Thursday, September 14, 2017

Still Going Strong

Ugh, work and home life have been so insane that I have not had time to give an update on my progress. I have had the best stretch of healthy eating that I have had in a very long time--years! I have written down everything I've eaten, every day, since August 28. That's almost 3 weeks. For context, I generally would go 2 days, start getting lax, and be completely off again by the weekend.

We also have only eaten Panera 2 times and Subway once in that time. Again for context, we were eating out, and eating badly (Chipotle, burgers, pizza, subs with chips) at least 2 or 3 times a week and almost all of the weekend. I tracked and stayed on calories throughout Labor Day weekend. This is unprecedented LOL. Now, we have home-cooked dinner almost every night, and the nights we have something late, when previously we would "grab something" (like the aforementioned subs/pizza), we have had Lean Cuisines or Eggos. It's not always glamorous, but it is a huge change for us.

FOR LUNCHES at work, I have brought a salad EVERY SINGLE DAY. On my work at home days, I have a veggie-filled omelet that I LOVE. I had also gotten into the habit of "grabbing something" when the lunch I brought didn't sound satisfying. I was forever feeling like I don't get enough vegetables and feeling bummed about that. Now, I have a huge amount of veggies early in the day and I feel good and accomplished.

The scale reflected my work last Friday; we'll see what it says tomorrow. I'm still hitting relatively high calories because breastfeeding (though it's minimal at this point) and because mentally I am not in a place to go low. My sister is doing 1,200 calories and while I have done that, I just can't do it now. I try to hit between 1,750 and 1,850 calories. I know that once the breastfeeding is done, I'll have to drop, but I plan to drop gradually--down to 1,600, then 1,500 and see what my body does. For this time, I needed to focus on writing down everything and staying within a reasonable number. And I've done that and will continue to do that.

(I will say that I was hesitant to update progress because, well, I don't want to jinx anything. But I am in control of my own choices, so that's a silly thought.)

Hubs is tracking and that has been a huge help to me as well. Poor guy is hungry, but managing. LOL

I will say this is time-consuming. Cooking dinner after school/work is a challenge, so I try to do meal preps on the weekend and on my work at home days. Chopping lunch veggies takes longer than "grabbing something" at the building cafe. Getting everyone's lunch together and the baby's food and bottles together now that school has started up again takes about 30-45 minutes every night. It's annoying and exhausting sometimes. But it's becoming habitual. And I feel very good.

So, for now, I'm staying the course. I have not felt "tempted," yet, though I know that will come. I have felt committed and like this is what I want so badly that pizza is not worth it. It's a feeling I will hold on to.


Monday, August 28, 2017

Back in the Saddle (Goals, 8/28-9/3)

Again!

Summer is over and it's time to get serious. I go to the doctor on Friday for my physical and I anticipate not very good blood work. I am determined to change my lifestyle. I'm done with gaming the system, only making good choices for 2 days and then getting back into the same old routine. I only have one life and I intend to live it as healthfully as I reasonably can!

My instinct is to shoot for the moon on goals, but with two small kids at home, I know that's just setting myself up for failure. So, small steps. I will get there.

Goals for the week:

  • Track all food.
  • Eat no more than 1,900 calories per day.
  • Get 15 minutes of activity per day.
  • Eat all home-cooked meals.
 Let's do this! 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Lose List: Living as Long as Possible

I have always been afraid of dying. It is such an ingrained fear that when I found out not everyone worries about dying on a daily basis, I was shocked. For me, the threat of death is a constant spectre. I am better about it now. But I still worry. Doubly so now that I am a mother.

When my sons look at me adoringly, my warm mommy heart tries to stay in the moment, but a voice, likely the voice of my lifelong anxiety, whispers, "Oh God, they will be devastated if I die."

Suddenly my own death isn't just terrifying for myself. It is life-changing for two little people. On a fundamental level, their lives, their outlook on life, their worldview, would change. And that thought terrifies me.

Suddenly the unconditional love sons have for their mothers feels sinister and fraught. I don't want them to love me so much because of what it will do to them if they lose me.

Of course part of the nature of fear of death is that it is the ultimate thing out of our control. We can do all the things we think to ward off death--buckle up, look both ways, check for (skin) moles, chew carefully, don't dive in shallow water, drive sober, lock the doors at night, carry pepper spray, knock on wood until our knuckles are bloody--the list goes on and on into absurdity.

But, in the end, death is uncontrollable.

Except when it isn't. And one thing that is hammered into the public's consciousness is that OBESITY KILLS. Obesity increases the risk of death. Obesity harms the body in untold ways.

I have known this for all of my life. I remember being a "tween" (we weren't called that then), sitting at a doctor's desk with my mother. I don't know why I saw this doctor--he wasn't either of my childhood pediatricians. I don't know what brought about this visit. But in the course of it, he said it would be good if I lost some weight (duh). "Carrying around extra weight is hard on the heart." (Oh.)

So on top of my deathly fear that I will die and leave my sons motherless is GUILT. For all my wood knocking and precautions and "be carefuls," I am NOT doing all I can to keep myself around. See, I am eating a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup instead of considering how this extra weight is harming my heart with every single beat it takes to get the blood to every corner of my obese body. I must not care THAT much. GUILT.

But I do care. I care so much it terrifies me. I care so much that before I learned to manage my anxiety, I would be crippled by worry, leading to things like a racing heart, leading to worry that I was actually having a heart attack, leading to a visit to Urgent Care (later marked in my patient portal "anxiety state"), and ultimately leading to a little comfort eating and thus the cycle continues.

I understand that even a healthy weight doesn't guarantee you will not have a heart attack. How many of us shake our heads in shock and wonder that the gym rat died from a "widow maker" [nice] as the treadmill whirred next to his lifeless body. I understand that even this is out of my control.

But that doesn't mean I should just give up. In fact, this entry is at the top of my lose list. There is nothing more important: Live as long as I can for my children. And my husband, of course. And myself, sure. But my kids most of all.

This item on my lose list is the one that needles me the most. The one that makes me most frustrated with myself. If I can't even eat healthy for THIS, what hope do I have? But see, even death is so abstract. I had a high cholesterol blood test in 2016 and it didn't change my eating habits. Because the voice that rationalizes such things (a different voice from anxiety, possibly the one that works so hard to fight the anxiety) says, "This one French fry does not matter. This dinner out won't affect your health THAT much. High cholesterol isn't SO bad."

I am working to keep this item on my lose list at the fore. I am working to remove the guilt from the last 6 years of eating. I am working to cast it in a positive light--Be as healthy as possible--rather than a negative--LOSE WEIGHT SO I DON'T DIE!!!! I am working to feel proud of myself when I make the good choices, and this week I've made a few, so that I can hold onto that and get myself to a healthy weight so if I did happen to find myself on my deathbed (God forbid, knock wood, salt over the shoulder), I could know that I DID do everything I could.

My body is worth treating well. My kids are more important than the taste of mayo. My heart deserves to be cut some slack.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Firsts

Crab has had so many firsts already that I am sure I've forgotten some, even though he's only 5 months old. Here are some of the biggies:

First rollover: February 8, he rolled from belly to back. He's done it a few times since, and he's so close to being able to do back to front, but he's not rolling all over the place yet. He still hates tummy time, so that's not surprising.

First dose of Tylenol: January 2, after his 2 month vaccines. Poor baby.

First bath: About 1 week old. Crab has eczema on his cheeks especially, so we give very few baths at this point. 

First state visited: Pennsylvania.

First cold: When he was 2.5 weeks old. Terrifying and infuriating.

First day of daycare: March 1, his 4 month birthday.

First solid food: Sweet potatoes. He didn't really care for them at the time, but LOVES bananas and this week ate a whole jar of sweet potatoes. He also likes pears and apples. Peas, not so much.

First antibiotic: Amoxicillin, for his first ear infection, March 31.




Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Cheekers

I feel like I have so much to "catch up" on recording with Crab! So let me just talk about cheeks.

His cheeks are so chunky! For a bit of time when he was about a month old, Munch called him "Cheekers." We sang. "What is wrong with the Cheekers, the Cheekers?"

He smushes his cheeks out and I think he's clenching his gums--possibly teething? So cute though.

Not so cute--the streak of red, dry eczema that extends in front of his ear. It's like painful looking sideburns.

But really when I think of cheeks right now, I think of how, when I bring him close to my face, he puts his hands very softly on both sides of my face and touches my cheeks. He's in a "grab and clench" phase, so I expect to feel nails scratching my skin, but no--his touch remains soft. And it's like he's cherishing me as much as I'm cherishing him.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Back (?)

I've been feeling the blogging "pull" for a while now, mostly since about the beginning of the year. I think this is linked to several different things. The birth of our second son. The need for a place to reflect so I can really grab onto something for weight loss. The lack of a "record" of the little one's first years. I read back to posts about Munch and I love how I recorded so much of his life here. I want that for the "new one." I think I will call him Crab here. That may not seem endearing, but for those who know him, it will make sense. It's a good name.

I feel tentative. There are reasons I stopped blogging. I got sick of analyzing every small piece of my life. I wanted to "just live." I sometimes felt like I didn't have anything "worth writing." I got annoyed with some of my readership and was keenly aware of my audience, so I didn't feel like I could write everything I wanted to write for fear of others' judgments and thoughts. For instance, there was a large fight with a family member based on something I wrote and then I remembered later that the post was an assignment from therapy. I didn't tell the person that because it seemed dumb to bring up an old wound, but I still think about that and feel annoyed.

So, there are some things I can do and keep in mind.

1) I won't "promote" this blog among people who know me. If someone happens upon it, fine, but otherwise it will truly just be for me. I got very concerned with "eyeballs" last time and I think wanted to be "seen." I wanted to be part of the cool "mommy bloggers club." Whereas so many people I read back then now no longer write. Now, with more therapy and personal growth, I'm not so concerned with other people seeing what I write and being "accepted."

2) I will write what I feel like, when I feel like it. I won't feel like a failure if I don't write regularly and I won't feel pressured to write "certain types of things."

3) It will be for the joy of writing. I miss writing! I don't know that I truly have time for it, but hey, ya gotta start somewhere.