parens binubus

more than you want to know about a law school graduate/bar examinee who is also raising two children and doing her best at being a partner to her love.

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  • Monday, September 04, 2006
    Healthy v. Skinny
    I have gained weight since I divorced the Schlurg. I had been in pretty damned good shape and proud of the way I looked --- in 2000. In 2001, things improved even further, because I dealt with the anxiety and depression of separation and divorce by visiting the YMCA for 3+ hours per day. It was nice to feel proud of my body, especially after spending the bulk of 3 years being an incubator and milk source.

    Once I became a single mom, however, and had to work full time in order to survive, working out was much harder. To say the least. I did spend most of the next 2 years going for a jog/walk around Lake Merritt in Oakland on my lunch breaks, and it helped to keep weight gain reasonable - but I was not the same svelt muscular chica I had been. Nor was I still a size 8 (which is the smallest I will ever be, I'm 5' 7", and I'm just NOT a waif. Nor do I aspire to be.)

    Then .... uh, 1L. Yeah. I was just remembering that during my first semester of law school, I ate a LOT of ice cream. I would put the kids to bed and then hunker down with the books -- often until 1 a.m. or so - and ice cream was often by my side. And it showed. Add to that the fact that I never found the time to go to the gym, and Zuska is kind of chubby.

    Weight issues are hard to navigate around young girls. My daughters watch me like a hawk. They know what I eat, when I eat, and when my eating habits change. They are even more aware of weight issues, I think, since their father partnered with the woman who is now his wife. They bring up the skinny-ness of New Wife all the time. It's slightly troublesome to me. I don't think that Schlurg and New Wife are doing anything to foster this, but I do think that it's something the girls pay attention to. This summer, the girls came home saying that she (new wife) is 2 inches bigger around than Thing One. They measured. Thing One is a stick. And she's 10. And she's 4'3". New Wife is 5'5". They told me the other day that they don't think New Wife can have a baby, because she's really too skinny, and would surely explode. She would just POP, they said. Thing Two told me the other day that New Wife is not a normal kind of skinny, but that *I* (me, Real Mom) am normal. That is good, and makes me hopeful that they're okay in the weight issue department.

    But I still want to be careful. I want to lose weight (as I have for a few years), but I don't want to be obsessive to the point of making my kids feel that it is important to be THIN. So I try and focus on the fact that I want to be healthy. I exercise so I can be healthier; I abstain from unhealthy foods (WHEN I abstain, that is) because I want to be healthy.

    Suddenly, this is easier to do.

    Last week, when my mom came to town, she was talking about her recent diagnosis with Type II diabetes. She said she was concerned that I may end up with blood sugar issues, because our bodies function pretty similarly, and because I did have some blood sugar issues while pregnant. So she sent me her little blood meter to check my blood sugar with. Beloved and I both have since pricked our fingers a few times.

    As it turns out, we both have a lot of fluctuation in our blood sugar levels (even with similar conditions around each test), but our lowest readings are normal, and our highest are "borderline." The last thing either of us want is to become diabetics, so we're hoping to make some changes in our diets to get our blood sugar closer to the bottom of the range of normal, rather than the top.

    I am back to exercising on weekdays (I was up before my alarm this a.m., which goes off at 6:15. This is especially odd, since I think I fell to sleep at 1:30 a.m. last night ... why was I up so easy so early?), and we're looking at what foods are lower on the "glycemic index." It appears that with just paying attention, we can get our #s down within 24 hours. That's been the case thus far.

    I would LOVE to be thin again. But as it turns out, I'm really not vain enough to put too much effort into "being thin." So many other things take precedent. My family and my studies, for instance. I vascillate between thinking hey - I don't *have* to be thin. I can be an average-shaped woman -- why not? I'm 33 years old, I have two kids ... I ditched the guy who expected perfection from me - why not just BE? Why struggle?

    Then I remember how good it felt to be proud of my body, and to try on clothes and have them not just FIT, but actually look good. If I then look at the family history of blood sugar and heart disease (I'll stop there, the list goes on) -- it's to my benefit to do the BEST I can - to be in the BEST SHAPE and best health that is possible. That is not where I'm at right now.

    I'm not looking to starve myself (as if I could), I'm not looking to exercise myself into the ground (as if I could). I'm just looking to improve the shape of things. To be HEALTHY.

    I do, however, wish it were easier. But that's not the hand I was dealt.
    posted by Zuska @ 5:51 PM  
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