Friday, December 21, 2012

Bariatric Betty, Centurion, has a long week

It's for real this time.  After I stepped on the scale and it read 143.4 pounds this morning I didn't get excited.  I stepped off and let it recalibrate - because it's faked me out before.  Three times later, I believe it.  I have lost 100 pounds!  My BMI is down to 25.9 from it's high of 43.2.  So, today isn't really that different than every other day that I work the program, and nothing changes other than how I'll answer people when they ask how much I've lost and my new nickname for myself.  Centurion.  Wikipedia says it was a professional officer who commanded sometimes 100, but more often 60 - 80 soldiers.  I'm in command of my body, and I've discharged 100 pounds that were not fit for service.  :)

This is not to say the road has been easy.  Last Friday I had an epic fail - my first dump from knowingly eating something I shouldn't.  Damn glaze.

Like everyone else, the news from New Town hit me hard - especially because I work in an elementary school and I couldn't help thinking of all of "my kids" as well as my sons in such a tragedy.  So I thought I was handling it well when my first thing I did after work was take my dog for a 2 mile walk.  Then my 3rd grader son got off the school bus and told me he got in trouble for telling a friend he was "going to beat the crap out of" him.  What?!?  My first response to him was "I'm just happy you're home safe - give me a hug".  But then I spent the next couple hours talking with him about why "using your words" doesn't include threatening someone.  About how some children are not as lucky as him and come from homes where they get hit - sometimes so badly that they can't live with their parents anymore.  That while he knows he wouldn't actually beat someone up, that doesn't mean that anybody else should believe that.  I prepared my husband for the possibility that he could be suspended for threatening a student.  I prepared my son for that possibility as well, explaining that if anybody threatened him I would want them to have serious consequences.  The teacher gave some consequences and defused the situation, but she would still need to involve the principal, and we wouldn't know the outcome until this week.  Then we talked about his consequences at home.  After lengthy conversation, we decided that we would try to focus on something positive and use his saved allowance for December to go shopping for Toys for Tots on Saturday.  He picked out a toy that he hopes to get for Christmas himself and paid for it.  Then he put it in the donation box and we talked about how that was going to help a kid less fortunate than him have a happier Christmas. 

Back to Friday night, and I was finishing some cookies for a coworker.  Cookies that get dipped in glaze.  I licked my fingers, and then started scooping up the drops of glaze that dripped of the drying cookies.  About 2 tablespoons later, my stomach started to feel bad.  I threw out the rest of the glaze as soon as the cookies were finished, but the damage was done.  I had to call my 12 year old in to finish making dinner while I crawled into bed.  Owwwwwwwww.  My moaning scared the heck out of my husband when he got home.  I felt nauseous as well, but there was nothing to throw up - the thick sugar water had been absorbed and I was blessed to dump.  So that's how I celebrated the 7th night of Hanukkah - being thankful for the small miracle of dumping.  My guilt over my husband having to jump in to take care of the kids while I recovered was significant.  And then he came and talked to me.  He told me that he knew I got a lot out of baking, and that I seem to do really well controlling my intake except for when I get glaze all over my fingers...  He made me a wonderful offer.  From now on, when I make the cookies with glaze, he said HE will glaze them for me.  How cool is that?  Not only is he going to help me keep making healthy choices and enjoy my hobby, now he is going to turn something that I really enjoy doing into something every better - because he is going to do it with me!  I'm so excited!  I won't be making any more until next November/ December, but now we have a plan and I'm really looking forward to it.  His idea gave me control over this ever happening again.  I'm so lucky to have him as my husband. 

Of course, having a plan for cookie baking doesn't take care of the emotions that come with the death of innocent children.  We decided that our whole family should try to look for opportunities for random acts of kindness for the next 20 days.  So far we've donated some toys, given away closer parking spots, helped a stranger find something and opened numerous doors for others.  Last year we helped pay off someone's layaway, and we'll probably look into doing that again this year.  I'll keep looking for ways to help others, be grateful for the health and safety of my family, and keep working the program. 

Speaking of work, my job has shifted again.  I'm now working the same hours but instead of being a monitor for kindergarten, 1st, and 3rdd graders during lunch and recess daily I'm working with two special needs kids (one kindergartener, one 4th grader).  They both have significant issues that require 1-on-1 attention and help eating.  Some parts of this are very fulfilling, other parts are not - like chasing after them when they bolt/ have a tantrum.  Or yesterday when the 4th grader bit my arm (luckily not breaking the skin) hard enough that it's still sore with bruising today.  The main down sides are that (except for running after them if they bolt) I don't get my extra 5000 steps in walking around like I ued to checking in on all of the kids, and I also don't have the chance to help kids with the jungle of playground drama issues they have to figure out as they get older.  My major accomplishment this week is that I've gotten my kindergartner ward to actually eat most of his lunch without running away screaming 4 days in a row.  That's huge. 

When I see kids struggling whether with special needs like autism, or behavioral issues, or just normal growing pains ("...she said she was my friend, but now she says she's not!") I want to help.  It's easier and more fun when it's helping kids be better friends than helping someone toilet or eat.  But, in both cases I feel like I'm having a positive impact on others even if I don't feel it every day.  That's something I need to feel in my life - even if they're not able to verbalize "thank you".  Luckily, my bosses have reacted positively to my request for more training so I know how to handle physical outburst more safely for both the kid and myself in the future!

My son ended up working with the school psychologist on a social story/ plan on what to do when he gets angry, which I sincerely appreciate.  While part of me wishes they had given some additional punitive conequences so he understood how seriously the schools take threatening to beat someone up, I'm glad they took the opportunity to help him figure out how to deal with tough situations in the future.  When he was first diagnosed with developmental delays and a speech disorder, we never guessed that he would be ABLE to speak well enough to get in trouble for verbally threatening someone.  So I guess as long as he has learned never to do that again, maybe I should think of this whole thing as a reminder of how lucky we are. 

Christmas is around the corner (we're an interfaith family, so we celebrate a lot of holidays) and my boys are excited.  My third grader sent a letter to Santa in his elf's backpack last night (taping it closed to make sure it didn't fall out on the trip - so cute!), and I've been handing out packages of Christmas cookies to teachers and coworkers. I pray that the holidays find all of you with your loved ones, safe and healthy, warm and thankful for your own blessings.  Heaven knows I'm thankful for mine, most of which are in the picture below.



  1. Congratulations, Centurion! I guess you discharged those 100 troops for the holidays with a plate of glazed cookies each...marching out of sight. :-) Enjoy the holidays with your family!

  2. ROTFLMAO - Thanks :) And you as well!