Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Session 2 with the Trainer

Weight: 118
Body Fat: 28%

I decided to add in my fat percentage. We have one of those scales that gives weight and fat percentage and since it's one of the recommended brands, it's fairly accurate. I believe, though, that even if the accuracy isn't 100%, it's still valuable for tracking as long as I am always using the same scale.

I lost two pounds, yay! Nothing will happen that quickly again, most likely, haha! I tried eating 1200-1400 calories a day and was pretty miserable all week. The trainer said I can do some more so I am not starving all day long and gave me some recommendations on healthy, filling snacks. It was a good experience trying to keep my calories so low, though. I had to be aware of portion size and I had to make sure that what calories I ate would stick with me. I also starting buying groceries a little differently, much to Mike's dismay. :) Actually, Mike has been ridiculously supportive. He's even started watching his food intake so I am not doing it alone. All in all, there hasn't been much complaining from either of us except that I mope around sometimes like a zombie going "huuuuuuuuuuuuuunnnnngryyyyyyyyyy" and I am watching my white bread in the form of rolls intake. We eat oat bread for sandwiches so I didn't have to make a dramatic switch there.

Anyway, I did a lot of work on machines today. I've never really done anything on machines so it was a whole different experience. Judging from the range of exercises we did today, I believe I'm going to come out of this with quite a bit more upper body strength, which has always been one of my big weaknesses. I'm pretty excited. A lot of my old probleams reared their ugly heads. I don't have great posture (too much computer sitting) and I tend to hold a LOT of tension in my neck. I'm sure, though, that once I'm not so nervous and once I get used to it, that will resolve itself.

We also did some new core exercises. We're really building up gently and in a healthy manner. I liked what she had me doing. Jonna also introduced me to a bosu ball. Mike's parents use one when they trained but I had never done anything with it. This is what it looks like:
BOSU, Rotational Discs and Foam Pads

I did some standing and just alternating my feet. Then once my legs stopped shaking and I got my bearings, I was able to do some side stepping with the ball and also some lunges. Very cool stuff. I think that the bosu ball training will be really good for me. Eventually, once my core is stronger, I'll be able to turn the bosu ball over and use it like a balance board. Cool stuff!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

What Not to Say to a Grieving Parent: Part 3

You should be more compassionate and forgiving.

I've had a bad week. It seemed like this was the week when insensitive comment after insensitive comment rolled in every day. Most of my friends think I'm too nice when it comes to the harsh remarks people feel the need to share with me. I don't think it's that, though. Mostly I'm either shocked or not entirely certain someone really meant to say or write what they did. I also have a lot of compassion for how awkward the situation can be for some people. Loss, especially loss involving a child, isn't the norm, thank goodness. So I tend to err on the side of assuming that people don't mean to be jerks. Or, when I am feeling less generous, I fall back on Hanlon's Razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

So I was shocked when someone close to me berated me for not forgiving people and for holding grudges. What? They said I wasn't forgiving enough and that as I get older, I will be more compassionate. Um. No? I simply have healthy boundaries. I should know! I've seen three different counselors over the past 5 years in order to learn how to set and maintain them! (My regular counselor, the 8 year tuneup guy Mike and I went to a few times late last year, and Stephan who led us through my dad's intervention and aftermath 5 years ago--details because I know you're curious, haha) I can forgive people all day long but it doesn't mean they get to keep special spots in my life. I remember teaching a Sunday school lessons years ago that used a good example. If your friend has a tendency to hit you or be mean, what do you do? Forgive the friend but don't spend any more time alone with them--there was other stuff in there about telling adults and chances but you get what I mean.

Here's the thing, I have a lot to deal with right now. I've lost my little one. Today we had family snuggle time and I was so sad because we are missing one...I'll be learning how to deal with that for the rest of my life, if other women who have been through this are any indication. I'm also learning how to deal with the fact that barring any major medical miracles, we won't have any more biological children. Last night, autumn woke up and wandered into our room asking for baby Garrett and wanting to know if he was still in heaven. She weeps every time I drop her off anywhere and she and I have been working on different ways to help ease her anxiety (I think we hit on one so I might blog that if it continues to work). I don't sleep well anymore. Mike and I still have nightmares and flashbacks...

All that to say...I have a lot to deal with and I reserve the right to take care of myself; now, more than ever. This is easier said that done because, unfortunately, I think this is going to damage my relationship with this person. We have never seen eye to eye on enabling behaviors and setting boundaries. I care very much about them but don't interfere with this person's decisions unless I'm directly asked because I know my answers upset them. I'm not even sure why I am so hurt that they would call me unforgiving and a grudge holder because I shouldn't be shocked. I guess it's just part of the trial of having crazy family. The crazy usually doesn't change and even when we try, there's still so much twisting and turning to unravel from the history of unhealthiness, as Mike said to me when I was in the kitchen wondering why I still care--and why I do exactly the opposite of what this person accused me of: forgive.

Click here for the rest of the What Not to Say series

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Taking the Next Step

Today I met with the trainer I will be working with over the next few weeks. Mike takes a class called TBS at the gym and his instructor highly, highly recommended Jonna Danis. I was able to get an appointment after having a good conversation with her to make sure she was okay with working with someone who'd been through as much as I have.

Today we didn't do a whole lot of exercising. She got my history, took measurements, and did a short fitness assessment. She also showed me how to work on my squats and crunches (on a ball) safely but we didn't count those since my abdominals are pretty much a war zone right now. It was crazy...I have been doing tilts and bridges to ease myself back into movement. When I started to do the first tiny crunch, my upper abs were all WHAT IS THIS I DON'T EVEN. They were shuddering. Despite all that, Jonna was really optimistic about how things are going to go which is exciting because she totally gets that my goals aren't "normal" goals.

One other thing we did today, she looked over my diet which was horrendous because, well, birthday week. Using her suggestions (watching the white bread, potato chips, and sweets), I'm hoping to get my caloric intake down from 1700-1800 calories a day to 1200-1500.

Aaaaand, here's the fun part. :) I am going to post before pictures. And my measurements.

Weight: 121 pounds. I am 4'11" and weighed 105 pounds before I got pregnant with Garrett.

Smallest part of the waist: 29.25"
Waist at the navel: 32"
Hips: 37"
Thigh: 21"
Bicep: 11.5"

I managed 20 pushups from my knees.

My homework is to work on my diet, crunches on the ball, pushups, and squats. I can also try to add some cardio, starting with walking and moving to an alternating walk and run.

Now, pictures.

Tomorrow my kids aikido class starts up again. And I have the adult aikido class Saturday, so all in all, it should be a pretty active week. I'm going to take it slow and listen to my body so no one worry and start sending me lecture emails :) I have doctor approval and everything. I meet with Jonna again on Wednesday so I guess the next fitness post I do will be in a week!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Another Year Goes By...

On Thursday I turned 31. It's weird because turning 30 wasn't strange at all but 31 was quite odd. I actually had great celebrations with my best friends all week and I don't really mind getting older. Whenever someone asks me how it feels to be 29 again, I tell them I claim my age because it was hard earned! I think it might just be that it feels like so much happened last year. I mean, in a way. I wanted to do some kind of retrospective but when I look back on my 30th year, I feel like it was nothing but a blur of morning sickness, teaching aikido, and losing Garrett. I know that's not true, though. So I decided to take a trip through my Picasa albums to pick out some happy memories:

One happy thing is that Donnie and Liz got married. Mike and I got to host a Warcraft themed rehearsal dinner, and it was super fun.

This is definitely a happy memory:

Apparently October was just a good month...we also had our first Halloween party!

This one's bittersweet because it was how we announced we were pregnant, but, seriously, how amazing is Elizabeth Wiggs? I loved every photo from this shoot.

We got snow...that was fun!

Skipping several months...Autumn turned 4 and we got to have a Little Einsteins party at the Children's Museum. This was the first party she had a big hand in planning AND she made the guest list!

And although it is very sad and much of my pregnancy was difficult, there were very happy days. This is the day before Garrett died. Our community group gave us a small shower and this was one of my favorite said "who are you calling short?"

I spent June and July in hard recovery. But, I was able to spend the time with friends. We went to the sprinkler park and the pool a lot, so I could get some healing sun as well as healing relationships.

Going to the beach, a lot of creative projects, and several birthday dinners later, I'm at the end of my year in pictures and still feel a little melancholy.

Here's to another year. Although sadness might always tinge my celebrations from now on, I am happy to be able to live it. I look forward to seeing what the next year brings...there's a lot on the horizon. We're facilitating our community group (we refuse to call ourselves "leaders" at this point, haha). After the first of the year, we'll be researching adoption (more on that later). There are some big things coming in my martial arts progression. Plus there's these two :)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Lemon Cake o' Crookedness

Well, I made an appointment with my personal trainer! So in two weeks, I'll be getting prodded and measured and all that fun stuff. SO, it seems appropriate that I should post about the lemon cake that took me TWO DAYS to make. I saw the photo on the cook's illustrated site and thought it looked amazing. Plus Lainey likes lemon, and so does Penny, so I thought I could give it to them. I'll never be a food blogger, by the way, because I took a ton of pictures and then when I looked at them all I thought, no way am I chronicling all this. Ha! So here's what I am willing to chronicle!

I don't own a juicer. I am also apparently not an owner of common sense either. Because instead of spending 10 bucks on a juicer, I did the squeezing by hand. By the way, note the awesomeness that is using our clearance price touchpad as a recipe book.

Anyway, here's the thing: it didn't take that many lemons. Oh, no. It took twice that many to get how much lemon juice I needed. I even had to take away Mike's tea lemon that I had given him. Here are my hands after a good hour of lemon strangling.

There was a whole bunch of ingredient gathering involved. I took pictures buuuut, yeah. I'm skipping them. One thing to note, though, is that I have had a significant uptick in the quality of my baked goods. When I'm doing a serious baking project, I've started weighing my ingredients instead of just scooping them. We've had this around for a while, I think we got it when Mike was making bread a lot. But I think this is the first year I've used it almost every week.

At this point, Autumn stopped by to help me stir the lemon curd. That's what all that juice was for.

After making the curd, I got started on the actual cake. I didn't realize it until the layers came out of the oven, but they were very angelfood cake-y. Therefore, I highly recommend one of my favorite products. There are different brands but they are all basically flour and, like, pam. I am terrible at dusting pans with flour and when I saw this positively reviewed on Cook's, I bought some. I will never go back.


Autumn had popped on an apron to help me stir some more stuff. She did not, however, pop on a smile. This is her "go away paparazzi" face.

Eventually she forgave us.

I forgot to take pictures of the curd but here it is sandwiched between the layers. I did a truly terrible job of dividing the filling into thirds. I think the top layer has about half the curd. And let's just pretend the cake is stacked evenly.

Making meringue and whipped cream is always fun for me.

I wasn't able to make the frosting all beautiful and fluffy, haha.

All in all, the cake turned out well, for all that it only bears a vague resemblance to the picture. Mike does not like lemon and he liked it a lot. Lainey, Penny, my mom and Stephan all pronounced it very good, although they could be lying (I'm ok with that). It was really rich, though, so I could eat very little. Our most honest critic had this to say:

So, yeah. But she also doesn't like sour things. She loooooves spicy food, but not tart food. Once with Lainey, she took a sip of some lemonade and declared she didn't like it because it was "spicy."

Here's the recipe if anyone is interested in undertaking this in a less messy and horribly uneven manner: Lemon Layer Cake

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

What Not to Say to a Grieving Parent: Part 2

Have you cried? At all?

Most of the insensitive things people have said are not, as I mentioned in the preface, deliberately hurtful and this one is no exception. The problem is that the person who said it is someone I haven't seen in years which means they said the words to me in a pocket of time, on the phone, several weeks after Garrett died. I was telling them the usual things I tell people who ask how I'm doing...about the people who have rallied around us, how much I miss him at strange times, how we are closer together, how glad we are that we didn't move away last year, etc.

Because I was in the middle of explaining how I can cope with life, I was pretty much speechless when they asked if I had cried at all. I mean, what I wanted to do was start screaming: Were you there the day they told me there was no heartbeat and they needed to take measures to save me? Were you there that week in the hospital when I cried every. freaking. day. because I couldn't bear to think of the empty spot at the dinner table? When I sat in the hospital lobby, waiting on mike to bring the car around, weeping because I should have been waiting while holding a baby in my arms? How about when I got home and cried again because I saw the empty spot where I was going to hang Garrett's newborn picture alongside Autumn's? Were you there when I couldn't stop crying after seeing my baby's tiny casket? No. No, you weren't. Their words were almost like a physical blow.

I didn't do any screaming, though. I did ask them if they were crazy, because fortunately that friend was someone I could say something like that to. I told them I had cried plenty but that, in all seriousness, what did they want me to do? Cry all day, every day? I could if I wanted to, probably. But the reality is that no matter how much I want Garrett here or how incredibly unfair it is that I have to go on without him, I will, in fact, go on. He's waiting on me (us) in heaven because, for whatever reason, he's served the purpose God had for him on earth and I haven't. So, I go on. I go on for myself and Mike and Autumn and everyone else who loves us and loved Garrett because of us. Will I cry sometimes? Absolutely. Will my grief always look like other people's grief? No. But it doesn't mean I'm not grieving.

What Not to Say to a Grieving Parent: Preface
What Not to Say to a Grieving Parent: Part 1