New Years…

I found myself at Wal-Mart on Boxing Day with my Christmas money and a complete lack of exercise clothes. Gaining fifty pounds in half a year will do that. Thanks Abilify. Finding a top turned out to be the easy part. I also needed pants in size “I ate Christmas dinner and all the baking”. What I found were pencil thin exercise pants (even in XL) and shorts shorter than my underwear. The latter would probably look amazing on someone who’s fit but on me it would look like my crotch was eating them. Which is never a look I’m aiming for. Luckily I found some comfy yoga pants at Penningtons, a Canadian chain for fat people. They have great clothes.

Fifty pounds is a scary amount of weight to gain all at once, especially when it happened so fast. Literally, one week I could wear my favourite jeans and the next I couldn’t pull them past my hips. I was out of breath yesterday on a walk I did with ease this fall. So, naturally, my resolutions this year are health centred.

Our local gym offers a discount for people on disability so I signed up to start in January. They have all the usually equipment but what I’m really happy about is their indoor track. My iridescent rhinestone headphones and I can listen to music and walk without banging my knees around on a treadmill.

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So sparkly!

I told Jeremy that I’m going on an apple diet, which is kind of true. I’ve decided that every time I’m having an absolutely irresistible craving for junk food, I’m going to eat an apple. Plus I’m centering my diet around beans, legumes, and vegetables. Hopefully this will make a difference.

Jeremy and I are on wait lists for our own separate apartments and, while that’s not happening this year, we can downsize while we’re waiting. Not only will it be cleaner but it’ll make the eventual packing that much easier.

Both of us can’t wait until we have places of our own. Me because it’ll be so much cleaner and Jeremy because he won’t have to hear me complain about cleaning up. I’m not sure how he’s going to end up once he’s on his own. He’s either going to be the sort that cleans dust before it falls on his furniture or I’m going to show up one day to hear a muffled “I’m over here” from under a pile of junk. There’ll be no in between.

One big resolution is getting out of my comfort zone. My comfortable New Year’s Eve would be sitting at home with Jeremy. We’d watch a video together and end up in our own rooms on separate computers… in quiet… only getting together for the count down. Instead, I’m going to my parents’ house for dinner and to my sister’s house for a big New Year’s Eve party. It’s going to be loud, crowded and definitely out of my comfort zone.

And, how about you? What are you doing for New Year’s Eve? Do you have any resolutions?

On food babies and brownies…

My jeans are a bit too tight. They’re uncomfortable to sit in and roll a bit at the waist. The same with my underwear and my smaller pair of shorts. My larger pair was already too big.

I weighed myself last year on this day and weighed 168 pounds. Today I weigh 194. A lot has happened this year and my weight reflects it. Severe depression and anxiety, a relationship with my best friend (after 15 years of being single) and the subsequent breakdown of said relationship, plus suicidal thoughts severe enough to be involuntarily admitted. I’m a comfort eater and my stomach reflects that. If I had a food baby, her name would be Double Chocolate Marshmallow Brownies. I have that recipe memorized.

Anxiety makes dieting tricky. It should be easy, just measure and write what I’m eating. I even have a Fitbit so I can track the food on my phone. Two minutes and my meal’s all tracked and calculated. Unfortunately I obsess over diets and the Fitbit tracker fluctuates easily between under calories, “in the zone”, and over calories.

I’d picked up an apple, it looked so good and I was hungry… plus I showed as under calories. The needle swung into over calories as soon as I selected “apple” for an evening snack. And then the panic started. I was so fat, I’d never lose weight. I was horrible at dieting… horrible at everything. How could I do this to myself? I needed to find something with less calories. Fat! Fat! Fat!

Then I looked back at the apple. It was healthy, damn it, and only 90 calories. Why was I panicking over an apple?!? And it wasn’t just the apple. I was panicking over licking a smear of peanut butter off my finger… an extra bit of broth in my soup… a couple of pieces of Jeremy’s popcorn. I can’t live like that. Suicidal and “I can’t live like that” are a deadly combination. I don’t go into that part of Fitbit any more.

What I’m doing is bumping up my fruits and vegetables, drinking lots of water, and walking. I’m dragging Jeremy along with me, although dragging is relative. Zie found a game called Ingress and decided to try it out. The best part is it involves getting out and walking to various portals all over our neighbourhood. The bad part is we have no idea what we’re doing.

“Aren’t you going to help me fight?” Jeremy said impatiently.

I looked over in surprise. We were standing beside a nearby apartment building, in front of a straggly garden. I’d been updating my Fitbit while zie jabbed at zir phone. I thought zie was looking something up.

“I didn’t know you were fighting,” I pointed out. “So, umm, what are we fighting and how do I fight?”

“We’re fighting the portal,” zie replied. “You push the fight button repeatedly.”

“So this is a weapon?” I pointed to an item on the screen. Luckily I had a lot of them.

“Yes… I think…”

Numbers rose up on the screen while my inventory went down. I threw two things that were probably weapons and something happened.

“Start hacking the portal while I fight,” Jeremy snapped. Zie was focused on zir screen, finger pounding the fight button.

The portal said it was unstable. Colours swirled around it. Then Jeremy ran out of weapons too.

“I don’t think we did anything,” zie said dejectedly.

“Do you want to try Pokemon Go?” I asked and zie nodded.

“I’ll have to trick Google Play into thinking we’re in Australia…” zie mused.

I don’t really want to know what zie’s doing to get us to appear down under, although I am proud of zir. Zie could download the game for free illegally but wants to pay for it. The downside will be trying to explain to MasterCard that, yes, we did make a purchase in Melbourne. I wonder if the agent will believe it was a day trip.

Technology is bringing Jeremy out of the apartment and giving me a walking partner. And hopefully Pokemon Go will be easier to figure out. Jeremy needs the exercise just as much as I do.

One thing I have to stop doing is making brownies. I have tried but don’t manage portion control with them. Unless you count a pan as one portion and then I’m doing amazing. Those brownies need to be a special occasion treat, not an “it’s Wednesday and I have chocolate chips in the cupboard and a free half hour”. My food baby is rapidly turning into twins.

Yesterday I walked to group therapy, went shopping with Jeremy (walking from one side of Super Walmart is a good number of steps), then went hunting for portals after dinner. This racked up a serious number of steps. Today I’m going to hit our downstairs gym and go hunting for Pokemon with Jeremy in the evening. I’ll leave tomorrow for when it gets here.

exercise

A new year… a fresh start…

Jeremy and I had a great New Year’s Eve. Karen came over with her boys and we had a vegan fondue and homemade pizza. I got the recipe for the fondue from the Vegetarian Times…

Blonde Bliss vegan fondue

Blonde Bliss vegan fondue

This recipe made tonnes of fondue dip, which would be helpful at a huge party but was overkill for the five of us. I see it being transformed into soup in the near future.

Karen made a chocolate fondue for the kids, which was a success for two of them. Jeremy, in particular, pretty much cleaned it up but zie’s always been a chocoholic (zie comes by it naturally).

chocolate fondue

You can see Jeremy’s favourite cup in the corner. It’s a mason jar on a wine stem and Jeremy thinks it’s the fanciest cup ever.

And then Jeremy and I played Doctor Who Yahtzee. Jeremy quickly decided zie’d gain an advantage if zie surrounded zirself with Doctor Who paraphernalia. Every roll of the dice was accompanied by the TARDIS noise and zir handful of Doctor Who characters joined us.

Jeremy's Doctor Who conga line

The 9th Doctor looks surprisingly relaxed

I love the New Year. For all it’s an arbitrary date, I love the chance at a fresh start, a time to try and make things better. It’s a chance to reflect over the previous year and ponder the future. And I do resolutions.

1) Exercise at least three times a week and eat healthy – in some ways I’d love to look amazing this summer but my main reason is for health. I’m watching as more and more of my friends suffer from type two diabetes, high cholesterol, back problems, knee problems, breathing problems, etc. I’m really the only parent my kids have and they need me. I want to be healthy and here for them.

2) Spend more time with my kids – this one is tricky for an introvert who works in the public. Often by the time I get home, I’m totally peopled out and need time to recharge. But it doesn’t take long to play a game of Doctor Who Yahtzee and it would do both Jeremy and I some good to go for a walk, even if zir purple car tags along. Emma’s coming over this afternoon so I can start this resolution pretty much right away. And, even though Jeremy’s not exactly awake, I started off zir day with a good morning hug.

3) Watching my finances – I’m spending too much time dipping into overdraft and we’ve been eating out a bit too much too. I need to plan more “fancy” meals at home. There are things I’d like to do with Jeremy this summer which I won’t be able to do if our money’s frittered away on take out food.

4) Reach out more – I waited too long to extend an open offer to anyone who wanted to have Christmas dinner at our house. I need to try harder to reach a hand out to others. I put it off because I’m already stretched pretty thin, forgetting that when I’m reaching out to someone, they’re reaching out to me too. It’s a help for everyone including me.

5) Organize my life better – I won’t be stretched nearly as thin if I’m not going three directions at once. Life’s too busy to spend running around in circles.

I hope 2015 is a fabulous year for all of us. *throws confetti in the air*

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Jeremy’s going to starve…

Well not really, although I’m sure he feels like he is. Jeremy and I have opposing views on what constitutes a decent meal. Jeremy’s idea of a decent meal is two boxes of Kraft Dinner, or a tin of canned beef and potatoes, or canned ravioli, or those cup of soups. Preferably followed by a bag of potato chips and a handful of cookies. My idea of a decent meal consists of a home cooked dinner with plenty of fresh veggies followed by fresh fruit and some dark chocolate.

Unfortunately for Jeremy, I’m the one with the paycheque. I’ve been trying to buy him a few treats to scatter throughout the week, including a 1.13kg can of beef ravioli which I figured would last him for a couple of meals. He ate it for a snack. So I’m only buying healthy food now. If you hear moans and wails over the next few weeks, don’t worry, it’s just Jeremy.

I’m also trying to get Jeremy out of the apartment and active.  He spends far too much time parked in front of the computer, which isn’t healthy. He jokes he’s a nerd and doesn’t need exercise but I’ve seen him get winded running to the bus stop right outside our building. That’s not good. A few years ago, he was outside almost constantly but now he won’t go out anywhere without me. My original plan was to take him for a bike ride on one of our wooded trails then I looked at our forecast. Severe thunderstorm watch. We had the same forecast yesterday and ended up with near constant lightning and torrential rain. So we walked to the grocery store instead, taking a detour to go through a nearby green space.

We were walking toward a little bridge when I noticed the man walking toward us. Well, I noticed the baby stroller first and then the man and finally his expression. It wasn’t a happy look, in fact he was glaring. His eyes were aimed to the left of me at Jeremy. I took a quick glance myself and realized Jeremy was doing nothing other than fiddle with his netbook. I figured the man was staring at Jeremy’s hair, which has faded to a pinkish violet, but his gaze was lower. He was almost to us when I realized he was staring at my seventeen year old son’s chest. Granted Jeremy’s a bit busty but that’s downright creepy. Thankfully Jeremy didn’t notice, I’m having a hard enough time getting him out of the house as it is.

It’s calling for sunshine and actual summer weather tomorrow so I’m going to drag Jeremy out for a bike ride. Jeremy’s been asking when we’re going to go back to the ocean (aka Lake Ontario). We can even pack a picnic lunch. With any luck, after a long hot bike ride, Jeremy won’t even notice it’s healthy food 🙂

Jeremy and athletics…

Those two words are not commonly found together.

Jeremy was not a rough and tumble little boy. When Emma first learned how to walk, my Mom and I took her to the park and set her on the grass. She loved it and went running around madly. When Jeremy first learned how to walk, I set him on the grass and he stared at me in sheer horror. What the hell had I put him on? He burst into tears and raised his arms to be held again. After some coaxing, he finally would walk on the lawn but his exaggerated step, each foot raised as high as possible, showed how he felt about it.

Then there was the petting zoo. Emma loved it. We had to rein her in a little because she wanted to hug every animal there. I have vivid memories of taking Jeremy into a petting zoo. He wandered around for less than a minute then looked at me in disgust.

“Mom! Those animals are pooing and peeing ON. THE. GROUND!!!” he announced both loudly and emphatically.

He turned and bolted, waiting outside the gate for us, looking away in case one of the animals did something else on the ground that they weren’t supposed to.

Jeremy enjoyed the playground and quickly learned to love bike riding via Emma’s outgrown bicycles. He even grew to enjoy camping. But as he got older and playing on the playground became less frequent, I tried to find him something else to do.

Our first attempt, when Jeremy was still small, was swimming lessons. Jeremy loved the water but hated having it touch his face. This was a mandatory part of the lessons and we eventually pulled him out of classes because he was slowly beginning to hate swimming, which wasn’t our goal.

Then I tried dance. We had a dance studio across the street from us, which Emma already enjoyed. One fall afternoon we all walked over and I checked to see what classes were available. The biggest issue turned out to be his age and not his gender. He’d never taken dance before, wasn’t athletic, and wasn’t particularly coordinated. Signing him into a class with his peers, especially ones who’d been dancing for five years already, wasn’t going to work. But there was a hip hop class aimed at beginners and he’d be only one year older than the oldest child in the group. So I signed him up.

He loved his dance class. He loved the movement, he loved the music, and he loved dancing with his peers. Then came the recital. I discovered his costume two days beforehand. A black, sports themed hoodie and black pants. Jeremy was underwhelmed, he’d hoped for something with some sparkle. I brought him to the recital already dressed in his costume. Then he stood in the hallway by himself while the rest of the group hung out in the change room, which was the largest room. He couldn’t join them because there were girls changing. So he stood outside listening while they laughed together, got pictures taken, and practised. I’d been promised the girls would be joining him in the hallway before I went to my seat. That wasn’t the case. He refused to join the following year and wasn’t willing to give the school based dance classes a try.

Karate was a dismal failure. His best efforts to get into position failed and his teacher assumed he wasn’t trying, which lead to Jeremy arguing that he was trying and had just done what the teacher asked, which lead to him joining me in my kick boxing class. Which was just as dismal a failure because we were kicking and punching which was boring. And the music was gross.

Soccer, ironically enough, was a success. I signed Jeremy up for two community run programs where we used to live; soccer and a drop in playgroup. I figured he’d love the playgroup with its variety of activities and offers of ice cream and would tolerate the soccer practises. The reverse was true.

The playgroup was very loosely organized and minimally supervised. The volunteers set up the stations then sat back and kept an eye out for blood, while chatting amongst themselves. Somehow they missed Jeremy’s small but vocal fan club who followed along behind him, calling him a fag. Jeremy didn’t find this anywhere near as entertaining as they did and flat out refused to go after two sessions. He told me the kids were “bugging him”. I didn’t find out how much or what was being said until almost a month later when we were on our way to a soccer practise and they happened by. I was walking closely enough to hear them but far enough away that they didn’t know I was with Jeremy.

Soccer, on the other hand, was highly organized but minimally competitive. The volunteers set themselves up to help out small groups of children and they loved having parents there to cheer the kids on during their games. With one adult for every three children plus a group of avid parents, the bullying was non-existent.

The first half of practise was just that, practise. Jeremy enjoyed this part. The ball was stationary and he simply needed to try and kick it.

Playing soccer blurred

He was enthusiastic, I’ll give him that.

The second half of practise was the game. His team was divided into two then set to play against each other. Jeremy stood in the centre of the field and watched as they ran around him, occasionally wincing when the ball came too close. At one point they tried him in the goal, figuring he was standing around anyways so he might as well stand there. This worked as long as everyone was on the other side of the field. When the ball grew closer, Jeremy simply abandoned the goal and went to find someplace a little safer.

His favourite part of soccer was the outfit. He loved the silky material of his soccer uniform and wore it everywhere. Even now, his favourite shorts are soccer shorts.

His last time playing soccer was almost three years ago though. We have a gym in the basement of our building but Jeremy refuses to go to it because it’s boring. He’d be willing to go with me but the gym is segregated by sex so that’s not an option. We have a pool downstairs as well but it’s small and he considers that boring too.

We had to run to the bus stop last week. It was just a short run but Jeremy nearly keeled over once we reached the shelter. Obviously watching YouTube videos isn’t good for his health. I need to find him something else to do.