Friday, March 09, 2012

From Plants to Ramps by Robin Gorman Newman

What does a day in the life of a “later” mom look like? Depends on the day of the week, but of late in particular, it's jam-packed and not altogether fun.

I feel like a chicken without a head. (A fitting expression.…but where did it come from?!) Jumping from one task to the next, many of which are unrelated, it's a wonder I can track everything. Thankfully, I excel at preparing copious TO DO lists...though in my effort to be organized, sometimes it feels overwhelming. My notes are handwritten. Not in my Blackberry. For me, there is something to be said for the tangibility of paper, even if it involves sporting around a clunky hard covered date book. No way I can be confused with a techie, but it works for me.

That said, one of my fellow “later” mom friends called me last week to touch base. She asked how my day was going.

I told her I was involved with plants and ramps. What? she asked.

It was a true representation of my sandwich generation life.

Though I’m not much of a PTA baby, I decided to join the Plant Sale committee. It is the biggest fundraiser for my son’s elementary school (who knew?!), and despite my not having a particularly green thumb, somehow it called out to me. An email was sent by the committee head to those who expressed interest in serving. There were about 15 names on the list. An initial meeting was planned, and it wound up being just three of us. I was surprised by the lack of present bodies. I was looking forward to a meeting where ideas would be shared. This turned out to be a session reviewing the plant catalog and deciding upon which planters to order. (Are you yawning yet?!) The committee head had already made the decisions for the most part, and was looking for confirmation re: her choices. The next meeting (don't get too excited) will be when the actual plant selection is done. And, I'll be volunteering at the sale itself in May.

Re: the ramp portion of my day. My father recently suffered a stroke and has been in rehab. Anticipating his return home in a couple of weeks, I’ve been conducting meetings with ramp companies to explore the preparation of his ranch house for wheelchair accessibility. In in a short period of time, I’ve learned more about ramps, lifts, etc. that I’ve ever thought necessary. Fortunately in the mix of meetings, a friend recommended a reasonably-priced contractor who proposed the most economical and what seems like the most feasible approach, so I’m grateful to have a direction that feels right.

It’s no surprise that there are nights I don’t sleep well…with visions of plants and ramps swirling through my mind. And, that was just for that particular week.

On any given day, I’m tackling a multitude of projects, not to mention professional pursuits. Can’t say the life of a work at home mom is boring, though choosing planters is a far cry from the career I once had in what feels like a lifetime ago….working as a public relations professional in NYC….the Vice President of a mid sized firm. (I later went on to open my own PR practice.)

I know that on the professional front there are exciting things ahead, but personally, a midlife mom's gotta do what she's gotta do, even if it means deliberating about wood vs. metal and hibiscus vs. herbs.

What do you have on your personal plate that isn't as exciting as you wish? Do share.....

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Thursday, March 08, 2012

Becoming Right Liimu

Well, my baby is turning one in exactly one week and I have lost a total of three pounds since I came home from the hospital. Three pounds! Well, that's not exactly true. I've lost and gained the same ten pounds at least twice. Which is why I've been working very hard to re-learn how to eat intuitively. I've apparently come to the end of the line as far as diets are concerned. They simply no longer work for me.

I actually grieved this fact in my therapist's office this week. Cried big, fat alligator tears over the fact that I had to mourn the loss of the illusion of control. That's what I held on to all those years I tried the latest and greatest fad diet - the grapefruit diet, the 9-day diet, the Scarsdale diet, SlimFast, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Body for Life, you name it...I've tried it. Don't get me wrong. They all worked - temporarily. But the problem is that none of them taught me what I really needed to know, which is how to learn to trust my body and feed it when, what and how much it actually needs. What I'm learning now is that it's not about being in control, it's about being in charge. (Thank you, Michelle May.) There's a huge difference between the two, no pun intended.

So, I've been trying to relearn all over again how to trust my body's hunger and satiety cues the way I did when I was, oh, I don't I've been doing a lot of reading, which seems to be helping, albeit slowly. I've read Naturally Thin, by Bethenny Frankel, Women, Food and God, by Geneen Roth, Intuitive Eating, by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch, and most recently, Eat What You Love, Love What you Eat, by Michelle May. They all have been extemely helpful and enlightening and slowly but surely, I feel like the diet fog is lifting. For the first time in a very long time, I'm actually hearing the voice in my head that's talking crazy to me all the time, telling me I need to eat twice as much as I need or that chocolate will solve all my problems. For the first time in a very long time, I'm actually waiting to eat until I'm hungry and paying attention while I do it, rather than reading a book. Because of that, I'm able to tell when I'm full and I don't mind stopping.

Unlike all those wonderful women, however, it hasn't yet led me to some miraculous weight loss, I'm not going to lie. Because of this, I have been tempted time and time again to fall back on a diet - maybe one of the really good ones, I tell myself, like Weight Watchers or Body for Life. Or, maybe I'll just count calories. Up till now, I have resisted the urge. It feels like I was on this roller coaster ride for years that was way more scary than fun and I finally got off. And even though I can look at the people at the top of the hill and hear their screams and tell myself it's thrilling, I know if it were me, it would just be screaming. I can't do it anymore. It was making me sick. It was making me unhappy. And the truth is, I'd rather be fat, sane and happy than thin, crazy and miserable.

So just for today, I'm a little thick around the middle. I still have beautiful hair, great cheekbones and sexy legs (even if they are supersized at the moment). But on any given day, I am making wonderfully healthy choices for my body - like juicing green vegetables, beets and carrots every day, roasting cauliflower and cabbage and eating that for lunch and dinner, using my crockpot to make yummy soups, and adding new foods like ezekiel bread and avocado to my diet on a regular basis. So, whatever size I end up becoming is just going to have to be good enough. I'd love if it were a size 10, but we'll just have to wait and see.

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Friday, March 02, 2012

ROBIN'S SHOW REVIEW: Rated P...For Parenthood

Book and Lyrics by Sandy Rustin
Music and Lyrics b yDan Lipton and David Rossmer
Directed by Jeremy Dobrish
Featuring Courtney Balan, Chris Hoch, David Josefsberg and Joanna Young

Rated P…For Parenthood chronicles various stages of modern-day parenting, from conception to college. The likeable, versatile cast of four takes the audience through the ups and downs of childrearing through a series of comic and musical vignettes in under 90 minutes. They play both adults and kids of varying ages, some more convincingly portrayed than others.

Not much surprising here in the material, but two scenes featuring dad characters were particularly refreshing and witty. In Mind Over Playground, two fathers watching their children navigate a playground find themselves attempting to navigate a potential friendship (thinking in silence, yet aloud to the audience, what the other might be imaging about them). In a rap duet with the two dads, in Parent Teacher Conference, the fathers bust a move anticipating the challenge of speaking with their respective kids teachers, only to find out that they're doing well in school.

The simulated mom/dad texting (peppered with sexting) on the illuminated set backdrop contributed the most to comical moments, which often didn't come across all that well through the quick skit format.

All in all, if you crave a moms night out, you might want to check out the show. No doubt you'll find something to relate to, even if no particular revelation is shared.


In need of babysitting? Playtime! is the first program to provide childcare during theatrical shows in NYC. It is available for Rated P...For Parenthood, as well as other shows. Check it out at

Playtime! was established to bring parents back to the theater by providing excellent childcare at (or steps from) the theater at an extremely affordable rate. The service is available to any type of ticket buyer for participating shows, regardless of the price paid for the ticket, and is just $15 per child. Sitters Studio is fully bonded and insured, and their rigorous background checks and training ensure that they provide not only an artistic and fun experience for children, but also one that complies with top-notch safety standards. It is available for children ages 4 - 12.

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ROBIN'S SHOW REVIEW: How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

The 50th Anniversary production of the Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical comedy HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING currently stars teen heartthrob and youngest member of the Jonas Brothers singing trio, Nick Jonas, as J. Pierrepont Finch, Emmy, Golden Globe and Grammy Award-winning star of screen, television and stage Beau Bridges as J.B. Biggley, and making his Broadway debut, star of stage and television’s “Ugly Betty,” Michael Urie as Bud Frump.

They join Rose Hemingway in her Broadway debut as Jonas’ onstage romantic interest Rosemary Pilkington, 2011 Tony nominee Tammy Blanchard as Hedy La Rue, Rob Bartlett as Twimble/Wally Womper, Mary Faber as Smitty, Ellen Harvey as Miss Jones, 2011 Emmy Award winner Michael Park as Bert Bratt, and Emmy and Peabody Award-winning journalist Anderson Cooper making his Broadway debut as the voice of the narrator. The cast of 30 includes Timothy J. Alex, Cleve Asbury, Tanya Birl, Holly Ann Butler, Abby Church, Kevin Covert, J. Austin Eyer, Paige Faure, David Hull, Justin Keyes, Marty Lawson, Shannon Lewis, Ian Liberto, Andrew Madsen, Nick Mayo, Sarah O'Gleby, Colt Prattes, Stephanie Rothenberg, Charlie Williams and Samantha Zack.

With the aid of a dated yet trusty self-help book "How to Succeed in Business," wily window washer J. Pierrepont Finch enjoys a rise up the corporate ladder at the World-Wide Wicket Company. Along the way, he romances secretary Rosemary Pilkington, charms the head honchos, outsmarts competitors and proves you can judge a book by its cover, even if it's corny.

The show is light-hearted fun. Urie is a hoot. Pilkington is a standout. Bridges is crusty and charismatic. My 9 year old son enjoyed. He was excited to see Jonas, though he his singing chops could use amplification for the Broadway stage. He gave it a valiant effort, and the many teen girls in the audience applauded his admirable efforts. He delivered best in the Act II showstopper “Brotherhood of Man.” The cast overall is impressive, as is the set, and it’s a feel good, family-friendly theatrical experience.

Nominated for eight 2011 Tony Awards including Best Revival of a Musical, HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING, directed and choreographed by Tony and Emmy Award-winner Rob Ashford, began previews Saturday, February 26, 2011 and opened Sunday, March 27 at Broadway’s Al Hirschfeld Theatre (302 West 45th Street in NYC). Breakout star of Fox’s Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning television show “GLEE” Darren Criss recently concluded his limited run as J. Pierrepont Finch on January 22, 2012. Daniel Radcliffe and 2011 Tony Award winner John Larroquette both played their final performance on January 1, 2012.

HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING has music and lyrics by Academy Award and Tony Award winner Frank Loesser, and a book by Abe Burrows, Jack Weinstock and Willie Gilbert, based on the book by Shepherd Mead. The creative team includes Derek McLane (Sets) Catherine Zuber (Costumes), Howell Binkley (Lighting), Jon Weston (Sound), Tom Watson (Hair), Doug Besterman (Orchestrations), and David Chase (Music Director and Arranger).

Tickets for HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING range from $52 - $132, and are available at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre box office and at (212-239-6200). A special family four pack offer is available; Visit

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Thursday, March 01, 2012

A Fond Liimu

No, I'm not done blogging and my weight loss journey is certainly still ongoing. I'm not going anywhere any time soon. So, what am I saying "Farewell" to? To dieting and all my diet paraphernalia. I deleted all my apps, tossed all my magazines, even cancelled my "Biggest Loser" season pass.

Part of becoming an intuitive eater is letting go of the diet mentality. It's funny, because there's a saying in recovery that in order to successfully achieve sobriety, you have to let go of any reservation in your mind that you might one day successfully drink again. Similarly, successfully becoming an intuitive eater means letting go of any reservation that you might one day successfully diet again. Fortunately for me, I have experience with doing this in sobriety and know firsthand that adopting this mentality of full surrender really does work and leads to success. So now, I just have to apply this to intuitive eating.

For the first few months, I did harbor a reservation - I felt like if this "intuitive eating thing" didn't work out, I could always hop on a diet and lose the weight real quick. That has changed. This "intuitive eating thing" is now the only thing. It's more important to me, even, than the weight loss, which I now see as a likely by product of successfully becoming an intuitive eater. I look forward to that happening, but am even more thrilled to be freed from the bondage of the dieting/binging cycle. For example, this week I learned how to sense my own fullness during a meal and how to stop before I hit fullness - that is, to stop eating once I was no longer hungry. CRAZY, man. I can't even tell you how long it's been since I've done that at one MEAL (unless the food was gross) let alone, an entire week of eating.

When I stopped smoking, one of the tricks I used to stay stopped was to identify myself as a "nonsmoker" as much as possible. So, here I am now, becoming a new person once again - an intuitive eater who simply doesn't diet.

Post a comment if you want more information on intuitive eating. I'd be happy to help you begin your journey!

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