Apr 182016
 

I stopped counting my calories when Logan was born. I had other priorities at the time and honestly I just needed a break. Plus, my schedule was all over the place. I wasn’t really eating meals, or preparing food for myself. I just ate whatever people put in front of me, gratefully! It was a nice break mentally. I focused on eating enough food to not feel starving all the time (which was hard–I think Logan would go through growth spurts because I’d have days where I just could not eat enough food to feel satisfied!).

But a little over three weeks later and it was time to get back into a routine. After the fog of the early days cleared and Michael went back to work, I was starting to feel more myself again and I could also see myself getting into some bad habits. I needed structure again. As much as I could get, anyways.

So I started counting my calories again. In some ways it was kind of a bummer to be back to doing it after a nice little break; but overall it was also comforting and familiar to be sort of “back to normal.”

I also talked to my midwife about doing some light exercise again. I didn’t really want to wait until my 6 week postpartum appointment because honestly at 3 weeks I was feeling a lot better. She said no swimming yet (which I kind of guessed) but said I could do some light, easy exercise like the elliptical, walking, and yoga. She said if I started having postpartum symptoms come back then I needed to take a break or back off. Fair enough! I was going to listen to my body and see how I felt.

I need to get rid of some of the bad habits I let slide back into my life. Drinking diet soda is one of them. I did really well and pretty much gave it up for my entire pregnancy. It wasn’t like I drank a ton before I got pregnant but I was starting to get into the bad habit of having one every day. And honestly diet soda doesn’t make me feel great and makes me crave sweets. I started drinking it again recently and found that I was back to drinking it every day, craving soda and also eating more junk food as a result. No more! Back to sparkling water.

Also, when I was pregnant I craved orange juice like mad. Like had I not reigned it in and controlled myself I could have drank an entire gallon in two days. Now? That craving for orange juice has diminished so I’ve stopped buying it. While I enjoyed drinking it, I don’t need the calories.

I’m trying to make better choices with my food, especially my snacks. Some days it’s hard, especially if Logan is fussy and I can’t put him down to fix something. I need quick and easy food that can be eaten one-handed. I’m trying to get back to focusing on fruit and protein for snacks instead of convenient stuff like protein bars and granola bars.

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I do pretty well with breakfast. Most days Michael helps out and makes me breakfast before he leaves for work. Days he can’t I have oatmeal or I try and make my own eggs. Some days when Logan is super fussy it’s plain Greek Yogurt with fruit gulped down!

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I intend on blogging my weight loss efforts in the future, but right now losing weight isn’t really on my mind. I have days where I feel really good about my body–even though I am 20 pounds over what I was a year ago–and then there are days where I just don’t feel like myself. I miss being active. I’m kind of going stir crazy in the house and would like to get off the couch. Some days it just isn’t happening (like the other day when Logan decided he was not going to nap at all and was fussy and cranky and nothing would soothe him but me cuddling him on the couch).

This won’t become a “mommy blog” per se, but this blog has always kind of been more about just my life and balancing fitness and eating healthy with indulging and living life like a normal person. My intent going forward is to blog about that–balancing life with a newborn, trying to find time to work out and to lose the baby weight– but that isn’t my priority right now. The first step for now is getting back to being accountable (counting my calories) and getting off the couch and back in the gym (when I can).

So I’m counting calories — CHECK!

Now the fitness part!

After the doctor gave me the green light to give it a try, I decided to go to the gym and try out the elliptical. I have to admit, it was kind of hard! After nearly a month off, I definitely felt out of shape. I was winded walking up the stairs (much like I was when I was pregnant), I was slow and had to keep the resistance down but I was able to do it and that felt great!!

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None of my clothes fit really well right now (I think I need to buy some new workout clothes–especially a new sports bra), but I got out there and did about 2.8 miles on the elliptical, around 35 minutes total and then called it good. I was starting to get tired and I suddenly felt REALLY HUNGRY. Like starving. So I headed home and called my first time back a success! (And then took a nap!)

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The next day was really gorgeous out! We planned on going for an urban “hike” in a park but shit went sideways and we never got to do that. 🙁 Everything kind of went wrong (including our garage door breaking) so instead I took Logan for a long walk around the neighborhood. It was something!

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We ended up walking a little bit further than planned but it felt nice to move and be outside in the sunshine and warm weather. Plus, our neighborhood is really hilly so that burned some calories.

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Since our family hike was kind of a bust, we decided to go to a nearby park for a picnic lunch to try and salvage the day. Michael got us a sandwich from Subway and then we took a little walk around the park. It sort of made up for the catastrophes of the morning!

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Sunday Michael went for a run while I fed the baby and then pumped and then I got to go to the gym for a quickie elliptical workout. It was MUCH easier this time around. I don’t know if I got my stamina back already or if having a decent night of sleep did the trick but it was a good workout.

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After that my cousin and a friend came over to make us brunch! It was so sweet of them! They brought all the ingredients and made us chilaquiles, which I’d never heard of before but might be my new favorite breakfast. It was absolutely delicious!

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And of course, mimosas. 😀 I’m not sure how many calories was in brunch, probably a lot, but it was worth it and I enjoyed every bite and it satisfied my insane hunger that I’ve been having lately.

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We sat outside on the deck in the glorious sunny, warm weather and enjoyed the light breeze while we ate brunch. It was kind of the perfect day. After they left Michael and I took Logan and Bella for a 1.55 mile walk in the sunshine. Then I was pretty much pooped for the rest of the day!

This coming week I plan I going to yoga again (looking forward to that!), another gym session and if weather permits, a few walks with the dog and baby!

 

Feb 102016
 

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I wanted to write a post about how I’m feeling because, after all, this was a blog about gaining and losing weight and addressing body image is important to me. Read these two recent posts about the topic of weight gain and pregnancy:

Let’s Talk About Weight

Body Changes During Pregnancy

For the last few months I’ve been handling the weight gain pretty well. It was slow in the first trimester, most of the second trimester it was steady but not extreme. Then around 26 weeks I had a big jump. Even though everything I read said this was normal around that time period, it was kind of devastating. I was shocked to see an 8 pound difference from last doctor appointment. 8 pounds in one month?!

After talking to some friends that had had babies and reading that this jump was normal, I was able to talk myself down a bit and not beat myself up about the weight gain. After all, I had been staying consistent with my fitness (working out 5 days a week) and I was still counting my calories and 85% of the time I was staying within the range my doctor suggested.

Then at 27 weeks the bump POPPED. It wasn’t a cute little bump anymore, it was a “wow there’s definitely a baby in there” bump. It’s crazy to see a drastic change in just one week. Where did that big bump come from?!?

Once I was in the third trimester and the weight was consistently climbing and the baby was getting bigger, I was struggling. A lot. I’d have good days and I’d have bad days. It was hard to see my body changing in such a major way. It was HARD not to compare those changes to the OLD body I used to have. I kept trying to remind myself that this is pregnancy, I was gaining weight for a healthy baby, not because I was obese.

Those old memories were hard to shake, though.

It was hard not to focus on the number.  It was hard not to feel like I was back at my 25 year old self when I was obese. At my highest weight I was 255 pounds or so.

What’s hard to ignore is just HOW HARD I WORKED to lose that 110 pounds. It took nearly 2 years of hard work, daily effort, diligence and focus to lose the weight. So seeing the number on the scale tick up and up felt like a failure to that success.

It’s difficult to articulate just how it feels. Because logically I know it’s ok. My doctor isn’t concerned with my rate of weight gain. Everything has come back normal, right on target, baby is healthy. I’m happy I am able to stay active and workout, even if I am modifying a lot of activities. That has definitely helped my body image, self-esteem and just general mood. Working out gives me a boost of happy feelings and that’s good. So if I can still workout, feel good and I know logically that things are normal and ok, why do I get bummed out when I see my body getting bigger??

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It’s been said before many times but it’s really true. Comparison is the thief of joy. It is SO HARD not to compare yourself to other pregnant ladies. I’ll see them at the gym and it looks like they are further along then I am, yet they are all stick thin with a basketball belly. You know the type. They don’t seem to be gaining weight in other parts of their bodies…like I am…and I compare myself. Then I feel badly and then I shame myself for comparing myself and it’s a vicious cycle.

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It’s weird not having ANY control over your body changes. Something that happened when I lost 110 pounds was that I realized I was in control of my body and I COULD lose weight. Then when I spent 6+ years maintaining that weight loss, I was still in control. I could make decisions on what I ate and I made good decisions most of the time and was successful. Then all of a sudden, I was no longer in control of what happened to my body, even though I was still TRYING to be in control of it. Letting that go has been a struggle for me — I am not good at giving up control.

What sucks is the comments I get from other people. People who either think they are being charming or funny, but are not. Just don’t. Never make judgmental comments, even “joking” about a pregnant woman’s body.

I was looking through some Facebook posts recently and saw some photos of myself from last year and the year before–when I was feeling down about having gained 10 pounds or so. My first thought was, Damn, I was so much skinnier! Then I thought, why didn’t I realize it at the time? PERSPECTIVE.

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I came across this article: The Dirty Little Secret About Pregnancy Weight Gain and was a little uneasy…expecting it to be gimmicky or a waste of time but reading through it, it really spoke to me. It was more about finding perspective, and not the judge-y article I was expecting. Here is a tidbit from that article:

“According to experts, these are the main concerns:

  1. You’ll be more uncomfortable with all that extra weight to haul around.
  2. You could develop gestational diabetes.
  3. You might have high blood pressure, which can lead to scary complications.
  4. Your baby could be big, making labor more difficult and possibly leading to a C-section.
  5. You’ll have your work cut out for you to lose more weight after the baby’s born.

For me personally, I have no signs of gestational diabetes, my blood pressure is consistently low, and my baby’s growth is right on track.

Leaving only concerns number 1 and 5, which are really just about my own convenience. After talking to my midwife and reading up on the risks, I’m not concerned about my “high” pregnancy weight gain.”

It was kind of an eye-opening DUH moment for me. Perspective. I do not have gestational diabetes. My baby is not measuring extra large, my blood pressure is normal and I’m not having any other issues. On top of that, I am counting my calories per my doctor’s instructions and I’ve been exercising pretty much the same throughout. Those are all positives! So what if my body is gaining a little bit more than I was hoping? All signs are pointing to healthy–isn’t that the most important part?

I have no idea how much I weigh at this moment. Once I got to the middle of the third trimester I stopped looking at the doctor’s office. I didn’t need to know how much weight I was gaining because really…this pregnancy has shown me that it’s out of my control and feeling badly about myself isn’t going to be a positive thing at this stage in the game. Besides, I’m almost to the end. Why do I need to know right now? Maybe my focus needs to be on other things for these last few weeks.

So I’m not weighing myself, I’m still working out when I can, doing what I can, counting my calories and eating healthy, and LETTING IT GO. My mind is now focused on the baby and not the weight, even if I do have a “bad” day. I can’t wait for him to be here and I’m happy my body is doing so well as he grows.

How am I feeling now?

At 35 weeks I am finding that I care less about the weight gain. Maybe that’s because I haven’t been to the doctor in a few weeks and I don’t know how much I weigh…ignorance is bliss? But I’m honestly feeling pretty good about my body right now. I feel like I’m in the homestretch and just generally feeling happy with my body these days!

If you’ve had kids, how did you feel about the weight gain?