Saturday, December 14, 2013

Why I Drank Lemony-Ginger Brown Sludge For Lunch

I love junk food. Cookies, cakes, chips, fries, actually any kind of potato, chocolate. I have a particular weakness for the delicious, golden, salty, hot skinny slivers of fried potatoes served at McDonald's. I know, I of the most unhealthy, disgustingly bad for you places that you can go to eat. Don't get me wrong, I am by no means a frequent diner there. What is it about that place that, even though we know how horrendous it is, we still can't help but cave to from time to time? After a particularly rough night with the 6 month old, I succumbed to the pleadings of her 6-year-old brother and took him and the 8-year-old to good old Micky-D's for lunch today.

As we sat in the drive-through line I debated, with myself, the pros and cons of ordering something. Pros; those scrumptious fries, that quick filling of the empty pit also know as my stomach and not having to envy, and curse, my children for eating those delicious fried potato sticks. Cons; duh, it is McDonalds, I shouldn't have to actually list the cons. I also reminded myself that I had made a promise to start my juicing diet yesterday and didn't and decided that I couldn't put it off for one more day. So I ordered 2 Happy Meals and went on my way.

My youngest minion is almost 6 months now. While I have lost a fair amount of the baby weight, I still have, I feel, about 30 lbs to go to get me to a place where I will be happy with myself. I long to feel comfortable in clothes again. Hell, I long to be able to fit into my clothes again! When my first husband and I split up almost 6 years ago, our son was 1 year old. I was finally getting back to my pre-babies weight. Well, the stress of the split up etc caused me to lose a considerable amount which some people, including my now-hubby, would say too much. I disagree.

Looking back on my high-school days, I see that I had an unhealthy self image. I was convinced I was fat. I was always trying out some new diet pill and/or not eating my lunch. I couldn't not eat at home because my mother would notice and she would say something. I remember almost passing out at my locker one day because of some new pills I was taking. I would do things like suck on a Jolly Rancher when I got hungry to somewhat trick myself into thinking I had eaten something. Now, I didn't do this all the time, I went through phases. I know now that some of my friends got tired of listening to me talking about being fat because, if I'm completely honest with myself, I was far from it.

After graduation, I went off to Florida State University in Tallahassee. I was immediately thrust into the midst of everything that earned FSU a spot in the list of top 5 party schools for approximately 6 years through the mid-to-late 90's (I went there in '97). An overabundance of beer, liquor and other recreational habits found me snacking on late-night delicacies such as Guthrie's, Taco Bell, Gumby's Pizza and Whataburger. Slowly but surely I began to pack on the dreaded Freshman 15. By the time I left Tallahassee about 3 years later, I was back down to very small proportions as my recreational habits evolved into more appetite suppressing substances. That, however, is a whole different blog post.

In 2003 I got married for the first time. In the months leading up to the wedding, I began to obsess about my weight again. I took up the diet pill habit once more and started to exercise and eat healthier. I managed to have my wedding dress taken in an inch and a half on either side from the first fitting to the last. I was happy with my body again. After the pressure of looking perfect for the wedding was finally gone, the weight gradually started to find its way back. In 2005 I gave birth to my first child. A short 6 months later I found out I was unexpectedly expectant with my second. (I had been on the mini pill but the little bastards didn't work.) So in 2006, a mere 14 1/2 months after giving birth for the first time, I found myself doing it all over again.

I was big. Not unrealistic-body-image-big, but actually BIG. After seeing a photo of myself when #2 was approximately 3 months old I made my mother promise to get rid of the picture and never, ever, EVER show it to anyone ever again!  I hadn't managed to lose all the weight from the first pregnancy and then I gained even more with the second. With my first I seemed to crave fruits and vegetables. With my second I craved Dunkin' Donuts on my way to work every morning.

When minion #2 was about 4 months old, I decided I'd had enough of being unhappy with body and my life. I was coming to terms inside myself that my marriage wasn't working out the way I had anticipated. I chalked my feelings up to the baby blues and unhappiness with the image I saw in the mirror and pushed them deep down inside me and ignored them. I slowly started shedding the pounds, gradually feeling better about myself, but noticing that my feelings about my relationship weren't changing. We were too different. We weren't a good match. We had been young and in love, or so we thought, and I thought we had the same goals and wants in life, but it was becoming more and more apparent that we didn't.

Fast forward to the end of 2007. Minion #2 had just turned 1 and his dad and I were separating. I found myself carrying around a huge sack of guilt. After all, I was the one who wasn't in love anymore. I was the one who asked him, no demanded, that he move out. I was the was the evil, selfish bitch who was breaking up our family. I know now that I wasn't. Nothing is ever that cut and dry and there were a lot of events that led to the ultimate decision to split. Some of those things I hadn't even been aware of that dated back to before we were married. I may not have been privy to what was going on, but that still had an affect on everything. No secret, no matter what it is, sets the foundation for a healthy relationship. When you find out that one person was hiding something that would have caused a break up years prior, you just know that the toxicity of it played a part in the ultimate failure of that relationship.

Over the next 6 months or so the stress and guilt led to me lose an unhealthy amount of weight in a relatively short period of time. I loved it. I was skinny. I was wearing size 4/5 pants and XS/S tops. I hadn't been that small since college. I should mention that I am a little over 5'7, so I'm not short. Looking back on pictures I now see how bony I was and why people were concerned about how much I was losing. It didn't matter what other people said. I was skinny!!! I felt attractive again. People, men, seemed to find me attractive again. Something I thought would never happen seeing as I was a divorced mother of 2 children in my late 20's. I mean, who was going to want me now?

Well, obviously someone wanted me as it is now 4 years since my divorce was finalized, almost 6 years since the official split, and I am married to my best friend. I'm not going to lie and say there was no one in between. There was one person in particular who taught me that I was still desirable and worthy of love and affection. That I wasn't the evil, vicious person some would have had me believe I was. That I had a right to be happy and to love and be loved the way everyone deserves. This was someone who I had known as a child, my first "boyfriend" and who I reconnected with at the end of my first marriage thanks to that phenomenon known as Facebook. Someone I will be forever grateful to for everything he did for me during that time frame and for helping me become the person I am today and the person who my husband fell in love with 4 years ago.

Hubby and I have 5 little minions between us. His (9-year-old twin girls), mine (6-year-old boy, 8-year-old girl) and ours (6 month old girl). Hubby is extremely supportive of everything I do. I don't think he quite "gets" my decision to start blogging, but he certainly hasn't tried to discourage me from it. I couldn't imagine my life without him. Don't get me wrong, we are normal people and have our share of problems just like anyone else, but at the end of the day, when I lay my head down on my pillow, there is absolutely no one I would rather have laying with me than him. Having a baby was the absolute last thing either one of us wanted or planned on when we found out I was pregnant. I was on the pill, but those damn things never seem to want to work for me. I had also been put on another medication that I was told afterwards may have interfered with the birth control.

Anyway, throughout the pregnancy I became more and more self conscious and unhappy with myself with every pound I gained, and I gained a lot of pounds. Baby girl was 8 lbs 13 oz...that's almost 9 lbs of baby, people! I think the weight gain was karma for being so critical of others I knew who had gained weight during their pregnancies. Definitely not something I'm proud to admit, but I'm human, and I've always been a little obsessed with the whole weight thing - just in case you hadn't pick up on that yet!

Hubby was great during the whole thing, agreeing with people when they said I was all belly (even though I know they were just being nice). He's been the one reminding me that it took 9 months to put it on, and to give it at least that much time to get it off again. Truth be told, I secretly hate it when people tell me that. It fits right in there with 'this too shall pass''everything happens for a reason' and 'what doesn't kill us only makes us stronger'. Thanks for those completely non-comforting words of bullshit. Everyone is guilty of using them, myself included. They are the fail-safe go-to's when someone is going though something and you don't know what else to say. But, the sentiment is there, and they mean well, so we smile and thank them and move on.

Well, I'm tired of hearing people tell me to give myself at least 9 months to get the weight off. I'm tired of looking at a closet full of clothes that I can't wear. I'm tired of feeling like every woman out there is more attractive than me. I'm tired of being afraid that hubby is going to lose interest in me because I don't look the way I did when we met. I'm tired of stressing about what I am going to wear on any given day that doesn't make me look like I am still 6 months pregnant. I'm tired of feeling like everyone is looking at me to see how close I am to my pre-pregnant self. I'm tired of my kids telling me my "tummy is getting smaller" (they mean well).

I have heard all these people go on and on about how juicing changed their lives. They finally lost those last stubborn pounds. They sleep so much better. Their hair and skin have never looked healthier. So that's what I'm doing. I am juicing. I officially started today. My lunch consisted of a homemade juice concoction that tasted like ass. It was a recipe given to me by a friend who is going to live to be 100 because of all the juice she drinks. (I should also mention that she is skinny. Not sickly skinny, but healthy skinny.) I took the recipe and tried to cut it in half, but forgot to trim down the lemon and ginger. So I basically drank a sort of brown, lemony-ginger flavored sludge. I think I will do away with one of those ingredients in my juice tomorrow, and cut the other in half. I can't put myself off this whole thing before I really get started.

For now, that is my plan - juicing. I'm hoping that with school starting again, I will be able to concentrate more on me during the day while the older kids are out of the house. Maybe I'll work in some sort of exercise routine. Who knows. All I do know is that I've got that itch. That "I'm tired of being frumpy" itch. I've got it so bad I can taste it...oh, wait, no, that's just the remnants of the juice I drank earlier...

I was contemplating posting "before and after" pictures to document my journey, but lets face it, I am far too shallow and self obsessed to show the world a half-naked picture of me looking anything less than what I consider perfect. So instead, here is a picture of all the gorgeous ingredients that went into my juicer today, and the sludge that came out.

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