Saturday, May 31, 2008

Facing My Fears, Making a Change

The hot yoga isn't working; the evening walks don't help. The scale in my bathroom is slowly creeping up and my clothes are getting tighter and tighter. Today, I slid into some cargo pants, the pants I bought for my right after Spanky was born stage, and they were snug. I quickly slid out and looked at the size--about 3 sizes bigger than I was wearing last fall. I went to the closet and looked at all my clothes, trying skirt after skirt, pants after pants. All tight.

I sighed. It was time to admit my yoga and walks weren't doing the job any more. Last fall, I was running--I was happy but my knees were in pain. I turned to yoga and walking. Everything was fine; I noticed a bit more clinging in some clothes but not much. I noticed my rear view in the side mirror at yoga was a bit more bubbly than usual but I brushed it off. Surely I was not getting f-a-t but I was. And here I am today, bursting in clothes that, a year ago, did not even belong in my closet.

I know what I need to do. I need to rejoin the gym my husband already goes to and go back to the heart pumping, intense spin and step classes I used to attend more religiously than church. And this means addressing a real issue I have. No, it's not being in a room filled with beautiful buff super models (at least they look like this to me). It's child-care.

See I have this thing about germs, specifically kids with runny noses. I don't know why this bugs me so much. I have this overwhelming fear my kid will get colds. I remember in play group with my oldest the moms discussing ear infections and RSV. It got to the point I could not breathe if I saw a child with a really nasty green snotty nose. I would seriously need to leave the room. I have not shared this with many people. Other moms used to discuss how they had germaphobia. I was relived until  I would say something like 'Isn't it so hard to go to the mall at Christmas' or 'I alway have to wash my hands and my kids' hands after they touch a menu in a restaurant' or 'I never eat from buffets'--the moms always seemed to look at me  funny and slowly back away. I knew my fear was irrational. 

My germaphobia came to a full blown problem when Spanky was born (and I didn't mind wearing those 3 sizes too big cargos). I was having problems going to church; I didn't want Dino going to school; I made everyone carry a bottle of Purell with them at all times. And then I saw a request on Dr.Phil's website asking if you were scared of your kids getting sick even though they never got sick. Well let's see--between my four kids, I have had a total of three sick visits, only one which required antibiotics (sinus infection)--and of course I am horrified of my kids getting the plague so I wrote in and two hours later they called. Originally the producers wanted to share my letter or maybe feature my phone call but after they talked to me and learned I was slowly becoming Howard Hughes--we were off to LA with Spanky. And this is where it gets crazy--I was a wreck about bringing Spanky on a plane with all the enclosed germs. I had visions of him developing a cough and getting a runny nose at 8 weeks old. We almost did not get on the plane. But we did and nothing happened. Later, we went to the very crowded Christmas Eve service, and nothing happened. We drove to Ohio, not a single runny nose. Dino went back to school, not one cough. I started to feel better. The kids got chicken pox; I was OK. No panic attacks and then two weeks ago, Dino had a cough and I did not sit up all night pacing, horrified it was RSV, and he would have a cough forever. He survived

So I think I might be ready to drop off my kids at one of the most germ infested areas of the free world, my small town gym child care. I believe it is time to face this fear and get stronger (mentally and physically). I do not want to live in seclusion so I can be super healthy but drop dead of obesity at age 45.

I know there will be colds, maybe even a stomach bug but I feel it is time for me to do this for me and my family. But I do think I will wash their hands before and after each visit ;)

23 comments:

mamachristina said...

Hey, I wanted to thank you for the great advice you posted on my blog. I have a lot to lose yet but I take my measurements and I did get to wear a size smaller pants. Don't get to frustrated with yourself, sometimes incidents like yours is a great wake up call so you don't end up like me. you will make it happen, it seems like you have a lot of drive and determination.

Nicole (SAHM Ramblings) said...

I know so people who live their lives attached to a bottle of Purell. Their kids still get sick - actually more than mine - and I've been told that their bodies aren't developing the immunities to those nasty germs floating around. So when they do get something, they get it bad.

I believe there is a reasonable amount of caution to take, but overdoing it isn't helping anyone. I'm glad you're finally going to give it another chance.

As for the gym, if your knees have been bothering you (like mine), hold off on the high-impact step stuff. Try out the new adaptive motion machines (think off it as elliptical meets stepper) because they are much better on the knees. Better yet, check out the new Wii Fit. It rocks. (I reviewed it on my new blog if you're interested.)

Hang in there - I'll be cheering you on. Maybe we need to start planning meals together so we can come up with healthy stuff... and challenge each other to get to the gym more!

Jennifer H said...

I am so with you on this. My treadmill stares at me every day, and I'm determined to get back on it, but what I really want to do is to go to the gym. My hangup has been that we've been getting ready to move for a while now, so I didn't want to sign up for something I wouldn't use for long.

My fear of germs is a little out off kilter, too, but I'm getting better. I do think that we're not doing ourselves any favors with too much Purell, but I'm a big fan of hand-washing.

Thanks for stopping by my place and for your comment. I'll send you good thoughts when I get my ever-larger backside onto the treadmill this week. Hang in there, and have fun at the gym (it can be fun, right? :-) ).

mah-meeee said...

Oh, I totally know what you mean... and my kids go to day care full time! I got over my germaphobia slowly and painfully. The first year of both my kids at the day care is the worst... I think they were never NOT sick. (And this is just a home care/day care with 3 women and 12 - 14 kids.)

So I started (at least with the oldest) to antibacterial her hands the minute we leave the day care. Then when we get home, she either 1. take a bath NOW or 2. wash her hands and face immediately.

It helps somewhat (maybe just in my head) but there are times when you have to do what you have to do. I don't want to leave my kids at day care, but where I live, it's almost impossible to not live on dual income.

You're a smart cookie, you'll find that balance between all this. You need some time for yourself too. Hate to be cliche, but kids are alot tougher than you think!

I still want to know (my muffin top doesn't), what's hot yoga?

happy weekend!

Brian and Staci said...

Oh goodness...I think we might be the same person?? Kidding, of course I know we are not! Before I was a mom I was a dental hygienist---so does that tell you what a neat freak...germaphobe I was (am)?? I have been able to let a lot of things go these days but I'm THE first one to break out the Wet Wipes or hand sanitizer after we've been ANY where! (Even the grocery store---carts...GROSS!) Anyway, I do realize we can't live in a bubble and I guess it helps build stronger immune systems?? I dunno, I just think you are right...wash hands like crazy...there will still be stomach bugs and such to deal with occasionally but you'll be happier about it if you are skinny! Tee Hee! AND, I think it will be better since your littlest isn't crawling around putting hands in his mouth...that sort of thing...I'll say an extra little prayer for ya! GOOD LUCK!

Elaine A. said...

I believe it just builds up their little immune systems. The body is a wonderful, amazing thing at fighting off many of those things. I imagine if it wasn't my kids would be sick ALL the time because we go tons of places where other germy "monkeys" hang out! ; ) Don't worry, they will be fine while you will get fit!

fullheartandhands mama said...

Ironically, I'm a bit of a hypochondriac, but not a germphobe. I actually took my three little ones all to the gym child care just this past week. I found that if I go between 2 and 4, it is very quiet meaning there are hardly any other children. That makes me feel so much better even if the toys are covered in yuck.

Good luck!

JCK said...

That's so hard. I admire your determination to overcome your fears. You kids really will be OK. They sound AMAZINGLY healthy!! You're taking care of yourself in all aspects!

Blessings From Above said...

Good luck overcoming your fears...and any pesky weight you want to lose. Hang in there! :)

Lindsey said...

I totally feel your pain. I am such the germ-a-phobe. We have skipped church many times especially during the cold winter months just b/c I don't want to expose my kids to other germy kids. Ick. Just thinking about it....

mamachristina said...

Thanks for your coment Lisa, The boys did not have they're vacs and they are doing great with the pox. The 1 yr old never got much, the 3 yr old is covered head to toe and had a couple of irritable days but he has been a trooper. My sister is so wonderful and knowledgeable about health. So funny you ran across her blog, you'll love her the more she gets out there.

Cheri said...

You can do it! Just wash your hands a lot. ;-)

(I found you from Jamie's blog.)

Motherhood for Dummies said...

I totally agree with nicole! Those Purell bottles aren't THAT good. They not only kill bad bacteria, but the good also... and they DONT kill the flu virus... so really... parents are doing more damage having their kids use those all the time.

We have made sure we didn't over clean our daughter. We didn't force people to wash their hands when they held her and she has not gotten sick once! Not once... not even an ear infection.

But for you knees... you should totally try an elliptal... they are easier on the body and suppose to actually burn more calories :)

HRH said...

Don't make me call Dr. Phil again...really, you have come a very long way from that phone call.

I just got a membership at a very large gym between our houses with an outdoor swimming pool...is that the one your husband works out at? Our kids could meet there and share common friendly known germs...

Momo Fali said...

I have been working out every other day for months...running, biking, lifting weights...and the scale will not budge. I think that I've lost and gained weight so many times, it's just hanging on for dear life now. If I thought joining a gym would help, I would risk my kids licking the floor.

CC said...

Awww. Hugs! Congrats on this big step!

Amanda said...

I know how the tight trousers feel. I joined a slimming club today with a fried, so with a bit of support i hope to be successful.
Good luck in your weight loss efforts too:)
Love Amanda x

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I am so not a germophobe--my daughter did get RSV at 9 weeks old, but she survived. For the most part my kids are very healthy. For myself, I'm the only one in the college program I'm in who did not get sick at all last semester. I like to think nongermophobe behavior builds strong immune systems.

Purple Teacup said...

We had to relinquish our gym membership because I just didn't think there was adequate supervision. I can't exercise when I am worried about my kids. Everybody's got something....of course I have A LOT of somethings. Thanks for being so open. Blogging is better than Dr. Phil.

Elizabeth said...

loved this post. i watch dr phil a lot...were you on his show!? if so, when? i remember him discussing this very issue.

i'm kind of in the middle w/ germs. in the beginning i really kept tulip in a bubble (she was only 4lbs 14oz at birth). if i ever heard of any outbreaks (rsv for example) i'd keep her underwraps. BUT...as far as colds...once she got her first sniffle at 8 mos old (due to teething) i realized that germs are good for baby's system. otherwise they'll never learn how to fight them off. since then i jsut manage her exposure differently. if we're headed out of town or something i limit her exposure a lot but otherwise i just try to be reasonable.

last week she contracted PINKEYE and has a ear infection in her right ear...but she handled it all like a champ and is doing well...except she stopped eating almost completely and is really slowly getting back to normal in that dept.

also...my tulip is NOT vax'ed and she's the healthiest kid i know...she's only had colds during severe teething except for 1 time and that was after kissing a little boy with brochitis. :-)

good luck & thanks for your honesty.

virginia said...

hANG IN THERE .cONSISTENCY PAYS OFF.I love yoga but I don't think I could handle the hoy yoga.The key is finding something you enjoy.If we work out to where we hate it or can't handle it then we produce too many stress hormones which actually cause us to gain weight.

virginia said...

Facing our fears is always hard but so worth it.Take it from someone who has had panic disorder and was suddenly to afraid to drive or be alopne.Baby steps and really relying on God got me going again.Now I can't wait to drive somewhere and have time alone.

just jamie said...

I missed this post Lisa. I walk a fine line between "letting" my kids get some "good germs" from the world to build up their immunities, and just plain freaking out at the thought of door handles, remote controls, gas station pumps and everything else we touch. Come to think of it, I'm getting the Lysol out right now. :)