Memories of Fitness Past

The Olympics can be a great motivator, sometimes.

No I won’t be training for any special events any time soon.  Watching all of those extremely fit people has, however, ramped up my motivation to exercise.  I wish I could say it was hampering my desire to eat-not as much.  I lost my resolve with the apple pie and the chocolate malt.  I can blame my husband for that-he brought the pies home from church and made the malts.

I used to be very fit.  I used to get up at the crack of dawn and walk an hour and a half almost every day.  I used to ride my bike from one town to the next.  I used to go to the gym and lift weights like crazy.  I used to be a vegan.  This is before I had kids, of course. I also used to subsist on next to nothing.  Now I don’t desire to ever be a size 0 again, but it would be nice to be able to find an exercise program and stick to it.  It also would be nice to regain the willpower I had all those years ago.  I could actually REFUSE things back then!

(By the way, not me.  I never owned legwarmers.)

I blame kids and chocolate.  This isn’t an accurate representation, because I don’t like to share my chocolate.

Right now I really need to go to the store to buy some healthy things to eat.  I can’t because my husband doesn’t get paid until tomorrow, and because I don’t want to drag the kids there.  So I’ve been eating what’s left in the house.  Lunch consisted of a microwave brown minute rice bowl (the rice was brown, not the bowl) that I found underneath the pantry shelves and three cherry tomatoes.  Later on I found half a red pepper in the freezer, so I ate that too.  You’re thinking “Hey that’s pretty healthy!”  Not really.  The handful of dark chocolate M&Ms didn’t help.  I’m starving to death and I don’t know what the heck I have left to eat that is actually good for me.

Since I did get the smartphone that I’m not sure I needed or deserved, I downloaded a couple of apps recently. One was an app that supposedly helped you keep track of your calorie intake.  What it really does is make you feel really bad that you can’t subsist on 1200 calories a day.  I did pretty well at first (not at subsisting at 1200 calories but at just remembering to enter in everything I ate) but then just kind of forgot about it.  I also downloaded an app that supposedly tracked how far you walked and posted your route, time, etc on a nice little map.  Noooooo, not quite.  Apparently I live too far our to get a good GPS signal.  The first time I used it I was really excited because it said I walked over 5 miles!  That was because everywhere I went it showed me walking in and out of the cornfield by our house about 50 times on the almost hour walk, adding about 3 miles on to my route.  I was pretty bummed when  I realized that.

I tend to do fairly well until the afternoon snack.  Then it’s all downhill from there.  Dinner is frustrating.  I would much rather make myself a small pan of pasta with tomatoes and a little cheese and that would make me perfectly happy.  Instead I must make everyone else happy.  My husband thinks that meat is the key to happiness.  Everything must have gobs of meat.  Meat meat meat.  Heaven forbid if I make a meatless meal.  AND CHEESE.  I have a problem with lactose, so I try to avoid putting a lot of cheese on things.  He will insist on using a whole package of cheese in a meal.  Vegetables?  I make them and he avoids them like they are radioactive.  Add to all of that the fact that he has to put down the computer to come eat, many nights he eats way after we do (we are horrible people because we do not have a dining room or a dining room table, but the kids eat AT a little table.)  And don’t even get me started on the kids.  My son would be perfectly happy eating hot dogs and chicken nuggets every day for the rest of his life.  He hates pasta, he hates rice.  My daughter likes a variety of foods, but when it comes to supper it’s hit or miss.

So often I end up eating most of the stuff that I made to make the other people happy because they didn’t eat it.  Or didn’t eat much of it.  I hate wasting food, and no one in this house seems to understand the concept of leftovers being anything other than a decoration for the inside of the refrigerator.  Often I eat too much at dinner to try to avoid having leftovers.  Sometimes instead of a healthy lunch I eat the leftovers.

Don’t tell me to make less food.  I’ve tried that.  My husband acts like I am trying to kill him.  Damned if I do, and damned if I don’t!

This weekend while watching the Olympics I started going through all of my old Women’s Health magazines and cutting out the 15 minute workouts.  I did one of the ab ones yesterday.  Ok, I did the exercises that I could do.  I couldn’t do any of the ones that consisted of balancing yourself on a stability ball with your hands (come on, NO ONE can do those!)  Today I resolve to pick up one of those workouts at some point and do it.  Eventually.  Maybe after my nap.  I’ve already tried to nap once and the four year old came in the room every two minutes with a different question.  I’ll have to try that again while they are watching their shows.  Then maybe I’ll try to exercise.  I DID get up and do a 57 minute walk this morning.  Then I went back to bed-come on it was EARLY!

ADD people can be very hypersensitive.  Thanks to that and just being an incredible wuss I can’t stand any kind of heat.  Or cold.  So right now during one of the hottest summers since, well a really long time, in order to get it done I have to do it very early.  My husband leave for work at 5:45 so I must exercise before that if I want to do something that involves leaving the house.  He doesn’t really get it-“You know we have a treadmill” he tells me often.  Oh shut up and go to your damn gym where you get to work out without children constantly interrupting you or staring at you…

Did I mention I’m jealous of his gym membership?

I guess it could be worse.  I’m not even considered overweight by most standards, I am a size medium.  I do have love handles and a spare tire that looks like I have a sausage or a life preserver wrapped around me at all times, but at least I can hide it with clothes. Despite the bit of cellulite, varicose veins, and bruises, I think my legs aren’t all that bad.  And despite two children I lack the one problem that many women have, which is hips because I have none.

The real nice thing about being larger than I used to is that my boobs are HUGE.  At least I have SOMETHING I can flaunt nowadays.  The bad thing is that my daughter is obsessed with them “Mommy I love your booooooooooooobs”, she says quite often.  She can’t wait until she has boobs too.  What’s wrong with this picture?

Now I’m getting too hungry to think.  Must find something substantial to eat, then maybe I can find the willpower to do one of those 15 minute workouts.  Or maybe try again to take that nap.

My husband: Engineer or Evil Genius?

I am married to an engineer.  A mechanical engineer.  He wasn’t actually an engineer when I met him, he was only aspiring at that point.  It took him many years to get to where he is now.  He just started actually BEING an engineer this year.  He designs stuff.  I’m not really entirely sure what he actually does at work.  He draws pictures.  He gets free pop and popcorn.  He gets a free gym membership (have I mentioned I’m jealous of the gym membership?)

Not THAT kind of engineer…

Sometimes he builds stuff.  Sometimes he even finishes what he starts.  Sometimes.  Occasionally.  Often when he starts something it morphs into something much, much bigger.

My husband’s stuff is more useful than what this guy comes up with…

The deck:  We have a pretty nice fenced in backyard.  There is a concrete patio area out there.  For some reason, he felt we needed a deck.  Is that a guy thing?  I had no strong deck feelings either way.  What started out as a very small deck turned into a quite large deck complete with rails and lights and a transformers looking gate.  The deck is still standing, the gate didn’t make it.  Don’t get me wrong, I have enjoyed the deck!

Then there was the Barbie house.  My daughter had just turned three.  She was obsessed with my old Barbies.  At one point while watching her enjoy the Barbies he got a wild hair, as he calls it.  It started out small, and then grew and grew and grew.  You see, engineers have to build things to scale.  So he built a three story Barbie house based on the dimensions of a real house.

It’s big.  You can fit humans in it.  It’s deep.  I often walk in to find my daughter’s behind sticking out of it.  At least she’s using it now.  There for a long time she would simply take everything OUT of the Barbie house.  Barbies sat at their table eating food on her bed.  Not sure if that is something that little girls dream of (WOW a house that is nothing but a bed…).  Or all of the Barbies would be out on the floor, possibly meeting their fate of being stepped on by Mom in the middle of the night.

The Barbie house remains unfinished.  It has fared better than many projects in our house.  I have done a lot of work on it-I “wallpapered” rooms (scrapbook paper and modge podge), painted rooms, made mattresses and blankets, not to mention spent hours perusing rummage sales and online auction sites looking for furniture.  The outside that was supposed to be finished with trim remains undone, the roof has yet to be assembled, I finally gave in and painted the outside.  I guess I can’t complain considering the lumber that is now my sons bed sat in the living room for months waiting to be put together…

At one point recently he told me he wanted to scrap the whole house and build a new one.  ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGH!  I have a couple of things working in my favor here-the fact that he works a zillion hours a week and the fact that he has to be properly motivated.

The very latest project just recently was completed-that would be my son’s bed.  It finally got painted after years of being left undone a couple of weekend ago.  It’s quite nice.  Now if only my son would actually stay in his room when he’s not being punished!  Now my husband wants to build our daughter a canopy bed.  She doesn’t even know what a canopy bed is but she thinks that if dad wants to build it therefore it must be cool.  She has no idea what she could be getting herself into.  I do…if it’s started it may get completed around the time she starts 1st grade.

I’m not complaining.  I’m sure other people have husbands who do the same thing.  Not necessarily build giant human sized Barbie houses but start projects and don’t finish them.  I guess I am guilty too-the kitchen was partially painted for quite some time and that was my project.  My husband’s parents house has had the same unfinished doorways as long as we have been together-currently they are still working on an enclosed porch that finally got a door that wasn’t made of plastic sheeting.  Much like my husband’s projects, this too was one that started small and got much bigger.  And I wonder where he gets it.

I always have to interject that I married “the interesting guy”.  He would rather be known as an “evil genius”.

No no not that evil genius…

The Internet: Brain Sucking Distraction or Useful Source of Information?

I have really got to get a life.

I have purposely avoided the computer, trying to only focus on the job search thing twice a week.  But yet it continues to suck me back in.  Especially Facebook.  Something about looking at everyone else’s supposed fabulous lives helps pass the time?  Who knows.  I do know this-that I really need to stop googling everything and anything when I am online doing whatever.  Somehow I wind up on some of those forums that you’re not supposed to really look at when you are not quite in your right mind.  “I have been unemployed for three years, and now I’m dead.”  “I quit my job and my skin burned off”.  “I have been jobless six years and now I live in a toaster oven.”  Ok so none of those really actually existed, but they might as well have because that’s how I take them.

A while back I took a little detour through a nearby town to stop at a locally owned appliance place.  I haven’t had a working dishwasher in a really long time and my mother had offered to help either fix the one we have or aid in the purchase of a new one (I’m sure the mountain of dishes in the kitchen when she visited was a bit of a catalyst in that situation).  I’m bringing this up because all of my research about dishwashers took place on the internet, except for the guy at Lowes who was in his third day of work there and he really really liked Samsung dishwashers because he had one.  Not exactly scientific research there.  Anyhoo, it turns out that it does not matter what the product is, EVERY product out there has an I-hate-this-product website.  EVERY product.  They could make an appliance that pooped out solid gold eggs and someone would find a reason to complain.  Funny that the very dishwasher that is sitting dormant in my kitchen is actually one of the top rated ones out there, but people hated it just as much as any of the other ones.

I walked into the store with two wide eyed children, and the appliance guy looks me up and down.  I try to talk to him, explain my situation.  Told him about my dishwasher, made sure I made it clear that we had bought several appliances from them in the past and wanted some “expert” advice.  Then I opened my mouth and said I had been looking on the internet.  At that very moment, I think I made Hulk angry.  He proceeded on a ten minute tirade about how the internet is evil and that I should not be looking up, well, anything.  I think If I had lingered the villagers would have come out and burned me at the stake.

I politely thanked him for his time, turned and ran out of there as fast as I could.  This is why the big stores are doing well…

I had a point, and it was about the internet.  Anyone can post anything on the internet anywhere.  That’s what makes it so great, and so awful at the same time.  If you need information on something you can get it quickly, now whether it’s correct or not depends.  The same goes for an opinion.  Or pretty much anything.  You seriously can type in just about anything and something will come up.  Not so good for an anxious person.

If you’ve been hunting for a job anytime recently you have probably noticed that EVERYTHING is online.  EVERYTHING.  Even a job at Casey’s is one you are directed to the internet to apply for.  I am not so proud to say that I will never ever be hired for a job at Kum and Go.  I am a very intelligent person, but I can’t pass their test.  And you can’t take it a second time.  Every job I have applied for this time around has been online.  That’s just how it is.  Good for me as far as the convenience-I don’t have to leave my home as long as I have the internet.  Bad for me in the fact that they most likely skim over my application and toss it in the trash.  Or laugh hysterically “Bwah ha ha!  How dare someone with a music education degree apply for this job?” and light it on fire.  Oh wait, it’s probably all digital-doubt they actually print them out.

I have several websites I check twice a week.  Ok I TRY.  It’s been a bit more often.  I can’t help myself.  I don’t know why-when jobs are posted there is a week or two to give people time to apply.  I also have done the networking site LinkedIN.  It’s where you “link up” with other people to try to get as many connections as possible.  A lot of the career websites highly recommend it.  I don’t quite get it, but I’m willing to give it a try if it will increase the likelihood that I might get a decent job.

Back to the forums I keep coming to, usually about 11:00 when I should be heading to bed, or doing something more productive like reading a book.  Much like the whole appliance debacle, there are many different stories out there.  There are the success stories, and then there are the people who I wish I had never read about (that would be the guy in the toaster.)  The fact is, I can try as hard as possible, but it may be awhile before I get a job.  And what if I DON’T find a job?  What’s the worst that can happen?  Not us homeless living in a cardboard box, or me exploding (somehow things exploding always work their way into my anxiety).  My husband has a good job-we won’t be doing great but we will get by.  I honestly don’t WANT to work full time right now.  My kids are still young-part-time so that I can contribute would be GRAVY right now.

I want to get past all of the anxiety about the whole situation.  I really want to just enjoy things and take it as it comes.  I don’t want to simply exist, I want to enjoy life again.  But at the moment I can’t.  Tomorrow I have a doctor’s appointment to address the sleep issue.  Finally-I lost my insurance when I lost my job, and now that my husband has insurance again I need to get things taken care of.  And as much as my husband does not want me to take meds to help me, this is something that as much as I would like to conquer on my own that I may not be able to.  If the doctor recommends it, I think I need to do it.  Does that make me a bad person?  No.

On an up note, this week has been one of the better ones for exercise for me.  Today the whole family participated in a walk for my husband’s work.  Between my morning walk and that one, I did over 5 miles in one day.  I am tired, but I feel really good.  This is the kind of thing that I want to get back to doing.  I used to be religious about it-before I had kids.  Now, not so much.  I want to do things like this again-also reading, writing, and GETTING AWAY FROM THE INTERNET (except for this blog, of course)  Maybe getting to the doctor will be the start of some good things.  And I can get back to being the semi-funny semi-fit fully conscious person I used to be.

It’s Summer Vacation and No One Is Dead Yet

I didn’t die.  I’m still here.

Today is Friday the 13th.  I’m not superstitious.  Not really.  Ok maybe a little. It IS raining today.

I think maybe my Friday the 13th might have actually started yesterday.  It’s what I call a “Charlie Brown” kind of day.  Perhaps I have mentioned those on here before.  It’s when everything you touch gets ruined!  We had one corelle cereal bowl and one wineglass break all over the kitchen floor.  Add the kamikaze bottle of Catalina dressing that jumped out of the refrigerator as I was trying to fill my water bottle.  The lid broke-there was red dressing EVERYWHERE!  They do call it the “everything” dressing-but I don’t think the floor was in that category.

On top of that, my son almost missed t-ball because I was distracted by my husband’s extraction.  (See what I did there?)  He had THREE teeth pulled.  You know it hurts when my dear husband is taking painkillers.  He has some sort of strange belief that you should be tough and endure the pain.  Needless to say, he has been pretty floaty.

Meanwhile I am enjoying some of the perks of not working.  I never admitted to being Happy Susie Homemaker, but I’ve actually done a decent job of getting my house to the point of if someone were to actually want to come to our house that I think they wouldn’t throw up at the sight of it.  Obviously the kitchen floor isn’t part of that-I’m hoping to get it to the point that my shoes don’t stick slightly to the floor where the dressing was.  It’s amazing what you get done in your house when you have the time.

And then we have the “Mom I’m Bored” summer crisis.  My children are not normal children.  Or maybe they are normal modern day children.  Not sure there.  My daughter apparently was maliciously attacked by a fly at some point earlier this summer.  She’s terrified.  I don’t mean she gets a little upset when a “buggy” (as she calls them) comes around.  No, instead, we get the ear splitting breaking the sound barrier windows are going to break scream every time she spies any sort of insect or arachnid.  I’m sure the neighbors think we’re torturing her.  It’s to the point that she will barely play outside, and when I am actually able to get her out there she tries to use my body as a shield.  Not cool.  She doesn’t understand why I don’t use my Mom superpowers for good-somehow I am supposed to go out there and somehow eradicate every insect in the yard.

Then there is my son-he would rather sit on the couch and stare at a blank tv than do ANYTHING else.  Playing outside is something he rarely wants to do unless there is water involved.  Otherwise the best we can muster is letting him bring his stack of books outside and let him read them at the table on the deck.  He does that while my daughter clings to me for dear life because a bug might get her.

I’ve tried to at least give them some reasons to want to stay outside (without screaming).  We have a pool.  The top is deflated (slow leak-can’t find it) and the water turns green after a day because it’s been so hot.  I bought two different sprinkler heads at Kmart-one that rotates around and one that is a circle with holes in it.  I was really proud of that-most of the kids sprinklers are at least $10 and the two together cost around $7.  My son is scared of the one that goes around-he says he gets water in his eyes.  My daughter wants the “spinny” sprinkler every time, because she likes the power of trying to stop it from going around.  Earlier this week I made them sit out there until they compromised on which one they wanted to use.  Luckily my son figured out that if he put something on his face that would take care of the water issue (mini scientist that he is).  Since then he has run through the sprinklers wearing either safety glasses, his mask without the snorkel, or swim goggles.  It’s kind of funny, really.  And apparently the bugs must leave my daughter alone while the sprinkler is on.

And then there were the homemade bubbles.  We tried to make them.  I found a recipe online for the “World’s Greatest Bubbles” and tried it.  There are great recipes for them online but many use glycerin.  My aunt swears by it, so do many other people but I could not find glycerin anywhere I went.  And I went EVERYWHERE.  So we used good old fashioned corn syrup (same idea, right?)  We even shelled out the money for the neat looking sun tea jar as mentioned on Pinterest.  What we learned from this:  1)  The bubbles have to sit overnight or they don’t work as well as you would like.  2) Do not let toddlers come over to try the bubbles, they will eat them 3)  Don’t try to pick up the jar full of bubbles and move it without checking that the lid is on securely on.  What happened?  The jar fell and the part where the bubbles come out broke off.  My garage never has been so clean. We are going to try the bubbles again now that Wal-mart has the jars on clearance-I got one for $2.  I just need to get off of my butt and make the solution.

I tried to add the link to where I found the recipe because I think the girl that does it does a beautiful job on her site, but I sure can’t find where it is, so I’ll copy and paste:

We have some other random things, such as tie-dying, that I just need to get them excited enough to go out and do it.

I came to the realization that hey, school starts in almost exactly one month… We go back REALLY early here in corn country.  My kids may not realize it but they should be having a ball.  It will be over before they know it.  Poor poor tormented children whose mother won’t let them sit in front of the tv…