Monthly Archives: July 2012

Yoga and Ball Exercises

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I’ve been meaning to add some yoga and ball exercises for awhile. I just never seemed to have the time, every time the little one is napping I’m rushing to get dishes done, or sorting laundry, or stealing a bit of time for reading. I feel like that’s another excuse though. I really want to start doing yoga again. I love the way yoga makes me feel. So what’s stopping me? I have time for a quick 15-30 minute session while he’s napping after all. I’ll just have to give up some time on my laptop… no big deal.

So I started that up today. I plan to do it on the days I’m not jogging. I don’t want to overdo it, but I do want to get a more rounded workout. Jogging is great, but I think I need to work my muscles in a different way if I want to see better results. So on Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, and sometimes Friday I want to jog. On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday or Saturday I want to do at least 10 minutes of yoga, and a set of ball exercises.

I have a previous workout I put together on yogajournal.com that I’m going to restart for now. I might revise it as time goes on, but I’ll mostly be doing sun salutes, downward dog, cat/cow pose, plank pose, dolphin pose, and some warrior/triangle poses. In addition, some ball squats, crunches, and push-ups. There are a lot more of those exercises, I have a booklet with them, but just to start out those ones. I know from experience that I’m going to be really sore tomorrow, especially my arms and core. I’m out of shape and it’s going to take a lot to build myself back up. I’m hoping that my c-section area doesn’t bother me too much. I’ve found that when I do crunches or anything it gets pretty sore there, more so than it used to.

I guess I’ll find out tomorrow.

Trying new things

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First of all, my ankle/foot still hurts. It’s not excruciating, but it is sore. I still managed my jog yesterday though, and I plan on going to the zoo tomorrow and walking around anyway. Hopefully I won’t make it worse… after my jog yesterday it was pretty tender.

Tonight I made chicken, broccoli, and scalloped potatoes for dinner. I tossed around a few ideas to my husband, but that was our final decision. Chicken breast is a staple in our house, it’s fairly healthy, cheap, and versatile. It really can be dressed up in many different ways. A couple days ago I made it with enchilada sauce, over rice, black beans with bell peppers and onions. I almost always use rice with my dinner, which is probably a bad thing but it’s a staple in our household. It’s ridiculously cheap, and I love rice. I don’t go overboard with it though, so it could be worse.

There are of course wrong ways to use chicken breasts, and I’ve been bad about that myself. I often used it in my enchiladas, and that meal carried a hefty 900 calories! I tried reducing ingredients to bring it down, but the taste suffered. I tried splitting an enchilada between my husband and myself, but that just didn’t seem as filling. The meal I made with peppers, black beans, and rice is similar to my enchiladas; it lacks the cheese and tortilla though. I found it to be a fairly healthy substitute. It isn’t as good as my enchiladas, but it’ll do for more frequent meals. Enchiladas can maybe be split for a lunch food, or a rare treat on special occasions.
I’m trying to experiment more with healthier options though.

I’m not a chef, I’m not a dietician, I’m not even a decent cook (I’ll admit it.) The truth is, no one ever taught me to cook when I was growing up. When I moved out on my own, I was helpless. I’ve learned some things here and there, obviously, but I never really focused on what I was eating. A majority of my food was pre-made, pre-prepared, boxed, fast, and above all- easy. Especially in college, I used the excuse that I didn’t have the time. I was working 21-35hours a week and taking 15-20 credit hours most quarters… and yeah, that was insane. Maybe stupid. But I had bills to pay and I wanted to get college over with. I never took the time to look at what I was eating, to try new things, or to learn more recipes.

Of course now, I’m a stay at home mom. There’s no excuse for me not to make dinner every night. There’s no reason I can’t make things from scratch. There’s no reason I can’t try new recipes even. Yes, sometimes I get frazzled and we have rough nights full of screaming and nap refusals… but even then, I could be making something. I could learn to use my slow cooker, I could prepare things for dinner while my son is napping so it would take less time later, I could even spice up our lunches.

Since I’ve been using Sparkpeople again, I’ve got a better idea of what’s going into my body. That makes a huge difference in my decisions, especially when I know it’s between an apple and banana or that soda. I think it’s helped me to reevaluate my meals overall, and to make better decisions. Especially when it comes to meal planning. I try to keep dinner around 500-600 calories. And now, I know what that looks like. What is can taste like. So it’s not as hard as it could be otherwise. I’ve found that 500 calories can be just as awesome as 900.

I’m pinning recipes on my Pinterest board now, and hopefully I’ll be able to go back and print them. There are a few healthy options on there I’d love to try. Sometimes I surf AllRecipes.com for ideas too. Heck, maybe I’ll get around to looking at Sparkpeoples recipe section. I feel like I’m on the right track now, not perfect, but I’m getting there. One step at a time.

Ghosts of the past

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Yesterday my mother told me, “Those shorts make you look slimmer.”

This is the second time she’s commented on my shorts making me “look” slimmer. It seems like an benign statement, perhaps even a compliment, but it’s what I read between the lines that stung. She never says that I look slimmer, it’s always the jeans making me look slimmer, or the shirt, or my hair. I’ve lost almost 50 pounds since December 2010, it’s not the jeans that make me look slimmer- I am slimmer.

My mother would never say that though. She has said that I looked like I gained a lot of weight, on more than one occasion. She’s commented that I would be beautiful if I’d lose 10 more pounds, even when I was at a good BMI. But never anything straightforward about my weight-loss. Usually, when I tell her that I’ve lost weight she says this about herself, “I really need to lose weight. I’m so fat, UGH.” The woman weighs 50 pounds less than me, and wears clothing many sizes smaller than me. So, she just makes me feel disgusting, while I’m trying to tell her how well I’m doing.

It’s not just her though. I get comments a lot about how I should lose weight, have I considered this or that.

I just want to say this now, fat people own mirrors too. I knew I was fat before anyone else did. I own a scale. These comments don’t help anyone, especially the person they’re being cast upon. We’re either going to help ourselves or we’re not. I wish people would offer more encouragement than criticism when it comes to weight issues. Although, to be honest, compliments can hurt too. I guess there’s really no winning.

Anyway, I’ve learned to motivate myself. I’m losing weight for me now. So while her comments stung, I’m not taking them to heart. I had to listen to 27 years of her (and the rest of my families) comments and criticisms, I know that I’ll never be pretty in her eyes because she’s projecting her own body image issues onto me. That doesn’t mean that it won’t still sting when she says something rude, but at least I don’t let it burrow and fester anymore.

In high school it was really bad. I had my father constantly talking crap about overweight women, my mother doing the same, even my brothers. At the same time, I was wearing plus sized clothing, boys never asked me out, and my older sister (who had been anorexic) was the “pretty one”. I really hated myself, I weighed 180 pounds but when I looked in the mirror I saw someone much bigger.

They say that anorexia runs in families. I don’t believe it’s genetic, maybe a predisposition, but I believe that it has to do with the home environment. The words, or lack of, that torment one person into starving themselves, is highly likely to do it to another. I think that was the case for me and my sister. She became anorexic, and suddenly she was beautiful in everyone’s eyes. Unsurprisingly, the same thing happened to me. I was 17, and I was anorexic without realizing it. I lost 25 pounds in a month, and suddenly everyone thought I was pretty.

It was this distortion that led me to be anorexic for almost two years. I ate, mind you, but my typical day consisted of this: no breakfast, lettuce and cheese for lunch, rice and a chicken breast for dinner, and a soda. That’s it. One time, a year later, I remember eating one can of corn for dinner. Do you know how many calories are in a can of corn? Not much. I’d always eat around people, but when no one was around I didn’t really eat. That’s why no one realized what I was doing to myself.

I didn’t even realize I had a problem until I started passing out. I was only down to 130 pounds, but I was extremely malnourished and anemic. My case was very mild, and I’m so thankful it didn’t get worse. My sister was worse, and even to this day admits she still has issues with it.

For me, the lasting effect was a fear of limiting myself. I was afraid of dieting because I knew what I was capable of. It’s not a huge step from limiting your calories and dealing with the hunger by saying, “I don’t need that,” to telling yourself that you don’t need any of it and that food is disgusting.

I also learned to never trust what I see in the mirror. Because believe me, at 130 pounds I wasn’t just saying I was fat… I really, honest to god, thought I was fat. When I looked in the mirror, I saw a girl who could stand to lose a few pounds. I didn’t see the beautiful young woman I was. I didn’t see what my boyfriend (now husband) saw in me at the time.

My husband helped bring me out of that fog, and I don’t ever plan to go back there. This time, I’m going to lose the weight the right way. I’m going to build healthy habits, and change my lifestyle for the better.

I haven’t ever really talked about this to anyone before, I mean my case was very mild. I feel like a fraud, but it was very real at the time. Eating 500 calories a day isn’t healthy but I did it anyway. It scares me how deluded I was, and how I could do something like that to myself without even realizing that I was doing it. It’s one of the ghosts to my past.

I overcame it though, and I overcame the comments and shit I put up with. I survived the people feeding my anorexia with compliments, and the people feeding my obesity with insults. This is a new day, and a new life.

Losing a dog and a day

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We laid our 16 year old dog to rest today. I spent the first part of the day cleaning up after him, and trying to make the best of his last hours. After we said goodbye to him, I was pretty exhausted (and we still had to go to the grocery store) so we ate out. I had soda, which I shouldn’t have. I was low on energy, and I just really needed that pick-me-up. I know, I know… excuses. But I allow myself soda from time to time, because as much as I often regret it I do enjoy the occasional glass.

It was a slip-up, but not a setback. I try to allow myself one day a week to do “bad.” My “bad” hasn’t been so bad really, since I’m learning good habits through my process. So I had that soda, but I also had a low calorie sub for lunch, and only two slices of pizza for dinner instead of three; so that’s something, I guess.

Continuing in the line of setbacks, my foot hurts really bad today and I’m not sure if that’s going to cause problems on my jog tomorrow. I slipped on the treadmill yesterday and twisted it up pretty good. I’m lucky I didn’t hurt myself worse though. My ankle doesn’t hurt too bad, mostly it’s the top part of my foot. It’s really sore, but there’s no swelling or bruising, so I’m assuming that it’s okay.

I guess we’ll find out tomorrow.

Current stats

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Here’s my progress stats since I started on this journey.

I started on January 1, 2011 at 250lbs- I began with jogging a mile every other day and keeping my calories restricted to about 1,500 a day. By February 7 I was down to 242lbs. My Hips were at 53in, and waist at 50in. By March 28 I was at 227lbs, hips at 50in, and waist at 46in

At the beginning of April 2011 I decided to stop dieting so we could pursue one last round of fertility treatments. We’d been trying for 4 years, and had 3 miscarriages previously… we were pretty low on hope. This was our last round before we made the decision to pursue adoption, or more recently considering the option of living child-free.

To our surprise, that cycle worked! It was an extremely rocky pregnancy though, I spent the first three months on bed rest and then restricted activities. I had to stop jogging. I had to stop pretty much everything, I couldn’t even walk around very much. By the time I was off bed rest I was very out of shape. But, it all paid off in the end. My son was born by emergency c-section on December 27, 2011.

After I had him, I had to wait to restart my weight loss; I was breastfeeding, and still recovering from my c-section. I stopped breastfeeding in March of 2011 because of low supply, and by this point my incision was pretty healed up (although it got sore VERY easily.) So, I jumped back on the wagon.
Here’s my weight loss progress since then:

March 17: Weight 227lbs    Hips; 52.5in    Waist; 46
April 17: Weight 223lbs    Hips; 51.5in    Waist; 45
May 17: Weight 217lbs    Hips; 50in    Waist; 44
June 16: Weight 211lbs    Hips; 48.5in    Waist; 42.5
July 17: Weight 204.6lbs    Hips; 47.5in    Waist; 41.5

This morning I weighed in at 202.6lbs. My current workout consists of jogging 2 miles 3-4 times a week. In addition, I try to keep my calories within 1,500 to 1,800 a day. I’ve been losing about 6lbs a month for the last 4 months. I’m down 3 pant sizes… which feels amazing!

I’ve almost lost 50lbs total, which means I’m almost halfway to my goal weight now! I can do this.

Who I am

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I’m 27 years old. I’m a wife. I’m a mother. And I’m obese.

I’ve always struggled with my weight. I was rather fond of eating my way through my depressive episodes. I gained 100lbs through college, through infertility, and finally through recurrent pregnancy loss. I made excuses every step of the way, but I’m tired of that. There are no excuses, only explanations. The last nine years of my life have been filled with euphoric highs and extreme lows. I learned to love myself at 250lbs, I have the son I struggled for, but now I’m tired of cheating myself from having a healthy body. I got tired of telling myself that I deserve that cupcake, that I need that heaping bowl of ice cream, that it’s just one treat. It was always just one bite over the limit, and I’m tired of living like that. I want to get to know a smaller version of me. I love who I am, but I want to love me at a size 12 instead of a size 18.

When I started on this journey in January 2011, I was in a size 24 and 250lbs. Today, I’m a size 18 and 205lbs. I’m almost halfway to my goal of 150lbs. Now, if I can just keep going!