Tuesday, May 17, 2016

This is relaxed homeschooling

This year of school is winding down. Since our family homeschools year-round, this means that certain classes may be ending but others are beginning. A couple weeks ago Deborah and Hannah started their new math books. Amelia is a little over half done with hers. They aren't always at grade level. Sometimes they jump ahead and sometimes fall behind a bit. We just started a Logic co-op class, and will possibly be starting a history/geography co-op class. These will last a few of months, and then be replaced with something else. The goal is never to drill or memorize useless facts, but to create a pattern of asking a question and then seeking the answers. Our weekly commitments will shift. They won't end, but will hopefully fit our current phase of life better for now. I finally made the transition to in-home guitar lessons for Deborah, so our Tuesdays just got a bit busier, but our Wednesdays will be much more open. The Tang Soo Do classes we started last fall will continue year round, taking the place of the 3 hours of PE on Thursday afternoons. Since we are done with our annual PE program, I'm busy looking for art classes to fill the Thursday time slot.
"Graduation" is next week for us, but learning will continue regardless. My son will officially be done with high school, not next Monday, but when he passes his GED. Although my girls will be technically promoted next Monday, their annual evaluations won't be till early June. Summer will slow down in some areas, but pick up in others. We will be taking advantage of day camps to get in large blocks of learning. I'll most likely be teaching sewing again, not to my children this time, but to a group of girls in nearby cities. This is the life of a homeschooler who is actively trying to re-think education. This is what anti-establishment, authority questioners become eventually. This is the result of over 24 years of questioning why the education system does what it does. This is the logical conclusion of applying the "Lost Tools of Learning" and not allowing schools to "kill creativity." If you want help transforming your child's education, contact me. I've been doing this with my kids for 18 years. I promise you will mess up. I promise you will regret some things. But I promise you will not be bored, and your children will benefit.* *In a few cases, children are better off in traditional classrooms. The majority of folks who don't think they can homeschool, however, either confuse true education with the ridiculous elaborate system of educational day-care we currently have available to us or are willing to sacrifice their children's education for a higher income. Harsh? Perhaps. Go ahead... comment your thoughts.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

How Far I've Come

I went through some of my old documents today. I found a rant I wrote in June of 2013 almost 3 years ago. It was about my frustration over my inability to lose weight. It makes me sad. Not sad that I haven't been able to lose weight. I'm happy I'm at peace with my body now.  

It makes me sad because I know there are women out there who have struggled like I have and still feel like that every time they get on the scale.  

It makes me sad that there are still folks preaching "calories in calories out" to women who have no hope of ever reaching their goal weight. 

It makes me sad that there are skinny people out there smiling sweetly at plus sized folks and telling them to try harder because it's best for their health, while never, EVER realizing the crap they go through just to maintain their current weight.  

Here it is in all it's awful glory: 
Photo Credit: NorthJersey.com

The crap hit the fan today in the form of a bathroom scale.  
I’m officially 222 lbs.  Not that big of a deal?  Lot’s of people gain weight? Try dieting?

These are pretty standard responses.  Others are less appreciated.  “Have you lost weight?”  “You look thinner, have you been working out?”  “You don’t look overweight.”

I’ve been working out for over a year.  To be exact, I started working out the day after Mother’s Day 2012.  I’ve been training with a professional trainer for two days a week since July 2012.  When I started I weighed 205.  I can’t think of anything more frustrating in my entire life.  

I tried Jenny Craig for about a year and lost about 20 lbs.  I’ve tried getting in shape and then found I was pregnant within a matter of weeks.  I’ve done the HCG diet 2 times.  I have not felt this angry and frustrated any of those times.  

I tried interval training yesterday.  I decided to get outside and enjoy creation while I worked out.  Today I feel like I sprained my ankle.  I did 4 30-90 second intervals of jogging and walking.  I realized this morning as I stepped on the scale that my ankles aren’t designed to carry 222 FREAKING lbs when jogging.  

I am beyond pissed.  I have prayed pretty consistently since the beginning of the year that I would be 160 lbs by July 13th (my anniversary).  I made myself a weight loss chart this morning, I charted how long it would take me to reach my goal of 160 lbs I came up with 32 weeks.  I weighed 210 in January.  Losing 50lbs by July was a completely reasonable goal.  Made even more reasonable by the fact that I was working out 2-3 times per week, and trying to be careful (but not obnoxious) with my eating habits.  According to every legitimate diet plan I’ve ever heard or read about, this was an achievable goal.  Now, a little over a month from my original date, I am up 12 lbs.  It would not only be stupid to think I could lose 62 lbs by mid July, but it would be dangerous.  

Last month I was 216.  I thought, this is going to take a miracle for me to reach my goal.

Perhaps God is trying to teach me something. What must I learn?  Why am I a failure at this?  Why am I not allowed to be a healthy weight?  Why haven’t I lost the weight I want to lose?  Is 160 lbs a bad goal weight?  Is this process supposed to humble me in some way?  All these questions go unanswered as I head back to square one.  

222 lbs.  I am heavier than I have ever been while not being pregnant.  I am heavier than I have ever been during three of my four pregnancies.  I am heavier than I was one month after my biggest pregnancy, my last one, where I weighed about 230 lbs at my last prenatal check-up.  My waist is bigger than a pregnant woman’s according to a baby shower game I played recently.  I carry so much belly fat that I can’t breathe in child’s pose during a yoga work-out.  

Here’s is my health score according to several web based calculators.  My BMI is 34.8.  I am one pound shy of 35.  This means that I am obese.  According to livestrong.com:

\If your BMI is 34.7, you are considered obese. The cutoff for obesity is a BMI of 30 or above. This means you may have too much body fat, and should try to lose weight to lower your body fat levels. Your doctor can help you come up with a weight loss plan.

Really?  I have too much body fat and should try to lose weight?  Tell me something I don’t already know.  

Knowing that I have gone up 20 lbs since my last pregnancy makes me livid. I mean really pissed off.  I’m struggling not to take it out on my kids and failing pretty miserably.  Here’s what undergroundhealthreporter.com has to say about the physical response to anger:

When anger kicks in, your body readies itself to respond to a perceived threat. Your muscles tense…your digestive processes stop…and certain brain centers start firing in ways that alter your brain chemistry.

Well, that’s just peachy.  Now that I’m royally pissed my digestion is basically at a stand still.  The stress of knowing that I’m apparently unable to lose weight normally makes me gain weight.  I haven’t been this angry about my weight since I signed up for Jenny Craig over 4 years ago.  So all those peaceful thoughts I had about maintaining my health haven’t helped me one bit, either.  

So here I am, not even at square one anymore, but more like square -20.  I joined Weight Watchers online today.  I’m done praying about my weight now.  Apparently I had it all wrong.  The way to stay healthy is to spend all my time reading articles about health and trying to apply the right ones to my life.  I guess I’m supposed to just try different approaches over the course of my life and see which ones work for me long-term.  

Then again, maybe I’m just supposed to be fat.  Maybe I’ll get my chance at 15 minutes of fame in the form of the Biggest Loser, instead of Survivor.  

If you need to find me look for the frumpy lady at the restaurant who’s giving the professionally trained chef instructions on how to suck all the taste out of her food in an attempt to stay healthy.  I’ll be the one playing the martyr at all the parties, complaining loudly about how there’s nothing for me to eat and bemoaning the fact that I haven’t had a french fry in years.  You know, the one who talks about nothing but what ice cream does to my hips while simultaneously making you feel like a jerk for being healthy without trying.  

Oh, and this is a formal apology to my children for the rest of their childhood.  I will now be the mom who makes the whole skinny family go on a diet so she doesn’t have to be tempted by their high calorie foods.  The one who makes everyone stop eating real mayo and whole milk in favor of fat free and skim.  The one who rants about it when they take a sip of soda and curses them by telling them it will make them fat some day.  

I suppose while I’m at it I should apologize to my husband.  I apologize for being hypocritical about asking you to try to lose your tiny middle aged belly when I outweigh you by an entire 6 year old child.  I’m happy that you’re going to be able to lose that extra weight within a month of skipping soda, and I’m sorry you’ll never see the carefree lady you married again.  

I think I’m done for now, but don’t be surprised if there’s more verbal diarrhea later on.  Oh and lots of crying when hubby gets home and the kids are finally in bed.  It’s a good thing I decided to weigh myself today, when he’s already told me he’d be late.  Maybe anorexics have the right idea, not that I could even hope to try that, since I don’t even have the self control to skip a single meal.  


If you struggle like this, please don't hesitate to send me a note. I'm here for you, and I hope I can help you out. No... not because I finally found the perfect diet. Because I finally realized there is a lot more to life than fitting into societies idea of beauty and health.