Friday, August 29, 2008

weighty matters

It was nine years ago this weekend that I decided it was high time to lose some pudge. During my early-to-mid 20s, I had steadily been putting on weight. I know that everything you read about weight gain comes down to an emotional issue - food as friend, food as comfort, food as religion -whatever. For me, it was -and remains - the fact that I enjoy eating. I find it pleasurable. The things I like to eat the most are total crap for you. The end.

But it was a random day at the beach in the summer of 1999 that I decided enough was enough. I was asked to be a bridesmaid in yet another wedding, and I was sick of being the biggest girl going down the aisle. I gave myself a deadline for the following June to lose 60 pounds. (Yes, I know approx. how much I weighed then, and yes, due to a scale obsession I certainly know how much I weighed at the end, but I'm not giving numbers up, my friends.) I headed to the store, bought a Walkman, a new pair of sneakers, and hit the road.

And, boy, did I ever hit the road. Over the following 10 months, I walked my ass off, literally. I was never much of a runner, but I can power walk with the best of them, and finish a mile faster than some (slow) runners. I walked in hurricanes (seriously), snowstorms, freezing temperatures - yup, I was that asshole that you see out in the pouring rain trotting away. I walked and walked and walked, and restricted my calories like nobody's business - all the while leaving myself free days every week - and made my goal. And then lost 10 more pounds, for a total of 70 pounds lost in just under a year.

I cannot tell you how fabulous it was to have people see me, do a double take, and tell me that they didn't even recognize me. I cannot tell how awesome it was to have that damn bridesmaid dress taken in, then taken in some more, and then some more. I cannot tell you how annoying it was when people accused me of being anorexic, starving myself, binging, and all sorts of eating disorder-like behavior. No, I would say. I've been doing this steadily. You just didn't notice the first 25 pounds that came off.

The hardest part of weight loss, they say, is maintaining. That is definitely right. Once you decide, OK, I've lost enough weight, how do you stop dieting? It was a struggle to figure out what I could eat without putting the weight back on. I managed OK, until a new relationship came along (hi, Greg!). Then all those dinners out and my abandoned exercise routine caught up with me, and I put 20 pounds back on.

I put the brakes on the weight gain pretty quickly though, and walked off 30 pounds, managing to get myself to my lowest known adult weight for my wedding (wedding stress, anyone?). After gaining 10 back (because really, that's where my body should be), I leveled out for a couple of years.

Then came pregnancy. And while at first I looked at it as a free pass to eat whatever the hell I wanted (and could stomach), a combination of the realization that I would ultimately have to lose it and a diagnosis of gestational diabetes put the kibosh on my food frenzy. In fact, I don't think I've ever eaten healthier than I did in the third trimester. And while Jane was a healthy 7 lbs, 3 oz, I had a total of 30 pounds to lose.

This past year has been difficult. I lost the bulk of the baby weight quickly, but I had a remaining six pounds that refused to budge. As I get older, my calorie reduction tricks don't work as well as they used to. My metabolism is shit. I hate/don't have time for exercise. It was a combo of three stomach bugs since December that finally rid me of the final pounds.

I think I will always have self-image issues regarding my weight. It's funny -now I weigh about what I did when I lost all that weight nine years ago, and at the time, I felt so impossibly skinny. And now I sure don't. I want to resolve this kind of thinking so I don't somehow pass along my crappy body image attitude to Jane.

Perhaps I should stop writing this boring post and hit the treadmill? Or maybe I should have a snack.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

bright sunshiny day

Today I took the day off of work, sent Jane to daycare, and went to the beach. Alone. It was the best thing I've done for myself in a year.

I used to go to the beach by myself all the time. It's one of my favorite things to do in the summer, but I haven't done it at least two years, three, actually. And I didn't think I'd do it this summer, but I realized last week that I desperately needed a day off - a true day off from everything and everyone - and was able to take today.

It was awesome. I sat there on my blanket, looked at the water (lots of jellyfish today), read nearly an entire book (You've Been Warned by James Patterson), ate some bad-for-you food, watched families play in the sand and water, and got some color. Then I went to downtown Madison, bought a book at R.J. Julia, got an iced mocha, sat on a bench and read some more.


I love the beach. When I was very young, we used to have a boat, and would go out every Sunday. Then later, we used to rent a cottage for a week every summer. It was nothing fancy, but the source of some of my best childhood memories -heading to the beach first thing in the morning with my dad and brother, tromping back to the cottage at lunchtime to eat quickly so we could go back in the water, strolling to the lemon ice stand every afternoon for a treat, buying cheap little trinkets that seemed like gold to a child.

I don't know if it's because I have Jane, but I noticed so many young kids at the beach today. Babies Jane's age too - one 18-month-old decided to come over and stand on my blanket (that was the only conversation I had - I asked her grandmother how old she was (the baby, not the grandmother)). Watching all of the kids having fun made me so excited about the prospect of Jane coming to the beach and loving it as much as I did - and still do. It will be great to see everything from her perspective, where the sign of a great day is a ton of sand stuck in your bathing suit, a sticky face from ice cream, and total exhaustion brought on from hours of sunlight.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

from the mailbox!

After my obvious cry for attention on Twitter, I received this email:

There's plenty I don't know about your life right now. Write about going to see Jersey Boys or about your Fabulous Female Friday Funtime you're having tomorrow night. Write about books you've loved or about crying while watching Tori Spelling. Write about what Jane's doing. Is she starting to walk?See? So many interesting things to write about.

OK, dear reader, I will answer your questions.

1) I went to see Jersey Boys last week. However, since that's filed under the topic of "work," I won't talk about it here. But it was fun being in the city, as always, despite the fact we got caught in a torrential downpour in Times Square, saw a man who most definitely didn't have his pants on correctly, and ate lunch at T.G.I. Fridays, embarrassingly enough. What? We were hungry!

2) Books. I read a lot of 'em. I can't think of anything coherent to write about any of them at this moment, so I will tell you that I'm currently reading "Obsession" by Jonathan Kellerman, and I'm finding it quite pleasing, if you are the murder-mystery type. Which I am.

3) My Fabulous Female Friday Funtime is indeed scheduled for tomorrow night, which means, unfortunately, that I can't make it to dear reader's jewelry party. I am going out with my friends Heather and Shelly - two of my oldest and best friends - and this is very exciting and highly unusual, considering, between us, we have five kids (Heather has three of them). So getting out of the house, sans families, is particularly awesome. I'm very much looking forward to this, which is why I'm terrified something will happen to make me have to cancel.

4) Yeah, yeah, the other night I cried while watching "Tori and Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood." Yes, this is a Tori Spelling reality show. Yes, I should hate myself for watching it. But, whatever, I became addicted last summer when I was up 24/7 with Jane, and truly, it's kind of a cute show. Anyway, they were showing a memorial service she had when her dog Mimi died, and it was quite sad. It was also quite fancy, with butterflies being released and party favors and what not, but hey, that's Hollywood.

5) Jane is currently sleeping. Other than that, no, she's not walking yet. She pulls herself up and creeps along the furniture, but no walking thus far. And to be honest, I'm not rushing it. I know I will never sit down when she starts walking, not that I do much now, because dang, that girl crawls fast.

She is moving to a bigger kids' room at daycare in September, and they gave me a whole list of new supplies she will need. In this room they will encourage cup use instead of bottle, table food instead of baby food, one nap instead of two (this scares me the most). The whole thing has me very emotional because it's a big change and transition for her, and since she's now firmly in the "stranger anxiety" phase of life, I'm afraid she'll have a tough time. Every day we drop her off at daycare, her face turns red and the big crocodile tears come. So we feel like shit for the rest of the day; meanwhile, she cheers up about four seconds after we walk out the door, according to her teachers.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, August 15, 2008

weekend. update.

I feel as if I've been limping to this weekend - this week has been so work-tastic, and by work-tastic, I mean full-of-work, that it felt like it would never end. In fact, as we speak, I am at home, on my couch, working. What a tool. STEP AWAY FROM THE COMPUTER, AMANDA.

So, here I am, pretending like disaster won't strike and I'm actually going to have a decent weekend. Ha ha ha hahaaaaa......ahem. Anyway.

We are road-tripping it this weekend to Dimitry's house in New Jersey. Dimitry is Greg's old college roomate and although he lives way far away in a whole other state, we still remain friends with him. He recently got married and bought a house and basically abandoned his Manhattan-single-out-all-the-time ways, so I'm excited to see his transformation into a suburban boring married person. You know, like myself.

And since the kid isn't ready to stay home and have parties behind our backs, she's coming with us. Surely, this will be flawless. She will sleep happily in her pack-and-play, leaving her parents to socialize with real, grown-up, adult-type people. She will take naps when she should, eat when she could, not cry, and be utterly charming the whole weekend. She will also have no problem with the several-hours car trip to and fro.

She will also poop hundred dollar bills into her diaper.

Wish us luck!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

no readers allowed!

If you're reading this, you know I've now set restrictions on who reads my blog. There is a long story attached to this, and most of you have already heard it. Not getting into it here. Aside from that, I have been thinking for some time about this blog, and the kind of information I put up here. I love reading back on old posts from last year, from when Jane was an infant, but as she gets older, I really have struggled with what kind of information I put about her out there on the interwebs (sorry, Lisa).

I am contemplating taking down this blog and starting a new one. One with less about my kid, and more about...all that other boring stuff I talk about. Which sucks, because I have over two years of scintillating material on here already, and I'd hate to start over new. If I do make that decision, I will of course let you know. Stay tuned.

PS If there is someone you know who reads this god-awful boring blog, let me know and I'll invite them to be a reader.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


Greg and I FINALLY made it to Alan's show last night at HITW. And although we barely got four hours of sleep the night before (after an adventure-filled night on the boat), we really enjoyed ourselves, not only being out on the town alone, sans Jane - imagine, being out with all of these people, none of whom needed me to change their diaper! - but, depite all fears that his show would feature spaceships and aliens and stuff like that, it wasn't very sci-fi at all, and was quite enjoyable. Alan was very good, of course, as was my friend Paul, who was also in the show. As you can see, Jane wishes she went too. Future theater nerd? Or future sci-fi geek?

oh yeah, that show I did

Remember, like, two weeks ago when I did a show? And I was all consumed with it and I was never home and life was crazy? And then I never really updated about it? Well, it went really well - one of the things I love about working with this summer program is the fact that the audiences are filled with past and upcoming summer theater participants, plus family and friends of the cast, so it ends up sounding like a Miley Cyrus concert in the auditorium. You can't buy that kind of appreciation. It turned out to be a very entertaining, energetic show, which is pretty much what we were after in the first place. I miss working with the kids, but I am enjoying having some free time at night again. Anywho, here are some (belated) photos.