sick

Birthday & Seattle

January has been a rough one for me so far! I got sick a few weeks before Christmas with a cold, that turned into a sinus infection over Christmas, then after New Year’s it came back and moved into my chest. I had an upper respiratory infection/bronchitis and viral sinus infection. Oy. I was on antibiotics (again) for the bronchitis this time, AND prednisone. Yuck! I hate prednisone and first I said no to the doctor, but I’m glad I decided to get it. As much as I hate the side effects, it works. When you have asthma, lung sicknesses are terrible. 🙁

So I started the new year with kind of a whimper. The weight I lost in December (3 pounds) probably came back and then some, thanks prednisone, but I haven’t weighed in yet. I’ll give it a little bit more time and check in. But my pants are tight, so I know I gained.

Because of being sick, I also took some time off from the gym. I made the mistake of swimming when I wasn’t quite over my illness and then my cough got WORSE! I know one of my goals for this year was to rest when I need to and listen to my body better…so I am trying to do that. Even though it’s disappointing.

I am sick of coughing and congestion and sucking on cough drops 24/7. SIGH. So far January has been a bit of a bummer!

This time last year, Michael and I got to spend a little time away for my birthday at Edgefield. It was great! But sadly, on my birthday last year I realized it was the beginning of the end for Yggdrasil. We got back from our getaway and he was sick. I spent my birthday crying, waiting for news from the vet about whether or not my kitty had cancer.

I got lucky, I guess, and it wasn’t cancer and we got 8 more months together, even though they were hard months. It’s definitely hard hitting these “anniversaries” in this first year of Yggdrasil being gone. I know it will get a little easier with time and once these “firsts” without him are done.

For my birthday this year, I had the day off from work. I got to sleep in a little bit and then discovered a nice card from Michael and a giftcard to a spa I like. I had breakfast and then we took Logan to OMSI. 

My parents got Logan an OMSI membership for Christmas and this was the first time he’s ever been there. He had a blast! I remember loving OMSI as a kid when we would come down to Portland from Seattle to visit my cousins.

OMSI has a room for 0-6 year olds and it’s all hands-on stuff they can play with and explore. There were way too many things to describe! Check out my Instagram for some videos. 🙂 Anyways, Logan had a blast running around, exploring, touching everything. He seemed a bit overwhelmed at first. I think the more we go, the more he’ll explore and have fun.

After OMSI, it was home for lunch and naps (me too!) and then I went swimming. It was a nice swim, after a few weeks off from being sick. There was a guy in the hot tub asking me about how to start swimming laps and where to buy goggles. He was complaining about not having any and having to swim with his head above water. So I gave him an extra pair of goggles I had with me that didn’t fit my eyes and he was super grateful! I was glad to pass them on. Hopefully that helps him.

Birthday dinner was pizza and beer. Yay!

Saturday I got up early with Logan and has some quality playtime, then I went to the gym and then drove to Seattle for a few days. Last week my mom fell and got hurt and was in the hospital for 5 days. She’s doing better and will be ok, but I wanted to go up and see for myself and help out.

(That was Logan in the window when I got home from the gym. LOL)

The drive up was nice. I put on some CDs from my childhood, there was no traffic, I saw a rainbow, and arrived home in good time. First order of business: my mom asked me to take some groceries and medicine to my Grandma.

I surprised my Grandma (who just turned 96!) by just showing up at her place with the groceries and some flowers. We spent some time together catching up and then it was time for her to go down to dinner. After our visit, I picked up dinner for my parents and me:

Yum! Dick’s Drive In burgers, fries and milkshakes. My favorite when in Seattle. 😀

On Sunday I made my mom breakfast, went to the gym for a quickie workout, then went grocery shopping for my parents, vacuumed the house, made lunch, did some other little stuff my mom needed. Then met up with my bff Rachel for an early dinner in Fremont.

We met at Nuna Ramen in Fremont and it was SO good! Mine was a bit spicy, she got the not-spicy garlic ramen. It was delicious and hit the spot on such a dark, gray, rainy night.

The food was great and arrived super fast. The price was right, too. After dinner we walked to Swel Restaurant down the street for a glass of wine, dessert and a few hours of conversation. 🙂

I got the deep fried donut holes that came with chocolate sauce drizzled on the plate and a spoonful of whipped cream. Delicious! Rachel got the giant chocolate chip cookie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I was slightly jealous of her order. It looked really good (and she said it was freshly baked and gooey! Yum!).

The restaurant was super romantic and cute. Definitely a good place to go for a date night. We both laughed and said it would be nice to be there with our husbands, but being there together was a good second choice. 😉 We had a lot to catch up on! We’ve both been so freaking busy with life and the holidays and other stuff that we’ve barely had a chance to talk since we hung out in September. So it was a very nice visit.

Overall, the weekend was good. Lots of family time. I was glad I was able to help my parents out. I wish we didn’t live so far away from each other. Whenever I go back to Seattle, I miss it.

How Much Food Do I Really Need?

Trying to lose weight post-partum has definitely been a struggle (as I’ve written about many times here). The fitness aspect hasn’t been the struggle for me. The food has.

I feel like part of the problem is that for nearly 10 years I was on a “plan” that worked. After losing 110 pounds, I kept the weight off by working out consistently and by counting my calories. I logged my food pretty diligently for almost a decade. With a few blips here and there, I kept the weight off. I could splurge on treats or go out to dinner and still maintain my weight with about a 5 pounds fluctuation up and down.

When I got pregnant I did not eat for two. I increased my daily calories per my doctor and I still worked out. And then after Logan was born, (after taking about a month off from counting calories) I was back to logging my food but I was still eating a lot of calories. Every time I tried to lower that daily number my milk supply was effected.

I am pretty proud of myself for staying “on track” while pregnant. But I admit, I did give in to foods I didn’t really eat. I had managed to mostly kick my candy habit while losing and maintaining my weight loss. Sure I had treats and dessert (homemade cookies or ice cream, or chocolate) but I stayed away from the candy bar type stuff that was always a trigger for me.

While I was pregnant I craved two things: orange juice–which I started drinking a glass of with breakfast every day (probably 150 calories worth–and I COULD have drank several glasses of juice, but controlled myself) AND Reese’s Pieces candies. I have NO idea why those were the two cravings I had while pregnant with Logan but they were. Once he arrived, I cut out the juice.

The candy? Not so much. I am still eating candy on occasion and I absolutely hate that it’s so hard for me to kick that habit. It’s no secret I’ve always struggled with sugar but…dammit, why is it so hard this time around to STOP the sugar??

Let’s get back to that.

So I am still hovering around the 13-pounds-left-to-lose-mark. Ideally I’d like to lose 20 but 13 is my goal. I talked to my doctor recently and she suggested I reduce my daily calorie base to 1400. (She also suggested I try going vegetarian, but that’s a whole other conversation. 🙁 )

I decided to give it a try and went from around 1600 calories a day to 1400. Sometimes I eat back some of the calories I burn in the gym but I am trying really hard not to eat all of it and try to stay around 1500 or 1600 total on work out days.

Reducing my calories to 1400 was a bit of an adjustment at first. The first week it felt really stressful because if you break it down, 1400 calories is NOT that much food. So 400 calories for breakfast, maybe 100 for a snack, 400 for lunch and 500 for dinner. Yikes! I’d see my number of left over calories getting smaller and smaller…and I’d feel discouraged and sometimes I’d beat myself up. But after the initial hunger and getting used to that number, it wasn’t that bad. And sometimes I even found that I’d bring snacks to work and I didn’t really need them.

Since going back to work full time, I’ve started working out a few days a week during my lunch break. The gym at work can be kind of crowded, especially on bad weather days and Mondays. So I’ve adjusted my lunch hour around in order to work out earlier. In the past I would have a snack before working out –fruit or Greek yogurt or a low carb protein shake–and then work out, shower, and eat lunch at the normal time. But shifting to an earlier lunch hour to workout, I noticed that I didn’t need my morning pre-workout snack anymore.

So I wondered, How much food do I really need?

I decided I could probably skip my morning snack on workout days and just workout. Then eat lunch later. And I’d be fine. And it helped me stay at my lower calorie range.

I have no idea how many calories are the “right” number. I mean, I workout a lot and pretty intensely. So how do you find the proper balance between how many calories you need to not completely crash and still get your good workout in? I pose that question because I honestly don’t know the answer.

Recently I decided to give it another shot. First, I decided to try doing the lower-carb diet again. I kind of gave up on it this summer. I lost about 7 or 8 pounds on it when I first tried it in the spring but I stalled out and just felt like I was torturing myself and not seeing any results–so I stopped and just counted my calories every day and didn’t care about limiting carbs.

Second, I decided to try and cut out the candy. Recently at the store I did not buy ANY treats! None. I am going to try going cold turkey on the dessert/candy/treats and see if that also helps.

UPDATE

Last week in addition to cutting out candy and sweets (other than fruit and my coffee creamer), I decided to give the lower-carb diet a try again. So last week I went back on the bandwagon.

I stopped buying sweets and desserts and was surprisingly able to give up the candy without noticing too much of a hardship or craving. The carbs? I was somewhere between 50-75 grams of carbs for each day. I felt like crap all week, honestly. I felt run down and like I had the flu–but I didn’t. I just felt exhausted and burned out and my workouts suffered and my mood suffered….I’m sure it was cutting out carbs.

So no bread, pasta, rice, etc. No potatoes, reducing the fruit I eat (I had raspberries for dessert two nights). I’m eating more protein and fat. I’m hoping this second week will be better–and that I will feel less run down. I know that’s pretty common in the beginning when you go low carb….UGH.

The good news? I weighed myself over the weekend and was pretty happy to see a 2 pound loss. I have no idea if that’s the low carb diet or cutting out sugar or both. But if this trend continues, hopefully I can relax and just be in maintenance mode in a few months! I do not believe a low carb lifestyle is the right choice for my body type…but I’m willing to give it another try.