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30 lbs by Blissdom

Last week I went away – Sunday through Thursday I went to visit my mother and my grandfather. It was his 90 birthday and a good excuse to take the baby for a visit since my mom hadn’t seen her since she was a day old.

I knew that vacation was going to be a weakness for me. We would be eating out and I wouldn’t have my exercise videos not the time to do them. I wad going to be taking care of the baby by myself in the evening and I was likely to be exhausted.

I don’t think I did too badly, but I didn’t do too well either. There was late night snacking when I was alone in my hotel room and I couldn’t get the baby to sleep. There was way too much coffee, but lunch every day was small and healthy. We went for a swim every morning, and it wasn’t vigorous exercise but it was something. I also carried the baby a lot and as she’s now 20 lbs that counts for something.

All in all I’d say I might have gone a bit off track but not too far. Now I just re-re-dedicate. Still, the hardest challenge is giving up pop, something that would benefit both my waistline and my teeth. Chocolate is still my other major weakness and some have suggested that I slowly develop a palate for darker chocolates I haven’t yet been able to bring myself to try.

I haven’t taken my measurements or weighed myself in a little while, maybe after the long weekend I’ll see what work I have left to do.

This is what I’ve been waiting for:

30 lbs by Blissdom

Right now, I am pushing boundaries out of my way left right and centre. I am actually shocked by how out of my comfort zone I am, and how comfortable it is. I am meeting people, connecting with people, injecting myself in conversations and groups – and rather than being shunned like I always thought I would be, I’ve been accepted.

I used to avoid exercise for fear of sweating too much and having my face turn red, fear of not being able to complete my chosen task. Fear of being sent right back to high school gym class.

But guess what?

I like to sweat. I don’t care what I look like to other people, because it feel good. I had no idea this would ever happen to me. Turns out, when I’m not being forced into activities and I’m allowed to find things that I like to do, I enjoy physical exertion. Crazy eh? (The same rule seems to apply to cleaning). It also helps that walking with the stroller calms the baby down, and running with the stroller makes her giggle.

I love working. I miss being at work, I miss being involved and I’m trying to express to the people I work with to please, please give me more work to do when I get back. I’m testing my limits there, I’m pushing myself to push for changes. I never would have had confidence to do any of this, to talk to these people as an equal, to as questions and accept the answers openly, without hurt feelings, even a little while ago.

I love being a mother. I love my baby and I push her a little bit out of her comfort zone too. I never expected to be this in love with my baby, or to love being with her and taking care of all her needs, I never expected to be good at it and I certainly never expected to know, above all else, that I am a good mother no matter what.

Who is this confident woman and when did she start living my life?

Whoever she is, she’s going to be at Blissdom Canada, and she expects to be 30 lbs thinner.

I knew going in to my 30 lbs by Blissdom plan that there would be days that would throw me off my game. I knew today would be one of those days when I woke up sick a little after midnight. This was confirmed for me when I woke up again at 4 am to a crying baby.

I was not on the ball today. Hell, I barely knew there was a ball today.

Today I was an over-tired mess who was afraid to eat much of anything. Today everything I had planned to get done was put on the back-burner for fear of me entirely losing my cool. Add to that rain and a cranky baby and no exercise was being had today.

Today sucked.

Eventually, after a near breakdown and calling the husband home from work, I got the grocery shopping done, I got started on my new knitting project, which calmed me down a bit. I got out of the house, baby had a nap, we watched a bit of the Muppet Show, guaranteed to put you in a good mood, and the day improved.

Still tired, still feeling a bit nauseous, still angry with myself for my failures today – too much sweet, too little exercise, but I guess I should just be happy to have gotten through it.

Tomorrow is another day, in a few days my mom gets here and sees the baby for the first time since she was one day old, then off we fly to see my grandfather who will be turning 90 next week – and he already got his letter.

Things will be better tomorrow.

30 lbs by Blissdom

The baby girl started solids this week. I had been trying to do my research and see how it’s supposed to be done, and I heard all about starting with cereals and then adding one thing after another, waiting a few days to see if there’s a reaction, working your way along the list.

But I also heard about what they call baby-led weaning. You give your baby pieces of food and they use their fingers and feed themselves. I saw my friends tear up food and put pieces on their kids’ trays to they could pick them up, but I never asked how they started.

The day of her 6 month birthday I went on a playdate and gleaned all the information I could from talking to other moms and watching them while their kids ate. They all agreed by watching the baby girl that she seemed ready. That afternoon we went to the doctor and got the go ahead there, though I knew I really didn’t need it, we had decided to wait for it.

And that night, she ate rice cereal. And by ‘ate’ I mean ‘spread it around her face.’

After two days of watching her make faces at the cereal and turn her head away  from the spoon, I happened to notice that there was a podcast about baby-led weaning among the recent episodes of New Moms, New Babies.

And I listened and learned a bit and that night she had steamed carrots for dinner. This morning she had banana slices for breakfast.

I am very happy with this idea. Not only does it mean that I can just drop a few things on her tray and she can play with her food and feed herself, learning the taste and textures, it also means that she can eat what we eat, or at least parts of our meals. This also means that we have this extra incentive to eat at home. If we’re going to be cooking for her, they we might as well cook for ourselves. If she’s going to be eating what we’re eating, then we’d better cook healthy meals. We’ve also suddenly started eating at the dining room table, something we had wanted to do but just never did. Once the baby is strapped in to her highchair, it just makes sense for us to sit with her and eat with her.

I never expected her to teach me like this. I wanted to start eating healthily because I wanted to teach her, I never expected to fall in to healthy eating because of her.

30 lbs by Blissdom

As part of our getting fit plan, Joe and I have both tried Jillian Michaels’ 30 day shred. I started a little while ago, but stopped doing it because of some serious knee pain. The 30 day shred is NOT a low impact workout. I have always had bad knees (I learned when I was 18 that this pain came from my kneecaps being slightly out of place) and I hurt myself when my mat slipped while I was shredding. This injury led to my not being able to walk up stairs properly for a few days, and when it starting feeling better I tried the shred again and my knee let me know that I was not ready.

The weather improved a bit, it stopped raining, and I started taking the baby and the puppy out for walks along the track in the high school field near our house. I could do laps around the track, test my running ability, and I could let the puppy off the leash for some good exercise.

And then it got too humid to think of doing much of anything.

And then this week I decided that I’m going to lose at least 30 lbs by the end of October.

I started with my favourite yoga DVD earlier this week, we got out for a couple of walks, and today I put the shred back in the DVD player and gave level 1 another go. I finished. I was sweaty, and tired, and I had to take a few breaks, but I finished (and while the baby was still napping!). I’d like to alternate shredding and yoga on days when the baby gives me enough of a break.

The shred combines strength, cardio and ab workouts and I’ve surprised myself in that I find the cardio most difficult and the abs easiest. I would have thought it would be the other way around. The one question the shred really raises for me, though, is this: Why doesn’t Jillian Michaels sweat?

I mean, by the end of this 30 minute workout I am completely drenched. The sweat starts dripping down my face before the first circuit. is over, and she doesn’t break a sweat through the entire 30 minutes.

Also Jillian Michaels, if you were training me in person, I would say to you what I said to my midwife when she was politely talking me through a contraction while I was in active labour: “Please stop talking.”

Yes, I did manage to be that polite, still not sure how.

Maybe the official way to get her to shut up is to work my way through the 3 levels of the shred.

30 lbs by Blissdom

I have been getting pretty good exercise for a few months now, for weeks I was taking the baby on walks every day, then I added in a yoga workout and tried to start the 30 day shred. Then I hurt my knee during the shred, I took a fall on my roller skates and hurt my behind, my in-laws came for a visit and I didn’t get as much exercise in, though I did take the puppy out for a couple of runs (yes, I ran in short spurts and I learned that I can’t do a minute at a time the way Couch 2 5k requires, but I can do 30-45 second runs in between 30 seconds of walking). Last week the humidity and heat completely threw me off, I tried to go for walks, but I just couldn’t handle it.

I started off well this week. The baby napped just long enough for me to get my yoga workout in after we took a walk in the early morning hours. Today I cleaned the ground floor and worked up a good sweat, before walking to the pool for baby’s swim lesson (which, in the heat, wore me right out).

All of this to say, exercise is not my problem. I can get in exercise. The baby and I get out, we get out as a family, she needs the fresh air, the puppy needs walks, and when I miss a few sessions of whatever, I want to get back into it.

My problem, simply put, is food. I don’t eat well.

I crave sugar and I give in too easily. I have a ridiculously hard time figuring out what to do with myself for lunch (imagine my horror at the idea of making my daughter lunches for school). It would be easier for me to snack throughout the day than it is to stop everything and make myself something, but when I go to the grocery store I have a really hard time picking out that type of food.

I’m bad with fruit and vegetables. I’m a picky eater and I have acid reflux.

I need help.

I need tasty, easy healthy snacks. I need things that I can prepare in advance and keep in a container in the fridge that I can just pop open and eat. Now that the baby is eating solids (as of yesterday!) I need things to know what I can prepare for both of us to eat. I want to push her taste buds a bit and maybe learn about a few new great foods at the same time.

I need your help. I need recipes or tips or suggestions for books to read that will give me recipes and tips. I want stories about your struggles with food and what you figured out works for lunches and snacks for your loved ones, who may be as picky as me. I need to replace candy, chips and chocolate with things that are better for me and still taste good.

Please, help me.

The last time I was really successful at losing weight was before my wedding. I had a definite goal and I didn’t meet it, but I did pretty well. I was exercising some and eating a lot better.

I look back on this experience and I’m proud of myself, and it makes me wonder if the thing I need to really get myself motivated is a definite timeline and a definite goal. Though for the wedding I was 15 lbs short of my 50 lb goal, I think this time I’m being more reasonable.

I want to lose 30 lbs by the time I go to Blissdom Canada.

I want to go to the cocktail parties and karaoke sessions wearing a great dress and feeling good about myself. I want to move forward on my weight loss journey, for lack of a better term. I think knowing that by the end of October I want to be stronger, healthier, feeling better, and fitting in to all the clothes I miss terribly.

I’m taking a bit of a leap going to this event, throwing myself into a hotel full of strangers and online friends, and I want to feel as confident as I can force myself to feel.

I also want to announce my goal so that maybe a few of the people I see at Blissdom will hold me accountable – ask me how I did, how many pounds did I get to? how many inches did I lose? how much better do I feel about myself? how much healthier do I feel? how much better am I keeping up with my then 10 month old daughter?

I’m also announcing it here, because I wouldn’t mind hearing about other people who are setting Blissdom as the deadline for their own goals or who have started working towards their goals and have some tips for keeping on track.

Today marks six months since the earthquake in Haiti. It is an event that may have change the world, an event that is still causing major problems for many, many people and the one event over the past two years that I did not watch moment to moment on the news, because when it happened and when reporters were rushing in to cover the carnage, I was in labour.

Tomorrow is my baby girl’s six month birthday, even though I don’t actually believe it. People always tell you to remember it all because it goes by so quickly. They don’t tell you that your memory goes pretty quickly after you had kids (what did I come into this room for?).

She’s six months old. She can move on her own (she’s not crawling yet, but she can roll and rotate so she can get almost anywhere she wants to), she can grab on to things (like mommy’s hair, yay!), and she’s got two sharp little teeth popping out of her gums. She’s tall, she’s heavy, (she’s in something like the 90th percentile for height and weight) she’s outgrowing things left and right. We seem to have gone from three dresser drawers full of things she didn’t fit into, to taking an emergency shopping trip last week to get things that are long enough for her.

She’s started making real sounds and she seems to surprise us every day.

She’s me baby girl and she’s halfway to one.

He tells me how much change he’s seen in me over the past few years, and he’s right.

Tonight I went to Blog Out Loud Ottawa by myself. I met people there I had met before and introduced myself to people I had only met through Twitter. It was something I never would have done a year ago.

I’m considering a move at work – well, I’m asking people whether I should consider a move at work. A move I never would have even thought about thinking about two years ago.

Yesterday I went on a play date. I met a few moms and their kids in the park and we chatted and played with each others’ babies and shared and I had a great time. Never did it cross my mind that I didn’t belong there or that they didn’t really want me there. I never expected to feel comfortable hanging out with a bunch of other moms and babies, but I almost feel most comfortable in those situations.

I get on Twitter and I’m no longer afraid that I’m butting in to a conversation if I have something to offer, I comment on blogs instead of staying silent because I want to communicate that all these people write things that I find interesting and helpful.

I’m a new person, and I’m not entirely sure what happened. I got a job that I’m good at, I married a man who loves me, I became a mom and I want to be an example, I’ve worked myself into a few communities online and all of these things have combined to create this little bit of confidence. I’ve also lost a little bit of fear is sharing myself, because my experiences can be helpful to someone else, just like other people have experiences that I find helpful. Everything that’s happening to me has happened to someone else, and will happen to even more people and I can share and learn and grow.

I always felt as though I’d been born in the wrong decade, but now I know the internet, the rise of the blog and Twitter has changed me and my life for the better.

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