Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Tuesday, exercise feels good!


I am happy to report that after posting my blog on Monday night I did actually go for a walk...a good one. I also walked tonight. I can take this little loop around the neighborhood that allows me to stay pretty close to home at all times. This is handy in case I need to use the facilities (an even bigger issue since the pregnancy).

I have guesstimated that the loop is about a mile long. During my peak speed walking days over the summer, I could complete the loop in about 15 minutes. It takes me much longer now, but no biggie. Since the pregnancy I try to do the loop four times in a approximately four miles a day. This isn't too much for a seasoned walker like myself.

Still, the walk is MUCH harder than it used to be. I huffed and puffed the whole way. I used to fly through eight laps during the summer while barely breaking a sweat! I know why. My exercise has been sporadic at best. Partly due to the baby, and partly just plain laziness. I am definitely not in the shape I used to be in. I haven't gained an enormous amount of weight, but I have lost a ton of muscle and replaced it with fat. Realistically, there was little chance that I was going to keep up the exercise regimen I had maintained throughout my weight loss. Three hours of hard exercise a day? Nope.

I also have the bad habit of exercising hard, instead of smart. I'm sure I could have achieved the same muscle tone in less time through resistance training etc. I did use hand weights though during my entire step workout each day (an hour long), and I got to be pretty handy with a kettlebell too. I also did lots of core work with my balance ball.

Can pregnant women do abdominal exercises? I would think not. Contracting the abs just doesn't seem like a good idea right now, but I could be wrong. I wouldn't even try until I found out for sure from my doctor.

Anyway, I cancelled my gym membership months ago as a money saving measure. I didn't regret this at all during the summer when the weather was pretty much perfect, but I'm feeling the sting a bit now. The money was going to waste. I have a bug up my butt about the gym here. It's in this beautiful neighborhood, but it's kind of dirty and falling apart. The machines are always broken, and they blare the most awful music that I can't even drown out with my own headphones. Honestly, it got kind of tedious and annoying.

When the baby comes I won't have the free time to go to the gym anyways. My boyfriend is generally gone 12-14 hours each day. He basically has to come home, eat dinner, sit for a minute, and then go right to bed. I'll just have to figure something else out. I think the baby and I will go for lots of walks, and when the weather is bad I'll have to force myself to exercise at home. There is nothing quite like a walk outside, it almost doesn't even seem like exercise to me.

So, to sum up a bit, I walked approximately four miles yesterday, and then again today. Exercise is what worked for me before and allowed me to lose so much weight. It seems to act as a natural appetite suppressant and mood elevator. I just plain don't want to muck it up by eating crap after an exercise session. Tonight was a good example. I was having some pretty powerful cravings before my walk. I promised myself that I would do one lap before deciding to eat anything else. Well, once I did the one lap I felt more in control, not great, but definitely better. I just pushed through the next three laps. It was tough, and I was tired the whole way, but i feel like I accomplished something over the past two days.

As for today's eating...decidedly better. Exercise comes easier to me...the eating is another matter entirely. But, like I mentioned above, the exercise slowly leads to better food choices. I keep thinking: "Slow and steady." I ate around 2,200 cals, and the salt was within a half way healthy range (finally). I didn't eat a single vegetable though, and I was low on my water intake, I'll work on that tomorrow.

Speaking of tomorrow, I am trying to resist the urge to eat what I want based on the fact that it's New Year's eve. I'm not even doing anything out of the ordinary tomorrow. It would just be an excuse to eat. I'd love to bring in the New Year by having a healthy day. I am making a thin crust whole wheat pizza from scratch for my boyfriend. There isn't a bit of white flour or added salt. The sauce is even sodium free. Also, he doesn't want cheese on it. Very healthy sounding right? Well, I do have a chip on my shoulder when it comes to pizza.

I am happy to make it for him, but I didn't even plan on trying it. How immature is that? To me, the recipe sounds like whole wheat bread with tomato sauce...not pizza. I will readjust my attitude and at least TRY it. No cheese though eh? Oh well.

Ok, a VERY Happy New Year to anyone who reads this!


Monday, December 29, 2008

Monday night, Doin Alright

I'm feelin a bit punchy. I think that might be because I had a five hour nap today. I can't begin to express how thankful I am that I have the opportunity to take a nap when I need it. I know that not all pregos get this kind of opportunity. I appreciate it. Seriously though, my sleeping schedule is so out of whack right now. I am a night owl by nature, and always have been. It takes constant discipline for me to adapt to a day schedule, although I always do when I have to.

I figure it this way...people keep telling me that I won't sleep once the baby comes, I have had terrible insomnia for the past couple of months, so I am going to sleep when I can...until my peanut makes his/her appearance. Then, I will adapt to a schedule. Maybe I'll get lucky and the baby will sleep through the night. I know, dream on. :0)

I should mention that it looks as if I will be doing the stay at home mom thing. Have I mentioned this before? I think it's the right thing for me. My earning potential just can't match the cost of childcare around here. The cheapest I found was a spot in an infant room for $994.00/month! I'd be lucky to even make that much after taxes.

It's easier for me though in a sense because I do not yet have a career that I love, or even like. I think of women who have invested time, money, and great amounts of effort into developing their careers. Whether or not the woman loves her career, it is hers and she earned it. What do these women do when a baby comes along?

I imagine that a trusted family member or friend would be a great assett. Other than that, daycare would be the only option if the woman chooses to continue working (unless the dad chooses to be a stay at home dad, or the couple works opposite shifts so one parent will always be with the child). If none of these options are available the mother or couple has to be able to AFFORD the daycare. It just seems like a very tough situation.

This kind of thing has been on my mind because I sometimes detect a little rift between advocates of stay at home moms and working moms. I have been looking for a pregnancy group to join, and some of the descriptions out right exclude either stay at home parents or working parents. I think it has to just be a personal decision, and people should not judge eachother on this. No matter what, from what I hear, raising children is a pretty darn tough job.

Anyway, I am about half way through a BA in a field I'm not even sure I want to pursue anymore, and I do not yet qualify for in state tuition in Washington. Neither my partner or I have any family in this state, and I can't think of a person in the world who could take care of my child. Besides all of that, I simply WANT to be my child's primary caregiver. I guess I just don't want to feel like I will have to justify this decision to anyone. Noone has been on my back about this at all. My partner is 100% supportive of me staying home. My mind tends to flit from one thing to nother nowadays.

Finally, here comes the tie in to weight...sadly, I chose my college based on the fact that it had tables and chairs for the students throughout. I was around 350 lbs. at that point. I had visited other colleges in the area, which all had tight desks. At the time, I would have been mortified to ask for special seating. What would they have done anyway, put me at a table away from the rest of the class? I just wasn't comfortable enough with myself to go through that.

So, I chose this college based on seating, and it didn't have the program I wanted. I chose the most closely related program, which ends up is almost unheard of, and puts me at a much lower pay scale than the psychology degree I wanted to pursue. Washington doesn't even offer a Human Service degree. Many of my credits will not transfer as well.

I do regret this, but I have to move on. I did learn a lot at school, and I proved to myself that I am smart enough to keep a consistent 4.0. What this will do for me in monetary terms I do not yet know. I do know that if I choose to, I can complete my degree someday. I might go in a completely different direction.

I guess I had a lot to say today. Oh, my eating was pretty off. Again with the salt. See how I just slip that in real quick? On a positive note, my partner is willing to keep the frozen stuff out of the house for now. I told him that I tried, but it's just too darn tempting when it's right here. He was like: "Ok, no big deal." Something like that. He's trying for having candy and other enticing things around without eating too much of it. I know this is the ultimate goal, but I am not there yet, and I am trying really hard to get back on track. My food plan I wrote yesterday would have been completely satisfying. The siren song of the Stouffer's french bread pizza was too much to bear. Maybe I will stick to the plan tomorrow.

Right now, I am going for a walk. The snow has finally melted, and I seem to feel the most energetic and non queasy at night. I'm going to take advantage of this and get some exercise.

Night all!


Sunday Recap

Well, it's after midnight on Sunday night. I should be in bed, but I'm finding that I enjoy ending my day with these posts. I was soooo sick today. I threw up for the second time this morning. Why now all of a sudden? Today was finally the first day of my second trimester (week 14). This is supposed to be the time when the pregnancy symptoms ease up a bit, not get worse. I was basically unplugged all day long. My energy was nonexistent. So, when I was finally able to eat I was STARVING. Not good.

I did pretty well considering though, except that my sodium intake was outrageous. I'm very bloated, and I know if I could just cool it on the salt I'd feel much better. I'm like a water balloon right now.

The thing with "good" tasting frozen food is that although some of it may be reasonable on the calories, the salt is through the roof. A perfect example is the Marie Calender's frozen turkey dinner I ate today. It only has 350 calories, but about 1,400 mgs of sodium. I also ate a cup of noodles...they keep mysteriously appearing in the cupboard...almost 2,000 mgs of sodium! I shouldn't be having more than 2,400 mgs of sodium daily, and even that's too much for me. My body just holds onto the water like crazy. That wasn't all though. Another meal had around 350 cals, but another 800 mgs of sodium. Jesus, I probably had 6,000 mgs of sodium before the day was done, yet I stayed within my calorie range. This just isn't going to work.

I feel like saying it's not fair, but that would clearly be whining. Still, I wish I could eat this stuff without getting all the damn salt that bloats me up like the stay puft marshmallow woman. I know I can do maybe one salty meal each day. My most realistic bet would probably be to save it for dinner. Oi.

On a positive note, it only takes a few days of being careful with the salt before my body releases a lot of water weight. I think I need to plan my meals for tomorrow. I'll do it right now. Ok...

frosted shredded wheat...2 servings (I find that fills me up)
soy milk...2 cups
calories= 620

yoplait yogurt
calories= 100

healthy choice chicken noodle soup
romaine salad with baby carrots and light dressing
calories= 350

fat free cottage cheese
calories= 200

I'm thinking approximately 600 cals, which would put me around 1,870 cals. That would be an improvement. This is the tough meal. My boyfriend tends to eat different food than I do. I rarely eat what I make him for dinner (his food tends to be extremely healthy, and bean laden). I fully support him in this...I just can't eat that many beans.

I'm kind of at a loss. I can think of appealing things, but then I'd be way over on the dang salt again. Ok, I might have a spicy chipotle black eyed pea dish I made and froze in single servings. It actually tastes really good, and has zero added sodium. I wish I knew of more recipes that tasted good without the salt. I put this over lettuce and add a little salsa...hoila, healthy taco salad.

Tomorrow's food should put me right around 2,400 mgs of sodium. I can deal with that. Jeese do I babble or what? Like I said before, stream of consciousness.

Time to get thee to bed.


Saturday, December 27, 2008

Saturday Night Rundown

Today was almost like a typical Saturday, except that I did not eat out at a restaurant, which was in line with one of my goals, and I didn't gorge myself on sweets. Unfortunately that had become a Saturday staple. I did however have a big cookie around 1 pm. I didn't obey the cardinal rule of healthy eating. I skipped breakfast and had been shopping for a very long time. I let myself get way too hungry. Usually I'm very good about not missing breakfast, but I was in a hurry this morning...blah, blah, blah.

My food choices throughout the day were in no way exceptionally healthy...maybe not even healthy, but I think the cals were in the 2,000-2,500 range. Not great, but not a binge either. I could have done without the cookie. I also had some dried pineapple and yogurt raisins...not too bad. In the evening I had a cherry tootsie pop while watching The Sound of Music. As for actual food...I ate two ham, cheddar, and egg sandwiches on whole wheat toast. One for lunch, and another for dinner. I think I get bonus points for the whole wheat right? Maybe not. I only used the tiniest spray of olive oil in the pan so the food wouldn't butter or anything on the toast. I ate about 10 small mushrooms today, and a fat free yoplait yogurt...blackberry. I think that's it. I had only bought a small amount of cheese because I am a notorious cheese addict, and it's just best that I don't have it too often. Also, too much dairy gives me a stomach ache. I'm probably forgetting something. Most certainly I am.

I'd like to not have any more sweets until maybe next Saturday. I might allow a cookie, or piece of candy then. I don't know yet. Exercise included walking around the various stores and putting away lots of groceries. I was running around all day though.

I need to continue getting things sqared away tomorrow...housework etc. It should be a pretty straightforward day with no big deviations to my schedule. That usually helps. I should mention that my partner has had the entire week off, and we have a giant knack for sitting around together frittering away time. It can get too easy to be laaaaazy. Monday it's back to business as usual, and the holidays are basically over. I don't have any special plans for New Years, and that's just fine with me. :0)


A Transition Day

Today was not a total bust. As an on track day I would give it a half hearted "Meh". As a transition day towards getting back on track, I would give myself a wavering thumbs up...especially considering that my head has felt like it was splitting open for the better part of the day. Since this blog is mostly for myself I will go ahead and whine all I want...ouch...ouch...ouch! I had a continuous headache for two weeks. It went away for a few days, and has come back. I know it is probably hormones. I told the doc about it and she said: "Well, you are pregnant." Well, duh.

I have permission to take a ONE time only dose of three ibuprofen. That medication is usually off limits during pregnancy as it decreases amniotic fluid. I'm not going to risk it though just in case. I even went completely off of caffeine a month and a half ago after reading that a study suggested that more than 200 mg per day could increase the risk of miscarriage. Overly cautious or not, I figure why risk it. I had been right at 200 mg of caffeine daily for years. I really don't miss it all that much, just occasionally. This was a very pleasant surprise.

Back to the food. I ate the cheesy vegetable lasagna. It was a bit triggery and I definitely wanted the other one that was sitting in the freezer. It wasn't horrible though, and I only ate the one. I should mention they are small, and about 350 cals. Later I ate too much cup o' noodles...two cups. The calories were within range, but I blew my sodium intake out of the water, which is what I am trying so hard to avoid. It may be contributing to my headaches, although my blood pressure has been great.

The excess calories came later. I ate cereal and french fries tonight after hitting my allowed calories for the day. Oh crap, I also had a peppermint patty that was in the cupboard. All told, I had approximately 2,200 calories today. This is an improvement, but if I keep it up I will gain more weight. Tomorrow I will do a bit better. If I hit 2,000 cals I won't be disappointed.

I should also mention that I didn't get any formal exercise today. That makes what I ate worse. I just felt physically awful all day. Besides the headache I am just very tired and queasy. I can handle the fatigue and queasiness, but throw in a headache (a bad one) and I'm knocked on my ass.

I did, however, watch Anne of Green Gables, The continuing story. I was a little sad when it was over because that's the last movie in the series. If I have a little girl we will definitely read the books.

So, for tomorrow...1,800-2,000 cals. I will try to cool it on the salt. The cups o' noodles are all gone so this should be a little easier. I need to get some shopping and chores done so I will be moving around a decent amount. What other exercise I do may well be influenced by how badly my head hurts, hopefully not at all. I would love to sit down and brainstorm on how I can add more variety to my diet. I have a habit of eating the same thing over and over again until I get sick of it. Then, I move on to the next thing and repeat the cycle. My partner (hi honey) is a big opponent of this mono eating behavior (as he has coined it). ;0) Sometimes mono eating works for me, but I can admit when I need a little variety.

Three important criteria are that the food be simple, healthy, and cheap. I also want it to be tasty. My well of creativity seems to be a bit dry right now. It's just so easy to heat up a can of Healthy Choice chicken noodle soup, but that gets boring.


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Here I go... It is 10:05 pm on Christmas night. I think I can safely say that I have partaken in every conceivable Christmas treat I could possibly want. I am done. I think it helps to actually put this into words. Tomorrow is a new day. I have a plan. I've also decided to make posting my daily calories (if not listing every bite of food, which could become tedious ) another goal.

I know I can do this. I won't be getting skinny any time soon, but that is so not the point right now. I can take a huge chunk out of my compulsive eating behavior though. I really can do this. It struck me that I haven't truly believed this in the last nine months or so. There have been so many changes in my life...maybe it takes a year to get your head back on straight after major upheaval...who knows?

I have what I need. I am in a stable situation, in a stable relationship, and I have some months to devote to myself before the baby comes. The next few days will be tough. It's almost like detoxing. I've been eating a lot of junk this holiday season. I'm going to do what I did way back at the very beginning of my weight loss in May 07'...take it nice and slow.

That means not expecting perfection in my food choices. My aim is to stay within my 1,800 calorie limit, and keep my food choices relatively healthy. For example, I wouldn't normally allow myself the cheesy yummy frozen vegetable lasagna (even though it's only 350 calories and makes a great meal with a green salad). It would seem too decadent, and I'd be afraid that it would trigger me into a binge. I have to learn how to eat stimulating things in healthy portion sizes.

It always backfires when I push for perfection lately (well, over these last nine months now). I want the stimulating food so badly that instead of allowing just a little, I flip out and eat way too much. There has to be a middle ground. Part of me, and it is a big part, understands the argument for complete abstinence. It even worked for me before. I pretty much lost my first 150 lbs. that way. I'd abstain from ALL stimulating foods for six days a week, and loosen the reins a bit on Saturday.

Looking back, I see that loosening the reins a little turned into loosening the reins a lot, which turned into loosening the reins on various days of the week...and there you have it. Would I have been better off with complete abstinence, or was I being too rigid to begin with, and consequently denying myself the opportunity to have a healthy relationship with food? After all, a person should be able to enjoy A cookie right? I mean, without it turning into some inner struggle? Is this something I should practice?

This is all just stream of consciousness. I need to get this out in order to figure it out.

To recap...1,800 cals tomorrow...1 hour of nice and easy exercise, maybe even broken up throughout the day considering my lack of energy and queasiness ...moderate and tasty food choices. I don't expect it to be easy. If I have to maybe I'll blog my feelings when I'm in the thick of the struggle.

Tomorrow I will be able to write that it was a good day.


Christmas and a New Year

First of all, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year to anyone who might read this. Eventhough I have been focused on all things baby, and maybe partly because of that, I have been thinking about the kind of year I'd like 2009 to be. Well, I keep gaining weight and I would love for that to stop this instant. I'm around 220 lbs. now. Realistically, I will be eating pretty much what I want today. It is Christmas and I don't feel the need to take this liberty away from myself, but I would love to reincorporate healthy changes into my daily routine starting December 26th. I know how it sounds...I'll start tomorrow, wow.

I do have some concrete goals though...

1. Not to eat out again until January 19th (my birthday). This has to do with health, but also saving money.

2. Exercise moderately (usually walking) for one hour each and every excuses if there is snow on the ground. I have weights and an exercise bike. I can also do pregnancy yoga etc.

3. To stop the 2-3 day cycle. My tendency is to do well for 2-3 days, and then muck up the rest of the week.

4. My standing goal is to eat 1,800 healthy calories per day (obgyn's instructions).

Speaking of my obgyn, I got a heck of a lecture at my last appointment. I gained 5 lbs. in about five weeks...ouch. She didn't let it go either. She told me to stop eating chips when I suggested it might be water retention. I informed her that I don't eat chips, just a lot of other salty foods (I was desperate) and the look she gave me clearly stated that she thought I was completely full of crap. Well, I was full of crap food, but I wasn't lying about the chips.

I don't relish the thought of seeing her again even heavier...January 8th is my next appointment. I can't actually "diet" so it is what it is. I can accomplish my goals and stop the unnecessary weight gain though. Wish me luck.

I still wonder why the fact that I am having a baby isn't enough to shock me into consistent healthy eating? I am so looking forward to having this child, and I want him/her to be healthy. I know I've said this before, I haven't figured it out yet though. All I can say is that compulsive overeating has had a hold on me for 30 takes time and buckets of patience.

It also strikes me as ridiculous that I should feel motivated by the fact that my doctor is slightly scary. What am I, 12-years-old? LOL.

Sunday is the first day of my second trimester. From what I have read, some of my symptoms "might" begin to ease up. That would be great to feel less queasy and exhausted. Strange thing though was that I actually threw up for the first time this morning (sorry, gross). I have good days and bad days, it's all just part of the process I suppose.

I have calmed down A LOT since finding out about the baby on November 1st though. Reading helps..."Your baby's first year" by the American Academy of Pediatrics has a ton of practical information. I'm also starting to visualize how the baby will fit into our 850 square foot apartment. I think arrangeing the baby's things to fit will be like a game of Tetris. I was really good at that game. :0)

I'm thinking of posting my daily food intake and calories on this blog. I don't want to make it an official goal yet, but it might help. So, here's to a great New Year.

Happy Holidays,


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

OH Baby!

Well, I'm not sure if more than one or two people read these infrequent and shlumpy posts, but that's ok. I guess I'm just writing this for my own benefit mostly. :0) On November 1st I found out that I am expecting my first child. You could have knocked me over with a feather. I am very happy. This is something I've wanted for a good ten years. Recently, I had just come to grips with the fact that it may never happen. That was a tough process.

My eating has not been good at all though. I'm surprised at myself actually. I always assumed that if I ever became pregnant, motherly instinct would instantly take over, and I would eat only perfectly healthy food. Granted, I've been through some major stress lately, including spotting and loss of some symptoms that led my doctor to schedule an immediate ultrasound (baby is fine). Still, I would have thought/hoped that scare would reinforce my determination to eat well. Was I being naieve?

It's weird...usually I am either very queasy or craving foods. Even when I was doing not too well (prior to the pregnancy) I still ate a ton of vegetables on a daily least a good pound/day. This has just become part of my routine over the past 1 1/2 years. Now, the thought of peas (my favorite) makes my stomach turn...along with my other favorite veggies. Even my beloved oatmeal sounds gross.

Instead, I want sweet and mild things like fruit and vanilla yogurt, which is fine, but also lots of crap I should stay away from. I think I'm facing a food addiction/pregnancy double whammy. I am determined to have a healthy pregnancy though. I need to dig deep and do what's best for the baby and myself. I'm only 9 weeks and 2 days along. I can either stay healthy throughout the next seven months and hopefully have a smooth and uneventful birth, or I can balloon up and put myself and my child at risk. Put in those terms how could I possibly stuff another piece of pizza or whatever into my mouth?

Basically, I want to strike a healthy balance...healthy eating without being too strict on myself at a time when I need to chill out and be calm. How do women stay calm during pregnancy?! I wish I had some family to count on...I guess I'm feeling that pretty hard right now. I'm also very slow to make friends. Right now I'm looking for a pregnancy support group to join. So far no luck, but there must be one out there in my area (I definitely need the face to face contact).

Other than that, I think I might go back to OA. I'm not looking to lose weight, but I certainly need to learn how to eat regular healthy portions and just be satisfied. I am determined to model healthy eating behaviors for my child when the time comes. I firmly believe there is no reason that he or she should ever have to deal with food issues the way I do.

My doctor wants me to eat 1,800 calories a day. She is a firm believer in this. I figure that as long as I stick to 2,000 I will be just fine. That's my plan, along with an hour of moderately paced walking every morning...maybe some hand weights if I get over the fact that they bore the crap out of me. Pretty simple. Also, I take a prenatal vitamin and a fish oil capsule for fatty amino acids every morning. My water intake is somewhere around 64-96 oz. I'll have to slowly work the veggies back's tough.

That's about it for now. A lot lies ahead of me.


Friday, October 17, 2008

The Fog

Well, when I posted my first entry to this blog I was feeling pretty low, and frustrated with myself. Things have been spinning out of control since that first post. I'd love to be able to say that I've turned things around. I haven't.

What I can say is that I am trying to look at my behavior in a thoughtful way. I know why I have been bingeing each and every day. Depression. It's noone's fault. I am trying to be kind to myself. Depression is like driving through a thick fog, disorienting.

My food addiction leeches on to any stress in my life. There has been plenty of that, so the excuses for eating have been easy to come by. I know healthy living is the best medicine for depression, but I have felt paralyzed.

I read a post from a good friend's blog, and it was very uplifting. I have been isolating myself from the online weight loss community. Isolation is the worst thing for me right now, so maybe this blog will replace the support I used to get from YouTube. I could go back to making videos, but I just don't feel it. The great feeling I used to get from the mutual support has been replaced by numbness.

I'll end this post by promiseing that I will not stop trying.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Ok, so I thought I'd give text blogging a try. I could use some motivation. I've come too far to FUCK this all up right? Wow, three a.m. post binge language. I have lost 150 lbs. and am thrilled with myself, really. I have accomplished amazing things, and given myself a new chance at life. Still, I have lost and regained the last 20 or so pounds over and over again during the past six months. I still have at least 70-80 pounds to lose, and I want to be done with this whole weight loss phase so that I can learn to eat like a healthy person. Oi. Things will hopefully look better tomorrow.