Tuesday, April 26, 2016

It's the little things

It's been a while since I've written.  I've been up and down.  Had some good days and some bad days.  Mostly what I'm struggling with is a very strong sense of apathy.  We are planning on trying to get pregnant again sometime within the next several months and a large part of me says "what is the point of dieting and trying to lose weight when I'm just going to gain it all back when I get pregnant anyway."  Therein lies the problem.  I never really changed my habits and desires.  It was all something short term to do to reach a goal, and therefore never sustainable.  Yes I lost weight, I had my moments in the spotlight, but when challenges came my way, my feeble grasp and pathetic claims to have changed my eating shattered as there was no substance behind it.  I still want sugar, I still want soda, I still want crackers, and when I refrain from eating those things I want, I end up binging.  And so I have decided to embark on what will probably be the slowest weight loss journey in history.  Looking at my fitbit, with my current weight, I burn about 2500 calories a day (as long as I reach 10,000 steps).  So I decided to start somewhere and just track my food.  I set my calorie goal at 2,000 calories and at the moment I don't even care if I go over.  Just get in the habit of tracking, see where I'm at, see what I'm doing.  I do have my goal set at 2k so that is in the back of my mind as a target to work towards.  I can't just jump in where I'm at and all of a sudden go from eating what I have been over the past 5 months to eating 1400 calories a day and exercising an hour a day.  I'm not sure that is healthy anyway. 

I'm going to go painfully slow, especially because as soon as I get pregnant I will have a 9 month hiatus from weight loss but I'm still going to track my food.  When I get pregnant I will adjust my daily calorie limit to 2300 and while nursing, 2400.  Use those numbers as guidelines and use the 9 months as a learning experience and also to get me in the habit of tracking and I can also begin to work on changing some of my habits.  Right now I like to eat chips with lunch, and I like to eat dessert every day.  Some things I have been thinking about are: only eat one dessert a day.  If I have something sweet, then after that I am done for the day.  I can't eat two cookies after lunch, a handful of skittles at 3 and two cookies after dinner.  But it's something I'm working towards.  Slowly, as I work on it I will eventually tip the balance so that more often than not I am eating only one dessert a day.  I have a similar plan for other unhealthy habits I know I have such as eating chips for lunch.  I'm thinking that when I am ready to tackle that issue, I will switch out my chips for a fruit or a vegetable one day a week, if there are other days where I don't eat chips that is fine as circumstances allow, but when I am ready, I will purposefully only switch one day.  When I get comfortable with that, I will move it up to two days a week until I find a good balance.  I actually feel really good about my breakfast.  I usually eat either eggs or oatmeal for breakfast and most of the time I don't eat again until lunch time.  It's lunch-bedtime that is the hardest for me. 

An interesting thing happened today.  I took the kids to the bounce house today.  Now, when I was losing weight I was always tired.  In the afternoon I would be so tired, I could barely stay awake, many times I fell asleep on the couch while the kids watched a movie.  Every other time I have taken the kids to the bounce house I was so tired, practically falling asleep while trying to play with the kids.  Today however, I had plenty of energy.  In fact, my afternoon slumps have practically disappeared over the past month.  Now I wonder if my lack of energy during weight loss was because I was exercising too much and eating too little.  Eating only 1400 calories a day while exercising an hour on top of running around with the kids was just too much on my body, and I didn't have enough fuel to make it through.  Also, feeding it the right kind of fuel.  When I was just eating junk during my miscarriage phase I felt awful (which could also be due to hormones).  I did the Whole 30 for two weeks and while my diet now is far from perfect, I have cleaned up a lot of my more horrid habits (such as eating nothing but junk all day and constantly snacking all day on cheezits and what not, and stuffing myself to the point of stomachache with sweets).  So while I may not be eating the best, and I may still be eating a bit too much, I actually feel better now than for most of the time when I was successfully losing weight.  I'm not hungry, I'm not lethargic, my mood is more stabilized, I don't get angry as quickly. 

Now I'm not saying that everything is better this way because it's not.  I have plenty of bad habits I need to work on.  In the afternoon I get really snacky and want to eat for about an hour and a half straight.  I am 30 pounds above the weight I was before I got pregnant and I am at the borderline for being obese again (which for my height is 175, and I'm sitting around 172).  It's harder to move around with the extra weight on and my desire to exercise and ability to do so has diminished.  (one of the reasons it has been so hard to exercise besides my decreased physical fitness is because I did Zumba the day before my miscarriage, and I just haven't been able to get back into it.  Which is unfortunate because that was my all time favorite exercise and I just can't bring myself to do it yet.) 

But I think I am on the right track for me.  It's going to be an awful, grueling test of patience, but with the pressure to "conform" to a particular diet or limit my calories to a small number each day and focus on reason, and practicality and making slight subtle changes I can actually live with that actually work with me for me and with my lifestyle, that is going to be a huge key to success.  One small thing I have started doing is filling up my soda stream bottles before I go to bed (I have three 1 liter bottles).  I make sure they are all full, and I usually drink two of them during the day!  How's that for good progress!  What I realized about myself is that what I hate about drinking water is sitting and waiting for the glass to fill up (It's a stupid and trivial thing but it's real, and poses a real barrier for me actually going and getting a glass of water).  We have a filter on our faucet and it just trickles in slowly and seems to take forever to fill a glass of water and for reasons unbeknowest to me, it irks me to no end.  So I fill up my bottles when I'm not actually going to be drinking the water and I can do other things while I wait for them to fill.  Then when I am thirsty the next day, I grab some water and start drinking with no waiting to fill it up.  It's a little and easy change that has greatly helped me increase my water intake. 

Monday, April 11, 2016

Feeling Human

So today I am finally starting to feel like a normal person again.  It is now day 6 and I'm finally coming out of the food fog I guess I've been in.  It is hard to say how much of how I felt is because I ate terrible and how much was because of what was going on with my body.  The two combined just created a deadly combination for me.  It amazes me how much what I eat affects me.  It affects my mood, my ability to thing, how I feel physically, my energy levels, my emotions.  Everything.  I wonder if everybody is this easily affected by food or if my food choices just affect me more than others.  Maybe it's just because I'm paying attention to it so closely now.  I'm really paying attention to how food makes me feel.  Today was the best day I've had in a long time as far as how I have felt.  I almost feel like a normal human again.  My emotions are coming back (instead of feeling numb) and my energy was a little higher throughout the day and I didn't crash in the afternoon like usual. 

As I've been doing the whole 30 over the past six days I've decided that I want to do something more realistic for the long term.  I don't want to just do the Whole 30 and then stop and go back to my bad way of eating.  I've already proven that if I have no rules to govern what I eat, I just eat bad all the time.  So I'm sticking as close to Whole 30 as I can but tweaking it if I need to.  For example, we went to my In-law's house the other day and I went to great lengths to make sure that what was cooked was Whole 30 appropriate.  I bought the meat and pretty much made the whole meal, but when we went to season the meat and veggies all the seasonings had sugar or corn starch in them.  I suppose I could have just used salt and pepper, but we were feeding 7 people and I wanted to take them into account too.  So I decided to use the "what you can when you can" method and we went ahead and used the seasonings.  I think that is what it means to do "what you can when you can" (or Wycwyc. If you haven't heard of it head over to Ronisweigh.com  It's her idea of how to be healthy and live your life, pretty much doing what you can when you can.  She wrote a book about it you can check out on Amazon).  I always figured that method didn't work for me, and in it's own context it doesn't.  It isn't enough for me as a stand alone concept, I pretty much say "great! no rules, time to pig out".  But used in context of trying to live the Whole 30 (or paleo-ish) lifestyle all the time instead of a brief moment in time.  It changes the meaning and how you use that mind set.  Besides, lets be honest, it's not the sugar in the seasoning I use for my meat that made me fat. 

I have been having a very difficult time fighting the urges to snack.  Snacking when I am not hungry, and snacking on junk food is a bad habit that just got worse as I went through the difficulties of the past several months.  I just want to snack all the time.  Snack on candy and crackers and chips.  Delicious but deadly for me.  It's not until I forced myself to stop that I realized just how bad it had gotten.  I wanted to snack all day long.  It's getting slightly better now.  Today was the best day, but I am sure there are plenty of tough days ahead of me. 

One challenge I had to figure out how to handle is movie theaters.  Do I or do I not buy popcorn and soda at the movie theaters?  I love it, but it's certainly not healthy.  So I decided that if I'm going to the theaters with just my husband then I am not going to buy anything.  But if we go as a family then I get a treat.  Today we took the kids to see Zootopia and I had one soda and we shared one large popcorn (I think Lily ate most of it) and we didn't get a refill.  Then I went on and stuck to my plan the rest of the day.  That is how a treat is supposed to work.  Occasionally you eat one thing and then you keep going on with life.  Unlike what I tend to do which is let that one thing turn into two and then three and four and then end up binging on food.  I am not the type of person that can have a treat every day.  It causes me to get off track and throws me for a loop.  So now the task at hand is to keep going with my Whole-30/Paleo-ish way of eating and really make it work for me. 

What I love the most about it is that you don't have to count calories.  I have figured out there are basically two ways to lose weight when talking about what you eat.  You can either track your calories and eat less of whatever you want to eat.  Or you can restrict your eating to certain foods but you don't have to track.  I have discovered that I actually prefer the second method.  I think it is the best method for me because it makes sure that I am eating the right foods, my body feels its best when I am eating these foods and I never have to feel hungry or feel like I can't eat anything because I have hit my calories for the day.  It also helps with the part of me that can't handle treats, so I just say no because I'm an abstainer and it's easier for me to just not eat it than to have just a little. 

So I'll end on a high note.  You aren't supposed to be weighing yourself on the Whole 30 but I figured I've already broken the rules and I think I want to weigh myself about once a week to keep everything under control.  Today I weighed in at 168.8 which is down nearly 7 pounds from last week!  Talk about a lot of bloating and food and water weight, and we hope some fat too.  I am feeling better and my pants are already fitting a smidgen better just not having all that excess junk in me.  Hopefully I'm on the up and up.  I'll leave you with this cute picture of Chloe.  She got in her dance costume for the recital coming up in June

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Good Old Whole 30

So I'm still alive.  In fact I'm feeling the best I have, at this very moment in time, in about six months.  After wallowing and floundering and hitting an all time low in my life.  I feel like I am on the up and up.  I just finished day 2 of the Whole 30.  I had started it the week before I started hemorrhaging and then abandoned it as I was receiving meals from friends from church, and beggars can't be choosers.  So then everything spiraled way out of control as I sunk into a pit of depression.  I have been using my essential oils for the past week and a half.  I've been looking into the oils that help uplift your mood.  I've been using my Citrus Bliss and my Peppermint in the morning.  I have been alternating each day, putting a few drops in the back of the shower and then you get some aromatherapy in the shower in the morning.  I've also been using a new oil Doterra recently started selling called Console.  It's a part of their new mood system and it just might be my very favorite oil.  I just love the way it smells, and when I put it on (diluted in fractionated coconut oil because it's a very strong smelling oil) I just feel warm and like I am wrapped up in a big blanket.  So I've been using Console throughout the day, and then Lavender in the evening.  I just got some Bergamot oil in and that is really supposed to help with depression and also with relaxation.  I want to start making some spa products with my oils.  Bath salts are particularly easy to make where you pretty much just mix the salts and oils together.  I also want to make some bath bombs which are a little trickier but don't look too complicated, and an interesting shampoo recipe with rosemary and peppermint oils.  I think that would just be an awesome wake up in the shower. 

So I've been feeling a little better.  Today I had a lot of pulls towards my bad habits like eating just because it's something to do, and wanting to comfort myself with foods.  I can see essential oils becoming my new coping method and I think that would be a much healthier coping method.  When I started the whole 30 two days ago, my weight had climbed to 175.6 and my body fat percentage was over 37%.  I'm planning on doing it for 90 days minimum before I start reintroduction.  I will probably plan for another 90 days to do reintroduction.  Just go super slow this time and make sure that I have given it plenty of time to form new habits and to break bad habits.  Hopefully the Whole 30 will work it's magic again.  (and I don't end up in the hospital any time soon).  I've felt so awful over the past several months, who knows, the first two weeks might not be as bad as the first two times (including the first week of the second time I committed to doing it right before ending up in the hospital).  I imagine I will still feel bad, but maybe it will be a different kind of bad from what I've been experiencing and maybe it won't be as bad as the past few months.  We will just have to wait and see. Day three is tomorrow and withdrawal symptoms really kick in.