Reasons to get out of bed…

Posts tagged ‘Weight loss’

Back in the Saddle Again!

I haven’t had much to blog about lately. Mainly because when I first started to write this blog, I wanted it to be about all the silly little tricks I use and what I tell myself to motivate myself to stay busy. But I haven’t had anything to say because I wasn’t very motivated. I’ve been floating through life lately, I haven’t been propelling myself, but I think that needs to change.

Also, I wasn’t ever going to be a good “mommy blogger!”

So what has motivated this sudden change back to blogging? I had time off from Dec 24th – Jan 5th and I decided that I needed to clean out my clothes closet and dresser drawers. I like to do organizational projects when I have significant down time. I’ve lived in three apartments/homes in the last 8 years and every time I move, my storage space gets smaller. I haven’t purged clothes in a LOOOONG time (let’s just say that I still had about 40% of the clothes I wore in high school).

1) I was motivated for the need for space! The clothes I wear all the time had nowhere to live.

As I was going through my clothes, purging them, I realized how few of them fit. In all fairness, some of them were originally tight, belly shirts or pleather shorts from high school – but other things should have fit and didn’t. (In the end, I donated about 80 pieces of clothes – I stopped counting at 63. I also threw away a bunch of old clothes – like over-worn bathing suits, again from high school – but I didn’t count those.)

My drawers and closet have so much more space! Now, I just wish I felt that way in my clothes.

2) I want to fit in my clothes again!

Trying on so many pieces of my own clothes really made me aware of how much I have gained since buying most of them.

I had a doctor’s appointment yesterday and I learned something sad. I gained 38 pounds when I was pregnant. I lost 32 of those pounds by her first birthday. Since June, I’ve gained 5 pounds!!!! That’s right, I lost most of the “baby weight” and then gained 5 pounds for no good reason! Ugh! Where are my running shoes?

I went to Planet Fitness yesterday as a guest of my coworker who is a member there. I liked it well enough, so I’m going to sign up this weekend.

And here is my plan: I need to go to the gym a few times a week during lunch (I’m directing a high school play so my wonderful man, T, is already on full-time parent duty 2-3 nights a week. I feel bad making him do every night so I can go to the gym. Especially because he’s just signed up for Daily Burn so that he can work out and be at home at the same time. I’m excited for him but I want a treadmill. Also, I would miss Baby Girl’s face too much if I was out 4-5 nights a week (plus working full-time).

Playing with hats at Target around Halloween

Playing with hats at Target around Halloween

Next, I need more lettuce in my life. I used to eat salads with almost every dinner as a kid. I almost never eat salad now! So that’s going to change!

And maybe less ice cream…

*Having just reread this, I realize I sound like I’m freaking out over 5 lbs, but I was a little heavier than desired before I got pregnant so this is actually about 20-25 lbs. I’m really just bumming because my weight is moving in the wrong direction. And I miss running!!!! I miss my lovely running trail that I moved away from and I’ve yet to find another good one. I think that might be some spring motivation.

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Nine Months Up, Nine Months Down

The baby is officially 9 months old!

Baby Smiles

When I was pregnant, I read a book called The Girlfriend’s Guide to Pregnancy

and I really liked it. I would totally recommend it. It has a fun sense of humor and makes you feel less alone if you don’t have a lot of mommy/pregnant friends (I don’t). It’s written by an L.A. resident, so maybe it has a few concerns that I didn’t have/feel while living in occasionally arctic New England and never feeling much societal pressure about my makeup and hair, but I still really enjoyed it.

One of its tips that I loved and want to share (but can’t remember the direct quote… although it was said a few times) is basically: it took you 9 months to gain the weight, don’t beat yourself up (or be surprised) if it takes you 9 months to lose it.

It really made me feel ok with my body for the last 9 months, especially the early months after her birth. I had been warned that I would still look 6 months pregnant when I left the hospital (and I did!), but I didn’t expect to look 4 months pregnant when she was 3 months old. But I rolled with it with the thought “9 months up, 9 months down.”

And you know what? I think it was totally right for me. The baby is 9 months old and I fit in almost all of my pre-pregnancy pants now, there are two hold-outs but whatever. My body doesn’t look exactly the way it did before, but it feels to be roughly the same size. I feel like I’m back to living in my old body, more or less. And when I see myself in the mirror, I’m no longer surprised by the reflection. The image of myself that I hold and the image in the mirror finally align again!

And the bonus of this mantra is that I didn’t beat myself up for no good reason while I was enjoying this tiny human being that my body incubated!

100_0220.edit

Also, yay for fitting back into my old clothes!

Baby Weight

Yesterday, I talked about my thoughts when it came to my own weight. Today, I’m going to talk about the baby’s weight.

I knew that when babies were born, they immediately lost a little bit of weight. I didn’t know however that the hospital would only let the baby lose 10% of her body weight and still be discharged. For my little girl, born 7 lbs 14 oz, we were told that equalled 10 ounces. We were also told that she would probably have about 1 BM diaper per day and she actually had 5 BM diapers per day! If there was anything that I could say with certainty about my newborn, it was that her waste removal system seemed to work well.

On the day we were to be discharged, they weighed the baby (honestly, they weighed her every day) – she had lost 11 ounces! Too much!!!! The hospital pediatrician thought that Baby Girl looked fine though, not dehydrated or sick. So on their suggestion, I fed her and they weighed her immediately after – success! She was only down the allowed 10 ounces! The doctor could release her with a clear conscience. To be on the safe side though, she had to see her pediatrician 2 days later – and every 2 days after that for 2 weeks (seriously, we went on a Sunday!) It felt like we were living at the doctor’s office.

6 days old, but she has too few fat rolls!

6 days old, but she has too few fat rolls!

If I remember correctly, babies are supposed to be back to their birth weight within 3 weeks of birth. It took Baby Girl 4 weeks. She always seemed healthy, but was always underweight. Those first few weeks felt like such a struggle to avoid the label “failure to thrive.” And out of complete stubbornness, we were determined that she would be exclusively breastfed. I have no idea why I was so freaking stubborn about it… it was almost like I was determined to get it right! (And I may have had a weird fear of her developing allergies to formula ingredients) Luckily, the doctor was 100% fine with my stubbornness and supported my choice, which was probably why we were there so often. If she could prove that Baby Girl was staying healthy – “breast was best.”

And then one day the doctor said something that I really loved her for: “Some women make skim milk and some women make whole milk.”

5 days old

5 days old

I mentioned to her that I was a vegetarian and it felt as though there was instantly a reason for Baby Girl to be so skinny. I guess I live a low-fat lifestyle and I have a low-fat baby. Suddenly, we could stop visiting the doctor every other day, I just needed to increase my fat intake. Done!

Immediately following that visit, we went to the grocery store. When we checked out, it seriously looked like we were single-handedly supporting the Dairy Farmers of America! I wish I had taken a picture, but our cart was filled with:

  • a gallon of whole milk
  • 2 gallons of ice cream
  • full-fat greek yogurt (which is so hard to find!!! Why is yogurt suddenly a low-fat, no-fat diet food? Thank goodness for the handful of full-fat flavors of Oikos!)
  • practically my weight in cheese
  • 2 avocados
  • and some bread to slather with all the peanut butter I already had at home

The baby just had her 4 month check up and she’s only in the 11th percentile for weight… but at least the doctor seems ok with it. Baby Girl doesn’t have very many fat rolls (which really are cute on a baby) but she has tons of energy and is always wiggling, dancing, rolling over, trying to crawl away, so I’m going to guess she’s not failing to thrive. 😉

2 months old. She wiggles and kicks so much in her sleep that she completely manages to break out of her swaddles...

2 months old. She wiggles and kicks so much in her sleep that she completely manages to break out of her swaddles… (she was velcro’d into that!)

Weight Loss/Weight Gain

I’m back to running and it feels so good! As an added bonus, my wonderful man, T, has been joining me and we’ve been pushing the baby in her stroller. She had to be 4 months old before she had the neck strength for it. We may have jumped the gun a week early, but she has a very strong little neck and the running path was recently paved…so I’m not that worried.

We were training for a 5k this past weekend. It’s actually the first 5k I ever ran and I’m excited for that symmetry!

While there’s a bonus of weight loss, I’m simply running because I want the baby to have a fit mommy. I actually have no idea how much I weight right now.

Before I gave birth, I had been writing a series of “I’m not that woman” posts and I had thought about one for being obsessed with weight. I hope not to be that woman to say “Well… I still have 10 pounds of baby weight to lose.” Especially when someone’s “baby” is a 3rd grader… Girl, that weight it YOURS, own it! So I’m really not all that concerned about weight loss – I gained 38 pounds while pregnant, and when I went in for my 6 week check-up I still had 14 pounds to lose.

Let's go for a jog!

Let’s go for a jog!

One of the best bits of advice I read was “It took you 9 months to gain the weight, don’t be surprised if it takes you 9 months to lose it!” I’m 4 months in, I’m expecting it to take a few more months to lose.

I’ve only had a few struggles with that. The first was when I went back to work. The night before I went back to work was the first time I tried on my (pre pregnancy) work pants. I chose the tightest pair, the loosest pair, and 2 pairs in the middle. I tried on the tightest pants and I couldn’t get them over my thighs. Off they went. I tried on the loosest pants and couldn’t get THEM over my thighs. Tears welled up in my eyes. I started to put on a 3rd pair when T stopped me. It wasn’t worth making myself cry over. I should just wear my maternity pants and be comfortable.

So… I’m still wearing my maternity pants. Apparently my thighs still think we’re carrying a baby. It’s been a month and a half and I should probably try my old pants on again… but I’m not really in the mood to feel bad again, you know what I mean?

And then I saw this poll on BabyCenter.com:

baby center poll

And honestly, it made me feel a little lousy about myself. But then I started to read the comments about how so many of these women didn’t need maternity clothes. They reminded me of a ‘friend’ who came to my baby shower and told me all about her niece who only gained 4 pounds during her recent pregnancy (can you hear me rolling my eyes?!) . Really, if someone only gains 4 pounds for an 8 pound baby, they have LOST weight.

And all of this reinforced to me that people have different body types. My boss, a team-mate, and I all had babies this year (well… the teammate is still pregnant, but not for much longer). Out of the 3 of us, we all have different body types, basically with clothing sizes: my boss is a medium, I’m a small, and my teammate is an extra small. The medium gained the least weight and the extra small gained the most. My boss thinks she gained the least because she already had some fat stores built up for the baby.

So why should I worry about other women fitting into their old clothes? I don’t know what size their old clothes are or how loose or fitted they chose to dress! They are not me, so why I should I worry?

So I’m maintaining my level head (while wearing my comfy maternity pants). And I’m going to run because I love running, not because I need to shrink my thighs.

Ironically, while I’m thinking about my own weight loss, I’ve also had to worry about the baby’s weight gain (she wasn’t gaining enough fast enough), and I’ll tell you all about that interesting adventure tomorrow.

My tracking bib

I was so pumped to get another one of these!

Stupid Scale as Motivation

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a bit of a “casual runner.” I go out when I have free time and when I’m feeling like spending some quality time outdoors without getting a sunburn.

And last summer when I was constantly busy with grad school’s night classes and my job and all of that other jazz, I still found plenty of time to run because it was some great time to just decompress. Flash forward to this summer… and I don’t have the same motivation… or even the drive to run. Instead, I have a lot of drive to cuddle with my wonderful boyfriend who didn’t get enough attention while I was focused on completing my thesis.

However, last Monday morning, I stepped on the scale and saw a number that I find completely unacceptable. When I was in my teens (and very, very skinny – naturally, thank you genetics! – because I certainly wasn’t working for thin back then) I would tell myself that if I hit certain numbers as an adult, I wouldn’t be ok with them and I would become a gym bunny. And you know what? My teenaged self was an idiot! Those numbers came and went and it was totally fine. But this new number, that was completely out of the scope of imagination for my teenaged self, it’s not totally fine!

I am not ok with calling myself a casual runner and still gaining weight. Uh-uh, no way! So it’s time to ditch the “casual!”

There’s my new motivation: a number I simply don’t like.

But I’m still really enjoying the cuddling with the boyfriend at night, so how am I balancing it? I’ve changed my schedule. Let’s be real, I will never, NEVER be a morning person. But I do have a (free) gym in my office building, and I’m taking more advantage of it: at lunch!

I mentioned recently that I’ve gotten into using an elliptical and it’s really great for an afternoon work out. I found it hard to run in the middle of the day because I think of running in terms of distance. It’s almost (mentally) painful to quit without giving it my all. But with the elliptical, I view it as time spent. It’s much easier to just head down to the gym for 30 minutes than 5 miles (I can’t run 5 miles in 30 minutes). Any day I don’t have meetings in the afternoon, you’ll find me in the gym for lunch! I’m simply loving it!

A change of perspective can really change a lot. I’ve spent the past 7 days straight working out in some form: either the arc trainer at work, the elliptical on the weekends at my factory style gym, or the occasional run along the Charles River near my house. I’m totally loving it! The next two days will be rest days because of afternoon meetings though. They have been earned though! I had hiccups earlier in the week that were literally painful because of sore chest, back, and stomach muscles!

And I’m not saying that I want to lose a ton of weight. I’m happy with losing 5 pounds. But what I’m really focused on is that I don’t want to think I’m living an active lifestyle while actually gaining weight.

Thank you, scale, for the refreshed drive!

Don’t Get Discouraged!

The second week of January is quickly ending… which means there is a good chance that you’re getting discouraged about your resolutions. Hold on! Be strong! You can do it!

If your running goals are hinged on weight loss it can be very easy to lose momentum. I love the show the Biggest Loser (guilty pleasure, I admit), but I think that show can help create unrealistic goals. It’s easy to watch that show and then wonder why you can’t drop 20 pounds in a week.

This could still BE you, just give yourself a realistic time frame!

And I ask you:

  • Did you cut down your food intake to 1/3 rd of what you ate before (possibly less)? (I’m guessing they are on a very low-calorie diet based on rumors I have heard… not on fact!)
  • Is working out and exercising your job and sole focus of your day?
  • Do you have an awesomely motivating, professional trainer?

No? Then stop being hard on yourself when you don’t drop weight like someone on that show!

I personally find that checking my scale all the time actually demotivates me. So I stopped doing it. I checked my weight before I began running regularly in June, when I checked my weight again in October, I had only lost 3 pounds! (I haven’t checked since October, the holidays can be brutal and I don’t need the hit to my self-esteem, I’ll check again next month.) Now, I will admit that I’m pretty small (I don’t have 100 pounds to lose) so 3 pounds was actually kind of nice for me. However, there was another reason that I only lost 3, and you may find that you have the same reason.

After running, I would say things like:

  • “Oh, I went running today so I can have an extra/another brownie.”
  • “I think I’ll have some cookies.” (I don’t even really like cookies!)
  • “Wow, that run left me STARVING (lie!) I should snack before dinner.”

Stuff like that was not helping me lose weight. And I would be willing to bet that I lost those 3 pounds pretty late into my running spree, because it took me awhile to stop splurging!

I LOVE the Cookie Monster, but I know I shouldn't BECOME him!

So I would recommend to lay off the scale if it’s not helping motivate you to work out. Instead, try to just enjoy your workout (which isn’t always so easy to do in a stinky gym alone: maybe try to find a friend to go with you or get outside if you can). Also notice and revel in the small changes.

My favorite change was that my non-existent, flabby butt is pretty rocking now and makes my pants look GOOD! That’s what I think about when I’m needing a reason to go to the gym. Other positive changes:

  • My pants aren’t too tight anymore
  • My  love-handles have tightened up
  • I feel calm and happy after running

I wish you luck in finding a positive, small change in yourself to give you a boost when you need it! Share it here if you’d like. I’d love to be your cheerleader!

Toss out your discouraging scale! Focus on the positive changes in yourself!

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