Sunday, April 24, 2011

Mommy I want something to eat.

Today was a really tough day for me.  Despite it being Easter and a beautiful sunny day outside, Spy was in a rare mood, contrary and defiant, which started at the torturously early hour of 5am.  Every morning, upon waking my son greets me with the same six words, "Mommy, I want something to eat."  Now those of you who know me well know about my crazy relationship with food and my perpetual struggle to lose weight.  So hearing my son, ask for food every morning before even smiling or saying hello makes me paranoid that my son will inherit the unhealthy relationship I have with food.

To make matters worse, my son is THE PICKIEST eater.  He tortures me on a daily basis by refusing to eat the food I make him.  This is a power struggle that he saves only for me because I know for a fact at school (and for my mother) he eats everything that is put in front of him and then some.  I fear that this was a result of his earliest days...when he was not latching on properly and literally starving in the hospital - something I only realized when the nurse came to do a home visit that next day and Simon had lost weight.  The nurse recommended supplementing with formula (which by the way I had no objection too and I was furious that the nurses in the hospital did not pick up on the weight loss before we checked out - I would have started supplementing immediately had I known he was not getting enough to eat).  To this day I still feel guilty knowing that he was screaming in the nursery because he was hungry.  So I think subconsciously he is paying me back by refusing to eat what I give him.

Today besides refusing a healthy breakfast and throwing two temper tantrums before 8am because I would not give him Fruit Snacks (he calls them Fiats), Simon refused to wear his Easter outfit which I lovingly picked out for him at Gymboree and was so excited for him to wear.  He literally thrashed and tried to rip the shirt off of himself for 10 minutes - he wanted to wear the monkey shirt he has slept in and worn for the past 2 days to the restaurant.  Dan and I wrestled him into the car where he continued to thrash until 20 minutes later, defeated, we pulled over and I changed him into a different (ie clean) monkey shirt which luckily he accepted. 

When we got to the restaurant he refused to eat again...only taking a few nibbles from the foccacia and having a few french fries despite our attempts to ply him with pasta, chicken fingers and dinner rolls.  So by this time he is starving and miserable and is only happy when my father (thank goodness for Nonno Mario) takes him outside to watch the cars go by on West Chester Pike.  While outside he promptly removes his shoes and walks around the parking lot in his socks...the perfect solution to his non Easter monkey shirt outfit.

So today I am not feeling like that much of a success.  I have no pictures of my son in his adorable outfit, just a few pics that I managed to snap at 5am of him opening his Easter basket, which by the way Dan missed because he grunted and rolled over when I called to him to come and help us open the basket (another post for another time).  I hope that this whole food thing is just a passing phase becuase I am not sure my already fragile food loving/hating ego can take much more of this rejection.  At the very least I hope he starts to wait until we get downstairs in the morning to ask for food.  "Hi Mommy" would sound much better first thing in the morning...a mom can dream...right?

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Being Mindful in the Moment

These last couple of months I have really been struggling to keep my head above water.  It seems like whatever I try to accomplish be it eating healthily, maintaining a clean house, coming up with creative and fun lesson plans for my students, I am not having much success achieving any of it.  This inability to do anything "right" has been a huge drain on my energy levels, and in turn has dragged me even further into a hole that I find hard to stick my head out of on most days.

I realize that most of the time, the reasons for my failures are a direct result of self sabotage.  I find this especially true of trying to eat well and trying to be neat around the house.  My intentions are good.  I fall asleep at night determined to eat a healthy breakfast and throw in a load of laundry before I leave the house.  But then I was up - late - because I have not slept well (for a million different reasons) and as I rush to get myself and Simon out the door on time breakfast becomes hot chocolate and whatever leftovers are in the teachers lounge at school.  The laundry...well let's just say by the time I get home it has been I fret over the 3,000 other things I need to do around the house.  This is where I become overwhelmed and shut down.  And if I am lucky and Simon is napping, I curl up in a ball on the couch and try to catch up on precious sleep, instead of house work.

Now I know that I can take steps to prevent the teacher lounge scrounging and house work procrastination.  I have already told you I am my own worst enemy, giving in to the lull of a nap instead of catching up on the necessary parts of my adult life.

Last Sunday, as I gorged on Chili and Wings from Hard Times Cafe in Alexandria - another impulsive albeit delicious misstep in my quest to be healthy - I read this tip on my smart phone from my FB "friend" Jillian Michaels:

Smart Tip: Most people sabotage themselves because they aren't mindful in the moment. Let your daily actions be governed by your goals & dreams. Whenever you are making an important decision first ask if it gets you closer to your goals or farther away. If the answer is closer, pull the trigger. If it's farther away make a different choice. Conscious choice making is a critical step in making your dreams a reality.

Now I wouldn't qualify eating lunch as an important decision per se but it is a decision I have to make every day and in the end it does affect my well being and my long term goal of being healthy. I loved this tip and have been thinking about it all week as I went about my days eating unhealthy meals and avoiding housework.
So this morning I made a conscious decision to try and actually stop and ask myself if what I am doing is going to help me get closer to or farther away from my long term goals.  Because I do sabotage so many aspects of my life I think that it is going to be a very rock road for the next few weeks or at least until I get some tangible results from this decision. For this I apologize to my friends in advance.
So if you happen to see me talking to myself I am probably trying to talk myself out of having Thai food for lunch or skipping the gym to go to Starbucks.  Just ignore me...or even better...remind me of my choice to live in mindfully in the moment.  And I highly recommend looking up Jillian's FB page and friending her - the advice she gives a great - now if only I would follow it!