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.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Introducing Reyna

Reyna Elisa Yagi

Here I am again, ready to write and get down all my thoughts that I’ve been hoarding these last 3 months. The closer my due date got, the more worry started to gradually set in. I participated in an online forum for bereaved families but it’s been awhile since I’ve checked in. Everyone handles grief differently and it was too hard for me to read day in, day out all the pain out there. There were so many different stories and they only made me worry about all the infinite, scary things that could happen. I prefer to subscribe to positivity so I stayed away from that forum for awhile.

Was something wrong with me that I was not still in active grief from losing my son? In my heart I knew there was nothing wrong with my own experience. I mourned, I accepted and I actively choose each day to remember that there is a reason for everything, even if I can’t identify it.

Work was stressful and that in a sense was a blessing because it kept my busy constantly. Luckily, we found someone to bring into the office that I feel will be here for a good while. I got busy training her but my body was still over stressed. At each doctor visit I had slightly elevated blood pressure. I did a series of non stress tests and even a 24 hour urine catch and blood test which showed that I was free from pre-eclampsia.

My doctor still decided to move my c-section up an extra week to December 2nd.  There were no operating rooms available so up it moved again to Monday the first. I was so excited to know that I’d be meeting my baby girl in four days. I wasn’t sure how we would pull off the hospital stay. Moctar is working two jobs, my mom is covering for me at work, my brother was starting an art show and all my other friends either work or have kids of their own. Samantha was staying with Henna so it was unrealistic for her to then be up all night with me.

I knew this time I wanted the baby to room in with me so that I could really establish breastfeeding. But I also knew that with a c-section the first night is nearly impossible to get up independently due to the catheter and the foot compression machine. Shiree arranged to stay with me that first night and then Samantha stayed the other nights with me and we let Henna sleep over with my parents.

Moctar was with me during the c-section which took painstakingly long … in my head, that is, not in reality. I was nearly holding my breath waiting to hear that first cry. Well, she didn’t disappoint. Her little gargling cries were so strong, much louder than Henna had been. She looked so much like Henna but so different at the same time. Moctar got to stay with Reyna as they cleaned her up and closed me up. Then he came back over and sat next to my head with our baby girl in his arms. This time around they brought her to me immediately and let me nurse and hold her on my chest. They didn’t take her to the nursery until much later.

Reyna Elisa Yagi was born Monday December 1st at 9:48 am weighing 8 pounds 1 oz and measuring at 20 and a quarter inches.

We received many visits in the hospital and got in many a snuggle with our new baby girl. But my favorite memory was seeing Henna's reaction to her baby sister.

"Mommy, I can't see her"