Jan 022017
 

I loved this article so much. If you have the time, give it a read: How to Feel Better About Not Being as Good as You “Should” Be. It definitely speaks to where I am at currently.

Life is a lot different these days. In some ways it’s the same as it was pre-baby. Work, chores, life, gym, friends and family. It’s similar in routine, we just have a little life with us now. 🙂

But I’m different. My priorities have shifted. My body is different, obviously. And it’s hard to come to terms with that. I was making some progress with weight loss this summer. I lost about 4-ish pounds and was feeling re-energized and motivated.

Then that plateaued. I stalled out. Then I ran into some issues. Sure I could make excuses but the facts are: I was stressed out about Logan starting daycare and did some stress eating. I regained a few of those pounds I’d lost and that was very discouraging. The other fact: I had a major decrease in my milk supply when I tried to reduce my calories.

I wrote a post a few months ago about wanting to get back into fitness and that I wanted to lose some weight but that I obviously Logan was the priority and if I saw a cause and effect in my dieting and milk supply I would back off.

So I did.

I kept working out 4-5 times a week and I was still counting my calories. My priority was feeding Logan. I was disappointed I had to take a break from trying to lose weight but I reminded myself what my priority was at that moment. I came to terms with the fact that my weight loss goals would probably have to wait until I was done breastfeeding.

I started to write this post several months ago. Then we started getting sick. All.The.Time. Seriously–too many colds to count, bronchitis TWICE, sinus infection TWICE, freakin’ pink eye…! It felt like we’d never be well again. Everyone in our house was sick. I’d get back on track with the gym and get in one or two workouts and then I’d get sick AGAIN and take a week off from the gym.

For the last month I’ve been feeling pretty depressed. A big part of that is the constant illnesses. You just don’t feel good about yourself or life when you are sick. And exercise has always been a positive way that I relieve stress and improve my mood. Not being able to do that consistently has effected my moods more than anything, I think.

Waiting to lose weight has been a hard thing to reconcile in my mind, though. Especially since my “identity” has kind of been “the girl who lost 110 pounds” for so long.

Well, recently I’ve come to the realization that I think breastfeeding is coming to an end soon. My supply has dwindled to less than half of what it was. Logan is less interested in breastfeeding and I reached my goal of breastfeeding for 9 months. So starting in January I think I’m going to start slowly weaning and then focusing on my health and losing weight.

I won’t lie — I’m having a hard time with all of this. I’m struggling with the idea of quitting breastfeeding, even if it’s time. I’m feeling very emotional about all of that.

I’m also struggling with going back to being restrictive with my diet in order to lose weight. I thought those days were long over–and that I could easily lose weight doing what I’ve done for 10 years. But the reality is, I’m going to have to buckle down and cut my calories, say no to that second glass of wine, cut out sweets and stop eating old trigger foods (like pizza) in order to lose.

I’ve preached “eating in moderation” and not starving yourself for years and I plan on following my own advice. But I also need to stop making excuses for eating one more cookie or snacking on crap and not logging it. I need to be accountable to myself and honest. 

The day after Christmas, depressed about the photos of myself from the holiday (I mean really, should that have been my focus?? Or should I have been focusing on my baby’s first Christmas?) I stepped on the scale expecting the worst. It wasn’t too bad. I’d gained 3 pounds since the end of October. Basically–all the weight I managed to lose over the summer was back. I still have 20 pounds to lose.

So soon. Soon my body will be mine again and I can get serious about this 20 pounds.

May 252016
 

My Weight Loss Story – Part 2

by Michael

 

I listen to a lot of podcasts at work and some of them had some health and fitness related guests on that were discussing the benefits of the ketosis diet. The basis of this diet is that consume about 50% of your calories from fats and forego the carbs. In doing so, you will optimize your body to burn fats as a fuel source instead of carbohydrates. This was a new concept to me but I was very curious to learn more about it. Then I found some podcasts that were either specifically about health and fitness or had regular guests on to discuss those topics. Before I continue, I want to state that I am not on a ketosis diet because I feel like it’s a little too difficult for me to strictly adhere to. There are however, a lot of things that I have taken from it that I do really like.

I remember a time in the 80s where buzz phrases like “low in fat” started to appear on the packages of products in the grocery stores. Years later, this has evolved into phrases like “an excellent source of whole grains” and “zero trans fats” which would lead you to believe that products like this are in fact, ideal for your health when in reality, a low-fat chip for example would 1 – taste terrible and 2 – is likely loaded with salt and sugar so it will actually taste like something that you would enjoy. In other words, it’s probably not good for you.

One of the shows I listened to had a guest on that was discussing the benefits of a high fat diet and specifically mentioned that cavemen were not out harvesting grains so they’d have enough energy to hunt in order to survive. They were eating animals and produce and the fats they consumed became their source of fuel.

I dug deeper into the topic and discovered that then ketosis diet was popular among the ultra-endurance athletes that were doing things like running 100-mile races. Athletic accomplishments like this, while impressive, are not something that I’m interested in yet the benefits of the diet are still compelling to me.

The guest would go on to give examples of what you should be eating via multiple choice questions. Time after time, he would suggest the highest item in fat or the item in the list that you’d consider to be the most sinful of the group. One example really stuck out to me and that was when he recommended eating a Snickers bar over some other items because of the items mentioned, it was the highest in fat content and therefore would be most likely to satisfy you for the longest period of time. He was clear to recommend this was only something that he’d recommend in a bind and this was not something that you should normally do. The thing that I took away from this was that if you were going to cheat on your diet, go for it. Don’t eat the fat-free frozen yogurt because a facsimile of the thing you’re craving won’t actually satisfy your desires. Instead, just get the ice cream that has all of the fat and sugar in it that you’re craving. Don’t eat it often and you should be fine.

Another guest on another show had uttered a few phrases that really resonated with me. Don’t count calories, make calories count. The other thing he said was something about earning or working hard enough so that you deserve to eat your carbohydrates. These phrases weren’t new to me but they really struck a nerve this time.

On to the diet. There are a few principles that I follow.

1 – Whenever possible, eat the fattiest version available. Gone are the days of tasteless boring skinless chicken breasts. Hello chicken thighs pan fried in coconut oil and kale sautéed with bacon!

2 – Snack on the fattiest snack items. My go to items are salami, cheeses, nuts, avocados, and veggies with Greek yogurt based dips.

3 – The carbs I eat most often are those that have a low-glycemic index value. This means that legumes and beans are the preferred carbohydrate.

4 – It’s OK to cheat on when I ride my bike a little because I will burn a ton of calories on those days. This is when I’ll have a slice of pizza, a bag of chips, or glass of wine.

A typical day of eating looks like this for me:

Breakfast – 2 pieces of bacon, 2 scrambled eggs cooked in the bacon grease, topped with avocado and jalapeños. Sometimes I’ll throw a fistful of sweet potatoes in if I feel sluggish. When I go running before work, I’ll eat Greek yogurt with blueberries afterward because I won’t have time to cook.

Lunch – Black beans topped with cheese and jalapeños, a spinach salad with olive oil and vinegar, a chicken thigh or two, and some avocado.

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Dinner – A steak, Brussels sprouts sautéed with bacon, and a side salad.

In addition, I’ll eat one or two snacks from the list I mentioned earlier.

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So what’s missing? Low-fat foods and grains – the very things that we’ve been told to consume a lot of because they’re good for us. I’m convinced now that it’s all a lie. I also don’t eat much sugar. I’ll eat some in a natural form, like what comes with fruits and veggies, but I’m fortunate that I don’t tend to have a sweet tooth. I primarily eat these foods after I exercise to help stave off an energy crash and it tends to prevent me from committing larger infractions.

I’ve been eating like this for now for a few months. The results were:

  • I have dropped 25 pounds and a pant size.
  • All of the fat I’m eating has kept me happy and I feel like this diet is very sustainable over the long haul. I don’t feel like I’m starving myself or seriously depriving myself of the foods that I love.
  • I’ve also had blood work done and all of my stats have improved – my weight is down, my cholesterol is down, and my resting heart rate is down.
  • My BMI has lowered by 3%.

I don’t necessarily have an end game for what I want to weigh. While losing weight is necessary for me to achieve my fitness goals, it’s not my primary focus which in a way, makes all of this a bit easier since I’m not constantly focusing on losing weight. Instead, I’m focused on biking, running, pull-ups, and push-ups. Anything that makes this stuff easier is good in my book.