Tuesday, March 1, 2016

It's easy to lose weight...

...when you're in love.

Seriously, I care next to nothing about eating, let alone overeating.

So that's my weight loss recommendation.  Get in the early stages of love where you don't want to think about anything else except for the person that makes you so happy.  So easy to do, right?

In related news, I received a insider tip from someone in my company that said that we're not doing great.  I will likely need to change jobs before the year is up.  I'm not worried at all - I was looking for a job when I found this one.  I'm confident in my skills and abilities as a leader and individual contributor and I feel confident that I will be able to find something that will fit.

It may involve a move to the bigger city near me (the one I just moved from).  Good news - that's closer to the boyfriend and larger pool of employers. Bad news - I'd have to figure out where to live AGAIN and worry about day cares and school ratings.

BUT I don't need to make that decision now as these changes aren't necessarily imminent so I'm choosing to not clutter up my brain with thoughts of what if and trying to plan out mitigation strategies for the various possibilities.

I'm letting that shit go for now.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Foxes and birds

For those that have been following this blog for a while, you may remember that during a lot of 2009-2011, I went to a therapist where I tried to get a handle on my weight loss, my poor relationship choices, and some childhood trauma. Turns out, they were all pretty linked. When you feel so dirty and awful about yourself, you tend to find comfort in the only ways that work for you. For me, that looked like food consumption and repeating the same dynamics in past relationships - one that made me feel less than good enough. 

The great thing about therapy is that while it's pure hell going through it, on the other side is a slice of heaven you've only dreamed of. I finished my therapy journey and found that my relationship with Joe was filled with me chasing him and basically begging him to love me. Once I realized how messed up that was, I decided to end it and pursue other potential relationships.

There is really only person that I deeply regretted not being with. We only went on a few dates in 2009, but he was so incredibly sweet to me that I got incredibly freaked out. It's one thing to beg someone to love you...that I could do. It's an entirely different thing to start out on a pedestal and because you knew they would eventually see all your flaws, they would leave you because you weren't good enough. For someone that liked to play it safe, it was too risky to take a chance with him. After I finished therapy and ended my relationship, I immediately looked him up. But while I was with Joe, he got engaged and was married with kids on the way.

So I moved on.

But recently, he sent me a friend request.

I debated ignoring it.

But ultimately, I decided that I wanted to live my life authentically. I gave zero fox(es?) about whether he would think I was pathetic or not. I told him the truth. I wrote him that I would love to accept his friend request but that I couldn't because seeing pictures of him and his happy family would suck. I told him that I still had strong feelings about him and basically that he was the one who got away.

Annnndd....guess what? He's no longer with her.

We've started dating and to say it feels "right" would be a vast understatement. What took the place of anxious and tumultuous feelings is peace and calm. And ironically, sometimes, that makes me feel uneasy. Does it mean that there isn't enough of a connection? Am I attached to the idea of him, of everything that he has stood for in my mind for the last 7 years, or is it truly this wonderfully special?

But every time I'm with him, it just feels like this is where we're meant to be.

So ANYWAY, why is this on my weight loss blog and not my other one?

Because last week? I gained. A lot. Why? Well, because I ate. A lot.

He had his kids for most of the week. They're young, like mine, and between the nap schedules, early bedtimes, sick kids, and LIFE, we weren't able to connect much. Stuff at work has increased my stress level dramatically too. We're going to have to start laying off people. Working for a small company means I'm the one who decides who goes, does the laying off, and may be at risk for a reduction of my position.

I'm not proud of this, but my old habits started to creep back up. I started freaking out a bit about how I could possibly make something like this work. What if he didn't think I was a good mom? What if he doesn't grow to love my daughter? What if we have different parenting styles? What if his ex is a raging bitch and we all won't be able to co-parent? What if my particular brand of crazy is too much for him? What if I lose my job? Where will we live? Should I try to look for different jobs now?

And I ate. I didn't binge. But I did eat almost anything I felt like eating.

I didn't count points. I didn't measure. I didn't take inventory of how full I was. I just ate whatever I wanted to.

I thought of my weight day, Friday, edging closer and closer and I KNEW that what I should do would be to stop the overeating right then and there. I knew that if I stopped eating that way, I could maybe have a 0 gain for the week.

But I didn't. I realized that at that time, I was facing a lot of uncomfortable things that I had no control over. And food was providing a serious comfort to me. I think, lingering in the back of my head, was still that feeling that I had to be perfect - in weight loss, in trusting him, in planning ahead.
But the thing with that is that way of thinking is that it means there is a right and a wrong way to do things. I'm no longer sure that's true.

So I challenged myself to think of this as a human week where I returned to my old habits. I am at the beginning of this journey (weight, being , relationship) and I don't have to do it all perfectly right now. I don't have to have all the answers. I can just be curious of what the choices I'm making. I can take inventory of how I'm feeling. And I can proceed anyway.

I went to the meeting on Friday and proudly realized I gave no fox about what that scale said. This is a journey. My value isn't based upon how I reacted in one week, but over the course of many weeks. Even that thought is a bit scary - I find myself listening to a voice in the back of my head warning me against that thinking; warning me that this could be a dangerous precedent to set.

So I stopped, was curious about my choice to not care, took inventory of why I was feeling that way. And realized that part of working towards progress, not perfection, is just letting it go.

Folks, two weeks ago I ate a lot and I gained almost 3 pounds.

The end.

It doesn't have to be more than that. I don't need to waste time re-thinking and re-evaluating. I can weigh in, clock the gain, and then let it go. I can not care about the past and focus on the future.
And that's what I have done.

It feels really good and really freeing. And this week, I've kept the thoughts at bay, for the most part. I've tried to come into the situation at hand remembering that this was a situation I was not expecting...so I need to have no expectations of how it can be done the "right" way. The way I'm feeling is not good or bad. It's just a feeling. I need give all my thoughts permission to be thought of without judgement and let them move on.

A friend shared a great visual with me. She said thoughts are like birds. It's perfectly normal for them to fly around above your head. You don't need to encourage them to make a nest in your hair.

I like that idea. It feels much more freeing, much less judgmental, and much healthier.

Friday, February 5, 2016

My Weight Watchers journey, revisited


I'm not even sure if people read this anymore, but I felt like I had a few a-ha moments this week and I love writing them down in this place.

I've joined Weight Watchers again.  I actually joined two weeks ago and the whole reason for joining was because their literature indicated that they've changed their approach.  Beyond The Scale is their marketing campaign...and truth be told, I think that was a lot of the challenge that I had with it before.  If I focused solely on weight loss, I felt like I wasn't addressing the bigger issue.  The tagline of "I'm more than just a number" is cheesy...but true.

Today's topic was about whether we treat or reward ourselves with food.  What does that look like?  Why do we do it?  Does it sabotage our journey?

Here's what I LOVE about what was discussed...there were the typical people saying things like "oh!  I pick non-food related rewards and treats because if you don't, you'll gain the weight back!" And yes.  That's probably a correct answer...kind of like when a pastor asks kids during a kid's sermon any question, you're probably safe to answer "Jesus."

But one woman said something along the lines of how there isn't anything wrong with making a reward or a treat food related...it just depends on what your relationship with food looks like.  To say you can never have a reward that is food indicates that food somehow falls into a good or bad category.


That is exactly the kind of stuff that I would bring up in my old meeting and people would look at me like I had two heads.

To be clear, I rejoined WW not because I had mindful eating down pat and because I had not only kept my weight off but had continued to lose more.  I rejoined WW because I had gained EVERY POUND back (and more).  So I don't have the best relationship with food.  And it's in my head.

It very much surrounds the ideas of food being good or bad or of the concept of me "deserving" food because I was tired, my daughter was up all night, because she was throwing a temper tantrum, because work is stressful, because I was adulting and I didn't want to adult.

I don't have the answers.  I don't even have a stance yet on her questions.

But I love that it got me thinking about things.  I love that while I'm getting smaller I can be changing my brain to be more flexible about several different ideas surrounding food, weight loss, being thin, and anything else in between.

So the other thing that I at least wanted to write down is that the last two weeks, I have had an interesting thing happen during my attempt to lose weight.

Each of the last two weeks (and yes, that even means the DAY I joined WW again), I have blown WAY past my points targets on Friday.  Like both days, I went past the daily target and eaten all of my weekly points.  And more.  No really.  The first week I did all that completely on Friday.  I told myself that it was because I was still trying to get all the high calorie/fat food out of my house.  But last week, that overeating of high point foods lasted until Tuesday morning.

I was so upset with myself on Monday morning.  I was up three pounds since my weigh in on Friday morning and I had almost gained back everything I had lost my first week.

The reasons I overate are still not 100% clear to me...but I did recognize I was trying to feed something in myself.

So I woke up, ate some higher point items and realized I didn't want to be responsible.  I dropped Ellie off at day care and called in sick.  I went back home, watched a few episodes of Parenthood and then took a 5 hour nap.  I went to the doctor and got a prescription for the sinus infection that I had been fighting for the last few weeks.  And then I decided that even though I felt like eating more junk, I would go ahead and get back on plan anyway. I did.  I turned the cart around and was able to lose all the weight I had gained.

The fact that I've struggled so much in the first two weeks of this plan kind of gets me down.  It's easy for me to think that I won't be successful if I keep blowing it in the first few days of each week.  I said as much to the leader during my weigh in.

She invited me to think about things a bit differently.  She said something like "you can't be perfect all the time.  No one can."  At first I wanted to pooh-pooh her statement like "of course, I'm not saying THAT." But I stopped and thought.  That is exactly what I'm saying.

The phrase "progress, not perfection" has been bandied about in many WW meetings I've been to.

I've heard those words, nodded gravely in agreement, but inside my head have thought "sure...for YOU.  But I am capable of better.  I can do it perfectly...so I should."

I think I'm starting to get it.

Ironically I think it's my daughter who was taught me this lesson (or is at least showing me this).

When I decided I wanted to be a mom, I just did it.  I had been thinking about it for years, but I just knew I could.  When I told people and they looked at me like I was crazy and told me how hard it would be, I thought a similar thing as what I wrote before.  Maybe it's hard for YOU.  But I'm made of tougher stuff.  I can do it.

Know what I found out the first few months of being a mom?  It's not hard.  It's damn near impossible.  WHAT WAS I THINKING? was probably my most prominent thoughts during that time.

So some nights because she would scream and cry every hour, I just put her in the baby swing and slept next to her on the couch.  Was that perfect? No.  Was it what my mom had warned me to never do?  Yes.  Was it like what movies or pictures or books say you should do? No.  But did I get sleep?  Yes.

Sometimes you have to do what works in the moment.  Sometimes you just have to do the best you can and let everything else go.

I couldn't live up to being the perfect mom I thought I'd be.  I couldn't even come close.  I had to lower my bar.  And as I did that, I realized that I didn't miss the judgement of myself as a mom, of other moms or other single people.

I have not been the mom I thought I'd be.  And yet, my daughter is a happy, loving, confident, and willful kid.  So I must be doing something right. In fact, having her see me get ruffled in situations or even times where I've cried right along with her for MY mom, I hope I've shown her it's okay to not have your shit together all the time.

I'm not the mom I thought I'd be.  I'm a different person.  I'm a better person.

So if I apply that same logic, perhaps I don't have to be the perfect member.  I don't need a perfect linear chart that shows steady losses.  I don't need to be the perfect weight loss blogger where I have something that has any sort of point each time I write.

I just need to do what I can, when I can and let the rest go.

Epiphanies for you?  Probably not.  But I wanted to write down these thoughts and feelings so that I can remember that "progress, not perfection" isn't a loser's battle cry.  It's just real life.  Real people.  Setting real expectations/standards.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Long overdue update...


Thank you to everyone who commented or sent me an email asking how things were going.  I've been meaning to come here and update...but...you know...babies.

Okay, so my daughter was born on September 16th and it was CRAZY.  First, my mom flew in for the birth on Sunday night (c-section was scheduled for Tuesday morning).  She flew in and as we started talking in the car, I realized she sounded sick.  I, of course, grilled her with questions but she assured me that she just had allergies.

But then we took her temperature and she was running a fever.

There are only three things they don't allow in ORs - people who are sick, cotton candy, and Rubik's cubes.  I think.  I'm not sure about the last two.  But I'm definitely sure on the first one.  So I FREAKED out.  I mean, I was so incredibly worried. I knew I was going to have a baby by myself, but I didn't know I was going to HAVE the baby by myself.

What's more, this whole motherhood thing was so odd because I was 99.999999% sure that either I was going to die or the baby was going to die.  I know.  It's so weird and freaky.  But I was sure of it which meant that I was panicked that my daughter was going to be born in a hospital, I was going to die, and she was going to be a tiny orphan in a hospital where no one cared.

So Monday, I talked my younger sister into flying up here for the birth and she did.  She flew in Tuesday morning, took a cab from the airport to the hospital, and then we met and had a baby.

The spinal didn't take on the first try and it was surreal being told that they would likely have to me under to have the baby.  I thought 'this is it. This is where I die.'  The next spinal took and as they were starting to tug on me to get her out, I turned to my little sister, made eye contact, and said firmly, "Remember to follow her."  Because again, I was sure I was going to die and I wanted my sister to stay with the baby no matter what was going on with me.

Only I didn't die.  And this squealing, beautifully pink baby came out of me and when she was placed on top of me she stopped crying.  She waited until then to open up her eyes for the first time and I swear, it was one of the most magical moments of my life.

And my daughter?  She's a lazy eater.  Not like me.  I'm lazy AND an eater.  But she must've inherited her eating preferences from the sperm donor because she wouldn't latch.  I had to feed her via a syringe at first and then via a bottle.  Oh, and all of that had to come from donated breastmilk because she was too tiny to nurse so my milk had a hard time coming in.

But then my milk came in and we went home.  My mother was quarantined to the house and was thrilled to finally see her grand daughter.

And then I fell into a pretty dark place.  I was riddled with anxiety and had some serious depression.  This little baby was depending on me for everything and I would have panic episodes because I looked down at her and felt NOTHING.  I mean, I loved her...but that's mostly because I knew I should.

It was awful.

I was delirious from the lack of sleep.  I had to do what's called 'triple feeding' which is where I nursed her, then fed her a bottle from a previous pumping session, then put her down, and then pumped some more for the next feeding session.  I had to do that at least every 3 hours from start to start....so I'd get about 45 minutes of sleep every three hours.  It was AWFUL.

I lived to see the sun rise because I knew I had made it another day and I concentrated on just making it until the next sunrise.

My sister stayed for a week and then flew home and my mom stayed for two weeks and then she flew home.

But I kept going and she eventually started to gain weight.  I went to breastfeeding support groups and we had regular weight checks with the pediatrician.

She ended up having colic and acid reflux but we figured it out with the third medicine we tried.  Then we found out that she had a lip tie and a partial tongue tie.  So those were severed.

8 weeks old just before the tongue and lip tie removal

And now?  She's great.  She's still breastfed and I'm thrilled that I've made it six months (okay, she'll be six months next week but hey, I'm remaining positive).  We started adding in baby food over this past weekend (I made sweet potato puree and she loved it!) and I'm looking into this thing called "baby led weaning" which is basically where babies eat whole foods from the start.  The theory is that doing it this way helps the baby learn full and hunger cues better...and I'm all for her not having to struggle with weight/food issues if at all possible.  So I'm taking a course about that in a few weeks and I'm hopeful that I can figure it out and it works.  Until then, she's eating some purees because she seems to be hungrier than what she used to be.

The questions I get often:

What's her name?  Ellison Grace Not Kennedy :)

Why'd you name her that? Because I liked the name Ellison (I read it for the first time on a baby forum when I was 12 weeks pregnant and I really liked it. My family pretty much exclusively calls her Ellie because they don't like the name Ellison and that's okay with me.  My name means "graceful" (which, incidentally, is how I know God has a sense of humor) and I liked the idea of her always having a part of me with her.

Have you lost weight?  Yes.  I lost all the pregnancy weight during the first three weeks postpartum.  I have lost a total of 5 pounds in the subsequent months. (boo)

What is it like being a sole parent?  Hard. Really, really, really hard.  See the above question as to why I haven't made much progress on the weight thing.  Seriously, I think half of this battle is just giving up and succumbing to the fact that you're going to be exhausted the rest of your life.

Is she a good eater? Yes.

Is she a good sleeper?  Sometimes. It depends on the week.  Right now she usually sleeps 7 hours at her longest stretch.

Does she look like you? It depends on who you ask.  Some people say yes.  I think it's the blue eyes and strawberry blonde hair.  The odd thing is that I dye my hair red.  But my nana was a redhead... Her face shape is exactly like my paternal grandfather.  And if you've read this blog for years, a) thank you! and b) you might remember that he and I didn't have the best relationship.  But it's hard to have such dislike in your heart for someone that your daughter takes so much after.

It's like when my dad saw her for the first time - for her baptism.  He was in my house for about 6 hours before he was finally peer pressured into holding her.  Seeing him hold her and trying so hard healed something in me.  I saw him trying to be a better person for my daughter and I saw him struggling to do it.  And all of the sudden his issues with me seemed more forgivable because I could see them from a different place.

Did she scratch herself? Okay.  In fairness, it wouldn't occur to you to ask me that question because you haven't seen a picture of her.  But she has a red birthmark in the center of her forehead - it just appeared when she was around 6 weeks old.  My pediatrician says that it should fade by around a year and that it's very common.  But I get this question all. the. time.

I love my daughter.  She's rolling both ways, laughing, drooling over everything, and starting to show signs of her stubborn nature.  Her eyes light up when she sees me and it's the best feeling in the world when I go to get her after she's woken up and she's wiggling in anticipation of being picked up by me.
She is everything good about me and I know that I'll do my best to be the mom she needs.

But oh, how it is isolating.  I rush to drop her off at day care, rush to work, work 8 hours straight, rush to pick her up from day care, rush home, nurse her, play for about 30 minutes, put her to bed, and then drag out my laptop to work some more.  I have two full time jobs and the pressure and weight of that is so hard to shoulder.  Am I doing a good job?  Well, I'm trying.  And I think that matters more than anything else.

I'd love to date.  I'd love to have a more complete family...because anyone who says they want to do this by themselves if full of poop.  No one actually wants to be a sole parent.  No one.  But this choice was the better option for me versus never having a child at all.  I hope to date soon and I hope that a great spouse and father come into our lives.  Until then, we're just doing the best we can.

So that's it.  That's my life in a nutshell.

I hope you all are well.  Thank you for all of the support!  I'll update again when I'm able.

Hugs to you! <3

Monday, August 4, 2014

31 weeks down, 6 more to go!

Well, hello there!

I have been meaning to post an update since my last blog post - but GOODNESS that first trimester had me exhausted all the time!

Updates about me:
* I'm 31 weeks pregnant!  Yikes!  The biggest question I get is if I'm ready and my answer (without any qualification) is no.  Physically?  No.  Mentally?  No.  House ready?  No.  Nursery painted?  No.  Car seat installed? No.  Hospital bag packed?  No.  Name fully picked out?  No.
* I've gained 25 pounds in this pregnancy.  I wanted to gain a total of 20 since my BPI already started out so high, but that didn't happen.  I guess on one hand I'm happy that I've at least kept it somewhat contained, but I know that this will make it harder to lose.  Especially since I should be gaining at least a pound a week from here on out.
* I'm not dating.  Okay, this is probably a no-brainer to you but this is the longest I've ever gone without dating someone since I started college.  Truthfully, I miss it.  I mean, not the end to bad relationships or even the beginning when you're a bit uncertain about the other person...but that good stuff in the middle - where you feel warm, safe, secure, loved, and know that you're giving the same to another.
* My job is very stressful.  Since I started this blog, my career has taken an upward swing - which is great.  I now manage a group of technical people at a big cable company.  Recently, I made a bad hire and the guy that filled that position was SUCH a pain in the bootay.  I cried more about how this person treated me than I've ever cried about someone ever.  Sure, I'm pregnant, but also this guy was SUCH a major asshat.  The good news is that I finally got the green light to terminate his employment and wouldn't you know it?  My blood pressure decreased by 20 points (TWENTY!) from the OB visits before he was let go to afterwards.  I'm now trying to hire two people.  To come onboard in the next 3 weeks.  And I haven't even started to interview for one of the positions.  GAH!
* It's hot.  I'm hot (and not in that sexy way).  May all people who have been in their third trimester in the heat of summer have my never ending love and adoration.

Updates about the baby:
* SHE (gasp!  Yes, I'm having a baby GIRL!) is doing great!  I had some concerning test results in week 13ish (called a low PAPP-A) and one of the potential side effects is stillbirth.  So we've both been getting tested regularly.  That means that I have more ultrasound pictures than the average woman AND that her baby book is starting to get full.  She's growing well though and kicks me often (which is very reassuring).
* She'll be born sometime around the 17th of September in her 37th week.  This is because of the uterine fibroid surgery I had in 2010...it left my uterus weakened enough that I can't go through labor.
* That's it. She's not really old enough to have many other updates other than as of today, she's the size of a head of romaine lettuce.   :)

This whole process has really helped me realize how uncomfortable being big is.  I'm now the size of a small hippo (or John Candy) and I feel like whatever the opposite is of a million bucks (an IOU for a million bucks?).  I also have next to no energy and when I see people running with their kids in strollers I realize that I would like to be an active mom versus one who just watches TV and doesn't play or is active with her kids.  Getting in shape with a baby probably isn't easy...but it's never been more important.

Have any of you done it?  If so, what helped?

Friday, February 21, 2014


So, wow!  People still read this blog!  Thanks for the comment and the messages to me personally - they are very nice to get!

I figured that I'd clarify two things from my last post.  I wrote it hurriedly while on a conference call and there were two things that probably need clarifying.

First, when I said my family is happy except for my dad, I kind of need to put an asterisk next to that...because my dad doesn't really get happy about anything.  He's very factual and not emotional (think Sheldon from "The Big Bang Theory").  And because he's a doctor he knows the risks of miscarrying in the first trimester so his first bit of advice was "try not to get attached." I shit you not.

But he's supportive of me.  He acknowledges that I'm pregnant, asks how I'm feeling, and lets me know that he's praying for me.  In my dad's book, this is VERY supportive.  But no, I wouldn't classify that as "happy."

Secondly, when I said that some the ladies in the Single Mothers By Choice group were jealous, it came off like I was thinking that they didn't like me because I was so awesome.  I mean, YOU know that I'm so awesome, but chances are these ladies haven't realized it yet.

This group is made up of people that are thinking about doing this, trying to do this, or actually ARE doing this.  And unfortunately, many, many people come to the group in their 40s wanting to have babies because they haven't found the right person yet.  And by then (and I swear I'm not trying to scare any of you), it's too late.  That's right - all the stuff people told me growing up of "You have plenty of time!" isn't true.  The reality is, we kind of don't.  Sure, you can look at the Halle Berry's of the world and think about how she is able to have fully healthy babies after 40.  But what you don't know is what goes on behind the scene - she probably had IVF done (which is SUPER expensive to the average person) to make sure that there were no genetic defects and was monitored by lots of doctors to make sure that the pregnancy was going along as planned.  Even then, you don't know how many tries it took to get her this far.

The average woman doesn't have unlimited tries and resources to get pregnant.

So when I say that they're jealous, what I mean is that I got pregnant on the first try.  Without any drugs to trigger ovulation or beef up my egg quality.  And sometimes it's hard to talk to another woman who has been trying for 5 years and has even gone down the path of egg donation (getting another woman to donate her eggs and then fertilizing it with donor sperm to put into the original woman to try to carry) and for me to say that I got pregnant on the first try.

It's not that they don't like me...it's that sometimes it's hard to have a conversation with someone that doesn't realize just how lucky they are when you want that more than anything else.

What they may not realize is that I get that too.  Having just gone through Valentine's Day hearing about everyone's plans, gifts, cards, etc. wasn't the most fun I've ever had.  Of course I want to get married and have a partner.  So I get it and I at least can recognize that I am lucky to be able to be successful on the first try.

So what am I most worried about?  That the yogurt that I didn't realize was expired until AFTER I ate it won't cause my baby to have to wear an eye patch for his whole life.  Or that because I feel fine and have no morning sickness that it means that something is wrong with my baby.  I'm worried that I don't eat nutritiously enough or that the two Girl Scout cookies I had last night will cause my child to struggle with weight their whole life just as I have.

From what I understand, that worry about my child doesn't go away.  Ever.

Even for Halle Berry.

Monday, February 17, 2014

I don't even know where to begin

Hi there!

So much has happened since I last wrote that part of me wonders whether it's even worth continuing on this blog...

First, the awesome boyfriend that I've known for years (and years) and was dating this summer?  Yeah...that didn't work out.  He is a fantastic person, but he has a significant drinking problem.  When he contacted me via Facebook, I specifically asked how long it had been and his answer was "a long time."  He also said that he and his ex had been over for "a really long time."  Turns out "a long time" is relative.  He stayed sober the entire time we were together, but when I left for a trip in the fall, I came back home to find him completely blotto-ed on my couch.  I nursed him back to health (which was probably the most traumatic experience of my life) and then took him to his parents.  He hasn't been able to stay sober for longer than 3 weeks since then and even then I think that was only one stint.

In some ways, it was hard to say goodbye to him.  Especially since I ostracized two people that meant something to me just to date him.  But going through what I did - all that worry and drama is just not healthy.  And I want a healthy relationship.  I might sound cold about it but I think that's because I've processed through it and to be honest, it feels like it happened "a long time ago."

Separately (and it's important that I stress that this is not linked to the breakup!), I resurfaced the thought about having a child by myself.  As you might remember (hello, post below from October of 2012), I've been thinking about this for a while and I did a LOT of soul searching in late summer to figure out if this was the right choice for me.

After researching lots of different methods, I found a choice that felt right to me.  I planned and was finally able to get the green light to try.

And I'm pregnant!

My first attempt worked and I'll likely give birth at the end of September.

I'm REALLY happy about this choice and sometimes feel overwhelmed...but from talking to my friends that have been moms, they all say it's normal.

It's tough to do this by myself.  I found out I was pregnant at 2 AM and called my mom and woke her up.  My first ultrasound where I heard the heartbeat had me in tears and more than a little wishful that someone else was there to share in my joy and relief.  I did record the heartbeat and sent it to my family.

My family? They're super happy.  Well, except for my dad, the doctor, whose first response after me telling him I was pregnant was, "You're kidding."  To be clear, he's known that I was going through the process...but I don't think he (or anyone really) expected it to take on the first try.

I'm not making it public on Facebook yet (so please refrain if you know me in real life).  I'll announce after I get the 12 week ultrasound.  I have a few more weeks to decide what to share and how.

There is a support group that I've joined - called Single Mothers by Choice.  They have a Denver chapter and almost all the women have been really supportive of me.  Others are jealous or just plain old cranky.  I guess they're allowed to be that way since they're pregnant too.

Anyway, I'm happy.  The baby is healthy.  And life is good.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Success by any other name...

Well, I weighed in this morning and I'm down another 1.6 pounds - making a total loss year since mid-April at just under 17 pounds.  I thought I'd feel really great about adding a ticker bar at the top of my page...because YAY!  16.6 pounds is great!  Only then I saw visually just how far I have to go and that was a bit depressing.

I think I don't see myself as big as I really am.  When I think of myself, I still envision the person almost 50 pounds lighter - the person who could go into any store and buy something that would fit (Abercrombie & Fitch doesn't count).  I was that person in 2009.  

And then sometimes things will happen and I'll remember all over again that I'm not as small as I think I am.

Like when I see a picture of myself full body view.  Or like when I ask that the person take it landscape-wise instead of portrait-wise (using the excuse that we want a close up of our faces!).

Or when I sit down in some movie seats and it's a bit more snug than what I remember it being.  Or when I sit in some chairs at restaurants and I'm keenly aware of how the side arm supports are digging into my chubby thighs.

Or like last night when I was watching an episode of "Dexter" and saw an actress wearing an attractive dress - one that really showed off the female form - and I realized that I would look *completely* different in it than she did.

But most of the time, I'm blissfully unaware of the rolls of chub on my back or of my tummy showing when I write higher up on white boards at work.

Sometimes I think that I've been yearning for my goal weight for so long that I'm not even sure I believe it's attainable any more.  I've been that weight exactly once in my life - and it was when I was younger and gaining weight right past that number.  It's a number so out of touch with my reality that I can't even relate any longer.  Does that even make sense?

I'm wondering if I should stop focusing on that weight and instead pick a good NEXT goal. Like I'd like to get below the next weight bar on a manual scale at the doctor's office.  I'd like to be able to go in for my next appointment and not have to say "it's the next one up" when they guess incorrectly at the first two numbers of my weight.

Perhaps I shouldn't focus on weight at all...instead go by the next pants size that I want to be.

All I really know is that I want to look and feel more healthy.  I want to be happy when I see my engagement and wedding photos and I want to be healthy so that getting pregnant (and healing from the c-section) isn't as much of a struggle.

I know that I'm on the right path.  I know that I'm doing it...perhaps one more step (or one less bite) at a time.  I know that I have the power to lose weight faster...by choosing to have more of a calorie deficit or by kicking my metabolism into a higher gear.

What do you all do?  Do you focus on your end goal?  Do you focus solely on the next smaller goal?  Is it weight based?  Size based? 

How do you define success?

Monday, August 26, 2013

1.2 pounds in 16 days


Sorry for the brief hiatus...I mentioned in my last post that Zach's son was staying with us and it pretty much consumed any free time I had. Then, last Tuesday, I woke up to HORRIBLE sciatic nerve pain on my right hip. If you haven't had that, you are very lucky and I hope you never do! It is among the most painful things I've endured. It feels like someone stabs you with a knife, twists it so that pain shoots down your leg, and you feel like your leg is going to give out underneath you. Not fun. I got some muscle relaxers, pain meds, and Today I'm doing better and hope to be resuming my normal step count soon.

Despite the many trips to Taco Bell (Zach's son's favorite place to go), amusement park "food", trips to Dairy Queen, impromptu snacks and/or 4th meals, and the copious amounts of candy at the house, I somehow managed to lose weight while he was here.

To be honest, when I stepped on the scale yesterday morning, it actually showed a lower number - indicating that I lost more than 1.2 pounds. According to that scale, I lost 2 pounds. But I doubted that number so much because I knew that my eating had been erratic and definitely not as healthy as I usually am. Thinking that maybe I was a bit dehydrated, I rounded up to the nearest number. I figure if the 2 pounds are accurate, it'll all work itself out the next time I weigh.

I am proud that most times I ate only half of whatever was in front of me. Not only because it meant less calories consumed but because I actually was already satisfied and felt like stopping. There were times when Zach and his son would eat through "my" foods - like the 45 calorie bread, reduced fat peanut butter, or my Skinny Cow treats - very quickly rather than eating the stuff that we purposely bought for them. I wanted to yell "THAT'S *MY* FOOD! STOP EATING IT!" which obviously meant that something was being triggered. In reality though, there is always enough. And sometimes I stockpiled my favorite food and in the case of the peanut butter, I just went to Costco and bought two huge jars for them to devour. One time I told Zach that if he ate the second to last Skinny Cow treat it was his job to go and get more.

Although I've done a lot of mental work around food, I was amazed at how many times my desire to eat "my share" of something popped up.

Overall, I think I did fairly well. I racked up a ton of activity by going to batting cages, playing mini golf, playing at amusement parks, Dave and Busters, GoKarts, and human mazes. His son will be able to come and visit us over Christmas break so I'll have another shot at practicing a more balanced attitude towards food and being a sorta-step parent.

Thursday, August 8, 2013


I mentioned last week that I've been tracking my calories on myfitnesspal and my steps on my fitbit.

I've put the last 30 days of my steps activity below...and you can see (even if you can't read the axis labels) that I've really "stepped it up" in my activity levels over the last week and a half.  The little one on the right side is today - and since it's not even 10 AM yet, I'm not down on myself for having it only be at 1500 steps so far.

I haven't gone way over my calorie limits according to myfitness pal in the past week, but I haven't been way under either.  Typically, I'm right around the limit.  Well, other than this past Saturday and Sunday...I didn't track anything so I have no real clue where I was.

My point is (and I promise, there is one), is that each step counts.  Literally.  Each time I choose the stairs or to walk around the building, it counts - everything adds up.  Somehow that makes me more motivated to execute on the healthy plans I have for myself.

Each time I choose to eat a Skinny Cow candy pack instead of a Snickers bar, I'm saving 200 calories - and that adds up.  Each time I choose to honor my body by not eating more (because I'm already satisfied, because I'm not really hungry, etc.), it adds up.

I believe that each step creates momentum.

In fact, I went to the GYN yesterday and was weighed.  I'm down a bit over 15 pounds since January and down 5 pounds since the beginning of July (per their scale and medical records).  I may not be making leaps and bounds, but these small steps are getting me to where I want to be.

In other (semi-related) news, Zach's son is staying with us for a little over two weeks.  He flies into Denver tomorrow night and flies home to New York on the 25th.  He's 13 and from what I remember the few times I met him years ago, he's a pretty calm, respectful kid.  Zach says he's awesome but a) most parents say that about their kids and b) he's not exactly around his kid a ton to know if the moodiness has taken place.  They talk regularly, but they're not exactly long conversations.  I'm pretty sure it involves a lot of grunting and ball scratching.  :)  So while I'm not exactly sure of how the next two weeks are going to go, I feel confident that it will all work out - one way or another.

Because he and I look to further our relationship, this is a necessary next step.  We need to see how we will all function as a family unit.  We need to figure out if there are any glaring issues facing us or if we have similar parenting instincts.

But just like losing weight is the next physical step in my journey to get healthier (and there are lots of little physical and theoretical steps that make up that big one), there are lots of little steps in the next two weeks.

The first step is picking him up from the airport tomorrow...and I'm excited to report back how all the other little steps progress.

Wish us luck!