Tag Archives: health

Turns out I am an abstainer after all.

Way back when before all these kids, I was a music therapist at a psych hospital, and I ran other groups as well.  I used to share all kinds of ideas and articles, including one from Gretchen Rubin on abstaining vs. moderating which she describes here and further discusses here.

I would talk about it perhaps in terms of addiction, or maybe just in a positive thinking type group, but I generally thought I might have been a moderator – but what it boiled down to was I didn’t want to fully give anything up.  That is no way to live! Surely I can moderate my diet/internet use/what have you.  I need my desserts, darn it!

But I can’t, and in the second article, perhaps she is arguing that maybe only very few especially temperate people can truly be moderators.  My Grandad, for instance – who just passed away this year – I think would be one. And then there is me.  I recently read about someone’s experience with compulsive overeating and it sounding a little too familiar.  If you’ve watched the new show This Is Us I can relate to Kate quite a bit.  And you might look at me and say well you aren’t nearly as big as her, but it wouldn’t take too many steps for me to get there. (I’ve since stopped watching after episode 2 – I have enough stress in my life, I don’t need anxiety from a tv show!)

So how did I come to this new self-knowledge?  Brian and I are rewarding ourselves with $5 a week for maintaining certain rules and mine is no sweets, except for a snack at church if available during coffee hour, or a special occasion like a birthday or outing.  And it’s easier.  It’s easier to have a rule.  I am, at heart, a rule-follower. The rule becomes freeing.  I can even scroll through pinterest, note how delicious everything looks, and move on.  I am no longer tempted to put things in the grocery cart because they are simply not allowed, and then I don’t have to try to not eat half a container of cookies that are in the house.  Our allowance of sorts is helping the budget as well, by cutting down on extraneous spending.

I’m tempted to use a further example, the thing, ahem, you usually think of when it comes to abstaining.  I’ll just leave that there for you to ponder.

So which are you?  Any true moderators out there?  Any rebellious rule-breakers who balk at abstaining?  Anyone else like me who is finding (or has found) freedom in boundaries?




Phone Calls

Do you know what I dislike? When non-medical professionals who answer the phones at doctors’ offices try to talk to you about your medical problem.  Three stories:

  1. When we first started looking into infertility testing, the first recommendation was to use an ovulation predictor kit to make sure I was indeed ovulating.  I was, and called back to find out the next step.  “So have sex” was this person’s brilliant advice.
  2. When Leland was 3 weeks old he spiked a high fever.  I took it in his armpit because I was too nervous to take it in his bum. I think in his armpit it was around 101.5? This person on the phone said he was probably fine because his actual temperature would be lower. Turns out you need to add a degree to get a rough estimate of actual temp from the armpit, and he ended up being up over 103 by the time we got to the ER. (Side story: The original person set up an appointment and I was on my way in.  They called back to say I needed to take the temp in his bum, so I had to turn around and drive home, go back up to our third floor apartment with a 3-week-old in his carseat, take his temp, and find out it was high enough to go straight to the ER.  Thankfully my Aunt Denise was visiting at the time so she came with me.  He had a UTI and was in the hospital for a few days)
  3. While I was hanging out in the NICU with Elliot (3 months ago already!) my feet swelled very badly, I could barely walk.  When I called to talk to a midwife on call, the answering service person said “Oh that happened to me, I think it’s normal.” Turns out I had postpartum preeclampsia and I was hospitalized for a day.(Another side story: Do you think I could get my blood pressure taken in a hospital?  We were at a different hospital than where I gave birth so I wasn’t a patient.  It took all day before a NICU nurse finally swiped a blood pressure stand from another floor and then promptly sent me down to the ER)

Do you know who I love talking to?  There is a woman at the OB/GYN office in our town where I used to be a patient.  She did all of the organizing and scheduling of our infertility testing and she was so very helpful and kind.  She would call me with results and talk about everything with me.  I only ever met her in person one time for a few seconds but I spent a lot of time on the phone with her.  I just called her again after 3 years because we are looking for a new provider and she talked with me for a good while about what is going on with my health and what I am looking for in a new doctor,  She was so glad to hear that we are no longer dealing with infertility and about our kids, and was more than happy to take time to chat about my concerns.  She is just truly a wonderful, supportive, and helpful person who I think goes well beyond her required tasks.

She is also someone I always refer to by her full name – Barbara Baxter is a household name for us!


I was going to write a post about nursing in public.  About how maybe the stories that make the news of women being harassed are actually only a small sample of what happens when women breastfeed in public.  About how maybe our outrage over these occasional happenings is biased by how little we hear of people breastfeeding in public and nothing happening.  That maybe the culture at large is improving in the normalizing of nursing.

I was going to write about our trip to Mystic Aquarium yesterday. About how busy it was and how hot!  And about how many people I saw feeding their babies in various ways, and no one seemed to care.  About how one woman I saw using a cover, one woman was not. About how I fed Elliot at the sea lion show and at a grilled cheese cafe in the shops next door to the aquarium without a cover and hardly anyone even noticed what I was doing.

I was going to write about how I don’t use a nursing cover anymore, not even in church.  Because it is too much of a hassle, too unwieldy, too hot, too hard to see what is going on . . . and maybe because with my second baby I can get him latched on a little quicker and my boob isn’t hanging out for quite as many moments.

I was going to write about how I went to a gathering hosted by my former workplace and I could tell people were not used to seeing what I was doing, but then just went back to what they were doing.

I was going to . . . but then I read an article about a baby dying because of a police officer trying to arrest a mom for breastfeeding in public.  And it was graphic and horrible and made me feel sick and so very sad.

And then I was going to write about that article, and I did a little looking to find out that it was satire.  I guess I don’t understand the point of satire.  Too many articles get sent around and too many people take them seriously.  Maybe I am just too gullible or too sensitive.

I was going to write about another satire piece being shared around recently about a woman breastfeeding her 12-year-old in public.  People were so appalled and it was extreme, but more importantly people seemed to not realize that nursing into even toddlerhood is the norm worldwide and is good for mom and baby (besides the fact that people seem to not realize it was satire).  One comment by a friend of a friend (commenting on a friend of a friend posting the article on facebook) said she thought the golden rule was you stopped when they got teeth!  Goodness no, my dear, goodness no (unless of course other circumstances prevent breastfeeding longer or that’s what a person decides to do – no judgment there, do what you got to do [p.s. I have a post about judging in the works – I don’t like that I have to qualify what I say to try and avoid even seeming like I am judging others]).

So I guess I don’t know anymore what I was going to write about.

So here is a picture of Leland eating a gigantic PB&J (in public)



When I was little I did not like fruit on the bottom yogurt.
My favorite yogurt was Yoplait thick and creamy. One time I was curious why it was different and turns out they used gelatin. So it was like yogurt jello actually. Then I think I liked it less.
Did you ever try Yoplait whips? They were pretty delicious but you were paying more per cup for more air and less yogurt.

Then I went through a spell where I wanted fruit on the bottom yogurt because the fruit was so syrupy and sweet – I would eat all the plain yogurt (which I did not enjoy) to then eat and enjoy the sweet fruity goodness on the bottom. Delayed gratification at its best.

When I became a little more refined and older, I would carefully eat a bite of yogurt with a little of the fruit from the bottom to enjoy the un-mixed combination, and I would try to make sure the fruit lasted through the whole cup of yogurt. Usually, because the sweet fruit part was the best part, I erred on the side of too much fruit left at the end. More delayed gratification maybe? Or maybe I am just weird and a sugar addict.

Now I don’t think I can be bothered – I just mixed up my pineapple Chobani so it would all be evenly distributed. Maybe because there was a baby playing on the floor that needed part of my attention, the amount of attention that would be required to evenly eat my fruit and yogurt separately in each well-balanced bite.

I used to always make sure I had the biggest piece of cake. The piece of pizza with the best topping. Now I am happy if I get to eat with both of my hands free, and without having to feed someone else at the same time. Food at the proper temperature is an all-out luxury! I didn’t think I was an especially selfish person but when you have kids you simply cannot be focused on things for yourself that aren’t absolutely essential.


I am going to stop eating refined sugar this week. First I need to find an option for my coffee because stevia does not go well with coffee (I think it is nice in tea though). Exceptions include my gummy vitamins, bread, non-dessert flavored yogurt. I am going to be quite grumpy! Look out!


Many Christians are against the use of yoga because of the spiritual themes that could potentially cause one to sin.  I think those people have valid points, but I don’t necessarily agree.

When yoga was originally practiced it was very much intertwined with the spirituality of the culture.  If a Christian were to immerse themselves in that culture it would probably be detrimental to their Christian walk; could we go so far as to say it would “give the devil a foothold”?  As usual defining our terms is helpful – what most of us call yoga is merely exercise but the practice of yoga in its entirety it should probably be avoided.

So my first question is can the physical movements and their health benefits be separated from the non-Christian worldview of the meditation side of yoga?  I think they can.  But then I wonder if I’m rationalizing because I like how yoga makes me feel and it is beneficial for my health.  I don’t think anyone would argue that the physical movements themselves are sinful (or maybe they would) but then we come back to the question.  If using yoga just as exercise is it okay?

My second question is if yoga falls into the category of things that are okay but not if it causes a “weaker brother” to sin (1 Corinthians 8 principles).  My Pastor is preaching through 1 Corinthians and on this passage said that whenever the weaker brother becomes stronger, they will then be able to do those things.  I thought maybe yoga did not fall in that category because I think the people who are opposed to yoga hold it as a conviction they will keep.  If it is in that category, does that mean I am strong enough to do yoga without sinning and others need to mature?  Does this mean I am a stronger Christian than Albert Mohler? How do I keep from doing yoga in a way that would cause others to sin?  Maybe I am playing with fire and just barely avoiding the downfall from practicing yoga?

I will note that when I do yoga I choose programs that do not speak much (if at all) about the spiritual side.  I am careful to weed out what they are saying and focus on the movement and not the philosophy.  If a certain program is too hokey I don’t do it.

I follow my conscience as we all must.  The confusing thing to me is how different people’s consciences can lead them to different convictions!

Health and Babies.

I have taken 3 walks since Baby E’s arrival 2 months ago – that is 3 by-myself, for-my-health walks.  Several others with a crazy toddler and pushing a stroller that I do not count.  I did 1 beginner yoga video, and 2 times tried to do some on my own.

Because baby weight.  I was spoiled with L because I was working full time, going to the gym regularly, and lost about 15 pounds during his first trimester (without even throwing up!).  I think I gained 15 pounds in the first trimester with E, which is most of what I was supposed to gain total.  Whoops.

Did you know that breastfeeding slows down your metabolism?

Did you know I want to have more babies?  So why try to lose weight when I am just going to get fat and pregnant again someday?  I know there are soooo many reasons to get healthy now, even if I have to do it all over again in a couple years, but it is hard to find the motivation.

Did you know I love sweets?  I have been eating too many.  One time I ate zero refined sugar for a few months and it was very hard but very good for me.  Then I think I ate them in decent moderation for a while.  And then . . . I haven’t had moderation with sweets for a very long time..

I am planning to go off refined sugar again soon . . . maybe as soon as I finish off that bag of cookies . . . and that Jif salted caramel hazelnut spread . . .

Maybe I need to get off coffee.  Because you know what goes really good with coffee?  A pastry.

But you know what comes without coffee?  Massive headaches and cranky mama.

Did you know that one of my parenting ideals is to not yell at my kids? That might be hard without coffee and sweets.

We shall see how it goes!  Not starting yet so don’t ask me how it’s going 🙂