Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Thoughts on Sweeping

I have been sweeping a lot. Sweeping dust out of the garage, sweeping grass off the sidewalk and driveway, sweeping those twirly-bird maple seeds off the patio in the back. Every day. And while I'm sweeping, I'm thinking. Thinking about how some things in my life are never truly done. How the minute I have a sense of accomplishment or a sense that I've finally figured something out, more twirly-birds drop, more dust accumulates, the grass must be mowed again. Some days I look out and think "Really?! Do I really have to do this all over again?! I just did it yesterday. And it looked, felt, seemed perfect then! Where did all that hard work go?"

You all know where I'm going with this sweeping analogy, right? Taking a break implies not sweeping for awhile, stopping certain practices and disciplines to reap the rewards of success, but in the case of Healthy Wife I've had to retrain my brain. The reward isn't eating junk food and not exercising: the real reward is keeping the healthy habits going even without the support, encouragment and discipline that all of you provide.

Now for the question, the one Sue's prodding me to answer, did I do it? Sort of. Kind of. But not perfectly.


The first week I was told to stop lifting weights because of muscle soreness, so I turned instead to gardening, walking and biking with the kids. The second week was the first week of no pre-school, but I went to my twice a week 5:30 a.m. weights class that week and walked the 3rd grader to school twice. The third week my Mom was here and I was experiencing good and bad stress due to a combination of church obligations, painting a dark wood paneled playroom entirely white, two birthdays, mammogram stuff, and the superhero part of my life (my identity as a child of two sets of fabulous, but different parents: see the apple for a visual) and, well, I managed to exercise in a formal way only once. I could have used more and I felt it because we all know that exercise is a great way to handle stress. So I made up for it over the Memorial Day weekend: two long walks, two bike rides and major yard work.


I was actually a healthy foodie most of the time. We had a lot of cook outs with family and I felt that made it easier because we were limited to the food we brought with us. The exceptions were the apple pie I baked for birthday number one. I think I ate 4 slices (half the pie), using pie as a breakfast substitute two mornings in a row and I ate three brownies in a row after I decided I needed the caffeine to stay up until 1 a.m. watching a lovely BBC rendition of "Our Mutual Friend." But I passed on the chocolate cupcakes with homemade marshmallow frosting for birthday number two. I continued feasting on roasted veggies, carrots and hummus, oatmeal and fresh fruit. I ordered veggie and fish dishes at restaurants. And I drank more water than I used to drink back in my dry ice age of water drinking, although probably not the suggested 64 ounces.

While my Mom was here I made her three of my new favorite salads and she wondered how I became interested in cooking all of a sudden, so I told her about this inspiring place in a land far far away, over the rainbow, with chirping birds on tree branches called Healthy Wife Happy Life.

The end result of my three week hiatus: no weight gained or lost (I give stress and genetics the credit there), but I feel like my muscle tone has declined (a fancy way of saying that I feel flabby, but flabby is a weird, gross word).

So this go round, I am picking up my broom again, clearing out the cobwebs and joining all of you to reap the rewards of good habits, good friends and the good, healthy life. You know I'm a post-a-holic, so you'll be seeing me here!


  1. Yay Melissa!! I am so glad to see you back! It was so quite around here without you :) I think you did fantastic for your three weeks "off".

  2. I am so glad your back! I love your analogy and I love that you realize it's OK to take a break and come back!! :)

  3. Sounds like you did a good job. Remember we're not looking for perfection here! I'm glad that things are good and you'll be joining us again. You've been missed by all.

  4. Welcome back superhero at juggling mutlitple parents. Taking a break can be a good thing, coming back to the fold even better. You were missed.

  5. I love the sweeping analogy. If I can look at my health as something that will need constant maintenance throughout my life rather than something I "conquer" once and for all, it feels much more realistic. My house gets messy, but I don't just wallow in filth (most of the time), I clean up again and again. I will remember that next time I have a lousy week. Just clean up and start again. Love you!