I’ve never been one to hide how much I weigh. I figure that people can already see that I’m carrying a few (or more than a few) extra pounds and it’s no use trying to keep it a secret. So I am going to throw a bunch of numbers at you and I hope you don’t mind :)
Over the last ten years I have been pregnant five times. After Lucy was born I lost the weight pretty quickly and easily. In fact I didn’t have to work at it at all. I don’t remember my weight before I got pregnant with Emma but this picture was taken the month before I found out (a picture with my Daddy).
After Emma I had to beat the weight away with Weight Watchers. I hated it but it worked. While my weight was higher than college (123 lbs) I was a smaller pants size because of the changes my body had gone through with two pregnancies.
Since then I haven’t been able to break 145. This is after Spencer.
This is about a year and a half after I had Jack. Right before I got pregnant with Henry (don’t let the great haircut and tan fool you… I miss the sun). At this point I am still hovering around 150 lbs while consistently running 30-35 miles a week and having just finished a half-marathon (in just over two hours if I remember correctly, not my best half-marathon time but not bad either)
As soon as the weight would start to come off I would get pregnant again and with each pregnancy I would gain more weight (I gained a record breaking 55lbs this time). My face keeps getting rounder and rounder (and so does my bottom). I was doing so well last January, but the next month I found out Henry was on his way and exercise makes my morning sickness worse.
This is me now. I’m hovering around 170 depending on the scale.
Pretty depressing. What a difference ten years and five babies can make. I have tried for five and a half years to loose my excess weight. What makes this time different from the last?
- I don’t plan on getting pregnant again for at least 75 years.
- Thanks to my new gym I am no longer bound by home videos and running only as far as my five year old is willing to bike.
- I have a new theory on food that seems to work for me (though I’m sure everyone else will hate it).
- I will track my food and be honest about it. I’m NOT going to stop counting just because I’m in the red that day. That’s cheating. FYI, today I was over by 533 calories (I plan on being over until I can start exercising again).
My game is plan pretty simple. My goal is one pound a week (rather than the ten pounds a week I wish I could loose). I am not going to follow a specific exercise schedule. I just plan on working out an hour a day at least five days a week. I’m am hoping to run the MDI marathon again in 2014, but I think I really need to not stress out about sticking to a running schedule while I loose weight and just do what I feel like; especially since it always takes me so much longer to recover from having a baby than I expect. Lastly I am going to assume that everything everyone has ever told me about food is wrong. Crazy right?
Food is a little more complex of an issue for me. I. Love. Food. I love to eat. Telling myself that “food is fuel” goes in one ear and out the other. I mean no disrespect to the food fads that seem to pop up every week (low carb, high protein, gluten free, low fat, high omega 3’s, etc.) but I’ve tried those recipes and I need way more variety than they offer me. I can do low carb for one or two meals, but not for a lifetime. It’s just not going to happen. I like my food and I like it to TASTE GOOD! That mean including things like breads, bacon, butter, cream, steaks, white flour and *GASP* sugar. That’s right I said sugar.
I can’t do the “six small meals a day” thing. I’ve tried and it is just the wrong plan for me. I need three meals and a maybe a snack. As I recently read in “French Kids Eat Everything”, contrary to popular belief here in the US, it is okay to feel hungry in between meals. Given the fact that I am lugging an extra 50 lbs around clearly I’m not ACTUALLY hungry. I just FEEL hungry… there is a difference. I’m not going to let it get so bad that I feel weak and start to shake but the feeling of hunger is not something to fear (actual, starving hunger is a different story that very few people in this country have to deal with). Part of the reason why I feel SO hungry is because I always give in to that feeling and stuff myself. If I don’t give in, after a while I won’t feel as hungry (I remember this happening back in my Weight Watcher days; it took about two weeks to stop feeling hungry all the time.) I’m going to eat whole foods (aka real food), decent size meals, stop when I feel satisfied, drink all of the water I want (aiming for a gallon a day, since I’m breastfeeding) and NOT eat between meals. “Food is fuel” has no effect on me but “It’s okay to feel hungry” actually really helps me get through the time in between meals.
Another widely accepted food fact is “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Is it really? I am at home with my children all day. Since we are not rushing out the door at 7 or 8 AM not to return until 4pm, there really is no reason for us to have a massive breakfast. This homeschooling family sleeps in, so a light breakfast at 8:30 or 9 (after chores) is perfect for us since we will be eating lunch together just a few hours later. A light breakfast will get me through a hard morning workout with the kids starting to feel peckish right about lunch time; and guess what, if I’m not hungry at meal time (a rare occurrence) I won’t eat until I am. Sometimes that means skipping breakfast or only having a glass of chocolate milk (yes I’m a 32 year old woman and I still drink chocolate milk because I love it :)
I have also pushed dinner time back to 7 or 7:30 rather than 6 (I was never on time anyway). That means that the necessary (for children) small snack at 4:00 or 4:30 won’t spoil their appetite for dinner. I don’t do everything “French Kids Eat Everything” suggests (it’s pretty overwhelming for me to implement them all at once) but the things I HAVE implemented have really helped.
I have been doing this for the last few days and so far I can tell you it is a HUGE success. Not only is it easier for ME to get through the time between meals (I keep repeating to myself “It’s ok to feel hungry”) but since my children are also feeling hungry they EAT WHAT I MAKE! Last night the kids easily ate all of the cauliflower soup that I made (Spencer needed a little convincing but he still ate it all).
As far as the kids are concerned, they hear three phrases from me every day (plucked directly from “French Kids Eat Everything”)
- “It’s okay to feel hungry between meals” (sometimes I add “that is good because it means you are really going to appreciate lunch/dinner more”)
- You don’t have to like it but you do have to EAT it
- It’s okay if you don’t like it yet. You will like it more the next time we try it.
In the next few weeks I hope to have some sample foods for you to see how it all looks. In the meantime I’m sure that a lot of you will scream and pound your fists at my blatant heresy. Seriously though, I’ve tried doing “all the right things” before and “all the right things” were all wrong for me. I’ve come to realize that there is no “one size fits all” process to weight loss. You have to figure out what works for you.
I’m not starving myself. I’m not starving my kids. I want to stop emotional and boredom induced eating for myself and my family and that means following some rules and not eating so often that I always turn to food as the solution to all of my problems.
There is one more aspect that I think is really important to a healthy lifestyle. Activity. Not just physical activity but mental activity. I fully admit that as a stay at home mom it can be easy to occasionally let my mind drift off into oblivion. Keeping busy keeps the “boredom hunger” from rearing it’s ugly head. It’s easier for me than for those who aren’t used to staying home all day because I am actually a very busy woman (homeschool, keeping house, building furniture, sewing, reviewing books, writing and other hobbies). Live a purposeful life. Fill every moment with purpose (and if you want to sit down and watch Fraiser that’s ok as long as you do it ON PURPOSE). Wandering around aimlessly is just asking for boredom hunger.
I’m tracking my food on My Fitness Pal. My username is ordinaryhappily and I would LOVE to have you join me! Just let me know when you friend me that you are coming over from my blog so I know you aren’t a creepy creepo :)