I hate my body.

Not in the My-thighs-rub-together or the I’m-too-fat kind of way.

Perhaps hate is too strong of a word.

I treat my body like a trash can.

That is too strong.

I don’t treat it like a trash can. I mean, do you fill your trash can with fresh mozzarella, red wine and chocolate when you are not pouring coffee, beer and red meat into it?

Didn’t think so.

You eat that stuff. Do you know why?

Because it tastes amazing and makes you feel good.

Unfortunately, good does not always equal healthy.

I don’t do moderation well. I went to the doctor last week. I have gained 10lbs in the past two months. If there were a show called The Biggest Gainer, I would own every contestant and go home with big money. I also had to admit to how many alcoholic drinks I ingest during the week.

Well, I admitted it minus like – half.

He’s a doctor not a priest, yo! I ain’t gotta tell him nothin’.

I also feel gross. I am constantly tired and lack discipline. I drink a glass of water daily. If I am lucky, I can add a few cups of tea to that. I eat out more than I should and I never go for the healthier option. I work out too much for that.

Well, guess what?

I do not work out too much anymore. I bruised a tendon in my knee and can no longer participate in most of our roller derby practices. I probably bruised it when my chocolate, red meat body infused with wine hit the ground too hard. Trust me. It wasn’t the water weight that did me in.

I overeat, over drink, don’t sleep and now, my workout routine is like a lover who is stepping out on me with 50 other women.

I am so jealous it hurts. Every time I bend my knee and it hurts, I am reminded that I still can’t play. I still can’t hit people without the risk of injuring myself further.

And I really like to hit people. It has become my emotional release. Now, I release nothing and eat it all.

So, while away this weekend, I ate it all. The cheesecake, the mozzarella balls, the stir fry and, the pizza. I drank all of the wine and had a couple of beers. I drank tea and coffee too. I realized I was out of control and needed a time out.

So now, I am cleansing for a while. And by “a while”, I mean 35 days.

I consulted with my crazy yoga friend, Emily (crazy good) and she gave me some information on a Ayurvedic cleanse that she did earlier this year. Click here to check it out if you’re curious. Below is week 1.

I already regret the loss of butter and cheese. So far those are the cravings that get my attention. I feel like a love letter to cheese may be coming. That’s how badly I miss it after half of the first day of my 35 day cleanse. Fudge.


I feel gunky. I feel like things are out of control. This is me, hitting the famous reset button. I am listening to what my body needs today. I am open to this lasting two days or forty-five.

I am listening to a body usually ignored and cajoled into eating just one more, or staying up just a bit longer. Rest and reset.

So, please, if you see me on the street, don’t wave a stick of butter in my face or I might charge. You have been warned.

Suffering a cheddar withdrawal,


PS – Have you ever cleansed? Got any helpful tips you’d like to share? Leave a comment.

Week 1 (at least 3-4 days): Pre-cleanse

During this time, eliminate your personal vices from your diet. Cut heavy, congesting foods out of your diet (meat, dairy, wheat, sugar, nuts) and keep snacking to a minimum; let there be 5-6 hours between meals. Oh, and don’t even think about caffeine or alcohol. When the body cleanses., it deserves to relax. No stimulants allowed.

There is a long list of things to incorporate during this time:

  • Add lots of warm water into your diet. Cold water is a shock to your system. Start off the day with warm water with lemon to flush the liver.
  • If digestion is slow, fresh ginger can be eaten.
  • Try to eat more whole, unprocessed foods.
  • 15-30 minutes before a meal, drink a cocktail of 1 tsp apple cider vinegar, 1 tsp honey and 4 ounces of warm water OR a slice of ginger with rock salt and a squeeze of lime juice.
  • begin eating one beet a day, easiest when juiced.
  • sip digestive teas after meals (like chamomile)

You will also need to change your schedule in order to honor your needs while cleansing, whether it be waking up earlier to meditate or making time to practice asana. Begin to also incorporate self-massage (abhyanga) into your routine.

Most important: spend time in silence every day. Be more introverted and set intentions for yourself.


Stroller Beer

We love to take our kids on little adventures.  When Isaiah and Isaac decided to give up their traditional birthday party for a camping trip to Michigan Adventure, we were excited.  Our family birthday parties are traditionally large and thanks to my own mother’s tradition of throwing over the top parties, I usually pull a muscle trying to do the same thing.  We decided to have cake and ice cream with a few of Isaiah’s friends before the trip and a few of Isaac’s friend’s after.  Their birthday’s are exactly two weeks a part which left a nice gap for our trip.

I love vacations but as the primary food acquisition specialist, packer and travel agent the pre-vacation period leaves me overwhelmed.  I stand in my dining room checking that we have exactly the amount of undies, socks and diapers to make it through our trip while not overloading our car with too much stuff.  There are usually requests thrown out while I try to coordinate for game boys, scooters or fruit snacks.  Before we leave there are shouts of, “I’ve got the camera!”, “Oh my gosh, I almost forgot the tooth brushes!” and “Did you pack my socks?”

I typically handle the chaos with patience and counterfeit efficiency.  This weekend I was grumpy.  By the time I finally sat in the passenger seat sweating a little from helping Paul buckle the car topper all of the stuff, people and books I brought with me that I would never have a chance to read, made me want to bolt.

Okay, I see here you have all you need to survive the weekend.  I now bequeath you the directions, reservation codes and tickets.  Have a great time.  I’ll just take those books.

Of course, I am glad I didn’t. 

I would have missed Isaiah and Levi taking a ride together for the first time.  Isaiah with his arm ever so gently around Levi’s shoulder rubbing his belly and talking to him as they went around and around.

I would have also missed the hidden snack contraband.  We smuggled them in our diaper wipes.  No one frisked us after all of our trouble.

Isaiah was killer on the bumper cars.  He drove one all by himself and his little chest was puffed up with pride.

We were told to put our camera away on all rides.  Ha! Suckers!

Isaiah rode some of his first roller coaster rides with Mom and Dad, individually.  Someone had to be responsible and watch the younger kids.  I’ve heard you can’t just lock a stroller’s wheels and walk away for a minute. 

Isaac made this all possible by sleeping through the rides he most definitely would not have been happy to miss out on.  The dreaded words, “I’m sorry baby, you’re not tall enough.” were heard way to often.

I took an awesome shot of this family in preparation for….

…completely failing to take a great shot of my own family experiencing the same moment.

It was an amazing trip.  We had a blast and when we finally made it back to the campsite, Paul and I were confident that we had worked our kids into a state of exhaustion that would let us sit back and enjoy a beer.  Isaiah and Isaac fell asleep on the ride back and so we gingerly carried our big boys and laid them in their beds.  Levi was still awake but a little belly rub and we were sure he would be out cold.

Mwah ha ha ha.

The joke was on me.  I laid next to that little booger for an hour.  He was over stimulated to the point that he kept alternating between sleep and giddy delirium.  Paul had already missed his meal driving us home and in the midst of his much anticipated meal, I knew I was on my own.  Finally, I went outside and found the sandman.

I informed Paul that I was going to take the baby for a walk in the jogging stroller.  He looked at me with tired eyes and asked if I wanted to take my beer with me.

I paused and responded with a slow yes.

There I was at 11pm walking my baby in a family friendly campground with a beer in the cup holder of my jogging stroller.  It had been a long day and the beer was wonderful.  Exercise and beer, all though not the most health conscious combination, they equal a stress TKO.   After about the second lap, he fell asleep and I carefully carried him inside.  All was quiet. I went to sleep to the snoring of four men and the faint calling of two books yet to be cracked.

It was a good trip and I am so glad I didn’t forget the stroller….or the beer.

*This is not a recommended excercise routine for weight loss.  Please consult your doctor before comencing any weight loss program – especially one that will not make you lose any weight.  You may want to ask your doctor (or google) how far you would have to walk to enjoy a beer without consequences of weight gain. Once you find out, leave a comment here.  It would be good to know…you know, in case this happens again.

The Goddess

I hate my stomach.  Thanks to bad genes and chocolate chip cookies I have always had more curves than straights.  I have always been the Bridget Jones and never the lithe one.  My tops never button in the middle without double sided tape or alterations.  Did I mention I am also top heavy.

I enjoy being pregnant.  I love the feeling of my baby swishing and swirling around in my belly.  Know what else?  I love how round and smooth my belly gets.  Damn the consequences.  I love how during pregnancy I can wear cute maternity outfits impossible when my stomach is without child.  The fashion options are definitely far greater than when I am losing weight after the birth of my children.

My self esteem goes from good to goddess in nine months.  I celebrate the firmness of my breasts filled with milk.  I constantly touch the full round belly and wear tight shirts to show it off.  I can see the stretch marks lurking.  The old ones white and the new ones creeping up pink and foreboding.  I know that my time of glorious pride cannot continue forever.

It is true.  For awhile, after the baby is born I languish in the delight of my baby’s smell, touch and taste.  I feel like a momma bear licking the fur of her new born.  I stretch out next to him (all of mine have been boys) and listen to him nurse.  I touch his toes, his cheeks and the straight hairs my boys lose before they turn two.  I am lost in the magic and I forget the world.

When the hospital doors open to me and I step back into my maternity clothes I wince.  Oh, crap.  I don’t want to wear these anymore.  A few weeks after that and I am pathetically hopping on the scale.  My husband stands in the door way and asks, “Why do you do this to yourself?”  He has seen this behavior three times now and I have no explanation.  How do you explain to a man who has just watch you give birth to his child that you don’t feel pretty.  You may as well try to convince him that the sky is pink.

I waft in and out of love with my body.  I enjoy the golden brown hue of my skin.  My eyes are dark brown except around the very edges where they have a tinge of blue. Just enough to make purple a great eye shadow color…in case you wanted to know.  My fingers are long and slender.  They were built for the piano lessons I discarded time and time again.  I am physically strong and healthy.  My legs are long for such a short body and the two tattoos I have never regretted still bring me joy in their decoration.

My stomach is not flat.  It is scarred with roads of stretch marks three times over.  My breasts are not as firm but with a great bra they are still beautiful. My body is a conduit through which three boys, eventually men, have been created, formed and finally sent out into the world.  They still sit in my lap, play with my hair, give me wet willy’s and high fives after gymnastic practices.  They are not gone completely from my body even yet.

The flabby, stretchy skin over my stomach and the loose, velvety skin on the sides of my breasts are not fatal flaws.  They are the place left by three boys for another brother (or sister, but I am not holdin’ my breath).  They are the beloved body of a valued wife.  They are reminders to me that I was once a goddess and should I choose, I can be again.  Pregnant or not.

This post is participating in the Body Image Carnival being hosted by Melodie at Breastfeeding Moms Unite! and MamanADroit who will be posting articles on themes pertaining to body image all week! Make sure you check out their blogs everyday between April 12-18 for links to other participants’ posts as well as product reviews, a giveaway, and some links to research, information and resources pertaining to body image.

Jelly Belly

I have never been a slim girl. I take that back. Not since the age of ten have I been a slim girl. I have always been what some may call thick, Phat, pleasantly plump or my favorite, chunky. I have always had a bit of junk in my trunk, a honky tonk badonk-a-donk and a bit of a jelly belly. If you are starting to get queasy in reaction to all of the ridiculous nick names for a woman who is average in size, I concur completely.

To say that I do not wish to be thinner would make me Un-American, an anomaly in the masses of women that sign up for gym memberships, buy diet pills, pay for liposuction, tummy tucks and stomach staples. I have been on the inside of a changing room, that I would swear was the ninth gate of hell, where nothing fit except for the one shirt you thought would be “huge” on you. I have looked at a pair of jeans and thought those are too big and the legs are too short only to realize they fit me perfectly. Nice.

I would miss my curves. I love my hips and my breasts. I even love my thighs when no one is looking. Or maybe it’s when I am not looking at anyone else. If I were to get my wishes, made out of ridiculous malcontent, I would probably be devastated. What I want is to be healthy, fit and toned. I don’t think that is too much to ask.

So every day, for about two weeks, I schlep out my work out gear, videos and a baby gate and sweat. I do squats, push-ups, crunches and aerobics. My children stand at the door and knock and I tell them to get lost. I believe my exact words were, “If you get in my way or touch me while I am working out you’re going to be in big trouble. I never have the time to do this so I am going to make the time and you are going to go find something to do without me.”

Don’t worry. After reading this parenting book, you will all be as well versed in child development as I am.

I make healthy choices one meal at a time. I even sabotage my own weak will power by quickly rinsing the brownie batter down the sink so I don’t lick the bowl clean like a crazy chocolate deprived woman. I have never been deprived. I try to stick with the veggie tray at most of the parties, sans the dip. I even pay attention to my serving sizes.

For me, this is the hard part. I work out, sweat, put away my gear, take a shower and then realize that it didn’t work. I still have freakin’ stretch marks! What the hell did I do all of that for. I get confused every time I work out and forget that healthy, fit and the (someday attained) tonality I long for looks nothing like the American ideal of beauty. I have to reset my expectations and find joy in my accomplishments two pounds at a time.

Again, I guess I will just have to be Un-American. Bummer. I kind of like it here.