Thursday, September 24, 2015

Weight Loss: War vs. Journey

In 2005 I weighed 200 pounds. I have lost 70 pounds. 

Both of those statements seem ridiculous to me. The first because I vividly remember the day I weighed in at Curves in Auburn; I immediately felt all 200 pounds crashing down. The second because I never intended to lose 70 pounds.

So when I started to contemplate this post, I couldn't decide whether war or journey aptly described the past 10 years. 

War: a sustained effort to deal with or end a particular unpleasant or undesirable situation or condition.
Journey: a long and often difficult process of personal change and development.
I am definitely going with war. Journey sounds nice and poetic, but let's be clear, losing weight is a WAR. It is a war with your mind, your body and your relationship with food and sometimes other people. 
Circa 2007-ish. Weighing in at around 180-185. 

Dad and I's engagement party (2007). 

When you decide you have to change your body, it starts with a "diet." Eat less, drink less; workout more, sleep more. For some people it starts with a pill or shot or prepared/packaged foods. Either way is fine; neither way is sustainable. 

In it for the long haul and want to win the war? Get ready..."sustained effort" is part of what defines a war. When it comes to losing weight and getting healthy, a sustained effort is THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. There will be times of peace, when you are happy in your workout routine and in a good rhythm of eating healthy and maintaining portion control. Then there are the battles...when cake seems to be taunting you and french fries are your complex carbohydrate. 
Vegas 2009, slimmed down but still around 150.
I am an emotional every emotion I feel is better served with food. In my better times I control this well by eating healthy foods and proper portions. In stressful times, I have to refrain from sitting on the couch with a carton of ice cream after scarfing down half a pizza, with a salad on the side. Can I get another glass of wine, please? 

Luckily, I have a supportive husband and a good workout routine that helps keep me motivated. My goal is not to lose anymore weight, but maintain and feel good about what I eat and feed my family. 
Fall 2011, goal weight achieved around 135.
And I have gained tons of tips and tricks over the past 10 years. I think the best tips I can offer are - 
1. Be prepared - plan your meals, including snacks, drinks and desserts.
2. Eat smart - the biggest eye opener to me was calorie counting. Working to lose weight does not mean you have to starve. 

I'd love to share more about the changes I made in the last 10 years to get me where I am today. Feel free to reach out with questions or comments! 
July 2014, steady at around 130 for 3-4 years now...minus pregnancy #1 and #2. 

*Note: I wrote this article months ago, but am just now happy with the content. Since I am currently 23 weeks pregnant my food and workout regimen have been altered accordingly, but have not changed drastically. 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Just Keep Moving

Grief is a funny thing. Not "funny, HAHA" but more like "WTF was that."

You always hear that everyone grieves in their own way and in stages. But what we don't talk a lot about is the fact that each and every moment of the day can be different. You can be bopping along and then all of the sudden - WHAM - sadness, anger, confusion, guilt, etc. take over. Sometimes it takes just another moment to regain composure, while other times it takes days to recover...for things to seem "normal" again. The triggers are all different and unexpected. Smells, sound, music, a person's laugh, a happy memory, a difficult time, a fun experience, or just the same mundane drive to work.

I had hoped the randomness of the grief I experience around my mom's death would subside as time passed. Daily life has gotten easier, but the emotional washes still arise. Having a full schedule - husband, toddler, work - keep me going because "I've got to, MISTER!" (Skip to 1:38 in video clip below for reference)

There is no stopping for an hour to have a mental breakdown, and I thought of this as a good thing for me. Then I realized about six months after my mom passed away that this might not be healthy because my grief started to erupt more frequently and manifest in varying ways. 

Acknowledging the grief in those moments has helped me deal with it and keep moving. Not move past it or move on, but just keep moving. 

I occasionally read random articles...OK that's a stretch, I read random articles every day. A few days ago I found one that was of particular interest to me - 20 Things I Wish Someone Told Me About Grief. All of these are true for me and I do wish I knew them before; not that it would have helped that much. Just reading them made me feel better. Here are a few I found poignant:

1. We don't actually get over losses. We absorb them, and they redirect us into a more grounded way of living. 
5. There isn’t always a spiritual aha moment or a reason. Sometimes, it just is what it is. 
7. Anger is normal. Feel it. Embrace it. Allow it to work through you. ::Big one for me. This was an emotion I didn't expect::
12. There is no such thing as normal when it comes to grieving. Be patient and kind to yourself. 
14. You will never go back to being your “old” self.

**NOTE: The writer of the article lost her childhood dog before writing this piece. That made me giggle.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Are you going to eat that?

Since becoming pregnant for the second time, I have noticed a lot of differences from the first go-round. Some of them include: 
  1. I am significantly more tired. 
  2. I am significantly more hungry. I would like for most of my meals to consist of junk...cinnamon rolls, waffles, pizza, hamburgers, pasta, chicken fingers, french fries, cookies, ice cream, cake. I wouldn't even call them cravings. But I am trying to hold on to my health-eating habits to give the baby the nutrients he needs. 
  3. My body hurts. Is it the fact that I am a couple years older, or that the past three years have seen so much change? Like the fact that I don't sit down other than when I am at work or after B has gone to bed. 
  4. I tend to forget I am pregnant. Maybe forget is the wrong word, but I don't expect people to treat me differently or notice and comment on my belly. 
  5. My belly is bigger and it happened faster. I was in complete denial about this happening to me. I was in better shape before this pregnancy than the is this possible?!? And I have only taken one belly photo. Need to get on that. 
    Week 23 while pregnant with B.
  6. I forget to mention things about how or what I am feeling, like telling Dad when the baby is kicking so he can enjoy it as well! 
  7. My doctor's appointments are much shorter; there is no laundry list of questions. 
  8. I haven't bought anything...not, one, thing. Oh, but we did decide on a nursery theme.
    Something like these will be featured in the nursery, thanks to my talented cousin, Kate!
  9. I actually know EXACTLY what I need to put on a registry. But can I make a registry or is that tacky for baby #2? 
  10. I look at B differently. I remember him as a little tiny baby and am astonished at how quickly the time as gone by. I feel so grateful for the infant that he was and the toddler he has become. Sure we had our ups and downs with breastfeeding...and today with real food; he had seemingly senseless crying fits and now has pointless tantrums; he has always been a mommy-leach and is terrible at sharing with other children. These are normal things, nothing crazy, he is such a sweet kid. 
    Sweet, tiny B with such a serious face. 
  11. I am excited about giving birth to another child. What is that about?! I actually enjoyed the experience of giving birth the first time around. I am interested to see what is in store for us this time! And now I realize, I never blogged my birth story. That will be coming soon...
    One of the first pictures after delivery.
  12. Seeing the picture above reminds me that I need to pack better PJs and accessories for the hospital. Well, not just pack them, I will have to purchase them first!
  13. I have concerns about maternity leave. Last time I was excited and, to be honest, I didn't particularly enjoy maternity leave. I felt trapped (see previous post), useless and bored. Now that I know what to do with myself, I am anxious to see how this one goes. I am determined to take the full time allotted in the U.S. (12 weeks, which is crap) and to make the most of the time with my new son and expanded family. I am also worried because it will be the DEAD of winter! I had beautiful blue skies and warm temps last time.
  14. I could just really use some wine, damn it.
  15. All food is fair game. No, I don't eat raw sushi on a weekly basis, but I am not going to shy away from it. And that list of fish you aren't supposed to have? Everything in moderation, including a raw oyster or two. 
    Steak Tartare from Doris Metropolitan in NOLA. I couldn't pass that up! 
  16. It's hard for me to imagine what baby #2 will look like, without picturing B. Now that I have a child that looks a specific (adorable) way, what will the next one look like?
  17. I haven't read many pregnancy articles...OK, any. I do have the app that gives me weekly updates on the babies growth and development. I look at it every other week...usually. And we won't do a baby class. 
  18. I realized last week that we have little time to do activities just the three of us. So this weekend we went to Auburn to take B to his first football game, just the three of us. Because next year, it will be all four of us!
    Tailgating in the fall of 2011.
B was not impressed by this week's performance. 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

On the Move: Furniture Shopping

Since moving in to our new house, we do a lot of furniture shopping. Sometimes it's more like furniture perusing considering the amount of items we still need to purchase. Dad and I prefer to shop together because we both need to be involved in the decision, so where Dad and I go, so comes B!

This has been interesting considering the amount of items most furniture stores contain and the fact that many of those items are fragile and don't need toddler snot strewn across them.

Checking out our new sectional for the basement. Note the snacks on the table.
Luckily, he has been decently behaved and left all furniture in its original state. No scratches, dirt stains, milk, or snack residue left behind. 

But furniture shopping is tedious and boring. We have looked at innumerable coffee tables and just can't seem to find the perfect one. This usually comes from a difference of opinion between mom and dad. I usually have something pretty specific in mind, or at least I think I do, until I see the options and become instantly overwhelmed. Dad has a harder time because he can't picture anything in the space unless it looks like what we had previously. He likes to ask about the return policy before any purchase...ya know, just in case. Fortunately, we have yet to return anything! 

Seen previously, our new kitchen table from Nadeau. B loves the bench, Dad was super nervous about the "no return" policy.
Otherwise, there is a lot of wandering and staring. And so the convo goes. 
Well, what do you think? Do you like the color? What about the it too small? Do you think it will fit the other way? What if we moved the other end table over? Could we use the thing in your parents attic? Oh, I have an idea, what do you think about...
This is in between chasing B - who discovered bunk beds are AWESOME - and fending off sales people! We clearly won't be getting bunk beds until both boys are old enough to handle them. And we won't be purchasing anything from the saleswoman who asked if he had chocolate on his face. No, it's a boo-boo. What kind of people would we be letting our kid in a furniture store with chocolate on his face?!? She then said, "be sure he doesn't scratch it, they get itchy during the healing process." Which I translated to mean "be sure he doesn't scratch it and get blood on our new furniture...OK, thanks."

B found a chair for himself at Nadeau (not on the furniture list). Note the "chocolate" on his lip.
The search continues. The next items on the list include a coffee table, new end tables, recovering chairs (don't want to think about selecting fabric), art for above the couch, nursery decor, and a bedroom suite for B's room (probably coming from Nonna and Poppy's house). 

Post furniture-shopping fun in the new ENO from cousins Chris and Debbie!