Friday, August 30, 2013

Losing the Baby Weight

The beginning, me 6 days before labor!
As I sit here eating my last piece of chocolate birthday cake, I am also contemplating how to get rid of this last 30 lbs of baby weight.  I began my journey into motherhood at 135 lbs.  No, I wasn't a skinny waif, but at 5'7" I was fit and healthy, my ass was where it should be, and my boobs were as perky as when I was in my 20s.

Every woman gains weight during her pregnancy, well at least 99.99% of us do.  My weight gained started before I was actually pregnant, however.  Due to the fertility meds I was on, I gained 20 lbs before I actually found out I was pregnant.  This was due to excessive water weight gain mixed with a constant feeling of hunger, both of which are side effects of Clomid.  So, by the time I found out I was actually preggers, I was already weighing in at 155 lbs.  I have never been over 135.  Normally, with a lot of going to the gym I'll hover between 125-130.  135 is where I typically tend to stay if I'm not on a strict diet and exercise regimen, it is just my typical, healthy weight, and this is the weight I want to be again someday.

Throughout my pregnancy I ate pretty healthy.  Don't get me wrong, I wasn't a saint about it.  I did enjoy ice cream in bed late at night and I occasionally threw in some fast food for convenience.  The first trimester I was uber strict with what I ate, and then after that I ate healthy but let myself enjoy other foods as well. Regardless of my eating habits, I managed to pack on an additional 50 lbs by the time I went into labor. Besides actual baby weight, the majority of the weight was due to excess water.  I had a nasty case of edema that set in before I really even began show all that much.  As a matter of fact, it actually worsened after Piper was born and hung around till at least a month or so post pregnancy.

After giving birth, I dropped 40 lbs relatively easy.  Basically, that means I didn't do a damn thing but breastfeed and not eat like a total pig.  However, I have been stuck at 165 lbs for a couple of months now. No matter what I eat, the weight doesn't go up or down, it just stays the same.  It's been so steady I've considered that my scale might be broken, but alas that's just a lie I tell myself when it doesn't go down!  at first I didn't worry myself over that last 30 lbs, after all I did just have a baby.  Now, however, I'm honestly getting really sick of looking at the extra flab and am anxious for it to go away.  My end goal is to be back to 135 lbs, so how do I go about getting there?

I've decided that the best way to motivate myself to lose the weight is to put it out there on my blog!  If I tell all my readers of my intentions, then I am more likely to stick to them.  If I had not bothered writing about my 52 random acts of kindness, I might have decided to let it all slide by the time I got to week two. Basically, I'm going to make you all my weight-loss sponsors.  Just as alcoholics have someone they can call up when they are feeling weak and tempted to have a drink, I am going to post when I'm feeling unmotivated or wanting to binge on sweet treats.  Now mind you, I am not about to go all P90X on you all.  I am still breastfeeding so my diet and exercise routine cannot interfere with the needs of Piper.  What I have to be is sensible, without torturing myself.  I need to eat healthier, exercise a little more, and maybe cut out that extra glass of wine here and there.  Notice I said "extra" glass of wine.  I will NOT bet teetotaling it to save on calories!  I enjoy my wine and do not drink to excess, but I do occasionally like to have an extra glass on the weekends after Piper has gone to bed.  I figured I could do without that particular glass here and there, but not all the time, sometime you just need an extra glass of wine!  If I do indulge, I will throw in some extra exercise to make up for it, however.

To help myself get started, I've decided to make a list of my limitations as far as diet and exercise are concerned, and also label these items as either true obstacles or just flat out excuses.  It's sort of like making a pros and cons list of reasons to stay or not stay in a relationship.  If I write it all out it will help me focus on what I can and should do, and what I need to avoid...while also making it impossible for me to use something as an excuse later on.  Does that make sense?

Okay, here goes:

Limitations on diet:

1) I cannot reduce my intake of calories too low as I am still breastfeeding- this mean no fad diets of any sort regardless of how "healthy" they sound.
2) I must not use any dietary supplements such as those touted by Dr. Oz as miracle pills...they don't work anyway!
3) I cannot use special creams advertised as cellulite shrinkers or any other sort of hoodoo bullshit of the same nature.  These absorb into the milk supply and could possibly have adverse side effects.

Limitations on exercise:

1)  Due to loosened ligaments from the protein Relaxin that is released during pregnancy, there is greater risk of injury due to weakened joint stability.  For example, the ligament in my left ankle that keeps rolling and snapping and has already brought me down once (yeah, no more heels for now either), that ligament could very well cause a nasty fall and that isn't something I care to risk.  Relaxin continues to be produced until up to six weeks AFTER one quits breastfeeding.  As Piper is still very much on the boob, I have to particularly cautious regarding any weight training and/or other exercises that put strain on my joints, especially those in the ankles and hips. Additionally, as per my doc regarding my knee issues, I'm never supposed to jog or run on uneven or concreted surfaces such as roads.  Walking is fine. Jogging on a treadmill is also fine once my ligaments tighten back up and I have time once again to hit the gym.

2)  I am not allowed to run or jog for the time being.  As per my doc regarding my knee issues, I'm never supposed to jog or run on uneven or concreted surfaces such as roads.  Walking is fine. Jogging on a treadmill is also fine once my ligaments tighten back up and I have time once again to hit the gym.

3) I'm not sure if I have any other current limitations.  All other exercise issues are more excuses than anything else.  And on that note...

Excuses that must be avoided:

1)  It's too hot outside
2)  It's been a long day and I'm tired
3)  It's too cold outside
4)  There isn't enough space in the house to do _______.  (insert exercise)
5)  I have no exercise clothes to wear
6)  I have no exercise buddy
7)  Wine tastes better than sweat
8)  I'll make up tomorrow that which I slacked on today

I'm sure I'll come up with more later, so stay tuned!

Excuses that I may actually use as excuses:

1)  Piper is particularly fussy and I have no one at the moment to take her off my hands.  Remember, she is teething right now and she always comes first.  I will not put my ass size before her needs.  If I have to miss a workout to take care of her, so be it.  She comes first, period!  However, if I can incorporate her into a workout, then I will and must.

2) Mondays are non-workout days.  Mondays suck, we're short handed at the office, and I refuse to make matters worse by exercising when I get home.  However, if I skip a Sunday then I must suffer and exercise on Monday.  So in my best interest, I best not skip out on Sundays.

3)  I have family social events which prevent me from working out.  These do come up here and there, but not that often.  Usually it is the case of having my nieces over for a night.  However, if I can get them to join in the fun, then I should.

4)  No working out on major holidays.  Also, no watching my calorie intake on major holidays.  These include Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter (if a basket is involved), my birthday week (yes, I said week!), and Piper's birthday.  There may be other holidays requiring joyous festivities and a celebratory eating fest, I will makes excuses for them if and when they arise.

Well then, I think that about covers the bases for right now.  An additional note on my diet, however, is that I will not deprive myself of cravings.  My goal is to watch what I eat but mainly stick with portion control rather than deprivation.  I like pizza and ice cream and pasta and candy and all other yummy goodies.  I am allowed all of these things in moderation.  I am even allowed fast food when necessary as long as I choose healthier items such as salads or grilled chicken.  I am going to try my best to cook more rather than eat fast or frozen foods, but hey, I ain't perfect nor do I want to be.  I'm not going to lie about that.  I will make healthier decisions, however, and report all unhealthy choices I make as a sort of walk of shame.

As for the exercise portion of this weight loss goal, I am going to start slow and work my way up.  I have been out of a routine since I got pregnant, so I need to ease back into the more strenuous routines I used to put myself through.  Plus, I have some nagging pains I want to keep from getting worse. Many of these can be cured with exercise and weight loss, the key is to not make them worse in the process of making them better.  I'm pretty good at knowing when not to push it and when to give a bit extra, so it won't be any big deal to manage the pains while strengthening enough to eliminate the pains.

Alrighty, I think I have a pretty good plan in place and a pretty good outline of where I stand at this moment. My initial goal is to lose 10 lbs.  I would say my goal is to lose 30 lbs, which it ultimately is, but I want to set something very reasonable and realistic to begin with.  Once I lose 10, then I can focus and reorganize for the next 10.  If I stick to my guns, I'm thinking I can have this 10 lbs off in 3 months.  If I could vigorously diet and exercise right now I could have it off in less than 1, but that is not realistic based on everything I've just written.  Plus, I want to keep it off and I know it must come off slowly if it is to remain off.

Tonight my goal is to get the old measuring tape out and see where I stand inch-wise to go along with the poundage.  I will keep track of inches lost along with actual weight loss, for this is even more an indicator of gaining my body back.  I don't really like scales all that much, but the mirror never lies!  Inches will show more in the mirror than on the scale, especially since muscle weighs more than fat, and I plan on exchanging one for the other as well as toning it all up.  Tomorrow will be my first official start date with light exercise and healthy eating as part of my daily goal.  I guess that means I better get in that extra glass of wine tonight, then! ;)

One final note about this whole process:

I will not be posting before and after pics as I am not willing to subject myself to that sort of uncomfortable personal imagery.  I will post other pics, but never will you see a pic of my tummy, thighs, or butt during this process!  I will, however, post my measurements along the way.  I don't mind sharing where I stand inch-wise.  I can handle the written truth, but the visual I will keep for to myself.  Also, all posts relating to this process will be under the Losing the Baby Weight heading.  So if you miss one, you can always look there for updates!

Alrighty then, I'm off to finish up the work day!  Looking forward to getting all this started tomorrow.  Wish me luck!

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