Posts Tagged ‘body’

20 Pounds Down

Friday, October 21st, 2011

Actually, 21 pounds down, but who doesn’t love a nice round number? It also means I’ve lost more than 10% of my total body weight and I got a fancy key chain at my Weight Watchers meeting this week. To celebrate, I treated myself to shrimp cocktail for dinner and a giant bowl of ice cream for dessert – although both of which are things I eat regularly so they weren’t really treats as much as just food I really love.

I am now at my true pre-both-pregnancies weight (not the one on my doctor’s chart at my first appointment – I gained a full 10 pounds in those first 8 weeks with Evan) which is a great milestone. Unfortunately, I’m only a third of the way back to my wedding weight, although honestly I’d be pretty content if I just lost another 20. At my wedding weight, I was eating nothing but Slim-Fast bars and spending 2 hours a day at the gym (CRAZY BRIDE ALERT) and that’s just not a feasible lifestyle with 2 kids and a husband hanging around bugging me to feed them all day.

People are always curious to know how other people lose weight (Whole grains! Whole grains? Whole grains!!) so I thought I’d share what has been working for me. Of course, my first suggestion would be to join Weight Watchers – I’ve spent the last 7 years thinking about food during every single waking moment but still watching the numbers on the scale creepy slowly (and not so slowly) upwards. Now after 16 weeks on WW I think about food only when I’m hungry and have lost 20 pounds. I know I sound like a commercial and you’re probably rolling your eyes but if you’re not the kind of person who can just “eat less and move more” without some structure then it is totally worth the investment.

One of the major changes I’ve made is the number of fruits and vegetables I eat, especially grapes, apples, bananas, and veggies like brussels sprouts, eggplant, and squash. Grapes might be the best diet food ever – you can eat them mindlessly while watching tv and ALMOST feel like you’re eating candy. The vegetables I cut into pieces, toss on a cookie sheet with a little cooking spray and lots of salt and roast. Topped with Parmesan cheese I can eat them until I am STUFFED and still loose weight consistently. I also eat salad almost every day. Salad salad salad. Tons of salad. Usually also topped with cheese and light dressing, because although I like lettuce I’m not a masochist. Who wants to give up cheese?

I drink almost nothing with calories. I stick to water, Diet Coke, Crystal Light/fake Crystal Light and coffee. I use fat free creamer at home and order skim milk and 3 Splenda at Dunkin Donuts. It’s not worth using any of my points just for a latte that’s not going to fill me up for more than 5 minutes – although the Cafe Mocha K-cups are only 2 points and a nice alternative to hot cocoa and I will admit to more skinny frappuchinos at the Target Starbucks than an average person.

Other foods I eat consistently are Egg Beaters with hot sauce in a Mission Carb Balance tortilla, bacon (seriously! it’s low in points!), chunk light tuna with herbed light mayo in a Carb Balance tortilla, low fat string cheese, Joseph’s pita bread (the kind flax & oat bran kind) with hummus, low fat Wheat Thins, seafood (shrimp, fish, mussels), taco salad (with lots of lettuce to bulk up the meat and Fritos), a scoop of ice cream over a cut up banana, peanut butter on apple slices, and al fresco chicken sausage. So it’s a pretty good mix of real whole foods and diet/low fat stuff, which is a choice I’m comfortable with so I don’t have to give up ALL the stuff I love. I could never ever stick to one of those clean eating diets – I wouldn’t make it 12 hours without breaking down and shoving a whole bag of Goldfish into my face.

Besides diet, I also started pushing myself a little harder at Stroller Strides. Jogging instead of walking, doing planks on my toes instead of knees, push-ups on the floor instead of on a bench. I am reallyreallyreally sore almost every day, but it’s a good kind of sore. I can see the changes in my arms and my abs the most – I’m not going to be wearing a bikini any time soon (any time EVER) but when I see a picture of myself I no longer think “Whoa, why do my arms look so wide?” or run away from the camera.

I know weight loss might be THE MOST BORING subject ever to read about and you’re probably thinking “Where are the cute baby pictures?! I don’t care what you eat!” and I know. I KNOW. I am the worst. But I’m feeling pretty good about my too-big jeans and needed to pat myself on the back for a few minutes. Cute baby pics tomorrow, I promise.

Watching It

Friday, July 15th, 2011

My ankle is doing much better, thanks for asking, but it was probably a mistake to go to Stroller Strides on Monday and Tuesday. I thought if I just took it easy I’d be OK but by the time I woke up Wednesday I was popping Motrin like candy and had to put my ace bandage back on, so I think I’m going to give it a few more days before I try again. Or maybe I’m just projecting onto my ankle because my thighs hurt SO MUCH after all the squats and lunges I can barely carry the baby upstairs. My ass was kicked. And then I got a weird fever/body aches that felt like the start of another kidney infection (NOOOOO!) so I’ve been doing as little as possible all week. Again.

Not exercising is extremely frustrating right now because I’m on such a roll with Weight Watchers. I lost 3.8 pounds in the first week and 2.2 in the second week…which means I’ve lost 6 pounds in only 2 weeks. I’m hooked. I had this idea in my head that it was a super old fashioned, calorie counting type plan and I wasn’t going to like it and it wasn’t going to work no matter how good Jennifer Hudson looks in the ads. I mean, I don’t need to pay monthly dues just to have someone tell me Big Macs are bad for me. I’m not an IDIOT, I just lack self control and eat my feelings and love to sit down with a bag of candy and shove the whole thing in my face. THERE IS A REASON I AM OVERWEIGHT.

But it’s not like that at all. It’s all high-techy, with tracking online and calculators to figure out how many points are in the recipes I already make and I can stuff myself with as many fruits and veggies as I want and still have pasta for dinner AND an ice cream bar for dessert. (It helps that I get a special allowance for nursing. I might nurse forever, just so I can eat more.) After emptying my fridge the first week and making lots of healthy choices easily available, I think this is the kind of diet I can STICK WITH and maybe finally fit into some of those clothes I’ve been hanging on to for the past 5 years.

The best part is that if I DO want to shove a whole bag of candy in my mouth, I’m not breaking any rules. I can do it. I just have to be accountable for that candy and make better choices the rest of the week so it had better be a Real Chocolate Emergency. Or a Wine Emergency. Or a Chocolate and Wine Emergency. I can totally keep those down to only once or twice a month if it means I fit in my high school sundresses.

The Running of the Reluctant

Friday, July 8th, 2011

I recently started running, what with it being so good for me and so many people talking about this great Couch to 5k program and maybe crying a little at that stupid coffee commercial where the mom holds her kindergarten aged daughter’s hand as she runs across the finish line of her first race. KNOCK IT OFF, COFFEE COMMERCIAL. I drink you to just barely make it through my day with 2 kids, not for your magic race-running properties.

It turns out I still feel the same way about running I did when I was 10 – I HATE it. Everything about it. I hate the stupid running sports bras that are supposed to keep me from giving myself 2 black eyes from all the bouncing. I hate the expensive running shoes that the guy at the running store made me buy in a giant clown-shoe size so my feet could “spread”. The whole point of running was to STOP things from spreading anymore than they already have. I hate the way my ankles and knees and legs feel when they hit the pavement. I hate breathing hard. I hate sweating. I hate planning out a route (even more now that the high school track behind my house is closed for renovations and I have to run on the dirty, uneven sidewalk). I hate running while pushing a stroller and stopping every 2 minutes to find out what the toddler is screaming about or try to convince the baby to lie down so she doesn’t flop around like a ragdoll. I hear that’s not so good for babies. If God had wanted humans to run more than absolutely necessary, he would send angry badgers to chase us. Or he wouldn’t have invented cars. Or grocery delivery.

But because so many of my friends – both real and interweb – are runners, I figured I should give it another shot. I downloaded the C25K app. I bought the fancy clown shoes. I strapped my boobs into a bra so tight it was in danger of pushing them through my back. I handed the kids over to my husband and told him I was going stroller-free and would be back in 40 minutes. And I ran. Every time the little bell dinged I took a deep breath and swung my arms and plowed through my discomfort. I didn’t give up. I finished the first day’s workout. And the second. Then a week. Then two weeks. It occurred to me that maybe, possibly, there was something to this running thing after all and maybe, possibly I could be the mom in the coffee commercial who finished a 5k with her proud family looking on.

Then I fell down.

Now I’m on the injured list. My foot hurts when I try to do more than limp my way through the clearance racks at Target (although thank God it feels well enough for that. Priorities, people) so I’ll be on couch-squashing duty for at least another week.

I kind of miss running.


Friday, July 1st, 2011

You know those people who have amazing personal style and do crazy things with makeup and ride vintage bicycles to local farmer’s markets where they make 5 new friends and eat jicama salads with hand-shaved Parmesan and triple chocolate cake but still lose 5 pounds while homeschooling their kids and writing an incredibly successful blog and then do some long division just for fun?

I am not one of those people.

Almost nothing comes naturally to me. The last time I was just plain GOOD at something without really trying was dance class when I was 11. My teacher said I had perfect feet and fantastic arches. If you knew how often I thought about that compliment even now 18 years later you would laugh at me.

Most of the time it seems like everything takes so much EFFORT. Nothing is effortless – it is in fact, effort-FUL – and it all feels sort of overwhelming. Sleepless nights, raising a toddler, feeding my family, keep the house from devolving into TOTAL chaos, buying clothes that fit, making sure I don’t have mascara running down my face (I usually do), maintaining friendships, running, providing fun and educational learning experiences for my children…They all seem hard to me, especially when I think of them all at once. Thank God there’s no long division.

So last night I added one more thing that’s going to take some effort, but hopefully in the long run it will make a lot of things easier. I went to a Weight Watchers meeting and signed up.

Despite my skepticism and my determination to find SOMETHING to roll my eyes at, I liked the meeting. I like the plan. I like the fact that I get to eat more because I’m nursing. I feel very hopeful that even though it’s going to take some work, I’ll be able to finally get back to a happy place where I don’t cringe every time I look in a mirror. Because although “eat less and move more” sounds easy enough (perhaps even effortless for some people) it is not enough for me. I’m going nowhere without trying harder and I feel like until I can be happier with MYSELF I have no chance at being happier with my life in general. And who has time to be unhappy with themselves when there are vintage bicycles to ride?

p.s. Don’t worry, this isn’t going to be a weight loss blog and I’m not being sponsored in any way. I’ve just heard good things and seen friends and family have a lot of success, so when my friend Cheri asked if I wanted to come with her I decided I had nothing to lose. Besides 50 pounds. So, yeah.

Don’t Sweat It

Monday, April 25th, 2011

Every couple of months, some morning show or women’s magazine or blog does a poll where they ask women if they would be willing to give up a year of their life if they could lose twenty pounds or if they’d take a 10% salary cut if it meant they could eat whatever they wanted and still be a size 6 forever. Invariably, more than 50% of women choose being thin. We are a vain society.

Personally, I would give up a year of my life, keep my 20 lbs and PAY 10% of my (imaginary) salary in exchange for dry armpits.

I am extremely sweaty person. I sweat when I’m hot. I sweat when I’m cold. I sweat when I’m sitting perfectly still. I sweat when I’m nervous. I sweat when I work out. I sweat when I eat. I sweat when I wear extra-super-duper-clinical strength antiperspirant. I sweat ALL. THE. TIME. It’s mostly my underarms but my hands have been known to literally drip. It’s disgusting and humiliating and worrying about it consumes at least 10% of my brain at any given moment.

The technical name is hyperhydrosis, but for me it’s just the suckiest, most embarrassing condition ever.

I distinctly remember the day in 7th grade that my friend Elizabeth sat down next to me at lunch, took one look at the giant wet marks on my gray baby doll tee and said “Whoa, looks like someone forgot to put on deodorant!” I had not forgotten. But I did die of shame right there in the lunchroom. I ended up wearing my winter coat the rest of the day and pretending I was just really cold. I never wore a baby doll tee again.

In high school, I cried at least once a week about my stupid armpits. I actually stopped going to church just to avoid the part where we were supposed to greet one another with handshakes because no matter how many tissues I balled up in my pockets my palms were always damp. The look on people’s faces when they feel your wet hand is about equal to the look they would have if you handed them a dead fish. I tried putting prescription antiperspirant onto my freshly shaved armpits (something that is strongly warned against on the bottle because of the HORRIBLE stinging) and it helped. A little. For a few minutes. My mom searched the internet and ordered these evil little machines that you strapped to your armpits and basically sent electric shocks into your sweat glands to dry them up. It helped. A little. For a few minutes. I’ve heard Botox shots in your armpits can help. A little. For a few months. But I can’t afford $400 an armpit just for a few weeks of dryness.

Have you ever tried shopping for clothes you can sweat in? Yeah, good luck. Here are the rules:

No tight fitting t-shirts. No cap sleeves. No sleeves at all. No small armholes. No lightweight fabrics. Nothing made of cotton. Nothing made of silk. No bright colors – black is much safer. Strapless was usually OK, until I had two babies and my boobs hit the floor. No fabrics I can’t touch in person to check for stain-ability. Sometimes when I’m not sure if something is “safe”, I actually lick the hem line to see if the fabric shows dampness. Shopping online is almost impossible. Bridesmaids dresses are a nightmare. When I was in college it actually wasn’t so bad – cheap, artificial, plasticy fabrics were popular and easy to find. But I am long past shopping at Wet Seal or Contempo Casuals and Ann Taylor doesn’t do a lot of rayon. Now that I’m nursing as well buying clothes is a NIGHTMARE. Almost all button down shirts are out of the running because they’re cotton or a cotton blend. Shirts meant for nursing are always solid colored and “breathable”, which definitely means it will show my sweaty armpits. And forget vintage ANYTHING. All the dresses have sleeves and all the sweaters are too close-fitting.  In college I almost never borrowed clothes because I didn’t want to ruin someone else’s stuff with pit stains and have them tell everyone. I haven’t bought an article of clothing bases solely on how flattering it is ever. EVER.

I realize in the scheme of things having sweaty armpits is not the worst thing in the world. It is not life threatening. It has not prevented me from getting married or having children or finding happiness. But that doesn’t mean I have to like it. It’s made me – someone who’s naturally a little socially awkward – SUPER socially awkward.

So if you meet me, and I’m wearing something really ugly and don’t want to shake your hand you’ll know why.