Saturday, January 29, 2011

the skinny

Well, here it is. The long awaited third resolution........

As most people do, I have pondered what I can do differently this year to make a difference with my health. I have gained a lot of weight over the past year and I have blamed it all on stress but really, when I think about it, blaming my problems on external forces just gets me to fatville faster than a bat out of hell. If I want to blame things I can't really control for problems in my life then I suppose I might be the biggest victim out there. And I don't mean big as in fat.

For 20 years, or 18 but I'll round up for the sake of ease, I have been either getting fat or getting skinny. I don't have a 'normal' like other people have a 'normal'. I either binge or I starve. That is who I have become.

I have spent many hours, and by many I mean like a bazillion, trying to figure out what's broken in my head. Something is broken, I know it is. I look in the mirror and I'm never pleased with what I see but when I look at pictures of myself I am shocked because that is not what I see in the mirror. Something is broken but it doesn't matter.

It doesn't matter because I am done having external forces decide my weight. But more than that I am done with my weight dictating my worthiness as a person. Being fat doesn't mean I can't have nice clothes and being fat doesn't mean I can't have friends. Being fat doesn't mean I don't deserve my husband's love, or my kid's respect, and it doesn't mean that I don't deserve happiness.

I have given my life to my 4 children and there has been a physical consequence to that but I am fat because I choose to be. It really is just that simple. I am fat because I eat too much and that has nothing to do with anyone but me. Do I have a slow metabolism? Probably. Are my bones heavier than yours? I think they are because I have done the tests that say they are. But these are not reasons to have a weight problem.

So this year I have decided to do things differently. I have decided not to focus on a number, a number that has been achieved a few times in my life but never maintained. I have decided to not "diet" anymore. I have decided that what I am doing does not work. Not even one little bit.

I have given up the scale for a year. This is my third resolution.

I will not have a number on the scale dictate to me my worthiness as a human being, at least not for a year. I will not have the constant trying and ultimate failure of reaching an unreachable goal be what I obsess about every minute of every day. I will not have a piece of chocolate tell me that I have failed....again.

Don't get me wrong. I have not given myself permission to eat the things I love, which is not salad by the way. I haven't given myself permission to maintain a lifestyle that ultimately leads to unhappiness and poor health. Because I don't like being fat but apparently my dislike for 'it' isn't enough for me not to be 'it'.

(Rule number one: don't use the word fat anymore.)

Therefore, I have decided that instead of dieting I am going to experiment with different lifestyles, try out different things, give things up, always strive for healthiness. But I'm going to do it on my terms and not some gimmick diets terms and certainly not by the scales terms. I'll need to decide what those terms are though and I'll need to actually obey my own rules. This is the scary part. My effort and how I feel about that effort will be how I decide if I am trying hard enough or if I am on the right track, it won't be that blasted number on that hateful scale.

Diets work, of course they do. I would know, I've tried every one of them. That isn't my problem. I can lose weight with the best of them but because my brain is broken I don't keep the weight off. So I'm not dieting anymore. Instead, I am going to fix my broken mind and change my everyday instead of just the time it takes to lose the weight.

Every month of 2011 I will be picking a theme for the month. A theme that promotes health and well being. January was exercise. I spent the month getting myself into a routine and focusing on just the exercise. It has been rough because I am so big right now but I do like to exercise and I know it's good for my health therefore I'll do it.

February I am giving up sugar for a month. Very scary indeed. I figure within a month I'll know if not eating sugar helps my mind to feel better and therefore my body as well.

Every weekend I'll check in and I'll call it 'the skinny'. The urban dictionary defines 'the skinny' as this:
Summarization of events. What happened or what the point is or whatever without using 10,000 words. (Clearly this post does not fit this definition. So sue me.)

For example:

me- blah blah blah.. like blah blah blah... and then.. blah blah blah....and it was blah blah blah and then I was like blah blah blah

you- so what's the skinny? did you eat the flippin' sugar or not?

me- no.

Future posts won't be as long as this one. Unless I want them too. Just kidding, no they won't. Okay, maybe they will. The point is: if you don't care about it then don't read any post called 'the skinny'


I have a pretty good exercise routine going. I am lazy and pretty much stick to what I know which is the treadmill and the elliptical. I have tons of DVD's that are fun and a good workout and hopefully I'll give them a go sooner than later. I run/walk three times a week (I'm following a running program - see previous post for the book) and the other 2 or 3 times is a combination of walking and the elliptical. I always do an hour of cardio when I workout.

So here is the skinny on January:
week1: 24.67 miles
week2: 23.52 miles
week3: 15.16 miles (can you tell I had a little visitor this week?)
week4:19.09 miles

I am finding that 5 workouts of an hour cardio a week is really hard and my body aches so starting in February I am going to do four days and two days of yoga. It's hard when you're a cardio junkie to feel that yoga is really any kind of exercise but it's better than nothing. Right?

So there it is. This is the beginning of something great, I can feel it in my bones. It's also the end to a life that is all I really know. I am a cliche. Things need to change and this is where I start. My instincts will take me to a place that is familiar. A place where I'll want to diet but my new goals will force me to put my focus elsewhere. And by changing one bad habit or introducing one good habit at a time hopefully, maybe, I'll be able to change my normal to something healthy and consistent.

Stay tuned, because I'm pretty sure that week number one of no sugar will be a you-know-what. If you know what I mean.......

Wait till you see what craziness March has to bring.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

an ode....and stuff

An ode to the man:

There once was a boy from Kentucky.
Whom his wife thought was so very lucky., sorry. That's a limerick.

The man had a birthday and he's not from Kentucky. It was truly the most uneventful day in the history of uneventful days. Actually, the only way it could have been more uneventful was if I had forgotten about it. No big deal. I guess 37 doesn't really need to be chronicled as a day with pizzazz.

However, as uneventful as it was, I do feel as though a tribute must be made in his honor. I offered to take him out for lunch and he asked me to pick him up at his worksite. This is what he was doing when I pulled up.

Nothing really, just building a house all by himself. I don't know why, but this never ceases to amaze me. Sometimes I try to imagine what it would be like to build a house for a family to live in all by myself. It would never get done and if it did it would probably just fall down. That poor family would be homeless. It would be tragic, to say the least.

The man:
- is strong
- hardworking and motivated (see picture above)
- is smart
- is funny (or so he thinks but we all know that I am way funnier)
- is dashing (especially in his Italian suit)
- isn't nearly as scary as he wants people to think (bark is louder than bite kind of thing)
- has a hard time finishing what he starts, ie. reno (except for work, that stuff always gets done)
- is sweet (he has never once in 16 years made me feel bad about myself)
- is very agreeable (pretty much what Catie wants Catie gets. I think he should be thankful that Catie doesn't ask for much. Maybe that's why he's so agreeable)
- loves his family (why else would anyone work that hard?)

Anyway, I suppose this list could go on and on but then it might include things that are less attractive, like certain gases that escape from him on occasion or the random bad word that slips from his mouth. Or the fact that he can't remember a single thing I tell him and then blames me for his negligence. Or that he thinks "sorry honey" is sufficient for getting out of trouble.

Yeah, things like that. We won't mention them because we wouldn't want him to feel bad. Besides, it doesn't matter. His awesomeness makes up for it all. He doesn't charge for his awesomeness either...... or his attractiveness, so we thank him for that.***

Moving on.

I have been tagged in a book meme. What's a meme, you ask? Good question. I have no idea, but I do know what it means to be tagged and in the interest of maintaining good standing with a certain Canadian Mama I will a degree.

So here are the rules;
Take a picture of the books you are reading currently and add to your post.
Describe the books and if you are enjoying them or not. Why?
For every book you are reading you have to tag one person.
Leave the person a comment letting them know you tagged them.

From the bottom up:
1. The Beginning Runners Handbook. I follow this book when I am training. I have never trained at this weight before and I can't find the chapter that talks about running with a piano tied to your butt so I am finding my training to be slightly torturous. I like it though and I plan on doing it at least three times this year in an effort to reach one of my resolutions

2. The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood. I have had this book on my shelf for years and I'm finally reading it. Atwood books are great but I can only imagine that in real life Margaret Atwood is a lot off her rocker, if you catch my drift. What is going on her head most of the time? I'm pretty sure I wouldn't understand it if she told me. Great book, so far.

3. The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery. Ashley, if you are reading this then I apologize for getting it from the library after your impassioned objection of it's worthiness to keep one entertained satisfactorily. I couldn't resist and I needed to know. I'm 100 pages in and I do believe you were right. Shame on me.

*I should mention here that I hardly ever read 2 novels at the same time but I find that if I am reading one that I don't enjoy then I like to read something awesome as well. Hence the Atwood mixed with the hedgehog. Stupid hedgehog.

4. Women Food and God by Geneen Roth. I am reading this book as part of my mysterious third resolution that has yet to be revealed but will be this weekend, in case you are interested. I am halfway through and although I find it very entertaining I don't see it changing my life profoundly. Maybe the second half will rock my world. We'll see.

5. The scriptures. I try to read daily from these. I'm not great at it. Something else to work on I guess. I do love my scriptures though and I love that this year in Sunday school we are studying the New Testament again. It's exciting. Oh, and the Book of Mormon is cool too.

You can see another stack of books in the background. I always have a stack on my bedside table. I don't know why so don't ask. As a side note, I took this picture with the Hipstamatic app on my phone so besides being a great stack of books it just looks cool. Right?

This is where I become a party pooper. I won't be tagging anyone but please feel free, if you are reading this, to play along and if you do, let me know so I can let the Mama know too.

The End (hallelujah, you say? Be nice)

***Kung Fu Panda is one of his fave movies and he quotes it often but don't tell him I said anything because he is trying to maintain a certain level of machismo that a love of cartoon movies might significantly reduce.

The End. Really, truly, the end.

Monday, January 24, 2011


This is Holden.

Yesterday Holden turned eight. You know what that means? Yep, he's going to get baptized. He will officially be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. A Mormon.

He's excited. And he gets to buy a suit. We have been explaining to him what it means to be baptized and I think he actually, sort of, kind of gets it. More so than the two that preceded him. He's such a good boy and he tries so hard to please us.

He's very sensitive and sometimes we think he's more like a 40 year old trapped in this little kid body. Poor kid, just wants to grow up and be done with this childhood thing. He loves to play with his "guys" which basically is any figurine from Star Wars. He does Martial arts and he's crazy strong. He goes to school because he knows he should but would rather be hanging out at home with his brother who happens to be the one who tortures him the most and is the cause for 98% of any unhappiness he may be experiencing.

He was 9lbs 5 ozs at birth and because he refused to get into position we booked a c-section to get him out. The day before the c-section I had an ultrasound and there he was head up, feet down. The night before the c-section he turned while I was sleeping. I thought I was dying, or he was dying, or something. We found out during the delivery that he was head down and well into position. This pretty much sums Holden up. He'll do it when he's ready but still within his allotted timeline.

Holden got scriptures for his birthday. He was pleased.

He picked burgers for dinner. Naturally. We had aunties and uncles and cousins over for dinner. It was loud.

Look how cute Aaron is in his Bumbo with his fat little baby feet. Yum.

Oh, and note to self: left over Black Forest Cake is not a healthy breakfast choice. Or lunch for that matter.

Speaking of scriptures (or not). Sometimes people ask me why I love to go to church. There are lots of reasons why I love to go to church but I will admit that sometimes it's just for the view.

Look at this stone cold fox. Polishing his shoes for church. What a babe. Tomorrow it's his birthday, but.......

.......... in the meantime,

happy birthday holden. we love you!!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

musical spoons

A few people have asked me what musical spoons is. I wish, now, I had recorded the kids playing it at Amelia's party. They were so cute and so supportive of each other. Lots of "you can do it"s and "I'll try my best"s. Their kindergarten teacher must be all about team work.

Anyway, it's exactly like musical chairs but as far as I'm concerned a whole lot less dangerous. You use one less spoon than players. I used my coffee table since my kitchen table is high and I wasn't interested in goose eggs on foreheads.

Hands behind backs. Music on. Children walk in a circle, in the same direction, around the table. Music off. Person without a spoon sits down. Do it again and remove a spoon. Repeat fifty times or until someone cries.

Good times.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

ferocious five

Amelia had her first birthday party with friends this past weekend. It was exactly as I expected it to be since she is the fourth kid and therefore the fourth kindergarten birthday I've thrown.

It was 30 minutes too long. Everything I had planned to do was done within an hour. It involved little girls who all wanted to play with the same things and not share them. One little girl was just dying to see what hidden treasures lay in the basement. The same basement she was expressly told not to go to because the party wasn't in the basement. Sneaky little thing.

Turns out, musical spoons brings everyone together for a really long time when you have a long time to kill, I mean keep the peace, while you wait for parents to arrive.

Speaking of that, I find it fascinating that people take their small children to total strangers homes and leave them there. The door gets opened, introductions are made, "Hi, I'm Catherine, Amelia's mom. You must be....??" Then the child is just left. Alone. With a stranger. When I think about this too much I start to panic. Not a hysterical, terrorized kind of panic, but a general concern for everyone's well being kind of panic. Why on earth would anyone just assume that when leaving their 5 year old at a stranger's house that their child would be taken care of? Just because I have kids doesn't mean I'm going to be nice to your kids, does it?

Well alright, I will be nice to your kids, after all I am a foster parent. I am nice to everyone's kids. Unless they kick in my wall or spit in my face or call me horrific names. Then all rules are off. Just kidding, I'm still nice..... mostly.

I'm still trying to figure out which one of these little punks........

.....gave Amelia a bag full of sass as her birthday present. When I find the culprit I'm gonna........ who am I kidding? The culprit is me, so I've been told by my lovely parents.

My child has been unbearable since the big day. She clearly thinks that once you turn 5 all previous rules no longer exist and even if they do exist they no longer apply. Well Amelia, bring it sister because I still have some fight in me and I'll break you just like I broke all the others who were ripped from my womb and then promptly forgot who they were taking on.

Oh, and yes, you are still crazy cute and full of life and a personality that we love and adore.

I took her to Build A Bear on her actual birthday. I am morally opposed to Build A Bear and have never set foot in one until last Friday. It is outrageous what they charge for a stupid stuffed animal. But..... both Grandma's sent money for her birthday so I figured I can eat my morality issues once in a while and spend someone else's money on overpriced stuffies with the sole purpose of bringing a smile to a child's face. It worked. And didn't cost me a dime.

She loves her Lovebug but if she doesn't stop screaming from her bed at 6 am she'll lose it for 24 hours like she lost Mermaid Barbie and then Tangled Barbie shortly after that.

She picked Macaroni as her birthday dinner. Gross. I obliged, just like a good mommy should. I'll say it again. Gross.

Anyway, who is this hulking creature that graces me with his presence on occasion?

It's been cold outside. As the man likes to say "It's butt fetching cold". And, he's right. It's butt fetching cold out. He's gargantuan in his winter get up. And these boots?

Are you sure you aren't a Rescue Hero?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

broken children and gnashing of teeth

I want to blog but don't really have anything to say. Because I'm boring. Sometimes being boring is totally okay though. It's beats being sick or destitute or having Bell's Palsy any day. So I will babble.

I have almost worked out the kinks in my third resolution. It's a biggie. Huge, actually. A real test for me and my psyche. It could go really good or really, really bad. I'm giving myself until the end of January to settle in to my new life and then I will report. Ooooh, what could it be, you are wondering. Well, don't wonder too hard, it's not that exciting.

Last week I walked or ran or ellipticled (this IS a word because I says so) almost 25 miles. I have no idea if that's good but I'll take it. It was about 24 miles more than I did the week before and by that rationale it is awesome. I am second guessing my ability to run a 10k in under an hour, I don't know what I was smoking the day I thought this was doable but I will be quite pleased if I can get it done in the hour range, give or take a few minutes. Okay, just give a few minutes....just a few.

Anyway, this week I will aim for a bit more.

Why won't my two oldest kids eat their supper? And why does this annoy me so much? Why do I care? I'm a believer in natural consequences, they torture the kids so I don't have too. But they don't alleviate my irritation when I make a delicious dinner, like last night, and then the two oldest won't eat it. Did they go to bed hungry? Yeah, they did. But I went to bed irritated. And that's just not right. They are 13 and 11. It makes no sense. EAT, little trolls, EAT!

The 7 year old thinks I'm an award winning super chef and eats multiple servings of everything I make. The 4 year old eats well too, for a four year old.

The other two are broken.

It's really cold here and I've turned into a hermit. No, wait, I was a hermit before but now it isn't so weird. I went to Safeway yesterday at 3:40 to get a rotisserie chicken to make Butter Chicken for dinner and they didn't have any.

me to deli lady: I was wondering if you had chickens in the back that are ready to go?

deli lady, rude deli lady: No

me: Do you know how long it will be before some are ready?

rude deli lady: Look, we have turkey and ham. No chicken.

rude me (poor self control): You know it's almost supper time right? And mom's like me are running here to grab a chicken for dinner before we get our kids. This would be a really good time to have some chickens ready.

rude deli lady: Eat turkey.

rude me: If I wanted turkey I wouldn't be standing here irritating you, would I?

So I went to Sobey's. I hate grocery shopping. This is why I never leave the house. I'm not good with people when I'm not getting what I want.

I love Butter Chicken.

On Friday my baby will be 5. Ask me how I feel about this. No don't. Unless you have a very comfy shoulder I might borrow while I weep and wail and gnash my teeth. I can't believe it. My baby will be five.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

the woman in white

My resolutions are going well. My manners have improved exponentially and I am running, running, running (and yes, I am aware that it is only January 6. What's your point?) It's a good thing I've been running so much because I have PMS and I am craving nanaimo bars, which I happened to conveniently have many of in my freezer. After Cicely and I ate about a million last night before bed I threw the rest out. The sugar made my heart race and I couldn't get to sleep.


Anyway, totally not the point and I promise not to bore you with updates about my manners for a long time.

The reason I have gathered you here today is because over the holidays I read a very long book. It was so fantastic that I figure it absolutely needs to be mentioned. I read it slowly so it would last longer. Am I the only one who does that? My family thought I must have hated the book because it took forever. And by forever I mean over a month. Or two. But it was a month (or two) of incandescently, blissful literary perfection.

It is called The Woman In White by Wilkie Collins. And it was, by far, the best book I have ever read. I got it from the library, renewed it four times, and now I will buy it so I can hold it when I am feeling blue.

If you love books that contain any of the following: suspense, mystery, crime, betrayal, revenge, intrigue, tyranny, comedy, secret societies and romance then you will love this book because it has all of it.

It's like Pride and Prejudice meets Murder She Wrote with a tad of The DaVinci Code. Or Sense and Sensibility meets Castle with a hint of The Lost Symbol (I haven't read the Lost Symbol and I hate Dan Brown books so I have no idea if that one actually fits or not.)

It was everything a good book should be and more....because it was so long. Long for me is about 400 pages and this one has almost 650.

Wilkie Collins and Charles Dickens were buds but don't worry, reading this book is nothing like reading Dickens. It isn't painful at all. Unless you are my brother Vance who loves James Lee Burke so much he named his only son after Dave Robicheaux. But that is another story, another time perhaps. He might find this book a tad painful.

What's so beautiful about this book is that it was written in 1859 so there is no swearing, no sex and even the most villainous villains were the utmost of gentleman.

Conversations drag on and are never boring. I love that. Bad guys get their comeuppance. I love that. Some of the women were brave and strong. I love that. Some of the characters were crazy and I love that. I wish I could tell you that the guy gets the girl but I don't want to give too much away. So I won't say anymore.

This book is awesome. Simply awesome.

Read it. Read it now.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


The definition of resolute is this:

admirably purposeful, determined and unwavering.

I am not a resolute person. I am good at making goals. I am good at planning. I am good at recognizing things that are good for me and therefore bad as well.

I am not good at minding myself.

I make rules, I break rules. I change my mind. I alter my own plans. I justify, rationalize, excuse.

I am bad at the follow through.

I fly by the seat of my pants but my inherent nature does not allow for success within the parameters of this lifestyle.

I like the idea of new year's resolutions, I always have. I have never made any though because I am bad with the follow through, and I know it. A couple of years ago as a family we each gave something up for a year. We started in September and we had a farewell to the "things" we were giving up. I gave up donuts and fast food as did most everyone else except Holden, who at the time was about 5. He chose to forgo fast food and sugar cereal for a year. The night before 'day one' we ate Wendy's and Holden ate 5 different kinds of sugar cereal.

It went well. Except for the time we were visiting my parents towards the end of our year stint and my dad bought donuts. As Jack and I were eating ours we could not believe how good they tasted. Jack said "man, it's been forever since I had a donut."

There was a pause. Then a gasp. Then a throw down of the remainder of our donuts. We had forgotten.

Woops. That was one yummy donut......

In January of 2010 I decided to make a resolution. One that I could, if I tried real hard, stick to. I decided to give up buying books for a whole year. And I did, for the most part. No one thought I could do it and that just made me mad actually.

I did buy one book out of sheer rebellion. I didn't read it though (yet) so it totally doesn't count. Plus, I meant novels, I was giving up the buying of novels but I didn't clarify that in my contract so I can't prove anything.

Then there was the book that the man may or may not have been slightly coerced into buying for me. The book was no good though so it certainly has no right to be used against me.

I also bought my mom two books as gifts but this also doesn't count, even though I bought her books I wanted to read and knew she would give back to me when she was done. Does. Not. Count.

Regardless, I think I did pretty dang good for someone with a book buying problem.

Anyway, 2011 has brought some new ideas and opportunity for change. For example, the ability to buy books again which brings a level of joy that words can not express. And two, the need for some big changes in my personal life, specifically the minding of my own rules. I feel as though blogging about it will bring a level of accountability that is necessary to achieve my resolutions but I'm not ready for that yet. I have made three resolutions and I will share two with you right now.

One, to run a 10k in not only under an hour but faster than Cicely who has also resolved to run a 10k in under an hour. She doesn't know yet of my determination to cream her at the Melissa's but it's there. Oh, it's there.

Two, to improve my manners. I'm not going to get into the specifics of this for fear that the specifics may cause you to lose respect for me, if by some chance you may have some of that.

And three will be revealed when I work out the logistics of how I want to do it. And I find the courage to blog about it. I think I'll find the courage, I think I need to.

So.... here's to a better year than last. A year full of admirable purpose, determination and unwavering resolve.

Welcome to 2011 little blog and happy new year!