Okay, so since I have had 2 pregnancies in the past 2 years and have a husband that can devour entire pies, boxes of cereal, gallons of ice cream, etc without ever gaining a single ounce, I was pretty psyched to find this weekly blog link-up for ladies (and men) who are looking for some weight-loss support and maybe a personal cheerleader or 2! Click the above button to be redirected and link-up, too!
Anyway....Here's the nitty-gritty...The icky required weekly stats:
- Weight Goal:
- Last week's weight:
I pretty much obsessively weigh myself, so although I was not a member of this "hop" last week, I can, in fact, answer this....A whopping 150 lbs...Yeah, I feel like cattle.
- This week's weight:
147.2 Not too happy with this number. But I suppose for a month post-partum and the fact that I do not have an itty-bitty bird frame, it's not TOO bad...
- And tell us about what you are doing to reach your goals/how your week has been/ any setbacks, etc?!
Wow. I truly wish I could skip answering this question, but that wouldn't be fair to the other participants. If everyone else is putting themselves out there and being honest, I probably should, too. Even if it's awkward or painful for me, or hard to admit to the myself, let alone the world. I guess my situation is different than most. I am going through something very difficult to cope with, and from what I have read and been told, it will never get any better if I hide behind secrecy. Secrecy is my enemy, as far as this goes, and it is NOT helping me recover. I *thought* I could do it on my own, but I must admit, I can't. And there shouldn't be any shame in that. So here it goes...(deep breath) I have an eating disorder. Full-blown. (Wow, that way hard to just throw out here.) I have actually been struggling with it for awhile. When I got pregnant with Xander, I made myself stop the destructive behavior. I did well throughout my pregnancy, although I was still "scale-obsessed" and freaked out when I gained weight. I only gained 10-15lbs throughout my entire pregnancy, but even that small amount made me feel pretty worthless. So while I had every intention of not going back and relapsing, I just couldn't do it. Shortly after my son was born, I fell right back into a pattern of destruction.
I have major self-esteem issues that go back to childhood. I have always been just a little bit chubby. I developed faster and earlier than other girls. I had curves. I have been insecure as long as I can recall. I also suffered through an abusive marriage which absolutely destroyed my self-esteem. Although I am no longer in that situation, and haven't been in years, I still have that little voice in my head that says "You're just not good enough." I have been put down for my weight, and every time that has happened, it has emotionally scarred me. It took me right back to a very lonely place. I wanted to somehow make myself "good enough" and nothing was working. Plus, I have PCOS a disorder that makes it very difficult to lose weight through diet and exercise.
So after my daughter was born, and I was at 185lbs (my highest weight) I made the decision to "try" something. I thought it would just be a "quick fix" and that I would be able to lose weight and then magically be able to stop. It hasn't worked out that way. Yes, I lost a LOT of weight, and I lost it fast. Right now, at 147lbs, I am smaller than I was at 13. So to answer this week's post question, right NOW is when I was at my "happy weight". Although it's not quite happy enough yet!
I feel really bad that I have allowed this disorder to take ahold of me again. I thought I had beaten it. I am ashamed. I feel awful that I could not resist the urges. My husband didn't even know until a couple of days ago that this was still a problem. I ended up breaking down and confessing to him after experiencing a frightening episode where my arms and legs went numb and I was very light-headed. I thought I was going to collapse. I was literally terrified. So I broke down. I cried. And I talked....and talked...and talked.... My husband really had no idea this was happening again. The thing about having an eating disorder is that much of it is hidden behind a cloak of secrecy. But I have come to the realization that privacy and secrecy are my worst enemy, and that I need to "come out" and find someone to talk to. I want to recover. I want to learn healthier ways to lose weight that don't put my well-being at risk. I deserve that, and my kids deserve a healthy, happy mother.
So that's why I decided to join. I still want to lose weight, and I need help and support in finding a healthy way to do it. I need to re-train my thought processes. It's hard to do when you feel alone. So maybe, if I haven't completely scared everyone away with my honesty, I can meet other moms who are trying to get healthy and maybe I can learn how to take better care of myself through their examples. I know, TMI, but honesty is the best policy, right?
When I had my first baby almost 11 years ago, I never would have considered using cloth diapers. As a matter of fact, I always felt they had a bad rep....Too smelly, hard to fasten and keep on a baby, difficult to wash and care for, not absorbent, leaky....And horribly old-fashioned. I never though using cloth could be, dare I say, convenient? Easy? Effective? Not to mention a HUGE money saver! Also, cloth diapers are more eco-friendly and environmentally responsible than their disposable counterparts which can take 500 YEARS to biodegrade and are full of nasty chemicals to aid in absorbency. Cloth diapers are chemical free, and are much more comfy against baby's delicate skin than scratchy diapers that are made of PAPER! These are just a few of the many, many reasons I use cloth....
But how did my love affair with all things Fluff begin? How did I get past many of the outdated and all-too-common (and completely false) stereotypes about cloth? Well, it started with an unplanned pregnancy, a friend from the Carolinas, and my pocketbook. Let's face it. In today's world, every dollar saved makes a lot of difference for most one-income families. Mine is no different. We live paycheck to paycheck, and struggle to make ends meet. When our daughter, Sophie was born, we used disposable diapers. We thought nothing of it. It was just what people did...You run out and buy a case of Pampers and call it a day. (Or in our case, we would buy Luvs by the case online to save a few dollars and avoid the icky Dry-Max in Pampers.) And then when Lil' Miss Thang was about 3 or 4 months old, we found out we were pregnant AGAIN. This came as quite the shock, as we suffered with secondary infertility and tried for a baby for years before we were blessed with our daughter. But with another baby on the way, also came many more expenses....A double stroller, another crib, more baby food, more clothing, another car seat....and then there was the huge expense of diapers to take into account. I was faced with a crisis, oops, dilemma...How on earth were we going to comfortably afford to diaper 2 very different sized babies? A case of diapers costs roughly $40.00. I couldn't imagine spending double that every few weeks for 2 babies. I was more than a little bit stressed over this issue. There HAD to be another solution....
And then an old friend from high school introduced me to fluff. I must admit, when she told me she cloth-diapered her children, I had visions of stinky prefolds and giant safety pins and squeaky, leaky plastic pants. It did not sound at all appealing. Then they came to town, and I got my first glimpse of "modern" cloth diapers. They were all too darn cute! SO many different colors and prints, and some were even fuzzy! And to my surprise, they LOOKED like disposables! Well, made of cloth of course, and with aplix or snaps instead of the sticky tape used in disposables. I have to say, I was more than a little intrigued....
I then took it upon myself to learn more about the mysterious and often misunderstood world of cloth-diapers. The more I heard from other moms and read online, the more it made sense. And the fact that over the course of diapering 2 babies I would save my family thousands of dollars? I was SOLD! Not to mention, I was looking forward to my babies having the cutest little fluff-butts in town! So I talked to my husband. I broke it all down, since he was reluctant, and I explained to him the benefits of cloth. Once he heard how much money we would ultimately save making the switch, he agreed that it made sense for our family to jump aboard the fluffy bandwagon!
I have been using cloth for a few months now, and I must say the following things:
There is a very serious issue I would like to vent...oops...I mean TALK about.... Bullying. My son is in the 5th grade, and is 10 years old. He is a very sensitive kid, and tends to already wear his feelings on his sleeve. He isn’t your typical “boy’s boy.” He doesn’t really care for sports, and he doesn’t play violent video games. He is more creative, and loves art, dance, and music. He is very sweet and very thoughtful. He is actually a very well-liked kid by students and staff. Except for a select group of bullies. They view Kyle as being “different”, and he is. He is polite, he doesn’t cuss, and he has no interest in being nasty to other kids along with this little clique. Well, this apparently makes him a target. I just got a call from his school’s guidance counselor. He has been having a very rough day, and had a bit of a meltdown today in the cafeteria.
She was able to talk to him and find out what has been bothering him, and I am literally at a loss….Apparently, there is a group of brats…oops, I mean boys, that are literally making his life at school a living hell. He has expressed this to me and my husband, and we have had to contact both teachers and the principal in the past. This year, we *thought* things were starting to improve. Wrong. It has escalated. Now he is being called gay, a faggot, a girl, and these bullies have even gone as far as following him into the bathroom and trying to see if he has a penis while he uses the restroom. They have also written nasty things about Kyle on the bathroom walls, calling him gay, queer, etc… This is totally and completely unacceptable to me, and as a mother, I want to go put the fear of God into these little heathens, but as a rational adult, I know this is not something I can do.
First of all, these kids are 10 years old. WHY should anyone’s sexual orientation even be an issue? I don’t think Kyle is gay, as he does have major crushes on girls, but if he were, would I love him any less? Of course not! Someone’s sexual preference isn’t something they CHOOSE. People are born that way. Does that make them any less of a human being? Does a boy being sensitive and a little effeminate mean they deserve to be tormented on a daily basis by their peers? Should my child and other kids like him be afraid to go to school everyday? NO. School is a place where he should feel SAFE. He should NOT have to be basically sexually harassed, because let’s face it, that’s EXACTLY what it is if these boys are trying to see his genitals, and he should not have to feel like he isn’t good enough just because he doesn’t want to play football or play Call Of Duty.
Do I place the blame on these nasty little children? You’re damn right I do…But even more-so, I blame their parents. Kids learn what they live, and if a child is taught to be racist, homophobic, violent, etc, more often than not, they are mirroring behaviors they are learning AT HOME. That’s right. I said it. These kids learn this kind of ignorance and hatred in their own homes. Is this acceptable in 2010? Is it okay for children to bully and torment others? Is it okay in this day in age for someone to be ridiculed based on things like sexual orientation, size, social status, disability, religion, ethnicity, race, etc? Of course it isn’t. We as parents need to STOP THE HATE in our own homes. We need to teach our children to respect and embrace the differences we all have. We need to teach our kids that it’s OKAY to be different and that everyone has special gifts and talents to offer. We need to teach our children tolerance. This is a REAL problem. Kids commit suicide over things like this. Kids commit violent acts against others because of things like this. Let’s make it a point to STOP this craziness YOUNG…In elementary school, if not younger. Kids are mean. That’s a given. But there are lines that need not be crossed, and we should not tolerate this from ourselves, from our schools, from our communities, and especially from our children. I don’t want to have to see my child cry everyday. Just a rant, and some food for thought.
My husband doesn't like chili....Or spaghetti....Or anything with a red sauce, for that matter! It makes it rather difficult to satisfy cravings for either. Mine is probably the only household in Virginia that doesn't have spaghetti and meatballs on their normal dinner rotation. And in the fall and winter months, a nice, spicy chili is out of the question.
I was searching for a happy medium that would satisfy my pasta and chili hankerings without starving my poor, picky hubby and my very particular 10 year old. I am an Ohio native, born in Cleveland, and I lived in the greater Cleveland area till I was 12 and moved here to Virginia. So I am pretty surprised that I had never heard of Cincinnati Chili until about a year ago, while searching for an alternative to spaghetti and meatballs that everyone would enjoy.
I found this recipe online, and I was intrigued by the list of ingredients. It is VERY different, and I just had to try it. The meat sauce has such a unique flavor profile! I have never had anything quite like it. It has your typical meat sauce ingredients, as well as cinnamon, allspice, cloves, and even CHOCOLATE! I will say, it is quite time consuming to make. But the smell that fills the house while the sauce is simmering away makes it well worth the wait.
Cincinnati Chili was first made by a Greek immigrant in Cincinnati, Ohio. A very famous regional restaurant, Skyline, made this dish famous. There are many ways to serve this dish. Some of the more traditional ways include:
two-way: spaghetti and chili
three-way: spaghetti, chili, and shredded cheese
four-way: spaghetti, chili, shredded cheese, and either diced onions or beans
five-way: spaghetti, chili, shredded cheese, diced onions, and beans
cheese coney: hot dog topped with chili, shredded cheese, diced onions, and mustard
chili cheese fries: French fries topped with chili and shredded cheese
Since I don't eat onions, I prefer to eat mine 3-way, with just spaghetti, the chili, and shredded cheddar cheese on top!
This is a very tasty and unique dish that is definitely sure to satisfy. Try it sometime, and let me know what you think! It seems a bit daunting to prepare when reading the instructions, but rest assured, it is fairly simple to make. Here is the most authentic recipe, which also happens to be my favorite! And yes, I have tried several variations!
1. Would you rather be on ABC's Extreme Home MakeOver or TLC's What not to Wear?
Oooh, that's a toughie...I love the idea of a makeover, but I am not a selfish enough mama to say I would rather have that than a beautiful new home for my children to grow up in. So of course, I would say Extreme Home Makeover. But wait...Don't you have to OWN a home first? Maybe Ty Pennington and his design team would like to buy me a plot of land and THEN build my family's dream home? Is ABC that generous? Hmmm...Oh, personal note: The entire time I was pregnant, I could not watch that show at all. The family stories generally proved to be too much for a hormonal sap-ball like me to handle, and I would cry the whole episode...My husband and 10 year old would then proceed to make fun of me the whole time. (MEANIES!)
2. Do you have any tattoos?
Why yes, yes I do. But wait! Before you assume I have a criminal record and got jail-house tattoos or run with some unsavory group of neo-nazi-gothic-vampire-wanna-be's, I ONLY have 2, they both have meaning, and they are both small enough to easily cover and aren't anywhere freaky like on my neck or my boob or my lower back. I don't want to look in the mirror in 20 years and look like a California Raisin because my tatts are all wrinkled. Now don't get me wrong, I LOVE body art...But I am happy with the 2 tatts I have, and I will just admire the extensive ink on others rather than jump on that bandwagon myself. I am not that brave,haha...Same goes for piercings. I have my ears and the cartilage in my left ear done, and I am happy stopping there. I don't need any more holes in my body, and let's face it...I am a mom, and almost 30 (EEEK!) and I should reflect that to some degree. I DO have to go to parent-teacher conferences,lol
3. Do you tell your kids about things you did growing up?
Oh good LORD no! I wasn't the best teenager, by any stretch...I had some issues and was very, very rebellious and engaged in certain behaviors that I would NEVER tolerate from my kids as a parent. My husband was the same way. But we are VERY different people now, and we would never want to somehow condone bad behavior by being so open that I admit that I have, in fact, engaged in most of it when I was younger. I am actually a rather strict parent...My son is NOT allowed to watch whatever he wants on TV or in movies, and I do not allow him to play all the violent video games like Call Of Duty or Halo or Grand Theft Auto...My 10 year old does not get onto the internet without me sitting right there with him, and he isn't allowed to eat a lot of junk or have soda regularly. This is a FAR cry from who I was before I became a mom.I have done a lot of things that I am not at all proud of, but that is not who I am as an adult. Maybe I will confide in my children and tell them what I did as a kid when they are MUCH older and on their own, but for now, I am their mom. Not their friend. And they do not need to know these things.
4. If the traffic signal turns yellow, do you stop or speed up?
Okay....It drives the hubby crazy, speed demon and daredevil that he is, but I slow down and I stop. That's just how I roll....Literally. Okay, that was nerdy,lol
5. What's your preference: chocolate or chips?
I actually don't like junk food much at all. I don't do sweets or desserts for the most part, and I don't do chips, either. Unless you mean tortilla chips...Oh wait...I DO make my uber-delish taco salad with Doritos....Does that count? But I buy Doritos for cooking, not for snacking. Now the hubby is an entirely different story...He LOVES junk food and is the biggest chocoholic I have ever meant. One year for Valentine's Day, I got him a 5lb Hershey's bar. It was gone in just a few hours. Ewwww!!!!
Perricone MD No Foundation Foundation (Yes, I meant to say “Foundation” twice!) I was recently the lucky winner of not 1 but 2 bottles of Perricone MD No Foundation Foundation. I was very excited to receive this product, since I know what a great reputation Perricone MD has in the beauty industry. I also know that at $50.00/bottle, there was no way in hell my husband would let me buy it without trying it first, at least…And even then, it may take convincing!
At first, I was a little confused…There was no shade listed on the bottle. I didn’t know if it would work for my skin, as out of the bottle it appears darker than I would normally use. But once I put it on, I saw that it does indeed work, and blends beautifully for a sheer yet natural finish.Turns out, they don’t need different shades, as this foundation is literally univeral and compatible with all skin types and colors! It does not produce that cakey, overly made up look that many foundations leave. (Even the expensive ones!)
Another thing I really liked about this product was the smell of it. I know that is an odd thing to like about make-up,haha. But it has a very pleasant, almost herbal scent to it. And it leaves your skin feeling absolutely amazing! It is weightless, and makes your face soft and moisturized without a greasy or heavy feel.
All I can say is I was blown away by this product. The first day I used it, a friend came over with her boyfriend. She later commented that I was “glowing”. I can assure you, with my hellacious morning sickness and exhaustion,as I was still pregnant with Xander at the time, it was not a pregnancy glow…It was my Perricone MD No Foundation Foundation!
I will have to be on my best behavior, because when these bottles run out, I will definitely be begging the hubby for more!
Here is some info taken from the Perricone MD website:
As a dermatologist to some of the most famous faces in the world, their special needs often become inspiration for the creation of new products. When more than one celebrity make-up artist asked Dr. Perricone for a type of foundation that would let the skin’s natural radiance and beauty shine through, No Foundation Foundation was born.
Created to keep skin looking dewy and flawless, this unique formula delivers many benefits of a traditional foundation without the heavy matte finish, which emphasizes the tiniest skin imperfections. No Foundation Foundation is a multi-purpose product that provides natural translucent coverage, corrects skin undertones, instantly smoothes fine lines and boosts skin’s natural moisture throughout the day, all the while delivering antioxidant benefits.
“I took special care in formulating No Foundation Foundation with a non-chemical SPF 30 to deliver protection against sun damage, making it ideal for all skin types, even the most sensitive” – Dr. Perricone
Marie Claire – July 2009
“I was thrilled to find Perricone MD No Foundation Foundation. It erases blotchiness and pores with just a hint more coverage…”
Lucky – June 2009
“This is a full-fledged anti-aging treatment masquerading as a tinted moisturizer…”
All in all, I would call this a miracle product! Thanks, Perricone MD, for including this in your giveaways! You have made a believer out of me!
I actually meant to post this recipe a few days ago, but so much has been going on in my household lately that it honestly just slipped my mind. This is something I concocted last week after seeing a somewhat similar recipe online somewhere. With some tweaking, it came out absolutely wonderful. And while it is a filling, savory yet spicy dinner, it is definitely reminiscent of one of my favorite appetizers, jalapeno poppers. Now we like things a bit spicy in our house, but while this definitely has some kick, it was still mild enough for Kyle to eat without running for a drink and didn't cause smoke to come pouring out of his ears,lol. And it is EASY to make. Anyone looking for something quick, tasty, and different should definitely try this one out! It satisfied my cravings and the hubby ate 2 pieces of this chicken AND his sides in one sitting, and requested that this go into our normal dinner rotation! Ingredients:
This is a post written to sort out my conflicting feelings on a particular subject. As I post more content, you will notice that my personal, non-review posts are very honest and sometimes emotional. I bare it all here for my readers, because I truly believe that anything I am going through, someone else may be dealing with as well, or may have gone through in the past and can relate. It would be nice to blog under the premise that life is always rainbows and butterflies, but that would be a lie. Life dishes out plenty of sunshine, but also plenty of not-so-pleasant events.... I thought that certain things were in the distant past. And they very well may be...Maybe I am being a bit too paranoid. Maybe not. What do you think?
Let me give a little background here and explain my current dilemma. I am sorry if it isn't too terribly detailed at some points, but I am not in the habit of pointing out people's info or identities and try to remain a certain amount of anonymity when posting about my personal life and situations we are dealing with. So names will not be used, nor will any info that will identify who I am speaking of or that will even point in their direction even remotely.
Here we go...I met my husband when I was 13. We dated briefly, got along great, and eventually went our separate ways, as kids do. We were WAY too young to have a real relationship, and both eventually married other people. Well, we both had bad marriages since we both married people who weren't the most mentally stable, and ended up divorcing them. My husband, growing up, ran with a not-so-good crowd of people. He was your stereotypical bad boy, to a degree. A lot of his "friends" were not the most desirable of human beings to associate with. My husband is also a creature of habit. He continued these relationships because it was what he was used to, and eventually, he outgrew many of them, or was pushed away by peoples' insane actions. For example, when he chose to get into a relationship with me and start settling down, he stopped drinking like he used to, he stopped going to the bar and club every night, and he chose to spend time with me and my son rather than sit around with his buddies all the time. Some of these "friends" and I use that term very, very loosely, decided that because he wanted more out of life and was tired of doing the same thing day in and day out, that they were going to try and create problems in our relationship since I was apparently "taking their Dan away". They wrongly assumed that the changes in him were forced, and I was branded a horrible, controlling, evil bitch because he wanted to settle down and have a family. Anyone who knows my husband knows you can't FORCE him to do anything. Any choices he made were of his own free will, and without pressure from me. I actually offered to wait as long as he needed to get married, and of course, these friends assume that I made him marry me. Yeah. Okay.
Anyway, these people made our lives a living hell for a couple of years. They began by totally disrespecting us over and over, and finally Dan decided that if they couldn't accept the fact that he was happy that they weren't real friends to start with. He chose to cut the drama out and walk away from a handful of people who were creating issues where there shouldn't have been any. Well, of course THAT didn't sit well with these people. We ended up getting harassed, threatened, bullied, and even had to file police reports due to the number of harassing phone calls we got from these people. They broke into his e-mail accounts and MySpace profiles and tried to split us up that way...Heck, they even got his Pizza Hut account suspended because they were fraudulently ordering pizzas from it! It even followed us for awhile after we moved out of the county. Our number somehow got to them, and it started again. It has been very stressful for both of us, and we have had to take certain measures to make it stop. Dan and I both use the same Facebook page rather than have separate accounts just so there's no question (heck, we don't hide anything from eachother, and this was HIS idea. It works for us.) and we had to have our phone number changed.
For the past year, there have been no issues that we are aware of. You see, when we were being harassed, we never retaliated or egged it on. We just ignored it, other than filing police reports when it got way out of hand. We didn't give them any reaction, and we moved, so things have died down. (Thank GOD!) We have since had 2 babies and are quite happy with our drama-free lives. We both have ended toxic relationships and focus on friendships that are more quality than quantity. Things have been going quite well.
Here is my dilemma...Someone who still remains in fairly close contact with some of the nut-jobs recently sent me a friend request on Facebook. This is someone I don't particularly care for because they have insulted me in the past, but that my husband has no real problem with. I told my husband about the friend request, and he told me NOT to add the person because he didn't want to inadvertently open the doors to any more problems. He also told me to send a message saying WHY I wasn't adding them. I argued doing this, since then it makes ME look like the bad guy, and that I didn't want to give any ammunition for people to use to go nuts. I mean, how rude would it look to send a message saying "I'm sorry but Dan told me not to add you cause you talk to so-and-so and they have caused us problems and we like our privacy." I mean, for starters, since I am apparently the BAD guy anyway for "making" Dan settle down, there is no way this person will believe that Dan really DID respond that way. Plus, an e-mail can easily be taken wrong. Even if I were to put it as politely as possible, it could me misinterpreted as being bitchy, even if that wasn't my intent. So after talking to Dan, we decided to just ignore the request altogether. It's better than A. adding the person and potentially having the BS drama start back up because of it, or B. sending a message that would only make me look like a d-bag.
So we simply ignored the friend request. Fast forward to today. I have an unread Facebook message from this person now. I don't even want to open it, because I am afraid it will be nasty and just upset me. I am going to wait, if I can resist, and let Dan open it when he gets home from work.
My question to you is this: Have any of you had to deal with similar situations? How should I respond to this person? Should I add this person and risk having my family be harassed again, and just trust that it won't happen, or should I steer clear of this person altogether because their associations hit too close to home and it's better not to risk it? Any ideas would be appreciated!
PR Friendly Mama!
I'm Brandy, a happily married, proud Mom of 3 amazing kids. If you're interested in building a working relationship, please feel free to e-mail me at: NewlyCrunchyMamaOf3@gmail.com
Links We Love :