A Mother’s Memory, support groups, date nights and more… By:Steph

beeebby

I have to confess that I have the memory skin of an elephant. I have lost a lot of weight and I would say that the wrinkled saggy stuff and I are waging a war of stubbornness currently. It says cover me the heck up and I tell it to shut up (that is a curse word in this house by the way!) and let me wear my tank top and shorts while studiously avoiding mirrors and feeling pretty hot! 😛

Ok that was supposed to be about my memory but, since I started with that memory of an elephant thought, I got a bit off course. Now…before my children I remembered things. I could recite 50 line poems such as ‘Casey At The Bat’ and ‘The Cremation of Sam Mcgee’ from memory. In school I was that girl who actually read the material and then filled everyone else from class, in on it 10 minutes before the test. I could repeat every song on the radio word for word after hearing them twice and remember details from a conversation I had 7 years, 6 months and 11 days earlier when arguing with someone! Today, I forgot the difference between a Saturday and Sunday! About a month ago, I was invited to a concert I really wanted to go to.. I put the phone down and walked to the calendar that very day and wrote it down. Last night my husband tells me that he has a work awards ceremony coming up. I went to the calendar and guess what? SAME DAY of course. Despite my husbands “orders” not to do so, I decided I was going to ask the person who had invited me to the concert to go with someone else. When I called her I explained the situation and we talked a few minutes and then it dawned on me that she had originally said the concert was on a Sunday…the ceremony was on a Saturday…how were they possibly on the same date? Because, my lovely 10 second memory wrote the concert down on the wrong date. So, all in all it worked out but, I totally almost canceled a really cool outing for no reason at all. This isn’t an isolated incident…I can walk into the kitchen from the living room and forget why I’m in the kitchen! I have decided I am attributing all the blame to my children because, it seems that my mind doesn’t function properly unless it’s filled with the melodious refrain of, “mom, mooom, mOM, MOM, MOMMY, MOOOOOOMMMMYYYY, MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMYYYYYY” everything else is zipping in one brain cell and out the other! I have nightmares dreams with those 3 lovely little voices shrieking that! I do daycare for a living. I drive my kids and some of my day-care kids to one school and then other kids to the next school. On days when I KNOW those other kids aren’t with me, I still find myself going to the second school and having to act like I meant to randomly drive through the drop-off line and not drop anyone off!

Joe (my husband) and I went to couples counseling as I have mentioned before, to deal with the changes in our relationship after my weight loss. One of the conclusions we came to was that we needed couple time. On Tuesday Ebby (our younger daughter) had a softball game and our older daughter Jessie wasn’t umpiring so she agreed to take Ebby to the game and watch Joey (our youngest) so we could go out to dinner. We went out to a new restaurant, enjoyed a pleasant meal and caught up with each other a bit. An hour and a half later we were walking out to the car and I turned the volume back up on my phone. I always turn it off in a restaurant out of courtesy and I purposely didn’t touch it during dinner because, I wanted to focus on Joe. Unfortunately he had decided to turn his ringer off as well, which is unusual. So of course we walk out to 5 texts and missed calls each. Ebby was going to catch the softball and missed. It smacked her in the eye and instantly swelled up. Why don’t these things happen when WE ARE THERE? Nope, they happen the one night we take some time for ourselves as a couple. So Jessie who is a pain in the rear to her sister most of the time is in protective mode and demanding to know why we didn’t answer when she called. I explain and we rush home after stopping off for some ice packs. Parental guilt sucks, by the way! However there was a silver lining to all of this. Jessica took charge in a big way. She went and explained the situation to another team and borrowed ice. There was a doctor on the other team who told her that Ebby may have a mild concussion but, didn’t need to go to the hospital. He told her what to watch for and sent them home with the instructions. When they got home Jess couldn’t find the things she needed (because, I apparently hid all the icepacks and Advil) so she called a neighbor and borrowed the items needed and took care of her sister. She also was concerned enough that the doctors opinion wasn’t good enough so she called her Sports Medicine teacher from school and got a “second opinion” which was the same as the first. When we get home they are sitting together on the couch and she has her sister propped up on pillows, icing her eye, already had given her the Advil and they were cuddling under a blanket. It was honestly kind of sweet seeing how much she cared and reassuring to see how well she took charge. We have raised an amazing young woman 🙂 I still can’t believe she will be graduating from high-school this year.

On Wednesday we braved yet again to leave the house for my bariatric support group. This time Jess was umpiring so we hired a sitter for the 2 hours we would be gone. I have to say I am incredibly happy I attended this meeting. It’s amazing knowing how many other people are feeling the same things you are and are dealing with the same issues. My question that night was simple but, the answer was anything but, simple. I wanted to know if it’s normal to start fearing the fact that I can eat more now and fearing regaining my weight. You could see the looks on each face in that room. It’s something they’d all thought about at some point. Basically the answer seemed to be, yes it’s normal to fear the return of bigger meals and that we had to change our minds and hearts about the regain. I thought that my fear was a bad thing but, it can be a beneficial and motivating thing. If I lose that fear I could lose my drive to stay on the right path.

There were a couple of amazing points made during group as well. One lady said, “I think of food as one of two categories now. Forward foods and Backwards foods.” Meaning when she is faced with temptation she analyzes it and decides where this choice fits in her life. Is it going to move her forward in her healthy new journey or will it take her backward and back to how she lived before. She will sometimes allow a backwards food in if she can take one or two bites and then move forward and away from it. However if she feels it will lead to more backwards choices she chooses to skip it. An example would be at a party with a buffet laid out. If you can eat a sweet treat or 2 or 3 chips, and then walk away and move on to forward foods, then by all means indulge in a bite or two. If however you know that will take you off course and you will fall into a binging or poor eating path because of it, then you need to skip it for your own peace of mind.

The second thing that really resonated with me was an example the therapist who leads the group used. He said, “Take your right hand and place it over your heart. Now take your left hand and place it over your stomach. (It was at this point that my Starbucks tea almost hit the floor…that coordination thing is overrated! Luckily my husband decided to take my tea away from me so I could do the drill.) When you walk into the kitchen and open the fridge or pantry, place your hands like that and ask yourself, What am I feeding? If you are feeding your stomach, go ahead and have something. But, if you have to think too hard about that, you are probably feeding your heart. If that is the case leave the kitchen and try and find the trigger. Journal, do a few jumping jacks, whatever you need to do to clear your mind and find what led you to want to eat.”

Neither of these things seems like an “easy” thing to do but, they seem possible and they are good tools if you have a relationship with food, like I do. I hope you find some benefit in these things. I know that if I am able to focus on them and find the key to making them work, they will be great long term tools for me. WAIT….did I say “if I am able”? I meant I KNOW THAT I AM ABLE to implement these things into my life and make them tools I will use for a lifetime. One of these days I am going to knock out that crazy chick in my head that is always naysaying my good ideas and intentions! She’s a real pain. Sometimes her crazy booty hangs out in my mirror too! As if I need those kind of people in my life!

I must go now, as I have a kitchen full of teenagers who come to my house at lunch to eat our food and gossip about everyone. Maybe if I go hang out with them for a while, they’ll go back to school faster 🙂

Find inspiration from the unexpected, love your saggy skin, mental lapses and moments with the ones you love.

~Steph

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2 comments on “A Mother’s Memory, support groups, date nights and more… By:Steph

  1. Pat says:

    Great post Steph! Hope your daughter’s eye heals quickly.

    Like

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