Making Self-Improvements Tribe - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 127 Old 12-20-2009, 06:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sort of like New Year's Resolutions, but for real! Who wants to join me in chatting about what you are trying to do to improve yourself and your family? I'm going to spend more time with the kids and spend more time finding healthy recipes and snacks to feed them, instead of the *ahem* garbage that I have been . I've been back to college in a difficult program but that's only a minor excuse. Mostly, I think improving food will go a long way in improving everyone's mood in the family. I hope.

What else? I've made myself a schedule, that I am going to stick to like rubber glue. I'm working on better managing my money so that I save more and put much less on the credit card. I'm looking deeply into spirituality. Mostly, I'm trying to find my own center and remind myself that I have plenty of self-worth. That's easy to forget when you get caught up in being a wife, mother, student, and friend.

So, how are you improving yourself? Major, minor, it doesn't matter--just let us know!

Reneé, 34 year old mom to Antonin 8/04 and Arianna 9/06  (6 weeks) 5/08. Married to Matt since 6/03 .  
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#2 of 127 Old 12-20-2009, 06:44 PM
 
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Maybe I belong here. I think self-improvement is actually my hobby. I'm not big on resolutions or anything, but there are several things I'd like to improve upon in myself and related to my family as well.

I'll think about it and get back to you all. I think maybe if I had some support, it would help me keep going when things get hard. (This seems to be cyclical for me.)

And I hear you about the "garbage" food thing.

I am a 40 year old unschooling, belly dancing, artist-mama of one almost 8 year old. I just had brain surgery and blogging.jpg about it a bit because it's just so surreal.
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#3 of 127 Old 12-20-2009, 09:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Cool, hope you decide to stick around.

Resolutions aren't really the best term, just the closet I could think of. This thread is really just for any self-improvement on any time-frame, no real start date, no end date. Just the goal of starting and maintaining improvement.

Reneé, 34 year old mom to Antonin 8/04 and Arianna 9/06  (6 weeks) 5/08. Married to Matt since 6/03 .  
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#4 of 127 Old 12-20-2009, 11:08 PM
 
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I am going to the bookstore to pick up a book recommended by some other MDC mamas about self-esteem and codependency. That's probably where I'll be starting on my latest self-improvement project.

I'm also a parenting book junkie. But I only read the good stuff.

I am a 40 year old unschooling, belly dancing, artist-mama of one almost 8 year old. I just had brain surgery and blogging.jpg about it a bit because it's just so surreal.
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#5 of 127 Old 12-21-2009, 12:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yep, I need to find some new parenting books too. Both my kids are past the breastfeeding-cosleeping stage of life. I need to find books on living with preschoolers, fun stuff to do with them, ways to create a wholesome and loving environment for them as they go through the next stages of their lives.

Reneé, 34 year old mom to Antonin 8/04 and Arianna 9/06  (6 weeks) 5/08. Married to Matt since 6/03 .  
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#6 of 127 Old 12-21-2009, 01:44 PM
 
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I am going to move this to the Personal Growth forum.

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#7 of 127 Old 12-21-2009, 01:46 PM
 
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I am reading "The Mother's Guide to Self Renewal" at the moment, so I definitely belong here!!!
I am trying really hard to do more things for me, like a shower once in a while!!!
Honestly, I am trying to par back and just concentrate on myself and my family.

Alisha , mama to 2 DS (4&2) Due April 2010 with #3!!
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#8 of 127 Old 12-21-2009, 01:47 PM
 
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So now that I have moved it I guess I should join it too!

My husband is striving to finish his degree by the end of 2010 and I will work on my MBA this year as well. We have been decluttering the house almost nonstop and hope to finish it by this year as well. I am also going to be a bigger part of my homeschooling group in the area this year. It isnt a resolution per se but more of just a goal for us all...

earth.gif trottin', pole dancing, Norway and Sweden lovin' , hippie.gif,WOHM Kiddos born waterbirth.jpg 12/11/06 and 08/09/08 
belly.gif with #3 puke.gif EDD:01/2013 yikes2.gif So in love loveeyes.gif with my sweet Swede 2twins.gif and my bonus-son 10/25/98 carrot.gif

 
 

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#9 of 127 Old 12-21-2009, 01:48 PM
 
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I am reading "The Mother's Guide to Self Renewal" at the moment, so I definitely belong here!!!
I am trying really hard to do more things for me, like a shower once in a while!!!
Honestly, I am trying to par back and just concentrate on myself and my family.
showers!!! I need to make more time for those... sigh.

earth.gif trottin', pole dancing, Norway and Sweden lovin' , hippie.gif,WOHM Kiddos born waterbirth.jpg 12/11/06 and 08/09/08 
belly.gif with #3 puke.gif EDD:01/2013 yikes2.gif So in love loveeyes.gif with my sweet Swede 2twins.gif and my bonus-son 10/25/98 carrot.gif

 
 

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#10 of 127 Old 12-21-2009, 06:39 PM
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Oh, me! Subbing.

I don't know. I feel like "me" needs a lot of work these days. I seem to remember feeling like this at the same time in DS's life (around 9 mo), like it was time for me to get some of myself back.

So I am going to start writing again. I don't know how because I have about the worst case of writer's block in history, but I'm going to try really hard this time. I seriously feel high when I finally get into my creative space, and that can only do good things for me.

DH and I are going to work on doing something different together. Last night, that was reading and talking about A Lover's Complaint. Swoon.

And I am going to stop letting my mom make hurtful, critical comments while standing there and not saying anything. I don't know if I can do much more than that with my relationship with her, but I have GOT to start standing up for myself.

Can't wait to see everyone's progress!
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#11 of 127 Old 12-21-2009, 06:42 PM
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So now that I have moved it I guess I should join it too!

My husband is striving to finish his degree by the end of 2010 and I will work on my MBA this year as well. We have been decluttering the house almost nonstop and hope to finish it by this year as well. I am also going to be a bigger part of my homeschooling group in the area this year. It isnt a resolution per se but more of just a goal for us all...
We've been talking a lot about these two things as well. My degree is one test and one class away from being done, so I think that's something I want for myself this year, and I want to start thinking about grad school. Those are more career goals than personal ones though.

And I've decided that I'm going to insist that we declutter and simplify our lives before we start looking for a house. No sense in moving a bunch of junk into a nice new place, right?
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#12 of 127 Old 12-21-2009, 07:02 PM
 
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We've been talking a lot about these two things as well. My degree is one test and one class away from being done, so I think that's something I want for myself this year, and I want to start thinking about grad school. Those are more career goals than personal ones though.

And I've decided that I'm going to insist that we declutter and simplify our lives before we start looking for a house. No sense in moving a bunch of junk into a nice new place, right?
Well for me degrees are personal goals because I am not going to school for any other reason then for myself.

The decluttering is how I feel. I am tired of moving junk to new houses I finally sat down and said no more. If I havent used it in a year I dont need it so it needs to dissappear. Freecycle has been my friend!

earth.gif trottin', pole dancing, Norway and Sweden lovin' , hippie.gif,WOHM Kiddos born waterbirth.jpg 12/11/06 and 08/09/08 
belly.gif with #3 puke.gif EDD:01/2013 yikes2.gif So in love loveeyes.gif with my sweet Swede 2twins.gif and my bonus-son 10/25/98 carrot.gif

 
 

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#13 of 127 Old 12-21-2009, 07:11 PM
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The decluttering is how I feel. I am tired of moving junk to new houses I finally sat down and said no more. If I havent used it in a year I dont need it so it needs to dissappear. Freecycle has been my friend!
Yeah, I'm usually better about it, but DH is the one who always says, "Just box it up, we'll worry about it when we get there." Not anymore. We're not even talking to anyone or looking at all until we get this done. I'm tired of moving 15+boxes of crap we KNOW we don't want to keep.

Of course, I'm partially guilty. We've been carting around lots of books that I just can't bear to part with because I *might* read them one day.
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#14 of 127 Old 12-21-2009, 07:26 PM
 
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Decluttering is so hard for me...I know we are going to move to a bigger place in the next 2 years and I dont want to have to buy any new stuff to replace the stuff I get rid of! But living in a condo with 2 (soon to be 3! boys) and a dog and two cats, just means SO MUCH STUFF!!!

Alisha , mama to 2 DS (4&2) Due April 2010 with #3!!
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#15 of 127 Old 12-22-2009, 07:52 PM
 
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I really want to mind my own business more and not give unsolicited advice to my family members. I'm having a hard time getting off my high horse and thinking that "my way" is the best way. Things get so complicated with my family especially now during the holidays. I need to lighten up. My whole family does, but I can only control me.

Mother to DD (9) DS (6) DD (3)
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#16 of 127 Old 12-22-2009, 09:57 PM
 
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I really need to work on self-discipline. Whether that means going to bed at a decent time, not spending all day on the computer, or not eating an entire large pizza in one sitting will vary from day to day, but dude, I need help. I am convinced that most of my issues stem from a lack of self discipline. I spend too much money, I eat way too much, I waste a lot of time, etc. So yeah, I want to work on that this year. And hopefully not spend as much, work out more, lose 100 lbs, and generally improve my awesomeness.

I also really want to do more to further my education outside of school this year, if that makes sense. I would kill to go back and finish my degree, but we can't afford it right now so it's just not an option. I just discovered iTunesU and downloaded a bunch of courses - I am mostly interested in learning Spanish and getting myself back up to fluency, and learning Hebrew. Maybe. And I need to start writing again. And holy crap, I just discovered that Free Rice has a Spanish learning quiz. ROCK ON!

Kris - married to Nate since 12/06, mom to Toby since 1/08. Also servant to two felines. Done having babies for medical reasons.

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#17 of 127 Old 12-23-2009, 05:16 AM
 
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Schedule, schedule, schedule. And some self discipline.

It has become obvious to me that the root of many of my day to day problems is a lack of any sort of schedule or discipline or plan. Whether it's meal prep, or homeschooling, or kid behavior, or cleaning house, or projects, or exercise, or whatever, it all comes back to lack of a schedule THAT I STICK TO!!!! I am very good at making schedules, but most of them last about 2 hours.

The minute something goes astray, I throw the whole thing out the window. As soon as I hit a mental block, or don't know what to do next, I withdraw and go entertain/distract myself (computer, book, etc.) rather than power through and come out the other side.

I'm tired and need to go to bed (another issue I am going to deal with), but I will be back to this thread.
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#18 of 127 Old 12-23-2009, 11:25 AM
 
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Joining in!

This a broad goal, maybe too broad, I want to live up to my potential. Right now, I feel like I am coasting and not in a good way.

I want to improve my home. I want to get rid of the crap that has piled up. (My decluttering totally staled out.)

I want to be healthier to have more energy to enjoy life more.

I want to make major financial changes.

I guess all of the above falls under self-displine.

Will be back with my plan of attack....

Mom to DS, born fall 05 after ,,, wife/best friend to DH We have
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#19 of 127 Old 12-23-2009, 05:35 PM
 
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A couple of months ago I was in a crisis of minimal self-care. Got great advice here, and I started with the shower-every-day goal, and that worked so well that I have moved on to decluttering, regular basic housekeeping, a load of laundry each day (with apologies to the environment,) and last week began regular exercise. I'm being gentle with the fact that I have to start with less strenuous swimming than I used to do, and I'm not making myself do more than 30 minutes at a time. When my son's needs are too great, I don't go, and that has to be ok too.

I'm now reframing my approach and trying out a mantra of "body before house" to keep me from procrastinating on exercise by cleaning more, or skipping a healthy meal because it would take too long and the dishes are waiting.

A current reward: suddenly, all this is adding up to better flow with my husband, and more resilience with my toddler's tantrums and needs.

Mom of one child (2008), wife of one husband, tender of dogs, cats and chickens. Household interests: ocean life (kid), bitcoins (husband), simplifying (me).

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#20 of 127 Old 12-23-2009, 07:38 PM
 
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I've been working on my language. Lately, due to my living environment, I've felt like it's almost easier to communicate in less peaceful ways. But, I'm reading a book by Thich Nhat Hanh to help me with that. I am focused on and determined to use my life to create peace.

I create peace. Yes!

I'm also working on what I need to do so that I can start school in August.

Since my baby is "due" in a month, I'm mostly working on internal shifts. And, I'm enjoying every minute of it!

Yes, yes.  I'm fabulous. loveeyes.gif  Moving on...

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#21 of 127 Old 12-23-2009, 11:45 PM
 
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Schedule, schedule, schedule. And some self discipline.

It has become obvious to me that the root of many of my day to day problems is a lack of any sort of schedule or discipline or plan. Whether it's meal prep, or homeschooling, or kid behavior, or cleaning house, or projects, or exercise, or whatever, it all comes back to lack of a schedule THAT I STICK TO!!!! I am very good at making schedules, but most of them last about 2 hours.

The minute something goes astray, I throw the whole thing out the window. As soon as I hit a mental block, or don't know what to do next, I withdraw and go entertain/distract myself (computer, book, etc.) rather than power through and come out the other side.

I'm tired and need to go to bed (another issue I am going to deal with), but I will be back to this thread.
OMG! I feel like you are looking into my brain! I am exactly the same way about schedules! Right now our whole family is off kilter because bedtime is totally out of control with DD. (And us, too, I suppose. We're night owls over here, but everything just keeps going later and later.)

I also find that when the going gets tough, I go get distracted. I think I am going to try to work on just doing something. I have a few things scheduled for DD just so I have to have some sort of schedule. We unschool part time and she goes to a democratic school part time where it's even more unschooly than us. I am beginning to rethink whether this is a good fit or not. I like freedom, but I seem to need some sort of schedule (loose) to bounce of off or I get way too scattered. DD seems the same way.

My main problem is that I have too many things I want to improve all at once, then I go a little bananas trying to do too many things and get overwhelmed. Usually, in the end, I just let everything slide out of exasperation. I do make some headway, but it feels like a constant battle.

I am thinking this week where I want to begin. And I think it will likely be with doing the exercises in a book called "Claiming Your Self-Esteem" which also deals with codependent behaviors.

I am a 40 year old unschooling, belly dancing, artist-mama of one almost 8 year old. I just had brain surgery and blogging.jpg about it a bit because it's just so surreal.
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#22 of 127 Old 12-24-2009, 01:36 AM
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OMG! I feel like you are looking into my brain! I am exactly the same way about schedules! Right now our whole family is off kilter because bedtime is totally out of control with DD. (And us, too, I suppose. We're night owls over here, but everything just keeps going later and later.)

I also find that when the going gets tough, I go get distracted. I think I am going to try to work on just doing something. I have a few things scheduled for DD just so I have to have some sort of schedule. We unschool part time and she goes to a democratic school part time where it's even more unschooly than us. I am beginning to rethink whether this is a good fit or not. I like freedom, but I seem to need some sort of schedule (loose) to bounce of off or I get way too scattered. DD seems the same way.

My main problem is that I have too many things I want to improve all at once, then I go a little bananas trying to do too many things and get overwhelmed. Usually, in the end, I just let everything slide out of exasperation. I do make some headway, but it feels like a constant battle.

I am thinking this week where I want to begin. And I think it will likely be with doing the exercises in a book called "Claiming Your Self-Esteem" which also deals with codependent behaviors.
Sounds like me, getting distracted. I usually judge how good our day was by how much I tried to escape. Today I made a rule that I wouldn't touch my computer until 3 PM (that's usually when things start getting hairy), and DS was shockingly well behaved today. Huh.

I know what you mean about having so many things to improve all at once. I do too, but I picked a few small things for this year, things I know I can conquer, so that I don't lose hope and give up after a few days. Baby steps.

I've been thinking a lot about dealing with my mom and I decided - NO MORE. I am NOT going to listen to little critical comments and not say anything. Starting with the next comment she makes, I'm going to say SOMETHING. It should make for an interesting holiday.

And...I'm off to write before bed! I actually have something to write about too!

I'm excited to hear everyone's game plans and progress. We can do this!
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#23 of 127 Old 12-24-2009, 11:09 PM
 
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Hope you don't mind a list ...

1. Continuing to pray; praying more
2. Looking into meditation
3. Some sort of stretching/strengthening program before my soon to be 1/2 century old bod feels more like 3/4 century
4. Trying to constantly count the blessings rather than the difficulties
5. Doing a great job at work, but setting better boundaries so my kids don't pay the price.
6. Getting a grip on my finances before we tank which may involve some difficult decisions about our home and a lot of hard work involving a sale and move (Sigh)
7. Finding a position for next fall at a smaller school closer to home (see 5 above)

Hunh, as I type this I am thinking of my priorities ... mind if I list those (of the top of my head)?

1. Making sure everyone gets enough sleep; the girls need 11 hours, but only get 9 with my current work schedule. Maddeningly, that can only get fixed if I find a position next fall at a school closer to home and it will only gain them maybe 1 hr. of sleep, but that's still better.
2. Making sure my girls and I have more quality time together; these past few days we have read books together, baked, talked, wrapped presents and cuddled -- the way it should be
3. Getting on sound financial footing. I am so tempted to give up piano lessons, etc. because as good as they are for intellectual development -- they really are time consuming and EXPENSIVE. I'd rather have more relaxed evenings, but then soccer season will start soon enough, sigh.

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#24 of 127 Old 12-26-2009, 03:35 AM
 
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My main problem is that I have too many things I want to improve all at once, then I go a little bananas trying to do too many things and get overwhelmed. Usually, in the end, I just let everything slide out of exasperation. I do make some headway, but it feels like a constant battle.
OMG. This is so me. Like, scarily me.

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I've been working on my language. Lately, due to my living environment, I've felt like it's almost easier to communicate in less peaceful ways. But, I'm reading a book by Thich Nhat Hanh to help me with that. I am focused on and determined to use my life to create peace.
What book are you reading? I do love Thich Nhat Hanh.

I gotta write down some goals I want to work on next year. My grandma and I were talking about it today, and how not having a schedule is really hard on us. Grandma retired in 2007 and is finding TV is quite the time-suck. She and I were talking about keeping each other accountable with regard to scripture study, exercise, and practicing the piano (my parents got me a piano for Christmas! )

I don't know what my problem is with regards to eating right and exercising, because I *KNOW* how much better I feel when I do it, but I just don't do it. Why is that? Why do I not value my life enough to take care of myself? Why can't I respect my body? What am I teaching my son by being this big, by not exercising, by putting junk into my body to fuel it? And how do I resist the siren call of fast food/restaurant food when I'm tired, it's been a long day, and I don't wanna put forth the effort to cook?

My main problem is that I am a recovering bulimic. My mindset is often that I can buy a bunch of crap, eat it and throw it up. Throwing up is ridiculously easy for me. I have been a lot better about not binging/purging since I had my mouth surgery last month, but it's still a struggle, and still a temptation every time I'm frustrated, sad, upset, hurt, angry, etc. I'm going to start attending Overeaters Anonymous next month, as much as that idea scares the crap out of me. But seriously, I can't keep living like this. I am too big, and my life is in serious danger. And there's too much to do and live for.

I just wish carrots were as addictive as french fries.

Kris - married to Nate since 12/06, mom to Toby since 1/08. Also servant to two felines. Done having babies for medical reasons.

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#25 of 127 Old 12-26-2009, 04:17 AM
 
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Kris

I am a 40 year old unschooling, belly dancing, artist-mama of one almost 8 year old. I just had brain surgery and blogging.jpg about it a bit because it's just so surreal.
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#26 of 127 Old 12-26-2009, 02:40 PM
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, Kris. Old habits are very hard to break. I have very similar problems with food.
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#27 of 127 Old 12-29-2009, 01:57 AM
 
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Kris That sounds like a struggle, but you're SO strong! You can do whatever you set your mind to!

I'm reading Creating True Peace: Ending Violence in Yourself, Your Family, Your Community and the World.

Yes, yes.  I'm fabulous. loveeyes.gif  Moving on...

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#28 of 127 Old 12-29-2009, 02:21 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Krisis View Post
I am convinced that most of my issues stem from a lack of self discipline. I spend too much money, I eat way too much, I waste a lot of time, etc. So yeah, I want to work on that this year. And hopefully not spend as much, work out more, lose 100 lbs, and generally improve my awesomeness.
This! Its like i wrote it.
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Originally Posted by Krisis View Post



I don't know what my problem is with regards to eating right and exercising, because I *KNOW* how much better I feel when I do it, but I just don't do it. Why is that? Why do I not value my life enough to take care of myself? Why can't I respect my body? What am I teaching my son by being this big, by not exercising, by putting junk into my body to fuel it? And how do I resist the siren call of fast food/restaurant food when I'm tired, it's been a long day, and I don't wanna put forth the effort to cook?



I just wish carrots were as addictive as french fries.
Sigh, this too.

I have an assortment of goals for this year both deep and not so deep.
1. I want to deep clean this place. I am emerging from all the crap of the past few years and this house has taken the brunt.
2. In order to do this I am going to have to be more self-disciplined. Throw things away right then. Put the dishes up right then. You know the drill.
3. Stop wasting money. On getting fast food that makes me fatter and prevents my reaching my health goals. On little crap that i dont need.
4. once the house gets clean i'm actually going to decorate it. after 6 years it deserves something more than clutter chic.
5. stop putting off my dreams. work on my writing and get published or get a spec script in to NBC.
6. lose weight/ get healthy.

so yes, another vote for self-discipline!

Writer, teacher, and mama to Rhiannon Morningstar 6/28/05
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#29 of 127 Old 12-29-2009, 12:17 PM
 
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We got a Wii this christmas and it keeps making fun of me because i gained weight during the holidays. I gained like a pound and a half!

I guess I need to add to my list to lose weight since that is what I wanted the Wii to help me with anyways (for more exercise).

But I am happy that we decluttered 3 boxes of toys from the kids old toys to donate because they were too small for them. yay!!!! I <3 decluttering.

earth.gif trottin', pole dancing, Norway and Sweden lovin' , hippie.gif,WOHM Kiddos born waterbirth.jpg 12/11/06 and 08/09/08 
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#30 of 127 Old 12-30-2009, 06:48 PM
 
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1. Be gentle with my daughter. I practice GD, AP almost all the time except when it's really needed. I snap/scream/and very rarely give her a smack - regretting while doing it but unable to stop myself. I want out of this habit. I want her feel loved, cherished and nurtured.

2. Get rid of the clutter - from the home and from my body. I started this last year and have decluttered a bit since then. But I have a long way to go.

nerdy mom to DD1 7yo, D2 infant
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