Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Space Between...Make this and Buy that

I work in a male dominated environment. And that's's a power plant for Pete's sake. But it's interesting for me because prior to this job I worked in an environment where a majority of the employees were female.

At any workplace, the lunch room serves as the melting pot (yep, pun intended). At my workplace, I am usually the only woman in the lunchroom with anywhere from 8-10 men.
I've worked here about 5 months. In that time, they've rarely "pulled punches". They would beg my pardon at first, but I told them there was no need. If they broached a subject that could offend me, I'd simply leave the lunchroom. I can honestly say that in 5 months I haven't been so horribly offended that I've left. AND...I have learned so much in the last 5 months about men.

One of the guys and his wife are having their first baby in a few months. This naturally leads to interesting lunchroom discussion. Men know a lot about pregnancy, labor, delivery and newborns. It's been so entertaining to learn all about the process from a man's perspective. I do say this mostly with my tongue in my cheek, but I will say that a few of their insights have been enlightened. I say all that, to tell this story which I think is just to funny.

These are skilled tradesmen. Engineers, technicians, mechanics, electricians. Most of them think they can build a better mousetrap, some of them actually have. One of these skilled, pretty smart decided that he could build his wife a breast pump, rather than pay for one. That's right ladies, a home made breast pump. He has described his "machine shop" at home before. It's in his basement. I can picture him now, emerging from the basement with a small motor that used to be in a push mower attached to a rubber hose with a funnel on the end. Now, I don't actually know that this is what it looked like, but I do know that he said his wife's eyes "rolled back in her head". LOL. I mean really. There are some things you can apply the "make that" theory to...but Guys, please....not breast pumps!!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Space Bewteen...Day 1 and Day 31

Since one of my resolutions was to "Do more 'me' things" and blogging was one that I named, I've decided to post weekly. My topics will range from parenting issues, work time and family life - but mostly be centered around my experience as a mother working outside of the home. That Space Between where parents can feel trapped.

But for today, an update on my progress toward resolution #1 (finish last year's resolution: loose 25 lbs by March 2012). I feel like posting my progress will help me to reach my goal by making me more accountable. But I do not want to make it a central theme of the blog.

So, at New Years I was at the 20 lbs mark (5lbs to goal). I decided to make my weigh in days Monday nights. What better way to start the week than by recounting last weeks failures right? (I'm kidding.) Once a week is perfectly adequate, weighing yourself everyday only serves to make you neurotic.

Week 1 (1/9) - lost 2 lbs
Week 2 (1/16) - no change
Week 3 (1/23) - gained 3 lbs
Week 4 (1/30) - lost 3 lbs

So with 5 weigh ins left, I'm 3 lbs from from my goal. I did moderate exercise and followed my "week day eating plan". So I can see that if I amped up the exercise I could probably loose a little more. But in general I feel good about the last month. I started on this journey by walking on my lunch hour. I walked 30 minutes a day 4 or 5 days a week. It's amazing how much that helped. When the weather gets nicer I hope to resume walking. I also use Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred. I try to do it 3 days a week...honestly last month I only did it twice a week. So that's something I'll be working on.

My "week day eating plan" is not a diet. Mon-Fri I eat like this: 200 cal. breakfast, 200 cal. lunch and 2 100 cal. snacks. We try to eat balanced, reasonably healthy meals at dinner. I don't eat dessert very often. One of my biggest rules is that I try not to eat after the kids go to bed. Lunch and late night eating were my biggest problems in the past. Now, this plan works for me becuase - I only bring that much food to work and so I can't snack. On weekends, it is hard. But I try to just eat small portions throughout the day to spread the calories and make me feel full. Not scientific really - but it has been working for me.

Thanks for "listening" and I promise that I'll try to be more interesting next week!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Space Between...resolution and resolute

res·o·lu·tion / [rez-uh-loo-shuhn] /noun 1. a formal expression of opinion or intention made, usually after voting, by a formal organization, a legislature, a club, or other group. Compare concurrent resolution, joint resolution. (seems easy, right?)

res·o·lute / [rez-uh-loot] / adjective 1. firmly resolved or determined; set in purpose or opinion. 2. characterized by firmness and determination, as the temper, spirit, actions, etc. (not so easy)

Right, so here it is. My annual post (see 2009 and 2010) about the new year and resolutions and all that. Both of those posts were about how, whole heartedly, I intended not to make "New Year's Resolutions". For the most part, I succeeded. I made no promises to myself or to others under the guise of the new year. Changes happened and life entered a new season and we are pretty blessed and grateful to have landed where we are now.

So - 2012 resolutions? Yes. This year I decided to make a couple. Actually I made one last year too, which is where some of this year's came from, so the story bares sharing. On New Year's Eve 2010, Joel and I were invited to a wedding. Finding something I was comfortable wearing was hard. I asked for his help. {Confession: My husband is more stylish than I am.} {Confession 2: I had a hard time trusting his choices.} This led to a discussion, in which I admitted to him that I was unhappy with my body.
*Let me stop for a minute to make one thing clear, I do not for one second think that a woman should feel pressured to look a certain way. Women (and men) come in all shapes and sizes. As do many other beautiful, trees, get the idea. But you never see a peony killing itself to look more like a daffodil. Right? Of course, right! (a little Yenta, the matchmaker for you)*
OK - so- wedding, nothing to wear that I felt good in, big talk...and so...I decided to loose weight. I didn't make it an out loud New Year's resolution, but it was, in fact New Year's Eve so... Anyway, I got serious in early March (resolution - easy, resolute - not so much) and by the end of August, I had lost 22 pounds. {Confession 3: I just did a little cheer for myself. If you can't be proud of yourself, what's the point right?} Then, Irene happened. I won't go into a lot of detail, but Irene was the first of many excuses and the year ended with me 5 pounds shy of my 25 pound goal. Grrr. How I managed to only gain back 2 pounds is a miracle to me, although I lost muscle mass, no doubt.

So there it is. And here we are, 2012. New year. New goals. Oh and did I make just one resolution? Heck no! I went all in. 5! Here they are:

  1. Finish my 2011 resolution and lose a total of 25 pounds from March 2011 to March 2012. (see next post on how that's working out for me so far)

  2. Lose a few more by June and then maintain.

  3. Do a few "me" things. (I'm gonna sing and blog to start.)

  4. Get better at the "homey" stuff. (And I suppose by better I really just mean - be a little more joyful about housework....that and cook more...and better.)

  5. Pay off one credit card and save enough to go on vacation in the fall.

Resolutions - done. Resolute? Characterized by firmness and determination, as the temper, spirit, actions, etc. OK. Go.