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There are calories in the air!

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Ok, let me just say it. I have body image issues.

You know how kids have lanky bodies where their legs and arms have almost the same circumference? Well that wasn’t me. My mother says I started that way, but the child I remember was too tall, too brown and too fat. Yes, fat. And it wasn’t fun. It was clothes from the husky section at Sears and elastic waistbands. It was “what are you?” because I was neither black or white. It was not the best. Then around 6th grade I grew into my weight and although I still wasn’t thin, I wasn’t an obvious oval anymore. By the time I reached high school the need not to feed was strong.  I lost the weight, and entered the fashion world where smokes and soup were all one needed to sustain themselves.

I was not anorexic, I was not bulimic, but I was aware of every forkful that entered my body. Painfully aware. Keep a running tab aware. Apps for entrees aware.  My family called me Olive Oil and some wondered if I was ill (we’re Latinos remember? being thin is a sin). I looked fabulous.

Into my 30’s I was 5’9″, size 6. I worked out at least three times a week and ate a high protein diet.  I felt great, I looked great.

Fast forward to  now.  I’m 42, overweight, with no time, or willpower to workout. A penchant for chocolate and a deep… disgust towards my body.  People often tell me, “you look great for someone who has two kids” and I sincerely appreciate the compliment, but this is what I call a compliment with an asterisk., like… “you breathe really well for someone with a nose” .  So my goal this year?  To get rid of the asterisk.

Where to start? What to do?  For first time on my life, I started to count calories and oh my God, there are calories in the air!  Ok, not really, but practically. Two things became painfully clear:

1. No wonder I’m  overweight!

2. It’s a miracle I’m not heavier!

It’s really been an eye opener. A wake up call. A really hard look at what I’m eating and what I should be eating instead.  Every bite I take while cooking, every bocadito from my kids’ plates…it has all added up over the years, and now, it’s time for it to go.  Instead of cafe con leche, I’m drinking cafe cubano.  This saves me approximately 145 calories, which on its own isn’t a lot, but if you drink several of these everyday… imagine… 3 cafe con leches in a week’s time is… 3,045 calories!!  Viste? Did you see how easily that adds up?!  So the counting (not fun) begins.

Will I ever get back into that size 6?  Quien sabe.  The important thing is that I remain healthy, which means that I lose some weight, through conscious food choices and that I start exercising.  So as I sometimes tweet it’s time to get #FitOrBustCarajo !!

 

That’s me and my Dad.  Don’t let his uniform fool you!  He stopped doing business at a bank once because he was judged by his uniform.  That’s my father. 

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I understand…

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Wait!!  Before you go calling Child Protective Services, get down off your soapbox and your idealisms and LET’S GET REAL.  

Background:  I am very traditional when it comes to parenting and family life.  I am Cuban-Colombian and was raised in a highly traditional home a-la “old school”.  Time out’s didn’t exist, the bottom was created for spanking, and we got spanked “cantando” where the spanks coincide with the syllables. 

Now, I will restate this, my husband and I decided as a unit that we would not spank our kids (ages 4 & 2).  Thankfully we have been able to stick to this.  There are loved ones that we know who believe in spanking, and that’s their prerogative.  That’s their child.  Yes, there are studies and data showing that spanking only makes for a more violent child, but not everyone believes everything they read.  Then there’s the old adage, “My parents spanked me and I turned out ok”, but really that can be applied to anything, just change the word spanked to abandoned, traumatized, loved, hated, spoiled, whatever, with the exceptions of the Ted Bundy’s of the world “ok” is a pretty safe catch-all.

Is it obvious at this point that I don’t want my kids to turn out “ok”?  I try to educate myself, I pray, I drink, I take “calmantes”, just to that my kids are under the impression that they have a level headed mother…and then my daughter turned 4…

She is a smart girl, and she know how to push mommy’s crazy button, and I haven’t been able to figure out how to disable that damn thing.  So when I’m being “calm” and speaking to her clearly and slowly (like the crazed maniac she can be) and she is doing this hoppy, flip-floppy fish dance, whining, faux-crying and making other noises likened to hyperventilating, I COMPLETELY UNDERSTAND what would drive a parent to turn their little monster around and slap them on the butt.  Since I don’t partake, I instead try distraction, conversation, separation, threats, rescinding of privileges,  and then I turn into the you-wanna-see-mommy-mad-well-you-did-it-now banshee.

Hey, I said I didn’t spank, I didn’t say I was perfect!!  LOL!!!

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