Sunday, December 29, 2013

A Letter to Myself

A letter to my former self:

I look at you in the picture, a few days before Henna’s first birthday and these should have been some of the happiest times. But, the smile on your face is not a real smile. After each picture you kept wondering, why can’t your husband catch a flattering picture of you? But in reality you had been ignoring yourself for months. Ignored the scale, ignored mirrors, ignored your older clothes and just started to buy dresses so that you could hide under the billowing material. But, in these images you finally saw the real reflection.

What you didn’t know at the moment of despair, of self-loathing was that somewhere inside you the fire was being lit. Your relationships were suffering and you didn’t even realize how your bad habits made the closest person to you fearful. Fearful of losing you to obesity and fearful of finding a way to tell you just how much you had changed.

In the next year there were amazing highs and there were also lows that tested everything you knew and felt. I urge you to remember that the times you feel best are when you’ve got energy, when you’re not tired all day, when you’re running, dancing, jumping, playing and not just sitting on the couch all day feeling numb. Jenny Craig was a great catalyst to eat better and smarter and I thank my family everyday for making that investment in my health. To the amazing support I have found within the Jenny Craig community I am eternally grateful. Along the way I also found a support group to deal with the loss of a baby and I found an awesome group of people to dance with. You tried things you never thought you’d do before like spinning and bodypump and for the first time in quite awhile you were brave. You didn’t hide anymore and you let the world see your progress without fear of judgment.

To my current self:

You will always struggle with food, that’s just the reality. It will be a hard fought inner struggle between what used to make you comfortable and what you know you will actually need to care for your body for life. One day, you will be strong enough and those battles and insecurities won’t be as hard to vanquish. So, in 2014:

-     -   get back to the 100’s and STAY there
-      -  try more new activities
-       - get outside or to the rec center with Henna 4x a week
-       - finish the c25k program and run at least 3 5ks this year
-       - don’t stop weekly meal planning and logging into myfitnesspal
-       - keep sharing your story and help others when they ask you
-       - be happy and live for each moment as they come
-       - be more organized
-       -  be patient with myself and others

Thursday, December 26, 2013

From Christmas to the New Year

This year has absolutely flown by. I can hardly believe Christmas has come and gone. It was a good time and only one small meltdown on my part. For some reason I have become very clingy with Henna. I don't want her out of my sight and I worry that something will happen to her. On Christmas morning I held her in my arms and just sobbed. I was sad that I was no longer pregnant, sad that I don't know if or when we will have another child but happy that she's growing and healthy.

Christmas eve was spent at my paternal grandfather's house as has been our tradition as far back as I can remember. It started later than usual which was good for my waist line. Less time had to be spent trying to avoid the kitchen which of course is my favorite place in the whole house to sit. It's where all the talking happens.

I love playing games with my family and we started off playing the dice game farkle. We promptly were interrupted by meals needing finished and reheated and kids crying. For me the game night was cut short as Henna was just TOO tired to function and my husband had come down with a fever of 103. When we got home I didn't have much to do so I caught up on the Jenny Craig forums and revisited my post about my new year's resolution:

Oh, what a year??!! From some of my highest highs to some of the lowest lows, this year has really run the gamut. I feel like I've been living in an Alanis Morrisette song:

I'm broke but I'm happy

I'm poor but I'm kind

I'm short but I'm healthy, yeah

I'm high but I'm grounded

I'm sane but I'm overwhelmed

I'm lost but I'm hopeful baby

What it all comes down to

Is that everything's gonna be fine fine fine

'cause I've got one hand in my pocket

And the other one is giving a high five

I feel drunk but I'm sober

I'm young and I'm underpaid

I'm tired but I'm working, yeah

I care but I'm restless

I'm here but I'm really gone

I'm wrong and I'm sorry baby

But as the end of the year approaches I've been writing a lot which has been very cathartic and for the first time in my life I'm making a new year's resolution.

In 2014, I am getting out of the 200's... back to onderland... and I am NEVER seeing 200 again on my scale. So this new year is dedicated to working my way FAR away from 200... continuing to be active and adventurous and to make it a family effort. I want to successfully move into maintenance and really be in control 100% of my food and my health. I will RUN my first 5k and run the whole thing.

I will not let fear or sadness get in the way of me continuing my healthy lifestyle and hopefully trying again to expand our family sometime in the new year as well, God willing.

What's your new year's resolution(s)?? 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

New Directions (not the Glee kind)

Things have been going well for me. I started a payment plan to cover hospital expenses and having to meet my insurance deductible. I was a little worried about the tighter budget especially wanting to be able to continue on my Jenny Craig food. I can do meals on my own but I really like their food and there is nothing better than the convenience of just popping the meal in... but technically I am more than halfway and I need to start grooving myself into making my own food and continuing to lose weight. I successfully lost 1.2 pounds last week on ALL my own food.

I am VERY active on the Jenny Craig forums. I really love sharing my own story/experiences and love even more hearing other people's stories, struggles, triumphs and suggestions. I have recently been reading a blog I stumbled upon because of the JC forum (shout out to Ashley @ Coffee Cake and Cardio) and I've decided to take "A Mother's Journey" into a new direction. A part of this healing process is getting my mind and body in sync and really taking care of myself each and every day.

A Jenny Craig (JC) member recently joined and had questions about any struggles people had on the plan... here was my response:

The only challenge I've ever faced while on Jenny has been a mental one within my own self. I started Jenny in Sept. 2012 at 271 pounds and lost 85 pounds over about 9 months. There were weeks with big losses, smaller losses, gains or no losses. I didn't hit any plateaus during that time. I was very diligent about writing down what I ate and used my fitness pal to keep track of my calories. I typically stayed between 1200-1400 calories. I was able to incorporate meals out at restaurants and my own homemade dishes as well and still kept losing weight.

When I started I was very out of shape and rarely exercised. I was given a gazelle machine for free and I started exercising with this during television commercials, then I started exercising during the program and resting on commercials and eventually I could work through a whole program 30-45 minutes.

As a reward to myself for losing 20-30 pounds I bought myself a used wii and Just Dance. I started playing that and absolutely loved it. 30 minutes would fly by, I was sweating and didn't feel bored like with most workouts. Then as winter turned to spring I decided to try the C25K program that so many people were talking about. It got my gradually jogging until I could run 30 minutes without stopping. It was incredible. I'm a former soccer player but as an overweight teen I ALWAYS loathed running and here I am missing it now that it's winter. I stopped C25K while I was pregnant with my second child (unfortunately we lost him at 20 weeks) but I have since gotten into even more activity ... spinning, body pump, and hip hop dance post pregnancy. Not only has the exercise helped me feel back to normal but returning to my routine with Jenny Craig have been cathartic for me during the grieving process.

In short my keys to success:

1. Be consistent (write everything, weigh at same time/once a week)
2. Be patient (weight does not come on or off overnight and weight loss is not always linear or predictable... old dogs can learn new tricks but it's hard to erase old habits esp when stressed)
3. Be active but do what you can.... gradually build into a real routine
4. Be positive ... if you come into this thinking it's going to be too hard.. it will be.
5. Realize this is not temporary...these changes you're making need to become your way of life (not the frozen meals but the portion sizes and the daily activity)
6. WATER ... water is life and it is crucial in weightless and body regulation 

Here are my before and (now) photos:

These other 2 images were Dec. 20th 2013 before our office Christmas party!

So, here's to a Merry Christmas and a joyous 2014 pushing in the direction of ONEDERLAND (last week's weigh in on 12/18 put me at 203 lbs even)

Thursday, December 12, 2013


I finally got my period... I had been waiting on pins and needles. I use a period tracker and I HATED still seeing 100+ days late. We also made the decision for me to go back on birth control for the time being. I'm not going to lie, I really don't want to but I know it's the best solution. My husband has a lot of goals he wants to achieve and I know in my heart it is best to wait right now and let him get started in college classes and hopefully to even visit Niger next summer.

But still my heart breaks a little each time someone announces a pregnancy, announces they're having a boy ... hell, sometimes when I see a beautiful pregnant person tears spring to my eyes. A raging jealousy bubbles to the surface and I can't control it. I think it's harder for me because I don't know when we will try again. If I knew, okay, we'll start in April or something but I have no prediction and I tend to stew on the things I want to do. It's not one of my most redeeming qualities.

The other reality I've been facing is that one day when I do get pregnant again... I fear I will be too nervous to really enjoy it or to relax. I am a very laid back person and to not be at ease is hard for me. I was invited to join a support group for bereaved families and while it helps to read and share... it also makes me more fearful sometimes. I'm limiting myself to checking the page to one a week and I need to get better about just offering support and not turning to my story. There's a time and a place and I don't want to take away from their story by throwing mine at them when all they really need is a few word of encouragement. I'll leave my story to these pages.

Well, taking my cranky achy self to bed. But, glad to be back on cycle again.