Mindful eating

Reset

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!

 

Loser Mentality

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Trying to lose weight during the holidays can be stressful and like you’re rolling a huge boulder uphill. Even when I was trying to lose 100 pounds, I never put too much pressure on myself to lose during the Thanksgiving-Christmas time period. My goal has always been just to maintain through the holidays and then get back to losing after that. It’s worked for years for me.

This year was no different. I knew I wouldn’t lose so I just tried not to gain back what I had already lost. January came and I was back on track. But then comes my birthday and that is a setback sometimes! I do indulge more for my birthday. The above photo of the tweet? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt that way! Well screw it, it’s my birthday and then it’s Valentine’s Day and then….yeah yeah yeah. Excuses!

This time I decided to go back to what I’ve done in the past (at various times of the year) and take one extra step: no alcohol for the month (except for my birthday weekend). So that glass of wine or two I have Friday and Saturday nights is on the back burner until February, maybe longer. We’ll see!

I weighed myself for the first time since right before Christmas. After getting back from Hawaii I was a bit lazy (for about a month) and then got my act together enough to lose 3 pounds of the 10 I’d gained on my honeymoon. Then the holidays came and I gained that 3 pounds back.

As of early January, I now officially have 13 pounds to lose to get back to my pre-engagement weight. About 10 of those pounds were pre-wedding stress/honeymoon/holiday weight. So 13 pounds. That’s better than the 20 I had in my mind before stepping on the scale but still. I will be happy to AT THE VERY LEAST, lose 8 pounds and get back under my GOAL WEIGHT. That would be the best feeling in the world.

I talked about this in a previous post but the mentality of LOSING WEIGHT versus MAINTAINING WEIGHT is very, very different. It’s a different mindset and I fully admit that I had not gotten into the losing mindset until now.

I feel like in some ways maintenance is a lot easier. I didn’t have to restrict. I could be “fuzzy” on some of my calorie counting and portions and rarely saw a drastic gain on the scale. That was my reality for 6+ years. I’d FORGOTTEN just how hard it is to be in “losing” mode. Losing mentality is all about portions. Accurate calorie counting. Denying myself MOST (not all) treats I want. (Back to that moderation thing…) Restricting my calorie intake. The truth is I haven’t been in the loser mode. I’ve been often eating back the calories I burn in the gym, instead of creating a deficit–which is how to lose weight.

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I really appreciate all the supportive comments on a recent post. Here were just a few:

Jamie said: “You are not alone! I am right there with you. I lost 100 lbs and over the last 6 months have gained 15 lbs. The journey ahead of losing that weight seems much more daunting than the 100 I lost before. Yeah, go figure! I’m learning how to navigate through this next part of my journey and I agree it is a slippery slope that once you start gaining it is so easy to continue.”

Jane said: “I tooted my horn and preened when I lost 220 pounds. When I gained back 15 I was silent and fearful, perhaps afraid I would become the person who ‘gained it all back’ ? I don’t know what would happen. Then I gained back a few more pounds. I labeled myself a failure and beat myself without mercy. I hid. I lied, I hurt in silence. It didn’t help me lose a single one of the regained pounds. Losing 200 pounds without surgery or medication is nothing short of miraculous. I am a miracle in progress. You are a miracle, too. Stay positive and stay honest. You will get past this.”

There were so many great comments. It sounds like a lot of people could relate to the struggle I was going through. Several of you had great suggestions that I already knew but needed the reminder. Limiting liquid calories is easy to do–not fun, but easy. Staying clear of packaged foods is a huge one. I tend to fall back on the Lean Cuisine type meals because that’s what I did for so long to lose weight (and it worked). You go back to what worked before. But if that isn’t working anymore, it’s time to shake things up.

So this is what I’ve been doing for the last month or so:

1) No alcohol (except for my birthday weekend).

2) Limiting sugar intake.

3) I changed the settings on My Fitness Pal to lose 1.5 pounds a week, which reduced my calories a lot. My base calories each day at 1510.

4) I am trying to create a deficit of calories every day (i.e. not eating back all the calories I burned in the gym). I eat some of them back but I am trying to keep at least 200+ leftover each day. Rest days are difficult!

5) So far the fitness aspect has remained the same. I’m still taking a break from the Warrior Room. I’m focusing on swimming, yoga, running, and some weight lifting to keep the strength in my glutes that are keeping the runner’s knee at bay.

Sounds pretty reasonable, right? After I got back from my birthday weekend I immediately got back on track and was doing really well! The only bummer was Friday nights. After a long week, I’m tired, I’m burned out, I want a glass of a wine. So far I am abstaining and while I can do it, I don’t enjoy denying myself my 1 or 2 glasses on the weekend! 🙁

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Making the mental shift was HUGE for me. For the last 4 months I just hadn’t made that switch in my head. I was struggling a lot; I was feeling deprived; I was RESISTING the “diet” with all my might. And I failed. But once I had this “click” in my head that I was going back to loser mode instead of maintenance mode, it all got easier.

I weighed in  on 1/16/15 and lost 2 pounds! I stayed on track for most of January and the start of February. I did have a few slip-ups here and there but hopefully when I weigh in this week I won’t see damage done to that previous loss!