Wannabe soccer mom

I don't actually have a child in soccer, but Chad is co-coaching a YMCA team this year. I kinda volunteered him. Kinda. He likes to joke that he's the creepy guy coaching that doesn't even have a child playing. Oh well. Practice for next year :)

In the meantime, Liam thought he could be out there on the field with all the kids and his dad. I had to keep chasing him down. He threw a fit after one of those times. So I said, "Okay, you stay there and cry. Mama is going to go play with your choo-choos." And he obeyed. He stayed there and cried. You could see is little lower lip pouting from a mile away. So I took pictures...while he cried.
...then later I found out that he actually had a reason for crying. So then I made him sit on my lap so I could take more pictures of him.
And Max, what was he doing during much of this ordeal? He was busy trying to get through a plastic baggie to Liam's sandwhich. So I laughed...and took pictures of him. Gosh, I'm such a good mom!
(this look says too me- "What? I'm not doing anything weird.")
Cute little Tyler Duncan let Liam where his hat.  Liam loved it.


Intuitive eating part 3

Time for some more talk about intuitive eating.

Principle #8 Respect Your Body

It's hard to make peace with food, when you hate your body.  "We also have found that if you are willing to make weight loss a secondary goal and respecting your body a primary goal, it will help move you forward."

I've seen this with myself and it's been a process to get to the point where I feel gratitude for my body. For example, I've always loved my sister Shannon's legs.  They were so thin, even though she's 3 inches taller than me.  I'd beat myself up for the fact that my legs were "bigger".  I would think that my shorter height should mean a smaller size.

Well, fast forward a few years.  Shannon and me were in the habit of working out every afternoon to the Firm workout tapes (Yes, the series from the 90's.  Lovely.).  Well, Shannon had this one mirror that hung in her living room where we worked out.  One day, while working out, I caught a glimpse of myself in comparison to her.  We both worked out in our sports bras (I know, another lovely visual.  It'd get hot...and we were alone in the privacy of her home).  I noticed that my shoulders were so much broader!  I shared my observation with Shannon.  "No," she said in either disbelief or just trying to be nice to me. So I made her stand side by side by me.  And yes, it was true.  My shoulders were so much broader.  How could this be?  She was taller!  Weren't taller people supposed to also be wider, broader, whatever? Apparently not.

This was a healing moment for me.  All those years that I'd mentally attacked myself for being fatter had been somewhat misguided.  My genetics had physically made me different.  I began to realize that my my legs weren't necessarily fatter.  Just like my shoulders, the rest of me was "broader".  As taboo as it may sound, I guess you could say I have "bigger bones" than my sister.  (Which, truth be told- one of us has had three bone breaks, while one of us has never broken a bone).  Yes, I'd always wanted Shannon's smaller calves or bonier knees, but once I began to realize that that's just not how I'm made, I began to learn to appreciate and love my own body more.  I could quit trying to be something I'm not and be the best me I could be.  

And the book says it best-

"You don't have to like every part of your body to respect it.  In fact, you don't have to immediately accept where your body is now to respect it.  Respecting your body means treating it with dignity, and meeting its basic needs.  Many of our clients treat their pets with more respect than their own bodies- they feed them, take them out for walks, and are kind to them.  Finally, if you are someone who has used food as a way to cope with your emotions over a lifetime, your present body shape may be respresentative of the way you took care of yourself when you knew no other way.  Rather than demeaning the result of this coping mechanism, respect yourself for surviving."

Principle #9 Exercise- Feel the Difference

"Forget the militant exercise.  Just get active and feel the difference.  Shift your focus to how it feels to move your body, rather than the calorie-burning effect of exercise.  If you focus on how you feel from working out, such as energized, it can make the difference between rolling out of bed for a brisk morning walk or hitting the snooze alarm.  If when you wake up, your only goal is to lose weight, it's usually not a motivating factor in that moment of time."

I've been at both ends of the exercise spectrum.  Once upon a time I ran 6 days a week at least 6 miles but sometimes up to 10 miles.  I've also tried the whole- work-out-two-times-a-day thing.  Then, there's the time after I had a baby that I became completely sedentary...for like two+ years.  Neither, probably the way I should've been approaching exercise.

Two stories.

For a time I was an assistant coach for a high school track team in Salt Lake City.  I ran the practices with the kids.  During the season, I ran my first 10K.  I ran the race hard and of coarse, was sore and exhausted for the following Monday's practice.  I warmed up with the team & was prepared to suck it up regardless.  That is, until the head coach advised me that for each mile spent racing, there should be a subsequent day of recovery and rest.  That meant 6 days off for me.  This was a new concept for me.  I'd ran races before and never taken time off.  He cautioned against over training.  Also a new concept. He said over training could negatively effect my performance just as under training could.  So I rested.  And after about a week, he asked me if I felt anxious and ready to run again.  "Was I missing running?"  I can't remember my response, but I remember getting to that point where I craved a good hard run.  It was eye opening for me to realize that achieving results isn't always based on the amount of hard work I put in.  I had to work smart.

Story #2.  There was a time after my mission where me & my sister made brownies everyday.  And ate most of them.  Everyday.  (With some help from our neighbor Rhonda of coarse).  Needless to say, I gained weight. Our friend Wendy had seen a lot of success with weight watchers.  So I joined.  (Let me say that I have a soft spot in my heart for weight watchers.  I credit them for helping me to better learn moderation...and I did lose weight & keep it off.)  I began to consistently lose 1-2 pounds every week.  Until one week.  I stepped on the scales confident at what the numbers would reflect.  I'd worked hard all week.  I had doubled my exercise regime to two sessions a day.  But instead- nothing.  Discouraged, the woman weighing me reviewed my eating and exercise from the past week.  When she heard about the time I was clocking in for my workouts, she advised me to cut back and see what happened.  "Instead of 90 minutes, try 45," she said.  So that is what I did.  And guess what- the next week I lost weight!  I did less exercise and saw more results.

So if I could share any wisdom I've gained from this book and from personal experience, I'd say be consistent.  Do something you can maintain.  Don't over work yourself.  Mix things up.  Give yourself permission to have an easy day or take a break occasionally.  Listen to your body.

Currently, I average 5 days a week.  Sometimes I push myself on the treadmill or with weights.  Other days, I speed walk or do Zumba (Yeah, another lovely visual.  Let's just say these long limbs aren't always so graceful.).  I'm still the same size as when I started.  But I'm not as concerned about size, I feel the difference.

Well, I was gonna finish this off with the last principle but this post has already achieved "marathon post" status. So look for the last principle plus some last thoughts by me coming soon.

(Intuitive Eating part 1 here & part 2 here)

And, a completely unrelated picture of a day when I found all three of my boys watching Cars.


Mommy Sandwich

We co-sleep with Max still...and Liam wandered into our room sometime around 6 am.  We have a King size bed, but there must be some sort of gravitational pull towards me because...
...this is how I woke up this morning. (Note that the sheets had also migrated & that Liam had brought his choo-choos (top picture, near Liam's back) to bed with us.  Oh, & that cute chubby leg likes to drape itself over any handy limb...an arm being the limb of choice this morning.)

Seven minutes.

Seven minutes- the amount of time that my son was missing in the mall late Thursday night.

We went there after work.  A shoe store caught my eye, so Chad said to go ahead and he'd venture over to the play area with the boys.  I quickly found a pair of shoes that I wanted, however the store was having a buy one, get one 50% off sale.  So there I was, trying to find a shoe worthy of tempting me.  I found a pair that I liked, but thought I'd ask Chad if there were shoes he was wanting before I went ahead with the purchase.  I called him and we were talking about the shoes and how much fun Liam was having.  Then a few minutes into out conversation Chad abruptly interrupted me.

"Just a minute Michelle.  I don't see Liam, " Chad said.

"Oh!  I'll let you go," I quickly replied, assuming he'd soon find him hiding behind a slide or in a tunnel.

We hung up and I continued to deliberate over my shoe choices.  Three minutes passed.  I get another call from Chad.

"Michelle, I can't find Liam anywhere!  Come help me!"

I panicked, threw down my shoe boxes, mumbled a quick apology to the customer service explaining I had a missing child, and bolted out the door.

Fears of becoming one of those mothers that has a child kidnapped ran through my mind.  I scanned the corridors for Liam and any shady looking individuals as I silently and urgently prayed in my mind.

I made my way towards the area where Chad was.  It was late, so things were beginning to close down.  I turned the corner and saw two girls sitting at a proactiv kiosk that was closing.  With panic in my voice and on my face I got out, "If you see a little boy in Cars pajamas with someone that doesn't look like his daddy, please stop them!"

One of the girls then replied that her mom was head of security at the mall and that she could call her right then.  She placed the call and it was within a few minutes that I was reunited with Liam...in front of the helicopter kiosk and at that point with a mall cop.

I was relieved to say the least.  And Liam...just mad that I was making him come with me.  He seemed completely unconcerned that he was wondering around alone in a strange place without any parents.  That punk!  I definitely need to teach that boy stranger danger! 

Now, in the defense of my husband- we later learned that some bystanders saw Liam bolt from the play area and he took off running without so much as pausing to look back.  It was enough time to get a sufficient head start before Chad could even discern that he was actually missing rather than just hiding in some tunnel or something.    

I later checked my phone record to figure out just how long he was missing from us.

Seven minutes.      
(I took this picture on the way home from the mall.  So grateful to have my Liam safe.)


Intuitive eating part 2

It's about time I finish my post regarding intuitive eating.  

Principle #4 Challenge the food police 
This particular principle was a little bit hard for me to differentiate between principle #1- Reject the diet mentality, so I didn't take a lot of notes. But if I had to sum it up- challenge those little thoughts that tell you you're "good" because you didn't eat sugar all day...and "bad" because you ate more than an allotted calorie amount.
moving on...

Principle #5 Feel your fullness
Learn to feel what satiety feels like for you. For some it may be a subtle feeling of stomach fullness or for others a feeling of satisfaction and contentment. Also, remember that if you start eating when you're not hungry, it will be hard to know when to stop out of fullness.

Principle #6 Discover the satisfaction factor
Did you know that the Japenese promote pleasure as one of the goals of a achieving a healthy lifestyle? How cool!

I saw this in Spain too. The country literally shut down for two hours in the middle of the day for lunch or "mediodia". Everyone went home, enjoyed a wonderfully home cooked meal, took a little siesta. They savored this time. They savored their food.

I think Europeans in general are good at savoring and finding true satisfaction from food. One of my mission companions in Spain was from Denmark. I remember one day over lunch we were discussing our favorite meals. I replied, "Spoon Tacos". Of coarse, she didn't know what that was, so I explained that it was a sort of bean dip served with tortilla chips. Even as I was explaining, I realized how silly it sounded.  She looked at me quizzically and replied, "I'm just sort of confused at how chips and dip can be a meal." I don't remember what her favorite dish was, but I do remember it was something a lot more exquisite.

Some suggestions are to ask yourself what you really want. Think about what tastes, textures, aromas, appearances, temperatures, etc., appeal to you.

And to quote the book-
"Our clients are focused on every aspect of food except the here and now. They lament the past and worry about the future (what will I eat, how will I work off these calories), but very rarely do they focus on the actual experience of eating. Therefore, they are not tasting- not experiencing or savoring food."
"When you eat what you really want, in an environment that is inviting, the pleasure you derive will be a powerful force in helping you feel satisfied and content. By providing this experience for yourself, you will find that it takes much less food to decide you've had "enough"".
and last quote...
"If you don't love it, don't eat it, and if you love it, savor it."

You wanna know something funny. I don't like spoon tacos that much anymore. I've learned to savor a little better and have found that I like a meal with a little more variety to it than just chips and dip.  (Well, either that, or I just can't make them as good as my mom.)

Principle #7 Cope with Emotions without using food
Oh, this is a hard one, especially for us girls!  I liked a little chart they showed that showed how we tend to use food to cope with emotions.

<--sensory gratification--comfort--distraction--sedation--punishment-->

Something to think about.

Even though using food as a coping method may seem horrible and wrong, the book points out that you should be grateful that your body is trying to help you recognize that something isn't right and that this is done more as an act of self preservation.

Another book that I read said that journaling could be a good source for coping with emotions and even a way of self discovery if we're willing to have the honesty with ourselves.

But I also must say here that the ultimate source of comfort and self discovery for me has always been God.  It's not usually as instantly gratifying, but isn't it great to know that we can turn to Him in prayer?!  And isn't it great that the Holy Ghost can comfort us?!  I can't count how many times I've found comfort in being able to offer a silent prayer in my head or kneel by my bed and pour out my heart to the Lord.  I've told him how mad or hurt or discouraged or lonely or bored or whatever I've been.   I've asked for help, understanding, comfort or a change of heart.  He's always responded.  I don't think ice cream has ever been that faithful to me.

Well, that's it for the night.  3 more principles for another post.

Below, some pictures of my little "Max Fax" as I like to call him these days.  And I must say, I'm shocked at how much he looks like my sister Shannon in some of these pictures!

Who would've thought that you'd grow up to have a family of your own and you have a kid that look like your grandpa...or your dad...or your little sister (all comments that I've received from others).  Good thing Shannon was a cute, little chunk! ;)  (top 3 pics shan...oh, & the one where he's squinting while he's smiling).  

(If you're wondering where Intuitive eating part 1 is, it's here!)



Lazy afternoon

Do you sometimes just wanna post some pictures but you have nothing clever to say...and you have no idea what the title of the above mentioned post should be? Thus my clever title.

I still have yet to finish my post on intuitive eating. Just don't have the brain power to think tonight. (Oh, and I promise Max isn't so stoic all the time. One of these days I'll catch one of his smiles!)


Our bedtime ritual

"Momo", this is for you :)

(You'll understand when you see the video, but there's pictures of the temple above his bed and a picture of Jesus on his bookshelf.  Usually he points during our song without any prompting from me.  It was fun to see him point from the car when we went to the temple this past weekend.  Oh, and you'll catch a few glimpses of Max.  Chad thinks he looks like a bad extra of a movie that doesn't know he's not supposed to stare at the camera.)