Posts Tagged ‘health’

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.

Weighty Issues

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

I dislike my Google Reader on Mondays.

Mondays are the day everyone weighs in, literally, regarding their diets – especially the dozen or so bloggers I subscribe to who participate in a meme called “McFatty Mondays”. Now, I know the name is in jest and will not be writing an angry ranty post about something that’s not meant to hurt anyone. The people who participate are doing so willingly and no offense is meant. I also know the point of the meme is women encouraging other women on their weight loss journeys (and support IS very important when you’re making a life change like weight loss) but seeing McFatty McFatty McFatty over and over bothers me. But it’s not just that meme, it’s a lot of women recapping their weekends. “Oh I was so BAD! I cheated! I’m terrible! I’ll never fit in my jeans again!” It’s like a cacophony of everything a woman as ever said across the table to her girlfriend as she orders the cheesecake.

It’s taken me a long time to order the cheesecake. I like the cheesecake. The cheesecake and I, we are friends.

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When I was 19, to hide from the cheesecake, I tried to disappear. Literally. I gave up most food and existed on diet shakes, diet pills and Diet Coke. I slept a lot, because when you are sleeping you cannot eat. I volunteered to ride the ice cream bicycle all day at work so I could squeeze in 2 or 3 extra hours of exercise. There’s nothing that says “Maybe you have issues with food” more than spending all summer riding a bike around a campground in blazing hot weather selling ice cream out of a cooler and never once having so much as a freeze pop because those 90 calories might mean the difference between losing 1 pound and 2 pounds this week. I was addicted to watching the numbers go down, the same way a drug user is addicted. I would do anything to lose weight.

I would like to fill in this part of my story with lots of reasons. I was in a really unhealthy relationship that mainly consisted of who could be the most screwed up and one of our daily dysfunctional rituals was fighting over who could eat less. My college had an unusually high proportion of gorgeous, tan, size 2 girls and comparing myself to every single one of them was my favorite hobby. I was on my own for the first time in my life and the way I chose to maintain control was through food. Maybe I read too many issues of Cosmopolitan and it brainwashed me.

But it doesn’t really matter. The point is I spent my sophomore and junior years of college very thin and very miserable. One of my most distinct memories is watching an MTV True Life episode about people who hated their bodies and thinking “Wow these people are straight up crazypants crazy” Until the girl on the show said she weighed 115 pounds and I cried because I weighed more. I used to daydream I passed out from not eating during work so maybe someone would finally say “You might need help” instead of “Wow, you look GREAT!”

Maybe I did look great. I don’t really know. There are very few pictures of me from those years because I was convinced I looked fat and wouldn’t let anyone take them.

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So now, when I say cheesecake and I are friends, maybe you can understand why that’s a big deal for me. I don’t want anything to trigger those old thoughts and behaviors. I’m afraid if I start counting a few calories I’ll end up counting them ALL (I already had to delete a food tracker app from my phone because I freaked out about eating anything that wasn’t specifically listed). Losing 20 pounds is never enough. It has to be 30, 50, 80 pounds and it has to be now! Yesterday! I need to get my body back! (Because apparently my baby took it somewhere. Maybe I should just ask her.) Swimsuit season is coming! And then I am miserable again.

To be honest, all my pregnancy weight from baby #2 is already gone. Being sick so often was a really effective diet and fevers burn a lot of calories. Maybe this time breastfeeding is sucking out all my fat or chasing a toddler really was all the exercise I needed. (Wow, I’m practically a celebrity mom! Alert US Weekly!) My body is back to the weight it likes to maintain when I’m not trying to diet, a weight I’m not particularly happy with but one that isn’t going to hurt me. I have clothes that fit and can smile into a camera instead of running away.

That’s not to say I’m not trying to be healthier. I’m back at Stroller Strides and feel good to be working out again. I had a yogurt for breakfast and am proud of making a wise choice. There is broccoli in my fridge and I have plans to actually eat it.

But I also plan to eat the cheesecake.