Monday, August 31, 2009

Almost there...!

I weighed myself today and was only 1 pound away from my weight loss goal! Woo Hoo!!!!!!!!!! I wanted my weight to be at a number that was considered a "normal" BMI for my height and age before I got preggers and I am almost there. I started dieting and exercising in October 2008 and then kind of tapered off a bit and then picked up the pace in April 2009. Since April I have lost 16.5 pounds! I am so proud of myself for sticking with all the calorie counting and the hour long workouts 6 days, sometimes even 7 days, a week.

I am happy to report that I didn't deprive myself of any food during this time. The very word "diet" causes me to go on a carb and sugar binge. Just thinking about not being able to eat a bite of a brownie makes me eat a whole pan... you get the idea. So, I decided at the outset that I would allow myself whatever whenever and then made a promise to myself to exercise off the extra calories instead of depriving my mouth and body of their deliciousness. That attitude actually had me considering the benefits v cost of every "naughty" treat. I ended up wanting them less as I exercised more and the healthier I felt. Also, seeing the numbers go down on the scale was often motivation enough not to eat unhealthy. Because the better I ate the quicker the pounds came off.

I counted calories, I even counted every deliciously naughty treat. My husband would warn me, "You don't want to know how many calories you just ate" and I would say, "knowledge is better than being ignorant." So I guess I don't believe in the old adage "ignorance is bliss." My thinking was, even if today I went waaaaaaayyyy over my calorie allowance tomorrow I can work out a little bit more, or add 10 minutes to every work out for the rest of the week and know that those cals won't count by the time I do my weigh in. And that thinking actually worked! So, yes, I did have to eat better the rest of the week and not tip the calorie scale again, and yes I did have to exercise more. But in the end I was happy because I could go to a BBQ and eat whatever I wanted and I could roast a few marshmallows and eat a few s'mores at a summer campfire and not bat an eye. I ALWAYS counted how many I ate and recorded it in my food journal later, but never regretted the decision.

As far as the exercise part I found several DVDs that I liked and rotated through them as I got bored with one. And I also added walking, and yoga, and the occasional gym circuit to the mix when I could. I get bored really easy with doing the same thing over and over, so I had to change it every couple weeks. But I also think that was part of my success. I have heard about that process called "muscle confusion" and figured that was pretty much what I was doing. I was engaging my brain and my muscles in a different way every couple weeks, so just as I got use to a certain order of exercises and routine I switched it up on myself. I also am a stay at home mom and have a 22 month old, so I didn't have time to run out to the gym every day. So I did what worked for me. It was soooooo easy just to turn on the DVD as soon as she went down for a nap or went to bed for the night and exercise for 30 to 60 minutes. I literally would lay her down for her nap or for bed at night, turn on the DVD player, walk over to my room, put on my exercise clothes and tennis shoes and then go to the living room and work out with my DVDs. If I was tired a particular day I skipped it, or if it was too hot in the middle of the day I waited until the night. I would give myself permission to take a nap, take a break, or eat an extra snack if I really wanted to. The freedom to do as I please but also the ability to see the goal ahead was the magical combination for me.

One other thing I think made it work for me was tracking my progress and writing it all down as I went. It was encouraging to look back over the past week and see that I worked out 6 times that week for 60 minutes, and I ate the allotted calories I had planned for the week, and see the number on the scale going down. For me that was TRUE motivation. It also helped during those weeks when I didn't see a change on the scale to realize I was at least getting healthier. All that exercise wasn't going to waste, even if I didn't lose any weight. Because the point of exercise and diet is to be healthy and to maintain those healthy habits for the rest of your life, not just to reach a weight goal and then to stop and wait until the next time you gain 10 or 20 pounds. I plan to keep working out for 30 minutes (minimum) a day, 5 days a week for the rest of my life. This is no short time plan here, this is a life changing plan. And I am glad I have this new habit formed and will be so happy to be able to keep it up, even when I get pregnant again.

So, for all of you who are like me, and hate to "diet," I want to encourage you to find an exercise program that you like, count those calories, don't deprive yourself, and give yourself permission to take a break from the routine every once in a while. Just make sure you get back on that horse if you fall off it and keep it up! I also would recommend a heart rate monitor. It takes all the guess work out of how many calories you are shedding during your work out and you know if you are working hard or hardly working hee hee. And use a free online calorie counting website, they help you look up foods easily and keep track of it all with out buying books to look foods up or using a lot of paper (but I still liked keeping a physical journal because I like to look at it all written out in my own hand writing.) I would also suggest only weighing in one day a week, at the same time of the day every week. It doesn't matter which day of the week, whatever works for you, but to accurately compare numbers and track your progress you can't compare day to day numbers or a Monday one week to a Wednesday another week and expect to see consistency in weight loss numbers. If you feel the urge to step on it on every day just shrug it off it it looks worse, or if its better take that as encouragement that you are headed in the right direction.

Of coure I have one more pound to go, but I'm not worried. I know I will do it, and I don't even care if it takes another month. This exercising, calorie countin' Momma ain't stoppin' for anything! Even if I find out I am preggers soon I will continue exercising (althought the weight LOSS part will stop, and the calorie allowance will go up... but I am looking forward to that part).

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Potty Training already?!

Okay, so my daughter is 22 months old. One day my hubby put her down for her nap in a poopy diaper. He knew it was poopy and then forgot to take care of it before putting her down. Anyways, it turned out to be a good thing because since then she has told us when she is about to poop or has pooped. Before this time she was always content to walk around in a soiled diaper, which I could never figure out why. Anyways, so she became interested in the toilet as well. I bought her a toilet seat to put on the big toilet and put a stool in front and she actually peed on the toilet after one accident of playing with it and peeing next to it and I immediately put her on the toilet and told her to pee there. That was a couple weeks ago. Since then she hasn't shown much interest in actually peeing or pooping on the toilet. So then I thought I would get her the little potty that sits on the ground for easy access, I thought "perhaps that would be more appealing?" and I was right!

Last night she played with her new potty and today she came up to me and said "potty" and pointed towards the bathroom. We went in there, pulled down her shorts and pulled off the diaper and she played on the potty for a few minutes and then all of a sudden she started to poop on the floor... I immediately sat her on the potty and she finished the poop there. I showed her the one on the floor belonged in the toilet and then dumped it all in the big toilet and flushed it. She seemed a bit appalled by the whole poop incident, but I was so proud of her! She knew she had to go and told me, and ALMOST actually used it right.

So now I am on the Internet and reading my baby books to see what is next. I was wondering if she was too young, but according to what I read she is just at the right point for the early learners. She must take after her Mommy, my Mom told me that I asked to be potty trained when I was around two. I did have two older brothers though and my parents as an example, KD is an only child. Anyways, I am happy she is interested and that this could be the beginning of the potty training adventure. Of course I know she could regress or stop being interested at some point too, but I feel I should "strike while the irons hot." Sorry my blog has taken a poopy turn for now, but I may have other things to write about soon... don't you worry!

I guess I still need to buy a few items, so its off to the store for some training items: hand sanitizer, flushable wipes, pull ups, stickers for a reward, elastic waste banded shorts (for KD to pull off and on herself), and perhaps even a trip to the library for a DVD and a book or two (for her and me). Any tips from Mom's who have been down this road successfully already would be welcome. I have some concerns, she can't pull down her own pants yet, not for lack of trying (but hoping the pull ups will be easy to handle and that elastic waste bands will help her learn) and she has limited verbal skills (although she is a very good communicator with the words she does know and she knows how to say potty, poo poo, and pee pee.) I also don't know how to take this adventure on the road and if I need to fill her with water and juice for the next week to make sure she pees often or use a timer to remind us to go to the potty every 30 to 90 minutes or whatever. I don't know if I should expect her to learn this skill in a few days and go to underwear at her young age or if the pull ups are fine until she is a bit older. I don't know a lot, but I am ready to dive in!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I wanna wrap myself in bubble wrap

I have been exercising for a while now, getting back to my pre-pregnancy weight from the first kid, and now I am finally under that weight and on my way to getting to an even more decent weight. Anyways, now I am trying to get pregnant with kid #2 and every time we have tried to conceive I want to just lay horizontal and wrap myself in bubble wrap as to not jiggle anything loose that is necessary for this to work. As if jumping jacks or stomach crunches would cause me to not get pregnant. I have read over an over on Internet sites that exercising while ovulating and trying to conceive has no effect on conception, but somehow my brain wants to tell me otherwise. As if those little swimmers won't be able to make the trip if I jump around, and then if the egg gets fertilized it won't be able to grab onto my uterine wall and will fall out. I know its scientifically ridiculous to think like this, but apparently I am not the only crazy woman who thinks this way. I have found the same question posted on discussions on the Internet over and over. One woman wrote "I want to wrap myself in bubble wrap and cotton..." and its exactly how I feel! I think its because I have tried four times already and it hasn't taken yet. The first time around I got preggers on the second try, and I wasn't exercising, so this is a new neurosis for me. I worked full time and ran up and down ladders, lifted heavy boxes and the such, and I went to school in the evenings and stayed up late doing homework, but I wasn't exercising... so I was never worried about my physically activity level. I even had just gotten off the pill and my periods weren't even regular when I got preggers last time. So, I think its the length of time that has gone by this time that is turning me into a worry wart about the exercise. Its the only factor that is really different this time around.

I have read that if you are an athlete and have very low body fat that this could effect fertility. But I am still in the "overweight" category on the BMI chart, so that's not a worry for me. Everything else has said that if you have been exercising for a while before trying to get pregnant than you should be fine continuing your program during conception and pregnancy, and its best for your health and the future baby's to not halt it. And I also know that it takes an average of 6 months to a year for a woman at my age to conceive, so I am not out of the bounds of normal... just out of the bounds of what my previous experience was. So, today I did my workout at full tilt (except the jumping jacks, still couldn't bring myself to do those) even though I don't really want to. If this round doesn't take then I am going to be really paranoid next time and not move for three weeks and lay as flat as possible! LOL!!! :-D And on the other hand, if it doesn't take this round and I do lay flat for three weeks then I won't lose those final 4 pounds that put me at "normal" weight according to the BMI chart, which would be fabulous! So I can't get lazy yet. I still have goals to work on while I am waiting for this baby thing to happen.

I just need to think about this rationally for a moment. Women get pregnant all the time that don't know when they ovulated or aren't tracking their periods. Women do all kinds of crazy things that would make you think they would be the least likely to get pregnant in their situation, like smoking, drinking, taking all kinds of various medications, strange menstrual cycles etc. And back in the stone ages women probably had no clue as to when they were ovulating and were probably doing more physical work than any of us average types do today. Even crazy fit athletes get pregnant and keep going in their sport during pregnancy and everything is fine. So why should I think that my 45 minute aerobic exercise would make such a huge impact on my ability to get pregnant? Its just silly. I think those ovulation tracking kits are more a curse than a blessing. Knowing its actually very possible to get pregnant at a certain time of the month just makes you stress out over it, and that is probably the worse thing you can do when trying to get pregnant. Its better when you are clueless and it just happens!

Well, I guess for the next two weeks its back to normal for me and my exercise and eating habits. Then I get to see if mother nature has brought my monthly gift to me or not, and if not then I get to pee on a stick! (I know I can pee on a stick like 5 days before my period, but waiting for it is cheaper than doing that every time we try to get preggers... that pink box is under my bathroom sink waiting for me still.) I hope we got the job done this time, I really don't want to wait another month until the hubs is home (he just left yesterday for his 35 day rotation.) And I really don't want to have the next baby in July, a spring due date sounds so much nicer than being 9 months preggers during one of the hottest months of the year. But whatever God's will is I am sure it will happen accordingly. I just have to be patient, and that isn't always that easy. Especially since we put off trying until the timing was more ideal, and now we are past the "ideal" and are like... "happen already!" I would like to have the next one before I turn 35 or at least before my first goes into Kindergarten... or worse, college. Please, Lord... Please?!!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Time for a new post

I have been "off the grid" for a bit and was thinking it was time for a new post. I guess I have a good excuse, the passing of my Mom, so I don't have any apologies to make. However, there is no "juicy" news to report. But I will give this a shot for you all. Let's see what happens...

There is an "up side" to my Mom's passing... my husband came home early. He left work, they were slow anyway, after only a week or so of being there. So he has been home since the beginning of July and isn't leaving until next week. So almost two whole months home! YAY!! Its been really nice having extra time with him home. I am going to miss the extra help with KD, she is turning two in October but her "terrible twos" have arrived early. For about a week we were putting her in a time out a couple times a day! We are lucky she is as good natured as she is. But still, it can get difficult at times, especially when I have to deal with it by myself for a month!

Another "up side" is that we are now able to replace our roof, which has been falling apart for a few years, using the money that was left to me by my Mom. Without it honestly I don't know when we were going to be able to do the roof, and its been a concern of mine for a while. We had eaves that were disintegrating from termite damage, a few small leaks that were making water spots on the ceiling when it rained, and when the Santa Ana wind season came around we usually lost a tile or two. So, thanks Mom! I think she would be happy to know we have used her money to keep her family safe and sound. If she had been rich in life I am sure she would have loved to do that for us while she was alive. Right now the tiles on my roof are all torn off, they replaced all the rotting rafters and eaves today, tomorrow they are putting the plywood in. Next week we get the new tiles installed. Oh... another great thing we got to get done is tear out the rotting/ dead Olive tree we had. It was causing damage to our roof as well, with bug infestation and moisture etc. So we get to put a new tree in and I am getting a Willow tree like I always wanted... well, actually a Peppermint Willow. And when JD gets back after his next rotation we will have the house painted. The stucco has been falling off and is cracked in some places, and is this horrible pink color. I can't wait to see that done. Its not as important as the roof, so I don't mind waiting... but I am so excited to see that paint color go and get the stucco fixed. (FYI: We are painting the house a lovely light sage green color. It will be nice.)

One thing I was HOPING would be another benefit of JD coming home earlier is a chance to get pregnant. We had two very clear chances to get me knocked up (usually he is coming home or leaving right around the time I am ovulating.) But alas, neither time it took. So we have to give it another try before he leaves... while I am in the midst of an ovulation cycle. I don't have that big of hopes of it working this time if it hasn't worked the other two times and we had more time to "cover all the bases," if you will. But then again, who knows? We were not to keen on the idea of getting pregnant during this next opportunity because it would land the due date around our Anniversary date in May, and we really wanted to keep the time for our self and not have a kid that we needed to spend money and attention on instead of each other. But I was checking out the time frame for when he is home again and our next chance and the due date lands in early July, which will be one year after my Mom's passing and my birthday month (I'm July 13th). Her birthday was also July 9th, so I am like... "wouldn't that be weird if the next kid was born on my Mom's birthday?" So I figured we might as well give this round a shot, its not like either option is the "ideal" situation, but I would prefer the Anniversary connection and avoid having a baby that is a reminder of my Mom's death every time I celebrate their birthday. And perhaps it would not be that bad, but still... not that exciting of an option. Plus I was hoping to be pregnant during the cooler part of the year and not be 9 months preggers in the hottest part of the year. I was in the 2nd trimester with KD during the summer months and it was not fun. Anyways, I am not holding my breath or counting on this working this round... but I am somewhat hopeful, or I wouldn't even be trying.

As for my Aunt, which I have been writing about in previous posts, she is STILL in the hospital. Not much improvment, but at least she isn't getting any worse. She still has the halo-brace on and breathing with the help of a tube, and she is going to have that brace on for at least another month or two. They think at least 6 months she will need it on, and she got in her car accident at the end of March. When I visit her she is asleep most of the time, and I hate to wake her! It tires her out when they try to sit her up and give her a little physical therapy and I feel like she needs the sleep. What is really difficult is that we haven't told her that her sister, my Mom, is gone. She drifts in and out and sometimes doesn't seem to recognize her own family, so we don't think its wise to tell her what has happened until she is more alert and stabilized. I am not looking forward to that conversation... "About four months ago your sister passed away..." or however long its been when we tell her. Not going to be fun. I am hoping that when we tell her it won't break her heart and cause her to not progress as she should. My Mom, my Aunt, and I were all very close. We have all been there for each other through thick and thin, so it will be hard for me to talk about it with her. My Aunt is like a second Mom to me, if she were to also die I think my heart couldn't take it. I would curl up in a little ball and just cry for days... months... I don't know what I would do! I guess having KD and JD in my life would keep me going, but it would be hard.

I am praying that my Aunt will be fully recovered before my next baby is born. She was there when KD was born and was such a big help! She arrived with my Mom just in the nick of time to help me through the worst part of the labor and all the pushing. And my Aunt was a labor and delivery nurse, so she helped me with my breathing and managing the contractions in a way that was AMAZING! Plus the Doctor didn't even make it in time, it was her and the nurse at the hospital that delivered KD!!! I always felt comforted by the thought that even if JD was flying or out of town when the big day arrived at least I had her to be there for me. So, in a way... the longer it takes for me to get pregnant the better, more of a chance that she will be there. It would mean a lot to have her there for my second baby delivery for so many reasons, not just the "nurse" part of her background, but also what she means to me personally. My whole life I have always looked up to my Aunt and wanted to be just like her. She is such a wonderful and loving person, so giving and so godly. She is just the most wonderful person and I am so privileged to be related to her and be able to call her my Auntie. She is very special. I really hope she gets through this difficult time as quickly as possible. She must be so miserable lying there in the hospital with that big metal brace on her head and wishing she was home.

Well, that's enough sad thoughts for one night. I will continue to look at the positives in my life and move ahead with a smile on my face. I know all things will work out and that God will take care of me and my loved ones. He has so far! :) I am very blessed.