Sunday, April 17, 2011


I will be the first to admit, I am a binge eater - but it only with certain foods: baked goods or chocolate or cookies or see where I am going with this? I have a sweet tooth and I am not exaggerating when I say that many times (ok most binges) I eat until I have made myself sick. I am not overweight, I am healthy and my BMI is in the proper range, but I think I have a big problem here! I literally have no ability to say "no" to sweets. I will eat them if they are in the house, even when I am not hungry. Put me in front of an open bag of chips and I won't touch them - but chocolate....I won't even share it. I also am the sort of person who needs sweets after a meal. People will offer advice, such as "just have fruit after a meal if you need something sweet" - but clearly these people do not suffer from binge eating. Believe me, if I had a choice between a piece of pie and an apple, I am choosing the pie! If I try to eat the apple first, I will just go back and also eat the now I have upped my consumption of calories by having two "desserts". I feel absolutely disgusted with myself when I binge, and I hate that feeling. I always try to remind myself how sick I make myself when I eat too much, but that feeling is fleeting - it isn't enough to make me stop the next time cookies are nearby.

So, the reason I am sharing this extremely embarrassing problem of mine, is because I know that I am not alone, and also - I need to stop. I recently lost all my baby weight plus 10 extra pounds on Weight Watchers. I have kept it off for nearly eight months - that is the best I have ever done with my weight (I am prone to yo-yo'ing, due to binge eating when my weight gets down when I seem to think that rewarding my good behaviour with food is a good idea).

I know that the only time I eat these foods is when I am around them. I have tried eating them in moderation but when you are consumed with an obsessive need to eat these foods, then moderation does you no good. So, I am going to blog to share the experience of getting myself off sweets. Perhaps choosing to do this around Easter is a bad idea...I am super close to postponing this idea, but I know that is exactly WHY I have to do this.

I refuse to live a lifetime of denying myself treats - I just want to choose ones that may be better for me, that will satisfy my cravings, but won't have me scarfing down the whole dessert. I also want to stop being a binge eater because I know my kids watch my every move and I don't want them to learn these unhealthy habits. My son already has a very soft spot for timbits, cookies and chocolate. I take it as a bad sign that he wakes up every morning and asks for chocolate for breakfast (no, I don't give it to him....)

Since I have already finished off the last of the icing from my daughters birthday party yesterday, I will have to start tomorrow. Since being back at work, I have gained nearly 10lbs and I want to loose that again. I am going to try to track my WW's points, because that also keeps me accountable for my daily consumption of food.

I am anticipating my biggest roadblocks will be my daily timmies runs, the 3pm slump at work, and tea time at work every friday at 11am.

My game plan here is to stop the cycle of binging. Once I get going, I can't stop. I want to learn a healthier way to think of sweets - they are "treats", not daily meals. I can have them every now and then but I can't go crazy with them. I don't plan on surrounding myself with veggies in the hopes that carrot sticks are going to keep me away from the sweets. As I have said before, my binge eating has nothing to do with hunger. I don't eat sweets because I need food - I do it  for reasons that aren't clear to me yet. I hope that in keeping a journal of my progress, I can figure out why I reach for sweets.

I already have made a good choice for my upcoming battle: With Easter around the corner, I was going to decorate cookies with Noah, since he is a bit young to do eggs. Instead, I saw these easter decorations that kids can colour. I figured he and I could do that instead - and just leave the cookies out of the house.

I figure my next big step is asking Keith to not buy me my annual 1lb chocolate bunny (which I can easily consume in a day - disgusting isn't it?). I think I will ask him to just get me something I will enjoy, that isn't food, like makeup.

Wish me luck.

Friday, April 8, 2011

The impact of children on a marriage

Today, in my lactation course, I heard this line:

"When you become a mother, it is like going to a different planet...nothing is (or ever will be) the same ever again".

Heavy stuff - but very true. I am going to discuss this, not just as a mother - but as a parent. I do believe that children change a mother's life as much as a fathers.

If we, as humans, knew what it was like to start a family I am sure the species would begin to die off a bit because we are an incredibly selfish group. I don't know how to make this entire blog post not sound self-righteous or condescending so bear with me. I am trying to make a point....

In today's society, it is typical to get married and have children. As women enter their fertile years (which in today's day and age seems to be late 20's to early 30's), their biological clock kicks into overdrive and the urge is unbearable for many women. As such, in these years, the women are eager to start off their marriage with children. Believe me, I was one of these women! I was ready to have a baby from the moment I was married. We held off for a year, but I really wonder if we knew what it was like (and I mean what being a parent really is like), would we have held off and enjoyed being newlyweds a bit more?

I honestly believe that people who don't have children have no idea the impact those children can have on your life and your marriage - how could you? Sure, you have watched them, babysat them and even spent long weekends with them - but they aren't your children, your worries, or your concerns. I mean, it makes sense right?

I also believe, that most young couples talk themselves into the belief that "children won't change who we are"; "I am going to be the same person"; or even "our marriage won't change at all and even if it does, we are strong enough to handle it". These are all normal thoughts because, if we didn't have these thoughts we wouldn't ever have children!!!! This is how the species continues to perpetuate!

However, having children really and truly changes you and your marriage - no matter how much we try to convince ourselves it won't. This does not mean that it changes it for the worse. Not by any means - but it sure does change it. And future mothers, lets just nip this in the bud: you will not be showered, looking slim in your lulu pants, breasts perky in a lovely t-shirt, sipping a skinny latte at Starbucks with your adorable child sleeping peacefully in the stroller while you enjoy lazy days together at 3 months post partum. I could tell you what it is really like, but I don't want the species to die off! ;)

I see the change, not so much in myself, but in my marriage. Keith and I have always (and still do) had a strong foundation of marriage. We were that sickeningly cute couple that was always kissing, holding hands, etc. The other day we were walking along together and I realized it had been years (literally YEARS) since we walked hand-in-hand, when just a few years ago, before children, we would even sleep holding hands!

Similarly, you loose that selfishness and you switch to parent mode. You give up things you normally wouldn't think twice about just to ensure your kids get what they need (whether it is a hair cut or new shoes for the kids). Do you let yourself go, physically? Of course not - but if it comes down to you highlighting your hair this month or paying for daycare, which do you think you will choose?

Intimacy changes, as well. I mean, how can it not? Moms (or in some cases, fathers) are up all night with a baby, expected to be up all day either to take care of the children or to work at her place of employment; you breastfeed so breasts suddenly become all about function; your body changes, so there are those issues to handle ... basically every single aspect of your intimate life changes. If you have kids close together in age, or multiples, it only gets worse. I basically fall asleep at 9pm every night at this stage, with "2 under 2".

Of course, nothing I can say can truly convey that you, your partner, and your relationship changes. I would never in a million years say it changes for the bad because I really and truly would do anything for my children and husband.

Yet, similar to that quote I heard today - you don't change back. No matter how much you want to believe your life, your social life, your marriage, your partner and your self will return to how they were pre-baby - it won't. You grow into a new life, a new persona and a new family. The moment your baby looks you in the eye, you change forever.