Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A Slightly Depressed (But Getting Better) Mommy Update

I'm writing a separate post about me because my goal is to make a book about Calliope's second year of life, containing blog posts about her. I definitely don't need to remember most of what was going with me, though, so I'm keeping it separate (and will omit these from her book). And I didn't necessarily edit very much -- I just needed to get this out their, to clear the air, so to speak, of my own psyche. This is more of a spiritual cleanse than a well written post. 

I think I'm coming out the other side of this funk, with some definite blips.

Saturday morning, we went to the High Line Park with our fellow SMC friend, Obernon, and her daughter, just two months older than C. It was really interesting and cool, but I was definitely tired by the time we got back home, as there was significant travel involved in going to and fro.

But I was shocked to see how much better I felt after a hard Rip 60 workout (mostly done while C was napping, though she played alongside me for the later parts). It really boosted me up.

So during Sunday's naptime, I attempted my second workout from the TurboJam DVD. Last time, I did the intro workout, to learn the steps, but that wasn't all that strenuous. So I tried a 45 minute workout this time. At first it was fun, but then I just got further and further out of sync with the workout, and more and more befuddled and frustrated by not being able to follow the steps nearly fast enough to keep up. Finally, about halfway through, I quit trying in exasperation, and went back to the introductory workout. That went much better, and I was able to keep up for the most part and even focus on maintaining good form at times.

So why did I feel terrible when I finished? I took a shower -- sometimes that lovely post-workout endorphin boost doesn't kick in until the hot water hits my skin -- but no such luck this time. I glanced at the video monitor when I finished, and was surprised to see that Calliope was awake but playing (or thinking? who can tell?) silently in her crib. 

I put on clean underwear and bra and lay down on the bed. Even putting on a shirt and pants sounded hard. And I've never done this, but I just left Calliope in her crib and lay on my bed and read for a half an hour. I felt terribly guilty about this, but I just didn't have it in me to take care of her at that moment. I can't ever remember feeling that way. I figured since she wasn't complaining, it was okay, right?

After a half an hour, I felt a little better, and went into her room. She smiled up at me from the crib, happy to see me but in no way complaining about her "alone time." I lifted her out and set her down and lay on my side and watched her play, her small towhead lit up by the sunshine streaming into her room. She took a bag of interlocking pegs with foam pegboard from her toy bins and set to connecting them together. She glanced up at me occasionally, but mostly she was absorbed in her work. 

Somehow, watching her focus on her task cheered me up immeasurably. She was so beautiful, sitting there in the sun. My amazing girl -- creative, intelligent, affectionate, determined, focused.  

Later that afternoon, we went out for a walk. We live on Ocean Parkway, which is a major thoroughfare, not so great, but has a paved walking path on one side and a bike path on the other -- the first in the country!. Calliope pushed her doll stroller and stopped frequently to crouch and watch a pigeon, or dig with a stick around a tree base (the only dirt to be found in our urban area, apart from parks, of course), to study strangers inquisitively. The air was cool in the shade, but the sunshine was warming. 

One of my major issues, once again, is body image. Weaning has led to a slow down in metabolism, which seems unfair because pumping seemed to slow it down as well. And also, I've realized that I've slacked off a bit on my workouts -- level 8 isn't as rigorous as level 6. My hair seems to have become both greasy and dry/frizzy at the same time. My face looks puffy. My pants are tighter.

But agonizing over weight gain makes me mad, too. It's stupid! My beloved friend Sarah has a daughter just two months older than mine... and a brain tumor that's currently in remission but will some day come back to steal her away from her precious little girl. How can I complain about my petty problems in the face of such injustice?

Then too, I know we can't always chide ourselves to "remember the starving children in Africa!" But still. Some perspective. 

And also. My metabolism is screwy. Yeah, it sucks. But it could be worse. And while I assume that by next year I'll be one hundred pounds overweight and my only hope will be gastric bypass... which caries with it a 2% mortality rate, and how can I possibly risk leaving my little girl an orphan?... The truth is that I'm not there yet. I'm a few pounds overweight. More than a few pounds from my ideal weight, but not a hundred. And yes, I have to fight like hell to stay here. And I'm burning with envy when I read of one woman who lost forty pounds by taking her baby for long walks. And yes, it sucks. Heartily. And unlike other physical ailments, it carries the weight of judgement with it. No one looks at someone with a broken arm and figures "well, it must be her fault." 

And yet. I have the power to refuse that (imagined or real) judgement. I have plenty of friends who are very heavy. And who look great! Who dress themselves in flattering clothes and groom themselves nicely. And I don't condemn them... far from it, I admire them. I would rather have a healthy self-respect, regardless of weight, than the perfect weight.

Well, at least, I wish I did.

want to start working on this now. I want buy some flattering, professional clothes -- no more "hiding" (from myself) in yoga pants and dark jeans. Figuring out what to do with my hair so it's not so frizzy and unbearable.

But I hate going shopping. And looking at my thighs in a dressing room mirror is too depressing. So maybe it's time to go online shopping again. Though there's the money issue, too. I've finally managed to bring down my expenditures so I think am more or less keeping up with my expenses. But I just bought more dishes (had lost a lot over the years due to breakage) and silverware (I was always running out of knives). So I hate to spend more money right now.

I also just ordered Insanity. Another $150. And a book I read about from another blogger called Whole30. It's a Paleo diet, but the deal is that you do a strict (paleo) elimination diet for thirty days, then slowly re-introduce some foods, like dairy,  to see how the body tolerates them.

I am really very anti-diet, in terms of restricting my calories. I will never starve myself again. But if I can eat the foods they recommend without feeling hungry, then I am willing to give it a try. And thinking about thirty days, only, hasn't so far enraged my inner diet rebel. So we will see how it goes.

Finding the time to read this book is an additional challenge. I'm already splitting my pre-sleep reading time between Happiest Toddler on the Block and my for-fun book, which is The Darlings. 

Insanity should arrive today. I've read some very inspiring reviews online, from people that have totally re-made their bodies. But they also commit 100% to never missing a workout. And the idea of having to work out extremely intensely every day is very intimidating. Weekends aren't so bad, but early morning workouts are challenging. And with Insanity, there is no gradual warm up -- the "warm up" is really challenging. Though you do stop to stretch after a few minutes. 

So I'm feeling scared of it. Do I use their pre-printed calendar to commit to keeping up? I hate the idea of feeling trapped, but maybe it's just the thing to make me keep up? But the idea of being crazy sore and having many days to go before I get a rest day is very intimidating. 

I'm frustrated that I have to go to such extremes on both dietary and exercise fronts. 


  1. I'm sorry to hear that you're stressing about your body. Coming from an ED background myself, I understand both the fear of a landslide weight gain and the refusal to go back to counting calories. As I gained weight before I started TTC (about 15 pounds over my previous 'healthy' weight), I felt awful and 'blah' when I looked in the mirror, but one of my best friends told me (honestly) that she wouldn't have guessed I put on any pounds if I hadn't told her. So I doubt anybody is judging you except you.

    I hope you'll continue to be fit (I miss endorphins!) but also learn to truly appreciate your body, no matter what its current shape.

  2. Not sure if it was me where you read of the whole30 or not, but I am on day 2. It's on the other blog now (link on the old one) as I felt I had 2 different audiences - perhaps don't. Anyway. I have been reading about the whole30 too, and was thinking I would do it in the future - then suddenly had the urge to start yesterday! It's good so far. It does make you eat properly. Hopefully it will improve your mental health too.

    Re leaving calliope in her cot, that's great. She was fine - probably loving her alone time, and perfectly safe - glad you got to have a little rest - do it again sometime

  3. I've heard great things about the Whole30 diet. I've had several friends try it with great results. I admire your ability to workout at home. I've never been able to. I can't get motivated and then I get easily distracted by everything else that needs to be done. My excersise has always been the outdoor variety, which do to fatigue and limited timing just isn't happening.

    I've left Annelise in her crib when she's awake several times because I just need a few more minutes of quiet me time. A couple of times I've slipped in during her nap and put a few books in with her so she'll be occupied when she wakes up and let me rest a little longer. I always feel a little guilty but she doesn't seem to mind.