Sunday, January 25, 2015

Daily Challenges

Week 5 quickly passed and I just completed week 6 back on Jenny Craig. Since I restarted, I've lost 18 pounds. It's been helpful having my cousin living with us as we push each other to either stay on track, to work a little harder, to drink more water, or to go be active when we feel like lounging around the house.

I was worried about being able to find the time to go to hip hop but with help from my parents and my husband, I have been able to go 3-4 times weekly. They have a new studio which is closer to my house and my favorite instructor, Jacque, is working her way back to instructing more classes again.

I have a great group of ladies (and some gents) who have consistently been there to push my along in this journey but no one can possibly be there with me all day long. So, with the help of my Up band I have been setting daily challenges for myself. Each day brings a different difficulty... rare is there a day for me that is completely easy.

Some days I am so tired, other days I want to go eat out and indulge a craving, some days I want to go work out but can't figure out the coordination of the other aspects of my life and other days I can be a victim of laziness.

Two weeks ago we had a birthday lunch at a mexican restaurant. My goal for the day was to eat absolutely no tortilla chips and to not order queso. I really want it but I knew it would through off my week. I made it through.

The Up band challenged me this week to get a certain amount of sleep and a certain amount of steps in. I bought a jug of water that hold 8 cups (the daily recommended amount) and I made it through 3 of them... the amount I need according to my body weight. To meet the step challenge I went out on my lunch hour and walked for 45 minutes. Then I went to hip hop later that night and ended up logging more than 14,000 steps.

In terms of food the Up band rates your daily food and gives you a score based on nutrition (it syncs with myfitnesspal). I have been trying to up my score and learn to cook more recipes without relying so much on frozen meals. One thing I am pondering is my calorie burn and caloric intake and how they relate to how much I lose each week. I have been consistently losing 1-2 pounds which is normal. But I used to lose 3-4 when I was previously this weight.

My Up band tells me to eat more to keep just a 500 calorie deficit daily. On hip hop days those require me to eat back about 1200 calories. In two weeks I will experiment by eating back what it tells me but with fruits, veggies and protein (no junk). I can't wait to see what next week will bring and how I will have to challenge myself to push through.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Superwoman I am Not

How do you get back into an exercise routine when you have two kids? Specifically, how do you leave your newborn and your 3, almost 4 year old, to go work out when you’ve already been gone all day long? I miss nursing my baby when she needs throughout the day and I miss cuddling my girls. But, now that I am back at work I want those cuddles, those nursing sessions but I also want to get back into the routine I had finally established. But… what would that realistically entail?
That would mean getting up between 5:30 and 6:00 AM to prep for leaving for work no later than 6:30. Then being at work at least until 4:30. I usually get home between 5 and 5:30PM. Most of my hip hop classes start at either 6:30 or 7:30. To make a 6:30 class I would be better off bringing my things and heading straight to class with no time to stop at home and take care of my babes. At 7:30 I could be home anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour before I would need to leave. Then I’d be home and it would be time for both kids to head to bed. Sure, the newborn will be up at least once but in order to get enough rest, I need to make the midnight feedings as short and sweet as possible.
The other crux of my problem is childcare. My cousin, our nanny, is home all day with both girls with nary a moment of respite for herself. Being truthful, we all love the kids but it does not negate our need for personal time. I don’t think it’s fair to ask her to stay an extra 1.5-2.5 (including travel time to and fro) hours watching the kids.
Oh, and there’s my husband. Sure he’s home but he’s worked third shift and he doesn’t always get to sleep right away so he usually is in bed before going back to work in the evening. I hate asking him when I know he’s tired. He’s also going to be on and off working two jobs.
Sure, I could just work out during the weekends but it doesn’t feel right to me. I need to balance it out. I need to do something a little bit each day to continue to feel motivated and energized.
So, what’s my solution? Well, I am still not quite sure but I hope to start with one week day hip hop class where hopefully my parents will watch the girls at my house, one weekend hip hop class where the girls will go to their grandparent’s house, and one where my cousin may help me with at least Henna or they can stay with daddy, then I’ll do some Just Dance after work and once the weather warms up things will get easier as I can do my C25K with Reyna in the stroller and I can walk with both girls.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Week 3 and 4

Week 3 was rather unremarkable in terms of weight loss for me. It was the week of our office Christmas party and I had planned on dinner out at P.F. Changs as well as my first post baby martini. I stuck pretty much to my plan but I had 2 additional drinks and ate an unplanned appetizer. It wasn't my finest choice but I knew that my calories still were not over enough to merit the 0.6 lb gain I saw.

Dinner at P.F. Changs with the office crew

Week 3 was a great week in the terms of exercise. It was my first week back to hip hop and I went twice before my weigh in. This is why I assume I saw a gain, muscle soreness. When you work out your muscles get little tears that then need water to repair them. I was so sore and my body was working overtime to heal itself and therefore it showed as a gain on the scale. Luckily, I am far enough along in my journey that these little fluctuations don't get to me like they used to. It's easy to get discouraged when you're doing more right than not and not to see the results. But, you must realize that weight loss is not and will never be completely linear. It's an up and down process and you must look at much more than the scale to determine your progress.

My biggest struggle in week 3 was my water intake. I kept meaning to get to Walmart and buy my decaf instant iced tea mix. It helps me get more water in because it tastes better than just plain water. The first few weeks after I delivered Reyna I was really good about staying hydrated but as fatigue set in, I got lazy.

Week 4 was great. I lost 3 pounds on the dot. I even had lunch out at Chipotle and was able to customize my order to fit within my daily caloric allotment. I love any and all restaurants that offer nutrition calculators online (such as Chipotle and Subway) I made a few meals instead of relying on the frozen. Now, I still leave room for error because no one making my Chipotle order is actually measuring what they're scooping for me.

4 oz grilled chicken with Bayou Bourbon Glaze and Chicken/broccoli flavored pasta with zoodles

I was also really good about logging the majority of my food first thing in the morning. I left a little bit of wiggle room for some freedom in which fruits/veggies I chose. I kept a paper log as well as myfitnesspal. It really helps me to physically WRITE everything down. It makes me more aware and I have to stop and reflect before I eat anything. My goal is to always write it down PRIOR to consuming it. Waiting to log until later can be very dangerous for me.

This week was also a measurement week. Jenny Craig measures bust, waist, abdomen and hips. In total of those areas I lost 10.6 inches over the past four weeks. That is the number I am most proud of. Since starting on Dec. 12 I've lost just over 13 pounds total. I am very proud of this.

As I start back at work on Monday I will focus on keeping my food on point. Temptation will be real to eat out during lunch but honestly, I plan on napping most of my lunch hour to catch up on sleep. I will not be breastfeeding as much and will see how well pumping at work goes. I am bumping down my calories soon as well with the guidance of my Jenny Craig counselor. I hope to get to hip hop at least twice a week. Saturday is my certain day since I combine my weigh in with my workout. I just need to see if I can lockdown a week day where either Moctar or my parents may be able to watch the girls for me. I can take Henna with me but honestly, I don't usually get as good a workout because I'm constantly having to move her out of the way of others.

Here's to an awesome week 5!

Cherishing our nursing time

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Goals for 2015

Today was a great day. There wasn't too much out of the ordinary in reality but it was my first time back to hip hop since having the baby. I was itching to burn off some energy and to get back to working out. I was a little apprehensive about all the new routines but it wasn't too bad. Martha went "easy" on me and there weren't too many songs that I didn't know. We did some lunges, lots of jumping jacks and when my body had it's fill of those I did some squats.

After class I felt invigorated. I had worked up a good sweat and my muscles were pulsing with the blood flow they had been lacking these past months. On my way home I got to thinking about how my routines will be once I go back to work. Henna is old enough to go with me but Reyna isn't. My cousin is our nanny and I don't want to overburden her with watching my baby over extended periods of time. Plus, after a full day at work I want that time with my babies and with my husband. It's a sad reality: there are ONLY 24 hours in a day. So many things I HAVE to do, followed by things I WANT to do. It's a tricky balance. Throw the constant meal planning that needs to be done for me to stay on track. Outlining my meals at the beginning of the day is crucial for me.

To reach my goal weight of 165 I have another 74 pounds to lose. My first goal is to reach my pre-baby weight. Ideally I would like to lose this by my birthday at the end of April. My pre-baby weight was 185 so that would be losing a total of 54 pounds over the course of 17 weeks. That would be an average of 3 pounds a week. Realistically I'm aiming for 1.5 - 2 pounds loss per week which would put me into July to reach that first goal and I would be okay with that.

I am using Jenny Craig but my goal is to continue to use the majority of what we call DOMO (Days on my own) where the food is no longer their packaged frozen food but a mixture of my own fresh cooked food and store bought meals.

In terms of fitness and activity, I plan on getting back to hip hop. I'm not sure logistically what my schedule will be. Prior to this pregnancy I was going just about every other day. I know that while Reyna is still less than a year old, this is not realistic. I can't expect Samantha to watch her after all day long of watching both girls. And aside from her, I don't really have many other FREE childcare options on that regular of a basis.

I hope to go, at least, once during the work week and then go on Saturday and Sunday. That way Moctar will be home to watch them. Then, once it starts to warm up outside I want to restart and complete the C25K running program. I plan on repeating the weeks as much as I need to until I get back to running like I did last year. I want to do at least two 5k races.

I am sure I will add more goals and activities as the year progresses.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Week 2 Weigh In

A holiday week can leave a lot to be desired for someone in the midst of a lifestyle change. Old habits are so fresh and so in grained that it can be easy to revert to them when you're in the celebration mood. Everyone else is eating what they want so why can't I? I started reading the Beck Diet Solution earlier this year and it examines the cognitive elements of changing your eating habits. The reason some people can seemingly eat whatever they want is because they intuitively eat less than someone who has a food addiction.

They don't spend time thinking about what they will eat next, they don't dream about food constantly, they don't gorge themselves, they can put the food down and not think another thought about it. They know when they are full and they stop eating at that time. I try my best to do these things but they take more effort for me than most people. It does get easier as time passes though.

Some challenges this week:
- My aunt came into town and we went to a semi un-planned lunch out on the town at City BBQ
- Christmas eve dinner at my grandpa's house - plenty of food and sweets
- Christmas morning lunch at my parent's house
- Stress with breastfeeding and general lack of sleep
- Not feeling hungry at regular times

I ate what I wanted at City BBQ and tracked everything. I had a quarter pound of brisket with BBQ sauce, 5 hush puppies, and roughly a cup of cheddar bacon fries. When I eat out I always do some research first to see if the nutritional information is available online and then I generally over estimate on my portion size to account for any discrepancies in size of my portion and caloric value.

For Christmas eve I had planned on taking an empty Jenny Craig tray and using that as my plate for the night, fill it once (not overfilling the tray) but of course, in the rush to get out the door, the tray was forgotten. I had some kettle corn, 1/2 cup of green olives, a few ounces of ham, 1 cup and a half of mashed potatoes, 1 cup of stuffing and I managed to stay away from ALL cookies.

Christmas morning I ate breakfast at home before we went to my parents to open gifts. I had a serving of miniature chocolates from my stocking and my parents filled it with bags of beef jerky as well. We had a chicken and rice casserole for lunch. I didn't measure but again, I estimated rather high for my calories. I took my dad out for a Christmas day movie and didn't get anything from the concessions.

This week I lost 2.1 pounds

Friday, December 19, 2014

Week 1 Weigh In

I restarted Jenny Craig last Saturday. I had only stopped in to show off baby Reyna but I am so glad I decided to start back BEFORE the holidays. It's easy to say, "I'll pick up later" but in reality the structure is exactly what I need going into the new year. I am restarting this journey weighing 249.7 pounds. I am glad that I didn't put back on ALL the weight that I've lost but I am disappointed that I let stress get the best of me and didn't stick to my pre-pregnancy eating habits.

Start picture:

This time around I am on the 1700 calorie menu as I am breastfeeding. I have many more fruit and lean meat servings but I haven't been at all hungry on plan. If anything, it was challenging to remember to get all my food in some days.

I did eat out at an Indian buffet one day for lunch but I was mindful of exactly how much I put on my plate. I had a few iced cappuccinos from Tim Horton's but I opted to have them made with milk rather than cream, shaving off over 100 calories from the drink.

This week I lost: 8.6 pounds

My first week I opted to follow the preplanned menu, with everything laid out for me. But with a new baby, I can't afford to pay for the Jenny Craig food each and every week. I love Jenny Craig and the food is an integral part of the plan. It serves as a visual guide to the portion size and nutritional balance that one should employ. Since I have been on Jenny Craig for over a year (even if in increments between pregnancies) I am confident that using this first week as a jumpstart that I can continue while using my own food.

The key will be preparation and continual monitoring. I use myfitnesspal to log my food and will continue to do that. I also keep a paper food log. Here's to a great second week! Christmas will not derail me.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Struggling for Routine

I tried to prepare myself mentally for the possibility that the new baby would be the complete opposite of Henna. But I think I still had an underlying, naive mentality that things would be just as easy. I am a fairly optimistic person so it only made sense to think like this.

In some ways, Reyna is easier than Henna was and in other ways she is more difficult. From the minute the doctor held her up over the drape I could see that Henna and Reyna share the same nose, ears and lips. Reyna has my eyes and was slightly darker than Henna was (although in the picture, the lighting makes this look different). Henna stayed in the nursery for the majority of my hospital stay and was brought to me to feed and visit where as Reyna stayed with me in my recovery room. It allowed me to nurse more often and for my milk supply to establish already infinitely better than it did when Henna was born.

Henna                        Reyna

Henna took to a pacifier right away where Reyna can't seem to keep it in her mouth. When she sucks on it it makes a smacking sound and falls out after 3 or 4 sucks. It's comical to see and hear. I remember being frustrated that Henna was given a pacifier so quickly but I hadn't specified and knowing what I know now, I wish Reyna could use her's more. But I am enjoying the extra soothing nursing snuggles that we are getting in.

From the beginning, Henna slept soundly through the night in the swinging, vibrating chair. She was a fussy baby but once we changed her formula that disappeared. Reyna does not fuss much (unless I can't change her diaper and get her nursing quickly enough) but she also hasn't fallen into a usual sleep pattern. Some nights she will sleep in her bassinet, other nights she will only sleep curled up on my chest. I have been supplementing with formula to try and get her back to her birth weight as my doctor recommended but I know she has more gas when she drinks her formula.

I am preparing to get back to my health and wellness routines but I worry that with as much fatigue as I have currently that I am going to drag on energy. But, I need to take the extra time to figure out my meals for the week, take the extra time to fill up my water bottles and stay hydrated and finally need to find a routine of taking care of myself. I vow to take an hour to myself to shower, get dressed in REAL clothes and to just relax.