Category Archives: Food Issues

So here’s the thing:

There’s a reason why sleep deprivation is a form of torture.  It’s been 4 weeks and 4 nights of blissful, adorable, loud, grating, suckling torture in my house.  I try not to complain, I really do, because I knew what I was getting into*.  And really, seeing this face when you are awake makes it hard to be too mad for too long:

The lovely Elise (or Ellie Belle as I’ve started calling her)
photo credit to Sebrina Wilson

I know I’m supposed to “sleep when she sleeps,” and “take it easy.”  You also know that I have 2 other children who are both enjoying summer vacation.  What this means for me is that the world keeps turning.  When Elise has a really good feeding and falls asleep at the breast, it’s perfect because it means I can make lunch for the other 2 – hey, maybe even me! – without carrying her in her sling.  It means I can help them with the painting they’ve been wanting to do for an hour now.  It means I can get them setup with their water balloons or water guns and help them enjoy their time.  Very rarely am I able to “sleep when she sleeps.”

So what do I do to combat the insanity that chronic sleep deprivation brings on?

Well, many of you know that I love to cook (here’s my food blog, in case you didn’t know just how much:  I also really love music.  Being in the kitchen, and playing tunes at a ear-drum-bursting-volume are the 2 best and fastest ways to restore myself.

Enter the next challenge.

Playing my music, without interruption, at mach 10, is not really an option when there are 3 little people around.  First off, I have to be careful of their ear drums.  Because while I am deaf** all ready, they have perfectly working ears.  And really – I’d like to keep it that way.  Besides, the teen years aren’t that far off now (Connor’s all ready 8 and 1/4 years old) and they’ll be blasting their own ear drums with their own headphones in less time than I care to think about.

This leaves me one alternative: cooking.  Which is how we end up with things like this when the longest stretch of sleep I got last night was 2.5 hours:

Yummy peach pie… hopefully the filling set this time!

A few days ago, I baked cookies.  Before that, a crisp.  And before that, a birthday cake which came on the heels of a chocolate chip cookie pie…  Not to mention the regular meals, which of course I’m making too.  Burgers, roast beef, barbecue pizza, and so on. There are 21 meals and 14 snacks eaten in a week at my house.  And I prep most of these.

My point?  Well…  there’s a lot of food around me.  And if you remember, I am an emotional eater.  The sleep deprivation and the dropping hormones and the raw, beautiful emotion of having a newborn in your midst, combined with my prolific endeavours in the kitchen create a perfect storm.

How does this emotional eating, closet eating, exhausted, tortured soul deal with what needs to happen to rebalance and restore herself?  No really – I’m asking you.  Because I don’t have any answers or solutions.  Logically, I know that I should not be worrying about my weight.  The thing is, I’m not logical right now.  I’m not rational.  I’m barely coherent for god’s sake!  And to be perfectly honest with you, I’m generally not worrying about my weight; I’m simply stuffing whatever I find into my mouth.

When the rational moments surface however, and I look back over my eating habits, I cringe.  I can see what I’m doing in hindsight.  I see the desperation of needing to get through the day/afternoon/hour/moment and knowing that 2 or 3 cookies will help me do just that.  Or maybe a caramel macchiato.  Perhaps a bowl of ice cream; no maybe a large bag of smart food… the options are endless, and the slope I am on is very slippery.


* Except that I didn’t really.  Because Sam – number 2 and my most recent newborn experience – slept for 8 hours right from the moment of his birth.  That’s right: he was born sleeping through the night.  So it’s been 8 years since I’ve lived with a non-sleeping tiny being.

** All right, not deaf, but hearing impaired.  I had 2 hearing aids until the dog turned them into $2,000 confetti…  and they were put away!  In their case!!  On the credenza in my office!!!  Wrapped in kleenex even, to give them extra protection!!!!  Bloody dog…  he’s lucky he’s so friggin’ cute.

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Posted by on July 29, 2012 in Family, Food Issues, Raising Kids


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It All Comes Back So Fast

It’s been a while since I’ve posted.  I’m sorry.  It’s just that I was busy with this:

My baby, 12 days old

I suppose she’s not a “this”; she’s a her!  My daughter Elise was scheduled to be delivered via c-section on July 5, but on June 27 I went into labour, and so she was delivered that day.  It’s been a wonderful, exhausting, overwhelming (with love, of course), amazing 16 days.  My family feels complete now.  We’re all here and ready to face the world – Team Scrimgeour-Brown!

The title of this post might lead you to believe that I’m going to write about parenting a newborn.  I’m not.  What has “come back so fast” for me are all the bloody body issues…  I delivered a baby 16 days ago, and yet just yesterday I found myself fretting over how I look.  You know the routine: standing face-on in the mirror, checking the angles for ripples, rolls, bulges and then searching the side view for the same things.  Once the inventory is complete, you rip those shorts off your body and hurl them to the floor, stomping on them and then on yourself for how you look, how did you get there, get yourself under control… I’m sure you know the litany.

How quickly the pattern returns…

When I came home from the hospital 2 weeks ago today I was wearing pre-pregnancy yoga pants and a tee-shirt.  The yoga pants were giving me muffin-top before I was pregnant, but were not post-delivery.  The tee-shirt I was wearing, I was able to squeeze into last year but really: it was a squeeze.  Not the case on Friday, June 29.  I felt really good about myself.

My first day at home, with access to my entire wardrobe, I picked a long-time favourite sun dress from my closet.  It came from Marks’ Work Warehouse, and has a built in bra and everything.  I love this sundress so much that I have since bought another one.  They are both super-comfy, and they look really good too.  So I pulled the green dress out of the closet and put it on.  And damn!  I looked awesome.  So sleek and almost svelte!  Which is a big deal for someone who – before being pregnant – was about 75lbs overweight.  Again, I felt really good about myself.

A few days later, we had some company come to meet the babe: 2 of my cousins.  One of whom is pregnant, and the other is a mother of 3 herself.  They were both impressed by how good I looked.  Not just because of the weight I shed while growing a person, but also because I had had major surgery just 5 days earlier.  I was up and moving, hosting and entertaining, all without seeming to be in any pain at all.  Yet again, I was left feeling good about myself.

Those of you who have had children know what comes after delivery: the inevitable hormone crash.  Well it hit me with a vengeance, around the same time as darling little Miss Ellie decided that sleeping at night was for the weak.  The past 5 days have been tough.  And in their wake, the daemon inside of me has surfaced: to mock, to ridicule, to hurt.

I heard in my head the other day the voices of my 8th grade classmates calling out, “Sha-MUUU” down the hall to me (Shamu was the name of a whale at a theme park when I was younger).

I look in the mirror and instead of seeing skin that has been stretched to hell and back while creating the miracle of life, I see fat.  A flabby, lazy girl who cannot get herself under control.

Why?  Why do we do this to ourselves?  How is it that I can so easily and readily see the truth for others, point it out to them, and encourage them to be gentle with themselves and yet be unable to do the same for me?  Why am I habitually so hard on myself?  And more importantly: how do I change the internal dialogue?

So many self-help gurus talk about changing your self-talk.  They all agree that the first step in doing this is to  monitor what is going on inside, and then to replace those negative comments with positive ones.  I agree with the concept, and readily encourage those around me to engage in the process.  I am a firm believer in positive framing and re-framing, applying it to areas of my life on a regular basis.

I thought that I had this weight-daemon licked; I thought we were through.  And yet: here it sits, at my side, providing a running commentary.

Truly: it all comes back so fast.


Posted by on July 13, 2012 in Food, Food Issues, Sickness/Wellness


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