Tuesday, November 13, 2012

In Which I Outline My Healthy Plans

Let the record show that I have allowed myself to deteriorate quite successfully. I have ignored writing about it because I have been surviving. And that's okay. Truly, I'm okay with it. My standards have been realistic for the last 8-9 months. I had a baby. Seven pregnancies, six babies. My body knows it!

But the state of my physical body is not doing well:
1. I'm 50 pounds overweight now. Yes, I gained 10.
2. My asthma is at an all-time yuckiness-high.
3. I'm tired ALL. THE. TIME.
4. My feet hurt.

I know why. Spare yourself some writing time (trust me on this one) because I already know what I have to do to get my health back. That's why I wrote it down: Exercise, scriptures, veggies.

If you have read this blog for longer than the last 8 months, you will know, dear reader, that I was a very big supporter of healthy living. Green smoothies were my life. I ate salads all the time. Meat and dairy were very few and far between. I exercised daily and did Portland to Coast pregnant. My midwife said she had never seen such amazing health on a woman who was 40 weeks pregnant (I wasn't "thin" --my urine sample, blood pressure, etc. was just fantastic and it was worth noting). I searched and searched for the best life-style change and I had found it. I found it in a whole foods, plant based diet and walking an hour every morning.

But it was hard to sustain for a number of factors. Exhaustion and picky eaters in the HappyMeetsCrazy household being at the top. But it doesn't matter what my excuses are or were. Justification can only take you so far, and mine took me to 221 pounds.

I mean, let me be frank. I could make exercise my life. I could. I see women do it all the time. Exercise becomes their passion and that's great! Marathoners, Triathaloners, bikers, yoga people, whatever... they are inspiring. But I simply do not have the passion nor the desire to become like that. I'm a reader, a writer, a musician. I would rather spend time talking with a friend over dinner than run a marathon together. Do you know why I liked Portland to Coast? Because it let people like me --simple walkers --do something extraordinary without making us feel like we are less because we're not running our guts out. The truth is that we make time for what we love, do we not? This is one of the reasons I'm not that great at the exercise thing. I don't love it.

I could also make healthy eating my life. I could obsess over every morsel that crosses my mouth. But I do not have the luxury of time to do this --nor the passion. The idea of a raw food diet is good --I just don't think I could realistically maintain it, maintain it for my family of many, nor do I believe the extreme of "raw food only" follows the Word of Wisdom. I don't love it, either.

But I like to be healthy. I like to be strong. And that means I need to put in some effort.

So. Let the record now show that I will do something about it. It will not be drastic. It will not be insane. Oh, sure, I want it to be drastic! Are you kidding? If I could maintain the lifestyle I held years ago (when I lost 40 pounds), I would do it yesterday. But I've been trying for 8 months and then getting down on myself for not keeping it up and then... yeah. Failing.

Baby steps:
*I had a green smoothie yesterday.
*I had a salad for lunch, along with the leftover pasta (whole wheat noodles with vegan pasta sauce) and a cup of herbal tea.
*I am taking my meds/vitamins religiously and brushing my teeth twice a day.
*I have committed myself to walking Portland to Coast next August. Yay! I LOVED it the last time I did it, and I know it will be a good motivator for me to lose weight and get walking. My team will be depending on me, eh? I even asked Amanda to give me the hardest legs, just so I will have more motivation.

It's winter. It's cold. The baby still gets up to nurse 1-2 times a night (soooo much better, though! He's doing great, really). My goal last week was to exercise 20 minutes a day. That's all. 20 minutes of exercise, a few minutes of scripture reading, and make veggies the bulk of my diet.

I can do this. I know I can. I may not have started the exercise (we had to stop doing the stairs because of the snow), but I have the Pilates and Jillian Michaels DVD's waiting for me, calling to me.

For you, dear reader, what is your obstacle to healthy living? Mine comes in two ways: First, the impatience. If I can't lose 50 pounds in 4 weeks, then what's the point!? (unrealistic and lame, I know.) Second, I am an emotional eater. And since I've been having a rough time of it with six kids and such, I've been eating A LOT (way to be obvious there, Cheryl).

So, that's my focus: Baby steps and emotional outlets. And not freaking out when I fail. Or giving up... My final goal: Weigh between 175-180 pounds, rock it at Portland to Coast, and breathe again without having to use my rescue inhaler.

Wanna join me? Make a baby step. Don't over think it like I tend to do, dear reader. Just make one.


Becca said...

I'm totally with you... my health is more emotional and mental than physical, but that doesn't make it any less important. And they are so interconnected. And the deterioration in my mental/emotional health has caused me to gain WAY too much weight in the past few weeks of this pregnancy. Whoa.

You've inspired me.

Now off to clean bathrooms and do laundry.

Becca said...

(my health struggles... ha ha... my health is everything, but I've been doing alright in the eating/exercise department - physical health... anyway... moving on...)

Marcie said...

I lost 50 lbs (40 of which I have gained back) but I used an app called "lose it". You track every single stinking calorie in and burned off. It stores all of your goals, calorie counts in resteraunt and grocery foods, every physical activity burning capacity possible, and even let's you link to friends using the app. No special dieting but you inevitably lower calories and look at food differently like "ugh that candy bar has 300 calories and that is so not worth 20 extra minutes in the treadmill." It changed me, however, as one does - I fell off the wagon. If you are interested in teaming up, I could use about 60 lbs to lose.

flip flop mama said...

It's just healthy food I need to be better at. I have not been cooking real dinners lately because I feel like by the end of the day I have no energy or time to make a decent meal. Three kids (don't hate on me) has been harder especially as the baby gets older! I thought it would get easier. I did make a meal plan yesterday and went shopping though. Hopefully this will be the start of something. Oh and I'm also doing the sit-up and push-up app. Love it!

Aubrey said...

I can understand your feelings in part, as I have a one month old still getting up in the night, and a two year old. I still have 20 pounds to lose from pregnancy, and have been wanting to lose it quickly, but lacking the motivation. For me, I feel it has been linked to lack of sleep. I slept horribly during the last three months of my pregnancy, and although it is better at this point, I'm still waking up 2 times a night to nurse. This exhaustion has severely limited my desire and ability to make good choices regarding eating. As far as exercise goes, I'm not letting myself do anything extra until I'm at least 6 weeks postpartem, so luckily I don't have to feel bad about that yet. :)

I've been reading your blog for a long time, and have thought several times in the last month or two, "she is so tired, she needs to get her baby sleeping through the night". I understand that you might be very opposed to cry it out, or any other method of "sleep training", however, I think you would agree that you can't be your best self when you're exhausted all the time. You have five other kids to think about in addition to your baby, and they would all benefit from a happier mom. That being said, you would benefit as well, in your physical and mental health.

I hope that you don't feel offended by my thoughts, that is not my intention. I wish for the best for you, and that is the way that I would go about it if I were you. Your baby won't suffer from crying it out, in fact, I believe that he'll be blessed as well from the benefits of a full night's sleep.

Good luck with your weight loss. I will be joining you in that goal as well, and hope to see us both succeed.

Amanda D said...

I'm with you! I had done so well and it is all back. For me, it's just been laziness. I haven't worked out as much, haven't been as diligent about preparing good food. I've been eating when I'm not hungry, not getting enough water and I. Have. To. Stop.

Thanks for this post. It was very timely for me, and I needed the inspiration. Keep us posted on how it's going, okay?

Cheryl said...

I don't know if you believe in essential oils or not or think they are kooky, but I have been using DoTerra's slim and smassy for a month now and I've lost 6 lbs this month! I haven't changed my eating by that much and have increased my exercsie to 4 days instead of 3 (30 minutes) so I can only attribute it to the oil. It's an all natural metabolism boost.

Rachel Holtkamp said...

Ok, I will tell you my baby steps to not gaining too much weight pver the course of the next year. I gained 10 pounds from the time I met my husband till right after we were married. That's less than a year! I haven't been able to take it off at all, and finally had to give in and buy the next size up in pants. That was a depressing day. Anyway, I have discovered small snacks throughout the day. Example, an apple fills me up fortwo to three hours. Grapes and carrots do the same. If I'm not too hungry, but it's been about three hours since my last meal, I have a yogurt or applesauce, I also don't drink sugary drinks at all. I'm a water person. I carry my water bottle around with me everywhere. I am really hoping that by this time next year, I can be back to this weight or the weight I was before I met my husband. Who knows? We also rarely eat out for two reasons: it gets expensive and we don't have a lot of money right now, and everytime we do, one of usgets sick. So our date night don't usually include going to a restaurant.