Cleaning out my closet (it’s a metaphor, people)

Cleaning out my closet. Metaphorically and literally.

But first the literal: As previously mentioned here, my bedroom was a freakin’ disaster. We don’t have enough closet or dresser space to hold all my clothes so, before the bedroom re-do, they would be folded (usually) and piled. In places. Like on any level surface.

I didn’t accumulate all this on purpose. I didn’t go out of my way to have all these clothes with no home.

It’s my weight, you see. I have gained and lost the same 30-40(ish) lbs twice in the last 5 years. That’s a deviation of about 3 clothing sizes.

Also, I shop when I’m depressed. When I’m at the higher end of my weight circuit (like right now, dammit) then shopping is depressing too, but at least I think new clothes will look better/camouflage me better than my old clothes. It’s a vicious cycle.

So when we decided to do this bedroom makeover I knew I would have to do something with all my clothes. They needed to be seriously evaluated and a good chunk discarded. I’m mostly done with that. I have a huge black heavy-duty contractor bag full of clothes I’m going to donate. Some of them are very nice clothes and I was loathe to part with them but I need to be realistic, you know?

I also have a storage box for stuff I absolutely want to keep. For when I’m thinner. (Because, YES, that will totally happen. Someday.) But I just kept the stuff I liked the most and couldn’t part with.

The only thing still pending is a pile of dress pants & jeans. Pants really are the absolute worst for me. I can fit my mammoth boobages into most tops because, contrary to my weight, my frame is small. (Judging by my frame, I should be really cute, petite and tiny. The last time I was cute, petite and tiny was in 1997 when I was stupid, making bad decisions and incredibly unhealthy. But, hey, I looked FABULOUS!)

Back to pants. I hate them. I have short, fat legs. Always have had. Even when I was cute, petite and tiny. And I have a booty. Like for reals. I’m not talking about the “Baby Got Back” kind of booty (by the way, I have to tell all the big girls out there, like me, that Sir Mix-A-Lot is not talking about us. He’s talking about J-Lo. He’s talking about that Kardashian chick. Not the big mamas. Got it? I mean, I like the song too but it’s not OUR theme song. Anyway I would prefer a theme song not relevant to my weight and personal appearance – like “I Will Survive” or “R.E.S.P.E.C.T.” Just my opinion. Moving on.) Back to my booty. I’ve got one, it’s not small and I hate pants.

So how many sizes of pants do you keep? I mean, when you really find a pair that fits and then grow out of them with the full intention of getting back in them then you should keep them right? But for how long??

Well, I’ve kept a ton. I told the hubby last night if I could just lose 30 lbs again I would have so many more clothing options. I just need to have the will to lose that weight. I keep waiting for divine intervention on this one but I think I’m going to have to find the motivation on my own. I’m working on it.

The thing is – I need to lose weight for my health, but I don’t want to be depressed about it. That’s not healthy either, you know? And having all those clothes in smaller sizes is just taunting me. It’s not really motivating me – just making me sad.

So I am metaphorically cleaning out my closet as well. I’m pushing those memories of the slimmer me out of my mind in order to accept who I am today. I’m not going to lie and say that I love the way I look. I don’t. I hate it. But I need to accept that this is who I am right now. I will work on losing weight in my way and in my time and I can’t be pushed on it.

I can’t have my weight struggle holding my happiness hostage. I do not want my weight consuming every minute of my life.

So, certain pants are being kept and tucked away for later days. I’ll get back into them in the fullness of time. The other stuff I’m donating. Let someone else who is either on a weight upswing or downswing get the benefit of them.

Attitude adjustment complete. This is who I am. Love me or don’t.

Note: I have some pics to add but they aren’t with me. I’ll try to add them to this blog later. No guarantees though because I’m picking up my momma in 4 hours and I have a little boy turning 9 tomorrow.

The best you that you can be

Every day when I drop my oldest at school I tell him, “Remember, be the best Poohbear you can be today, ok?”

To his credit he doesn’t sigh or roll his eyes (maybe 8 (almost 9) is too young for that), but he says, “Okay Mom! Love you!” and bounds out of the car with nary another thought for me or the message I’m trying to impart.

As I drive away, I often think about all the good things I want for him (to be honest, I often think of Starbucks and how conveniently located it is to his school as well).

What does that mean – be the best you that you can be? Let’s think about that for a minute.

Does it mean to be kind, understanding and attentive to others? Yes, obviously.

Does it mean to listen and learn and be present (in all senses of the word) to what happens during the course of the day? Yes, absolutely.

That’s what I want for him – my clever, cute, quirky son.

If I turn that around and put the focus on myself – what does that mean for me? My expectations for myself extend far beyond the expectations I have for my son.

Am I being the best Stef – mom, wife, woman – that I can be? The answer is a resounding NO.

These are the steps I think I need to take to get there. Bear in mind this list may be revised. Often.

  1. Health. I need to work on my health. I don’t know if I am brave enough to go into more detail than that, here – yet – but I need the strength, the confidence, the determination, support and encouragement to do it. Please. I’m starting already – baby steps.
  2. Outlook. Positivity. Glass half full-ness. Looking on the bright side. Finding the silver lining. Because, when it comes down to it, does bitching about something help? At all? The negativity weighs me down and I’m not having it anymore. Dunzo.
  3. Self-awareness and positive personal growth. Focusing on the me-ness. Really knowing who I am – what makes me tick, sets me off, calms me down, etc. What I excel at and what I suck at. Then embracing the me-ness and the stuff I love about me. This blog is going a long way towards that goal.
  4. Love. Give it all, to everyone, in abundant boundless bundles. To my family, to my friends, to strangers. I don’t know anything, any situation, any problem – ANYTHING – that isn’t improved with a little love and a big, open heart.

So that’s it. For now. That’s my challenge to myself.

Tomorrow, when you check your face in the mirror – at home, driving to work, or in a passing car window reflection – just pause for a second and ask yourself, “Am I being the best me that I can be?” I hope the answer is yes; if not, make your own list and get on with it, sister!

On being busy

Started before Christmas:

Lucille Ball said:

If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it. The more things you do, the more you can do.

But I think she MUST have been talking about women only. Not that I don’t appreciate men, because I do – I really, really do (especially that cleft between their hip and groin area – swoon) – but I know very few that are good multi-taskers. Now that we are 4 days away from Christmas this multi-tasking deficiency is painfully obvious.

Christmas is CRAZY. Super-duper, going nuts, spending money, shopping, wrapping, picture-taking, printing, Christmas card mailing, party-attending crazy.

Finished after Christmas:

See what I mean about being busy? I couldn’t even finish my blog about being busy! How ridiculous. Anyway, we got through Christmas fairly intact – though, to be honest, I totally crashed on day 4 of the festivities. It was after the last get together – the big one with the hubby’s family in which I made cupcakes, cookies, deviled eggs, candied yams and mashed potatoes and took it all over to the in-laws’ house for a 7 hour preparation, eating, gift-opening THING – that I came home and just nearly passed out. I laid on the sofa in my comfy clothes like a log. The next day was a work day and I started getting sick. The following day one of my lymph nodes was so swollen I couldn’t swallow without significant pain. I went to the doctor – which goes to show how freaked out I was (OMG! What if it’s cancer??) – and she said virus. That was two days ago and I’m definitely better today.

But that brings me to a very good point. My doctor lectured me because, she said, “I only see you when you’re sick! How about coming in for a physical?” Ugh, who has time, or inclination, for that? Seriously, I’m too busy . . . right? Well, the right answer is no, I’m NOT too busy to work on my health. I just don’t want to deal with it. It’s not a simple thing – zip in and out – because there’s the lab work first and the fasting with that, and then, inevitably, there is something more that needs to be done – like medicine to treat certain things or follow-up appointments and, perhaps the most dreaded, the conversation about a “healthy weight”. Well, yes, I know perfectly well what a healthy weight is and I know that I am not in that range. I really don’t need the lecture and the guilt that follows. I swear, the guilt will kill me one of these days. (Side note: one time Poohbear’s teacher asked me if I was Catholic because I had the guilt thing down pat). It’s so unfair. I actually eat fairly healthy; by that I mean that I’m not a fast food person. We cook good food from scratch here. We eat lots of veggies and get our protein. We eat good carbs. BUT, chocolate is my Achilles heel. I have a relationship with chocolate, and with all GOOD food. I want MORE.

Which would all be okay if I balanced my food with exercise. I don’t mind exercise when I do it; I actually feel really good afterward. I just can’t seem to do it much. I’m so, so tired at the end of the day, and there’s so much to do, I have trouble fitting it into my day. I want to relax and escape after a hard work day – not get my tennies on and get up on the elliptical. I already don’t get enough sleep and I’m decidely NOT a morning person.

Yes, yes, excuse central – I know. One of these days I will suck it up and do it. Hopefully soon. For my health. Plus – ugh – my 20 year class reunion is in less than 3 years. I will ONLY go if I’m under 140 lbs. *sigh*

To sign off, though, I will add something positive – when I went to the doctor it was Dec 28 and she said the last time I was there was the previous January. I actually weighed 3 lbs less on this visit, 3 days after Christmas, than I weighed a year ago in January. That’s something, right?

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year to all. May we ALL have a prosperous 2011!! (Oh please, oh please, oh please!!) Mwah!