Yes, I have a confession to make.
I HATE football!
I hate watching it, hearing about it, the glorification of it, the exploitation of the young men who play it, the players who think they're G-d, the damage it does to the bodies of the players, and the pseudo-macho baloney that surrounds the game. I even hate fantasy football.
I hate the cheerleader mentality. The scantily-clad women prancing around half-naked on a freezing cold field for the "entertainment" of the drunken guys in the crowd, many of whom are also half-naked, but feeling no pain because they're plastered.
I HATE how long it takes to play a single freakin' game! Thank heavens the Super Bowl is only one game, rather than a series!
And I REALLY hate the whole high school football-as-religion thing. Quarterbacks are gods, cheerleaders are goddesses, and anyone who doesn't worship at the altar must be punished. I was lucky, my high school football team wasn't that great. Our school excelled in track and field and womens' field hockey. The only real football hoopla was the big game on Thanksgiving, when we played our arch-rival. The day before we'd have our one pep rally of the year. And it was actually fun: we got out of classes early and got to see the football team in cheerleading outfits! (It was tradition. I'm not entirely sure how it started.) Later, the football team would play the powderpuff (girls') football team in what was SUPPOSED to be a tag ball.
But the ladies didn't buy into that!
I've been pretending, for as long as I can remember, that I actually care. That I LIKE football. That it MATTERS to me who wins. But the truth is, I just don't. Care, that is. Sure, I like the superbowl parties, as long as I don't have to pay too much attention to the game. (Last year I read a copy of "Entertainment Weekly" during the game, in which I discovered that the president is a fan of "Spongebob Squarepants." I KNEW I liked Obama!!!!!)
Now baseball, THERE'S a game I can get behind! Sure, it takes a long time, and it moves slowly, but there's NOTHING like being at the stadium on a summer night watching your team beat the tight pants off the visiting team! Plus, you can actually TALK to the people you're at the game with, as opposed to a noisy football stadium.
Look, I understand that football, whether at the high school, college, or professional level, is an obsession for many. They enjoy it. they arrive at the stadium hours before the game and tailgate (which actually sounds like a lot of fun), and that's great. Enjoy! (And, after all, since I'm not buying a ticket, there's one more for you, right?)
Just, please, don't ask me to join you. Don't buy an extra ticket for me, even though I appreciate the thoughtfulness of the gesture. I've never been to an NFL or college game, and I only went to (part of) one high school game. It's not on my bucket list.
Hubby is a RABID Raiders fan (really, is there any other kind?), and I love his enthusiasm. I just don't share it. I'll root for the Raiders for his sake, but I won't watch the game. I'll suffer through the seemingly-constant noise every Sunday and Monday (night) for the next few months. The yelling (and occasional swearing) at the TV, the endless coverage on ESPN, and the complete and uttter lack of "Baseball Tonight" on same. Then, come March, I will turn on the TV and see (cue heavenly music) footage of BASEBALL SPRING TRAINING!!!!!!! And I will know that spring is coming, and the boys of summer will soon be back!!!!!!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Like the Dinosaur in "Toy Story"

LG was watching one of his favorite movies the other day, and it got to the scene where Woody is being threatened by the other toys for "accidentally" pushing Buzz out the window. Woody asks the dinosaur if he believes it was an accident, earning a glare from Mr. Potato head. The dinosaur eventually says "I don't do well with conflict!
I know EXACTLY how he feels.
I've never been good at conflict, either. Growing up, I was often the peacemaker in my circle of friends. I would leave the family room at precisely 7:30 every night, because my mother would turn on CNN and watch "Crossfire," and I just couldn't take it! (I always thought they should have sat at a bigger table; I was convinced that Pat Buchanan was gonna snap, grab Michael Kinsley's tie and try to strangle him with it.) Heck, I can't even watch basketball, it makes me too nervous! I was always intimidated by people who had very strong opinions, and refused to take part in discussions with them. Sometimes, that was just the wiser course to take. I wasn't gonna change their minds, and arguing would only raise our blood pressure.
So you can imagine how I reacted, just a few moments ago, when I received an angry email from my boss telling me, basically, to get my act together when it comes to payroll because she wasn't gonna waste time looking things up in the computer anymore. And I TOTALLY get it, it's part of my job, she'd responsible for paying the ENTIRE staff, and she doesn't have time to look up every little discrepancy. And I sent her a nice, even-keeled, apologetic (but not TOO apologetic!) email back.
But now I'm having a minor freak-out. Like, I'm shaking. Partly because I HATE being dressed down like that, but also because the payroll system has been changed AGAIN. This is the 4th or 5th change in the past year. I work at 3 different places, with 3 different payroll and scheduling systems, all of which keep changing, and I get a little confused! I understand it makes perfect sense to the people who implement it, but it doesn't make perfect sense to ALL of us. And every time, it seems like there's something to add, or to change, or something I needed to do that I didn't do because I DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT IT!
She's not a bad boss; quite the opposite. And I know she's overwhelmed running not only this entire gym, but also another brand-new one. But I'm also trying to implement all the changes that keep happening, not only at this facility, but at the other two. AND raise 2 kids with special needs. None of this is her problem, I know. But many of the mistakes made have not been mine, and I'm getting a little tired of getting phone messages and emails detailing all the things I've done "wrong."
And, OF COURSE, this comes at a time when I'm premenstrual, coming off a rough weekend, and trying to get myself and the family back into the swing of the school year.
Sometimes it feels like I'm bearing the brunt of a whole lotta responsibility by myself, and it's overwhelming. I will NOT be taken for granted again, and I refuse to be guilted into taking everything on by myself, or being an afterthought. Or letting people assume that they can do whatever, because good ol' Alyssa will be there to watch the kids/clean up/take of of whom or whatever needs taking care of.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


(A little David Bowie to get us started. LOVE Bowie!!!!)
OK, they are at school! It took a bit of doing to get them up (WG woke up in the middle of the night. otherwise she's an early riser. LG, not so much!). WG's bus was a bit late, and I had to enroll LG in school (even though he's been going there for 3 years?!?!?!), but now they are settled. Lg has an abbreviated day, but starting tomorrow, they will BOTH be going THE ENTIRE DAY!!!!!!! It's a like this whole new worl is opening up! Hubby and I can go to lunch! I can go to the pool BY MYSELF! I can actually clean the house.
OK, no exclamation point for that last one.
I haven't had this much time to myself since the first half of 2001. It feels...strange!
In a good way.

I also have a new Pilates class on Wednesday evenings., and another Friday mornings. So if all goes well, I'll be teaching 3 classes on Wed., and 2 on Fri., plus subbing and private training, as well as continuing my yoga teacher training (next one is the 18th...can't wait!!!!). I also signed up for a year of Bikram yoga, and will go as often as possible. Like, for example, when the kids are in SCHOOL!!!!!!
Finally, food. This may be TMI, but I GOTTA ease up on the cheese, lol! And dairy in general. A little bit is OK, but too much is NOT a good thing! Maybe I can try that rice cheese, y'know, to put on top of pasta and such. Not to eat by itself...Yuck! I'm also going to try smaller, more frequent meals. So I don't walk around like an extra from "Day of the Dead." (BTW, slightly off-topic, if you haven't seen "Sean of the Dead," you must! And then rent "Hot Fuzz" and "Run, Fat Boy, Run." Simon Pegg RULES!!!!!!!) I'm cleaning house, in more ways than one!
Sorry. Like I said, TMI.
Finally, having grown up in Massachusetts, I want to say R.I.P Teddy! You will be missed, and an era has definitely passed.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Little Discovery

Last night I busted out my "Chalene Extreme." I had stared it a few months ago, got into the second phase, but couldn't continue. Partly because I was teaching so much, partly because I was (and am) doing Bikram yoga, but mostly because I was SO FREAKIN' BORED!!!!!!
I bought it because I kept hearing how women should lift heavy weights, and that it leads to greater fat loss, and that it was a good stepping stone to P90X (which I had also tried multiple times but kept injuring myself). But...
It was SO BORING!!!!
The SAME EXACT warmup for every workout...all 16 of them.
Having to do the same 3 workouts every week for 3 weeks.
And an instructor who, um, likes to chat. A lot. About how good you're gonna look in that swimsuit! But ONLY if you give it 100%
And, OK, the biggest turnoff? Inside the studio there are multiple video screens showing continuous images of very fit people, mostly women, POSING. So you HAVE to see it during the entire workout, every workout.
Last night I did one of the interval workouts. it was a very good workout, but I knew right away that it was gonna be a LONG 40 minutes, because right off the bat I was annoyed. And I kept on being annoyed for the entire thing. Which just reminded me of how annoying I find the entire series.
It's not Chalene's fault, really. And I DO enjoy her Turbo Jam and PiYo! It's just that I've realized that I don't want to be part of this whole working-off-the-calories mindset any longer. (And she DID mention that, at the very beginning. "We're gonna work off kunch! We're gonna work off dinner! We're gonna work off some of tomorrow!" Probably why I was so annoyed to begin with.) And I DEFINITELY don't want to be part of the "Lok at me! I'm hot! I'm also REALLY insecure, so I want you to SEE how hot I am and TELL ME how hot I am, dammit" mindset. It's just TOO L.A./"Real Housewives of Orange County" for me.
The ENTIRE time, she was talking about the physiques of the other exercisers. There's one woman who, apparently, recenly had a baby. Which is wonderful! But she's very thin and cut, and the instructor kept going on and on about it. Plus, this exerciser would look DIRECTLY into the camers whenever it came remotely close to her, and it just gave me bad memories of being an actress and all the desperation tat goes along with it.
But that's just me.
What's really important here, for me, is that I am no longer going to waste my time on things that aren't useful/important to me and mine. Some people find that buying a bikini or a pair of utlra-skinny jeans is a good motivator. Fine, terrific, good for you. Me? I don't give a crud about skinny jeans or bikinis. I'm not trying to look 25. I wouldn't want to be 25 again for all the riches in the world! (And at 25 I was anorexic, so I'm not gonna look that way again, regardless.)
Yes, I want to lose weight. Yes, I want more energy. But I'll look to my diet for that. I exercise because I enjoy it, it keeps me calm, it keeps me happy, and it it keeps me healthy. Pilates will help prevent a lot of age-related disorders. Yoga does the same, and also quiets my mind (NOT an easy task, lol!). Spinning is just plain fun, while walking does all of the above. I lift weights, but I'll stick with lower weights/higher reps, because that's what works for me and I enjoy it. Besides, Pilates and yoga use my own body weight AS WELL AS resistance, so I'm stronger than I've EVER been.
I refuse to work out in order to "burn off dinner." I'm human. I have to eat. If I don't, I will eventually die. Hunger is a natural human response. It is not something to fear. Food is not the enemy.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Tweets and Geeks

Actually, the only geek in this post is me.
Just wanted to clarify.

I have signed up for Twitter, and actually remember to tweet once in a while. I'm also following some folks, like the indomitable MizFit, who just totally rocks, no matter which format she's in. And also Brent Spiner. He's best known for playing Data on "ST:TNG" (or "Star Trek: The Next Generation" for all you non-geeks out there), but in the early 90's he released an album of standards called "Ol' Yellow Eyes is Back" that I listened to All. The. Time. 'Cause he's got a great voice (he's been on Broadway a few times) and I LOVE the songs he chose.
Unfortunately, my copy of said album was on cassette. (Like I said, EARLY 90's.) And it eventually died. I almost bought a CD copy a few years ago, but didn't have the funds. Now, alas, I cannot find it anywhere. OK, yes, on ebay, but I can't afford the asking price.
So, while I search far and wide for a new copy, I will follow Mr. Spiner on Twitter. 'Cause it turns out he's REALLY funny and kinda mean, but only to the people who deserve it. Like the ones who say mean things to him.
Highly entertaining.
I'd tweet him, but I haven't figured out how yet.
Yes, I am a geek without the technological know-how.
In other Twitter news, Marissa Janet Winouker (LOVE her, and I really hope I spelled her name correctly!) is using Twitter a s a sort of diet journal. Rather than write down what she eats after the fact, she tweets what she is PLANNING to eat.
I guess it's working, and I'm happy for her, but I think she's perfect just the way she is.

So, going back to La Miz for a moment, she has a great post today on how she cleaned up her diet. And there are some terrific, very helpful responses, as well. I gotta do SOMETHING to get my energy up and my weight down!!!!!!!
But I refuse to give up essert, lol!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Summertime, and the Livin' is...

Wait, whoa!!!! The kids start school in 3 days?!?!?! Other kids have already started? But what happened to summer?
OK, I know the kids went to 4 weeks of summer school, so their break was a little shorter than others'. And WG had therapy all summer, and our vacation didn't happen until mid-August.
But still...
Summer is my favorite time of year. Sure, I love spring, and autumn, with the crisp(er) air and even some foliage in these parts. And winter here isn't too tough. But summer is, and always has been, my favorite.
I guess part of it stems from childhood, when summer meant no school, long days full of play, and camp. I LOVED camp! (Day camp more than overnight camp, and, yes, we did both.)
Usually when summer came to an end I fell into a depression. Probably 'cause I absolutely hated school AND my allergies were at their worst in September.
In my 20's, the end of summer meant the end of performing outside (and getting paid for it!) And that was a bummer. Summer stock was SO MUCH fun, even more so than camp!
Nowadays, however, it means that the kids go back to school, which is a GOOD thing, lol! But it still means that the days get shorter, the pool will soon be closed, and another summer will be history.
Plus, it's almost the first anniversary of my dad's passing. September 29th. I'm hoping to fly back east for it, just for a few days.
I had a dream about him the other night. We were talking on the phone and my dog, who died 6 years ago, was running around my house. I wonder if it was truly a dream, or if the ones who have passed on can speak to us while we sleep. Like in that movie "Always."
It's nearly the end of summer, and I'm feeling sad.
But hopeful, as well. Because there are lots of new, exciting things going on. More on that another time.
SO, enjoy the rest of your summer, and talk to ya soon!

Monday, August 17, 2009

With Friends Like These

OK, first of all, off-topic, I am SO not watching "Dancing With the Stars" this season! Tom DeLay?!?!?! Aaron Carter?!?! WTF?!
The guild is off the rose for me. Actually, since Christian didn't win last season (and other than him it was so freakin' BORING), I think I just won't watch anymore. I'll stick with "So You Think You Can Dance," with people who have REAL talent.
Yeah, I'm a snob. Sue me.
'Course, you won't get much, 'cause I'm a BROKE snob...

Anyway, I've come to some more realizations over the past few days. There have been a couple of people that I've been trying to stay in contact with. One is a friend since 2nd grade, and one is a friend from my 20's. I had deep, profound friendships with both. Or so I thought. I have reached out to both, and have heard nothing back.
I understand people are busy. I understand that time and distance can make people who were once close lose touch. But one of these folks found me on Facebook and friended me, then disappeared. The other I sent an online birthday card to (our birthdays are close together). I got a message that my card was received and read. The next day, on my birthday, nothing.
OK, fine. Never mind that it was our 40th birthdays. But I think I know what happened, that this person has taken offense to the fact that I sent an email and not a "real" card. If that's the case, well, the hell with it. If you're that easily offended, screw it. I don't need to have you in my life. If you can't accept that I have 2 kids with special needs, a job, a husband, and money issues, and that they take priority,then I don't have time or room in my life for you.
Of course, this may not be the case. It may all be a big misunderstanding. but when I have been trying, quite literally for YEARS in one case, to get in touch, to no avail, then even I can take a hint.
And that goes for other aspects of my life, as well. I have spent SO MUCH TIME trying to please people that I lost myself. So, guess what?
Screw it!!!!!
You don'y like the way I parent? None of your business. I'm a DAMN good mom! Don't like the way I look? Don't look at me. Don't like the way I teach? Don't take my classes. Don't like my opinions? Don't listen to me. I. Don't. Care.
There are people in my life whose opinions matter. Everyone else, meh. There are people in my life who have been and will always be there for me. So I will always be there for them. the others? Screw 'em. I have a life. A full life. I have NOTHING to apologize for, and if you're pissed off at me for some imagined slight I supposedly committed years ago, then that's YOUR problem, not mine.
Oh, and by the way, just because I do something DIFFERENTLY than you, doesn't mean I'm WRONG.
So from now on, I live my life for me, my kids, my family. Take me as I am, or leave me the fuck alone.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I Am NOT My Weight!!!!!!

OK, so it took 40 years, but I think I may FINALLY be coming to fully realizing this fact. I'm not my weight. Gaining weight doesn't mean I am immoral. Losing weight doesn't make me virtuous. This is something I've known intellectually for a while, but it's taken my heart, soul and guts a lot longer to get the message.
I am who I am. I can (and have) change my behavior, my beliefs, and the way I react to the world around me. I can also change my weight. (Of course, that last one gets harder and harder to do as I get older. ) But losing weight won't change the fear.
The fear that I've held onto for so long: that I'm not good enough, that I never have been and never will be, no matter how thin I get, how successful I become, how much money I make, or how "talented" I am.
The deep-seated, up-until-recently mostly unconscious fear that I am un-loveable and will ultimately be left alone.
I've done a lot of digging, soul-searching and therapy, and I understand now where these feelings come from. I'm learning to let go of the anger at the people who helped put them there, because I now know what they DIDN'T know, and they couldn't help it. They did the best they could. Now it's my job to understand, forgive, let go, and move on.
I've got my own life to live, and my own kids to nurture, support and, yes, worry over.
When I look over the weight patterns over the course of my 40 years, I notice that I get chubby or really thin during difficult times. Seems obvious now, but at the time it REALLY wasn't, lol!
I got fat during high school. I HATED high school (surprise, surprise), and got thin during college, when my acting professor took an instant and deep disliking to me and made my life hell. Took a year off from NYU, went to Boston University for that year, became bulimic, stressed out over the path my life was taking, and put on about 30 pounds. Went back to New York, lost 20 pounds. Went to work at a Shakespeare festival in Massachusetts and lost 30 pounds in a very stressful, ridiculously low-paying (but still enjoyable) environment. Fell in love, got my heart broken, fell into a deep depression, lost more weight.
Then grad school. Started out thin, started having anxiety attacks and got REALLY thin, went to therapy, put some weight back on. Moved to L.A., put more weight on 'cause I HATED Hollywood (shocking, I know, lol!). Got married, had baby number one, huge strain on marriage, went back to therapy, put on antidepressants, lost a ton of weight. Marriage back on track, baby number 2, eventually lost weight. Hubby went on tour for nearly a year, leaving me home alone with 3 yr-old and 1 yr-old, both diagnosed with Autism. More marital strife, more weight loss. Hubby came home, marriage back on track, we moved out of L.A.
HUGE weight gain!!!!! Cannot figure out why: marriage great, kids great, living in our dream city.
Then, finally, I realize that no matter the external circumstances, I cannot run away from myself. 'Cause wherever ya go, there you are, right?
It doesn't matter how many hours I work out or what I eat. OK, yes, that matters, but in terms of coming to terms with myself, it's MUCH deeper.
I started this realization a couple of weekends ago, during my yoga teacher training. And after reading Charlotte's post a few days ago on how yoga saved her life, I am reminded of not only how much I enjoy yoga and how good it makes me feel, but how good it is FOR me. For my mind, my body, my spirit and my soul. That the things that are valued so often in this life are meaningless. The things we take for granted are to be cherished. And this body, MY body, is one of those things.
This is who I am. I am a mother, a wife, a teacher, a student. I have a goofy sense of humor. I'm a 12 year-old in a 40 year-old shell. I love and am loved. I am NOT alone. Iam NOT "bad" or "unworthy."
ANd anyone who thinks I am anything less than awesome can go to hell.