A few weeks ago, I signed Rowan up for a spring swim class. We did the tots-n-’rents class last spring, but he definitely didn’t learn anything except how to not pay attention to the teacher when there was a laundry basket of toys in his peripheral to which he’d much rather be paying attention. I guess it wasn’t a completely useless class, though. He DID learn the washing machine song and to not be afraid of getting into the pool, which is oh-so-important at such an early age, I think.
Even though he’d completed the tots class without any major issue, I was nervous about this next class. He’s three now, and far more cognizant of his cozy little world than he was when was two. There’s a greater likelihood of him losing his shit over a new or different or potentially scary experience like getting in the pool without his parents. I’d heard horror stories from other parents about their kids clinging to the side of the pool, and I just pictured that happening with Rowan.
I was out of town for his first class last Saturday, and I exerted a good deal of energy that morning fretting about how it might go. I kept checking my phone around the class time for a frantic text from Roth … that never came. Of course he did awesome! Of course he got into the pool, and listened to the teacher, and put his face in the water to “talk to the fish.” Of course he was also distracted by the laundry basket of toys, but eh, he’s three, what do we expect? I was so, so relieved to get that great news from Roth, as well as this awesome picture of him in the pool.
When I got home later in the day, Rowan talked a mile-a-minute about the swim class, and how he can’t wait to go again next week, and that just makes me wildly happy. It also got me thinking about how I far too often underestimate his capacity to be awesome. I’m always preparing myself for the meltdown and the letdown, which just isn’t fair. But, I do that with myself, too, and in turn, tend to transfer onto my kid MY feelings of inadequacy and self doubt, which makes for an extremely glass-half-empty way of life. I have to stop that.
I was away on Saturday because I’d gone to Wenatchee to visit Kerri in her new digs. First item on the agenda was to drink beer. Second item was to go hiking. Because of the first item on the agenda, we opted NOT to get up before dawn for a sunrise hike, as was the original plan, and instead ventured out into the warm sun a few hours later to hike Sauers Mountain, just outside Cashmere, WA.
Now, Kerri and her beau Matt are pretty hardcore when it comes to running and hiking, so I was a bit worried about the hike ahead of us. Not gonna lie — it was tough for me. In total, it was 5.5 miles roundtrip, with a gain of 1,800 feet in elevation (we started at 1,300 feet), and bitch of a climb in a few spots where I was certain I would a.) not make it, b.) puke if I did make it, or c.) die. Thankfully, I didn’t puke OR die, and I made it to the very, very top despite that nagging voice in my head cajoling me to quit. As soon as we reached the peak, I felt amazing, as I always do after a hike, and I wanted to neck-punch all that self doubt that had been swirling around my head the whole way up. Had I given in to the doubt, I’d have missed this view.
And this embrace from my best friend, who is just about the most inspiring person I know.
Also, there was this.
See, I’m just too awesome to be contained in a single frame.
I’ve been “dieting” in some shape or form since early last year, but it wasn’t until a little more than two weeks ago that I decided to really (no, really) keep myself accountable by tracking my calories. I’d never wanted to do that before, and now I know why. It’s been extremely eye-opening (and quite depressing, honestly) to learn how many calories my favorite foods contain. Oh, cheese.
But, after a day or two, I got the hang of it — I’m using the popular My Fitness Pal app — and in short order, I started to figure out what I could eat to feel full, but not break my daily bank of calories. (I’ve budgeted 1,700 for myself.) There have been some trial and error and slip-ups, for sure, but after one week, I lost 3.6 pounds. This past week, wherein I hiked the heck out of that mountain, I lost 2.4 pounds.
I was so skeptical of counting calories, but Mr. Food Scientist Husband kept persisting that it was the only way to really see results, and he … was so right. I’m a convert. Calories in, calories out. The more you burn (yay Zumba! yay spin!), the more you can have — within reason, of course. Supposedly I burned 1,400 calories on Saturday’s hike so you better believe I ate a giant burger AND an Oreo shake afterward.
I know that counting calories is not a revolutionary concept, but it’s one that is working for me. Too often I’ve made exceptions in my diet because something was “healthy,” but that doesn’t mean I can eat an entire bowl of guacamole. Instead, I can have a few tablespoons full with homemade baked corn tortilla chips. I’m not about completely denying myself the foods I love — hello, beer! — but I’ve always believed in practicing moderation, and this is just another example of that.
It’s also another example of underestimating my own capacity to be awesome. To really take control of my life, to stop making excuses, and to BE the change I want to see in myself.