Diet Update: Weet 3

Bad week, folks. Very bad week.

Those two pounds I lost last week are back. I didn’t eat well, I wasn’t careful, I didn’t drink enough water. It was just all around crap.

So. I begin again.

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The Men In White Coats Are Considering A Visit.

I’m onto you.

Yes, you over there. The company that makes childrens toys. That’s right. I’m onto you.

You hold your focus groups and your brainstorming sessions and talk to all the experts in the field of child development and then you design toys around the resulting data. But, I’m onto you. You’re not doing this to further the intellectual development of my children.

You’re doing it to torture me. It’s all a secret plot to drive me insane.

If I’m not spending my days listening to the banjo pluckings of the Leapfrog Fridge Farm I’m listening to Farmer John sing “Old MacDonald” while driving his tractor. You gift me with the insane giggling of the Drop and Roar Dinosaur or the multiple musical instruments and songs included in the LeapFrog Learn and Grove Musical Table. Even the stuffed animals talk sometimes!

Everything makes a noise, sings a song, or otherwise noisily rewards my child for interacting with it. He finds it so addictive that he can’t stop pressing those buttons to make those noises. Over and over again I hear the same things.

You want me to be a blibbering idiot by the time the kid is 5, don’t you? Yes, I thought so, too.

He has become so enamored of your creations that when he doesn’t have buttons to push for musical accompaniment to his day he looks lost and bereft. Constant input is all he knows. Ask the kid to sit still and read a book and he needs 87 other things going on in the background in order to do it.

Eventually my brain is going to seep out of my ears to the strains of “Skip To My Lou.” It’s running away, really, looking for a better home that treats it well and doesn’t abuse it. I urge it to look for a home without small children. One day it may come back to me but I fear that I will not remember how to use it by then.

The songs and noises meet me in my dreams. They will not go away. And if I have to listen to “Farmer in the Dell” one more time the Fridge Farm is going to get dropped in the toilet.

Diet Update: Week 2

Without further ado, pounds lost this week

[drumroll]

2 lbs.

For a total loss of 3.5 pounds.

I can’t tell you what I did right this week because I honestly felt like I was sabotaging myself pretty much all week.

But hey, I’ll take whatever I can get. Onward and upward.

Is That A Light At The End of The Tunnel I See?

One of our biggest hurdles with Liam has been his diet. He’s ridiculously picky. Once upon a time, when the world was new and Liam didn’t know any better, he was willing to eat just about anything I put in front of him. Those days are so far in the past they live with the dinosaurs.

There’s a lot of reasons that things got as bad as they did. The primary reason is that just as he was getting really picky he also got really sick and he stayed that way for months. He was losing weight and we were desperate for him to get calories of any kind. As a result we fed him just about anything he was willing to eat – even if he was surviving on mostly snack foods – because it was better than watching him continue to lose weight. It started a lot of bad habits on all our parts.

By the time we got to a point where we should have been changing the way he was eating I was pregnant again. Pregnancy does not agree with me and well, that whole 9 months was really a wash as far as progress with Liam was concerned.

So, by the time he was four we were really feeling like things were deteriorating. He preferred snack foods over anything else, was willing to eat about 5 different entrees, no vegetables, and very few fruits. He wanted to snack between meals rather than actually eat three meals a day and he filled in the cracks with milk. He was still growing but slowly (which I believe to be partially due to his genetic heritage – it runs in the family) and was practically falling off the growth charts. He was also vehemently opposed to trying new things and expanding his diet.

We had a discussion with our pediatrician and instituted some new rules around the house. We got him to cut back on the snacking and eat more of his meals so he was getting better nutrition. We pushed him to try new things with very mixed results. Over the course of a year we’ve managed to get him to eat one or two new things but beyond that he refused to expand his list of choices.

I was reduced to making three meals all the time: one for Scot and I, one for Liam, and one for Jamie (because he’s still working his way into eating table foods). I hated it because I didn’t feel like that was the proper way to parent the kid but in the same breath I knew he would just refuse to eat if I put what we ate in front of him. He’s just stubborn enough to start losing weight again because he refused to eat.

In addition I was having the same argument with him twice a day at lunch and dinner. “What do you want?” “I don’t know.” Lather, rinse, repeat. He was frustrated that he didn’t have more choices, unwilling to try anything new, and obstreperous about paying attention to me long enough to make a choice. I felt like all I did was fight with him and it was really seeping into everything. He was disrespectful a lot of the time and he was just not enjoyable to be around.

In the end the whole situation became untenable and we finally put our collective foot down.

I sat down with a list of all the things he likes to eat and created a menu for the week. The creation of this menu caused a huge tantrum on his part but we stood firm despite the yelling. He managed to tantrum himself right into his room. In hindsight, he knew this was an issue that he could manipulate us with and he really objected us taking away a button he could push.

The surprising part is that once he got over his initial upset he took to the whole thing like a duck to water. The arguments have disappeared because he doesn’t have to make a choice. I look at the menu, tell him what he’s having, and that’s what he eats. He’s much less frustrated about the issue and thus, so am I.

The truly shocking part is that suddenly he’s eating about twice what he was before the menu. He will finish what I tell him he has eat and then tells me he’s still hungry and at that point I let him pick what he would like to have in addition. Apparently he was so frustrated that by the time he got to eating he was just too stubborn and upset to eat a decent meal. It also meant that we spent 45 minutes at every meal badgering him to keep eating. We don’t have to do that anymore.

Between not being constantly frustrated and not being constantly hungry because he’s stubborn and starving himself, he has been like a new kid. He’s finally eating and happy to be doing it, he’s more respectful, more polite, and in general a lot less hateful than he’s been for months. I don’t spend my days ranting and raving like a lunatic because I can’t take it anymore.

He’s been on the menu system for a week now. I’ve been reluctant to say much because I don’t want to jinx it but he seems to be in a groove with it. I’m hoping that if it keeps up it will trigger a growth spurt.

He still doesn’t have a lot of variety in his diet. His entrees consist of peanut butter sandwiches, pasta, chicken fingers, mac and cheese, and grilled cheese sandwiches. He has about the same number of fruits that he’s willing to eat and there isn’t a single vegetable I can tempt him to eat. My hope is that with the pressure and frustration he was feeling alleviated, he will eventually be willing to try a few new things. Only time will tell on that score.

Yes, I know that all of this should be obvious and yes, I do feel like a total idiot for not doing all of this before. In my defense there were reasons why not and by the time we got around to thinking about doing a menu, Scot and I felt so defeated by the issue that we procrastinated about creating a menu because we honestly didn’t have any faith that it would work. I’m beyond shocked that this was the thing that turned the tide. We tried so many things (that I didn’t include here because, Holy Long Post, Batman!) and none of them were successful. We had no hope that this one would be The Thing that would work.

So here’s a big fat *fingers crossed* that this all continues to go so well.

Diet Update: Week 1

I just finished my first full week of working to lose weight and eat right. Without further ado, my weight loss for the week was:

1.5 lbs.

Certainly not the best I could have done but also not the worst. I’m aiming for a solid 2 lbs per week loss and this was only half a pound short of that. I have to admit that my good friend Temptation is still popping up now and then so while I haven’t completely jumped down off the bandwagon, I have touched a toe to the ground a few times.

I feel I need to sum up both the bad and the good so I know where I’m going wrong and can work on that portion while I also know what I’m doing right so I can keep doing those things. Writing it all out seems to clarify the situation for me and helps me to maintain my dedication to this process.

The Bad

  • I didn’t eat enough fruits and veggies.
  • I didn’t exercise at. all. unless you count chasing children.
  • I didn’t always make the best choices at meal times and snack times.
  • I drank soda at least 3 times this week.
  • I did not manage to stop snacking after the kids go to bed.
The Good

  • I increased my water intake significantly.
  • While I didn’t always make the best meal and snack choices, I chose good things more often than bad.
  • I only drank soda 3 times this week. I used to drink it at least once a day. This is improvement!
  • Yes, I did snack after the kids went to bed, but it was much less than it used to be and I made much better choices most of the time. One or two nights weren’t so great but I’m making progress.

I had one really pivotal moment this week. It was evening, I was watching TV, and the kids were in bed. I had already had a small snack and I was working on drinking more water. It was around 10 pm and way too late to eat but I had a very strong urge to snack. I stood there in the kitchen with my full glass of water and said out loud “You are stronger than this moment. You are not really hungry. You can do this.”

And I walked out of the kitchen with my water and no snack. I beat the craving.

If I did it once, I know I can do it again. I just have to keep trying and remember that every time I make a choice about how I eat is another chance to make a positive change in my habits. Sometimes I just need that cookie but I know I can indulge in that a little bit and move on to the next choice the next time around.

With the snow finally gone around here and the sun beginning to peek out on a regular basis I am going to make the effort to get out and walk this week even if it’s only once. I have to start someplace.

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…

Oh, There You Are Time Change. I Didn’t Miss You.

As usual, time change snuck up on me. It always does. When I was growing up we leapt forward in late April and fell back in early October. Now that we leap forward in mid-March and fall back in early November is feels like daylight saving time is endless and there isn’t enough time between the two time shifts.

Let me just make this perfectly plain: I hate daylight saving time. I hate jumping forward, I hate that it’s light so late in high summer, I hate falling back.

Why, you ask? How could I possibly hate more sunshine in the summer or an extra hour of sleep in the fall?

Well, I’ll tell you. The extra hours of light in the summer time make it difficult to get the kids to go to bed. I can even remember as a kid not being able to sleep because it was so light out when I went to bed. It also means that things that must take place after dark, fireworks for example, start that much later. 10 pm for the fireworks show? My kids’ll be in high school before they ever see one. It’s so far after bedtime that I can’t even begin to keep them up that late. Not to mention that it’s 11 pm when the culde-sac in front of my house turns into downtown Beirut on the Fourth.

In the fall, you’d think that the extra hour of sleep would come in handy. And indeed, it can. But the children already get up around 6:30 am. When we hit fall time change, they hit the floor no later than 5:30 am and will. not. go back to sleep. There is not enough coffee in the world to deal with that.

The adjustment itself is enough to drive a saint to guzzle booze. Liam was one salty little kid yesterday. Arguments all day over the smallest of things. Time spent in his room. Crying. Tantrums. Rudeness and sass at every turn.

Jamie was like a limp dishrag by bedtime last night. Sleeping late in the morning meant the loss of his morning nap. His afternoon nap was a farce and I can’t be sure how much sleep he actually got. He slept late again this morning which, again, meant the loss of his morning nap. When it came time for afternoon nap I asked him if was ready and he got up and ran to the stairs. Talk about amazing – when was the last time you saw a 1 year old running toward nap time?

There is no real need for this time shift we go through twice a year. Maybe, once upon a time, it was helpful to farmers. But that isn’t the case anymore and it would be really great if we could move along into the 21st century and drop this ridiculous farce.

Who’s with me? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?