Always Crazy, Always Fun, Always Love

Ray Romano once compared life with twins to living in a frat house. As he put it, "no one sleeps, there is a lot of noise and a lot of throwing up." I find this very true with 4 young children, including twins. However, though things are always crazy, we always try to have fun and, most certainly, always love each other.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Self Improvement

(disclaimer..... this is really long- contains a lot of self-reflection and no pictures. But, for those of you who know me well, you may find it interesting!)

Some of you may remember this post from early April. I was in a pretty big funk at the time that I was having a hard time snapping out of. In fact, after I wrote that, my sister called me and told me she believed I was depressed. I know that she (unfortunately) has had some experience in that department, but I didn't personally believe that I was. I knew I was a bit down- and I knew if I didn't do something, it could spiral into depression- but I knew I wasn't truly depressed. I just felt very blah and unmotivated and discouraged.

Well, I have taken some steps to change that! I think that like any mom, a lot of my attention was devoted strictly to the kids and to the "demands" on my time and it was wearing me down. I didn't want to take attention away from them, but I think I knew deep down that I needed to focus a little energy on myself and helping me to grow and that would in turn help me to be a better- and happier- wife and mother. There have been a couple of major things I have done in the last 3 months. (In addition to these, there have been problems with my children that have really stressed me out too, but even those are improving a bit, making me feel better too- but that is a whole other post!) Here is what I have been up to:

1) One of the biggies for me is my weight control. As much as I hate it, I have turned into the proverbial yo-yo. More than once, I have lost weight down to my ideal weight (of course- nursing twins did make that a little easier the one time!) and swore I would NEVER be "that" big again. Yet, I woke up and found myself "that big". I don't know why it is so hard for me to keep control but it is. As much as I REALLY don't like the extra weight, you would think it would be easier to work to keep it off, but it just isn't that simple. I may have to fight the battle my whole life, but I am determined to ultimately win the war!

That being said, I knew one of my problems a few months ago was stressing over the weight. I was determined every week that "come Monday, I will "Be good" and start to get this weight off." But, by Tuesday, I would cave to something- and maybe again Wednesday or Thursday- and then, knowing the weekend was coming, I would just say "forget it, I will start again on Monday.... An endless cycle and I just kept gaining.

I tried Weight Watchers again (without meetings, just on my own) but found myself bored with counting points, which was part of the reason it wasn't working- I just wasn't enjoying it anymore like I did the first time. Doing it "on my own" wasn't working either, obviously. I needed help. I was miserable. So, I did something I was SUPER skeptical of and knew I couldn't afford, but after feeling all else had failed, figured I had nothing to lose. But, being my skepticism of the program, I told nobody except for my parents, sisters and my two best friends (basically, those who would help watch my kids and I knew for sure wouldn't judge me) and figured I would fill everyone else in if the program was working. Well, it is!

I signed up with Positive Changes Hypnosis!!! I am pleasantly surprised! It was very expensive and with the weight I want to lose, they wanted me to sign up for the 12 month program, but that was just NOT an option. So, the offered me the 12 week program- of course I could not get 80 pounds off in 12 weeks, but I could get started and establish the habits. They use hypnosis processes to train your sub-conscious mind to do what you really want it to- the healthy habits. It was expensive and time consuming. But, thanks to an awesome supportive husband (who has been paying for it with his garage work money!) and family who has helped babysit (I had to go twice a week!), we made it work. And, no, I do not "cluck like a chicken" as some think when they think hypnotism.... I actually remember just about everything from my sessions and they are recorded for continued listening at home- the more I can listen at home, the more I "practice" and can establish better habits. It has been AMAZING!!! The appointments are sooooo relaxing and here are some of the differences I have noticed:

1) I RARELY drink pop anymore and EASILY drink 8-10 glasses of water/day!
2) It is more enjoyable to exercise and I do so more often- not so much of a chore anymore!
3) I enjoy fresh foods more.
4) My AWFUL sweet tooth is tamed! (not cured....but tamed!) I can now eat a couple of cookies and stop! I know that sounds crazy but I am embarrassed to admit the amount I could put down in one sitting....
5) I almost never snack between meals or before bed- pretty much only at special occasions now!
6) no desire for "seconds" at meals.
7) It is effortless to continue to eat well on weekends.
8) In the 12 weeks, which I just finished, I lost 20 pounds!!! And that was WITHOUT counting calories or points, or stressing over what I could eat and how much- no measuring portions or anything!

- a lot of these things, I didn't even do successfully while on weight watchers, which is why I feel this may be different this time!

So, I am hoping I can keep it going on my own since I just couldn't afford to extend the program, but I am feeling pretty confident- besides I have my recorded sessions I can listen to regularly still. I really don't like spending money- we certainly need to save some! But, I also know that based on how I was living and family history, I was destined to have trouble with diabetes, high blood pressure and much more if I didn't change my lifestyle. I figure the cost of caring for those conditions would far exceed what I just spent on Positive Changes. If I can gain control while young, maybe I can stay healthy. I feel more energetic, positive about myself, and just better all around! Plus, I feel that I can teach my own kids better habits if I myself am a better example! So, by improving myself, I can be a better mother, wife and happier self!

2) When I was in high school, I played the trumpet in the band. Over time, I improved, got pretty good and really enjoyed it. I hated high school but loved the band and have always missed it. I always thought it would be fun to join a little community band if I ever found one. Well, quite by accident, I did find one! They performed at a memorial day picnic for our church. I talked to the director and he was interested in me joining and so was I. I told them I had not played in over 15 years and was likely to be very bad, but many in the group insisted that's how they were when they joined, so I figured, why not? So, about a month ago, I joined a community band! I dusted off my trumpet and I am re-learning how to play!

I pity the trumpet player I sit next to and the drum player right in front of me- my trumpet points right at the poor guys head and! But, if I don't try, I will never improve, right? I have some musical talent and find it very important, but I haven't fostered it well. (I also play piano "a little" and read music well). I really want my kids to get into music as well- there are so many good reasons why they should. But, again, I need to set the example and show myself trying and learning and growing and showing how important it is to me and then I can encourage them as well! So, again, I am enjoying learning something new and growing and hoping that as well helps me be a better mother.

3) To round things out, I am also making a sincere effort at improving my personal prayers, family prayers and personal and family scripture study. I know that my Father in Heaven is the ultimate resource in helping me grow!! I truly believe he loves me and wants me to be happy and successful!

So, after this eternally long post, I can say that I have completely broken out of that funk I was in a few months ago. It has taken doing things completely different and stepping "outside the box" a bit and it hasn't been easy, but I am so glad I did and I am feeling pretty good for the first time in a while!


Kelly said...

You are inspiring!! So proud of you for doing things to make your life better- for you, and your family! That is so important!
I would have never thought of hypnosis for weight loss- but wow- that is wonderful!!
I played the trumpet for 7 years and I loved it- but now, I would be so afraid to start again! Good for you! Funny thing is, I still remember the fingering for every single note, and when the piano is being played at church, I often look at the note and with my fingers, "play" it from a trumpet's perspective- force of habit, I think!
I can't wait to come to a concert!!

Amandean said...

You are inspiring, Amanda! Thanks for all of that! One thing our new ward is doing is going through the new personal progress book with the Young Women. I haven't accomplished anything yet (go figure. moving takes a while), but I think having goals really helps make life enjoyable.

Autumn said...

Amanda terrific post! And terrific you! I read it all and loved it. FANTASTIC job. I think its great that you're dedicating more time to yourself. You deserve it. And its obviously paying off. I love it that you're doing the band--so awesome. Most fantastically of all-you're weight loss accomplishment. That's super!!

Breezi@ Not Your Average Fairytale said...

Wow! That hypnosis stuff sounds amazing! Congrats to you for making it a priority in your life. :)

Super cool about taking up the trumpet again. You are just an amazing girl, Amanda!