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Stalked by the Stork...a diary of raising twelve kids

Having twelve children is an amazing blessing and one heck of a crazy ride. Join us through all the joys, smiles, tribulations and trials as we navigate this fabulous journey!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Walking Away

This morning I woke up earlier than normal. I got dressed in black stretchy pants, brushed my teeth and woke up my husband. Then, I put on my walking shoes and hit the pavement outside of the neighborhood. We walked three miles. Not much by many standards, but for me, it might as well have been a marathon. I was huffing and puffing and begging my husband to run home and bring the van around to pick me up. He refused. I completed my three miles, with sweat dripping and feet aching. And mind you, this is flat pavement. Totally flat. A sidewalk actually. We aren’t talking about strenuous hiking trails or any uphill climbs. And still, my feet were ablaze by the time I heaved myself onto the porch and through the front door. I wanted to collapse in the blast of cold air conditioner. I refrained, mainly because Isaiah was standing there in the foyer and I didn’t want to scare him…although I’m sure the mere sight of me was enough to do just that. When I took off my shoes, I discovered that I have an enormous water blister on the side of my right pinky toe. I think I need better shoes. A shopping trip is in order.

You see, here is the situation. I am a couch potato. When asked to describe my activity level, I have to regretfully check the box that reads “sedentary.” I hate to admit it, but that’s the one that describes me. Case in point, Albert and I have been the proud owners of the P90X series since Christmas. To date, we’ve watched it once. And that was the instructional DVD. The only weights I’ve ever lifted, is schlepping the infant car seat back and forth when our children are babies- though I submit the argument that when babies near the one year mark, the weight of their bodies in those seats should totally count as a workout.

I’ve always been chunky but for most of my adult life, it’s been under at least decent control. I mean, I was never going to be asked to appear in any fitness magazines but I could still buy cute clothes in regular women’s sizes and looked okay, so I was fine with that. I have gained and lost and gained and lost but my weight has been reasonable, at least. Until now. Now, its pretty much out of hand. Being pregnant every year since 2005 and having six babies in five years has really taken its toll. I’ve been meaning to eat right and exercise, but at the end of the day when I lay the last little kid down to bed, I’m exhausted and there are a million things that seem like they should be higher on the priority list then exercising. And waking up early to fit in a work-out before the kids wake up? Are you smoking crack? Sleep is hard enough to come by in this house. Who in the hell would voluntarily surrender some of it? Well, it turns out…me. Because something has to change.
Albert was diagnosed with diabetes last year. And until now, we’ve done nothing, at least nothing lasting, to improve the way that we eat or to help either of us lose any weight. At his last check-up, our doctor actually told him that the levels of his blood sugar were “not compatible with a long life.” That was scary to hear. And yet the rib grilling, McDonald’s eating continued. Both of our weights are totally out of control right now. And frankly, the little kids keep asking both of us if there are any new babies in our bellies. That’s no fun (especially for Albert). He’s on two medications and still his diabetes is not under control. We have ten children. Four daughters who are counting on their Dad to walk them down the aisle one day. Boys who are counting on him to do all the things Dads do. Like wait in line for seven hours at the American Idol audition sign-ups in a thunderstorm, or stand just outside the end-zone yelling and screaming at your little league football game. And high-school. And hopefully college.
It’s not fair to them, to our kids, to not get this disease under control. It’s not fair to them to basically tell them that ribs and burgers were more important than being around to see them grow and to see them become parents and to watch their children grow. It’s not fair to them not to get healthy and lose this weight.

Diabetes runs in both our families. Since Albert has it now, and the doctor is telling him that his sugars are not compatible with a long life…who is next in line to get it if we don’t make some major changes? As parents, we can’t live with that. If we make the decision not to do something about it, its condemning our children to a far greater likelihood of the same fate. And that’s not okay.



On a purely superficial but very real note, when I visit my sisters in Tennessee, I’m totally the fat sister. The sister who looks completely different than the other two, who can wear short shorts, cropped shirts and tiny dresses. One of my sisters actually went out dressed in what appeared to be a pair of bloomers. And got compliments. Okay, so our mom was the one paying the bloomer compliment, but you get the point. I, the Fat Sister, had to wear a long dress, down to my ankles…one that was supposed to ‘float away” from the body but when your ass looks like mine, there is no floating away happening. My amazing husband told me I looked beautiful all night long, and bless his heart, even made “My Wife Is Beautiful,” his face book status. Of course, an hour later my sister sneaked his phone away and added “but my sister-in law is hot!” to his post, but I digress…

Yesterday we walked four miles. Not at one time. We did half in the morning and half at night. Today so far we have walked three. We also went grocery shopping and filled up our house with healthy foods. This meant walking right past all the potato chips and junk. We now have a fridge full of veggies, fruit, yogurt and chicken breasts for grilling.

Also today, my shins are killing me, and the blisters on my feet are ridiculous. But we’re keeping at it. This is day two. The goal here is that Albert will be able to wean off his diabetes medications as he hopefully will not need them anymore. And hopefully we’ll both loose a decent amount of weight along the way. Because I want us to be healthy…and to be here for our children for a long time….and cute clothes for fall.


15 comments:

Emily said...

Angela, I absolutely know that you and Albert can reach your goal. I'll be routing for you every step of the way!

Jane said...

Go Ang! You can do it! :)

Anonymous said...

you go, guys!!!!!!!!!! There's a really great site: www.sparkpeople.com. They have everything on there you need and it's all free. You can keep track of everything you eat and your exercising. You can even put in ingredients in a recipe, tell them how many servings it is, and it will tell you how many calories there are, etc. There's just so much information on there, and one of their main concerns is diabetes. There's a book called "The Spark" which helps you start out slowly and build from there. You might want to start with shorter walks. You don't want to be hurting, or you'll end up quitting. And breaking up the lengths over the day works just as well. You have each other! You can do this!
Praying right now to the One who is with you always!
Hebrews 12:1-2 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Prayer Bears
My email address

Anonymous said...

I found your blog a while back and never commented. Love reading life stories of families with lots of kids! Even though I only have 3. Good luck w the diet and exercise. Its very hard work but as you see results and have energy you'll keep at it. There is a free app...myfitnesspal.com either online or on the app market. It is awesome and you really see his much you overeat and it keeps you in check. Check it out. Totally free and I've used it fir about 9 mo now. Good luck!
jessica

Anonymous said...

Hi,

Like the person before, I stumbled across your blog while looking for someone else's site. I have enjoyed reading your stories so much i have bookmarked the site and check often to see if there are any updates.

I have three children and often struggle with the day to day management of our small household. I can't imagine 10! I think you must an amazing women because there is rarely a negative comment in your writings :)

I too want to encourage you to keep up with the exercise and healthy eating. My own father is overweight, has high blood pressure and sleep apnoea and despite knowing what he has to do to overcome these issues, won't heed the advice.
It makes me so frustrated and angry, but also sad because I know he may be robbing my mum of so much wonderful together time.

Keep up the good work!


(Australia).

Angela & Albert Fontenot said...

Thank you everyone for all the amazing support and encouragment. I got up today and walked again...four miles. I swear I was so ready to lay down on the backyard lawn of some random neighbor...but it feels so good when its complete. And I do feel better for the rest of the day.
Albert is grilling chicken breasts outside for dinner right now. And our neighbors challenged us to a 5K walk/run in three months. Fun times...
I really appreciate all of the encouragement. It makes me smile and feel like i can do it...even though that ice cream in the freezer is really calling my name...I will resist!

Anonymous said...

Don't usually check back to see if you've responded but decided to today. You do realize you're already walking more than a 5K. When I started walking years and years ago I thought I was doing an amazing job if I walked a mile. I've walked a half marathon (on my own, no other people involved), 3 times now and a few weeks ago I walked 16.5 miles. My next goal is 20 but having a major problem finding good shoes. Anyway, I KNOW you can do this! Just keep going...one step at a time!

Anonymous said...

another great site that helped me lose 20lbs is myfitnesspal.com I loved it but fell off the wagon and have gained 3lbs by drinking soda again ugh, if you choose to join im fishermanwife feel free to add me, good luck

luvmy2k9z said...

This is awesome! Keep it up. I know that they are expensive, but I had to do the good shoes thing and had to bight the bullet. New Balance has a great walker that has a rollbar in it so your foot doesn't roll over as mine does. Also, Brooks has a great walker out. You won't find these at a footlocker or something, you have to find these at a small specialty shoe store. I will help you if you would like. The shoes are around $120 or so. You can also order them online. I can't believe the difference that GOOD shoes made. I always thought that when I went from Payless tennis shoes to an expensive pair of NIKE's I then had good shoes. Nope. I saw a foot doctor and he pointed me in the right direction. Good luck and keep up the great work.

Cari

Amy said...

3 miles is awesome! I so wish I could get Robert outside to walk with me. He's willing to go to the gym but it's hard leaving Meghan with the Kid's club than it would be to just push her in the stroller.

Sounds like Mama needs some new shoes pronto! Shin pain and blisters are not cool!

I agree that you should check out Sparkpeople (and look me up while you're there smurfyabs).

Keep it up, you ARE beautiful!

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