Monday, October 31, 2011

Chocoholics Not-So-Anonymous

I am a chocoholic. I love the stuff. I crave the stuff. Well, as long as it's MILK chocolate. Dark chocolate doesn't seem to do it for me, which is too bad, because at least then I could claim it had health benefits. The only benefit I get from milk chocolate is the endorphin rush. When I'm on chocolate, I seriously feel as if I could do about anything. For someone for whom self confidence issues are a daily battle, this is powerfully seductive.

The problem is, those feelings don't last. I get half an hour, maybe an hour tops, and then the sugar lows hit, and I get tired and headachey and want more chocolate. More more more.

People have told me often I don't need to give up chocolate - just have it in moderation. Only I can't. Maybe one day I start out with one Kit Kat. But soon enough, whether it be days or weeks, I will literally be eating almost nothing BUT chocolate, in gross amounts. Yes, I mean disgusting amounts - we're talking 8-10-12 candy bars a day.

So, the best thing for me to do with chocolate is to abstain from it. Interestingly enough, once I make it through the first week, I don't miss it. I truly don't. I feel much more even-keeled, and while I miss the high, I'm grateful not to have the low.

This is the reason I gave up chocolate on 9/1/11. And I made it all the way until 10/26/11. See, I don't promise I'll give it up FOREVER. I had told myself I could have some on Halloween. But I made the mistake of buying our candy stash early (and of course only items I LIKE to eat), and opening it early, and have basically been on a 5 day chocolate trip.

I promised myself I would stop on 11/1. Maybe I'll have some again at Christmas, but for now I need to stop. My mood has been all over the place, but predominantly bitchy. I haven't been as focused in the things I need to do. And I certainly don't want to step on the scale.

Chocolate, I love you. But you don't love me. I am like a drug addict, and you truly impact my daily life. So, good-bye again for now. Maybe in heaven Kit Kats will be side-effect free.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Bruised Pride

Yesterday the family and I went to Back Home on the Farm - a wonderful pumpkin patch farm full of fun activities for the family (pig races, corn maze, sling shot, etc). One of my daughter's favorite things there is the Cow Train Ride - a bunch of plastic barrels laid sideways with holes cut in the top and seats built in. The barrels are up on wheels and fastened to a 4x4, which hauls them around to the sound of much squealing and laughter.

The last time we were at the farm, I declined the Cow Train ride, figuring I was too large to fit into the barrels. This year, my husband and son had gone off to do the corn maze, so it was just Ellie and me. She wanted me to do the Cow Train Ride. Of course she did. And how could I tell her, "Mom's too fat?" So I gallantly tried to get in to the sucker, even though I was already embarrassed at the idea that I might not fit. And indeed, I didn't. My butt is too big. So, cheeks already burning crimson, I tried to oh-so-casually exit the stupid barrel. Only my feet apparently had other plans - as I was trying to withdraw my right leg, the shoe caught on the lip of the barrel. As I was working to pull it free, I thought to myself, "This is bad. I'm going to fall. I'm going to fall out of this barrel in front of all the people who just saw me be too fat to fit into the friggin' barrel in the first place. Wonder if I can fall without killing myself?"

Yes, all those thoughts went through my head as I, indeed, tumbled out sideways from the barrel and landed with a THUD on the ground. A collective gasp went up behind me and the 4x4 driver came rushing over. "I'm O.K.!" I shouted, as I got up. "I'm O.K.!" I tried to laugh it off. I reassured Ellie that mom was fine and asked her if she wanted to go by herself (she did!). I walked over to the other parents watching their kids about to go on the ride, trying to crack jokes. They helped me brush all the hay off of me.

And yes, really, overall I was fine. I hurt my right knee a bit, and apparently fell on the edge of my shoe with the back of the other knee, because it's got quite the mottled bruise today and hurts a bit. I'm probably lucky I didn't break anything, given the amount of weight I slammed down on to the ground.

But what's bruised most of all? My ego, of course. Not from falling out of the damn barrel. But from being too fat to fit into it in the first place. Well, O.K., a little bit from the fall, too. Grace is not my middle name.

I admit, it must have been funny to see the fat lady fall over. And the first question my husband asked when I told him I'd bit the dust? "Is there any video?" Thanks a lot, honey.

But the biggest pain today is not from my leg, and not from my knee. It's from being confronted again with the fact that I am fat, fat enough that it precludes me from doing a lot of things. That hurts more than any physical bruise.

Friday, October 14, 2011


Prioritizing apparently is not my forte. At least not in the sense of prioritizing in order to bring balance to my life and my work, and to ensure that everything that needs attention is getting it. I'm very good at prioritizing whatever it is I want to be doing, to the exclusion of everything else.

And therein lies the rub. I'm living a multi-tasking life, as we all are. There are not only many different things that I HAVE to do, such as caring for kids, doing the dishes, running errands, paying bills, but also many things I WANT to do, such as work on eBay, write my book, sort out the unfinished side of the basement, read, blog, etc. And it seems there's just not enough time to do it all. Which necessitates prioritizing. Which I suck at.

It's kind of funny to be just shy of 40 and really having to face the realities of these shortcomings of mine. I'm not good at prioritizing, and, related to that, my time management skills could use a boost. I tend to operate by emotion, rather than self-discipline, meaning if I feel like doing something, I will, and if I don't, I won't. There are obvious exceptions - I must help the kids get ready for school, I must make dinner for the family, etc. But there are many things I ignore because I feel like doing so (the dirty toilet, the errands I was supposed to run yesterday, the Quicken software that feels too complicated to learn right now so I'll do it 'later', etc). That's a luxury. It's something I would never do in a real paying job.

So I'm left wondering today: 1) Am I doing too many things? What is realistic? 2) How do I prioritize in such a way that everything gets the attention it needs, in logical appropriations of time invested? 3) How do I develop the discipline to do what I ought to do, not just what I want to do? 4) How do I let go of the guilt I feel for not excelling in 1, 2, & 3?

In some ways it's great to be excited about so many things. I LIKE that I'm interested in writing, genealogy, drawing, eBay, etc. But real life is real life, and I don't want to short shrift my family in favorite of those things. And I think I often do. Not only that, but even when I'm doing them, I'm thinking about everything ELSE I should be or could be doing, and so I'm not even 100% in the moment with the things that I enjoy! Is that nuts or what?

How do YOU find balance in your life between what you want to do and what you need to do? And even within those categories, how do you decide how much time to give to each thing?