Friday, February 29, 2008

Job Satisfaction

I was in the classroom quite a bit last week co-teaching a unit on Body Image and Disordered Eating with the Health teacher.  I'm absolutely fascinated with the topic (is that weird?) and have been for quite awhile.  I did my thesis in grad school on body image and body dysmorphia (abnormal dissatisfaction with a real or imagined physical defect) back in 1991 after struggling with these issues for about nine years at that time.  Now, seventeen years later, I still read everything I can about these topics.  I think I'm always looking for validation that my obsession with food and exercise is not abnormal.  That I'm not "disordered".  I am also intrigued by shows/books/articles that deal with nutrition, exercise and dieting.  My weight has fluctuated immensely over the last 26 years.  I've gone from as high as a size 16 down to a size 4 and everything in between.  I settled around a comfortable size 8/10 for many years, but still wistfully wished for a smaller body.

When I showed up for the first day of work this fall, and was introduced to the staff at my new school, I was amazed at how healthy and thin most of the teachers were.  This hadn't been my experience in previous schools.  It immediately made me a bit self-conscious and set me into a bit of a tailspin.  When we were teaching the kids about this concept, we referred to it as "measuring up to a yardstick" and asked the kids what they used as their yardstick.  The yardstick in Wisconsin was a lot easier to compare myself to.  Since I had been working out in the mornings for the last two and a half years, I was pretty uncomfortable having to give that up.  I leave at 6:25 AM each weekday and I have a rule - I will not rise to an alarm clock that is set before 5:00 AM (unless I'm catching a plane to somewhere wonderful).  I have never enjoyed, nor been consistent, when working out after work.  I knew, though, that afternoon exercise would be my only option if I wanted to continue eating.  About mid-August, I started Weight Watchers AGAIN.  I thin this was my third or fourth serious attempt.  After the first time, I have yet to go back to the meetings.  I have the "tools" to calculate my points and I know the drill.  Write everything down, eat a lot of fiber, save your flex points for weekends so you can drink once in a while, and get used to eating lots of vegetables.

It worked.  By Christmas I had lost 22 pounds.  I've kept it off for two months (a definite feat for me) and plan to keep it off for much longer.  I feel much better about myself at this weight, so I think it's in my best interest mentally, as well as, physically.

So back to my teaching.  We tried to include the boys in the discussion so that they wouldn't tune out.  We talked about the increase in men seeking plastic surgery, the number of males with eating disorder and other uniqueness of this topic with regard to men.  Then we delved into body image and disordered eating.  After that we specific eating disorders and I scared the hell out of them (I hope) with harsh information about the physical repercussions from eating disorders.  They listened closely.  Some seemed concerned, some just couldn't comprehend how someone could feel the way eating-disordered people feel and some thought the topic was dumb and tuned me out.  This is typical to most lessons I teach.  You get a thick skin in this business and just do your best to enlighten the kids who are willing to learn.

I wonder when I'll grab some of that enlightenment on this subject?  

Friday, February 22, 2008

More from paradise

I still don't know how to post pictures.  I didn't have time to call my consultant as I was too busy finding a hotel room in Charlotte, NC and a rental car in Fort Lauderdale.  Why?  Why would I be wasting vacation time on this when I have the breeze blowing the palm trees around me?  Because my husband was stuck in Cincinnati in an ice storm.  He missed his connection to Fort Myers by approximately 6 minutes.  They told him he couldn't get out of Charlotte until tonight so he found a flight to Fort Lauderdale.  After all the work he's been doing since we've arrived, I think he'll have about 30 hours of fun before he has to get back on another plane to go home.  If he says, "I never should have come, " one more time, I think I'll strangle him.  

I plan to make these 30 hours as fun as they can be.  We're going to the beach (he never did get there the other day), we're drinking lots of alcohol and we're taking a catamaran ride with Jonna and her husband (I hope - if I can get them away from their packing!)  Met up with Jonna yesterday for lunch.  She was subjected to my kids whining about being bored and my dad crooning about John McCain.  It was quite fascinating for her, I'm sure.  With all these other "people" around, I really didn't get to talk to her.  

The gang, sans Jonna, headed to the beach and I had to listen to my dad go on and on about how wonderful she is.  "She is so nice.  So level headed and confident.  You can tell she has a good head on her shoulders.  Where is she from again?  How do you say her name again?  Did I tell you she's so NICE."

Forget it Dad, she's already married.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

They're closing the joint around me

Here I am again, sitting in the lobby of the clubhouse, and I'm the last one here.  Once they clean up the dinner dishes, I'm sure they'll kick me out. 

Just tried to upload Picasa and realized that it isn't possible.  Jon, my loyal and dear friend, was SOOOOO excited to help me set up my Mac before we left on our trip.  He can do this stuff in his sleep.  Unfortunately, I can't.  I know he showed me how to publish photos, but I can't figure it out and it doesn't help that I'm in a hurry.

Chris worked again all day, but joined us for lunch with my aunt and her husband.  My mom's sister looks a lot like her and even was carrying one of her old purses.  She doesn't remember that and I didn't say anything.  I warned the kids (who couldn't quite remember her) that she looked a lot like Oma (my mom), but they seemed fine with that.  After a long lunch in the clubhouse dining room, surrounded by gaggles of cackling women who had just played 18, Harry was about to explode.  "C'mon.  LET'S GO, " he kept saying.  My dad suggested miniature golf since the weather was cool and windy after a rain storm this morning.  It was really fun.  The kids do not understand the fine art of putting - and my dad gave up coaching them around hole 13.  Ella was so funny - she was all proud that she got the highest score.  I didn't have the heart to correct her.

Tomorrow we head to the beach.  The kids have raided my dad's garage for all the beach gear.  Harrison even has a ton of army guys and tanks to set up in the sand.  Chris has promised to stop working and join us.  Then he leaves for Cincinnati in the afternoon.  It's only a day, but I know we'll miss him.  

I'll call Jon tomorrow and figure out how to post pictures.  I'm sure he'll love coaching me over the phone!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Today is my mom's birthday, but I'm really ok

I have a searing headache, but I'm not about to complain.  It's a sinus issue - I can tell.  It's because my head has no idea what I've done to it.  It is used to high altitudes with zero humidity and cold temps.  I am currently sitting at sea level, temperature about 79 degrees and humidity is about 90%.  We are in Florida visiting my dad.  The weather is beautiful, but I could do without all the sweating.  The drinks even sweat.  I worked out this morning and actually dripped on the floor.  YUCK.  I felt like all the old people surrounding me were staring and thinking - What the hell is wrong with her??

The kids have been so excited to get here.  We started packing about a week before we left.  They haven't been here for two years, so it is so fun to be back with them.  Last night, after we got in, we were so exhausted we barely could stay awake for dinner - pizza, Aurellio's in Naples, perfect.  Today we went to the pool twice and threw a trip to the grocery store in between.  My dad is definitely a bachelor.  His frig is full of lots of condiments, year-old salad dressing, a head of lettuce and some tonic.  The freezer has two half gallons of ice cream and 6 pork loins.   I didn't think my kids would enjoy a Tanqueray and tonic sundae - so we bought some supplies.  $115 worth.  It's still cheaper than eating out three meals a day while on vacation.

Tomorrow we'll probably head down to the beach, however I don't really want to bring the kids alone.  Chris, unfortunately, has so much work to do this week that he can't socialize with us at all.  He even has to fly to Cincinnati Wednesday night for 24 hours.  I'm looking forward to Friday, when we'll be able to play as a family.  I also think I'll be screaming for back up.  My dad is not a great help with the kids...he is pretty critical and really has no idea how to grandparent.  Hell - he never knew how to parent, so I don't know why I'm at all surprised.

On a different note, I have HUGE news.  My wonderful and thoughtful husband gave me an incredible gift for Valentine's.  I received a MacBook Pro laptop.  He handed it to me and said - "I just wanted you to finally have your own space - and I want you to take more pictures."  It took me a day to get over the shock of how much money was spent, but now I really can't get over how sweet his sentiment was.  He really has noticed that by not having my own computer, my creativity has been stifled.  I have already taken a ton of pictures since we've been here, but I forgot to bring my card reader with me tonight.  Chris and I are up at the clubhouse of my dad's gated community.  It's couples bridge night, but Chris and I managed to sneak through the tables and get a drink from the bartender.  We are sitting in  the lobby where we can surf.  No wi-fi at my dad's condo.  I'll post some pictures tomorrow.  

I hope having this incredible machine will rekindle my desire to post more frequently.

It's so pretty - how could it not??