7 Quick Takes


134 pounds. 10 down. 5 to go.
134 pounds. 10 down. 5 to go.

I am wondering how people get such lovely pictures of themselves to put on blogs. Am I the only person in the world who feels prohibitively self-conscious asking someone to take my picture? And wince the whole time because it feels like such a bother on someone (AKA my husband’s) time? Or maybe the problem is we did it while he was trying to get out the door yesterday morning….


In any case, I needed to crow a bit. For the first time in ten years I don’t feel like my upper regions are grotesquely huge. For the first time, um, EVER, I actually like wearing jeans. They actually feel good now!


Photo by OnePinkHippo, via Flickr

In this process, the last three months, I’ve come to understand a truth we’ve all been told: more is not necessarily better. The thing is, that truth is contradicted daily in ev.er.y.thing we are exposed to in advertising. Restaurants: bigger portions = better. Car manufacturers: more power = better. And so on. But as I’ve really broken down what goes into the meals I’ve been eating for the last dozen years, my jaw dropped. The way I made a peanut butter sandwich? 450 calories. The way I made a tossed salad, with cheese on top (and lots of it)? 380 calories.

And I realized I wasn’t even enjoying them all that much. In the process of trying to cut back on the high-calorie foods, I found, to my astonishment, that I liked the end product better. A lot better. I’d just been overdoing it all these years. Like the one Blizzard I’ve had since starting this lifestyle change (notice I don’t call it a diet, b/c it’s going to be permanent, if not always as strict as it is now). I had 1/3 of a small Blizzard. I ate it in tiny bites, and it was the best Blizzard I’ve ever eaten. Shoveling in more, faster, just numbs my mouth so I can’t taste it at all.


Another thing I’ve discovered in this process is that “hiding” spinach in food is very easy. I put the word in quotes because I’m not actually hiding it. It’s openly acknowledged in our house. I did have to hide it at first in the smoothies (raw spinach, no less!), because I knew there would be a knee-jerk reaction. Indeed, Christian won’t eat the smoothies because he knows it’s in there. But the kids drank them for a few weeks and then when they found out there was spinach in it they went, “Oh. Okay, whatever.” You really can’t even taste it in the smoothies. Which then made it possible for me to drop leaves in the gumbo and beef up the vitamin content that way. And so on. Christian’s even using spinach instead of lettuce on his sandwiches now. (Spinach is one of the “super”-veggies, and probably the most flexible as far as I’m concerned. Avocado is another.)


Moving on.

I had all kinds of thoughtful, reflective posts this week, but I’m in survival mode now because of the rotating sickness in the house and, more to the point, the extremely fragmented nights resulting from them. Michael went to the doctor yesterday and was tentatively diagnosed with sinusitis, so he’s on amoxicillin now and acting…well….somewhat better. He still got up (one, two, three, four, five) FIVE times in the night, meaning I slept from 11-2, 2:15-4:20, and 4:45-5:30. This sort of schedule, more or less, has been going on for about two weeks now. So I’ve given myself permission to spend this week free writing instead of trying to draw out deep philosophical insights. Maybe next week.


I did make some progress on fiction submissions, though. I submitted one story to two different places and began the process of polishing a couple others, hopefully to send in the next week. Crossing my fingers for making some headway in that area soon.


Yesterday was a zoo of a day, beginning with two doctor appointments and ending with a First Communion meeting, but the biggest event of the day was Julianna’s IEP/re-evaluation result. They do a major battery of tests to figure out where she falls on the different scales, including an IQ test, which is something we’ve been intensely curious about her entire life. It turns out at the moment her IQ is 60, which is considered “mild intellectual disability” (mental retardation, even as a formal classification rather than a derogative, has recently fallen out of favor–most likely because of the derogatory usage). In different areas her scores are scattered over the higher and lower range, but basically she’s functioning in most areas like a three-year-old. Which is about what I thought. I questioned myself because I’ve been saying that for a year at least. But then again, she passes through stages very slowly, so that’s probably about right.

Well, this is becoming epic in length, so I’ll just stop there. There are boys getting into trouble, and bathrooms in need of cleaning.

7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 202)