Category Archives: Weight Loss

2011 Goals

I’m like most people in that I typically have New Year’s Resolutions and, for the most part, they don’t change that much from year to year. Lose weight. Be kinder to myself. Take time to enjoy life. Do good things.

This year was a bit different because I was hugely pregnant at New Years and the one and only goal I had for 2011 was to have a natural, un-medicated child birth and survive the first six weeks of being a mother (for me, those first six weeks were the hardest, anybody else feel that way?).

Now that I’m past the whole labor and delivery thing, my goals are returning to my traditional New Year’s Resolutions. Although, this time I’m adding one or two more. I’m inspired by ShoeShoe Girl’s Blog – she’s motivated me to post my goals here so I have a place to journal my progress and that keeps me accountable.

So here goes:

Goal #1 – Weight Loss

Lose 20 l-b-s’sss by the end of the year. This will get me close to my pre-pregnancy/wedding weight. At this weight I feel more comfortable/confident and my clothes fit.

How I’m going to do this:

I’ve headed back to MRI to workout with Camie Cragg, the genius trainer who helped me before our wedding. I’m also committing to training for the Race for a Cure 5k race. That race is October 2, which is the perfect amount of time to use the Couch to 5k app. It’s tough to fit even an extra half hour three times a week, but I’m committing to it this time. None of that I’m planning to…I want to…I’ll try to. Nope…this time I’m doing it.

This goal also ties into my next goal…

Goal #2 – Force myself to make ME time

After Henry was born I struggled with feeling like I had lost my identity and that it was replaced with Henry’s Mom and Travis’s Wife. Sometimes I have to force myself to do things for myself.  I know this is about balance. The problem is that I really love spending time with my baby and husband, but I suppose it’s a fine line between quality time and a feeling of obligation.

How I’m going to do this:

Working out on a regular basis. Getting a pedicure or massage. Reading. Getting up early to enjoy that beautiful cup of morning coffee and a quiet house. Enjoying a little guilt free shopping. Forcing myself to be a little selfish.

Goal #3 – Find financial peace

In December of last year, Travis and I made a commitment to follow Dave Ramsey’s financial peace program. Having a baby got us a little off course – we stockpiled money for my maternity leave rather than paying debt off until I went back to work full time. Since May, we have paid off almost $7,000 in debt. If we stay the course we will be set to have all of our credit cards paid off by December and we will pay for Christmas and the holiday season with cash! I’m not going to lie, making huge payments on credit cards sucks. I can’t help thinking every time I make a payment of all the fun we could have with that money, but watching the balances drop and slowly die off is satisfying too. There’s a lot of freedom that comes from saying, “In your face!” to the credit card companies. Last month, we paid off our truck – getting that title in the mail was an awesome feeling. This month we paid off my Wells Fargo credit card. It’s had a balance since I was in college. Boom Boom POW!

How I’m going to do this:

Stay the course. Keep paying and follow our plan. Budget, budget, budget. Use cash more.

Goal #4 – Declutter

I’m an adult now. I’m married. I have a baby. I own a home. I have a career. So why is my house always such a disaster? We have a clutter/organization/dirty laundry problem in our home and I’m desperate to fix it. We’ve worked hard to keep up on things and throw trash/junk mail/various crap away. Now it’s just a matter of making it a habit.

How I’m going to do this:

Get rid of stuff. Remind myself that a clutter free house makes me feel better and more centered emotionally. Oh and I’m an adult and until I am debt free there will be no magic cleaning lady for me.

Goal #5 – Spend a little time on my faith and spirituality

True Confession: Travis and I have been married for a year and until last weekend I had only gone to church once since we got married. And, fine, yes, you were right. It was Christmas. I’m one of those people. I like going to church, but it seems like it’s one of the first things to go when I feel too busy. I’m recommitting to attending mass a few times a week month, preparing to have Henry baptized and making time for my spiritual side.

How I’m going to do this:

Plan to attend church a couple of times a month. Take a few quiet moments everyday for prayer.

Those are my goals for the next 5 months. I’m going to pull a little Tim Gunn on myself and Make it Work!

The Pregnancy Filter

Has anyone else noticed that when you’re pregnant it’s like you are treated the best and worst you’ve ever been treated?

On one hand people fawn over you, always asking, “How are you feeling?”

On the other, some people don’t seem to hold back topics that would otherwise be seen as quite rude.

For instance, my 87 year old grandmother thinks nothing of asking, “How’s your weight?” during our phone calls.

Because I live in a small town, I can’t tell you all the fun tid-bits I’ve experienced thus far, for fear that some people may be identifiable. Perhaps, they’ve remarked similar things to you while you were carrying another human being?

 

kickboxing

Don't make me smack you.

 

Pregnancy is full of enough ups and downs without the fun comments from family, friends, and strangers alike. So for the more dense I’m providing the following filter. I would like you (and by you, I mean the percentage of this universe that has a hard time with their internal filter) to stop and think of these things before speaking. I may print these on a t-shirt and wear it every day.

  • My size. Yeah, I’m getting bigger by the second. I’m almost six months pregnant and that’s what is supposed to be happening. Thank. You. Very. Much.
  • Your horrifying birth story. Don’t really need to hear that. Birth will be a reality before I know it. Let me keep my rose-colored glasses on for a bit longer.
  • The size of my baby. I’m 5’8″ and not small, but that doesn’t mean I’m a morbidly obese giant. By no means does my stature allow you to guess that my baby will be 15 lbs. Yes, that happened.
  • And finally, if you’ve never been pregnant, try and refrain from commenting on what I’m going through or how the rest of my pregnancy will go. When you are pregnant, every day, week and month is different. If you caught me on a bad day, you might not get to see beautiful, glowing pregnant woman. Instead, you may see the exhausted, starving, slightly bitchy one. They both exist.

Please share with me how the Pregnancy Filter has affected you. What fun tid-bits have folks shared/spat at you while you were preggo?

And yes, maybe you are catching me on a bitchy day.

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The Weighting Game

Beginning in February 2010 I made a re-commitment to health and fitness. After trying so many different methods of losing weight, I did something kind of extreme. I joined a gym like no other. I’ve written about MRI Reno before, but I’ll say it again: it is truly a revolutionary place. MRI stands for Maximum Results Inc. If you put the time, effort and commitment into working out at MRI, maximum results is exactly what you get. In a matter of 4-5 months I lost 20 lbs., increased my fitness and decreased my body fat. I can honestly say that the emotional changes were equal or greater than the fitness changes.

Then I got knocked up. And I kept going to MRI for awhile – actually, I went through most of my first trimester. And then I was just so damned tired. And I started a new job. And realized that we had to start saving for daycare, diapers, and only the finest baby fashion (I joke, I joke). I found it hard to squeeze in exercise. I’m a habitual over-commiter.

During this time the scale hadn’t budged. I had no appetite for about four months. I slept like a hibernating bear.

I didn’t start gaining weight until Week 17. And then – whoo-boy! – it was like my body was making up for lost time. At Week 22 I’m up about 9 pounds. I totally understand that everyone gains pregnancy weight differently. I get it. Really.

But.

Ughhh.

When you’ve struggled with weight issues physically and emotionally for so long, it’s kind of tough when that scale starts creeping up.

But.

Ughhh.

I get it. I understand that my body is gaining weight to sustain another life. My heart knows how beautiful that is. How it is an absolute miracle and gift that this teensy tiny baby is capable of growing and changing because of my body.

But.

Baby Beluga

I’m a rookie at this. So questions pop in my head like, “Will I be a whale by Week 40?”

I understand that most of the weight comes off very quickly after delivery. I’ve even read that breastfeeding can be a lot like liposuction (sign me up!).

The rationale part of me knows that the only thing that really matters is that a healthy, baby boy shows up around mid-February.

So while I grapple with feeling blue about gaining weight, I’m almost constantly amazed by this journey of trying to be healthy for two. The toughest part is changing how I view success. For the better part of a year I’ve gauged success on how my clothes fit and the number on the scale. Now, it’s about growing a healthy baby, being fit for delivery and knowing that when that little baby is born I’ll have the tools in my toolbox to get back on track.

I know other woman have dealt with this: the fear that your body may never be the same again. Please share with me what life was like after the baby – did your body bounce back? When could you hit the gym again? Did you ever get the blues from that creeping number on the scale?

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11 Workouts In

Seven years ago I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroid, an auto-immune disease that caused my body to start attacking my thyroid gland.  The thyroid gland controls a lot of really important functions of your body including – metabolism, making proteins and how sensitive the body should be to other hormones. When I was 18 and heading off to college I started to gain weight drastically – putting on 30 pounds in my first semester of college. My parents thought I was eating too many bagels. I thought I was just getting lazy and being an overachiever on the Freshman 15.

Alas, that was not the case. Three years into college and at an annual exam my doctor thought my neck looked swollen. She felt around and was pretty sure that I had a goitre. I had blood work done and it came back that I was hypothyroid. Off to the endocrinologist I went.

Years went by and I tried my hardest to lose that 30 pounds that had now become more like 50. I’ve written about some of my attempts at weight loss before so I was a little hesitant to share my new endeavor with you. After all, what if I failed? What if I wrote another post about eating vegetables, going to meetings, jumping on the scale and you thought, “Oh here she goes again talking about losing weight.”

Instead I’ve kept this latest try a secret. Until now.

Camie Cragg About four weeks ago I started working out at a place called MRI. My friend Jill had been attending boot camps there and she really recommended it. I could tell from her results – she looks A-mazing (shout out Jill!) that it was a different kind of place.

And after four weeks of the hardest training I have ever done I can attest to it. I’ve been working out with Camie Cragg, who is one of the most beautiful people inside and out that I have ever met. I’ve tried the personal training thing before and I have to say that this is the first time I have felt like I have a Champion who is as invested in my health and fitness as I am. She is always available when I need to ask nutrition or fitness questions, she’s positive and there is just something about her spirit that makes me feel excited and privileged that I get to work out with her. She really makes it fun and the variety is what keeps me going back. I never know what the next day is going to bring!

Anyway, now to the guts of it. I’m working out four days a week in the morning. I get up at 5 a.m. and haul my butt to workout. I’m going to state this for the record – it is NEVER easy to get out of bed. I NEVER think, “Oh I can’t wait to go and get my butt kicked by Camie.” But I do it – every morning. I have not skipped a single workout yet. And it has paid off.

Here are my RESULTS after 11 workouts:

Measurement 3/10/10 4/1/10 Change
Chest 43 inches 42 inches 1 inch
Arm 13 3/4 inches 13 1/2 inches 1/4 inch
Waist 40 inches 40 inches None – whatevs
Hip 47 inches 45 1/2 inches 1 1/2 inches
Thigh 28 1/2 inches 27 1/2 inches 1 inch
Calf 17 inches 16 inches 1 inch
Activity
Push Ups 29 37 8 more!
Sit Ups (the real kind) 22 26 4 more!
Mile Run 13:55 minutes 11:45 minutes 2:10 minutes faster!

I’ve also stayed fairly true to the Eat to Live philosophy, although I have been craving more meat. I’m being really careful about what goes in my mouth, which means when the office is swarming with sweets I have to be THAT girl. Yep, the girl who says no. Sometimes multiple times. Sometimes in a very firm way. Sometimes using swear words. Meh.

One more thing – in the four weeks that I have been working out at MRI I have met some of the most amazing people. First, Camie, who is so awesome. Then I meet my friend Page’s mom, Martha, and she became my new workout partner since we are both preparing for weddings (her daughters are getting hitched, not to each other of course, shout out Page!). In addition to these lovely ladies I also have become gym friends with a few of the people who work out at the same time as me. They are so motivating and friendly, which helps when the sweat is pouring and  you can hardly breathe.

Sometimes I’m in the middle of doing some new torturous fabulous fitness move and I look around the gym. I see athletes, moms, dads, high school students, girls like me and I think, “Wow everyone in here is sweating and breathing hard. Everyone is working it.” It motivates me more than anything to see the people who are true athletes in the same kind of pain I am. Is that sick?

What are you doing to stay in shape? Do you ever WANT to get out of bed to exercise? Do you have gym friends?

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Eat to Live

Have you ever found yourself up in the middle of the night watching a P90X infomercial? No?

Ok, let me give you an idea of what it’s like:

Tony Horton shows you how easy it is to look like a beach God/Goddess while about 1,000 buff, gorgeous people give testimonials about how they went from flabby, couch sitting, beer drinking fatties into gorgeous, toned, muscle-covered beauties. They even have before and after photos of themselves…in bathing suits.

I get sucked into this infomercial just about every time it comes on and it always peeks my interest. Considering that our wedding is a little over 5 months away I really wanted to start getting into better shape so I reached out to one of my old high school friends who had done P90x after having her third baby (yes, her third baby and she still looks as gorgeous as she did in high school!).

My goal was to find out if  P90x was really realistic for someone who hasn’t been to the gym since oh, I don’t know, October, could do P90x and not die. She shared that P90x is challenging and requires a lot of dedication – you work out six days a week for an hour or more.

But, this post isn’t about P90X. In the course of telling me about P90X my friend (shout out Diana!) mentioned that she had read a book called Eat to Live and that it had changed her perspective on food and helped her lose weight after that third baby. Being a glutton for any sort of diet/nutrition book, I looked it up on line, found out it wasn’t another fad diet, and went to Barnes and Noble that night to pick it up.

Read Eat to Live for more info on a nutrient dense diet

The Eat to Live plan is based on eating a diet that is primarily cooked and raw vegetables and unlimited amounts of fruit, with limited animal fats, oils and processed foods. The book is full of studies and numbers on the effect of eating a mostly vegetarian diet. There were some really positive studies about this diet’s effect on cancer, heart disease and auto-immune diseases. Some people have even reversed heart disease and auto-immune diseases. Being someone who suffers from an auto-immune disease, I am delighted by the idea of getting back to being really healthy, having to take less medication, and the idea that weight loss is a possibility.

Eat to Live has a strict six week plan that requires you to eat no dairy, limited amounts of meat, hardly any oil, and tons and tons of fruits and veggies. After the six weeks, you can slowly add things back into your diet while watching how they affect your body and weight. It’s a lot like an elimination diet.

First Week’s Results

After a week on Eat to Live, I can honestly say that I noticed differences in my body right away. I didn’t feel as much anxiety, I slept better and I didn’t have any stomach issues (ahem, nausea, heartburn, indigestion, upset stomach and diarrhea – thanks Pepto Bismol for that nifty jingle that I can’t get out of my head).

I lost 2.4 lbs. and Travis lost about 4 lbs. We did cheat – having steak one night and going out for a weekend breakfast. The funny thing is that after eating the heavy breakfast we felt kind of gross immediately after. It wasn’t a good feeling so while we enjoyed the breakfast we were glad to have cheated and felt the difference in our bodies.

Recipes

I found that cooking more vegetarian meals is a new challenge. I’ll post some recipes later, but here’s a quick list of what I made last week:

  • Vegetable Soup (made with eggplant, cilantro, brown rice, kidney beans, and a whole lot of veggies)
  • Grilled Eggplant
  • Vegetarian Chilli (made with butternut squash, black, kidney and pinto beans, celery, mushrooms, and carrots)
  • Spiced apples in the Crockpot
  • A whole lot of salads

The Challenges

A week without refined carbs, sugar and dairy left me craving one thing and one thing only. Cheese. Probably didn’t help that we watched an episode of the Best Thing I Ever Ate on Food Network and the topic was cheese. Other than that, I didn’t find eating this way difficult. I like fruits and veggies.  I was never hungry and watching the scale go down was great motivation. More to come on this as we tackle the next five weeks Eating to Live.

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