Thursday, November 17, 2011

Bah Humbug!

So here I sit. November 17. The weather has finally turned cooler, but is nowhere near frightful yet, thankfully.

Thanksgiving is one week from today.
Christmas is 5 weeks and 3 days from today.

I've bought 3 Christmas gifts for extended family members. I've bought maybe 5 gifts for the kids.

I hate christmas.

With a lower case "c". Not the big Christ-mas that helps us to remember the birth of Jesus Christ, the Messiah. That one I like.

But the whole shebang. The gift buying, the holiday parties, buying gifts for holiday parties. Shopping, wrapping, scheduling. All the STUFF I have to do.

I didn't used to be this way. But that was when I was younger and everything was done for me. Christmas was fun then! Now, though, I'm the mom. And the wife. So everything falls to me to make sure it's a "perfect Christmas!" To make sure no one gets left off the list. To make that list and check it 3, 4 times. Probably more. To make sure each child has personal, unique gifts that will cause her to squeal with delight when she opens them. They must be fun, useful, educational, and be something she'll play with beyond December 26. And they shouldn't cost too much either.

To figure out where on earth we're going to put all those gifts once they're unwrapped.

I feel trapped. Part of me wants to just say "to heck with it!" and go give all my Christmas money to charity. I think Jesus would like that.

But I think I'd be disowned. And my kids would cry. And maybe this will sound hypocritical, but I do kind of like getting some gifts myself.

In one of the first Financial Peace University lessons, Dave Ramsey talks about saving up money throughout the year and paying cash for Christmas gifts. About Christmas, he says, "Did you know it's in DECEMBER this year?" LOL! In that same rant he says jokingly, "Jesus said buy the little children plastic things!" He's kidding, of course. He's trying to make the point that you don't have to go broke every year buying things for people.

What I'd really like to do is buy things for my friends and family that they REALLY need. Like a new washer and dryer. Siding for their house. A new (to them) car. Diapers for a year. Or something similar.

So here I sit. I'm just not in the Christmas spirit. Maybe that's because it's only NOVEMBER. I don't know. But for the last few years, it's just gotten to be too much work. And I really start questioning whether this is what God had in mind when He sent His Son.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Top Ate

I'm borrowing (nay, stealing) from Hungry Girl today. She always lists her "Top Ate" lists. They're like David Letterman's Top 10 Lists, but have only 8 things (ate, get it? um, yea) and are about food.

So, here are the Top Ate Things I've Learned Since Starting Weight Watchers

1. I was eating WAY too much.
I kind of knew that already. Sort of figured that was why I was gaining weight. But I didn't realize how much of "WAY too much" I was eating. Wow.

2. We are bombarded every day in America with TONS of food images, shows, ads, suggestions, and the like. It's almost no wonder most of us are overweight. It sometimes feels like that's all we see! Food!

3. Jeans weigh 2 pounds.
Yep. A full 2 pounds. Found this out last week when I wore jeans for the first time and was up 0.8 pounds. I was probably down a pound last week but the jeans made it not show.

4. Have a light-weight weigh-in outfit and wear it every week.
So this week I put on exercise clothes which added a mere 1/2 pound. (weighed myself at home) I was down 3.4 pounds! Now I have to wear this same outfit every week. But that's what most of the women there do. The leader was discussing it last week and said that she would know we owned other clothes and that we had washed it. :)

5. Every Weight Watchers meal I have made for my family has been delicious! They have all loved every bite. Now, no one else in this house needs to lose weight (except maybe the dog who is getting pudgy from eating all of J4's tossed off morsels), but that doesn't mean they don't need to eat healthier. Of course, see my previous post for some discussion on what "healthier" means.

6. I don't need as much fruit now as I did that first week.
I'm not starving any more. My mom and I have long known this phenomenon. Your stomach seems to get accustomed to a certain amount of food. If you eat more than that, you feel full. If you eat more than that for a couple of days, your body starts to expect that amount every day. So if you have a couple of days where you overeat (cough cough, Thanksgiving, cough cough) when you get back to your normal routine, you are hungry! It works in reverse, though. Now that I've quit snacking so much during the day, I'm actually not hungry until nearly supper time.

7. I like Greek yogurt!
Never thought I'd say that. But I DO like Greek yogurt. Now, I don't like it plain. I treat it like sour cream and cream cheese. I can't stand those things plain, by themselves. Cream cheese on a bagel? yuck. Sour cream on a potato? Ew. But mix those things with salsa for the former and sugar for the latter, and MAN! I could eat entire tubs of those things. Well, Greek yogurt is now my go-to for a sour cream substitute. I think I'll make it a staple in our house like I had been doing with sour cream. I used it in poppyseed chicken casserole last night. An entire CUP has only 3 points. Wow.

8. Weight Watchers is awesome!
I saw a story on the national news back in September. (at supper time, no less) Someone had done a study pitting various diets and programs against one another. People on WeightWatchers lost the most weight and kept it off the longest. That perked up my ears and made me look them up online. It only costs $12.50 per meeting until you lose a certain amount of weight. (forget how much, maybe 10%?) Then meetings are free. Somehow, I just KNEW it was time. I knew I needed to get control of myself and get my weight under control. Like most if not all moms, I spend every waking hour taking care of my husband, kids, and house. I make sure everyone is fed, clothed, safe, and happy. But when I do I ever take care of myself? I've always avoided spending money on myself because there are so many other things we need to spend money on. But I knew I needed to do this. And I'm so glad I did!

As of today's weigh-in, I've lost 8.2 pounds. I'm excited, yes, but what I really want to do is lose even more. Of the 20 pounds I gained while pregnant with J4 and lost in just a few weeks, I had gained 16 of that back. To top it off, my pre-pregnancy weight with him was already 20 pounds higher than my pre-pregnancy weights with the girls. So while I'm very happy that it's headed down, I will be EXTREMELY happy once I pass the 16 pound mark. That's when I will start to lose some real weight that has been with me for about 5 years now. In fact, I predict that's when things will start to get very hard and just eating less will not do any more. But I've still got a ways to go until that point. And hey, 1 pound a week is still 52 pounds a year!

9. I tend to write more the longer the list gets......Hmmm..... :)