Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Biggest LOSER

So, I'm sitting here watching The Biggest Loser. I am annoyed with it. Let me count the ways...

1) None of the final 4 contestants are married or have children. Therefore, they can spend 8 hours/day at the gym and not have to worry about missing out on things at home.

2) So, so, so unrealistic. Daris (one of the contestants) ate cereal at 4 am. They made it sound like he had just committed the ultimate sin. How dare he eat?!?! It is completely unrealistic to expect people to train for a marathon and not eat (enough to fuel their bodies). It is completely unrealistic to expect people to spend all day in a gym. It is completely unrealistic to expect people to eat extremely restricted diets 24/7. The contestants are living in a lab when they're on "The Ranch." Their exercise, diets, and activities are all controlled. When they leave, it's not controlled. It's not too hard to imagine what will happen when they're set free.

3) Who says that it's impossible to be happy and overweight? They make the assumption that if you're overweight, you're automatically depressed about it. While I agree that there are health risks associated with obesity, and I agree that you should do something to help alleviate those health risks, I disagree that you must be miserable if you're overweight. If someone is healthy, happy and they happen to be overweight...they should be left alone.

4) While the contestants were running a marathon, previous season winners met them at various points to run the race with them. All but one of the previous winners had put back on a considerable amount of weight. The show doesn't talk about this. Sure, they have "made an example" out of prior contestant Eric (who gained back most of his weight - and he is going to take it all off again - and then....), but I think that a good portion of ex-Biggest Losers have put back on a lot of their weight. Why? Back to #2. It is completely unrealistic to expect people to eat/workout/live the lifestyle that they live on "The Ranch." The Biggest Loser is setting people up for failure.

5) What kind of life do you have when you neglect your friends and family? When you have to leave parties early because no one understands your "stress?" When you can't go out to dinner with your family because the restaurant doesn't serve "your" foods? When you miss your kids' activities because you have to go to the gym? What kind of life is that?

6) Since when is losing 13 lbs. in a month a failure? I hate how they make it sound like such a horrible thing when a contestant loses anything less than an insane amount of weight. They are praised for losing unhealthy amounts of weight, and looked down upon for losing the "recommended" amount of weight (1 - 2 lbs./week). So when these contestants start getting closer to their "ideal" weight, and their weight loss slows down, I can only assume that they will be extremely disappointed with their average weight loss.

Done with my rant.

Sunday, May 9, 2010


Today is Mother's Day. I am so blessed to be a mother. So blessed to feel Jack's arms wrapped around my neck and smell his hair. Blessed to get wet kisses and hear him say "Happy Muhver's Day." I have much to be thankful for.

When we picked Jack up from Sunday School today, there was a table full of flowers that the children had made for their moms. I asked Jack if he made a flower, and he said "no, I didn't want to." It's a small paper flower - but I was sad that I didn't get one. While other moms were praising their childrens' artwork, I was ushering Jack out of the hallway before he had a meltdown. When I asked him if he had fun at Sunday School, he said "yes, they had a school bus." I asked him if he played with other kids in the classroom and he said "no, I played by myself." Tears filled my eyes at the thought of the other children playing together, and Jack sitting by himself, playing with a school bus. I asked him what they learned, and he couldn't tell me. Another bittersweet moment.

Motherhood is not at all what I thought it would be. My journey into motherhood has been filled with many more lows than I thought it would be. You have an expectation. An idea of what things will be like. Whether it's right or not, you expect motherhood to be filled with joy and laughter. And while we have had our share of laughter, our monotonous days are filled with tantrums, screaming, meltdowns, stimming, and repetitive behavior. Motherhood has become an experience that has stretched me thinner than I thought possible. I never thought that I would be the one raising a special-needs child. Never thought that I would be the one taking my child to therapy, special education classes, and more doctor's appointments than I can keep track of. But, here we are. This is our reality. We do what we do. We make it through each day and collapse into bed each night (for a couple of hours, at least!). We are continually learning how to best nurture and support Jack.

I have many moments of despair. Moments when I cry and yell and wonder what the purpose of all of this is. Moments when I want to give up and run away. Moments where I think that it's all just too hard and I can't go on one more minute.

But then I have moments of love. Moments when Jack smiles at me and I see that adorable dimple on his right cheek. Moments when he says or does something so absolutely hilarious that he has me laughing until I cry. Moments when he has a breakthrough and tries to do something that he wouldn't do before.

Mother's Day is bittersweet for me. Not only because of the challenges of raising a special needs child, but also because of the unfulfilled desire for another child. We watched the baby dedication at church this morning, and tears fell down my cheeks. Watching the precious newborn babies squirming in their parents' arms and hearing their baby sounds fill the room. As difficult as motherhood has been for me, I still have the desire to have another baby. There is still the yearning in my heart to have a sweet new baby to be a part of our family. God knows. He knows my desires and He knows the plans for our family. I am trusting and surrendering.

So....Mother's Day. A day filled with hugs and kisses, tears and worries. I am so blessed. I married a man that loves God and loves me. A man that loves our son and is dedicated to our family. I have a son that has such unique ways of showing me that he loves me. Even if he doesn't make me a paper flower, I know that he loves me beyond words. He makes me laugh and teaches me new things every day. I am so blessed.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Motherhood in pictures

Kristen at We Are THAT Family is having a giveaway and asking moms to show pictures the define "motherhood" for them. Here are some that mean the most to me....

For anyone that doesn't know, I had a less than desirable birth experience and had to be put under general anesthesia. Here are a couple of pictures from the recovery room as I was just waking up.

My mom. This picture speaks so much about a mother's love to me.

Awake enough to meet.

There is nothing that can prepare you for the exhaustion of the first days at home.

He rarely slept. So when he did, we wanted to take pictures.

The first time he had a really, really bad cold. My heart broke.

At a pumpkin patch, 2007.

Kisses through the bike trailer.

That smile. I can't get enough of it.