Monday, October 31, 2005

Something lighter...

a funny my brother sent me - this is almost enough to cheer me up:
explore the whole site - hilarious

some of my faves:

TP directions - hahahaha!
interesting machine
elmo has some issues
scary... very scary
just truly bizarre
computer illiterate
wow, do they have some branding problems
akin to one I saw "do not put in dishmasher"

Why do I feel blah?

I was having a really great day until maybe 5 pm. Then things just sort of began to disintegrate. Calvin was fairly grumpy today because he's teething, but that didn't really bother me too much. The tree trimming guy quoted $$$$ to trim our 5 fruit trees (it was a fair quote, but it's just a lot of work and more $$$ than I thought), but I did OK w/that too. I was just sort of taking it all in stride. But then this afternoon I was VERY hungry and I was teaching so I just had to wait for dinner... and my piano students seemed more challenging than usual, probably because of Halloween, etc. So when I finally finished teaching and got to eat, I was moody and irritated and snapping at Loren and Calvin for no reason. Calvin didn't want to try the very delicious split pea soup I made, which made me irrationally annoyed. Loren pointed out that he's a baby and doesn't know that he needs to try different foods, which was very true. Anyway... so then I was still cleaning up when the ladies from the Bible study began to arrive. I had made some cupcakes, but frankly, they were terrible, and no one liked them, including me. So now I have some weird complex that everyone thinks I'm a terrible cook (which is totally absurd) and a lousy hostess, and I know it's not true, but I'm in this bizarre funk, so I can't stop thinking ridiculous thoughts. I guess I was feeling this way a bit last night too. I'm not sure what the deal is, but it's annoying and I want it to GO AWAY. Usually I don't feel so insecure, but lately, I am just a basket case. Why? What is going on? So, if you read this and you're a praying person, please pray that I'll snap out of it or something. It's very self-absorbed and icky. Thanks in advance.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Boring & selfish. That's not good.

I was reading my posts (I know, I said I'm done posting for the night, but I changed my mind) and decided that they are boring. Pointless. Obsessed about the same things over & over. I mean, why does anybody but me care about my repeated rantings about food, WW, my son, and my IF problems? I should be more outwardly-focused. How boring can I be? Navel-gazing 35 year old mother writes blather about things that seem important at the time. No significant thought whatsoever. This has GOT to change. Like, yeah right, it's going to change when the daily routine of diapers, laundry, part-time work, cooking, cleaning, etc. is not going to let up... but I certainly hope it can be different. I do actually think about weighty theological matters. I read a variety of interesting books... yet not much of that has made it on here. And this post itself is more of the same inwardly-focused blather.

I'm very thankful that at least God has not given up on me - I truly believe that God really is, for whatever reason (he loves me!?) fixing me up from the inside out, and there is hope for change and new life. That sounds really trite, but I really mean it, so bear with the lack of more sophisticated language to convey what I'm feeling.

Trying to do better

OK, I've been really BAD about blogging lately. I think that it's going to take so long, and so I don't do it. I'm going to try to do better. I really do enjoy getting things out and airing out my head (does that mean I'm an airhead?), so I will make myself remember that it's not that hard. In fact, I'm only going to spend 4 more minutes on this now so I'll remember how easy & fast it is.

Progress for the week: -0.6 lb. Total: -68.2 lb. Slower than I'd like, but I'm really going to kick things into high gear this week and try to break this plateau, whether it's medication-induced or not. I'm super motivated.

On the IF front, things are moving slowly... but that's OK. We talked the doc into letting us try the drug that worked to give us Calvin, so we'll see how it goes. Had the usual couple-3 days of morning nausea when I started it, but that seems better now that I've been taking it for a week, so we should be good to give this a fair shot. I won't know until probably mid-Nov or Thanksgiving if it's working right, and maybe not until next cycle since I started taking it later than is ideal this time. I did read some papers that indicated that this might have some utility, so I'm hopeful.

OK, my 4 minutes is up, so I'll write more tomorrow. :) Really, I will!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

The week in review

Yeah, I let this go rather long w/o posting. Some weeks are just like that. Calvin is happily playing on the couch right now, so I might have a short time, or I might have a long time to post right now.

The weight loss for the week was 1.6 lb, almost making up for the 2 lb gain last week. I feel on track, so that's good, and my motivation is still high. I was worried I'd get discouraged by my gain, and I did a little bit, but I figured the alternative is to be fat again, so I'd better keep on keeping on. I want to have a healthy lifestyle, darn it!

In the infertility department, things are not so great. The latest drug we tried, clomiphene, didn't really work that well. It did cause ovulation, but then the luteal phase (the time between ovulation and the start of the next cycle) was only 6 days instead of 12-16, which is pretty much what was happening before we had Calvin. So, now we're back to the same ol' problem. Wheeee. Am still waiting to hear what the doc has to say about this latest wrinkle. Hopefully will hear something tomorrow.

Let's see, what else was new this week? Calvin continues to astound us with new discoveries. This week he said "dada" and "baby", specifically, as well as pointing out to me the "doggie" across the street in the neighbor's yard. That was pretty cool. He's getting more opinionated about what he should be able to play with, and when he gets into stuff he shouldn't, he gets pretty mad when mommy or daddy intervenes. Fortunately, the fits are short-lived and he's still easily distracted w/something else.

Speaking of Calvin, he's now demanding my attention, big time... I'd better go.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Progress of 2 types

First, the bad news. I gained 2 lb this week. I was totally following the WW program and did not cheat. However, I am taking a medication that has made me very bloated & nasty feeling, and I'm sure the weight gain is from that. I am determined to stick with things and keep going, and not let this bother me.

Now, the fantastic news! I entered the U of U Young Alumni 5K run/walk/stroll. I decided to take Calvin and push him in the stroller, because it would be fun for both of us. Because I've been doing lots of aerobic (read: very very fast) walking, I decided to walk the race. I thought if I did under 40 min that would be good, and if I got 36-37 min I would be especially pleased. Well, I surpassed my expectations, finishing in 34:59!!! As I crossed the finish line, they told me I was 3rd place in the female stroller division! WOW! I have never won ANYTHING for any athletic pursuit, EVER. I am so thrilled and excited. I had no idea they were giving prizes for people pushing strollers, either. I just wanted to do it. Anyway, I won a 3rd place ribbon and a really cool Utes umbrella (shaped like a football helmet!).

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

More thoughts on addiction

Chapter 2 of Addictions: A Banquet in the Grave

This chapter covers a very difficult subject. The title says it all: "Sin, Sickness, or Both?". My knee-jerk reaction when reading that question is "Both, of course!". But Welch makes a pretty persuasive case that addiction is a sin, albeit a complex one. The biblical teaching on drunkenness ("the prototype of all addictions") is that "it is always called sin, never sickness...Scripture is unwavering in this teaching and relentless in its is a lordship problem. Who is your master, God or your desires?"

OK, OK - but what about the loss of control the addict experiences? The familiar substance may even be physically required. Welch writes that if we do something and feel we have no control over it, or if we do something even though we do not want to do it, it seems like it shouldn't be a sin any more but rather a disease. He comes to a dilemma: "how do we reconcile the out-of-control nature of addictions and the apparently self-conscious, intentional nature of sin?" Ultimately, though, heavy drinking, or food addiction, or drug addiction, or whatever, is giving us something in return. Even the addict knows this - at a Weight Watchers meeting I attended recently, the leader asked us to think about what we were getting from food. We were then to think of how to get that same thing from something less damaging (her example was that she wanted to feel warmth and emotional comfort, so she curled up on the couch with a book, an afghan, and a hot cup of tea). For me, food definitely is giving me something, even when I hate it and don't want to overindulge, I may still do it because of the temporary reward I'm getting. It is comforting, it is pleasurable, it is an escape. It is lots of things, temporarily. For the alcoholic, there are temporary payoffs to drunkenness. Let's face it: there are pleasurable benefits to be obtained from any sin, even one that has a stranglehold on us. Welch explains, "for the addict, slavery with the object of desire is sometimes preferable to freedom without it", and "addicts make choices to pursue their addiction". I can't really speak for alcoholics or drug addicts, but for food addiction this is absolutely true. I made choices that got me into my almost 100 lb of overweight, and they were real choices. Even when the food had a compelling hold on me, it was still ultimately my choice to continue in it. Sometimes I wouldn't overindulge, proving that it was possible to make different choices. It seems to me that the disease model is not useless here (I still think it can be helpful), but that the sin model probably has a much greater utility.

Fine, that makes some sense. But what about genetics? I mean, fat runs in my family. I have a genetic predisposition to putting on weight. This argument has never been as powerful to me as the previous argument. Genetics might predispose you to something, argues Welch, but it does not determine it. "Possible physiological tendencies do not mean that self-control is impossible or that personal responsibility is diminished. They simply mean that some people must be more vigilant in situations where that sin can be easily provoked." This has always seemed to me to be right on the money.

What about cravings, though? How do you explain those? You might have the best of intentions, and then walk by Mrs. Fields and buy and consume a dozen hot chocolate chip cookies. We actually spent a whole lesson at WW recently on cravings and how to manage them. They do exist, but the reality is that our body cannot force us to do anything. Cravings can be dealt with in other ways. We may be vulnerable, Welch says, but we are not helpless in the face of them.

Why all the arguing about sin and sickness anyway? Does it really matter so much? Welch thinks it does - he says that the disease model implies that the cause is our body, while the sin model postulates a heart problem. If the weakness is merely physical, we are not motivated to change spiritually. If our problem is in our hearts, and we do not address it, then we will never get well. What are we really seeking to satisfy with our addiction? We must satisfy the longings of our hearts with something true, something permanent, and something real.

All right, but my food problem still does feel like a disease. What does Scripture say about that? Welch answers, "Sin is more than conscious choices. Like a cruel taskmaster, sin victimizes and controls us (John 8:34) the apostle Paul said, 'I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do (Rom 7:15)'...sin feels exactly like a disease." It feels like a disease, but it is not, because "the slavery of sin is one for which we are responsible, and we can be empowered by God's grace to turn from it."

Refresingly, Welch does not believe that addictions are simply subject to mere willpower. He writes, "If you deny the out-of-control nature of all addictions, as some Christians have done, then you assume that everyone would have the power to change himself...there would never be a sense of helplessness or a desperate need for both redemption and power through the same time, there will be other problems if you ignore the in-control, purposeful nature of addictions." I think he finds a great balance between them as follows, "since sin is a broad category that includes both self-conscious disobedience and victmizing slavery, find addiction on the side that emphasizes slavery." In other words, it is a sin, but it is a sin which enslaves and entangles more readily than most. The addict feels out of control, but is making sinful choices at the same time.

Finally, he adds a welcome section entitled "Back to the Dark Ages?" where he addresses the very real problem that this doctrine "has been used to bludgeon addicts". Maybe calling it sin will keep people from getting help. People are often judgmental of addicts using this theology. But that doesn't mean the theology is wrong - it means that the people who are judgmental are in the wrong. Welch explains, "The answer is not to avoid the truths of Scripture for fear that they will be misused." Rather, we must use them properly. What does this look like? "A good friend shows an addict where to find life and hope...Doctrine...must also naturally point us to Jesus Christ."

He concludes with some pointers for the addict, one of which I found very useful. When I first read this, I did feel that physical aspects of addiction were perhaps underemphasized. In response, he comments that "the goal of this chapter is not to minimize the effect of the body on addictions. Rather, it is to emphasize the role of the heart." This was extremely helpful to me, because frankly, I have come to be convicted recently through various Scriptures, life experiences, and WW meetings, that the real problem lies very deep. The center of my being needs to have a new focus, or I will exchange my food addiction for something worse, perhaps. I am renewing my desire to be changed by God's grace and to know him more. In knowing him more, may I see that only he will satisfy my longings.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Fast forward

"Did you ever feel like someone put your day on fast-forward?" I asked Loren, as we had dinner tonight. Well actually, I asked him as I quickly choked down 3 chicken tacos (delicious, despite the hurry) before women's Bible study tonight. That was my day, except for a brief time in the afternoon. Loren & I watched "This Divided State" (great documentary about Michael Moore's visit to UVSC) while Calvin napped. Other than that, it was go, go, go.

Perhaps I need to be asking myself why I feel so compelled to cram so much into every day. It's not like I feel guilty about relaxing, it's just that there is so much I think I HAVE to do RIGHT NOW that CAN'T WAIT one more minute. At least that's the thought train going 'round in my head. I mean, I like to relax as much as the next person, and I get annoyed that I have so much I HAVE TO DO that I can't relax. Then I get irritated with Loren because he does know how to relax, and why does he always get to rest when I HAVE TO WORK? But this is silly, since the only reason I am working so hard is that I am driving myself to it.

Hmmmm. This is deserving of more thought. I'll probably put it off until I have time, which means I won't do it. I do actually need to get some sleep now...

Sunday, October 09, 2005

long time no post... more progress, though!

OK OK it's been 5 days. Sorry to the few who bother reading my blather. Anyway, progress for the week was another 1.8 lb gone forever. New total is 67.8 lb! I'm feeling good about that.

I was going to write about another chapter in the addictions book, but I am just too tired. I have no excuse other than that I got up earlier than usual, played the piano at church, and walked 3.75 miles today. I did rest and watch the 49ers game (why did I bother? sigh...) until 4 pm when I taught 2 piano lessons and then ate dinner & fed Calvin too. Calvin went to bed early tonight - 7 pm (yay!) so now I'm going to take a bath. A hot bath. In my jacuzzi tub. Ahhhhhh. And I'm going to read a great book I bought called The Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson. It's a very interesting history of English with lots of tidbits thrown in. He's a great writer, so I'm really enjoying it a lot. I only have 20 other books I want to read on my bookshelf in my room (the nightstand isn't big enough to hold my reading projects!) but they will have to wait. I'm reading this one first!!!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

An interesting day

There is a Chinese curse that says "May you live in interesting times". Well, yesterday was interesting. I went to the RE (Reproductive Endocrinologist) to get some help with trying to conceive baby #2, and had to wait for an hour for him to show up. He was stuck in surgery, so it's not like he could help it, but it was still annoying, esp. because we had Calvin with us (we wanted him to see Calvin since he helped us conceive the first time). I had an ultrasound to see what was going on, and it turns out that absolutely nothing is going on. No decent follicles, not much endometrial lining, etc. My body just doesn't seem to be having a clue about what it is supposed to be doing. That was a bummer. So, since my prolactin level was normal (it was high before, and taking meds to lower it led straight to Calvin!), we're going to try clomiphene, a drug that makes you ovulate. Basically, it fools your brain into thinking you don't have any estrogen around, and that causes GnRH release and then LH release and ovulation. Ta-da! We'll see what happens. It does have a 5-10% risk of twins if you do get pregnant. Yikes. Well, I'm just not going to worry about that right now.

So the appointment was OK except for being late, but then I left the office and proceeded to hit the edge of a tire on a large curb (how stupid can I get?) and flattened it thoroughly. Loren was there and tried to change the tire, but one of the bolts on the wheel broke off and one of the lug nuts was misshapen. So, we had to call AAA and get a tow. Several hours later (after feeding Calvin cookies from a vending machine at the repair shop because I didn't bring food for that long), Loren picked us up after he got off of work. An hour later, the car was fixed and we were able to go get it. I did make it home in time to teach my 5:30 pm piano students, which was good.

Anyway, everything came out fine in the end, but it was an interesting day, to be sure.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Calvin's birthday party

Wow, this was lots of fun. It was hilarious watching Calvin and his friends play with all his new toys. I think maybe I had more fun watching him play with them than he had playing with them. He got some great toys and beautiful clothes, he enjoyed playing with his cake, and the adults enjoyed watching and eating yummy food. I'll post some more pictures on our web site soon.

Nubby ball from Mommy & Daddy Posted by Picasa

Mouse race cars from Mommy & Daddy Posted by Picasa

Just one of the very cute Gymboree outfits from Great Grandpa North and Great Uncle Ed & Aunt Kate Posted by Picasa

Animal pop-up toy from the Hausams Posted by Picasa

Ball toss from Grandma & Grandpa Wright Posted by Picasa

Raggedy Andy from Great Grandma Wright Posted by Picasa

Shape sorter from the Jorgensens Posted by Picasa

The ball popper was a very popular gift from the Mauldens! All the kids swarmed it. Posted by Picasa

Lego bus from Valerie & Nayra Posted by Picasa

The food Posted by Picasa

The train cake Posted by Picasa

Calvin and the cake: before the destruction begins. Posted by Picasa

After...need I say more? Posted by Picasa

Progress for the week

Yesterday was really busy w/Calvin's birthday party and then small group at night, so I didn't post my progress. But I did really well last week - I lost 2.4 lb for a total of 66.0 lb!!! I got another 5-lb star to add to my collection. I figure I've got about 29 lb to go now. The goal is within reach... probably by February or March, I hope.