I Am That Girl Now

Monday, July 18, 2005

Taking a break

The good thing about actually working at work, as opposed to putzing around randomly and spending about half my time on the internet, as I was wont to do before, is that when I take a break, it feels like taking a break.

I do not have the new Harry Potter book yet. There's a long story involved, but mostly it involves meaning to do the pre-order on Amazon and putting it off for the past six months... and then only remembering about it on the day of, when every one of my friends started bouncing around and squeaking and clutching their freshly-delivered copies. No time for bookstores since, but it looks like we'll be able to drop by one on the way home. That'll be my indulgence this week, big time. And the good thing is that when I'm reading, I'm not eating.

(Which, by the way, is huge. I can remember once upon a time being incapable of reading without a bowl of chips or other repetetive-motion snack on hand. By only reading on the El for about a year, I seem to have trained myself out of it. Excellent!)

I'm continuing on learning how to live healthy out of the corner of my eye, so to speak. If I were driving, it would be one of the mirrors I check every minute or so. (I'm a paranoid driver, when I have the chance to drive, and want to make sure those fuckers aren't creeping up my tailpipe.) This is interesting. I keep having to remind myself that I'm not weak, I'm just applying my mental muscles in ways that they're not used to-- using mental freeweights instead of the machines, running outside versus on the treadmill, that sort of thing. (Oh, I am SO addicted to metaphor today.) So, just like every other phase of this thing, I'm going to trip and fall and blunder around a bit, and the answer is still the same that it's always been: get back up and keep going, dammit.

Don't take the easy days for granted.

Anything worth doing well is worth doing badly.

I didn't have a free meal at the house this week, but I did two stupid ones two days in a row: first tapas, then an Indian buffet. ::smacks self on forehead:: Okay, remember how I went through all the work of identifying things I shouldn't do, reasons I should go to restaurants in the first place? Tapas and buffets are at restaurants, granted, but they also fall firmly into the "I don't know when to stop, because I am a doof who feels entitled to her explody sensations" category. Remind me sometime: the reason for restaurants is to order ONE MEAL off the menu, not to graze or to compete with my Hub over who can eat the most of those little honey dumplings before sheer sweetness overload kicks in.

I'm bored with the food we have, which is dangerous. I need to sit down and research and get a few more recipes into our weekly cycle, because lasagna and chili and sloppy joes have all appeared twice now and... well, boredom. I need more side salads in my life. I also need to get things tweaked so that I once again have a hand-held way of tracking my calories/fat grams/protein grams/carb grams for the day; I know for a fact that I'm having creep set in. Creep is bad.

I went to bed on time last night but couldn't sleep until well after midnight. Grrr.

It is hot and humid and nasty, and yet so far I'm dealing a lot better with that, exercise-wise, than before. The magic acclimation process may be kicking in, I don't know. I do know that I had the HIIT kicked up again today and was just fine with it, even did five minutes of LISS after it for good measure, and when I finished I was absolutely drenched. Seriously, no joke, you could wring out my sports bra and have yourself a smelly little puddle. My Hub tried to give me a congratulatory hug and then lept back, squawking, "Holy crap, you're so sweaty I slid off." Ahhh. Tomorrow will be the second time I try the higher weights on the upper body workout, so we'll see how that goes.

I think the main thing I'm learning (slowly, slowly) is to recognize when I'm considering food just so I can procrastinate on something. And oh, my. I have the feeling that half the reason I stopped accomplishing anything else in my life over the past year and a half was because every time I worked on something else, something inside me would flip out, think it was too hard, and try to lure me away with food. And, of course, I'd always be lured. Rather than learning to concentrate, I learned to stop concentrating on anything except the healthy lifestyle thang, which is okay in the short run, but in the long run... hell. No wonder so many people gain the weight back; there are so damn many mental transitions and it's like starting from scratch on every one of them. The only comfort here is that this isn't completely unknown: it may be a new topic, but the learning pattern is familiar.

I've written a few pages in the past few days, and sketched out the outline for a few more scenes. Lord knows I have enough babblepage on this book tucked away in my trusty laptop-- universe building, character background, hundreds of shots at all-encompassing outlines-- that I have enough information available to work with. THREE YEARS since I had the idea for this book, folks. THREE YEARS. I'm tired of being scared of doing it badly; I can't ever have a finished draft if I never write the rough draft, so dammit, I'm writing. It's definitely rougher than I'd like, and I'm out of practice, but anything worth doing well is worth doing badly and so I'm pressing on.

It does make me feel better to accomplish things. I remind myself of that, now. It's like I'm my own mommy. "Think of how much better you'll feel after it's done!" This is a phrase that used to make me roll my eyes and work even harder at procrastinating, but I seem to have a sample of that feeling saved and tucked into my heart, so when I tell myself to think of it, I feel it, briefly, and it makes me want to feel that glow and that pride and that delight again. So onward I chug.

It's not really that I'm taking too much on, it's more that I'm taking ownership of things that I've been avoiding for years. We'll see how this goes. I like being this person, dammit, and I want to keep being her.

A glorious epiphany this weekend led to me realizing that indeed, this is not the 1950s, and I'm more likely to be Ward Cleaver than June when at last my Hub and I decide to procreate. More, I realized (and asked, and confirmed) that my Hub is possibly destined for the role of househusband. He's better at dealing with small children than I am, he has much more patience than I have, and he has the ability to bestow infinite amounts of forgiveness-- which is one thign that I find awfully hard to master. You won't believe what a relief that was. I mean, for all my ingrained feminism, I still fell into the trap of thinking that I was going to have to be everything, here-- Ultimate Mommy and the main breadwinner-- and it was a real shock to realize that my Hub is just as suited for the role of primary caregiver as I am to for the role of breadwinner. We've completely inverted the traditional male/female thing, here. I do all the huge household-steering things and he's always been on the upkeep end-- and it has finally occurred to me that no, we don't have to be equal partners in every portion of this relationship; as long as everything gets covered, it's okay if the whole thing gets inverted.

What's funniest is that my Hub is one of the few men I know who is perfectly comfortable with this scenario. When I asked him about the idea of him staying home with the babies if I end up in a career where I make enough money to support us all, he looked at me with the "duh!" face and said, "Well, yeah. What'd you think we were going to do?"

I love my husband. Oh, my God, I love him so much. It would figure that I'd turn out to be one of the women who would rather cut off a limb than stay at home with small children, and he'd turn out to be one of the men who'd rather stay home with the kids than go to work. We are, in our way, an excellent team.

We've started talking about looking at kids as an option in 2010 or '11. We've got our first meeting with a financial advisor on Friday afternoon, and when I talked to her she sounded optimistic about getting us into good position to get the student loans paid off and a house down-payment saved for by that point. (Not to mention, by that point our credit will finally be completely rehabilitated. Thank God.) Personally, we're trying to look at the things we want to do before we have kids, and see if there's a way we can fit them in.

Half the panic I had the other week was this sense that I'm turning 30 soon and that so much that I wanted to do, I haven't done. Somehow, it's relieving a lot of the angst and panic to have a five-year plan in place. I feel so, so, so much better. Now I just have to get a handle on this avoidance-eating, and I'll be golden.


  • You're so funny, Meg. You aren't meaning to be, so I hope you don't take offense. I think it's cute that you've got so much "planning" going on. I like planning... I also become more convinced that I am an awful lot like your husband every time you mention him. LOL.

    How soon is the big 3-0 for you? I'm facing it in a little over 7 months, ack. Funny that you're looking towards 2010 or 2011 to have kids, and I'm hoping to be knocked up by the end of next year, or early 2007...

    And I think it's great that you have a hub who wants to be a house dad! My husband likes to joke that if I made enough, he'd stay home - but somehow I don't think he'd last long. He'll be a fantastic dad... but I think he'll want that daily escape, heh.

    Anyway, I think you sound steady and clear sighted... you rock!

    By Anonymous Mae, at 6:36 PM  

  • I'm hitting thirty in November, so... sooner than seems real. I don't mind any part of the aging thing thus far except for the annoyance of having to make decisions on procreation before the equipment shorts out. I feel about it pretty much the same way I feel about the suburbs... bound to head that way eventually, but not yet.

    No wonder I like you so much, if you think you're like my Hub! Hee. He's going to make a fabulous father someday, I swear. Some days that's the only reason I'll contemplate kids-- because I want to see him with them. Weird, eh?

    By Blogger Meg, at 6:55 PM  

  • We are like our own mommies kicking our inner child into eating all her vegetables, going outside to play and not eating candy for breakfast. Jeez, if only my own mother had been like this! LOL.

    By Blogger The Troescher Team, at 5:20 AM  

  • My hub is totally the same way - I make most of the $$, make the financial decisions, and he wants to stay home. Fine with me!

    Just a suggestion, but have you checked out Rachel Ray on the food Network website? She has some tasty (simple) recipes that are easy to modify, and generally heat up well for leftovers. She does a lot of different ethnic inspired stuff - might be a good jumping off point for you.

    By Blogger neca, at 7:05 AM  

  • Something about turning 30 that makes you wonder what you've been doing the whole time. Or at least it made me wonder. I feel like I let time slip away. No more. It's can do everyday now.

    By Anonymous Nikki, at 8:36 AM  

  • Oh, Meg! I mean to ask, what is HIIT and LISS? I've been trying to figure the HITT out for about two weeks now... heh.

    Hyper Intensity Intensive Training was one option.

    By Anonymous Mae, at 1:57 PM  

  • Meg you sound like you have gotten into such a great position to make your dreams reality. That is just awesome. I love that you were able to sit down and get real with your husband and make your own rules for your relationship. That what makes a strong one. Playing by your own rules. Just like weightloss, lol.
    Smiles :)

    By Blogger Mamato2boys, at 2:02 PM  

  • Mae, you were close-- it's High Intensity Interval Training. I'm never running the same speed for more than a minute at a time (which, I gotta say, is a lot easier on a treadmill), so supposedly it keeps my body guessing.

    LISS is Low Intensity Steady State-- walking slow-ish at the highest incline my poor little treadmill can manage. It's actually a hell of a lot more challenging than I thought it would be, so I'm adding it in by bits and pieces after 20 minutes of HIIT. This is also known as "I'm not clear on what the hell I'm doing, I'm just piecing this together based on what I've seen other bloggers doing." Heh.

    By Blogger Meg, at 2:47 PM  

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