Friday, October 8, 2010

Losing Weight and Using the Force

Please don’t get me started about the size of my ass. Being on TV next to Kate and the beautiful but somewhat underfed hosts of Let’s Talk Live did not do much to enhance my self-esteem. The sight of the four of us all in a row – three little pretties and Jabba the Hut – made me feel pukey. When I bring this up, friends and family are invariably like: “Awwww, stop it! You look great! Don’t say that.” This subject makes people uncomfortable. My ass has always had that effect on people. It is pretty special.

I’m not trying to make anyone feel awkward. I just want to be able to discuss this honestly and for some reason it seems impossible to do. Everyone is terrified of hurting my feelings. I totally get that. I once asked a waitress if she was pregnant and she was not. It’s been almost three years since that happened and every time I think about it I want to punch myself in the mouth so that words will stop coming out of it.

The truth is that my oversized haunches are just another part of my life that I’m not crazy about. Like the fact that apparently, the laundry fairy is smarter than me. And that there’s a funny smell coming from the back of the van and I can’t figure out what’s causing it. It is what it is. These are the facts of my life, except without Mrs. Garrett. But the only person that seems completely at ease discussing these facts with me is Hawk.
Hawk is my five year old son. If you want honesty, you’ve come to the right place. My “does this make me look fat?” will be followed by his “OOOOH yah”. But he also will look at me sometimes and cock his head to the left and say: “You look pretty today. Like a Jedi.” And I know he is being honest and I take it for the compliment that it is. Hawk likes Star Wars just a little.

In August, I decided to start working on my weight. For some reason, it just seemed like it was time. I’m random like that. Most people have a reason; a big birthday, a reunion, a new year’s resolution. I just had a hunch it was time to start. Like it would be easy. Stupid hunch. YOU’RE DAMN LIAR.

My first step was to ask all the mommies on Facebook what they thought I should do. I got about a million responses. It was really, really helpful but it made me wonder if everyone is on a diet all the time. Isn’t there someone out there who’s not pre-occupied with eating and ass-size and burning calories? Even the skinny people who seem not to have anything to worry about are stressed over staying thin. It’s all a big cluster. I just want to stop thinking about it. I don’t want to be preoccupied anymore. I want to set a good example for my kids and I want to move onto being dissatisfied with something important. Like my hair.

It’s just such a pain in the haunches. I am determined to make some changes and feel better because at least I’m trying. I tell my kids (and my sister) these random Lydia-isms all the time: [Editor's Note: These are WAY better if you insert something about shoes into each one of these -isms. Just sayin'. -Kate] 
  • You only fail if you don’t try. [to buy new shoes...see! Totally works! -Kate] Get up and do it again.
  • No one cares if you mess up, it’s what you do next that counts.
  • You need to take responsibility for yourself. The world is full of people who sit around blaming  everybody else because they never bothered to try harder.
  • If you don’t like something – change it. Otherwise please stop complaining.
  • I know you don’t want to. You need to try and find a way to make the “have to” and the “want to” work together.
I know. I’m practically a motivational speaker. But I’m also the world’s biggest hypocrite. I need to start practicing what I preach.  What is about stupid parenthood that makes you have to be so much better than who you really are?  So I made a deal with myself that if I was making an effort, I was not allowed to feel like schmidt anymore. I have been mostly successful except for one rather spectacularly crappy week.
I decided to use an on-line program called Spark People because (1) it’s free and (2) it had an app for my smart phone (also free and another reason to sit around playing with my phone all the time). I decided to go walking with the Mini-mini-me in her stroller every day. I had sort of a plan. It was time to tell the kids about it, because the mommy cooking they were used to (home-made macaroni and cheese with bacon crumbled on top) was coming to an abrupt halt.

I told them I was going to try and start cooking healthier food for everyone so that I could get thinner and fitter. But not fat. [Editor's Note: We don’t say that word because of an unfortunate incident at preschool last year after Hawk learned the phrase “big, fat ass”. Heavens! Where would he hear such a thing? I'm sure I don't know.] I asked the kids what they thought about it. They shrugged and said it was good and they wanted me to be thinner and fitter and healthier. But they worried that dinner would no longer be delicious. They are skinny little whippets but as my grandmom would say: they sure are good eaters.  I reassured them that we only cook and eat delicious food around here. That’s the law. I wrapped up my little speech by saying how hard I was going to try to lose weight and make sure our whole family was healthy.

Hawk cocked his head to the left and said in an extremely grave Yoda voice:

“Mommy: Do or do not. There is no try.”

I knew I could count on him to tell me the truth. To date, I’ve lost 15.6 pounds.

xo, Lydia
(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2010

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