Yeah Right, Keep Dreaming Baby…

The girls officially started summer vacation almost two weeks ago already. They love the warmer weather, playing outside, no homework and later bed times. I love burying my nose in their sun-kissed hair and watching their arms and legs brown up, despite the sunscreen I insist they lather on. The other night as we were walking along, I talked about what we were going to do the upcoming weekend. My oldest looked at me and smiled. She said, “you know what I love about summer, Mom? I forget what day it is! I bet you don’t though, because you still have to go to work!”Sigh. Alas, she is quite right, though. For the most part, I know what day we’re on and how many days left until the weekend! I’m quite envious of my daughters. It’s days like that, I wish I’d gone into teaching (unfortunately, my authoritative aura is lacking and I’d be like the substitute that goes home crying because the class ran over her – not good for me or the kids.)

As the days continue to grow longer, though at least I get to enjoy spending more time outdoors with the girls after work and on weekends. As I’ve recently started a fitness obsession, we’re walking, riding bikes and shooting hoops in the driveway. What we haven’t been doing (at least not yet), is swimming. While the girls love splashing about, the pool is not one of my favorite summer activities. If I could float undisturbed on a raft (without getting wet) in my own private pool with a tall, tall fence I might enjoy it more. However, the idea of putting on a scrap of material (or in my case a really big scrap) and parading around in a public place with much of my body exposed mortifies me (hence, the above-mentioned fitness obsession!). On the bright side, at least I don’t live in a country where bathing suits are optional!

Me, Age 26
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The other day I came across an old photo of myself (see right) in (gasp) a bathing suit (with a t-shirt over it). I remember cringing at this photo back in the day when it was first taken. I didn’t think I looked good – at all. I didn’t think I was pretty enough or curvy enough. Looking at the girl in the photo almost 20 years later, I would give anything to look that good in a bathing suit again! So I’m thinking, either I didn’t look as bad as I thought back then or my standards are lower these days! Unfortunately, I don’t think even if I ran 10 miles a day or limited myself to 900 calories a day, I could ever look like that again.  It’s a shame I didn’t appreciate what I had when I had it.

So I’m thinking as I stand in front of a mirror once again mentally criticising my body and they way I look, I wonder if when I look back at my 43-year-old self 20 years from now, I’ll wish I looked as good now as I did then. What would my 63-year-old-self tell me now? Would I tell myself I don’t look half as bad as I thought! Hmmm. Probably. So, why not think it now?  Why not be happy with myself they way I am right now? Well, because I know I could look better and feel better. Out of all the uncertainties in this world, I can control my body. I control what I eat, how much I sleep and whether I jog two miles or sit on the couch and watch TV.  And so, I’m running/walking in my second 5k on Saturday. Yes, the obsession continues….For now…

What about you? How do you see yourself in old photos? Do you think you look better or worse than you thought you did back when it was taken?

2%, 1%, Skim – What’s the Diff?

A couple of weeks ago, my four-year-old started complaining about the “yucky pink milk” at her preschool. Pink milk? I thought. Had the school suddenly started serving strawberry milk or something? Not likely. They don’t even serve chocolate milk. Maybe they switched brands or something. Or maybe my daughter is actually a milk connoisseur and her young palate could actually discern the intricacies and nuances of various flavors and brands of milk… Nah, she’s probably just going through some non-milk drinking phase or maybe the school just got a “bad batch” that week.

I felt hypocritical telling her to just drink her milk, because it is “good for you.”  Especially, when I myself am not an avid milk drinker myself. Sorry diary farmers of America – I do enjoy yogurt, cheese and ice cream – it’s just milk I’m not fond of – unless of course it is over a bowl of Cocoa Pebbles or Count Chocula.

“Why don’t you ask for some water or juice instead?” I advised her.

“They won’t let me,” she pouted and stomped.

“Just take a ‘No Thank You’ sip,” I offered another solution.

“No……..” she wailed as we made our way to her classroom. The tantrum was about to begin. I smiled to myself after leaving her in the capable hands of her teacher. At least I wouldn’t have to deal with her mood for now.

However, after a few days of the milk ordeal, I finally asked the teacher what was up with the milk. “Did you guys change milk or something?” I asked.

Sure enough, they had. After the last state inspection, the inspector informed the director that the milk laws had changed. The school couldn’t serve 2% milk to the preschoolers any more. The new regulations called for either skim or 1%. They started off with the “pink” capped milk, which equated to skim milk.  No wonder she didn’t like the pink milk. White water. The teacher explained that they have now switched to the “purple” cap or 1% instead. The kids are much happier as it tastes almost like 2% (I guess – I’ve never had a milk sampling).

So, the reason for this milk law change? According to one of the teachers, they changed the milk standards to fight childhood obesity. Huh. Who would have thought 1% would make that much of a difference? Maybe cutting back on the candy, cupcakes, cookies, chips and chicken nuggets might, but milk? Really?

I don’t think 1% milk even existed when I was a kid. If only I’d been able to drink 1% as a kid, I wouldn’t be struggling with my weight now! I could have prevented the weight gain that came along with having two children, and well life, if only I’d had 1% milk as a kid. I could be super-model thin, if it weren’t for 2% milk. Lucky for my kids, that won’t happen to them! Now enlightened about 1% milk, they can be assured to avoid obesity! The 2% is now banished from our fridge. From now it is 1% all the way! It is only a matter of time before I am the envy of all my friends – wearing a size 3. But wait…I forgot…I don’t even drink milk. Too bad for me. I guess…I’ll  have to go back to the less food, more exercise method for weight loss. Big sigh. If only it were as easy switching to 1%.