Brotherly Love

My brother came to visit! Last week he came to Portland for a visit and to go to a work conference. He stayed with us for a few days and it was really nice spending time with him. The last time I saw him (and the last time he saw Logan) was last year when we went to Seattle for our grandma’s memorial. I think Logan was 6 months old. Logan isn’t really shy and he took to Uncle Andy almost immediately. He seemed so curious! Friday night after work and his conference Michael and Andy picked up spicy Thai wings from Pok Pok! After Logan went to sleep the three of us sat outside on the deck in the perfect summer air and ate our spicy wings and listened to music and talked about diet, fitness, losing weight and exercises that have helped us. On Saturday Andy went to the last part of his conference and I went to the gym. I did weights, PT, stairmaster and the elliptical, then home to clean up and we all went out for lunch. I saw another local blogger post about Wayfinder on Instagram last week so I suggested we check it out. It looked like a really cool place and it was! They had a HUGE outdoor dining area! So many people could fit out there. There were tons of picnic tables and big umbrellas. We got a table in partial shade.

Wayfinder is the brainchild of Charlie Devereux (co-founder of Double Mountain Brewery), Matthew Jacobson (co-founder/owner of Sizzle Pie, Quality Bar, and Relapse Records) and Rodney Muirhead (co-founder/owner of Podnah’s Pit and La Taq). Our mission: to bring simple and authentic pleasures of the highest quality to the Rose City and beyond.

So last week when I read the above on their website, we were pretty much sold on going there. Double Mountain beer (YUM) and Podnah’s?? One of my favorites!! Wayfinder did not disappoint, either.   I got a glass of the Boneyard Hop Venom IPA. Michael got the Doomtown IPA. Andy got something called a “Hazy IPA”, I can’t remember the name of it. Now for lunch. We were all starving! I loved the nod to Twin Peaks– Black Lodge and White Lodge. 😉 I got the Major Payne and asked for it to be a salad instead. Andy got to the Black Lodge as a salad and Michael got the sausage party platter. I loved that they could make anything into a salad! Andy’s lunch: Basically prime rib with peppers and onions on top of a salad. He said it was amazing. Michael’s: They made their own pickled squash–AMAZING! They were kinda like pickles but better. SO GOOD! And my lunch was the winner: The pulled pork was excellent. Great smokey flavor, juicy and tender, not overcooked or burned. The mustard slaw on top was really delicious. It was all slightly odd being a “salad” but it tasted good so I didn’t care. It was filling but didn’t feel like a gut bomb had it been on a bun. I’m glad I got the salad option. Next time when we go, I really want to tried their fried cauliflower topped with Buffalo sauce and Bleu cheese. How amazing does that sound?? YUM! It was a really cool place. Very fun, awesome vibe. Pretty good service considering how busy they were. We got a table right away, even though it was the middle of the lunch rush. The prices were pretty average. We’d definitely go back. Just hanging out on the outdoor patio alone made it worth it and the fact that the food was outstanding was just a bonus! We stopped at Sheridan Fruit Company after lunch and it turned out to be a really cool store with lots of specialty items, not just fruit! They had a huge frozen case of different meats–like ground camel (weird) and alligator. Lots of unique things. Michael picked up some specialty cheese and some spicy sausage for dinner. 

The rest of the day was pretty low-key and at home. Logan sort of took a nap, the guys watched sports, I went grocery shopping, then Michael made homemade pizza for dinner. Andy suggested that we do caramelized onions with the spicy sausage and it was probably my favorite version of our homemade pizza we’ve done so far. It was great.

It was a great day.

Reflections on Losing Weight

Recently a reader asked why I wasn’t trying to lose weight this time like I did the first time. I wanted to address that.

When I lost weight the first time, it was definitely “easier” (weight loss isn’t really easy, but looking back, it was definitely easier then than now). I was younger, I was living alone and in complete control of my diet. I cut out trigger foods entirely–no pizza or ice cream. I counted my calories and was somewhere between 1600-1800 calories during the duration of my weight loss journey.

I ate the same things every day. I had a fake egg McMuffin for breakfast (an English muffin, egg beaters microwaved and a slice of cheese) or oatmeal for breakfast. Lunch was a turkey and cheese sandwich on low calorie bread with a serving of Wheat Thins. A snack was an apple. Dinner was a Lean Cuisine with a salad. And dessert was sometimes a rice krispie treat (90 calories) or a chocolate Fiber bar (150 calories) and a glass of milk.

I didn’t drink my calories. I drank a lot of diet soda. Then eventually I cut out diet soda and switched to sparkling flavored water.

That was pretty much my diet for 16-ish months. Small variations here and there. Sometimes for dinner I’d cook a chicken breast on my George Forman grill and have a salad and some cooked vegetables. Sometimes I’d splurge and have a cheat meal in a restaurant.

Once I reached my goal weight and maintained it for a little while, I changed my diet. Eating so much processed food was not great. Yes it helped me lose weight because I could accurately count my calories and I had built-in portion control, but really it wasn’t something that was a lifelong thing. Eating processed foods like that helped teach me portion control and realize how I should  be eating.

When I moved in with Michael (a million years ago), I started eating REAL FOOD. I’d have Lean Cuisines at work for lunch because they were easy and portion controlled. But other than that, I wasn’t eating a lot of processed foods. And that has pretty much been my life for the last 8 years–eating real food.

I maintained my weight loss for 10 years–give or take a 5-10 pounds.

Then I got pregnant.

I did really well when I was pregnant. I didn’t go nuts and say “I’m pregnant! I can eat anything!” I wasn’t “eating for two”. I gained 33 pounds while pregnant. I lost about 18 of that right away, I’m sure part of that was just baby. LOL

But then I struggled. Breastfeeding became my focus and my goal and whenever I tried to lose weight my supply would tank. So I decided to just wait until I was done breastfeeding to actively try and lose the weight.

Fast forward to today. I’ve been trying a few different things in order to lose those last 15 pounds. The reason I haven’t done “what I did before” is because I don’t really want to do a highly processed food diet in order to lose the weight. Sure it worked last time, but I don’t necessarily feel like it would be the healthiest option for me now. I am not sure what to do or why what I’m currently doing isn’t working.

Part of me wants to just be ok with being 15 pounds overweight. I want to be one of those people that loves my body no matter what size. But I really struggle with that. It’s weird to feel like I did when I was 250+ pounds. I KNOW I am not back to where I was, but psychologically I feel stuck in a weird place in my head where I am overly critical of my body, I hate that none of my clothes really fit properly — even though I’m not really in a much bigger size — and I hate having my photo taken.

Then I think, is this the message I want to pass on to Logan? Do I want him to grow up and be critical of his body, self-conscious, or have food issues like I always had? No. I don’t. I don’t want to look at certain foods and thing “these are bad” and I don’t want Logan to feel that way.

I realized recently that my brain had changed into that “Bad food, Good food” frame of mind. Doing this diet recently that’s limiting carbs–I am now looking at foods that are high in carbs and thinking “I can’t eat that, there’s too many carbs in it.” It’s very weird–especially since 6 months ago I would have eaten that rice or English muffin and not even thought twice about it.

I’ve seen it creep into my brain in regards to everything. “Bad Food.” Logan is exploring eating “real food” and I’m trying different things. I caught myself the other day when I was making him breakfast of a frozen whole wheat waffle with peanut butter on it (one of his favorites) and I thought “carbs are bad.” Um, he’s 16 months! He doesn’t need to limit his carbs. Absolutely ridiculous. But that’s where my brain is these days–being critical of “Bad Food.” I don’t like it.

Since March I was doing the lower carb diet thing and lost about 7/8 pounds (gaining and losing the same 2 pounds since the initial loss) and lately I’ve kind of stopped for a few reasons. First, I stopped losing. Second, I was tired all the time. Third, I was feeling frustrated that I was restricting and not seeing results. Lastly, I didn’t like how much I was focusing on “Bad Foods.”

I’m not going crazy eating carbs now, but I am eating more of them on occasion. I’m still trying to keep it to a minimum but I’m not being super restrictive. I’m staying the same in weight. Several of my pants are loose and baggy, but I’m not seeing results on the scale.

I emailed my doctor and spelled out exactly what I eat in a day and what my exercise looks like in a week. I was honest and told her exactly what I was doing and said it wasn’t working. Her response? “Wow, you’re already doing everything I would suggest.” GREAT. 🙁 Except she said eat whole foods, drink more water, and reduce my calories to 1400 a day (instead of the 1500-1600 I was eating). Okey dokey! Reducing my calories it is.

So that is where I am at currently. I’m considering tracking my macros on Cronometer instead of tracking calories (a friend suggested tracking macros instead of calories because it is working well for her). I am also considering turning off the calories I burn exercising in MyFitnessPal so that I am not eating back those calories I burn. I will keep you posted on what I decide.