Hey, look, I know things are a mess. I took a hiatus from blogging and decided to switch up my design before returning. Please be patient, because if you can wait out the mess it means REGULAR POSTING WILL RETURN SOON! :D

Hooray!

Tuesday, June 30

Dealing With Birth Dissatisfaction and Resource List

IMG_3101 So you have a happy, healthy baby but you’re still feeling disappointed in your labor and birth experience? Do you feel ashamed for not feeling more grateful for what you have? Don’t. Recently I wrote about my disappointment with my birth experience. That post received a lot of feedback, most of which entailed “yeah, me too!” You are not alone. And you need not feel shame.

Since writing that post I had an experience that really helped me move on and I wanted to share what I learned. I was reading a story (sorry, the link is now dead) about a woman who lost her little girl to cancer and how she managed to survive that terrible loss. Within the comments on that story someone made a comment (and I’m paraphrasing) that acceptance is not approval.

Suddenly everything clicked into place for me. Accepting what happened during Lucy’s birth does not mean I am also approving of the way the doctors treated me. Sometimes things go badly. And sometimes it is because another person did something wrong. We can’t control chance nor other people. Bad things are simply a part of living. It is the price we pay for getting a chance to enjoy the good things. It is a price I’m willing to pay.

What I am not willing to do is let those doctors continue to bring bad into my life by dwelling on their inexcusable behavior. And it’s a great relief to know that choosing to let go and move on has nothing to do with condoning their actions and everything to do with my freedom and taking back the power they took from me. Nor does accepting that I didn’t get the birth I planned mean that I no longer think my wishes were worthwhile.

If you’re unhappy with your birth experience I hope the idea that acceptance is not approval will help you move on. If your experience was more traumatic (c-section or other birth trauma) I hope that some of the following resources will help you.

  • Birth Trauma Canada: “Birth Trauma Canada is an organization of mothers traumatized by childbirth. Traumatic stress disorders and depression are normal reactions to severe physical and/or psychological stress.”
  • Birth Stars: “Birth Stress, Trauma, and Recover Support: Helping people traumatised by childbirth.”
  • The Birth Trauma Association: “The Birth Trauma Association (BTA) supports all women who have had a traumatic birth experience. It is estimated that, in the UK alone, this may result in 10,000 women a year developing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).”
  • Healing Birth Trauma: A forum for women dealing with birth trauma of various kinds.
  • More Than a Traumatic Birth: A short article (among many) on the topic of “birth rape.”
  • Recovering from a Cesarean: A short guide to the physical healing required after a c-section.
  • Healing the Trauma: An article on PTSD as it relates to birth.
  • Solace For Mothers: "An organization designed for the sole purpose of providing and creating support for women who have experienced childbirth as traumatic." {Thanks to Mama Blogess for the link!}
  • ICAN: The International Cesarean Awareness Network

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Monday, June 29

When Muffin Tin Meals Go Wrong

This weeks Muffin Tin Meal theme was “Patriotic.” And since I’ve spent most of my life celebrating the 4th of July and only this year and last celebrating Canada Day I decided to go with a Canadian theme rather than a US theme. But…things didn’t work out so well.

I was going to make French toast shaped like maple leaves. But we were out of bread. So I tried doing maple leaf pieces of tortilla to dip in tzatziki sauce. I tried to make it red…but red food coloring and white sauce = pink. And tortillas don’t cut into shapes as nicely as bread does. {sigh}

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The rest of the MTM consisted of plain yogurt sweetened with {Canadian} maple syrup and died red pink to make a Canadian flag, red cherries, and red fruit punch. It didn’t go as well as I hoped. Fortunately it was just for me so I’ve got no disappointed kiddos!

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Check out the original post to see some truly amazing MTM’s. I looooove the one the Masked Mommy made!

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Body After Baby - Week 6

This past week was an exciting one! On Wednesday I did my very last 30 Day Shred workout! I’m very happy with 30DS. I am stronger, leaner, and my endurance and confidence have increased. But I’m also glad to be moving on. 30 days works well because it’s long enough to see results, but not so long that the boredom kills you.

I’m on to training for my first 5K. I’ve registered for the Calgary Women’s Run which is in August. I am not looking forward to running in August heat. But I am looking forward to doing my first race! I began training on Thursday with a nice long walk/run on our new-to-us treadmill. My exercise was cut short by a hungry baby but it was still long and hard! The training continued on Friday with a loooooooong walk through the nearby coulee. I always enjoy this particular trail. The views and wildlife sightings are fantastic (see the pair of deer?)! Plus it’s very hilly so it’s quite challenging.

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I was very sick on Saturday (I will spare you the details*) and that totally threw off my groove. It means I’m having to shift around some days in my training schedule. And I’m starting the strength training later than I wanted to by a few days. But such is life. I’ll still be on target for the overall training schedule. I’ve just had to switch my rest days for one week.

I also discovered this week that I’ve been eating healthy foods for so long now that I can’t handle junk the way I used to. Overly processed and super sugary foods just don’t agree with me anymore and I’ve lost the desire for {most of} them. Not even Oreo cookies appeal to me! I used to think that heating healthy would mean resisting temptation for the rest of my life. Boy, was I wrong! Given enough time a healthy diet turns previous temptations into disgusting prospects. That said, I don’t eat perfectly and I still like old fashioned goodies (like homemade cookies) on occasion.

This week my goal is simple, get back on track and keep the momentum going!

Be sure to check out the Body After Baby post on the host site (Mama Notes) for some tips on “accidental exercise.”

What kinds of things throw off your exercise routine? How do you deal with them?

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*You can thank me later.

Sunday, June 28

A Sunday Story

Let me tell you a {true} story.

Once upon a time {a year ago} there was a woman who had moved from the land of bad drivers {Utah} to the other land of bad drivers {Alberta}. This woman was not a bad driver. She was careful and obeyed all the rules of the road. One such rule decreed that she must turn in her old driver’s license and replace it with one issued by the province. So off she went to do just that.

Upon applying for her new license she was informed that if she wanted a real, grown-up license she would need to show proof that she had been driving for much longer than her old license indicated. She would have to embark on a quest to retrieve a driving record from her original, home land {Ohio}.

So she did.

But then a mysterious spell was cast upon her that caused her to sleep {read: procrastinate} for a very long time. It wasn’t until the next summer that the spell was broken and she was able to apply again.

She and her handsome knight {who had to drive because he was the only one with a valid license} arrived at the office when the woman remembered she had forgotten her magic bag {wallet} which contained her old license. So they travelled back to their home to get it.

But then upon their {second} arrival they were told they needed proof that they were wed to show that the woman was indeed a resident of the land. So away they went once more.

Finally {on the third attempt in one day} they had success! The woman was granted a new license and there was much rejoicing…

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…until she had to go back a fourth time because she dropped an important document on her way out.

And {despite all that} she drove happily ever after.

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Thursday, June 25

TMI

{not for the easily grossed-out}

My house is not the only thing I have a hard time keeping clean. My ears’ wax factories have been producing more wax than a bee on steroids. Seriously. I could not keep up. I had even committed the cardinal sin of ear care (never use Q-Tips). But it hadn’t helped. So I decided it was time to declare war and I bought some Murine.

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I dutifully read the instructions, and enlisted Bear’s help (because I can’t see my own ear to see what I’m doing). In went the drops and…

GAAHHH! IT’S FIZZING!!! I can hear it fizzing!!! I didn’t know it was going to fizz!

My sane hubby tried to calm me down, which elicited the following violent outburst as I frantically squirted water in my ear:

It’s MY ear! It’s MY hearing! I CAN HEAR IT FIZZING!

To which he responded:

Do you really think they’d sell a product that could make you go deaf?

I responded with silence, the I’m-angry-but-I-know-you’re-probably-right kind of silence; the I-can’t-think-of-anything-to-say-without-looking-like-an-irrational-jerk-so-I’m-going-to-be-a-silent-irrational-jerk kind of silence.

That was several hours ago. We’ve moved on. I’m calm again. He’s graciously avoided ridiculing me (no matter how well deserved) for my outburst. Everything is peachy-keen.

Except that my ear still isn’t clean.

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PS- What do you think I should do now?

Wednesday, June 24

Interview!

Yours truly has been interviewed on Mama Notes. I answer questions about motherhood and share a bit of trivia so check it out!

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5 Aspects of Successful Goal Setting

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined. ~Henry David Thoreau

Do you have big dreams?

My recent Body After Baby post in which I announced my intention to run the Calgary Marathon has gotten quite the response! Several of you expressed (tentatively) the desire to run a marathon as well. Ladies, what’s stopping you? If it’s a goal you want to accomplish then why just muse over the possibility? Go for it! To dream about achieving something without making it happen is like thinking “I really ought to call {insert beloved friend or family member here}” but never actually calling them. It leaves one feeling empty.

Many people let fear stop them from taking the “big leap.” Well, I’m here to say NO MORE! The worst thing that can happen when you reach for a goal is that you fail. Failure is simply an opportunity to try again. So banish your fear. Say “Self, I want to {insert goal here}. I can {insert goal here. And I will {insert goal here}!” Then do it!

But how?

You have to be SMART about goal setting. Goals need to be

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic Respectful
  • Timely

I’ll clarify each of these qualities using my own goal as an example.

Specific: This means answering the usual who, what, when, where, why, and how questions. Vague goals just won’t work. So instead of setting the goal: I am going to be a runner. I say instead: I (who) am going to run a marathon (what) next May (when) in Calgary (where) by beginning a training program now and sticking with it (how). Answering the why question is equally important. It tells us what our motivation is and can be referred to when we start to feel like giving up. It gives us purpose and drive. So why am I running a marathon? I’m running a marathon so that I can be fit and because I want to prove to myself that I can do hard things!

Measurable: Goals need to be broken up into measurable steps to avoid feeling overwhelmed and to ensure we stay on track for meeting our goals within the self-determined time frame. I’m lucky because running experts have already broken my goal up quite nicely into training schedules. I just need to stick to the schedule. I’ve also selected two smaller races (a 5K and a 10K) that I will run in the time leading up to the real deal.

Attainable: Dream big, but be realistic. If you set an impossible goal you’ll only find yourself frustrated when you find you can’t reach it. I’ve chosen a hard goal, to be sure. A marathon is no walk in the park. But it is feasible. Now, if I had decided I wanted to run a marathon by October, or run my first marathon in record time that would be not only silly, but possibly dangerous.

Realistic Respectful: The traditional SMART method of goal setting lists realistic right after attainable. I’ve always felt this was redundant. That’s why I’ve replaced realistic with respectful. Unless you live in a social vacuum your goals will affect the people you love. So make sure you keep their needs in mind when going for your dreams. Now, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t ask for any help or ever go for dreams that may require some amount of sacrifice from your friends and/or family. If your loved ones aren’t willing to help you achieve your goals then who is? But if your goals will require significant changes or resources the best thing to do is talk them over with those who will be affected. For example, later in my training I’ll be going on some very long distance runs. I’ll need Adam to watch Lucy while I do those runs. Race registration isn’t free, nor is the travel to race locations. These are all things that affect Adam. But they’re not unfair. If I were to decide to go to the London marathon instead then in our circumstances that would be unfair because of the cost issues. Respect is an important aspect of goal setting because we need the support of our nearest and dearest, especially when the going gets tough. But we don’t want to walk all over our loves ones either. So find the right balance that works for you.

Timely: Generally this aspect is a rehash of the “when question” already addressed. I like to think of it this way: NOW is the time! A timely goal is started today, not a year from now, not a month from now, not the ever elusive tomorrow. If you want it you have to take it for yourself and you have to do it now. I promise that if you wait for a better time that so-called “better time” will never arrive.

run1 If you want to run a marathon, then do it!

There you have it, the SMART method of goal setting. Now you know exactly how to reach for your goals. So what’s stopping you? Worried you don’t have the time? Make time, even if it means letting go of something else (I recommend housework, after all, a messy house is just an indication of a life well lived and you certainly won’t be alone in domestic dorkiness). Do you think people will laugh, or say you can’t do it? Prove ‘em wrong! Are you scared you’ll fail? Remember that failure is just a speed bump and you can keep trying! Believe in yourself!

Life is too short to waste it by letting your dreams stay dreams. Make your dreams a reality. Start today. I believe in you and so should you!

What is your dream? Tell me your SMART goal plan in the comments!

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Monday, June 22

Yeah, That's My Philosophy Too

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Sunday, June 21

Body After Baby - Week 5 or 26.2

I started this challenge largely because I was unhappy with the way my body looked. But after really thinking about fat talk and body image I’ve tried to let go of that particular motivation and focus on health and the sense of accomplishment that comes from reaching one’s goals. So I’ve taken the scale out of the bathroom and stashed it in the storage closet. I’ve left myself an Operation Beautiful note. And I’ve already started feeling much better about myself.

Last week I set several goals:

  • Continue 30DS
  • Water, water, water!
  • Make half a week’s meal plan.
  • Make some long term fitness goals and plan for them.
  • NO soda!

I’m happy to report that I have met those goals (and surpassed a few of them)! I have just a few days left of 30DS. Wednesday will be my last workout. I can’t believe I’ve stuck with it! I’ve never stuck with a fitness plan for this long! And this one is crazy hard at first! But Adam has provided a substantial bribe to do all 30 days, Jillian Michaels (the DVD host/trainer) is really motivating, and after completing NaNoWriMo and giving birth I more fully believe that I can do anything!

I did not give in and have any soda, even when my evil lovely husband tempted me with a mojito. And I did drink more water, but could probably stand to have a little more each day.

I not only finished half a week’s meal plan, I completed an entire week’s plan AND implemented it. I’ve gotten most of the meal ideas and recipes from Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point. Very yummy! Just to give you an idea of what my new, healthy meals look like here are a few examples:

  • sweet potato and bean balls rolled in ground flax seed
  • hummus wraps with veggie toppings
  • whole, sprouted grain French toast with ground flax seed
  • vegetarian burritos (yup, I’m recommitting myself to vegetarianism…er…vegetariseafoodism?)
  • lots and lots of green smoothies!

And I’ve made my long term fitness goals and planned my training. One of my 101 in 1001 goals is to run a marathon. So that’s my focus. And how appropriate that today’s Body After Baby post at Mama Notes is about running? That’s got to be a sign or something.

I’ve selected which marathon I want to run (the Calgary marathon). And I have a 46+ week training plan in place which will take me from beginner runner to 5K, from 5K to 1/2 marathon, and then from 1/2 to full marathon! If I stick to the plan then in just under a year I’ll be running a 26.2 mile race. It’s said that anyone who is moderately fit can train to run a marathon. But rumour has it that only between 0.1% and 2% of people ever will do it. I am going to do it.

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Saturday night I watched the documentary Spirit of the Marathon. It was incredibly inspirational. It gave an abbreviated history of the marathon and followed several different runners training for the Chicago Marathon from first timer to elite racers (i.e. people who actually have a chance to win). As boring as that description may make it sound it was truly fascinating. I think my favourite part was when they discussed the history of women running marathons. Women used to be barred from long distance races (supposedly, one belief was that our wombs would fall out *insert BIG eye roll here*). Katherine Switzer was the first women to run the almighty Boston Marathon (entered under the name K. V. Switzer) and she finished it (without her womb falling out, I might add) despite a race official’s attempt to physically remove her from the race.

Starting Thursday my training will include the six week 100 push ups/200 sit ups/200 squats program three times per week and a six week beginner 5k program four times per week. I’ll be doing both programs on one day per week so that I can also have a complete day of rest each week. While I’ve enjoyed the commitment of working out every day as demanded by the 30DS it’s not really what’s best for one’s body. Our bodies need a chance to rest and recover.

So, this weeks mini goals include:

I am so excited to start training. It is going to be hard. But in the last year I have discovered that I can do hard things. So, barring a late blizzard or serious injury I will run the Calgary Marathon, even if it takes me six hours to do it.

Would you ever run a marathon? Have you already? What hard things have you done? Brag away in the comments.

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Father

What makes a father? Speaking biologically it’s the simple act of genetic contribution. Speaking as a woman whose male genetic contributor bailed, never to be heard from again, it’s much, much more than that.

A father is the man who drives for two days to take his family on vacation. He’s the man who coaches little league soccer. He’s the one who attends countless plays and shuttles kids to rehearsals, practices, and day camps (not to mention paying for all those activities). A father is the man who makes silly jokes and shares with his child Monty Python, the Beatles, and Star Wars. He’s the guy who lets you push the button on the coffee grinder. A father teaches you all about the world around you. He answers your questions. A father teaches you who you are. He takes care of and loves your mother. And he takes care of you and loves you.

My father is not biologically connected. My father chose me. He chose to be a permanent part of my life when I was three years old (and no doubt, a holy terror). And unlike my genetic contributor he has stuck around. He has been there for me, always. He’s smart, hard working, and incredibly giving. I love him. And I am ever grateful that he’s my father.

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Happy Father’s Day, Jay. I love you.

Saturday, June 20

I Surrender

Previously I had announced my intentions to stay off Twitter. I had an account (used exclusively for the purpose of entering blog giveaways). But apparently I’m pretty popular (my high school self would never believe that). I’ve managed to get a small Twitter following without even trying. So I give in folks. My inner Luddite has been defeated. I am now a total twit (because I wasn’t one before?). I’ve linked my Twitter account and my Facebook account. So at least I only have to worry about doing single updates. You people following me better be happy that you’re going to get real tweets now. My inner Luddite is very annoyed. But my inner geek is doing a happy dance. So I guess it all evens out. Follow me here.

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Red Alert

A drama of international importance has been unfolding of which you may not be aware. You see, the United States and Russia are allies these days, even if there’s still reluctance to be friends comrades. But it seems POTUS doesn’t trust the Russians one bit. In fact, he has a plan to carry out an attack on Russia which would leave Moscow completely levelled. How? With the super weapon hidden under Mt. Rushmore of course! This attack will destroy our alliance and certainly lead Russia to retaliate. I don’t know about you, but I have no desire to see what angry Russians are capable of.*

But don’t worry, my husband has us covered.

He’s undertaken a mission to destroy the super weapon before the President’s limo can arrive at the launch site. He won’t let us down. The scantily clad women** working for the military certainly seem to have faith in him. And so do I (though while wearing more clothes). This mission is just too important. Failure simply isn’t an option.

And on the off chance that he does fail he can always click the “Try Again” button.

Do you or your husband play video games? Which ones? Are you ever amazed at how cheesy the storyline is? Tell me all about it in the comments.

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*I’ve seen Red Dawn. Not even Patrick Swayze can stop pissed-off Russians!

**Come on now, are those really the standard uniforms these days?

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Thursday, June 18

Let’s Talk About Looks

As you know I’ve been working on my post-baby body lately. And I’m not going to lie, I love that the weight is coming off. I think just about every woman likes to feel fit and lean. And I’m getting more fit and lean every day. But I want to address the issue of “body image.” I have noticed, as I’ve been working my butt off doing my exercises, that the more I take care of my body, the more I appreciate her.* I still have a saggy tummy. I’m still in the “overweight” category according to my BMI. And I have stretch marks on my tummy, thighs, breasts and arms. But you know what? When I treat my body like I love her (by exercising and eating real food**) I find that I really do love her. She’s pretty amazing. Not only can she run, jump, swim and dance she made my daughter and continues to be the one and only source of nourishment my daughter needs! That’s pretty freaking awesome!

Of course, I have those moments days when all I can focus on are the imperfections. It seems supremely unfair. I would never zero in on all of Bear’s faults, or my best friend’s faults and ignore all their awesomeness. So why is it acceptable for me to treat my body that way? It’s not. That’s why I’m making a change.

Caitlin over at Healthy Tipping Point wrote this really great post about “fat talk.” She’s given me permission to share it here.

PART 1

If you're a long-time reader, you know the issue of Fat Talk is something I take very seriously. As Jillian Michaels said, "Fat talk is transcending.... It affects your reality and damages you professionally, personally, and physically."

I've posted this video about Fat Talk a few times before, but not recently. If you haven't watched this before, please do! It's so powerful and I cry every time:

Here are a few tips for ending Fat Talk:

  • Don't compare your body to others.
  • Appreciate your body for what it can do.
  • Turn a negative into a positive. Instead of "I'm stocky," try "I'm strong!"
  • Never Fat Talk in front of your kids or friends

PART 2

This section of the Fat Talk discussion is dedicated to the statement, "I feel so fat."

How many times have you eaten something and then said, "Ugh. I feel so fat"? This is completely hyperbolic reaction to overindulging. First of all, even skinny women who aren't "fat' say it. Secondly, there's no way one meal or one dessert can suddenly make you "fat."

So, what do we really mean when we say, "I'm so fat"? We actually mean that we are FULL WITH AN EMOTION. Oftentimes, it's shame. Or sadness. Or fear. Why do we express our inner turmoil by hating our bodies? Because that's what Fat Talk and society tells us to do. Don't admit you're scared, just feel fat! Don't admit you're lonely or depressed, you're just fat! We can deal with ugliness, we cannot deal with weakness.

The next time you feel the urge to say, "I'm so fat," think about what you REALLY mean. By berating your body, you aren't doing any favors. But by honoring your emotions, you're living a happier, more honest life.

PART 3

If only one thing about this discussion about Fat Talk resonates with you, remember this: When you feel guilty about food, you are experiencing distorted thinking.

I'm not saying that means you have an eating disorder. I'm just saying that feeling guilty -- raw, consuming, upsetting GUILT -- is not a normal, healthy reaction to eating and is thus distorted. I think it's important to recognize when our thinking is distorted, as the way we view ourselves has a big impact on our lot in life.

All women experience guilt with food to some degree. I know I used to feel a really guilty if I drank two beers and ate a few slices of pizza. Or a big dessert. Sometimes, it didn't even have to be a calorie-heavy meal to trigger the guilt. I'd have a bigger breakfast than normal, and I would fret that I'd "blown it" for the day or that I'd "given into temptation."

Guilt is internal Fat Talk. It is shaming yourself for not meeting a perfectionist ideal that is unattainable and determined by the rigid standards our society has created! If you wouldn't say it out loud to a friend, why would you say it to yourself?

Maybe right now you're thinking: "But a little guilt can be a GOOD thing!" or "Guilt is a normal reaction to indulging!" But, if guilt was healthy or "normal," it would be PRODUCTIVE and it would make you HAPPY.

Do you find yourself feeling guilty over food a lot? Well, then -- you're repeating the same actions over and over again, and clearly... Guilt isn't productive, it doesn't work, and it only serves to lower your self -esteem. Guilt is a waste of time and takes away from productive things you could be doing with your time -- meditating, studying, sleeping, calling your friends on the phone, and more.

You aren't going to gain weight from one dessert.

You aren't a bad person for enjoying dinner.

You aren't weak because you were hungrier than normal.

How do you stop guilt? It's so much harder to stop than Fat Talk -- after all, we verbalize Fat Talk to others and it's easier to "catch" ourselves in conversation. Guilt, on the other hand, is this weird, creeping feeling that takes over you, ruins your day, and triggers the blues.

I would say I cut down on my guilt thinking by about 90%, which I consider to be a big accomplishment. I stopped guilting myself by really thinking about my eating in the grand scheme of life. Did that pizza make me gain weight? No. Did it actually hurt my health in any measurable way that I ate a bunch of French fries? No. Am I an awesome friend and hardworker who is so much more than the food she eats? Of course!

If there is something about your lifestyle that you want to change, be proactive and CHANGE IT. Guilting yourself about it does not work. Taking action to move onwards and upwards does. Every setback is an opportunity to learn, grow, and improve.

Join me on the quest to eliminate Fat Talk in all its nasty and evil forms from our lives! Remember, it starts now... and it starts with you.

And now she has started Operation Beautiful. All you need is post-it notes and a pen. Leave an anonymous message in a a public place (or leave one for yourself at home) to tell somebody that they are beautiful! As women we seem to spend so much time judging ourselves and each other based on how we look. Why not build each other up instead of tearing each other down? Be sure to check out Caitlin’s blog and send in any photos you take of your Operation Beautiful notes! I’ve started by doing something a little different:

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I’ve also left one for myself. I’ve put it on the mirror in my awesome, wall-mounted vanity. I figure what better place to have a reminder?

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Now that I’m a mom it’s more important than ever for me to end fat talk. The last thing I want to do is find, a few years down the road, that my hang ups have been passed on to my precious Lucy. It would break my heart and be incredibly unjust. Lucy will be bombarded by false ideals of beauty. I refuse to be responsible for adding to those bad influences. I will lead her by example and my example had better be a good one!

That is why I’m changing my language and my focus. I’m not exercising to be thin. I’m exercising to be strong! I’m not eating right to lose weight. I’m eating right to feel healthy!

I’m also trying to accept and honor the changes in my body that have come from being pregnant and giving birth. My body is not bad now. She is just different.

Speaking of different. My body isn’t just different from the way she used to be. She is different from everybody else’s. My body is not like your body. Your body is not like your neighbour's body. And her body is not like Kate Moss’s body.

We may feel like our bodies are abnormal because so often the only other bodyies we take note of are those plastered on billboards or displayed in magazines. But, as the video above pointed out, most fashion models are thinner than 98% of American woman! 98%!!! Next time you’re tempted to compare your body to that of a model stop. Don’t. Why not check out these sites instead?

The Shape of a Mother: A “website where women of all ages, shapes, sizes and nationalities can share images of their bodies so it will no longer be secret. So we can finally see what women really look like sans airbrushes and plastic surgery.”

007 Breasts: A gallery of normal breasts “in all kinds of sizes and shapes. These breast pictures are here to let you see normal breasts - big, small, sagging, asymmetrical; big areolas or nipples.” NSFW***

Or, better yet, next time you’re tempted to compare your body stop. Don’t. Don’t compare her at all. Your body is one of your best friends. Treat her right and she’ll treat you right too.

Do you fat talk? Are you trying to change? Will you be doing Operation Beautiful? Tell me all about your thoughts on body image. And spread the word!

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*I choose to call my body “her” rather than “it” because it’s too easy to criticize an “it.”

**Real food (like fruits and veggies) as opposed to processed junk.

***Not safe for work

Wednesday, June 17

Improvise

By virtue of being “poor”* sometimes I am a very cheap frugal person. So, rather than spend $200+ on a playpen I opted for this used crib for $50 (yes, it meets safety guidelines). Since it’s not for sleeping I snagged a crib bumper for $8 to prevent little chubby legs from getting stuck between bars (though I have no personal knowledge of how much such a tragedy would make Lucy cry…nope, none at all).

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Lucy digs it (when she’s not desperate to be held). She likes to peek over the top of the bumper to watch what we’re doing and to play peek-a-boo.

We dig it because though Lucy isn’t crawling yet but she’s definitely mobile enough that she needs to be contained from time to time. And our family room looks a lot less cluttered without her toys and play mat all over the floor.


Remember how I had leftovers of those art cards? Well, now I’ve found a use for them. Art cards + 3M hooks + clips = instant baby art gallery!

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Of course, I could have saved even more money if I stuck with this improvised playpen (Girla approved)!

What things have you improvised when you were short on cash or time? Tell me about it in the comments!

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*That’s the life of a student (or in this case, the life of the family of a student)!

Tuesday, June 16

Holly is very loved by her sneaky husband.


-Bear

Monday, June 15

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Body After Baby - Week 4

This post is brought to you by the helpful customer service representatives working for Compaq. Without them I’d be lying in the fetal position and crying over the black screen of doom that fell upon my lappy this morning. Now, for my weekly update on the Body After Baby Challenge:

Epic fail!

OK…maybe not an epic fail. But I do have to report some slipping up this week.

  • I did not go for three walks. I went for two walks. And while I did go to the pool on Friday it was with Lucy so I didn’t actually do any swimming.
  • I had soda! Oh no! I had soda a few times actually. Bear made mojitos (soooo good!) for the first time. After having a sip of his I had to have my own. And after giving in once to soda I gave in again. But I’m jumping back on the no-soda wagon. It’s better to fall and get back up than fall and stay down, right?
  • I’m still not drinking enough water. And now that it’s getting hot (even though a week ago we had snow) I really need to make sure I keep myself hydrated. Being a nursing mom makes it extra important!
  • I didn’t get any of my meal plan done.

But it’s not all bad news. I am seeing amazing results from the 30 Day Shred workout. My strength, endurance, and flexibility have all been vastly improved since I started. And I’m not having as much trouble with my knees and hip so I’m actually able to do all the moves (and even some of the advanced ones)! Plus I’ve lost several pounds. I’m about 10 pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight, even with all the added muscle I’ve got now!

Last week was a busy week for me. I was doing a lot of work on my blog. But as much as I’d like to make excuses, I know I shouldn’t. I need to be committed enough to my health that even when I’m busy or feeling lazy or am tempted by minty-lime goodness I still reach my goals! So I’m recommitting myself this week and here’s what I plan to do:

  • Continue 30DS (level 3 starts today!)
  • Water, water, water!
  • Make half a week’s meal plan.
  • Make some long term fitness goals and plan for them.
  • NO soda!

Before I run off I want to share this blog with you. It’s a food and fitness blog that I recently discovered and I looooove it! I am SO inspired by Caitlin (the author). And I’ve gotten some really yummy snack and meal ideas from browsing her archives! So be sure to give her blog a visit! You don’t want to miss it!

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Sunday, June 14

The War on Grime

You know those toilet bowl stains that just won’t go away? Oh, no? You never have that problem? Well then you are clearly on the wrong blog. I think you were looking for Domestic Diva not Domestic Dork.

Now, who’s left? Ah, yes. Welcome to all my fellow dorks. As I was saying…

You know those toilet bowl stains that just won’t go away? Man, I hate those! Cleaning toilets is bad enough without having to deal with the stains from the black lagoon. Well, I’ve learned how to vanquish them and now I’m going to tell you howtee hee 020!

First head to the store. You’re looking for pumice stones. Sometimes you can find them in the aisle with the cleaning supplies. More likely you’ll have to head to the cosmetics section. Look near the nail polish and other pedicure items. Buy as many of them as you can afford (because if your luck is anything like mine then next time you’re looking for them the store won’t have them anymore).

On our last trip we only found two in the entire store. Here’s what they looked like:

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Square stones are generally more useful than rounded ones because it’s easier to get into the corners with them. But I’ll take whatever I can get. Since I was stuck with one round and one square I used the round one for all the areas I could get it into and then switched to the square for the hard-to-reach areas. No sense wearing those corners down on the rounded areas.

Now for the “fun part,” actually cleaning that darn toilet. You should tee hee 033not drain the bowl when using this cleaning method. You need the porcelain to stay good and wet to avoid scratches. That’s why I highly recommend wearing gloves. All you’ll need to do is suck it up, stick your hand in, and scrub. You’ll be amazed by what an igneous rock and a little elbow grease can do. You might want to flush the toilet a few time throughout cleaning as the water can get murky and make it hard to see what you’re doing.

Now, I’m not about to show you a “before” picture because, really, nobody wants to see that. Ew. But I will show you the “after!”

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What cleaning problems do you have? What tricks have you learned or developed to solve them?

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