Happy New Year!

Editor's Note: I have been summoned to play in a Guitar Hero III tournament for about an hour now, and my husband is threatening to slit my throat if I do NOT COME HERE THIS INSTANT. Damn my silly blog, can't I do this tomorrow? So I must compete for the title, ya'll. Please excuse any grammatical errors and/or typos. Thank ya kindly!


We're in Texas and I'm doing tequila shots with my sister. (10:39 p.m. and the current count is 6 a piece). Drew is upstairs playing beer pong with 2 of my sister's boyfriends. Question: Is it salt, tequila, lime or tequila, salt, lime? We've been doing salt, tequila, lime and I think I like that much better than tequila, salt, lime.

From Sundry's blog. I did this last year, too. Not much has changed!

1. What did you do in 2007 that you’d never done before?
 Herion. Actually, I decided to brave the dark and uncertain and unknown. I went back to work full-time after being a stay-at-home-mama for over a year in a scary and unfamiliar city. I lost a lot of weight, then gained it back. Go me!

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
 I don't make new year's resolutions anymore. Sorry, Charlie.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
 My friends Lindsay and Sean recently welcomed their second baby boy, and my old friend Rosie gave birth to a beautiful baby girl.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
 Unfortunately, my husband's grandpa passed away very recently. I know people always say "Ah, he/she is in a better place now", but I truly believe that he is in a much better place now, finally at peace.

5. What countries did you visit?
 Sadly, none. I stayed in the good ol' U-S of A. Although I did travel to Boca Raton, Florida on business. That's practically another country, right?

6. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007? Sanity. A more defined and satisfactory sense of self. Less pressure. More fun. Less worry. Much more adventure. More patience with Ethan.

7. What dates from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? The day my mother and her fiance got married. Naturally I can't remember the exact date. It was a really great night. Also, February 15, the day I went back to work full-time and sent my little guy off to daycare. Talk about transition! Lastly, the day we lost our chihuahua, Bogart. He ran away from my mom's house in Texas when we were there for a visit in October. I hope he finally got laid.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
 Deciding that I need more in life. Admitting that I am not ever going to be happy if I settle. This applies to so many things...

9. What was your biggest failure?
 Putting so much pressure on myself. Always expecting perfection. Ceasing to find the beauty in the imperfect. Not always having the necessary patience that life (and parenting especially) calls for.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
 Ethan went through a repeat bout of pinkeye. He must have had it six times in six months. We also went through two rounds of the 24-hour flu. Not fun, not fun at all. But great for weight loss!

11. What was the best thing you bought?
 My husband's truck. FINALLY, we have a truck. Now maybe D will SHUT UP.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? Every one's, in some way or another. Drew pursued a new, more satisfying job despite the odds and strikes against him. I learned to accept myself the way I am now, in the present moment. Ethan is just plain awesome. He does something that calls for celebration (almost) every day.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? Mine. My husband's. Ethan's. I think most of it was normal, though. And it was normal for me to be depressed and appalled. (What's normal, anyway?) Oh, and that BRITNEY SPEARS. Christ.

14. Where did most of your money go?
 Bills and daycare. 2008 is going to be our year. We'll get a ton of stuff paid off... we'll finally make it to that light at the end of the tunnel!

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Anytime we visited my family in Texas. Finding a really great job. Breaking out of dieting insanity. Holidays and birthdays with E.

16. What song will always remind you of 2007?

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
 a) happier or sadder? 
b) thinner or fatter? 
c) richer or poorer?
 a)happier! b)the same! c)richer!

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? I wish I would have had more fun. I wish I would have done more non-body/non-diet related things. I want to be more crafty, like my friends Meghan and Megan.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Dieting. Worrying. Stressing. Obsessing. Losing my temper.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
 Lost in a sea of wrapping paper! In Louisiana with my in-laws. E developed a double ear infection and high fever. Merry Christmas!

21. Did you fall in love in 2007?
 I'm easy. I fall in love constantly.

22. What was your favorite TV program?
Six Feet Under. My brilliant and beautiful and bestest friend Megan lent me the dvds for Seasons 1 and 2. Also, Dexter, Weeds and The Office.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
No! I don't HATE anyone, really.

24. What was the best book you read?
 Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs. Currently I'm reading his sequel, Dry. So far it is kicking complete and total ass as well.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
 I haven't found any spectacular new bands, but I haven't really been looking. I've been alternating between Muse and every Smashing Pumpkins album ever created.

26. What did you want and get?
I wanted for Ethan to be well adjusted and happy. He is, he is! I also wanted to be a size 8 and a size 8 I was! Was. Meaning am not anymore.

27. What did you want and not get?
 I wanted to wake up one morning and have my dream job and a million dollars and perkier boobs. Sadly this never happened, no matter how much mescaline I took.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
 I really liked Knocked Up and Super Bad, but I saw Juno last night and decided that it just might be one of the greatest films EVA. Certainly my favorite of the year.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
 I'm pretty sure my mother-in-law cooked a big dinner for me and got a cake, and I'm sure a few presents were involved, but I didn't do anything wild or crazy or spectacular. I turned 27.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
 Having my friends and family close by, same story as last year.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007?
 Simple work wear (black pants, heels or wedge sandals, plain sweaters and button-ups) or jeans, t-shirts and flip flops or Nikes. In a word: BORING (but comfortable).

32. What kept you sane?
 Wine. My sisters. My mom. Exercise. Wine. Wine. Wine.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Let's see... Dexter. (Michael C. Hall) Mmm, hmmm.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
 Not any one specific issue (isn't WAR a given?), but just the sense that things aren't getting any better. It sucks wondering about your child's future and being afraid of the things you can't control.

35. Who did you miss?
 My family and friends in Texas.

36. Who was the best new person you met?
 The people at my current job. There are 5 other people in my office and they are all brilliant, funny and amazing.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007.
 Ah, I really am my own worst critic. Also, I don't hate kids after all.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. From Fleetwood Mac's Landslide:

Oh, mirror in the sky

What is love

Can the child within my heart rise above

Can I sail thru the changing ocean tides

Can I handle the seasons of my life

Well, I've been afraid of changing

cause I've built my life around you

But time makes you bolder

Even children get older

And I'm getting older too



I can't believe it's almost 2008. I'll be 28. That makes me slightly queasy.


Ethan has been a total terrorist lately. He is Mr. Bossy McBossypants and it is really driving me nuts. "STOP SINGING!" he'll scream, as I quietly hum to the radio. "STAND UP!" he'll demand, as I collapse in a tired heap on the couch. He fully extends his arm and points his tiny finger at me when he says these things, and sometimes I half expect that a laser beam will emit from his fragile digit. Is he acting out because D and I were fighting the other night? Is he over or under-stimulated at daycare? Is he really the Antichrist? I chalk it all up to the terrible twos. Ethan will be 2 on Thursday, December 27th. Right on queue.


The non-diet thing was great at first, then I obsessed over not dieting, which led me to binge a few times, which led me to feel like a failure at yet another food and body related distraction, and then... well, I don't know what happened. I just sort of stopped caring and snapped out of it. I work out. That hasn't changed. Weights for an hour twice a week, cardio as many times as I can fit it in, yoga if I need to chill. Sometimes I eat very healthy, sometimes I don't. It all depends on WHAT I FEEL LIKE. I continue to buy clothes that fit well, look good and make me feel good. I have learned to L-O-V-E my ass. Really and truly. I cherish that junk in my trunk. Of course there are still things I dislike (tricep jiggle, cellulite, saddlebags, the years later post-baby ab pooch that just won't quit), but I no longer hate any part of my body. That HATE is gone.

So, the mistake I made in the beginning was expecting to be "cured" after a month. Because if you've been doing the emotional eating thing all your life, or the diet/binge/diet/binge thing, you can't realistically expect that 2 books and a few weeks will break the cycle. It takes effort. You won't be perfect. You will slip and fall. But you need to fall. You make real progress when you fall and DON'T try to fix things with another diet. You make progress when you overeat at dinner one night and let it go. When you wake up the next morning and eat a bowl of Cheerios when you get hungry because that's what you want to eat, not eggwhites and oatmeal because that's what you THINK you should eat. It takes awhile for all that pressure to subside. It's almost easier to just keep dieting than it is to face the first few weeks of non-dieting. It's easier to continue the cycle of losing weight and then gaining it back (on a diet, off a diet, on a diet, off a diet) because it's so familiar, it's all you know. But I am telling you that once you get over that hurdle, once you let all your perfect body expectations go and focus on health and how you feel and what you truly enjoy (what you enjoy food-wise, exercise-wise, life-wise!), when you focus on what feels good, it's absolutely worth it. Getting your life back is worth it. Even if you have to start from scratch.


D's family surprised us with a puppy last night. He is half rat terrier, half chihuahua. A rathuahua? It makes me sad to think that we've replaced Bogart. The thought of potty training both a toddler and a puppy makes me want to kill myself. But Ethan loves him and Drew adores him and dammit, I do too. But. BUT! If this dog start chewing things to shreds or using the living room rug as his personal porta-potty, he is out! I mean it. Does anyone have any puppy training advice? Book suggestions? Or should we just spike his water with Nyquil...


You must. MUST! Absolutely must read Running With Scissors by Augusten Burroughs. It took me about 3 days to read it, all 315 pages, and for me that is nothing short of a miracle. I can hardly make time to check my email or blog or brush my teeth, let alone sit down to read a book. It's the kind of book that leaves you thinking about it hours after you've put it down. I highly recommend it.


That's all I got.



This morning we got all dolled up to go see Santa Clause at my in-laws' church. We waited for an hour (AN HOUR) in line for Ethan to scream and cry in response to being placed on some white bearded stranger's lap. For older kids visiting Santa is exciting, magical even. For an almost 2-year old it seems to be traumatizing. In desperation I sat on the arm of Santa's chair with Ethan so we could get a half-way decent picture. Santa wrapped his arm low around my waist for the shot and it felt weird. I don't blame Ethan for throwing a fit.


We watched the original claymation Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer last weekend, which is my favoritest of favorite Christmas movie of all time. It was much shorter than I remember. When it was over I felt depressed. There are so many things that I would like to change about myself as a kid if I could go back. Today when we were at the church and the other kids were running around playing and jumping and laughing, Ethan stood by quietly watching. I don't want him to be a watcher. We make it a point to do everything we can to build up his confidence, telling him "Good job!" and "You did it!" and showing him lots and lots of love. I was always a watcher. I had negative confidence as a kid. I want Ethan to always know that he can do anything he puts his mind to, that he's good enough and smart enough and capable. I was always good enough and smart enough and capable, too, I just didn't realize it in time. He eventually joined in with the other kids and had a good time, but for a moment I saw myself in him and it scared me half to death. I think it's safe to say that I'd like for Ethan to be the total opposite of myself as a kid. I don't want him to spend his twenties wondering why he didn't do this or that, why he never fully lived, why he spent all his time watching.


We saw a few kids and parents from E's daycare at the Santa gig. I am such a social dork it's pathetic. I guess I always assumed that the parent's of kids in the same class would be automatic friends, but that isn't the case. When I took Ethan over to say hi to one of his pals from school, the mom hardly even looked at me. She was too busy scolding her other fifteen precious darlings to STOP [running, screaming, fighting, kicking] RIGHT NOW, I guess. And she probably noticed me counting her kids and eyeing her ringless wedding finger. Maybe she was just jealous because Ethan is clearly the cutest toddler in the whole wide world, and therefore her kid is not the cutest toddler in the whole wide world. That would upset me, too. Anyway, I get the yucky taste of High School in my mouth when I try to make small talk with these parents. I hope Ethan doesn't inherit my inability to socialize or my great ability to jam my entire foot and half my leg into my mouth.


Yesterday I made a quick run to the mall before picking Ethan up at daycare. I had exactly 45 minutes to shop. I found the cutest little dress for tonight's company Christmas dinner in about five minutes flat, and even better was that it fit perfectly when I tried it on, and even better-better-BEST was that it rang up as only $15 at the register (I love JC Penny's!). Gotta love those pre-Christmas sales. Per my request, D's Christmas gift to me is sending me off to the mall with a pocket full of cash while he watches the tot. Heaven! I'm very excited. The fact that I like JC Penny's so damn much makes me feel so old and lame. I guess it could be worse. I could love Sears.



Where have I been? I've been busy. Busy being miserable and happy at the same time, fit AND flabby at the same time, binging and eating intuitively. Ah, 'tis a roller coaster that never makes any stops! I've also been doing a lot of reading. I'm almost finished with Jane Hirschmann's Overcoming Overeating, which I purchased used from this site for less than three bucks. The next book I read will NOT be related to anything food, body image, binging, or exercise. I am, once again, making myself crazy.

I've learned a whole lot about myself in the last month. Not like this is a major news flash, but I am an anxiety eater. I don't know how to deal with my feelings, and all my life I have comforted myself with food, which has been the ONLY way I have ever known to comfort myself until very recently. I always chalked my binging up to lack of willpower and failure. Overcoming Overeating really had some good points and made me shift my thinking a bit. Skwigg reviewed some similar books on her blog. I really think that at the start these types of books can seem so touchy-feely, or lame, or pitiful, but in the end I think it's worth the read if you suffer or have suffered from any type of food or body-related disorder. Help thyself! Oh, but it's totally ok to remove the cover while reading these books in public, or in the case of my most recent read, which was a paperback, to fold the book in half so that the pages cover the title of the book. Do that and cross your fingers that nobody comes up and asks you what you're reading to make small talk. I don't think I'd like to casually tell some stranger or co-worker that I'm reading Breaking Free From Compulsive Eating or Overcoming Overeating while shoveling a Quizno's sub into my gaping maw. Sexy.

Anyway, when you've been doing something on a regular basis (overeating, binging) for twenty years, it's mighty hard to just read a couple of books, snap your fingers and expect to be "cured". Putting an end to binging/overexercising/self-medicating in any unhealthy way takes some real effort, and it's hard work. I've felt amazing, discouraged, scared, disgusting, beautiful, healthy, unhealthy, crazy, sane, hungry, full, successful, carefree and trapped ALL AT THE SAME TIME.

It took me nearly three months to conclude the following:

I'm a 5 or 6 small meals a day girl, bottom line. I gave the "eat when you're hungry" thing a fair shot and ended up tired, ravenous, and overfull much of the time. I function much better on a steady, balanced flow of nutrients throughout the day. This has nothing to do with losing weight. This time it is merely an observation based on how I feel. The fact that eating this way can also aid in weight loss is a bonus.

I like to exercise, but I hate to kill myself with cardio and was actually sacrificing form during weight lifting on many exercises because I was trying to be fucking SuperWoman. I toned down the cardio and started doing only what I really enjoy doing, and I lowered the weight on certain exercises and have started honing in on proper form. I also traded one cardio session per week for power yoga (which I LOVE!). I am one creaky, tight chick. At least one day of yoga per week is here to stay. Not only to keep myself bendable, but also for stress and anxiety relief. SO NECESSARY. Why'd I overlook it before?

I liked most of the foods I was eating before. I'm back to eating some of my old standbys from the dieting days because they really are delicious! Pumpkin oat bars, big salads with lean protein, protein bars, fruit and yogurt, tuna sandwiches, omelets... only this time I'm not crazy with measurements and calories. I NEED carbs but I also NEED protein. Eating a carb-only meal really screws me up mentally. Again, purposely balancing my meals has little to do with weight... it's all about how it makes me feel. It's a really nice shift in thinking. Imagine saying no to that candy bar because you know you'll either be passed out on the couch an hour later or reaching for another candy bar when the sugar surge dies down! How refreshing.

Despite what many of the books I read encourage, it's almost impossible for me to not pack food for the day during the work week. Some books suggest that you try not to pre-determine what you'll eat before you're hungry, to instead drop what you're doing when you get hungry and go get or prepare what it is you are hungry for. NOT AT ALL PRACTICAL for me, at least not 95% of the time. Packing snacks and meals is best. And if it turns out that I don't want what I packed, I don't have to eat it. Simple as that.

Once again, as fucking ALWAYS, it all comes down to finding a balance. I encourage everyone to experiment with their hunger and their preferences and maybe do some reading. Cut yourself a break. Be good to yourself. Oh, and guess what? No one else gives a shit about your weight. For the most part people are oblivious to your pant size. I think it's true that the people who judge you based on your weight are the people who have issues with their own weight. I gained probably 10 or 12 pounds since non-dieting, and the worst anyone has said to me was "Sara? Are... are your boobs growing?" That, and D grabs my ass a lot more now. Probably because there's more of it to grab. And that's not necessarily a bad thing. :)

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