Monday, January 24, 2011

The Diet Starts Today (Again!)

Last Sept 6 I started a weight loss mission that for the most part was going pretty well for me.  I'm both proud and embarrassed to say that by Dec 17 I had lost 40 lbs.  Proud because, come on, I lost 40 lbs in less than 3 1/2 months and I had worked hard to do it.  Embarrassed because, it was barely the start of my journey.

I have always struggled with weight, to a point, but up until I had Olivia I was pretty comfortable in my skin.  I liked my curves (most of them! LOL), I was able to wear a lot of cute things that were basically in the "normal" size range (if not close to and sometimes just tipping over into "plus sizes"), and I'd never really had a problem meeting men (although clearly I did have a problem meeting good men!), so while it was always an area I wanted to work on I never felt too much of a huge need to commit too much to the change. 

That changed after Olivia.  I had 50 lbs to lose after I had her and it did not come off easy.  Well I did probably lose 25 of it in the first month or two, but probably by month 4 those 25 lbs had creeped back on and there was no longer a baby on board.  It took 8 more months to lose that 50 lbs.  And precisely at that point I found out I was pregnant with Ava.  Another 50 lbs later I had another beautiful baby girl.

Even while I was pregnant with Ava it was clear that my marriage was falling apart.  Shortly after she was born it was beyond obvious there wasn't much hope.  We officially spit up when she was about 8 months old.  I hadn't lost one of those 50 lbs by then.  But after we finally decided to split up, it was like a weight was lifted, and I could focus on me for a change (me and the girls, that is!).  Within 6 months I had lost that weight, and I felt better about myself than I had in a long time.  I still could've lost 30 or so more lbs, but that was the extra weight I had always carried and I was happy to be fitting in to all of my cute clothes again and buying some more and really enjoying dating for the first time in about 8 years. 

Then I met the boyfriend.  And things were great.  Really really great.  He was great and fun and we went out all the time and had great times together.  And we ate a lot.  So I started to put a little weight back on, but not too much.  Everyone says that when you're happy you put on weight.  I guess that's true for me.  But then again you know how so many people say things like, "I was so upset I couldn't eat," or "I was so stressed I didn't eat for days," and lovely things like that?  Ya... that wasn't me.  If I put on a little weight by being happy, being sad and stressed and upset was my biggest downfall. 

And soon that's when that began.  Every time I got sad or upset or stressed about the boyfriend, I would eat.  And the weight really began to creep back on.  It got to the point I was so sad and upset all the time and suddenly I weighed as much as the day I had Olivia.  And I was having these daily struggles with myself... I should break up with him... no, things can go back to the way they were in the beginning I'm sure of it... no, he's never going to change, obviously he just spent the first 6 months of our relationship putting on a show--just long enough to make me fall hard in love with him... no, the girls are really starting to love him, I need to figure out how to make this work.  All of this went on for awhile and honestly, I think it's safe to say we would've broken up given another week or 2 but... then suddenly I was pregnant.  Woops!

So here I was, heavier than I'd ever been in my life while not pregnant, and I was pregnant again.  This was not good.  I was just getting huge.  I was really going to try not to gain another 50 lbs because I just couldn't afford it!  I gained about 25 lbs in the first 7 months... not too bad.  But then I was hospitalized with pre-eclampsia for a week and put on bedrest for 6 weeks after that.  In those last 2 months I gained another 15 lbs.  Still not a 50 lb gain, but a 40 lb gain at my starting weight was not pretty either.

The hospital and the bedrest were really hard on me emotionally.  The boyfriend and I still hadn't moved in together and he could barely force himself to stay at the hospital with me for long.  He didn't think it was weird... he just didn't really think he needed to be there that much I guess.  And then while I was on bedrest he still messed around half the time making up every excuse possible not to be at my place helping out with anything and my mom and dad were of course pulling double duty filling in for what we were all finding out was his very lazy and selfish self.  It was so hard on me and so embarrassing it was always like, is boyfriend going to be there after work?  Oh, um, no, he has to um, help a friend do something tonight.  Or some other lame excuse all the time.  I spent half of my bedrest making excuses for him and trying to keep the peace between him and my parents and the other half eating. 

After Brody was born I lost about 10 or 15 lbs but after that I couldn't lose anything.  Not one pound.  I hadn't started exercising (never really my strong suit) but no matter how good I ate and watched my portions and calories and everything else I couldn't nudge even one pound off my body.  It was as if it was saying to me, you know what? I'm happy at this size, get used to it.

I didn't really get used to it but I did start to think it was useless to fight it.  Plus there was the matter that I had gotten so depressed with the boyfriend that I was eating ice cream by the half gallon and cheese by the block and crackers by the box.  I've never actually felt depressed before.  Sure I'd been sad about things and unhappy from time to time and stressed out more often than I'd like but full on depressed was not something I was ready for, but I think it's something I've been dealing with since Brody has been born.  Not because of Brody, but because I realized I should've let this go long ago.  I was scared at the time but I could've done it on my own.  I have a great support system in my parents and as hard as it would've been we would've made it work.  As it stands I stayed with him and my parents have basically had to fill in to be the second parent around the house more often than not anyway, but now the girls are really attached to him and we've completely joined our lives together.

So of course, I kept on eating.  Of course I had soon gained back the little I had lost of the baby weight to begin with.  I realized that no matter how upset I was and stressed and depressed about whatever turn my life was going to take at this point and no matter how many problem I had with the boyfriend that things had really gotten out of control and I had to take control again not only for myself but also for my kids.  They deserve a healthy mom and I needed to be that healthy mom for them.

So on September 6 I started my journey.  I didn't start working out I just started kind of following the weight watchers plan and walking the parking lot during my breaks at work.  I didn't join weight watchers, but my sister set up a spreadsheet on how to figure out points, how many points I got, how many points certain foods were, etc., and I tried to follow it.  I lost almost 25 lbs in the first month.  After that it started coming off MUCH more slowly and a few weeks later with only another few lbs lost I realized I had to add working out to the mix.  So I finally started using my exercise bike and started doing Zumba for Wii at night and anything else I could figure out how to work into my schedule.  And by December 17, I had lost 40 lbs, which was my first goal.  I was finally to my pre-Brody weight.  My next goal would be halfway to my pre-Olivia weight, then all the way to pre-Olivia weight, and this time, I decided, for good measure, another 20 lbs after that.  I didn't just want to lose the weight this time.  I wanted to lose the weight and actually get my body healthy and in shape and I knew that was going to make all the difference in both keeping the weight off but also in staying healthy for my kids and promoting being healthy in my kids.

Then on December 19, I slipped on the ice and ended up in a cast with crutches.  No more workouts.  And I couldn't carry things and it was too difficult for me to get all of the ingredients out of my fridge or cabinet to make the things I had started to enjoy and get used to making over the last few months.  And not surprisingly, the boyfriend was no help.  He literally couldn't be bothered to realize that I even needed help.  I would be sitting in my recliner with my leg elevated and he would make himself a meal and come in and sit down in the chair across from me... and never even ask if I wanted or needed anything.  So I would start taking trips to the kitchen myself and grabbing a bag of chips that I could carry with my crutches or I would sit in the kitchen and grab cheese and crackers and make my meals. 

My mom or sometimes boyfriend would make sure the kids had dinner, I was another story.  My mom was usually so exhausted from spending most of her days at my house, from getting there early to get the kids up and ready for school to staying and helping to clean and get the baby upstairs and back down from his nap and then picking up the kids, by the time boyfriend got there she usually bolted to try and rest and relax, assuming that surely this would be the time he would finally step up.  Not so much though.  He even had really gotten bad at even trying to make something good for the kids.  For awhile there he had gotten into kind of the hang of helping by making dinners and had started to get better at making more family type meals.  But suddenly it was pizza rolls and soup and macaroni for the kids and nothing for me.  Not only was this hard for me because obviously, I could've used the help, but also because I didn't really want this to be what the kids dinners became. 

After my mom left for Florida there have been a lot of nights when my dad and stepmom have helped out with getting dinners for the kids so that's been good, but I still hadn't gotten back on my healthy eating track for myself.  I haven't been on a scale since December 17 and I'm afraid to because I know I've gained some of the weight back.  I've been putting off even thinking about it for the past month.  Every week I keep saying the same old same old dieters mantra... I'm going to start back on my diet Monday.  But I haven't done it.  I did started to work out again with my arms just a little bit a couple of days ago but I haven't gotten back on the healthy eating horse just yet.

That changed today.  I decided this has gone on for too long.  It's upsetting that I worked so hard for 3 1/2 months and I've let my success really be derailed by this injury over the past month.  So that stops today.  Fiber One bar for breakfast (these things are one of my favorite things on the planet I swear).  Green Giant broccoli and cheese steamer for lunch (these steamers have gotten me to eat broccoli for the first time in my life... and even with the cheese the entire bag is only 135 calories and 4.5 grams of fat.  Not bad for a pretty filling lunch!).  Lean pork chops and brown rice with 2 spoonfuls of corn (yes I know, no nutritional value in it, but I love love love it) for dinner.  Jello bites and popcorn for snacks.  (I need to go to the grocery; we're completely out of fruit!)

I'm going to guess-timate that I've gained 10 of the lbs I've lost back.  That might be high or low but I'm not going to check, I'm just going to start getting back on track and maybe check the scale again in a couple of weeks.  I don't want to get myself discouraged by the setback so I'm not going to verify the numbers just yet.  I'm excited to get back on track and hopeful that I'll be reaching my next goal soon.  No turning back! 

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