Monday, January 31, 2011

Postpartum Shape-Up Week 2: My First Sweet in Two Weeks

It. Is. Working!

I've lost another pound of baby weight this week thanks to my own little spin on the No S Diet. Sure, the results aren't as dramatic as they were in week 1, but I couldn't really expect to continue losing 6 pounds per week. (Although that would be nice!) Losing about 1 pound per week is what most experts (whoever they are) say is realistic and healthy.

The biggest challenge in changing my eating habits has been taking the time to shop/prep/cook in a way that supports my goals. Eating healthy takes time. Lots of time. Especially if - like me - you're not a Lean Cuisine kind of girl. Here's what works for me:
  • Pre-chopping veggies. For my salads, I buy two heads of organic romain each week at the co-op. I chop one head right away, rinse it, run it through the salad spinner and then keep it in a Tupperware bowl. That lasts me about half the week, and then I do the same thing with the second head. (Or you can spend more money and buy bagged lettuce.)
  • Prepping the night before. I mix up my scrambled egg mixture (eggs, a little cream, goat cheese, a little water and salt) in the evening for breakfast the next morning. Maybe that seems silly, but I need every minute I can get in the morning. I also put lunch items for the next day (usually yogurt with mix-ins, some kind of protein, and whole grain crackers) into individual-sized containers.
  • Making my own convenience foods. For example, I flatten chicken breasts and then freeze them in various marinades. Then it's easy to thaw them out quickly for a meal. I also sometimes roast a chicken on the weekend and then take all of the meat off the bird for various uses during the week. (Bags of the pulled chicken also freeze just fine for soups, etc.)

So far, I've been able to avoid junk-food eating simply by being prepared. In the past, this was my biggest weakness. (It's easy soooo to call Jimmy Johns when you don't pack a lunch for work.)

After two weeks of being pretty strict with myself, I enjoyed my first sweet this past weekend: a slice of Cafe Latte's famous turtle cake. It was delicious! I enjoyed every bite!

From what I understand (keep in mind I only recently discovered that I was following an actual diet) that's the whole point behind the No S Diet. You overcome gluttony and put sweets/snacks/seconds back into the position of being a rare treat. And rare treats supposedly taste better.

In my experience so far, this is true. Enjoying a truly delicious piece of cake on Sunday night with your hubby is WAY more enjoyable than eating a handful of packaged cookies at work just because they're there.

This week, I'm adding some exercise into the mix. I began Cool Running's Couch to 5K program today. More on that next week...

Current Weight (taken morning of 1/31/11):


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Observations on My Third Day Back at Work

Monday was the most depressing day of the year.

I'm serious. It was actually declared the most depressing day of the year. Like by experts who study that stuff. Or possibly by marketers behind an elaborate ad campaign. Either way, who can argue with the fact that late January is pretty darn depressing?

So on Monday - the most depressing day of the year - I started back to work after a 12-week maternity leave. Yeah.

Now the number one question everyone asks me is how it feels to be back. And I don't know what to say. Some things about it feel great. Others, not so much. Here are my observations so far:
  • Wearing decent clothes and having styled hair and a made-up face feels nice.

  • Wrestling clothing on a baby, carrying around bucket seat and rushing around in a winter parka causes me to sweat in my decent clothes, makes my hair look frizzy and gives my make-up and unintended dewy look.

  • Sitting down with a cup of tea and time to focus on a complex project feels nice.

  • Working a 4-hour day filled with meetings, pumping, and a few other random tasks means that I'm on my way back out the door before I even know what happened.

  • Talking to other adults about things that matter to adults feels nice.

  • Missing out on all of the social aspects of work (lunches, breaks) makes work a whole lot less fun.

Based on these observations, I might (with my employer's blessing) consider altering my schedule. Currently, I work five half-days per week. Originally, I thought that this schedule would be good because it provides consistency and means relatively short daycare days for Miles. However, it also means that I basically have all of the hassles (commuting, drop-off, pumping, etc.) of a full-time job.

So I might (again with my employer's blessing), return to a three-day schedule. I would put Miles in daycare two days per week and then split an additional day with Kyle. (Rowan would continue to attend pre-k every day.) The revised schedule would mean that I would only have to pack Miles up and bring him to daycare two days per week. It also would mean that, when I am at work, I would have more time to focus on my projects. Think depth instead of breadth.

We'll see. I should at least give my current schedule a week, huh? ;)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Postpartum Shape-Up Week 1: I Guess I Am Following a Real Diet

Last week, I set some basic goals to help me on my way to a healthier and less smooshy post-baby body. I cut out the snacking and sweets and focused instead on eating three square meals of healthy food.

Sounds pretty pretty simple, right? Almost like common sense, right?

Well, I've recently discovered that some clever person has actually trademarked a diet program that advocates almost exactly what I'm doing. It's called the "No S Diet." There are just three simple rules, and one exception:
  • No Snacks
  • No Sweets
  • No Seconds
  • EXCEPT (Sometimes) on days that start with S (Saturday, Sunday and Special days)

I've basically been following this exact diet for the past week. My plan has a couple of extra S's, though (chalk it up to newbie eagerness):

  • No Simple Starches (white potatoes, white rice, white flour, etc.)
  • No Sh%$ (crappy, processed foods)

I also didn't break from the plan on the weekend, even though that's allowed on the official No S Diet. For now, I'm trying to save the sugar, seconds and snacks for special treats and occasions when I'll really enjoy them. I can't say that I'll continue to be as disciplined as I've been so far, but I really needed a good first week to keep me motivated. Here's an example of what I've been eating (Sunday's log):

  • Breakfast: Two eggs scrambled with goat cheese, lettuce salad with olive oil and vinegar, plain whole milk yogurt mixed with diced grapefruit and apples, coffee with cream
  • Lunch: Bowl of homemade beef stew, lettuce salad with olive oil and vinegar, Wasa crispbread topped with butter, whole milk yogurt mixed with blueberries and dried mango
  • Dinner: Marinated chicken breast, half a cooked sweet potato topped with butter, lettuce salad with oil and vinegar dressing, whole milk yogurt mixed with diced grapefruit and apples

Most days were a variation on this theme. Sometimes the salad had some cheese on it. Sometimes I crumbled up some Wasa crispbread "croutons" on top. You get the idea.

So far, so good. I feel motivated and, surprisingly, I'm not starving between meals. I think I had conditioned myself to think that snacks (and several spoonfulls of peanutbutter with chocolate chips) were a necessary part of my day. But I'm finding that if I eat a balanced meal with foods that have staying power (i.e., not low fat or high sugar foods), I can hold off until my next meal without a problem.

This week, my goal is simply to stay on track with my new eating habits despite the fact that I'm starting back at work part-time. (I'll let you know how it goes...) If I can make it successfully through the emotional week ahead, then I'll think about adding in some exercise. Maybe. ;)

Current Weight (taken morning of 1/24/11):


It's hard for me to believe that I actually lost more than six pounds this week... Is that really possible?!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Wherein I Reveal My Weight... And My Plans to Change It

During my teens, I weighed around 115 pounds.

During my early to mid twenties, I weighed around 125 pounds. (To my embarrassment, my driver's license still says I weigh 125 pounds!)

When I was pregnant with Rowan, I gained about 40 pounds and — when he was about 1 year old — landed at around 135 pounds and stayed there.

Today, 11 weeks after another pregnancy in which I gained about 45 pounds, I now (as of Monday morning) sit at 156 pounds. That puts my BMI at 25.2 — just into "overweight" territory.

Although I would expect to lose more of my baby weight simply by nursing (and by not being pregnant), I'm ready to take more decisive action. A few recent events pushed me in that direction:

  • Assembling my postpartum work wardrobe. Although I'll only be working part-time, my 5-day-a-week schedule means that I still need a full-time wardrobe... that fits. Ugh. Let's just say that shopping for clothing this week has been frustrating. I will be wearing a lot of gray, black and cardigans for the rest of this winter.

  • Realizing that my current trajectory predicts that I'll gain about 10 pounds per decade. In fact, I discovered that this is exactly what most people do as they age. For the sake of my long-term health, I don't want that to happen.

  • Finding out that my blood pressure is still a little elevated. (It rose during the latter half of my pregnancy.) I'm sure that my extra baby weight and less-than-stellar holiday eating habits have a lot to do with this.

  • Seeing myself in the mirror. Simply put, I don't feel like myself. And although I don't expect to ever again look like I did pre-kids, I know that my current weight/shape isn't right for me. It feels like I'm wearing a shirt that's too bulky, but that I can't change it because the shirt is... uh... me.
So what do I plan to do? Well, I'm a firm believer making big changes by changing small daily habits. This week, I'm focusing on my eating habits. Here are my goals for the week:

  • Significantly reduce simple carbs/sweets. I'm not following South Beach or Atkins or any other strict low-carb plan, but I am doing my best to avoid simple sugars and starches. Instead, I'm filling my belly with protein (eggs, fish, meat), vegetables (salads, broccoli, greens), quality dairy products (natural plain yogurt, good quality cheeses) and fruits (apples, citrus, etc.). I'm also eating some whole grains and beans. My focus will be on delicious foods that make me feel good and help me make plenty of good milk for my babe.

  • Find alternatives to "I deserve it" snacking. By the time I get Miles down for a nap or put Rowan and Miles to bed at night, I'm overcome by a desire to relax with a sugary treat or salty snack... or two. Over the holidays, those treats and snacks might have included Christmas cookies, candy, snack mix, chocolate chips, etc., etc. Now that the holidays are over, it's time to reward myself with things that are good for me. Like a cup of tea and a movie with the hubby!

  • Keep a food jounal. Experts say that people are more successful in changing their habits when they keep track of what they're eating. No more mindless eating!

So, there you have it. My goals for this week. I actually started on Monday, but didn't have the courage to make this public until today. I'm hoping that the accountability will help me reach my goal faster.

What is my goal, exactly? Honestly, I'm not interested in setting a specific weight-loss target at this point. Right now, I'm focusing on the habits. I hope that results will follow.

I'll share my new goals each week — on Mondays, I think — and let you know how the previous week went.

Here goes...

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Nine and Ten Weeks Old

What Miles was up to between 8 and 10 weeks old:
  • Rolling over: At just over 8 weeks old, Miles rolled over from his tummy to his back for the first time. I can't really say that it was intentional, though. That big head of his tips him right over!
  • Finding his fists and fingers: The boy can stare at his hands, transfixed, for... well, just for minutes. (He does have a baby's attention span, after all.) He's also begun to reach out and grasp at things with his fingers.
  • Cooing like crazy: More sounds and gurgles every day!
  • Growing...a lot: At his 2-month visit, he weighed 14 pounds, 4 oz. He was 23.75 inches long. And his head measured 16.5 inches around.
  • Looking adorable: His little arms, legs and cheeks seem to be getting more and more chubby by the minute! (I plan to make the opposite happen to myself very VERY soon.)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

My Boys at Eight Weeks

Rowan, Eight Weeks

Miles, Eight Weeks

(It's subtle, but you can definitely see that Miles takes up more space in the bouncy seat.)

In addition to the comparison shots, I am still taking weekly pictures of Miles with his little signs. We've had a great couple of weeks! He's smiling, cooing and napping like a champ. (He got a swing for Christmas! Hmmm... Was it a present for me or for him?)

Rowan is enjoying his brother more now that he's become more interactive. Today, when I told him to give his brother some space, he said, "But I can't stay away from him because he's sooooooo sweet!"

Hard to argue with that, isn't it?
Related Posts with Thumbnails