Have-tos, Shoulds, Used-tos and Wants

There are a lot of things I have to do (bear with me – you can skim my list, but pick up a few items as you go – you may find that you have a lot of the same things you have to do too).
Here’s what I have to do:

I have to track my food.

I have to workout.

I have to make dinner.

I have to drive an hour each way in traffic.

I have to work.

I have to wash the dishes.

I have to do the laundry.

I have to clean the house.

I have to eat better.

I have to eat more vegetables.

I have to eat more fruit.

I have to go to practice (I play roller derby).

I have to brush my daughter’s teeth.

I have to read her a story and put her to bed.

I have to lose weight.
Here’s what I should do:

I should stop eating processed foods.

I should have a better attitude.

I should work out more.

I should update my linked in profile.

I should update my online portfolio.

I should apply for a new job.

I should be posting to this blog at least every week, not every other year.

I should try harder at losing weight. 

Here’s what I used to do:

I used to run.

I used to walk the dogs every day.

I used to happily go to the gym.
I used to be thinner.

I used to track all my food.

I used to feel good about myself.

I used to like the way I looked.
This is what I want:

I want to have a clean house.

I want to lose weight.

I want to be a good mom.

I want to enjoy the food I eat.

I want to have fun.

I want to be happy.

I want to write.

I want to play derby.
Here’s what I thought of today:

Is it me, or does it seem like I’m a little hard on myself? How can I get to the “I wants” in my life, when I’m always focusing on the “I have-tos”, the “I shoulds” and the “I used tos”? How can I possibly have any mental energy for any of the things I want to do if I walk around with the impending doom of all the things I HAVE to do? Does it really have to be that bad? 

I realized today, that by focusing on the things I have to do, and should do I am really simply overwhelming myself – every. single. day. I sleep eight hours, yet I’m exhausted. I cook food, yet I still feel hungry. I show up to practice, yet I feel like I’m not improving in my skills. 
The truth is: 

I’m mentally tired.

I’m hungry because I want food to make me feel better.

I am improving, but I can’t see it because all I see is the roll of fat at the waistband of my pants that wasn’t there three years ago.

Life is not about the have-tos, shoulds or used-tos. Life is about the wants and the choices. It’s about feeling in control and good about the things you choose to do. If I keep putting  all this pressure on myself to get all of these things done, all I will ever want to do is hide under the covers. Currently, in this overwhelmed state, I take no pride in the things I do, and I do everything only with the intent to get it over with. Even the important things like making sure my kid’s teeth are brushed properly so she won’t have 1,000 cavities before she is ten are hastily completed . 

All of my mental resources are pretty much wasted by negative thoughts about what I used to be and how much crap I should be doing. I focus on the person I was before I gained weight, and never give myself credit for the things I have been able to accomplish during a very difficult time in my life. I dwell on everything I used to do and how much I enjoyed it – as if this person is now dead and will never return. Mix that morose thought pattern with a list of chores that any adult faces from day to day AND…I snap…and I can’t do anything. Everything sits, the constant clutter of incomplete projects, thoughts and goals I a sad and pathetic limbo where months will pass before I summon up the strength and mental will to clean a room, or organize a junk drawer. At the end of the day, I’m tired of living like this – I don’t like how it feels and it’s not who I want to be.

I don’t enjoy rushing through all of the things I have to do so I can enjoy my life a tiny bit, (Saturday and Sunday) unless I have some sort of obligation I don’t want to go to but “Should”. I don’t stop to smell anything, let alone a rose. I spend so much time thinking negatively that I don’t have any energy left to spend putting effort  into doing things well.

The important thing I realized today is that I have to change the way I look at every single one of these things, and it’s going to be a challenge. A HUGE CHALLENGE. I’m allowed to think about the things I want – it is good to have goals. But I think the thing that isn’t good is all the pressure I am putting on myself by thinking of what I have to do – ALL. THE. TIME.

Check this out, this is how I have been thinking:

I have to do the dishes. I should do them right after I’m done eating.
I have to lose weight, I need to pay more attention to if I’m hungry or not. 

I have to try harder so I can skate faster at practice and keep up with everyone.

This is the new thinking:

I want to have a clean house, so I’m choosing to do the dishes after I’m done eating. (See how that’s a choice? It’s no longer a chore – but simply a task in part of my overall goal)

I want to feel good about myself again, so I’m choosing to think hard about whether I really am hungry or if I’m responding to a feeling or emotion. (I’m encouraging myself to question what my brain is telling me – the more I do this, the more I will believe in myself instead of that mean old witch in my head that wants to see me fail)
I am literally changing a word in a sentence, and I feel so much weight lifted from my shoulders. I encourage you to make these lists. In the process, It showed me the things I want most:
To be a good mom,

To feel good about myself,

To write,

To feel happy,

To have fun. 

I can’t do any of these things if I’m torturing myself with mundane adult tasks. I am not carrying a cross here people – I just need to open the dishwasher and do the damn dishes. But I need to choose to do them. I need to want it – I can no longer HAVE to do anything in life.

Who’s ready to start thinking differently?


Day Two


Today my 5 year old I did this Workout – 23 minutes of sweat and movement.

As a result of yesterday’s bike ride, I was able to make better choices at dinner which was a barbecue restaurant. Since it was a birthday, cake and ice cream were served – but I couldn’t finish it. The mound of frosting I left was as big as a piece of cake!

My ability to make better dinner choices encouraged me to wake up, eat breakfast and find a cardio workout over 20 minutes long. And now as a compromise we will do a Cosmic Kids Yoga video:


Then onto a day of good decisions 🙂

Starting to feel good again

This is truly a journey. I made a leap. I deleted Facebook from my phone. It is utterly a waste of time. Yes, it’s nice to connect with friends and see how people are doing, but I started to realize that it was honestly keeping me from things. I would sit for a couple minutes, and the next thing I know, 25 smart ass comments later, and I have wasted (yes, truly wasted) an hour of my life.

I have not “quit” Facebook. It is on my iPad, which is not essential to my life and stays home while I work and go places. I’ve just decided that I am going to allow myself to use it on my computer only. I don’t want to waste a summer sitting on my couch reading other people’s status’. 

I wake up in the morning and check Facebook. Not even because I want to know what’s going on, but I like to ease myself out of bed. 40 minutes later, I’m running late for work. I want to work out. I want to become a stronger skater, I want to bike as many miles as possible this summer. I can’t do it with Facebook. 

I would like to sit on my deck swing and read (an actual book) while my daughter plays in the back yard. But somehow Facebook always wins. I never thought of myself as having an addictive personality, but it sure feels like it.  

I’m not saying this change is permanent, but like quitting vegetarianism, it is abrupt and it kind of feels good. 

Now, I have spent quality Facebook time writing a blog post for my poor, neglected blog. Here’s what I’ve done today since I deleted Facebook from my phone:

Dishes, yoga, baked protein muffins, took my kid for a bike ride to not one, but two parks, walked the dogs, and now I’m gonna go make some hamburger patties

It just gets weirder and weirder

Today started out normal enough. I woke up, dragged myself out of bed. Felt groggy. Dropped my kid off at school. Got to work, and had the strangest text conversation with my mom. We are both vegetarian. We are pretty close – ok very Gilmore Girls-ish close and both have had irritating colds for the past couple weeks. We exchanged back and forth a couple sentences and then I said – I don’t know life might be easier if I just ate a couple chunks of turkey. Then she said that she’d been thinking the same thing lately, and she is really tired of making them 2 different dinners. I told her I was seriously considering eating meat again. She told me she had been thinking the same thing for the past few weeks. Neither of us said anything until now. 

See, Back in January I accidentally ate some chicken at a party. I didn’t get sick to my stomach and moved onto continue my just shy of 20 (yes 20) years as a vegetarian. 

Then I started this whole macros diet. The emphasis is essentially on protein. Protein is something that I should have paid close attention to as a vegetarian from the beginning. I took the approach as a kid stuck in summer school. I did the homework-I read a book or two about becoming a vegetarian. I decided to become one and I rather immaturely and lazily disregarded all the information I read for nearly 20 years. 

This new found focus on more protein, more fat and less carbs has proven to be difficult, while at the same time the more protein I eat, the more full I feel, the less cravings I have the better I feel. I started to get frustrated with my decision to be a vegetarian. In some ways I felt it was “too late” my body doesn’t know how to process meat anymore. But seriously, in all honesty I can’t keep it up. I’m exhausted. I catch colds from people before they even had the cold I caught from them somehow. I lack motivation, comcentration and strength at times. I am always always hungry. I am sick of being sick. I am sick of feeling tired. I am sick of feeling hungry.

My mom asked, “why are you a vegetarian?” 

“Because I was sick of eating meat”

I asked her the same. Her answer, “I felt that I was choosing a healthier lifestyle”

In all honesty, there is nothing healthy about what we have done for nearly 20 years. We haven’t truly followed a proper and safe vegetarian diet. We haven’t provided our bodies with nutrition that supports our lifestyles. We have honestly just half-assed and unsuccessful dieted our way through 2 decades and are still overweight, and essentially nutritionally deficient. 

I said, “fuck it- I’m going to go to the salad bar on lunch and buy a little chicken and eat it” my reasoning as to starting with chicken had no basis of real information, aside from my dogs had been prescribed boiled chicken breast when they had upset stomachs. I read somewhere to eat probiotics to aid digestion. I saw probiotics were $18.99 at the store, and bought a Siggi’s yogurt instead. I figured it was the best quality yogurt. 

I went back to work, assembled my salad and willingly knowingly ate chicken for the first time in almost 20 years. It’s over now. I’m going back, I can’t take suffering and feeling like shit every damn day when all I have to do is eat a god damned hunk of meat. 

So here goes the vegetarian. It was novel, it made me feel as though I was doing a good thing, but God help me and pass the meatballs.

It has to start somewhere

Today I dove in. I just did it. I didn’t over-think it and I did my best. The outcome? Pretty damn close. 

What in the hell is she talking about?

I finally stopped putzing around trying to figure out calculating macros on my own, and I hired a professional. Not only did she calculate them for me she gave me bunches of tips which I can share over time. I’m tired, so I have to keep this short. 

Yesterday I was given the numbers, today I just did my best trying to come within +/- 5 grams. Take a look :

Considering I just dove in, I did pretty damn good at coming close to my goal. Sure a good portion of my protein came from protein shakes and cottage cheese, BUT it is my first day! I can do better from here on out, and for the first time in a long time – I feel great. I feel like I can keep going, and yes I even had a piece of bread! 

Did I mention I dislike winter?

I know I know get over it – I could move. Winter just brings me down and I realized that when we ran out of Vitamin D – I never replaced it, so guess who is going to buy some this weekend? I’m sure that is a good part of my blah-ness lately. 

So my waking up better. My efforts have improved and I owe it to the 4,000 alarms I set for myself each morning. I’m still a work in progress and will most certainly keep this my priority for now.