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week 1 update

So… I didn’t really start dieting and exercising last week. After the holidays, we didn’t have a ton of money to spend on groceries so we ate the meat and veggies we had in the freezer and ate out several times too. I stopped eating so much candy though, and I tried to avoid snacking. I didn’t get to the gym because I had a cold all week and was feeling really wiped out.

All in all, I’m up a pound.

I was bummed out by that at first and then I remembered to take my measurements too!

The scale lies!

I’m sure is was mostly water weight, but I’ve lost about a half inch in my arms and chest, an inch in my thighs, my hips stayed the same (expected, that’s my problem area), but I lost almost 7 inches in my waist! I measured a few times just to make sure, but I think it’s right! There’s a subtle difference, but I know you all want to see more ugly pics of me so here you have it:

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That brings my measurements to… arms – 15.5″, bust – 45.75″, waist – 41.75″, hips – still 51.75″, and thighs – 32.5″.

This week, I’m really hoping to see the scale go down. Monday I started eating almost no- carb and going to the gym again. My goals were just to actually make all the meals I had planned out, not even eat them, just make them! And to get to the gym 4 times. I’ve got one meal left to make and some chicken I want to marinate and freeze for later. And I’ve gone to the gym 2x.

I had mentioned that on my last post that I feel like I start over a lot. I reflected on that this week, trying to figure out why it is that I just can’t stick with a healthy lifestyle – especially when I used to love running and healthy cooking so much. It finally became clear to me after a sermon Sunday about doubt.

I doubt God’s goodness to me. 

I have everything I’ve ever wanted in life – a good job, a husband, not one but two beautiful daughters, a cute house of my own, everyone is healthy – except I don’t have the enjoyment of my physical body. I have health problems now, exercising isn’t enjoyable like it used to be, I can’t wear all my cute clothes, I sweat all the time even just making dinner or getting the kids dressed… basically, I’m just really unhappy with my physical self. But it would be too good to be true if I had the job, husband, house, kids, and body that I wanted, right? I don’t deserve it!

But I KNOW God wants us to have joy in this life. He doesn’t want us morbidly obese, unable to enjoy all the good things he’s given us. He is so good us that he DOES want us to have it all. And even more!

So no more holding back, no more self sabotaging. I don’t deserve it, but I’m going to work for it and trust that God is beyond good to me.

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gotta start somewhere

It’s been a rough couple months trying to get back to healthy again. Between my SI joint issues, and the busyness of the holidays, it just hasn’t been happening. I knew I just needed to get through the holidays to get back into it. I’m not calling it a resolution, but I am getting serious about my weigh loss efforts. Especially after seeing this:

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I took before pics this morning and I’m just SO much bigger than I thought I was. I was in denial. For reference, this was me, before 2 kids, 4 years ago:

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And that wasn’t even at my thinest!

Then there was this:

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(Note to self: repaint toenails before taking another scale shot.)

I gained so much weight over Christmas and now I’m exactly 100 lbs overweight! And, my fasting blood sugar was in the diabetic range this morning. 110! It should be below 90. If that wasn’t enough, I took my measurements too and my thighs are each bigger than my waist used to be. [arms 16″, bust 46″, waist 46 3/4″, hips 51 3/4″, thighs 33 3/4″]

I’m really trying hard to be motivated instead of discouraged. But this is the heaviest and biggest I’ve ever been outside of my pregnancy. I never in a million years ever dreamed that’d I’d ever let myself get this far from my normal. Which is running marathons, and lifting weights, and cooking all the time.

So I’ve got to buckle down and make it a priority. At least until I get below 200 (“One”derland!). Commit to meal planning, meal prepping, sticking to my diet, exercising 5 days a week, getting enough sleep, drinking tons of water… all the good healthy stuff old Megan used to do.

I feel like I do this a lot. Post a complaining post about how fat I am and how I’ve got to make a change. Half the time I give up a week later. I can’t this time. If you see me around, please ask me how things are going – it helps hold me accountable, and if you notice a difference, I won’t take offense if you mention it. It’ll motivate me even more. I’m going to need all the support I can get!

One more depressing before pic:

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Let’s do this.

 

 

Week 1

Scale Victory: Lost 7 lbs!

Non-Scale Victories: Clothes fitting better on stomach and hips, arms look thinner, didn’t binge even once, more energy, able to bend over and stand back up without pain! (thanks to PT for my SI joint)

This week went surprisingly well. I made it to the gym 5 times – once for yoga, twice doing legs then the treadmills for 30-35 minutes, twice doing arms then 30-35 minutes on the treadmill. I’m not supposed to run, so occasionally l just ran at a low speed (5 mph) for just a minute at a time. I really took it easy.

I stuck with my no flour, no sugar diet the rest of the week. I have never been so happy and willing to ditch carbs and flour in my life.I feel so good without them!

Now on to week 2…

Making Progress

I just came home from meeting with my physical therapist. She did x-rays and everything with my discs looked perfect! It’s my SI (sacroiliac) joint. I posted a diagram below that shows where that is. Basically, my ligaments are still loose from pregnancy. A hormone called Relaxin kicks in toward the end of pregnancy to loosen up your pelvis for birth, that hormone can stick around if your breast feeding. Since my core was so weak from two pregnancies in 2 years, there wasn’t enough muscle to keep everything stable. I’ll be going to PT twice a week for the next 6 weeks to strengthen my core so that everyday activities and exercise doesn’t cause it to flare up anymore. And hopefully, when I’m done breastfeeding (which will be really soon since the steroids killed my supply), everything will tighten back up to normal anyway.

si-joint-pain

Other than that, I took a big step with my diet this week. After I heard back from my PCP that my thyroid was fine, but my blood sugar was a little high, I decided I wouldn’t make any more excuses. My back has been feeling pretty good, and there is no medical reason I can’t lose the weight. I just haven’t put enough effort in.

So I gave up sugar and flour!

I’m eating lots of veggies, meat, healthy fats, and some dairy and fruit. I thought I was going to be so miserable on a ‘diet’, but I feel so great not eating bread and sugar! It’s been 5 days now and I haven’t had any cravings and I have tons of energy most the time!

For lunch and dinner this week so far I’ve had meat sauce over zucchini noodles, parmesan crusted pork chops with roasted broccoli and cauliflower, autumn spiced chicken with roasted root veggies, and I’m making Ropa Viejo (Cuban Beef) in the crockpot for dinner tonight.

Breakfast is either a slice of crumbled bacon with 2 eggs, mushrooms, spinach, and a little cheddar or keto pancakes with peanut butter and half a banana.  For snacks I’ve had either jalapeno poppers or an apple with almond butter.

I’m drinking tons of water and I have a Vega One shake with fruit and milk on the days I work out. I feel really well fed and nothing has taken me longer than an hour to throw together. David has helped with clean up too, which really helps.

I’ve also been going to the gym again. Doing yoga, light weights, and walk-running. I had actually built myself back up to walking 2 minutes running 2 minutes for a half hour which is about 2 miles for me, but the PT says I shouldn’t run for the next couple weeks until I can start work on my core. It’s going to be really hard to comply! I mostly feel really good. I think what’s hardest on my body is taking care of the kids and I was down a grandma this week for babysitting. My back always hurts worse after I’ve been picking up the kids a lot or cleaning up after them. So hopefully next week my body will get a little break from that.

I don’t have a truly reliable scale right now, but according to the one at the gym and the scales at the doctor’s offices, I’ve lost 6lbs already! I can tell in my clothes and posture too. When I sit, I can stuck in and my belly button can actually pull in now. Shirts that grazed my belly are now loose. In just 5 days! I don’t know if there could be anything more motivating!

Plan of Action

Today I had a doctor’s appointment. I initially made it to get a thyroid panel done, but after my ER visit last week, it was also a follow up.

I got blood drawn, peed in a cup, and got a referral for physical therapy.

I have my first PT appointment next week and I’m super excited to get some core strength back once and for all!

My back is finally feeling MUCH better today. I took a walk with Emmie today and didn’t have a flare up. I’m off all my pain meds but Ibuprofen 800. I’ll probably scale back to regular Ibuprofen tomorrow. Tomorrow morning is my last dose of steroids too. They give me weird anxious energy, and they killed my breast milk supply, so I’m happy to be finished.

So now I wait. For thyroid results and to start PT. In the meantime, I’m going to try my hardest to stick to my meal plan (nothing extreme, just well portioned, home cooked meals) and take daily 30 minute walks.

It’s a start.

setBACKs

I am just so sick of setbacks I could scream.

Last week I finally accepted the fact that I’m struggling to work two part time jobs, raise my 2 amazing girls, take care of (most of) the cooking and cleaning and errand running, and take care of my basic hygiene needs. On top of that, I NEED to start losing weight. How on earth am I suppose to fit in a few hours of meal planning and calorie counting, and make time to get a more vigorous work out in most days – when I have trouble finding time to shower. I know it sounds like I’m making excuses, but this is really just a busy season of life!

I have a couple hours of free time at night that I generally spend working, watching a little TV, or baking. I can work during the day more, I don’t need to watch TV or bake as much. But 9:30pm is way too late to workout! So Sunday night, I set my alarm for 5:15am so I could get in a workout, a shower, and even a little devotion time before the baby wakes up at 7. Well, I turned my alarm off in my sleep, and then when I did get to the gym, my back hurt to bad to lift weights, plank, or even run. I was frustrated but didn’t let it get to me because at least I tried!

I was up late Monday and my back was really hurting by the end of the night so I skipped my Tuesday morning workout. I skipped my Wednesday morning workout too because my back was still not quite right. By the end of the day Wednesday, I was in such excruciating pain that I couldn’t sit on the couch, I was barely able to walk to my bedroom, and I tried to climb into bed for 40 minutes but couldn’t – even with David’s help. The pain was literally a 10 out of 10. It was as bad as giving birth – no exaggeration – and I didn’t get an epidural with either of my two kids. I finally caved and went to the ER. That was a production in itself. I couldn’t bear any weight on my right leg  so I wiggled my left foot while I held onto the countertop and shuffled down to the stairs. I literally screamed down each step. Once I got outside, there was nothing to hold onto so David and my father in law (he and my mother in law came to sit at the house cause it was 2am and the kids were both sleeping!) grabbed the patio chairs and strategically placed them along the sidewalk so I could grab onto them. Getting into the car was like ripping off a bandaid (that’s superglued to your genitals perhaps). I just had to do it even though it hurt like heck.

After an hour in the ER, I discovered that I have a bulging or herniated disc in my lumbar. I had been struggling with it since after my pregnancy with Emmie. It was gone after several chiropractic visits but came back when I was about 8 months pregnant with Maisie. It’s come and gone since then, but has never been this bad. The doctor thinks the disc was touching nerves which is why I couldn’t put any weight on my right leg. I was hitting nerves each time I did! They gave me a shot of Tramadol, some Flexeril, and an Ibuprofin 800 and sent me home. It was still horribly painful to get in the car, but by the time I got home I could (still painfully) get myself into bed with David’s help.

So now I’m on 2 painkillers, a muscle relaxer, and a steroid. I have to ice my back 4 times a day and I’m not supposed to pick up the kids. David took Thursday off to help with the kids, and his mom came for a couple hours so he could leave for just a little bit. Friday is David’s off day anyway, but he did have to go to work for just a little bit, so my mom came to help with the kids. I took Thursday off work – we only got about 4 hours of sleep and I still could hardly walk, but I did go to work Friday. My back finally started to feel better after I walked around at work Friday. Today (Saturday) I was on my own with the kids for quite a bit. We went to a Halloween party so there was getting the in and out of the car, getting them dressed, and then once we got home, putting them to bed. I’m sure my back is going to kill in the morning.

One step forward, two steps back…..

Monday I go see my new PCP. I had initially made the appointment to have my thyroid checked – I keep gaining weight even when I do eat fairly healthy and exercise and even the ER doctor said my thyroid felt slightly enlarged – but now I’m also going to get a referral for physical therapy.

Something has got to give! I’m obese from pregnancies and post-partum stress disorder after I had Emmie, I can’t lose it cause my thyroid is outta whack, which is also causing me to be pre-diabetic, and my obesity is causing my to have major back problems so I can’t even workout to get the weight off.

And really, I mostly just miss running. It was such a huge part of my life and my identity before I became a mom. It’s the one thing I had always done for me. It was the start to most of my days and it set the tone for my day. I got a shower everyday before I had to go anywhere. I know if I can get to the point where the weight is slowly coming off, and I’m physically able to run, I can get back into it again.

And with that, it’s time to go to bed and give my body the rest it needs to heal.

Because, life.

I was so ambitious thinking I’d have time to raise a toddler and infant, take care of my house, keep clothes and dishes washed, run errands, work 25 hours a week, eat, sleep, workout, AND write regular blog posts. Ha! This is a really busy season of life, most days I feel like I’m barely keeping my head up above water.

When I first started trying to lose weight this time around, I was only working 10 hours a week, so when I added my school job back into my schedule again, weight loss took a back seat. But this week has been a really hard week and I’m slowly getting motivated to get back to it again.

I want to share these things a little bit just to process, but also to maybe share some fresh motivation for others. So here we go…

I found out this week that despite going to a recovery group for binge eating, and really doing MUCH better now with support, that I gained 10 lbs in the last few weeks even though I cut probably over a thousand (no exaggeration) calories a day out of my diet. I now have 100 lbs to lose. Nothing could be more discouraging. Except…

I found out I’m pre diabetic. I was just curious so I took my fasting blood sugar a couple days this week and I had one reading of 107, one that was 115. Anything under 100 is normal, over 125 is diabetic. I know my hypertension is still an issue too. And I have sacroiliac joint hyper mobility. Basically, my ligaments are still lose from pregnancy so the joint in my lower back that connects to my pelvis, that transfers the weight of my upper body to lower, gets inflamed from time to time (about once a week lately) and I can hardly walk. So my health is very much at stake.

Here’s where it gets better! I went to see Imagine Dragons in concert this week, their music has a way of inspiring and healing me, and heard their new song Whatever It Takes for the first time. My first thought was – if I was able to run, this song would be my anthem right now. And then I just cried for a while (a couple days later, not at the concert!) because I SO miss my old body. Then I listened to the words a little more closely:

Always had a fear of being typical
Looking at my body feeling miserable
Always hanging on to the visual
I wanna be invisible

And the chorus:

Whatever it takes
‘Cause I love the adrenaline in my veins
I do whatever it takes
‘Cause I love how it feels when I break the chains
Whatever it takes
You take me to the top I’m ready for
Whatever it takes
‘Cause I love the adrenaline in my veins
I do what it takes

Hits me right in the gut. Just really speaks to what I’m struggling with right now. Wanting to feel that adrenaline again. That joy from pushing myself, and overcoming. It’s how God wired me to be, and it’s what’s been missing from my life since I became a mom.

So then I go to my support group and was left with a couple thoughts that have been fueling me too. First is that I need to have self control to lose this weight but also not be in control. Because I’m not in control. My life is not my own! And obvious answer:

Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT)

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!

I mean, duh. It’s literally our theme verse for the year at my school job. So more time spent in prayer, in the Bible, in meditation. The self control will come as the Spirit comes.

And then tonight I finally remembered to look up a verse that a support group member  mentioned:

Psalm 112:7-8 (NLT)

They do not fear bad news;
    they confidently trust the Lord to care for them.
They are confident and fearless
    and can face their foes triumphantly.

What an amazing reminder that I don’t need to fear for my health. That the Lord will care for me. That I can have confidence I will win this battle. The Lord is on my side!

So there you have it. I needed a breakthrough and a breakthrough I got!

More practically (because what is motivation without action?) I decided to pay for an online meal planning site to help cut down on the time it takes me to meal plan and make a grocery list. It’s called Plan To Eat and so far I love it. I can add all of my own recipes (and I’m only putting healthy recipes in!) so that I don’t need to learn how to cook anything new. I can import recipes form Pinterest of anywhere online too. It only takes a minute or two! And there’s a place to add nutrition info. Then you search for, drag and drop your recipes onto a calendar. You can plan out how ever many meals a day you need. Then it auto-generates a shopping list for you, by store. It’s actually a checklist so you can use your phone or tablet to pull it up in the store. And then there’s the cooking view. It puts the ingredients on one side of the screen and the recipe on the other so it’s easy to read while cooking. I think it’s going to be really helpful!

I’m also adjusting my schedule too. Instead of staying up late just to enjoy some kid-free downtime. I’m going to try to go to bed early and wake up early. Right now I’m sleeping from 12-7. I’m going to try 10:30-5:30. It’s early, but that way I can get a 45 minute workout in, shower, and have a little protein smoothie before the kids even wake up. Plus I know I do a lot better with my eating habits when I workout in the morning. Why waste a good workout by eating junk all day?

Sorry for the length. I had a lot to unload! Hopefully next time you hear from me it’ll be sooner, and I’ll have a story of success!