Blast from the past

I’ve been compiling all the recipes I use most into an easy-to-edit cookbook, since the notebook I normally¬†use¬†is now covered in a great deal of food-type stains. There are way too many places I stash recipes. One is this old Miquelrius journal I dearly loved – I started writing notes, lists, journal entries, recipes, directions, and everything else in it toward the end of 2004. It was mostly full by the time Jarom and I got married in 2007.

I started going through it page by page this morning to check for recipes. And, before too long, I found this gem, presented to you with minimal commentary (but also more-than-minimal embarrassment).

August 23, 2005 / The genuine Mika

I blush easily. I read Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in 6 hrs 39 minutes. I used to make pterodactyl noises to make my sister laugh. I gave up chocolate for a while and now it doesn’t taste as good as it used to. I have six nieces and nephews [current count: 21] who call my sister “Aunt Mika” because they remember my name. I want a puppy more than any other tangible thing right now. I have put my whole heart and energy into Decathlon, learning how to cook [come again? I did no such thing], and my relationship with Jarom. I am risking everything on him because he’s worth the worst heartache in the world. I play the Glad Game. I dislike driving on the freeway. I watch chick flicks. I enjoy learning and using formulas in Microsoft Excel. I have spent a long time disciplining myself to be a positive, optimistic person who seldom complains. [I was obviously heavily drugged while writing this.] I am fascinated by genealogy. I edit well. I can be cheered up by a mug of Ghirardelli’s gourmet hot chocolate. I use a guided imagery cd to fall asleep. I am a terrible liar. I love little kids. [Ok, that goes beyond drugged. Was I naive or just in extreme denial?] I don’t want a diamond ring. I write long letters. I am just beginning to really understand myself.

For what it’s worth, I think understanding oneself is an ongoing part of one’s twentysomethings. And boy, I had no idea back then. You know what’s on my list of top 3 things I DON’T like? Noise, crowds, kids. Luckily I’ve figured that out in the past 10 years, and I can avoid all of those most of the time because my own kids fall into this magical “I actually love you” zone. I still love Jarom, too, so that’s a plus.


What does it mean to be “in shape”?

One of my broad resolutions for this year was to get in shape. I mentioned before that after having Christian, I gained quite a bit of weight. Part of that may also be due to taking Zoloft daily – but I’m guessing it’s mostly due to grief-eating and my body changing as I get older. (I turn 30 this year! Hooray!) This is the first time in my life I’ve had to actually consider the benefits or ill effects of what I eat. I’m not a fan. I loved my old metabolism.

At any rate, I had to buy new pants. I donated too-small clothes that I wasn’t very attached to and boxed up the ones I love, as motivation to be smaller.

Many times I was getting ready to go out, even just to the grocery store, and ended up in tears because I hated my shape. It isn’t the shape I used to be. It isn’t what “attractive” people look like. I felt miserable because I needed to be smaller, and slimmer, and to weigh less.

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this. If I eat well and am active, do I really need to be smaller? Am I allowed to just be the size and shape I am? Aren’t there better things I can do with my life than struggle with body image issues? I’ve had 3 children. I’m almost 30. Of course I don’t look like a teenager. Of course I don’t look like a young twentysomething with no kids and no major stress. And of course I don’t look like a model – from what I’ve seen of retouching, even models don’t look like models.

That being said, I still want to change something. I don’t think the number on the scale is nearly as important as how I feel about myself. So my resolution isn’t necessarily “Lose 10 pounds” or “Fit into a pair of pre-Christian jeans” or “Do a workout every morning before the kids get up.” That last one is the most unlikely of the three!

Here’s the resolution I’ve made, at least for now:
Eat dessert only once a week (Monday night), with no sweets any other time; and take Ender on a 30-minute walk at least twice a week.

Now, I realize this won’t significantly change anything about my body. But it’s where I can start to form healthier habits without feeling like I’m being starved – or that I need to be starved.

I guess I don’t have a really clear definition of “in shape.” That’s more or less intentional. Instead of saying I want to get in shape, maybe I should just be trying to be comfortable with my shape while making healthy choices. What do you think?


I like beginnings

The idea of a fresh start is always appealing to me, but especially as we leave 2013 behind (good riddance, in many ways). I’m not the best at keeping resolutions – or necessarily even at making them. This year I have a few broad goals in mind, as well as some specific things I’d like to achieve.

1. Get in shape.
2. Get organized.
3. Get out of debt.
4. Take care of my yard, so it isn’t embarrassing.
5. Create a vertical indoor herb garden for my kitchen.
6. Finish my reading challenges.

It’s so easy to feel motivated at the beginning of the year. What do you do to stay motivated?