Wednesday, May 1, 2013

W7, Day 1: Weigh Day

Weigh day again today--how does it come around so fast?  And it's not a good one for me at 228.0, a small gain from last week.  I feel like a yo-yo.  But really, in the larger scope of this week, a small gain isn't the end of the world.

Monday was every bit as difficult as I feared and more.  But I got through it.  Yesterday was a little better, and so was today.  I'm surprised that I made a gain because Monday I was so upset I didn't want to eat anything.  Maybe the chocolate bar I had yesterday balanced it back out.  Since there was a cake testing at work today, I'm not off to a great start for this week.

It was interesting to wear the BodyMedia device while at work because it says I burn about a thousand more calories per day.  I'm not sure the calorie increase was a good idea since I didn't lose anything this week and I did log carefully, but I'll keep the goal while I'm working at least because I feel a lot more active.

I haven't been too hungry since I've been at work--at least not for food, I still want my baby boy--so that part's going well.  I'm so tired though that I feel I could crash out at any moment, so maybe as early a bedtime as possible might help.  Halfway through the week!  Only 21 more days to go till summer.  :)

Friday, April 26, 2013

W7, D3: Back to Work

So Monday is fast approaching.  Dreaded Monday—though many folks find Monday a dreaded day every week.  :)  Still, this Monday has seemed so far off in the distance for so long that it’s hard to really believe that it’s here.  Except that I do.  I’m hemming my pants, writing my lesson outlines, reviewing curriculum, rehearsing what I’ll say, packing my work bag, and aching a little bit more with each task.  What does this have to do with food, you might ask?  Nothing really.  Seriously, this is one of those few entries that might not have much of anything to do with weight, so you might want to skip ahead to whatever entry that may follow. 

It’s just that this is my last week home with baby until summer.  While I know that summer is not far off and I’ve been supremely fortunate to spend these last fourteen weeks with my child, I don’t feel ready to leave him.  Oddly, I’m convinced I’ll be ready come fall at the start of the next school year, a time of new beginnings, but this week has been tinted with wistfulness and more than a faint whiff of sadness.  I’d like to say that’s why I ate that package of black licorice—besides, it’s supposed to be super good for your tummy too, right?—but really, it just tasted good. 
Still, I’ve been out of sorts and wishing for comfort.  I actually did a good job of walking past of a display of cakes at the fancy grocery store yesterday.  I thought to myself, “That scrumptious looking chocolate cake isn’t going to let you stay home with baby so put your too-big girl panties on and keep walking.” And I did.  I bought a sandwich wrap and small salad instead.  So maybe I’m finally starting to show a little food maturity?  (I wouldn’t bet on it though.)

I know several people have told me that they were relieved to be back at work, so maybe there’s hope that once I’m there I’ll feel better (much like just jumping into a cold pool rather than easing in).  It’s funny, months ago when I was arranging the leave, I thought I’d be itching to return a lot sooner.  Really though, the time passed so quickly and now it’s almost time to go back in a couple days.  In the meantime, I find myself holding him close and trying to memorize each little smile, his darling cheeks, and those perfect eyelids.  Funny how work once felt like the center of my life and in a short time, all my priorities have shifted.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

W7, Day 1: Weigh day yesterday

I weighed yesterday and meant to write the entry, but it was just a busy day.  It always sounds a little crazy to me when I say that because how busy can it be staying at home?  But it was and I went into work for a couple hours so that I can start planning for Monday.  Dreaded Monday.  But I'll get there in another post.

First, the weigh in:  227.8, so down one pound from last week.  I'm quite pleased with that, especially because I didn't behave myself very well through the week.  I didn't log my foods the first part of the week and had several cupcakes over the weekend.  Come this Monday, I threw out the leftover cupcake batter and frosting and got to business logging my foods.  I felt I needed a little boost in motivation, so I decided to try out the BodyMedia device that a reader very kindly lent me.  It's very interesting because I find myself wondering how one little doohicky can do so much measuring.  How does it know?  The gadget says I burn a lot more calories than MyFitnessPal says I do, measuring a daily burn of about 2400-2800.

I'm really surprised by that because it's not like I do much here at home (though sometimes just holding the baby feels like a workout for my arms and back).  On the other hand, it says I can consume about 2000 calories a day instead of 1700 and still lose my pound a week.  I think this is entirely reasonable because when I track my calories lately, I inevitably go over by two to three hundred each day and I'm still losing weight.  I always feel terrible because I never make my calorie goals, but it just feels stringent and hard to follow.  Yes, I know that many people live very reasonably on 1700 calories a day, but I'm always so hungry.  Well, you might wonder, what difference can 300 calories really make?
*Two tablespoons of peanut butter on an apple
*A greek yogurt, a banana, and some strawberries
*A sandwich with one tablespoon of peanut butter or ten pieces of turkey salami
*A Smart Ones or Lean Cuisine meal
*A tortilla with egg and cheese or refried beans
*Three servings of fruit
*Crackers and a cheese stick or hummus
*Etc., etc., etc.

In other words, three hundred calories is a big deal when I'm hungry.  So I think I'm going to change my daily calorie goal and see if I can do better about staying on track and still lose weight.  Seems pretty doable!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

W6, Day 7: ZZZzzzzZZZZ, or, Sleep! My Favorite Thing!

I've temporarily started using a BodyMedia body monitoring device to keep track of the calories I've burned and eaten during the day, as well as my activity level and the number of steps I've taken.  I'll write about this more later in the week because I just started on Monday and I want to give it a bit more time for gathering data.  It cracked me up because apparently I had a whole three minutes of physical activity yesterday, and the notification came up that this was a new personal best and would I like to share that on Facebook?  Three minutes?  Woooo!  But uh, no thanks on the sharing--let's see if I can't do a bit better than that before I trumpet it to the world.  One neat thing about the device is that it syncs to MyFitnessPal so I don't have to enter all my foods twice; I just log like normal, plug the device into the computer, and poof!  Everything's there on my screen.  That's pretty cool.  

What I thought was interesting was the sleep monitoring part of the device.  Apparently I'm a rather inefficient sleeper--not a shocker with a three month old.  Still, I knew I was waking up periodically through the night, but it's fascinating to see just how often I wake up, sleep for a few minutes, wake up again.  No wonder I'm still tired even though I've been in bed for what should be plenty of hours of sleep. The reason this fits in with weight loss is simple: when I'm tired, I want to eat.  And eat.  And eat.  Apparently this is a normal human reaction.  

WebMD explains it better than I can:
Exactly how lack of sleep affects our ability to lose weight has a lot to do with our nightly hormones. The two hormones that are key in this process are ghrelin and leptin.  Ghrelin is the ‘go’ hormone that tells you when to eat, and when you are sleep-deprived, you have more ghrelin.  Leptin is the hormone that tells you to stop eating, and when you are sleep deprived, you have less leptin. More ghrelin plus less leptin equals weight gain.

Allrighty then, problem solved!  Let's all get our ZZzzz's and we'll drop those pounds!  Well, probably not.  And often if we're not sleeping well at night, it's probably for a reason.  In my case, a cutie who did not want to go back to bed last night after a late night feeding.  Still, having a three month old makes it much easier for me to get sleep, as opposed to a newborn or one month old.  I still wake up for each little sniffle and complaining why-am-I-sleeping-alone-in-my-bassinet gurgle, but I'll take the sleep now any day over those first few weeks when I was basically a zombie.  So there's hope for better sleep in the months to come.  
In the meantime, I encourage you to try to catch those ZZzzzZZZ's.  It can't hurt to be more rested and refreshed, right?  And who knows, maybe you'll drop a few pounds too.
I don't know why, but these sheep kind of creep me out.  Forget counting, I'd be kept awake watching for a sheep rebellion.  Yes, I'm a geek.  :)

*By the way, I do recognize there's a difference in font between the top part of this entry and the bottom, but I can't seem to fix it (as with the picture captions a few days ago) because it looks perfectly right on my draft page.  This drives the detail oriented me crazy, but I'm just going to leave it for now.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

W6, Day 4: The Dreaded Mirror

Yesterday I had one of those moments when I just happened to glance in the mirror after a shower and saw all that mass around my middle and just felt hopeless and horrified.  The thought, "Oh God, is that me??" popped into my brain unbidden.  Though I haven't lost a lot, I see some progress in my body.  I can still see my collarbones (this was a big achievement years ago).  My torso under my bust line has diminished back to more normal proportions, a few of my old pants are beginning to fit, and my face has narrowed.  But I looked at that mass of belly and felt despair.

On the one hand, I'm not sure why it even matters because I know I'm working on losing the weight I gained during my pregnancy (despite the cupcake I had for breakfast this morning).  Of the sixty extra pounds I was carrying at the end, I only have 26 or so to be back where I was when I conceived.  And, my baby is only three months old as of yesterday.  So if it took me almost ten months to put all of that weight on, why am I so desperate to lose it all immediately?  Yes, I looked better pre-pregnancy and felt better too.  A lot better.  I guess I just want the old me back.  Maybe it's time to look forward to the new me?  Still, I'd much rather it be a new me without quite so much around my middle.  I want to love my body again, to feel good in my skin.  In the back of my mind, I'm worried about what people would think if they saw the me under my clothes.  Then I think, "Who cares?"  I've earned those stretch marks and belly rolls.  My son is definitely a prize and a bunch of belly fat seems like a small trade for my beloved .  Still, I'm avoiding the mirror until things get a little better.  It was fun to embrace my big belly in a sort of Earth mother thing when I was pregnant, not so much after.  It's all good.  I've just got to be positive and embrace the now.

Looking at the before and after pics help though.  I spent a crazy amount of time this morning trying to put captions on these pics and centering them, but in the end, I'm giving up.  Instead, I'll just write the captions up here.

Pic.#1:  New Years Eve, 19 days before birth.  I was HUGE!
Pic.#2:  Last month, looking better!
Pic.#3:  Two months before birth, baby belly in profile.
Pic.#4:  Last weekend, hard to see my belly here, but I was feeling better and pretty too.


Friday, April 19, 2013

W6, D3: Images

One of the big reasons why I restarted this blog is because of my son.  I don't want him to be like me.  Obese.  Self-conscious.  Afraid of what others think of him all the time.  And it's more than I want to lose weight.  I want to be healthy for both of us.  I want to be able to chase him at the park, to play tag with abandon.  I want to teach him to be active and eat properly.  While I fervently hope that he'll grow up to have the metabolism of my thin husband, I fear he's too much like me.  That's silly, you might say, he's just a baby.  True!  I feel ridiculous even thinking about it, but I find myself thinking about it all too often.  I don't want him to be like me.  He was born larger than average and has steadily gained weight.  At a month and a half old, he was wearing 3-6 month old clothes.  At almost three months, those clothes are tight and we're switching to 6-9 months outfits.  He's on the outer edge of the doctor's growth chart (though she's not concerned and says he'll probably level out eventually).  He eats with gusto and I find myself keeping track of the ounces to make sure he doesn't take more than the range the doctor advised.  Crazy, right?  On the one hand, it is.  Babies are babies and probably aren't going to eat a lot more than is good for them.  On the other hand, I spent my childhood knowing I was fat and feeling that I was not a good enough person because of it and I would spare my beloved child that pain.  Of course, he's a boy and I think there's a little less weight pressure for guys, but still.

I recently read someone's blog post (see below for link) about how a mom is having a hard time because she loves the way her daughter looks, but has difficulty because the child looks like her and the mom has spent a lifetime disliking her appearance.  She writes, "She looks just like me. I need to see that as a blessing to her, not a curse. I am trying."  It's really sad.  Really, really sad.  She wants to teach her daughter self acceptance while still learning it herself.  I can absolutely relate.  All of this is so very shallow and silly.  What does it matter what someone looks like when what's inside is what counts?  And yet it totally does.  The worst part is that often we are our own worst critics and that except for a few, most people don't view us in the negative way we view ourselves.  We build our own prison walls.  I want my kiddo to be free of it.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

W6, Day 1: Weigh Day

All right, weigh day today.  I've been intending to write this post all day long but just have been distracted by this and that.  When I got on the scale, I expected it to be terrible.  I've been avoiding the scale because I know I've done a poor job this week.  It's funny how perception is different from reality because I looked at my belly and would swear it's bigger and worse than ever.  I didn't really want to know how much I'd gained.  So I stepped on...and it was 228.8, a small loss of 0.4.  Wow.  I didn't expect that at all.

Having a very small success feels much better than another failure.  Oddly, I feel more motivated to do well.  I don't think I earned any loss, but I'll take it!

On another note, I've been thinking ahead a couple of weeks a lot lately.  I go back to work in a week and a half and I already feel sad about it.  On the bright side, being back at work means that I'll get more calories each day and have a structured day where food is not accessible.  Still, I don't feel ready to go.  Maybe most new moms feel this way?  I know I've been very lucky to stay home with my baby for thirteen weeks.  I just don't want to leave him.  I want to stay home and play mommy.  And to be honest, I feel a little scared to go back out and face the world again (which probably means it definitely needs to happen).  It feels like there have been so many changes in me--having a baby feels majorly life altering!  Combining this with many changes at work and I'm so intimidated.

Uh, this is a weight loss journal, you might say, not a post pregnancy diary...focus on the food!  Well, the upshot of these uncomfortable feelings is that I feel the need for comforting.  Sometimes that comfort may come from holding my beautiful boy in my arms...and other times it comes from cookies.  Yikes, right?  Fortunately, I'm out of cookies (and won't buy more) and I do know that I need to face this upcoming challenge squarely and stand tall.  I'll only be at work for five weeks until I'm out for summer and I can spend oodles of time with my baby.  In the meantime, I need to enjoy our time together now.  Time for hugs!

Happy smile makes his momma smile!  :)

Monday, April 15, 2013

W5, Day 6: Where ya been?

I'm just not doing my best writing regularly these days.  Nonetheless, I think of my blog often and what I'd like to say as days go by.  It's just that things have been a bit busy (how busy can it be staying at home all day?) and I have to write in the times when baby's napping...except that when he's napping, I'm also scurrying around doing dishes, folding laundry, picking up, etc.  You know, normal life stuff.  But anyway, I'm back and here's a summary of this last week:

First, I've done a ton of stuff looking for what's wrong with  my tummy.  The upper endoscopy went fine.  I was so nervous, but actually, except for the IV, nothing really hurt at all thanks to the drugs that put me out.  In fact, the only thing I thought when it was over was, "Why are you waking me up?!!" I came home and crashed out for most of the evening.  Friday I had to do a body scan that felt like being in a giant photocopy machine.  Both Wednesday and Friday's procedures required extended fasting, which you'd think would make my calorie count pretty easy this week, but in fact it's been just the opposite.

I'm way over calories.  I wouldn't have expected it, but fasting seems to make me want to
eat way too much after I'm allowed to eat again.  I'm so hungry!  Even though I'd eaten the normal day's calories in a condensed amount of time, my body felt hungry.  It's probably a mental thing more than a physical one, but whatever the reason, it led to some out of control eating through the weekend.  This doesn't mean that I gorged, but rather I wanted (and got) foods that I normally don't eat:  chocolate, pizza, Chinese food, and last night, two pieces of fried chicken.  That's a lot for only a few days!  I didn't go crazy with these foods in terms of portion, but I'd normally only pick one of these treat foods per week (excepting small bits of chocolate--sorry, can't live without it!).  Oh well, I'm back on track now.  Actually, I'm glad to be back on track because I feel icky after the excess.

My tummy has been a bit better, so maybe things are working themselves out on their own.  Other than some inflammation in my stomach and possibly some gluten sensitivity, I'm still not any closer to knowing what's been causing me stomach pain.  I've been poked, repoked, scanned, and scanned again and I'm just about ready to let it rest.  I'll eat gently for awhile and see if it gets better with time because I don't want to do any more.  I haven't had any intense eating pain for a couple weeks, so that seems more positive.

I just need to avoid eating fat, spicy foods, chocolate, and caffeine.  The caffeine is the hardest part because I'm fond of a Starbucks coffee as a low calorie, well deserved "mommy" treat when I'm out with baby!  The chocolate isn't the hardest part because that's not even going to happen.  Is there life without chocolate??

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

W6, Day 7: Weigh Day, early

So I'm weighing in a day early this week and while it feels a little like cheating, I'll explain why in a sec.  I weighed in at 229.2, which puts me down 6.0 pounds since I started four weeks ago.  Six pounds in four weeks is not bad, especially since I recouped last week's gain.  Even better, this morning, my flubby tummy must be receding a little because I was able to button three of my old pairs of pants when I tried them on, though of these, two are still too tight to wear in public.  But hey, give this woman a gold star!  I don't care if they are my formally 'fat pants', they are pre-pregnancy pants and I can wear them, hallelujah!  In fact, I'm wearing them right now with an overly self-satisfied smile.  Move over yoga pants!  (But don't go too far because I still need you, bless you yoga pants).

Anyhoo, I'm weighing a day early because I'm going in for an appointment tomorrow to see if they can find what's going wrong with my tummy and causing me pain.  They are going to stick a camera down my throat to my stomach to see if there's any problems.  Yikes!  I've eaten things I don't like before, but I've never had to swallow a camera!  First time for everything I suppose.  I have to fast from midnight tonight onward and the appointment is not until tomorrow afternoon, so I may not get to eat until dinner tomorrow.  Even then, I was told that I might not feel like eating for a while afterwards, so it could be a very long time till there's something edible in my belly.  To that end, I'm trying to eat some extra calories today to balance out tomorrow.  I'm not gorging or anything, but adding about 500 extra today.  That shouldn't affect me on the scale tomorrow, but just in case, I didn't want to get penalized when it'll more than wash out tomorrow's calorie count.  I still feel oddly guilty though, as if I'm trying to get a false advantage or something by weighing early.  Silly!

I'd rather swallow this kind of camera!

Monday, April 8, 2013

W4, Day 5: Salad

I greatly enjoyed a salad from a local burrito place this week.  I got lettuce, grilled chicken, pinto beans, onions, tomatoes, cilantro, and a bit of ranch dressing.  It was delicious.  I'm glad to have another low calorie, low fat option that I can choose while eating out.  I also appreciated the chicken and beans that made this salad satisfying and filling.

When I went to get the salad, I also picked up a burrito for my husband, loaded with cheese and guacamole.  I found it very interesting that while I never referred to either the burrito or salad as mine, the restaurant employee kept asking me what I wanted to be in "the" burrito and in "your" salad.  In other words, he made the assumption that the healthy salad was for me, while the less healthy burrito was for someone else.  Maybe I look like I need a salad or two?  My husband suggested the employee thought the salad was mine because women are more likely to order salads in a restaurant than men.  And I thought, do women order more salads than men?  Is that a sexist statement?  My apologies if it is, I'm just curious.  Of course I've seen men eat salads, but I'm not sure any have ordered one as an entree when we've been out.  Maybe women are more weight conscious so they order salads more frequently?

Does anyone know the answer to my question?  Are men less likely to order a salad as their meal in a restaurant?  It's not a profound query or anything, but I'm just interested.  I can't wait to go back for another tasty and easy dinner.  Noms!

This salad looks super yummy!