Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I fell off the wagon

Yep, I did post in NOVEMBER about getting healthy & having all these fabulous goals, right? I'm pretty sure I did. :) But, hopefully you forgot, just like I did.

I got stressed. I got sidetracked. I had a sick kid for most of the month (4 teeth, 2 ear infections, and probably roseola...I know, it should be a song).  I didn't do really ANY of the things I had wanted to do.

But, it's a new year (well, it's the 18th day of a new year). And I am attempting to do something about it. The problem is...I freaking love food. I eat when I'm sad/happy/hurt/angry/excited/bored....oh, and sometimes I actually eat when I'm hungry.

I did join Weight Watchers (very reluctantly) on December 26 (why wait until the new year?). I'm taking it slow. I saw a huge decrease in my milk supply after the first week (I lost 4 pounds, by the way). Then, I tried to start eating all my points plus the extra weekly points. I only lost a pound the 2nd week, still working on getting my milk supply up. I just finished my 3rd week & I did nothing. And I ate horribly. I didn't track my points & I can tell.

I have done Weight Watchers before, with great success (and again with not so much success). I resisted for YEARS to do WW (most recently) because they really had been pushing a lot of processed foods. That is EXACTLY what I want to avoid. I want to eat real food. Now (and I am by no means, a paid spokesperson for WW) really push fruits & veggies (they're all "free"). Calories are no longer a part of the point equation (yay!!). Now, points are based on actual nutrition....carbs, fat, fiber, and protein. It's easy & I feel full.

So, just to check in, I'm still here. Still fighting my weight, but trying to learn to love myself. My daughter recently, very nonchalantly, told my my belly still looked like it did when Cooper was in there. But, to here, that was just no big deal. It was as if I should be proud my body carried her and her brother. She just acted like it was normal. While I want to lose weight (I want to be able to move around & play with my kids more, I want to be a healthy example for them), I am proud of my body...and here's why:

I carried two babies to full-term.

I fought with every fiber in my body to push the first one out. Many would have given up far sooner than I did (and I didn't really "give up").

I found fibers I didn't know existed, and fought even harder to push out the 2nd one. Epidural-free. One dose (and a half) of pain medicine only. After 24 hours of early labor & an extremely fast, furious, angry 2-hour labor AND transition (actually, I think once I was in labor, I was in transition), then FIVE hours of never-giving-in pushing. I pushed a baby out....while looking at my scar.

I nourished (and still am nourishing) two babies.....going on a total of 49 months (gulp)...that's a lot of milk.

My chest/shoulders/arms have provided a resting spot for both of my children for many a nights.

My daughter loves to snuggle in my back (I just don't think it'd be the same if I was skin & bones).

See, I do love some things about my body. But, I am saddened when my daughter chooses unhealthy foods. She hates most veggies. I do not want her to struggle with her body image and yet I want her to accept herself and be healthy. So, I'm going to at least try to be healthy for my kids.

And, let's be honest, I would really like to feel comfortable at the pool this summer. :)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

My fat story -- the numbers part of it

My first memory of being overweight was when I was 12 years old. I remember being bigger than all the kids in elementary school, but I was also much taller than them. In 6th grade we were weighed. I weighed 135 pounds (oh my, how I would LOVE to weigh that now!). I was heavier than all the other girls.

It occured to me I might be overweight then.

I went through junior high & high school struggling with my weight. My mom tried various diets. We ate a lot of grilled chicken. In all reality, I don't really think I was that heavy then. I don't even think I was that heavy when I graduated high school weighing 165 pounds. I was 5 feet 6 inches then. Sure, my BMI was slightly "overweight." I was a size 12. I would LOVE to look like that.

Then, I went to college. I continued to gain 30 pounds my freshman year. This weight gain was fueled by eating out a lot. When I did eat in the cafeteria (and not Taco Bell), I had an all you can eat pass.

The next year, if I remember correctly, I did lose some weight. I moved in to my sorority house, food was limited.

By my 4th year of college (it was my 1st year of nursing school, so technically I got to be a junior for 2 years), I moved in with my parents. I was going to nursing school, so I was trying to save money and time. I needed to study a lot. My mom cooked healthy. We ate grilled chicken so much! I switched to the "healthier" (ha ha!) diet pop. I lost some weight that year.

The next year, I moved in with a friend. I don't really remember what my weight was like then, but I think it was steady. Somewhere in the next few years, I was back up to my freshman weight (195).

After I graduated and started working as a nurse, I worked out A LOT! I was working out (cardio & lifting weights) 4 times/week for one hour each time. I joined Weight Watchers. I got engaged! Just before my wedding (at the age of 26), I was down to my lowest weight ever. One hundred fifty pounds. I was at the highest weight Weight Watchers would allow me to be at. It was hard. I was there for ONE day (that tells you how likely I am to be there again!). I was within my 2 pounds for the 6-week weigh-in to become a lifetime member.

Slowly, after getting married, my weight crept back on. I got a job as a night-shift supervisor in a fast-paced labor and delivery. I gained some more weight. I weighed 185 pounds around this time.  I was 28 years old.

At 28, after being a supervisor for almost one year, I got a manager position. I went from working 3 nights/week to working 5 days/week. I worked 50 hour weeks. I ate. And I sat at a desk. I gained an astonishing 50 pounds in SIX MONTHS! I now weighed 235 pounds. Six months after getting the manager position, I was pregnant! We had been trying, but I was pregnant at 235 pounds. I gained 60 pounds during this pregnancy. I was unhealthy. My doctor talked to me about my diet, but I thought she was harrassing me about my weight. I was offended, so I didn't listen. I drank diet pop and ate what felt good. I had pre-eclampsia and ended up with a c-section.

After this pregnancy, I got down to 245. Then, three and half years later I got pregnant. At 245 pounds. I gained 50 pounds...most of it in the last month (I think I stopped caring...I was tired of being pregnant!). Now, here I am. I'm not going to say how much I weigh now. I have lost a lot of my pregnancy weight. I am over 200 pounds.

I believe the "dieting" in my late teens/early twenties scared my body. Now, I will struggle. I really ate what I wanted and gained very little then. I do not ever want my daughter to diet. I refuse to teach her about Weight Watchers. She will not count her points (but that's a whole other post!).

So, here's my fat least the numbers part of it.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My here-it-is-I-am-fat post

This past weekend I had pictures taken of myself. This is something I generally avoid. I didn't really have a choice in the matter. My husband's step-grandmother wanted family pictures for his Grandpa. The whole family. We did a huge picture of everyone (those I can usually hide in, turn to the side, hold the baby). Then, we had to do small families. I thought I looked okay. Really, I did.

Then, I saw the pictures. I was fat. I looked bloated and pale. Now, let me just clarify one thing (or a few)...I am a huge advocate of health at every size. I believe your BMI can be high and  you can be healthy. I believe just because you have a "normal" BMI, you're not guaranteed health.

I've been in denial. I am obese. My blood pressure is good. My cholesterol is good. I must be healthy. I would really like to lose weight for my health, but my health has been good, so I haven't been motivated.

Until now. It may sound vain, so what. I am fat. I am being completely honest please don't judge.

I liked to think I had great eating habits. I ate organic. I tried to avoid aspartame and high-fructose corn syrup....unless they were in the pop I was (still am) so addicted to. I avoid nitrites. I only used milk without hormones or antibiotics. My meat was usually locally raised, without hormones or organic. I shopped at Whole Foods.

But, I am fat. I am addicted to food. Now, you can disagree with me, but I am here to tell you it does exist. I wake up thinking about what I'm going to eat. If I have a bad day, I can't wait to get my hands on sugar or a pop. I can't wait to eat the next meal. And not just in a foodie sense of way.

While I wish vanity didn't motivate me, I am thankful I haven't been told I have diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol. Maybe vanity is a good thing. I need to be healthy for my kids. I need to be an example for them. I want them to choose healthy.

I am seemingly obsessed over the food my kids eat...especially my baby (I was that way when the big kid was a baby too). No formula. Ever. Cooper has only had healthy foods. In fact, he's only had one "jar" of baby food. My mom bought it for him. He's had fresh foods...mostly organic. Organic butternut squash, organic apples, sweet potatoes (some organic, some jarred). He's had the brown rice from Happy Baby (only when he has leftover breastmilk from day care). I've made some of Cooper's food (he hasn't eaten it yet though).

So why am I so lax about the way I eat? Why do I act like I care, but I don't? Why do I sneak food?

It feels good. Food is my friend. It's my comfort.

So here I am. Out here for the world to see. And now, I'm going to share with you my goals, so I can be accountable. They're only monthly goals, but they're a start.

December Goals
No pop (diet or regular)
Exercise three times per week for at least 30 minutes per day
Limit eating out to once per week
No fast food
No store-bought candy, homemade candy in moderation (it is Christmas afterall!)

I would like to lose 5 pounds. I would like to follow my goals.

I will be posting more about my struggles with my weight. I hope I can help someone. I hope someone chooses to join me in my get-health journey!

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Past Week

It sucked. About 2 years ago I hurt my back. I'm not sure how, but it was jacked up for about a week. We had just returned from a few days in Vegas, then I had 2 extremely horribly busy days at work, then we went to the lake with my family. So, I had had a super busy week. On the drive home from the lake, my back was sore. I chalked it up to walking in Vegas a lot, flying, having crazy days at work, then playing at the lake. Just busy. By Monday, it was hard to walk. By Tuesday, walking was impossible. I was crawling. It sucked, big time. I spent a week at the chiropractors, almost literally. I was there every single day. But, it got better. I see my chiropractor (whom I was seeing before all that) regularly & I TRY to do my back exercises. I've never had any problems since then. Until last Sunday.

Again, busy day. We looked at houses. I wore Cooper all day (and he's a big boy). We went to the store. We had a fun day. But, my back was starting to hurt a little. By Sunday evening, I knew what I was in store for. Fortunately, last Monday I headed straight to the chiropractor. I was only there 3 days this time. I'm feeling better, but not 100%. It just sucks. I want to do laundry & dishes (yes, believe it or not). I desperately want to go to my clinicals. I need to.

After talking with my chiropractor, I'm realizing I'm a little stressed out. I do have a little too much on my plate. I am doing my clinicals (two days/week), teaching clinicals (1 day), doing pre-planning at the hospital with my students (1/2 day), grading care plans (as I fit them in, but it probably takes a full 6 hours to grade them all), studying (not enough), and doing my school work (still not enough). Oh, and I have a 5 1/2 month old baby and a 4 year old. And a husband who is very busy working. And, I try to keep up this blog. And of course, I have to keep up with my Pinterest addiction.

And still, there is no time for me. No exercise. No yoga. No meditation. No me time.

I do think that when we have weeks like these, our bodies are telling us something. I think mine was trying to say "SLOW DOWN!" Okay, I hear you, loud & clear. But, how do I slow down? How do I quit anything I have on my plate? I don't. How do I find time for me? Well, that's going to be hard, but I'm going to try. Really, I will.

Just as soon as I get back from the dentist. Because last night, as I was cuddling with my 4 year old, eating some Poppycock, I broke a damn tooth.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

15 Random (or not) Things About Me

My brain is not quite working well this morning, but I wanted to blog, so I thought I'd just make a fabulous list of random things about me. Some you may have known, but maybe not.

  1. I recently quit my job (to finish my school). I worked there for over 11 years. Before that, the longest I'd worked anywhere was probably 4 months (no lie).
  2. I'm adjunct faculty for a college of nursing (well, not just ANY, but THE University of Oklahoma). I've also taught for Oklahoma City University. I've done OB, peds, and now, med/surg clinicals. It's fun & I love watching the students grow. This semester is my first 7-3 clinical...we'll see how this not-a-morning person handles it!
  3. I love to read books. I just haven't had any time with school (and pinterest).
  4. I wanted, and seriously considered, becoming a vegetarian. Once I watched Food, Inc. I knew there was a better way to eat meat. I've never considered it since watching that movie. 
  5. There's very few foods I don't like. I hate black licorice & water chestnuts. I'm not big on weird food either. I don't eat raw sushi (although I have, I just don't like the texture). But, I will pick water chestnuts out of food. Water chestnuts are like styrofoam, they're just fillers. 
  6. Until last week I thought I didn't like nuts in my food. I had a dish at Pei Wei with peanuts (did not know they were in there) and LOVED it. Hmmm...still don't like water chestnuts though. 
  7. I was in a sorority in college. And I loved it. 
  8. I don't buy Nestle products. And Nestle owns just about everything. The hardest thing for me is Hot Pockets (my husband LOVES Hot Pockets, and yes, Nestle owns that brand) and San Pellegrino water (my daughter LOVES "fuzzy" water, and yes, Nestly owns that brand too). Shopping for Easter candy is not fun, but it can be done. Oh, and Nestle owns Coffee Mate. I could do a whole post over Nestle (maybe I will). Talk about the "big guy."
  9. My favorite pizza is ham & pineapple, but no one else in my family like it. So sad.
  10. The hardest thing I ever did was quit my job as a manager. But, it was also the best thing I ever did. Crazy how that works out, hunh?
  11. I love roller coasters. 
  12. I love all adventure rides. My husband & I rode the ejection seat on top of the Stratosphere. I'm glad I did it. BUT I WILL NEVER DO IT AGAIN! :) We've also ridden the roller coaster at the Stratosphere (those were the only two rides open there when we went) & the roller coaster at New York New York (no big deal). I'll ride just about any ride.
  13. Except ferris wheels. I hate them. I loathe them. Now, if they went really fast, I'd ride them. 
  14. I'm obsessed with iced coffee. Thanks Pioneer Woman.
  15. I love the mountains and the water. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Medela Pump-in-Style vs. Hygeia EnJoye

So, I've been having some pumping supply issues lately. When my father-in-law passed away, I knew I might have some supply issues. They didn't show up for nearly 3 weeks. I've now been dealing with them for about 2 weeks. I won (from Medela) a Pump-In-Style when my daughter was only a month or so old (I really don't remember, but it was very early on). I was in a video Medela produced about lactation consults. And yes, they gave me the pump. So, there it is. But, I was NOT paid my Medela to say what I'm about to say. I digress.

I've heard wonderful, wonderful things about Hygeia. I knew with over 16 months (probably closer to 17 months) use on my ole' Medela PIS, I might need to break down & buy a new one. I pumped with my DD for 15 months (so, about 14 months use with her) & I started pumping with DS when he was 1 month old, to get a freezer stash (so about 3 months with him).

And, I had flexible spending account money burning a hole in my pocket. I had to use it quickly. I bought the EnJoye. I just wanted to compare them for you all.

Medela Pump-In-Style Pros
The pump parts (flanges, etc) come apart. This makes for easier cleaning. It's easy to find Medela products. I don't have to get online to buy products. I never broke anything using it (I broke a filter adapter thingy on the Hygeia pump the first time I used it). There's no deciding how fast to go. It really is simple for first-time moms (and us second-timers too!). When you buy bottles, they come 4 to a pack. Three (like Hygeia sells) is not incredibly convenient.

Hygeia EnJoye Pros
Feels like a mom & pop company (I'm not sure if it is, but, it just feels more personal). The standard flange size is 27mm (Medela's is 24). The pump is chargeable. You can charge it & then it runs on battery power (which makes this pump very portable...I've already used it in the car & I've walked around the house with it). You can control speed & strength. I'm discovering I actually get more milk when I use a faster speed the entire time. You can record your baby (not sure if I really like I have hit the play button a couple of hear a baby crying...and I've done it in public!!). It's a "green" pump. You can send it in to be recycled when you're done. Or, because it is designed for more than one user, you can sell it to someone when you're done. I already have someone who's asked to buy mine when I'm done. It seems a little bit lighter. Hygeia follows the WHO code about human milk.

About Both
They're both loud. They both come with a cute bag & a freezer bag. It sucks to pump. Really. I just wish I could get as much milk pumping as I know my baby gets. He's much more efficient than any pump will ever be! Here are links to BOTH websites: Hygeia & Medela.

The bad thing is, buy a pump is a huge investment. It will save you money. It is a hard decision. Please read about the companies.

Happy Pumping People!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

August Sucked

For so many reasons, I'm so glad it's September.  For one, August just plain sucked.  Yes, good things happened in August.  We celebrated my mother-in-laws birthday.  Addison started school.  And loved it.  My husband rode his first "century" (that's a 100 mile bicycle ride).  But, Oklahoma also "celebrated" it's 50th day of being over 100 degrees this summer.  And, worst of all, we lost my father-in-law.

On August 18, my husband called, frantically, asking if I was dressed.  I thought someone was coming over.  So, I said yes (and of course, I was dressed).  He said they were taking his dad to the hospital.  The chaplain called.  Well, if you know anything about healthcare & hospitals,  you know chaplains don't call just to shoot the breeze.  They don't call when someone comes in for a broken limb or something minor.  They call when something bad has happened.

I frantically got dressed (in more hospital-appropriate clothing), brushed my teeth, & thanked God my hair was long enough for a pony tail.  And I was off.  When I arrived, I found my husband sitting outside.  They wouldn't let anyone back until the entire family was there.  That's just about the hardes thing to have to deal with.  

I'll spare you the emotional details, but we were all there (minus my sister-in-law) when my very brave & strong mother-in-law forced the chaplain to quit the bullshit & tell us what happened.  I think we already knew.

As a nurse who works in a hospital, I often wondered what it felt like for families to leave the hospital after learning of a loved ones death.  The hospital I work in happens to be a children's hospital primarily (for the past few years) with women's services.  I see families walking around all the time.  It may sound gory, but I always wondered if they had just lost someone.  I thought how horrible it must be to just walk out of the hospital all alone, to go on your way, to grieve on your own, to not have a nurse or a doctor their to tell you what's going to happen next.  How horrible is that.  You're on your own.  And, your loved one is not walking out those doors with you.  

Unfortunately, I learned that day, exactly what it feels like.  Now, I realize it must be different for parents.  It must be different for people who walked in with the person they are leaving behind.  But, I still know what it feels like to walk out without the complete family.  It's sad.  It's lonely.  There's a lot of feeling like...what now.  And yet, a million things going through your mind about stuff you have to do.

Later that day, we all met at my in-laws.  This is the part where I'm going to get all "I love God & Jesus" on you can quit reading if you don't want to hear it.  But, I highly suggest, if you've made it this far, keep reading.  This really is the best part of the story.

People were already there.  People were bring food.  Comforting us.  Caring for us.  Crying with us.  Praying for us.  Being there for us.  It was simply amazing.

Over the next few days, we all, slowly, realized how God was watching over us.  Not just that day or that week.  But, forever.  Some things had happened in the months prior to make the transition to life without Scottie (that's my awesome father-in-law) a smidge bit easier.  And even now, in the weeks after, things are happening that make me KNOW without a shadow of a doubt, God is watching over us.  Things are good.  That's another thing.  I always ALWAYS wondered how people who had gone through a horrible loss could say God is good.  How?  How could they?  But, you know, God is good.  God placed people in our lives to make this easier.  God placed us where we were in our careers (all of us) to make this easier.  It's nearly overwhelming to think of that.  I have more faith now than I ever have.  

Well, I've told you a lot about how we felt and what we did, but I think I should share a little about Scottie.  He was stubborn as I'll get out (and I can totally see this in my husband & daughter, so I have a feeling I'll get to see his spirit live for a very very long time).  It was his way or the highway (well, not always, and he usually was right).  But, if he said he was going to do something, by golly he was.  He was so caring & helpful.  While my sister-in-law & I never had to participate in the "man school" of growing up, Scottie let us be girls.  He was raising organic, free-range chickens.  Now, Liz & I love to eat organic.  And we also refused (in a very nice, polite way) to kill the chickens.  Scottie never questioned us.  He may have given us a hard time, but when it came right down to it, we didn't have to kill any birds.  He even killed them humanely (now is not the time to debate humane killing, but it was the most humane way to kill chickens, and these were some stinkin' happy chickens) for me.  Scottie was instrumental in making sure our kids knew what it felt like to have fun outside.  Just this summer he picked Addison up one morning just to take her to pick peaches.  They had dirt piles for the kids to play in.  

There really wasn't much Scottie wouldn't do for someone.  Just this summer, there are two things that stick out.  One time, I took the kids to eat lunch (at a taco truck, so nothing inside).  Remember I said we've had over 50 days of 100+ degree temperatures?  Yeah, well, it was hot.  And my car died.  My husband was at work, 30 minutes away.  And besides, he wasn't really answering his phone.  So, I called Scottie.  He answered.  Other than to ask where I was, not one single question was asked when I told him what happened.  He dropped EVERYTHING he was doing to come jump my car.  I still had a few errands I had wanted to run (as it was the Friday before Father's Day & I needed to finish my husband's gift).  Scottie offered to follow me to the store to get what I needed.  He didn't have to do that. But he did.

Then, there was the time this summer when our washing machine went out.  Again, my husband was at work.  They were worried about me being home alone with the repair man (now, I really think I could have handled it, but they would have nothing of it).  So, Scottie came over & literally WATCHED THE MAN WORK!  He stood right there in the laundry room & watched him do his thing.  When the repair man was done, Scottie came to me and said he needed money.  He was there to protect me (even if I didn't think I needed it).  I really appreciated it.  

He was a good man.  He still is.  I'm so proud his spirit will live on in my husband.  I'm so proud he taught my husband how to work and be a man.  I'm so proud my husband learned everything he could from his dad.  I know Greg will pass this on to our children.  And for that, I am eternally grateful.