Sunday, September 25, 2011

week 2, a week that will live in infamy

Confession: I had 3 beers and fish and chips and a whole wheat tortilla and cheese and rice noodles this week. The rest of the time, I ate Paleo. I just couldn't control myself.
So here are my new stats.

Beginning of last week: 178
Today: 177

I lost only 1 pound. I mostly blame the beer and the fish and chips, and the worst part about the fish and chips is that they weren't even very good. Since I hadn't had anything fried in a very long time, I think a deep fried sock would've tasted good to me.

On top of this, Ryan was sick this week and I had no time to exercise--I only did some strength training and yoga.

I have decided that I cannot eat the amount of meat required in Paleo, so I'll be doing a modified version that is actually not Paleo at all. I am going to allow myself minimal amounts of dairy, legumes, and soy but still no refined sugar or grains. I'm also going to make sure that I exercise at least 5 times this week (after all, my triathlon date is rapidly approaching). I'll report back next Sunday!

On a side note, Ben started the Cub Scouts last night. I invited a bunch of kids and their parents into our house. We had a pretty successful meeting, I thought, and Ben wore his uniform. I'm co-leading the pack and while I don't agree with some of the larger Boy Scouts policies on gay people and religion, etc., I'm making my own rules. Gay people? Totally welcome. Atheists? Your leader is one. Kids will not be pressured in this den. The cub scout motto, after all, is "Do Your Best," not "Be a Christian Republican."

Friday, September 23, 2011

school photos

It's a bad year for school photos in this family. We got Elliott's school photos back from his current school. In the close-up of his face, he looks as though someone was pinching him in the back of the arm while he was simultaneously looking at the sun. In the class photo, he is looking directly at the ground. We tried to return the proofs today, but the teachers said, "Go ahead and keep them." Lucky us.

We got the photos back from Ben's school as well. I didn't know it was photo day, so he was wearing an odd shirt that he had stained with his breakfast, and his straw-like hair was standing straight up in the back. I had tried to comb it down that morning, but it is resilient and stubborn. So, while his face looks okay, his hair and shirt are pretty shameful.

I guess there will be no framed hallway school photos this year. We'll just pretend like none of this ever happened.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

week 1 results

I have done 7 straight days of Paleo diet, as of this evening. Here are my results.

Starting weight: 183
Today's weight: 178
(5 pounds lost!)

I don't think you understand how difficult it is for me to lose weight, so this is a huge deal for me! I have tried to be very good, except today I accidentally ate beans because I forgot that you can't eat any legumes. I also had half and half twice this week in my coffee when I was away from home. Not too bad, I don't think. The best part about it is that I haven't been hungry at all, and I can eat as much as I want. I hate it when I count calories because I feel hungry all of the time. The hardest part is not drinking beer because I love me some beer. I'll admit to also having fleeting cravings for cheese. But I'm going to go the 30 days and try not to cheat, and then I'll work stuff back in in moderation. The main things I'll probably stick with are limited dairy, no grains, and no refined sugars because those are the worst things for you and I honestly haven't missed them. I use coconut sugar or stevia for a sweetener and I use almond flour for baked goods. I use coconut or almond milk for dairy.

It is very motivating to wake up and weight just a tiny bit less than the day before. I hope that continues. Wish me luck on week 2!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Ryan and I are both diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder. It manifests very differently for both of us. I'm more compulsive; he's more obsessive. I throw everything away; he keeps everything and packs it away. We both worry...a lot. We both have occasional panic attacks. We are both on medication.

Obsessive thoughts are a hallmark of autism as well, but Elliott is probably the least obsessive one in our family. Benjamin is a different story. All little boys get really, really into certain activities, but Ben takes it a step further. His first obsession was letters and that has dovetailed into other interests. Currently, it's Super Mario Bros. I love Super Mario Bros. as much as the next person and we play games together with the kids. We limit their video game time to 1 hour per day, but here's the thing. If Ben isn't playing a video game, he's made up a live action game with the figurines. He draws comic books featuring the Mario gang. He plays Mario at school during recess, at playground on the weekends. He talks about it nonstop, from the moment he wakes up in the morning until, literally, the moment he goes to bed. Tonight, I was scratching his back and he was falling asleep after storytime, and he suddenly opened his eyes and said, "Mom?" "Yes," I said. "I'm worried." He was worried that his video game hadn't saved properly. I assured him it was okay and he relaxed again, clutching the little Dalmation he sleeps with in the crook of his arm.

I am worried about how this translates on the playground at school. He found a friend who likes to play Mario with him. I'll call that friend Dean. Today Ben told me, "Sometimes I ask Dean to play with me, but he doesn't hear me." I can only imagine that Dean cannot keep up with the intensity of Ben's dedication to the Mario, that Dean, perhaps, wants to play handball or swing occasionally. I gently suggested to Ben that maybe he ask Dean if he wants to play something different some time, that maybe it would be a good idea if he tried something different. "I just like Mario," Ben said.

I feel badly that we have given this to Ben. I know that we could find ways to pull back on Mario, but I honestly feel helpless because if it's not Mario, it will be something else. It always has been, since before he was 2, when his intense interest in letters exhausted me. The good news is, he's doing well in school and he does have friends. So far, it hasn't interfered with his education. I just want him to be happy and balanced.

30 days

So, I can't lose weight no matter what I do. I exercise a ton and I eat pretty healthy, and weight loss. In fact, when I exercise more, I gain weight. Some of it might be muscle, but there's no way it's ALL muscle because, well, that would be a lot of muscle.

So, I need to get my metabolism in check. I decided I'm going to try this Paleo diet for 30 days and see how it goes. It makes sense to me and seems reasonable. Basically, no grains, no dairy, no beans, no refined sugar, no processed foods. Lots of vegetables, fruit, meat, eggs, nuts, etc. You can drink coconut or almond milk instead of regular milk. Today is Day 3. I don't really want to kill myself or anything; I just have a dull, slightly sad feeling towards food. Something like resignation. I've eaten more fruits and vegetables than I have in a long time, which is a good thing. The bad thing is that the Paleo diet requires eating meat. I do not like meat and, for me, I think it's unethical to eat meat (no judgment on anyone else). However, my vanity is more important than my morals at this point. I have a triathlon coming up on Oct. 15th and I want to feel good and I want to look good, too. Hopefully, after I get back to my fighting weight, I can adjust the diet and work the meat out of it.

I took some before photos in the hopes that there will be after photos. I will post them in 27 days (if the results are good). I'm posting this up here because if I make it public, it'll motivate me to stick with it. Wish me luck!!!

Also, here's an idea of what my diet looks like. I ate this yesterday:

2 eggs with spinach
coffee with coconut milk and stevia

Pear and 1 clementine

Salad with carrots, bell peppers, ham, and balsamic dressing

Dried, unsweetened apples

Roasted chicken
Broccoli salad with bacon, pears, and carrots

Thursday, September 08, 2011

insomnia, anxiety, hope

I know it's been awhile. Stop looking at me like that. I already feel guilty. So I awoke at 3:17 a.m. this morning and my mind began assualting me with "what ifs" and "to dos" and I could not go back to sleep until I had created an Excel spreadsheet the possibilities. I am not exaggerating.

Here's what's going on. Elliott is in an okay preschool with pretty good teachers and curriculum. He is happy and learning. However, his program is called an inclusion program, which means he should be with typically developing kids. The reason Elliott would benefit from this is 1) it's the law and 2) he does very well with watching and adopting more typical social skills from neurotypical kids. He does it with Ben all of the time. He went to a regular preschool for two years and did it there as well. At the same time, he needs the supports in place to help facilitate his goals, and this is why he needs to be in a special education program. An inclusion program offers both the support and the learning from typical peers. Redlands said they were giving him that but they didn't--all of the kids in his class have some sort of deficit, and many have more serious conditions. This is not an inclusion program.

So a friend and advocate told me that I can possibly establish district residency where I work and after a lot of back and forth with that district, on Monday, I have an observation at one of the most cutting edge special education inclusion preschools in the state. If we decide to move Elliott there, my schedule and his schedule will go all to hell. I will have to find someone to help me transport him to and from a school 35 miles away from our home. I'll have little time to work around that schedule. I'll need to devise Excel spreadsheets and worry late into the night. He'll likely have to attend a few meetings with me at work. He'll have to adjust to a new school with new kids and a new teacher. But it will be worth it. That kid is on the cusp of getting to where he needs to go; he just needs a great program to get him there. I hope this one is it.