Friday, May 31, 2013

Cleanse Should Be a Four Letter Word

I learned something about myself this week. I am not a "cleanse" person.
Don't ask what prompted it, but I had decided that I would do a 3 day juice detox cleanse.
In theory it's a great idea. Flush all of the toxins that have been building up in your system from the crap food we eat, feel better, and give your system a little bit of a "re-boot", so to speak.
In reality it sucked ass. Like a lot.
Honestly the flavor was pretty good. I like juice. I like fresh juice I made myself. I even like vegetable juice. So for the most part I really liked the recipes. I went out and stocked up on some great, fresh produce, and set off to "cleanse".
The first day was a mental shift. Just wrapping my brain around the whole thing was difficult. And with some tweaking I was able to make my "lunch" turn out pretty good. I had a couple WTF moments, but I could do it.  I almost punched my husband in the throat when he had 5 doughnuts for dinner, but I could muster up some self control. This was my choice, not his, so I'll save my murderous rage for another time.
Oh, did I mention the no coffee thing? That should've been my first clue. No coffee? No good. People in my house have almost died because I didn't have coffee. This was not off to a good start.
The second day is what was my undoing. I woke up feeling like I'd been hit by a truck. My neck was sore, my head was pounding, my throat was sore, and I was just altogether icky. It was like a hangover without the snippets of fun bad decisions from the night before. According to my health-crunch friends (not a derogatory comment at all) this was the toxins trying to escape.
This is where I really started to lose my grip on my determination. But, instead of giving in I powered through. I made a really great juice for my breakfast and made myself ready to face the day. Once I got going with work, kids, and all the other crap I do in a day I was able to be more in my rhythm and felt a little better. I'm sure all the sugar from the fruit juice I had for breakfast didn't hurt either. I had been drinking water all day and by one o'clock still hadn't had any more juice (you're supposed to have one every 2-3 hours).  I just couldn't convince myself to get up and go make the juice. I tried making a salad out of the ingredients I was going to be drinking, thinking at least it was close. I could just not get up and actually make the juice.
I kept telling myself I can do this! I can do this!
Turns out, no I can't.
Well, that's not entirely true. I could. I don't want to. I couldn't pinpoint why I really wanted to do it in the first place. To look better in the bathing suit I'm not going to wear on our vacation to Mexico? Seriously, there's nothing I could do in the week that we have before we leave that is truly going to make any bit of difference.
I don't know if I'm just making excuses for giving up or if it's something more but I did have some pretty great thoughts. And if I can hold onto these I'll be much healthier than I would have been had I finished the cleanse. I will tell you that I'm pretty sure I heard a choir of angels sing when I finally said "I'm done" and opened a Diet Coke. Although I'm not 100% sure, it was slightly drowned out by the crying souls of my health-crunch friends.
Here's what I learned:
Right now I need to be OK with me. I need to not worry about the overall size of my ass or my gut. You know what? I'm 36 years old and I've had 5 kids. Two of those babies within 2 years of each other. When I met my husband I hadn't had a baby in 7 years, and I was still in my 20's (technically). Plus I'd just gone through that best-diet-ever-just-don't-recommend-it; it's called the Divorce Diet. It's amazing!! Lose that first 220lbs and the other 20 just falls right the F*** off! (If you don't get it, we can't be friends anymore. I'm sorry.) My baby cousin (19, and just gorgeous) recently told me "If I can look like you do when I'm your age and have had 5 babies, then I think I'll be doing damn good!".  I kind of laughed her off a bit, but it really stuck with me. You know what? She's right! I've lost about 50lbs in the last 2 years. I'm pretty sure I know a lot of women who would knife me in the eye right now to lose 50lbs. Amazing, beautiful women, that I would say didn't need to lose any weight, they're beautiful as they are, would be responsible for knifing me directly in the eyeballs.
My husband has learned in his 45 years, that it's best not to say anything at all when it comes to a woman and her weight. That's a Twix moment if there ever was one. My sweet husband, who still sticks his hand out to grab my ass as I crawl into bed most nights. The one who makes it obvious that he's not paying attention to whatever trivial thing I'm whining about because he's too busy looking down my shirt. He has told me when chastised about his lack of complimenting  abilities "I think you're beautiful, why should I continue to state the obvious?".  Apparently we don't walk around commenting that the sky is blue, so why should he say his wife is beautiful. There's a slight flaw in his logic, but that's another post entirely.
Bottom line, I'm not going to torture myself trying to re-boot a system that is currently running just fine. Could I be healthier? Absolutely. Couldn't we all? But with all that's going on in my life right now is this really something that needs to be my top priority? I don't think so. I need to feel good about myself and the state I'm in now. I'm not overweight. I'm considered a healthy range for my height and build. There's really nothing a little exercise can't fix. Later. When the chaos has settled a bit and I'm not dealing with such emotionally charged issues. Because quite frankly if a Diet Coke or a big bowl of ice cream is what makes me feel better right now then I am OK with it.
And as long as my husband is still trying to play grab-ass in the kitchen when the kids aren't looking, I should probably be OK with that, too.
So I will keep my juicer, because I like it and enjoy some fresh juice once in a while. But it will be relegated back to its position on the shelf in the garage for occasional use instead of taking up valuable, limited, counter space in the kitchen.  And I will worry less about the size of my dress, and more about keeping my husband's hands from it when we're in public.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Thank you for not killing me. I know I probably deserved it.

With the Mother's Day weekend upon us I am forced once again to reflect on why I really don't like this holiday.  I made the poor gal at the bank uncomfortable when in her best customer-service-perk she inquired as to whether or not I had children, and then if I had "exciting plans" for Mother's Day. I told her honestly I'd rather skip it.
"But it's your day!"
Is it? Really? Or is it for the most part an anti-climactic day that is not really as great as we tell you it is? Maybe I've just been disillusioned over the last 18 years worth of Mother's Days. Perhaps it's the teenager's apathy to pretty much everything that has rubbed off on me. But, there is this commercial build-up that is never really attainable. The commercials depicting the "surprise" breakfast in bed and little velvet box from our somehow-still-smitten husband are kind of crap.
Now don't get me wrong, I've had my share of great Mother's Day celebrations. I have been woken up by 3 smiling children with partially-toasted toast, not quite perfectly prepared coffee, and a beautiful new jewelry box (which still sits on my night side stand). I have had my husband attend church with me less-begrudgingly than usual, and then take me to my favorite restaurant with reservations he'd made weeks in advance.
For the most part they fall flat. Not for lack of effort or desire on the part of my husband and my kids, but simply because there is just no way for me to just have a whole Day. Could you go to work and simply sit there all day while everything happened around you? This public delusion that as Mom's we are somehow on vacation one day a year is ridiculous.
I don't want to go out to an over-crowded restaurant for breakfast/lunch/dinner. I'd rather cook. And I'd rather not spend the whole time thinking about the small mortgage the bill is going to be for taking this many people out anywhere. I don't want my husband to go out and buy a gift and flowers because the calendar says he should. I know it's a lot to expect, but I'd love it if he'd just bring home flowers on his way home from work because he thought I'd like it when he stopped to pick up the milk I forgot earlier. Or a whispered "you really don't suck at this" would be nice. I could skip the half dozen cards from the kids, whose only involvement was signing what he shoved under their noses (I do really like the mushy ones that I get from my husband though). The best gift I could have from my kids? Do your friggin' laundry. All of it. Like I would do it. Just once. Please. Ignore the snarky remark from your sister. Just this once. Don't make a snarky remark to your sister. Just this once. Please. Refrain from all the discussion about all the stuff you have planned for someone else's mom that is just so awesome. I can run through my list of why I'm failing miserably at this mom thing without reminders, thanks.
Now as a grown child I have a different view on Mother's Day for my own mother (and mother-in-law; thanks for that boy of  yours, by way. He's pretty awesome). It's the reminder I need to send my mom flowers because she really should get them more often and for no reason. And I know she understands that raising a family is a lot of work and I can barely remember who I'm supposed to pick up at which school before what activity; let alone remembering to be appreciative of the fact that's she's my (his) mom. As a grown child, Mother's Day is an opportunity to send flowers or a gift that, regardless of the card, says "Thank you for not killing me. I know I probably deserved it.". 
Hopefully I'll get there with my kids one day. If they make it...