Family, Homeschooling, Parenting, Personal Development, Weight Loss

A New Advenure

To be honest, it’s been far too long since I posted on here. I’ve been so wrapped up in Baby Mode that I haven’t had time for much else. My weight loss has slowed down tremendously because I took my daughter out of public school in early January, so I wasn’t walking anymore. Fortunately, spring is coming, and the snow will melt and we can resume our daily walks and then some. I plan on getting a family membership for myself and my kids, and my daughter is being homeschooled now. Once we get our Oak Meadow curriculum, I’ll be updating this about our progress at least once a month, possibly once a week. I’m also starting a small business which I’ll be updating on a different blog. I’ll continue to update this on my weight loss progress once it resumes.

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Parenting, Personal Development, Weigh In, Weight Loss

A Little Update

I have been so incredibly busy and exhausted. Moving in on Saturday sent me over the edge and that night/the next morning, I went into active labor with Ulric. It was 6 hours of active labor and I think 4 hours of pushing to get him out of there. It was in the birthing position but he was slightly off to the left so he got stuck. I was trying everything I could to avoid an emergency c-section, so my midwife had me lay on my right side with my leg up and see if he would turn to the right. When she came to check on me about an hour later, he was centered and pushing him out took maybe 20 minutes tops. Ricky was born on October 12 at 9:07 am. It’s been an adjustment period, for sure. Jon took time off of work while I was in recovery to take care of Selene and the house, since Selene couldn’t stay in the room with me. Then he took one day off after Ricky and I came home, and it was right back to work with him. He only worked 3 days last week, so we’re not going to have a nice check. Yesterday Ricky turned a week old and we’re still transitioning. Since Jon works all the time, I have to take care of Selene, Ricky, and the house on my own. Jon has a lot of making up to do with his paychecks since he had to take the time off, so I have a feeling I won’t be seeing him for awhile. We still have a lot of work to do to get this house into living shape. The only furniture we own are beds, we have no shelving, no dishes, etc. So any extra money we have after food, bills, and rent, will be going to getting the stuff we need for the house. We won’t even be able to save for getting our storage unit here from California or for our wedding next year. We also somehow need to save the money to get married at City Hall next month. Money has been really tight this week so all I’ve really been eating is junk food and crap. I’m 100% sure I gained at least 20lbs from all the crap I’ve been eating. I’m hoping it’s less because of the breastfeeding though, but I’m not so sure about that. Jon still doesn’t have his debit card so we’re going to the bank today to transfer money into my bank account so I can pay our bills and buy us some actual decent food. I’m not going straight back to low carb like I thought I would be. My breastmilk is still in the developing phase and low carb has been shown to affect milk production. After it settles into a routine, I’ll be going back to low carb, but I’ll definitely be doing healthy eating. No more processed junk. Fresh fruit and veggies, eggs, lots of fresh meat, etc. It’s still -technically- low carb, just not as low carb as I planned. Plus,it’s not so much low carb, it’s clean eating; and clean eating will help me lose -some- weight regardless. Besides, I don’t want to be eating all this shit when my diabetes test is scheduled; otherwise I’m most likely going to fail it. My post-baby weight was 181lbs, so I didn’t lose as much as I hoped I would during childbirth. I have to schedule a 2 week postpartum appointment, though, so we’ll see where my weight is at when that comes around. Hopefully going grocery shopping this week and preparing decent meals will help bring that weight down, but it might just help me lose the weight that I gained this week and nothing more.

Jon is finally getting hired in at work. He’ll be making $13/hour, but he’s 100% sure that he’s only going o be bringing home what he’s bringing home now as a temp because they’re going to take money out for his insurance on top of other taxes. I think he’ll be bringing home more despite that, especially since he always works Sundays, and Sundays he makes over $26/hour. But we’ll have to see his first check before we can decide on that. This Friday will be his check from last week, so we won’t see his new check until next Friday. I can’t wait to see his take home pay after taxes are taken out, our rent is paid, our bills (including utilities) are paid, and after he’s worked on Sunday. We might be able to budget extra money for food and stuff for the house if possible, which would be ideal. Well, I think that’s the gist of my week up until now. Once I get my weigh-in from my doctor I’ll be able to make a final decision on what I’m doing about weight loss. In the meantime, I might try to some ab work, because my stomach is ugly Yes, I’m still healing, but I can’t stand my stomach anymore. Plus, I have ibuprofen and it’s been helping me survive the pain and cramps so far. I also have Extra Strength Tylenol…somewhere. That might actually be in storage still, though. I’m not sure on that.

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Personal Development, Weigh In, Weight Loss

Weigh-in for 9/29/14

When  went in to see my doctor, I was told that I weighed 185, and I still have 11 days to go. I have another appointment on October 7, and we’ll see where I’m at, at that point. It’s looking like I won’t be losing anymore weight, so I’m just going to stick with my original plan:

1. Induction until I get down to 153lbs.
2. OWL until I get down to 129lbs.
3. Pre-Maintenance until I get down to 110lbs.

All while slowly increasing my carb intake during each phase. Jon and I finally found a place to live, so we’ll be settling in to our new place while adjusting to our new baby. Once we’re settled in and the baby is old enough, I still plan on going to the gym. I’ll update the weight loss totals once I know how much I’ll weigh when I go into labor and after the baby is born. Hopefully I won’t gain too much more though. I’d rather not be at 190lbs with this one like I was with my daughter when she was born.

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Family, Parenting, Personal Development, Weight Loss

The “F” Word

We all know the word. That dreaded word that almost every woman has used at least once, and quite possibly many men, as well.

“Fat.”

It’s 4:30am and I woke up with severe hot flashes. I’ve been up and down with hot flashes all night, but this time I don’t think I’m going to be able to get back to sleep because of them. Especially since I have to wake up in just 2 hours. And as I was looking through my feed on one of my low carb groups, the same word kept popping up: fat.

“I say I am fat and my 14 yr old says look at ur arm there is skin now say look I am skinny lol”

It was really just a simple phrase, but my half-asleep brain read way too far into it. After all, the majority of the people in this group HAVE to lose weight for their health; me included. Almost. Talking about weight loss in front of our children is a difficult thing to do. This particular person’s daughter is 14 years old, and more than capable of coming to her own conclusions about things. Honestly, I’m really happy for this particular person in my group because her 14 year old daughter is very supportive about her mother’s weight loss and isn’t letting it affect her negatively. On the other hand when I was 13, I was busy being suicidal and trying to kill myself because my mom was always calling me fat and telling me that I should stop eating. The pre-teen years are crucial years in a child’s development, both boys and girls, for the development of their self-esteem and confidence. If they don’t feel good enough by someone else’s standards: their parents, their siblings, their peers, it has a huge affect on how they look and feel about themselves; and how they view the people around them. Because of the weight issues I went through, I was very judgmental about other girls’ bodies. I had it in my head that if people wanted to look beautiful, they had to be skinny. I was always insanely jealous of my cousins because their metabolism was fantastic and they were always skinny. My cousin was a size 0 her entire life, and even when she got pregnant with her baby, she only went up to a size 3 and lost a good amount of that after her baby was born. I’ve since talked with her less, and when I do talk to her, I don’t talk about her weight, so I don’t know if she ever managed to fit back into that 0, but I always thought, “Wow, she is so gorgeous. Why can’t I look like her?” But you know what?

She hated her body.

She used to complain all the time how she wished she could gain weight because it was always so hard for her to find clothes that fit her. She hated how other people had more weight on them, and to her, that was “beautiful.” She hated her small boobs, she hated her small frame, she hated her small stomach. She was always saying how I was lucky to have such big boobs, and even though she didn’t want them quite as big as mine, she still wished she could have gone up a cup or two because her chest was built like a board. There were times where she wouldn’t even have to wear a bra and no one would even notice that she had gone without; and that’s not a criticism from me. I really looked up to her; even though she was younger than me, because despite her issues with herself, she always seemed like a much more stable and self-confident person than I could ever hope to be. But she had an amazing support system, as well. She had an older sister, a step-mom, a mother and father who would always encourage her and build her up. My mom and my sister just tore me down at any chance they could get. But this was just a tangent. Let me get back to what this post was originally about.

As I said above, I’ve always taken issue with my weight. When I found out I was expecting my daughter, I was floored. Not just for the fact that it was unexpected and her father is a deadbeat, but also because among all of the other first time parent questions that were rattling through my head like, “How am I suppose to raise a kid?” But also, “What about my weight?” I had been obsessed with trying to lose weight since I was 13, so the idea of gaining even more weight because of being pregnant did not sit well with me at all. I gained over 20lbs with her because I didn’t know anything about proper diet and nutrition for a pregnant woman. At the time the only answers I could find were just to eat balanced meals and eat 6-8 times a day. In fact, that’s still basically the general idea. Most doctors won’t change their minds about that because they don’t actually realize how unhealthy it is to eat food that your individual body can’t handle properly. Fast forward 3 years later after losing a lot of weight due to exclusive breastfeeding, and then gaining it all back. I was back to my post-baby weight: 190lbs, and I was moving to Michigan with my now-fiancee and my daughter. After being in Michigan for awhile, I finally had it with my weight. I started doing research on good ways to lose weight; I thought I had tried everything, but I hadn’t. That was when I discovered Low Carb eating. And of course everyone I told was blatantly against it; want to know why? Not because it’s an extreme temporary diet, not because it was an unhealthy way of eating, and not because it left no room for a lifestyle change to keep the weight loss off. Sure, those were a lot of the reasons people were against it (even my fiancee at first), but the real reason they were against it was because they didn’t actually know what they were talking about. They were parroting rumors that they had heard over 10 years ago and assumed the same thing held true. Because things never change in 10 years, right? In fact, my fiancee’s sister gave me some diet pills and said those were a healthier way to lose weight than a Low Carb diet; and she was serious. Of course I basically ignored them and did what I wanted to anyway. Jon knew I would, so instead he tried to support me the best way he could…which wasn’t all that helpful…but points for trying anyway. So I began my Low Carb journey. Now, at the time, I was in Phase 1 of the Atkins diet, feeling good, losing weight quickly. And that was when my daughter said something to me that I’ll honestly never forget.

“Mommy! When I grow up I want to have a biiiiiiiiiiiiig tummy, just like you!” She was 4 at the time, and I’ll admit, I was speechless. I didn’t know what to feel, what to say. How do you explain to a child that you’re morbidly obese and if you don’t lose the weight, you could run into all sorts of problems? The truth is, you can’t. I was angry, I was upset, and I didn’t even know what to think about what she had said to me. All of my self-confidence just disappeared. It sounded like she was criticizing me; making fun of me because I had such a hard time losing weight my entire life. I had to take a few minutes to stop and get my head back together. This was my daughter; she loved me. She looked up to me, and she was proud of her mommy’s “big tummy.” She thought mommy’s big tummy was beautiful and wanted to have one just like it when she grew up. That’s really what she was saying to me. After I had put my emotions back together and gotten myself back in check, I had to sit down and have a talk with her. I couldn’t believe that I was having a weight loss talk with my 4 year old daughter.

I explained to her that she really shouldn’t want a big tummy like me, because my big tummy was very unhealthy and was making me sick. Then she got scared. She was a bit on the chubby side because her body hadn’t grown into itself yet. She thought she would get sick because she had a big tummy too. But then Jon and I had to explain to her that since she’s still little, she hasn’t grown into her tummy yet and that her doctor says that she’s at a very healthy weight and her big tummy won’t make her sick like mine would because I’m an adult and I’m not going to grow anymore. She’s since grown into her “big tummy” and she doesn’t even look chubby anymore. In fact, she’s tall and thin, just like my cousin. And it’s very difficult to find clothes, especially pants; that fit her properly. And she still sometimes complains that her big tummy is gone.

I still find myself talking badly about my weight; even though my first journey into low carb took me down by 9lbs before I had to stop doing it because of certain circumstances. Last October I weighed 182lbs and was working on getting back into a Low Carb way of life; but again, circumstances. My roommate forced Jon and I to buy her “gluten free” foods even though she didn’t have Celiac disease, and didn’t actually need to eat gluten free, so we never had enough money for me to eat properly. She never even lost weight with her “gluten free” foods, so it didn’t actually help her. It was all in her head. It wasn’t until the month before I found out I was pregnant, in January, that I managed to get myself some Low Carb foods, and that’s because I told my roommate that if she wants to waste money on gluten free, she can buy her own gluten free foods with her own money because she was the reason Jon and I were always out of grocery money at the beginning of the month. Jon and I were already walking on eggshells with her, so it didn’t matter anyway. I started school in late January and was taking a strength training class and a yoga class, and I was also only eating about 20-25 grams of carbs a day. And in the midst of it all, I still found myself complaining about being fat. I lost 10lbs due to eating healthy, and I still haven’t managed to gain those pounds back (but we’ll see at my doctor’s appointment today if that still holds true). Yet, I still complain about gaining weight. Whenever I find out I’ve gained weight, I start to get upset. I was 18lbs less than I weighed when I moved to Michigan after my first trimester and more than halfway through my second trimester; but when my appointments became more frequent; my weigh-ins became more frequent as well, so the faster my self-confidence tended to drain. Jon has to remind me on a constant basis that I’m not fat. If I hadn’t been pregnant, I would probably weigh significantly less now than I did in January and February. Whenever I complain about gaining more weight, he chooses his words carefully. He always says, “Sounds like the baby is getting fatter.” And that usually snaps me out of it. After all, I should be happy that I’m gaining weight. It means our baby is growing well and getting the nutrition he/she (still on the fence about the gender) is healthy. But this is still my body and it still affects my self-confidence when I find out that I’m gaining weight. I still look in the mirror and hate how fat I’ve gotten. My stomach is bigger now than it was in January, but I still weigh less than I did in October. The reason for that is because my baby is bigger, but I’m not. I’m still hanging onto the fact that because I haven’t actually gained any weight since I found out that I was pregnant, I’ll weigh significantly less once this baby is born. Which, truthfully, even though my due date isn’t here yet, this baby could come at any time. I’ve already had a false labor scare and even as I sit here typing this out, I’m having strong contractions…and they hurt. But they’re not as bad as labor pains…yet. At least if I go into labor today, I’ll be at the hospital. But hopefully the baby can at least wait until my ultrasound today and possibly hold out until the end of the week so we can buy things. Today marks exactly 37 weeks; which means I’m at full term. 37-40 is considered full term so there’s no stopping labor if the baby decides to come.

I still wonder if all of my complaining about weight is making a significant impact on Selene’s psyche. I try not to project my self-confidence issues on her, but she’s so impressionable that chances are, she’s going to be concerned about her weight as she gets older as well. I just need to remember that even if I’m overweight, I’m still beautiful, and there are always going to be at least 3 other people who feel the same way. I may need that reminder every so often. Self-confidence issues never go away; you just learn to cope with them better as time goes on. I’m already worried that I’ve ruined that for Selene. Hopefully I can be her gentle reminder that she’s a smart, beautiful girl. She’s going to need a strong support system as she gets older and I want to give her what I never had at that age.

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Personal Development, Weight Loss

Planning for Post-Baby Weight Loss

36 weeks, 3 days. I have 3 weeks and 4 days left before the baby is due. Although I’m not yet considered Full Term (37-40 weeks), I’ve already been experiencing nasty contractions that have made me wonder if I’m going into labor. We’re still living in a motel room so we’re definitely not ready for the baby to come yet. The landlord who posted up the apartment that we applied for failed to tell us sooner that the house was filled with bed bugs and we’d rather not send our daughter to school with bed bugs. It’s also not a healthy situation for a new baby. Plus, the tenants continued to take their time moving out of the apartment and waiting on them was too frustrating. Now we’re on the lookout for a new place. We’re looking at a cute 2 bedroom house that’s close to Selene’s school but we need to send in our application with our holding fee first. That’s the quicky update on our lives thus far. Now to get to the real reason behind this blog entry.

I weighed 182lbs before I got pregnant. I was actually down from my original weight of 190 by the time I got pregnant. I lost that following the Atkins diet, which I plan on getting back on as soon as I can. I’ve noticed that my baby is moving less and less every day so I’ve incorporated a glass of orange juice into my breakfast routine to get the baby to move. I need at least 10 movements in the span of 2 hours. With the orange juice I get that in 10 minutes. Without, I hardly get any movement at all. I’ve been slowly increasing my carb count to get my doctors off my back as well. I was still doing low carb when I found out I was pregnant as well as exercising 3 times a week, and I ended up losing 10 lbs at the beginning of my pregnancy. I’ve gained some back, but I still haven’t hit my pre-pregnancy weight. At my last prenatal appointment, I weighed 178.8lbs. I can usually maintain my weight at 178-180 no matter what I eat. My baby makes my metabolism really fast. That being said, birth ends up losing you about 20lbs, even if the baby itself only weighs about 8lbs. You end up losing more if the baby is bigger. Even if I go past my pre-pregnancy weight in the next 3 or so weeks, I’m guessing I’ll be at least 15lbs less than my pre-pregnancy weight. I’m guessing I’ll lose between 15 and 20lbs when this baby is born, putting me between 163 and 158. That’s if I maintain the 178lbs that I weigh now. I don’t think I’ll actually gain more than 3 lbs more than my pre-pregnancy weight, so that would put me at 185 when the baby is born. If I do only gain that much, losing 15lbs would put me at 170, and losing 20 pounds would put me at 165. So I would be between 170 and 165 by the time this baby is born if I look at it from that angle. I’m going to just do the math from my weight now and assume I lose 20lbs. So for the purpose of this blog post, we’re going to assume that I’ll weigh 158lbs after this baby is born. My long term goal is to get down to 110lbs and maintain my weight between 110 and 113. This puts me at a weight loss goal if 48lbs.

I’m going to stick with my original goals for Atkins and just use the updated weight measurements.

1. I’m going to drop my carb intake to about 25g of NET carbs (total-fiber-sugar alcohols) and stay on Induction until I lose 10% of my weight loss goal. This means that before I move onto the OWL phase, I’ll lose 4.8lbs before I can move onto the OWL phase. We’ll round it up to 5lbs for the purpose of this plan. Although, 5lbs is extremely easy to lose. I’ll be weighing myself every Sunday if I can, so depending on how long it takes to lose the 5lbs, I might just stay on Induction for the original 2 weeks that the plan requires. If it takes 2 weeks to lose 5lbs (not likely), then it’s fine. But if it only takes a few days, I’m staying on the plan for 2 weeks. PLUS I’ll be breastfeeding. I lost 5 pant sizes by breastfeeding Selene for 4 months and not controlling my diet, or exercising more than walking to and from the grocery store (then I gained it all back). It might only take me a couple of days to lose that 5lbs because of the breastfeeding. Regardless, I should weigh at least 153lbs before I allow myself to move onto Phase 2 of Atkins.

2. I’ll move onto Phase 2, Ongoing Weight Loss (OWL), assuming I’ll weigh 43lbs. I’ll be staying in the OWL phase until I lose 50% of my goal. In Phase 2, you slowly increase your carb count by 5g at the beginning of each week until you start to gain weight. When you start to gain, you cut your carbs back down by 5 and that is the magical number that you keep to until you move onto Phase 3. Now keeping in mind that my weight loss goal is 48lbs, 50% of that would be 24lbs. 24lbs puts me at a total of 129lbs before I’m allowed to move on to Phase 3. But again, since I’m also breastfeeding, the likelihood of this taking a long time to lose is pretty low.

3. Moving onto Phase 3, Pre-Maintenance. PM is the final stretch. You work on losing the last of your weight and finding your total carb limit. In PM, you increase your carb tolerance by 10 each week until you start to gain, then you cut it back. You keep this up throughout the PM phase as you lose the last of your weight. In my case, the final stretch is 19lbs. Once I’ve figured out my CCL (Critical Carb Limit), that’s the number that I’ll continue to stick with throughout the Maintenance phase. It should be noted, however, that Phase 4 is not a REAL phase. No matter what diet change you make, it needs to be a lifestyle change. Therefore Phase 3 is really the last actual Phase of the Atkins plan, as “Phase 4” never ends. Phase 4 is just maintaining your weight for basically the rest of your life. Chances are, since I’m breastfeeding, my CCL will be much higher than normal, otherwise I’ll keep losing weight. Once the baby begins breastfeeding less, my CCL will also go down, otherwise I’ll gain too much weight. So adjusting my CCL is really going to be an on-going process for me. I’ll be in Phase 3 until I hit 110lbs.

This is all assuming that I’m only losing the weight by dieting and breastfeeding, but I’m not. After a baby is born, they can’t get vaccinated until 6-8 weeks after birth, so it’s really best to keep the baby indoors as much as possible during those first few weeks because getting something as simple as a cold could put the baby in Intensive Care until they get vaccinated. A baby’s immune system is extremely compromised and since my baby will be born in the fall, the weather will be colder, and cold weather will also compromise the immune system. Fall and Winter babies are more prone to getting sick because of this. Plus, the baby will be born during flu season. 3 times the suckage. Once the baby and I go in for our 6 week check-ups, we’re going to stay at home and wait for the vaccinations to do their job for the next couple of weeks, then I’m going to get a YMCA membership. The YMCA here in Battle Creek allows children as young as 6 weeks old to go into their childcare program. By the time the baby is 2 months old, she/he should have some semblance of a routine. Plus, by the time 2 months roll around, the baby will be used to breastfeeding and I can start bringing bottles of breastmilk to the gym with me without worrying about nipple confusion. I’m sure Jon will be happy about that too because he wants to be able to feed the baby on his own. Once 2 months rolls around, he’ll be able to do that. We agreed on exclusive breastfeeding until then.

Since it’s going to be snowing in December, I’ll be going to the gym to do the majority of my workouts. My long term goal for workouts is to be able to run the Camp Pendleton Mud Run in California in 3 years. Why 3 years? Because it gives me time to scrimp and save whatever I possibly can to get 3 plane tickets to California to even attend the event. Also, by then the baby will be 3 years old and more than independent enough to come with me on a plane to California. Jon will most likely be staying here, so my bestie is going to drive from San Bernardino to Camp Pendleton to babysit for me while I do the run/obstacle course. In the meantime I’m most likely going to be joining local marathons to practice for it. So my short term goals for workouts are these:

1. I want to be able to run 1 mile without stopping and walking by March 14, 2015. This will give me enough time to begin building up my endurance for future goals.

2. I want to be able to run a mile in 7 minutes or less and not stop to walk or catch my breath. I want to be able to achieve this by April 1, 2015.

3. By June 1, 2015, I want to be able to run 2 miles without having to stop to walk or catch my breath.

4. By July 1, 2105, I want to be able to be able to run 2 miles in 14 minutes or less without having to stop to walk or catch my breath.

5. I will be doing all of my running on a treadmill until the weather warms up. I will be doing cardio 3 times/week at the gym.

6. I will be doing all of strength training at the gym . I will be doing strength training 2 times/week.

7. I will be doing core exercises 1 time/week in the form of either Pilates or Yoga. I have workout videos so I can do this either at the YMCA, or by staying at home and working out.

8. I will buy a Pedometer and take 10,000 steps/day. This is going to take time to work up to.

This is where my goals begin to take on more detail. By the time July rolls around my baby will be 9 months old, and old enough to take on bicycle rides. It’s also when I plan on deviating from the gym to exercising outdoors. It’s easy to run on a treadmill without stopping to walk, but exercising on a treadmill is a lot different than it is to run outdoors. By now I’ll have a Pedometer to keep track of my footsteps. I’ll spend the first 2 weeks of July making sure I can still meet my mile goals. If I can’t, I’ll work on it until I can. As soon as I make my goals, I will begin using this workout routine for training for a 5k Marathon:

http://www.total-workout-routines.com/Mud-Run-Training-5K-Beginner-Week-1.html

I’ll be loosely following this routine because I’ll also be incorporating cycling into my weekly routine, even if it’s only once or twice a week. But I can work out the specifics when the time comes.

With all of the exercise I’ll be doing, plus the dieting and breastfeeding, I should lose that 48lbs in no time flat. I might stick with this goals page even if I end up weighing more than 158lbs after the baby is born, since chances are, I’ll be losing more than 5lbs during Induction either way. Toning is also a big thing with me, so it’s definitely something I want to work on, as well as weight loss, and I’m hoping these goals will do that for me.

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