And just like that, it’s Friday again. We’ve planned a few quasi-last-minute adventures and I’ll be back next week with all the details. The weather forecast is not ideal, but we’ll make the most of what comes our way.
But first, a quick recap of the week that was…
- I had a rough night on Thursday (overall my insomnia has been so much better lately; I’ve got a health update post in the works!) and was awake by 3 am. Ugh. I went downstairs but could hear the kids up BEFORE six. Turns out they were preparing April Fools pranks. This is hilarious because I almost never do anything for April Fools and on a whim decided to trick them last year (I froze a spoon inside cereal and milk in the freezer and 100% fooled them). They repeated the same frozen cereal trick (a bit of a stretch since I don’t eat cereal very often) and also colored water yellow to make it look like pee (Sigh).
- John and I did an outside run together (my first of 2022). I only did 3 km and was tuckered by the end, but I have to start somewhere!
- After the kids finished school we headed off on a blitz of errands: I officially waved goodbye to 2021 taxes at the bank, dropped off a bag of kid’s clothes at consignment, and we bought Abby’s main birthday gift (a new pair of boots).
- John and I watched the latest episode of The Dropout; I am really enjoying this show!
- I got the chance to invest in a new friendship. I’ve casually known a person for years, but we had an impromptu meet-up a few months ago and last week I reached out to ask if she wanted to drop by for tea. She arrived at 8:30 am…and left at 12:30 pm! It was lovely to get better acquainted (she’s in her 50s and I really do value/enjoy connecting with people with some extra life experience).
- I did two, short solo walks using my AirPods to call people en route. I am not a fan of phone calls and try to avoid them as much as possible (I would say I do 2-3 phone calls/month for personal connection – so not related to work/home management – which I suspect is shockingly low?), but talking while I walk is a nice way to fit them in.
- I read a set of picture books that were forgettable to the kids at supper. After one such disappointment, I started the sentence: “Well that was...” and then I paused, not quite sure how to complete my thought (realizing that authors deserve respect for their craft, regardless of my perceptions). Abby didn’t miss a beat and said with confidence “…a dud.” My thoughts exactly and her deadpan reaction made me literally laugh out loud.
- Date night. We watched Death on the Nile (it was okay) and the first episode of Only Murders in the Building.
- Church! We were sitting several rows behind one of “the knitters” so I can’t confirm if she was knitting, but I like to think so.
- I made Chicken Noodle Soup (for Monday’s supper).
- Sunday morning friends had invited us over for a last-minute lunch. I prepped raw veggies and they did BBQ. They have a great backyard and the kids played on walkie-talkies, made a lot of noise, and generally had a blast.
- We left their house and walked to Grand Pre, a UNESCO World Heritage site. We saw eagles, an otter, and Levi picked me a few crocuses.
- Low-light: I felt ravenous all day. But in a weird not-really-hungry and not-eating-because-I’m-emotional sort of way. I’m blaming it on hormones, but it was frustrating and my clothes all felt uncomfortably tight.
- An April snow day and the kids ended up being off school.
- I worked on the couch getting caught up on work e-mails that had filtered in over the weekend while the kids made their own breakfast (lovely), read their kids devotional/practiced their Bible Club verse together (also lovely), and then started fighting with each other (less lovely).
- I was scheduled to host a little group to discuss the Find Your People book; that meeting ended up being canceled, but my best friend came over with her kiddos and we spent the morning together. The kids had loads of fun, including a rousing game of laser tag and some outside play in the snow.
- That same friend (and the rest of her family) came back for supper. I am loving these Monday-night suppers. We had the soup (prepared on Sunday), crackers, homemade cornbread, and leftover birthday cake (from the freezer). The big kids played more laser tag and LEGO and I read the toddler 8 board books – the cuteness of the latter activity was almost too much to bear.
- Random, but I set out a little table for two of the kids to eat at and it made me smile to see these chairs. When Abby was little someone gifted us the A chair and etched her handprints. I am, in general, not very sentimental about “stuff” but I want the kids to keep these chairs forever. When Levi was born, we commissioned the same person to build us an L chair. These get used for EVERYTHING and are so, so sturdy.
- The evening ended on a high with a stunning sunset where everyone rushed to the window – even the kids stood still in awe.
- It was a cold wake-up. We left the house with one child in hysterics over being told to wear snowpants and another child giving the silent treatment over being told to wear snow boots (there is SNOW on the ground, hence SNOW boots). But both kids found friends to walk with them and all was forgiven and forgotten.
- I worked in the office for hours and started to stress about how busy May is looking – I have to organize a virtual research conference, two committee meetings, and finish quarterly reporting + prepare an annual report. All in the span of a little over a week. And there isn’t much I can do in advance to lighten that load. Oh well.
- I worked off some of that anticipatory stress with a 3 km outside run. This run felt much better than Friday, but it is still discouraging how hard running feels right now. I’m glad I abandoned treadmill running this winter and focused on daily walking instead, but the fact that a few years ago I was churning out 10 km in under 60-minutes feels…completely unreachable, maybe forever?
- Back to the office by lunchtime and my head literally hurt by the end of 3 hours of e-mails. I powered through a lot of big things, but when I dealt with one “emergency” it felt like another one popped right up.
- After supper, we watched two episodes of Race the Tide, a Canadian sand-sculpture competition. We all really enjoyed it; what people can create from a giant hunk of sand is incredible.
- I started – and finished – New Minimalism. I thought it offered a very balanced approach on the topic and more genreally I find this sort of book both calming and motivational.
*I am going to talk about weight – with specifics – which I know can be a triggering topic, so please feel free to skip this section*
- A beautiful, crisp day. After the walk to school I made a batch of seed bars (seeds + water; they’re delicious)
- Work, work, work.
- A walk with my best friend. We spent 20 minutes at the end of the walk discussing some things that are currently feeling “hard”. I’m so thankful for this friend and that we can tell each other that it’s okay to stop saying “everything’s fine” and admit when certain things in life are a tough slog.
- Back to do a work call. One part of my university role involves regular onboarding; instead of a video call, we agreed to do this session as a remote “walk-and-talk” so I paced back and forth in my neighbourhood, gesturing wildly with my hands and generally looking crazy to any neighbours watching!
- 3 km run with John (we went in separate directions and met in the middle for a high five). My best run yet!
- Another onboarding session (walk-and-talk), work, a quick hello to the kids and back to the office.
- Post-supper = library + grocery store stop to prep for our little adventure.
And now a tangent time because on Wednesday I decided to take another break from the scale.
It’s likely not proper etiquette to share your weight with strangers (or even those closest to you) and weight, body image, and health are very broad topics with so many considerations (hence my warning above). I can only share my own struggles – mental and physical – with weight management.
And I find it hard to describe my experience without mentioning numbers.
As of Wednesday morning, I weigh 147 lbs. Like my age, I try to see this number as nothing more than a descriptive fact. But, if I bought into BMI mentality – which I don’t – it puts me on the low end of the “overweight” scale.
Some history. When I was 12 years old I weighed over 130 lbs. That is a lot for a 12-year-old (and I was not tall). At one point post-partum I weighed about 210 lbs.
Over the last decade, I have completely overhauled how I eat, what I eat, and how I stay active – and I am very happy with the major changes I’ve made and embraced for so long. I am confident many of these habits will stick for life.
But here’s the thing: if I am not mindful of what I eat, I will overeat. My body is geared this way and I have to accept that I will need to monitor my eating habits forever. Some of this is personality and lifestyle choices and some of this is genetic predispositions to high cholesterol and weight issues.
I know intuitive eating is a wonderful option for many…but I honestly feel like just about every waking moment I want to eat something; I also almost never feel full. True story. For anyone who doesn’t feel this way, I think it can be hard to imagine life in this reality (I have no idea how common my experience is?). It takes a lot of mental willpower for me to make good choices that don’t necessarily come “intuitively” or for which my body doesn’t necessarily produce accurate cues.
Suzanne had an excellent, balanced post earlier this week about eating healthfully/weight management and one of her comments stuck out:
“I’ve tried to accept [my body] changes, to eat intuitively, and to buy clothes that fit me. I feel like I should love my body. But I don’t. So wanting to lose weight feels like a failure. But the fact is, I DO want to lose weight.”
While I would love to say I don’t care if I stay at 147, I would like to reach some number in the 130s. This is arbitrary in a way, but it is most definitely the weight where I feel best. I feel best physically – for walking, running, and being active with my family. And yes, my clothes fit and feel better, too.
For most of the last 8 years, I have been gaining and losing the same 12-15 pounds. While I feel best in the 130s, I also have to accept I have a weight that fluctuates. A lot. Especially hormonally. So it feels like a difficult balance of keeping a pulse on things (which I need to do for health reasons), while eating “intuitively”…even though my body doesn’t always send clear signals.
With all that in mind, for the rest of April I’m going to listen to my body – hunger cues, but also “How do these jeans feel” – instead of being tied to a scale. If/when I hop on in May I would really like to see something in the 130s show up.
Because that is where my body feels best. But it might also say 147lb or 155lb. And…well, we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.
- Hmmm. Thursday threw some curveballs that were pretty exhausting, to be honest. But I fit in lots of work, walked the kids to school, and managed another 3 km run (much tougher than Wednesday; I was underdressed for the unexpectedly chilly conditions!).
Now it’s adventure time!
Happy weekending! Any exciting plans in the days ahead?