Monthly Archives: February 2015

I’m Worth It – Part 3 – What I’ve Learned So Far

Hello Jaw Line - it's nice to meet you...  It's been a few years!!

Hello Jaw Line – it’s nice to meet you… It’s been a few years!!

OK – so not the best title… too long.  But I am 2 1/2 months into this process and thought that some of you out there might be interested in my progress.  I am down 25 lbs.!!  Wow!!  That’s a pretty big turkey!  Just to remind you – I’ve been off sugar, wheat and dairy.  Here is what I’ve learned so far.

  • You absolutely cannot undertake a process to overhaul yourself without the unwavering support and loyalty of your biggest fan (that would be Left Brain).  When I’ve been discouraged, he’s there to listen.  When I’m celebrating, he there’s applauding.  When I’m trying out new recipes that might be kind of yucky, he eats thankfully.  I don’t think I’ve gotten one negative vibe from him during this whole process.
  • Surround yourself with a good team.  Besides your partner (who is the most important person), find the right team.  My nutritionist Krissy is awesome – she is encouraging, down to earth, and provides me with lots of new inspiration and ideas when I visit her (find her at http://eatplaylivenutrition.ca.)   I have also been seeing a hypnotist; because I figured that there had to be subconscious reasons why I continued to lapse into the same old bad habits and I wanted to unlock that.
  • I like kale!  Who knew?!  But there are some tricks to kale…  My first kale salad was an exercise in mastication…  As I was building up my jaw muscles, I looked over at Left Brain and he was patiently chewing; and chewing; and chewing….  I read somewhere once that you’re supposed to chew every mouthful 25 times.  Have you ever tried it?  I did – once.  It’s gross…  Not doing it….  You need to chop up the pieces really small so that the vinaigrette can soak in…  And kale chips are great!  But don’t use baby kale – the leaves are too delicate to stand up to baking at 400…
  • Being over 50 is living in a new eco-system.  Things that you could get away with in your 30’s and 40’s just ain’t happening anymore.  So – have a moment of silence for your dearly departed tolerance for alcohol, or sugar, or wheat or whatever… and move on.  I can only surmise that this state of being will only get worse the older I get.  Something to look forward to!
  • Shopping is fun when you have a myriad of choices.  It’s also fun to fit back into stuff that you really liked at one time.  I have a whole collection of golf clothes from LoudMouth – really fun colours and patterns that I haven’t been able to wear in about 2 years.  We’re going to California in a couple of weeks to golf, and I’m looking forward to wearing my new “old” wardrobe!
  • Some people are seemingly threatened when you decide to improve yourself.  If you hear the words, “Don’t take this the wrong way, but…”, guaranteed – you’re not going to like what comes next!  Run!  Run away from these people – they are dealing with their own s–t – which has nothing to do with your s–t!
  • Like Cortez, who burned all of his ships after reaching the New World, I am getting rid of all of my “big lady” clothes.  In the same way that I have made this journey public, by ridding myself of the seeming security blanket of a bigger wardrobe that I can slip into, should I slip back into my old ways – I’m getting rid of the possibility.  I will concentrate on how great I feel!
  • If somebody tells you that they can eat or drink whatever they want with no consequences, you need to stop being friends with this person.  Because they suck….  Even if the above were true, they should have the bloody good sense to keep that little tidbit to themselves…  And it’s bulls–t…  Enough said.
  • I have become slightly OCD, with regard to eating on time.  I absolutely have to have my snacks, and if I don’t, I eat like a ravenous wolf at dinner, and beyond.  DON’T skip your snacks – it will bite you in the ass in the end.
  • Now this might horrify all oenophiles out there (better spell check that one…), but I got through the entire holiday season by imbibing…. red wine spritzers.  Now hold on – before you recoil in horror and immediately shut down this website… they’re actually pretty good.  Use lemon or grapefruit Perrier, and lots of limes.  They taste like a non-sweet sangria.  Why bother, you say?  Well – if you’re strong enough to just not drink at all – then good for you – and bugger off….  This was a good compromise.  And just as a general rule, no drinking during the week – unless there’s something going on….  I try to stick to the “No Drinking At Home” rule – which actually hasn’t been that hard.  Left Brain is not drinking wine anymore – he was over served about a year ago and that was that…  He drinks beer – which I hate – so no problem.
  • So – has this been hard?  YES!  At the beginning – but I’m Worth It!

Ode to The Other One

My handsome oldest son!

My handsome oldest son!

A couple of weeks ago, #1 Son turned 21.  21!!!  How did that happen?!  My birthday is 2 days after his – I’ve been telling him his whole life that he was the absolute best birthday present I ever got in my life.  By the way, we do not actually call him #1 – that would infer a Second-in-Command status that is presently the job position of Left Brain…  On this momentous occasion, I thought it would be appropriate to talk about what it’s like for The Other One.

There is obviously a whole lot that can be written on this subject (see earlier post, https://mypuzzledlife.com/2015/01/11/recommended-reading-part-2/).  John was perhaps the easiest baby ever born – he was happy, placid, easy-going and slept through the night at 3 weeks old.  We used to dine out in restaurants often with the baby seat beside us with no worry about disrupting other diners (obviously, not so with Henry…)  He had a quiet watchfulness about him – as if he was observing everything around him before making any judgements – he’s very much like Left Brain in this sense.  He was the little guy that everyone invited over for playdates.  I never had to worry about him in new situations – he went with the flow.  In fact, when I found myself pregnant again before John’s first birthday, there was no panic – we had this parenting thing figured out!!  It was easy!! (Let me take some time here while I laugh hysterically at our innocent naiveté!!!!!)

When our life exploded with the arrival of Henry, he again, went with the flow.  He was very sweet with his little brother, often making him smile and laugh.  I have a video of John making faces at Henry, with his little brother breaking out in belly laughs – the camera is shaking because I was laughing so hard.  And he would do this over, and over, and over again.  He shared everything, without hesitation.  I remember at the time, there being a lot of discussion about easing the transition when a new child comes into the house – about smoothing over any jealousy the older sibling might have.  I have never seen that emotion from my older son – not to this day.  Irritation sometimes (and well deserved)… but never jealousy at the time I have had to spend looking after Henry’s needs.

There were things that we didn’t do because it would have been too much – ski weekends, family movie outings, family vacations sometimes, family dinners to restaurants.  The most notable family rite of passage that we skipped, was the trip to Disneyland.  As I’ve said before, I think the #1 rule of having a child with special needs, is this;  ALWAYS HAVE A PLAN B.  Sometimes the creation of a Plan B is too much work – there – I said it.  But John never complained.  He saw his friends doing things that we weren’t doing – and he never complained.  As I said, occasionally, there was irritation.  Around the time that teenagers start caring more about what their friends think than you, he said he was embarrassed to have friends over because Henry “did things”.  “I understand,” I said.  “Do you know how many times he’s embarrassed me in public?”  I didn’t tell him that he was lucky because he didn’t have the same problems that his brother had, or that life was easier for him in so many ways than his brother. I acknowledged his feelings – John felt validated by that and accepted it.

As my intelligent, good-looking, funny, introspective, popular and easy-going son has matured, I am continually impressed by the man he is becoming.  He is actually a lot like Left Brain, version 2.0.  It’s no wonder I love and like him so much.  I am amazed, as every parent is, at the wonderful combination that our DNA has produced!  He knows that at some point, he will have to be responsible for his younger brother (hopefully, this won’t be necessary – but the story hasn’t ended yet and we don’t know…)  He accepts it without resentment.

So, The Other One does not have a typical sibling relationship.  There have been times when #1 Son has received the short end of the stick.  But we are so proud of this unique young man.  So, my darling boy, Happy 21st Birthday and congratulations on being who you are.