What, who, when, where has she been?  Is that what you wonder or are you just glad to know I'm alive and my fingers still work?  :)  Sin...

Frustration and Motivation

What, who, when, where has she been?  Is that what you wonder or are you just glad to know I'm alive and my fingers still work?  :)  Since this is my personal therapy blog, I really shouldn't just abandon it when I'm busy.  It's free after all, may as well enjoy the perks of my individual mental health insurance plan. 

I hope that my friends' lives have been filled with crafts, fun events, pictures galore, vacations, memories, family time, and love that I may not have seen fill the pages of blogs but that filled your hearts!  I know mine has and I can't guarantee that I'll ever get back in the habit of documenting it and sharing it here, but I would like to.  Poor Charlie is going to think I just gave up when she was born.  This is the closest thing to a baby book that any of them will ever have after all. 

Today I just want to share with you my frustration and hopefully end in motivation.  I made a real new year's resolution this year to seriously take charge of my weight and health.  It has been a constant struggle for me most of my life.  Yes, that's the same story we've all heard it, but when it comes right down to it, we're in charge of what we do and what we put in our bodies.  That's a hard reality to deal with.  So are pictures.  They don't lie, the camera isn't adding enough lbs to make me look like I just gave up...I actually did that.  After Charlie was born I once again rebelled against my body's need for healthy food, exercise, and attention to portions.  I just let it all go.  It felt good for a month or two or three.  I just enjoyed what I was eating, cooked what I wanted, ate where I wanted, never slept (newborn and all), never exercised, stayed in maternity clothes, and just sat.  I gained 25lbs in the six months after Charlie was born.  I weighed more in January than I did the day I went into labor with Charlie.  Talk about a reality check.  It was awful but I let it happen.  When it comes to weight, I just tell myself that I wish I could be one of those normal people who can eat what they want, exercise a little, and their metabolism takes care of the rest.  Um, those aren't normal people!  I know some of those folks, but weight is hardly the only indicator of health.  It's just a public announcement of your values regarding your body.  How terrible it felt y'all, to realize that I was outwardly telling people that I didn't care, that I was weak, that I didn't value my health, my body, my self.  Let's take it big picture, I was telling the world and my family that I wasn't so concerned with them either.  How can I expect to play with my kids, chase and frolic, um, stay alive at all when I was packing around a 43 BMI. 

Ok, so all that shocked me into the fact that I had to change.  I've changed before, lost weight before, exercised before, ran a 5K before, ate low-carb before, on and on.  It just never stuck and I found another reason to just give in.  This time just felt different though.  Maybe it's because I had just turned 29 and realized that I had spent all but about a year or so of my twenties in the severely obese category.  Maybe it was that I had a good friend encouraging me...that was certainly a big help.  Jason joined in, we took pictures, we made a plan, we wrote down goals for the year, a weightloss competition started at work, and everyone was just ready.  It started out so great.  I lost about 12lbs in the first month, woohoo!  Within two months I was down 18lbs and then by six months I had lost 35.  I started a running clinic in March and kept it up, finished another 5K all running this time in May.  Sodas, all sodas were out of my diet for five entire months.  Man, it was feeling great.  I had high energy, motivation, excitement, encouragement, all the ingredients for success.  My goal of losing 60lbs this year seemed attainable.

Then summer came, vacation came, four ten hour work days, kids at home all day, laziness, pictures of me in a bathing suit, summer cookouts, birthday parties, all that good stuff came and laid me out.  It's now been 9 months and I've still just lost about 35lbs, some days it's closer to 38-40 but I just can't get or keep the next five pounds off of my body.  I look a lot better, I feel so much better, I'm still running about 6-7 miles a week, trying to find the time to exercise at home, and recommitted myself to my lower carb healthy eating for the 3rd or 4th time in the past several months.  Something is just not gelling.  Something is missing.  I am frustrated.  The only way to combat frustration is motivation. 

My sweet friend, Rachel, is a super encourager and may I mention that she's been making these same changes plus adding yoga and her diet change has been to become VEGAN!  She is doing awesome.  Her total weightloss is up to more than 50lbs!  Her BMI was not nearly as high as mine when she started either, so she is getting so close to her end goal.  I could not be more proud or excited and happy for someone even if she were getting married or pregnant, seriously, this is the same level of joy!  We talk ourselves up, we sound like complete idiots when we run, "We're awesome, we can do this, come on, up that hill, lean forward, we got this, high five, lookin' good, breathe, woohoo, hooray, wheeee, etc."  There are also some, "I f^&%& hate you, why did we turn right??"  Some, "Oh, you wanna go 3.5, let's do four then, I've got my second wind heifer, come on!"  It is a riot.  Then there are times when we just wanna sit, drink a cup of coffee, and chit chat with our running tights on and ignore the road that is definitely NOT calling our names. 

All of this to say...I need motivation.  It could come from a significant pound loss, inches lost, a new goal reached in my exercise, a size drop (with my current weight, it takes a lot of pounds to see a size drop and so far I've only seen my clothes fit better and I've been able to get into a few pairs of pants that previously didn't fit anymore, but honestly I'm just now actually fitting into the size I was wearing before pregnancy minus the maternity stuff so I have not yet seen a real size drop), or just something, anything.  Since my weight loss has been so slow, which is a good and healthy thing, I don't get a lot of compliments.  Nobody notices much or says anything encouraging very often.  At first there was a lot of that, but now that we're nine months in, I think people are waiting for a much more dramatic change.  My motivation needs to be internal though.  It's hard.  My personal motivation usually honestly comes from my relationship with God.  I know it sounds hokey, but it's true.  When I needed help with feeling overwhelmed and depressed last winter, Jesus was to the rescue.  He'd been there the whole time, but really sinking into that and just giving it up to Him was the answer.  This was along with some help from my midwife, taking charge of my health, and lots of crying.  Any ideas on how to convince myself that Jesus really cares about what size I wear?  It's just that our society has not only convinced me that certain clothes, styles, and sizes are "pretty" but it's also convinced me that caring about those things are vain and petty.  In my head, I know that this is much more.  I listed those things above, and I "know" it isn't just vanity, but I can't justify in my head to pray and talk to Jesus about my weight, about how far I want to run, and about how I hope I can avoid eating the donuts at tomorrow's meeting.  See, this therapy is paying off.  I just answered a huge question for myself. 

In short, will you all pray to Jesus about those things for me while I'm getting over my sheer embarrassment to ask Him to help me with it?  I'm also ashamed that I've taken this beautiful and powerful body that God gave me and turned into what I have.  It isn't often that I think of my health habits as something I need to repent for, so maybe I never did and that is a barrier between me and Jesus about this whole weight loss and healthy living thing.  Dang, this is revelation at its finest.  Thank you for reading and just because I am insane I will share something secret, embarrassing, and hopefully inspiring with all of you.

    BEFORE     JAN '12                                              AFTER  JUL '12

September '12


Well, I could if it weren't for all these sugar plums.  I swear one is awake at any given time between 12-5 am!  There is eit...

I could sleep...

Well, I could if it weren't for all these sugar plums.  I swear one is awake at any given time between 12-5 am!  There is either a huge man eating bug (or a fly) buzzing around someone's room, someone in the bathroom, someone peeing the bed, a hungry critter, a bad dream, random creepy wake up to a child looming at the bedside, pitter patter feet in the hallway, or one of us going in to make sure everyone is breathing constantly!  

I can sleep when I retire I guess, wouldn't want to miss any of this!!


We're on the second double ear infection for a combined total of four between those and the singles. That's quite a few for a near ...

Double Decker Ear Infections

We're on the second double ear infection for a combined total of four between those and the singles. That's quite a few for a near 10 month old. I feel so bad for Charlie Barley girl and for my pocket book that just dolled out $120 for triple strength antibiotics for this latest one. I guess it's cheaper than tubes, but those may be in our future anyway.

Other than that, we're scootin' along around here. Freddie is doing really well in school and he's learning soooo much. He's reading wonderfully and memorizing those sight words like a champ. We still haven't worked on shoe tying, but that's ok, right? He is in his fourth season of soccer (they do two a year), and I must say he's really showing some skill. Freddie is big, like he wears size 6 little boy pants and size 13 shoes. I just hope we make it til the end of the school year on these uniforms.

Adeline is a hot mess. She is still in her terrible twos as far as attitude goes, but she is showing little glimmers of progress. Every now and then she will share willingly, think of someone else's feelings, give her brother a kind word, give something up for her siblings, or just very simply comply with something I've asked of her without a fit or complaint. On the other hand, she is hilarious and beautiful and crazy smart. She is in dance class now and she is so excited about her upcoming recital. I am too, that's a big deal for mom too!

Charlie is crawling and she has so stinkin' many teeth it's crazy. She is cutting 5 top teeth at once and it has been miserable, but I think she's finally down hill on that one. I am still nursing her, but that girl hasn't made one second of it easy for me. My pumping has pretty much ceased at work, but I was only pumping about 4 oz a day anyway. She's had one nursing strike after another and is often way too busy to think about nursing for more than five minutes. That's a day by day commitment for me, but I do hope to make it to a year at least. Well, wouldn't you know it, there she blows. She was sleepy tonight and now that it's bedtime she's up from her ill timed nap. That's ok, tonight was a good family night and I got to just cuddle her and she actually nursed contentedly while I snuggled her fat little baby self.

Happy days and times at The Allen house!


Hi! I thought I would start out my new attempt at blogging with a recap of my hopes to accomplish by 2012. Let's see what they were. 1)...

2011- How'd I do?

Hi! I thought I would start out my new attempt at blogging with a recap of my hopes to accomplish by 2012. Let's see what they were.

1) Eat according to the requirements for gestational diabetes from now until the end of the year in hopes of losing the baby weight and some extra by January 2012.
Well, I did fine until Charlie was born. Then I went on a crazy binge just like I did after Addie was born and actually ended up gaining weight! I have been eating better for a month now and I'm just now back at what I was the day Charlie was born. Goal #1- FAIL!
2) Prepare Freddie for Kindergarten by completing the readiness calendar distributed by the school district and teaching him basic reading skills!
I pretty much did this one! We had all the letters, upper and lowercase, all the letter sounds, numbers 1-9ish, shapes and colors down. He practiced his address and phone number and was very well socialized. His only real issue is that his fine motor skills are a little dalayed, which can be related to his left handedness. He's now a brainiac and reading several words and counting to 100. I'm very proud of my smart boy. As he read a beginner book the other day, Jason said to me, "He can read because of you." He kissed my forehead and I felt for a second like a proud little kid. My hubs is super sweet.
3) Potty train Adeline
DONE!! I didn't do it all myself or anything, but I sure put in a lot of work on the front end! She still has a few accidents and wears her diaper at night, but she is a champ and really has been potty trained since not long after she turned 2. Oh, and we are done with the pacifier! So glad to be done with that, but now she's taken to thumb sucking which is an all day anytime she's tired thing. I guess she doesn't want me to run out of goals!
4) Learn to quilt (I learned to knit in 2010 so why not quilting next?!)
I'll give myself a partial on this one. I made two bedspreads for the kids. They are sortof quilted. I posted pictures on this blog, but I'm too lazy to find you a link! I did them all by machine including the binding and only came up with maybe 4-5 "mitered" edges out of the eight, but they are cute and now after so many washes they are soft and cuddly. It gives my heart such joy to watch them bring their coordinating blankets to the living room for a movie night or wrapped up in them in the mornings. So, I can't really do it right, but I've made an attempt.
5) Knit a baby sweater and booties
FAIL! I knitted lots of things, but no sweater or booties. I made Charlie a hat that fit her for just a minute. I knitted two baby bowls and a hammock for her newborn pics. I've knitted tons of infinity scarves for Christmas. I knitted a pair of slippers for my sister-in-law. I spent weeks knitting a wool beret for Addie. So, maybe 2012 for the sweaters/booties??
6) Go on a romantic trip with Jason, no kiddos
DONE! Jason and I took a weekend trip to Dallas before Charlie was born. We had so much fun and stayed at the Renaissance Hotel which is awesome and I've always wanted to stay there since we lived there one summer. It wasn't like couples spa and chocolate dipped strawberries romantic...but that's not what I meant anyway! Who would?? ;)
7) Read 6 books for pleasure (preferably fiction because I'm always reading about babies, birth, knitting, etc. because I can just easily pick it up and put it back down!)
Ok, let me think....I read all three Hunger Games books in a weekend! I read The Help. I've started about 5 or 6, but haven't finished them. Wow, what a loser head, I can't think of any other books I've read in a whole year that weren't non-fiction! I won't even bore you with all of the baby and birth books I read though. I should obviously do better on that one.

Here are some gimmes...8) Start a new job! 9) Have a baby!10) Learn how to be a full time working mom of 3!

8) I started it all right, it was fine until after I came back from maternity leave. It is pretty rotten at the moment...well for the past 6 months. I love where I work and who I work with, but my actual job is stinky. I hope it will change, but for now I pretty much just pray nothing worse than yesterday happens today.

9) Did it! I will have a Charlie post someday, but in short, she was a wonderful newborn and I loved that part of her sweet little life until I ended up having to have surgery and spent way longer than I'd hoped in the recovery stage. Then at about 1-2 months she became insufferable. Seriously, it was awful, no sleep ever, seriously worried about myself, depressed, frustrated, downright angry. It stayed that way until about 5.5 months when I just said I HAVE to change this. I started some treatment for my depressed feelings and got her on a bedtime routine/schedule that was do-able, and gave up dairy. Those things combined with her being really sick for a week or so really helped me get back into a better place with her and she with me. Now, I'm back to ooey gooey cuddle bug, sugar plum, love your face, gimme kiss, giggle pie, yum yum yum, love that squishy chunker pediddlepie baby girl. If you haven't met her yet, you totally should! I can't wait to get home and see her little scrunched up face every day. Y'all, she even looks like me and her hair is coming back in straight and blonde!

10) Ha! I don't think I'll ever really have that one down. I am trying, but I fail at something every day that I also succeed marvelously at something else. That's ok. My house is a little out of hand, well a LOT out of hand, but I just know that someday all the stars will align and I'll clean that sucker and wait for another couple of months to go by when the right time strikes again. The stars just haven't cooperated in awhile! I still don't want to have to work. I still wish upon all that is holy and good that I could be a stay at home mom. I miss my kids so much during the day and nights that I have other things to do I feel horribly guilty for missing even more time with them. I hate that I have to supplement with formula and that there are days when I only get to see Charlie for 20-30 minutes. There's not much on the horizon for those things to change...like ever. We'll never need LESS money to live on. So, I may be terribly unhappy with the way things are, but I can certainly learn to be content with where I'm at for the moment. That's my only goal really for 2012.

1) Focus more on being content. Change things that I am able in order to make myself more comfortable and happy with my place in life. Accept things that I can not change or control and learn to live with them as necessary companions to the many blessings I have.