Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Rebuilding the Wagon

I know that in the 5 years I've been writing this blog, I've written about "falling off the wagon" many times, but that's because this is a lifelong journey. This isn't a diet. This isn't a quick fix. This isn't a race with a finish line. This will last my entire life. And because I'm not perfect, I will occasionally fall off the wagon. Or in this case...fall off the wagon and then burn it down and scatter the ashes :)

It's funny how you can go for 6 weeks with motivation flying high, near perfect eating and lots of good, hard workouts...lose 15lbs and then with one decision come crashing down. 21 day fix got me back on track after several months of zero discipline and horrible eating choices. I rode that motivational pony for 6 good weeks. I lost inches, I lost lbs and I gained confidence. And then it happened.

For the past 6 weeks I'd been really good about allowing myself ONE treat a week. I would go OUT to buy my favorite brownie or fruit bar or whatever I was in the mood for and be done with it. But this week I decided to make one of my all time favorite desserts...at home. BAD IDEA. The problem with making it at home was that it was an entire pan...and it wasn't gone in a day.

I made my Grammy Burningham's chocolate mousse recipe which is essentially a delicious buttery almond crust with cream cheesey, sugary, puddingy, whip creamy goodness layered on top. Having two pieces on my treat day wasn't so bad. Seeing the pan in the fridge the next day completely undid me. The second I gave into day 2 of the craving, it was like someone had cut my brakes and I couldn't stop. I'm pretty sure everyone in my family each had one piece, but I ate the rest (over the course of 3 days). If that had been all I'd done, I'm sure it wouldn't have been so bad...but letting myself give in to sugar on days I wasn't "supposed to", pretty much gave me permission to eat whatever else I wanted too. A late night Whopper, half a bag of chips (WITH dip!), tons of halloween candy, cookies, etc. The proverbial wagon went from being firmly beneath me to being a pile of soot under my butt. Needless to say, I was extremely angry with myself.

I threw a pity party...and ate more in the process...but I knew I couldn't just give up and let this continue. I really didn't want to completely undo what I'd worked so hard for the past 6 weeks. So I grabbed my tools and got to work rebuilding my wagon.

I made my kids hide their halloween candy. If I see it, it's going in the trash. Period. I restarted a new week of 21-day fix and reacquainted myself with my portion containers and food tracking sheets. I kicked my butt in my workouts and I made sure to get in ALL of my fruit and veggie servings every day. And most importantly...I went a whole day without sugar. It's crazy how it seems so easy when you're on a roll and then suddenly you think you're going to JUST DIE!!! if you can't have it RIGHT NOW DAMMIT!!!

I'm grateful that over the years I have learned the tools that I need to get myself back on the wagon when I fall off. It used to be that I'd just give up and go months without even bothering to try. But not this time. I'm determined to finish season 20 of Jilly's Losers this next week with a good loss, but more importantly...self-control. And hopefully, this time the wagon will make it a little further before I go flying off the back again :)

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Long awaited milestones!!!!

Today was a really good freaking day. I'll make this short because it's late...but I couldn't go to bed without writing it down.

I've been doing really well with my eating and exercise for the past month. It's not the first time or anything, but losing weight is always a roller coaster of good, motivating phases and horrible, binge eating phases. I just try to ride the highs as long as I can and this one's going REALLY WELL!

I spent most of last week sick in bed so it felt good to start up round 2 of 21-day fix with a good total body cardio workout. It also felt pretty amazing to step on the scale today..and here's why:

For the first time since school started, I finally got myself to a Weight Watchers meeting...and reached my 5% goal! It took me a long time to get there, but I'm still excited about it! I was also excited about it because I broke 250 today!! When I was losing weight pre-Cooper, 250 was my worst plateau. I was stuck there for almost a year it seemed like. It took finally trying Zumba to break it and from there it was so much easier. This time around it wasn't quite a year, but it sure felt that way. It took some serious control in the kitchen and learning to deal with my hatred of cooking. Eating out tends to really block my weight loss, even when it's healthier options. So I've cut most of that out. But anyway...you get the picture.

It was a great day. 42 more 4th pregnancy lbs to go lol.

Monday, October 5, 2015

21 Day Fix Complete!

Yesterday was day 21 of my first attempt at the 21-day fix. I...LOVED...IT. It was challenging and it pushed me, but that's what I needed. I thought that the daily 30 minute workouts would be the easiest part for me, with the food plan causing me problems, but it was actually the other way around...at least in the beginning.

There are 7 workouts that you do in order each week with an optional 10 minute "Ab fix" to throw in wherever you want. The best part about these workouts is that they're tabata style which is essentially 1 minute of work, 15 seconds of rest. Each round would have 2 exercises.  You would do the first exercise, rest, 2nd exercise rest....then repeat before moving onto the next round.

1) Total Body Cardio Fix - full body cardio with weights (with volleyball at night)

2) Upper Fix - Upper body strength training (always followed by an hour of zumba)

3) Lower Body Fix - Lower body strength training (preceded by teaching zumba and often followed by pilates with my trainer)

4) Pilates Fix (with volleyball at night)

5) Cardio Fix (I HATED THIS ONE! Burpees and mountain climbers suck)

6) Dirty 30 - full body cardio/strength intervals

7) Yoga fix to stretch and re-center...combined occasionally with 10 minute abs

I honestly loved all of these workouts except for the cardio fix on Fridays haha. I would get up in the morning and do them while the girls got ready for school and helped feed Cooper breakfast. He was usually more interested in watching me than in eating though. Some mornings it was hard to force myself to push play on that DVD but I never regretted it. I think the only time I skipped a workout was one Saturday morning when I'd already done a Burn It workout at the gym and just didn't have it in me. The first week I was sore and tired, but the second and third weeks I felt much stronger and found myself able to do more in each workout. It was great! I still had to modify some things, but one day I'll be doing pushups on my toes. One day.

As for the nutrition side of things, it took a little getting used to at first but then I fell in love. There are color coded containers that are perfect portion sizes. Obviously the fruit and veggie ones are the biggest with proteins, carbs and healthy fats getting smaller. Since I'm a bigger girl, I get to eat quite a few of each each day but find myself rarely eating all of them. 6 veggie, 4 fruit, 6 protein, 4 carb, 1 healthy fat and 1 salad dressing container. If it fit in the container, I could eat it. Although there were foods listed in the book, which I stuck to for the most part. I did allow myself one sugary treat/dessert each week so as to avoid feeling so deprived that I'd binge. For the first time in a long time, I felt like I had control over my hunger. Controlling my portions of things made a huge difference as did adding veggies to every meal. I didn't feel hungry or frustrated and I got creative with my meals.  I even bought Autumn Calabrese's Fixate cookbook to try some new things that would work with the container system.

Now that my 21 days are up, I got back on the scale and retook my measurements.  DRUMROLL!

I was hoping for more inches, but honestly...for 21 days of hard work, I'm extremely proud of myself. I plan to take this week off from the daily 30 minute workouts while continuing with the nutrition plan. Then I'll start over with round 2 next Monday. I'm so glad I found this plan. Combining it with my Weight Watchers points (which I now use far less of!) has been a huge help as far as getting myself back on track post pregnancy. Cooper has also now weened himself from breastfeeding, so I'm hoping that will help things along a bit faster as well. I'm dying to get back into my pre-pregnancy clothes!!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Trying something new....again

In the past when I've felt stuck with my weight loss, I've tried something new.  Zumba, pilates, water aerobics, Couch25K....  So this time, I wasn't sure what to try.  I already feel like I have a pretty good mixture of things in my workout regimen, but I feel stuck.  And I'm tired of it.  Add in that I can't seem to get my eating on track no matter what I do...and I needed something that could help with both.  (I'm still doing Weight Watchers points though!)

So I decided to try 21-Day Fix by BeachBody.  A friend of mine is a coach and I hammered her with questions before purchasing so that I'd feel confident with it.  Today...was Day 1.

21 Day Fix is basically that.  21 days that overhaul your workouts and nutrition.  There are 7 different "fix" workouts and you follow a specific calendar for those 3 weeks as far as which workout you do.  Today was Total Body Cardio Fix.  It...kicked...my...butt.  I like to think I'm in pretty decent shape for my size, but this reminded me that I still have a lot of work to do.  It was a tabata style workout (60 seconds on, 20 seconds off)...which I LOVE...but I still had to modify half of the exercises.  It went by fast and I loved it!  I definitely feel like jello now though, so that's a good sign I was working hard.  I do intend, however, on keeping up with my zumba...so we'll see how THAT goes this morning haha.

On the nutrition end of things, it's all about breaking things down into each of the food groups and really focusing on portion control and eating clean/unprocessed type foods.  There are color coded containers for each food group...various sizes.  You get to eat a certain number of those filled containers per day based on your calorie goal.  The veggie and fruit containers are the largest, then carbs, proteins, healthy fats and seeds/dressings.  I think that will take some getting used to, but in the end will hopefully change the way I look at food.  I have a very serious food addiction problem and I NEED to get it under control!!!

This morning's breakfast (post workout) was my Premier Protein Shake, 1 carb container of oatmeal and 1 fruit container filled with mixed berries.   Already up to 64 oz. of water too!  So I'm off to a great start.  But I have never had a problem with "starts".  It's the late afternoon/evening where I struggle.

So I'm looking forward to the next 3 weeks and seeing the difference it makes.  I took my before pictures and measurements and I'm ready to have tunnel vision for the next 21 days.  Hopefully it will help make for a great season 20 of Jilly's Losers too!  We start tomorrow!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Jilly's Losers Season 20!!! (Rules & Guidelines)

I'm so so excited for our 20th season of Jilly's Losers.  It's shaping up to be our biggest ever (70 people so far in the group!!) which means bigger prizes, bigger challenges and hopefully lots of lbs lost and health gained for all!  Below are the rules for the upcoming season for anyone interested.  Let me know if you'd like to join!

1. Season 20 will begin on Tuesday, September 15. It will last 8 weeks and our final weigh in will be on Tuesday, November 10.
2. The buy-in fee this season will be $25. This is a singles season. Fees should be sent via Paypal to Jillyslosers@gmail.com with the note “Season 20 buyin fee” and your name. All fees MUST be paid by September 22. Make sure to mark your payments as being sent to family and friends to avoid any PayPal fees.
3. This season we’re going to try something a little different. Since we have so many people participating, it will be like we’re actually running multiple competitions at one time. Here’s how it will work! There will be two separate weight loss competitions going on. They will be separated by weight grouping. The final groups will depend on where everyone stands at the starting weigh-in, but ideally they will be something like this:
Group 1: (Weight 220 and under)
Group 2: (Weight 221 and up)
If after our starting weigh-in, I find that the groups are severely imbalanced, I’ll adjust accordingly. You will only be competing against those within your own group for weight loss! What this means is that there will be more winners as well! Each group’s prize pot will be equivalent to the # of people in that group. The person with the highest % of weight loss in each group will win 60% of their group’s prize pot. 2nd place will win 30% of their group’s pot. And the remaining 10% will go to a points winner, which will be explained below. (NOTE: All prizes are given after challenge rewards are paid out and 10% is taken out of the pot for myself as insisted upon by you brats a few seasons back *grumbles*. Thank you lol)
NOTE: For those of us who are current group members returning for season 20, there will not be a gain cap between seasons this time. With such a huge group, that will just complicate things too much. HOWEVER, if it seems someone has purposely packed on a lot of weight in the week between seasons in order to make losing weight easier, you will not be allowed to participate. (Anything over 3-4 lbs will be looked at with suspicion, so stay away from the dozen donuts! Haha) Please don’t make me be the bad guy. Gains happen, but please keep things honest and do not pad your starting weight. This group is very much about honesty I know that it can be hard between seasons to keep control over our eating, but let’s all try not to go too crazy!
4. Regarding weigh-ins: We have mandatory weekly weigh-ins every Tuesday. (Why Tuesdays? Because that's the day that The Biggest Loser aired on NBC when I started this group and it's just stuck!) Your weight picture must be posted by midnight MST to count! Please weigh in under the same circumstances every week (morning/night/clothed or not, etc) As for strikes...you are allowed 2 missed weigh-ins per person. That's 1 per month (or 2 in a row). On the 3rd missed weigh-in, you will be disqualified and you will not get your $ refunded. (You may continue to stay in the group and weigh-in but you will not be eligible to win any $ or prizes either from challenges or the final weigh-in) Remember that weigh-ins must be a picture of the # on your scale. Not just a post of your weight. I will also allow a picture of any weight watchers weigh in stickers as I know a few people in our group participate in those weekly weigh-ins and I know they are legit. Just make sure that you use the same scale all season. (At the very least, you MUST use the same scale for your starting and final weights)
5. Before pictures are MANDATORY. The pictures may be with or without a shirt (you'll notice more of a change if you do it without), but they must be full body pictures. If your before picture is not submitted within the first week of competition (by Sept. 22), you will be disqualified. (If you submitted an "after" picture for season 19, that will count as your "before" picture for season 20) Those who win prizes at the end of the season will not receive their prize money until an AFTER picture has been submitted and they must do so within 48 hrs of the winning announcement.
NOTE: Newcomers to this group always worry that their pictures posted in the group will show up for the public to see. This group is secret. As long as you are on the group wall BEFORE posting your pictures, no one will see them but those in the group. Your pictures will show up on your own feed when you view it, but I promise you no one else can see it!
6. Starting and final weights will be confirmed with a KEY WORD. This is to ensure that starting and ending pictures are truly taken on the day of the weigh-in and not before. I will post the KEY WORD in this group the night before the first and last weigh-ins. It should be written on a piece of paper or notecard and placed at your feet in the front of your scale before taking your picture.
7. We will continue doing weekly challenges. I try to come up with new challenges whenever, possible, but for those of you who have been around a while, I'm sorry to say you will see some repeats! Each challenge will have different rewards/prizes that will hopefully help keep people motivated. There will even be a couple big prizes depending on how large a group we have! And it looks like it will be a HUGE one! As this is season 20, there will also be some special prizes that I am working on acquiring…one of which is a free shirt of your choosing from Biggest Loser season 10’s at home winner, Mark Pinhasovich’s new exercise clothing line!! He has graciously agreed to donate that as a prize this season and I’m excited to get my own in the mail soon!
8. POINTS!!! As mentioned above, we will be tracking points this season for various things. If you were here for season 18, it will be just like that.
-There is a weekly point calendar for each of the 8 weeks. (It will be posted as a separate document under the “Files” tab on the group page) Print it out and use to track your points and weight loss. If you prefer to use an excel spreadsheet that will do your math for you, Cody Mecham made one 2 seasons ago that I’ve updated and will post as well for you to download.
-Beginning on Week #2 there is a double point challenge (highlighted in yellow)
-You can exercise each day, but you will only receive points for exercising 5 days a week.
-You can choose to not eat sugar/treats each day, but you will only receive points for not eating sugar on 6 days (everyone needs a free day!).
-There is a sample food journal that you can use or you can use your own kind of food journal to keep track of what you eat.
-Daily contact with teammate: It’s amazing the strength that comes from encouragement from your teammates! We said that you could email, call, or text someone in the group to encourage them to have a healthy day. It helps knowing that you are all in this together and makes you accountable for what you do or don’t do. Posting or commenting on the group page also counts. Hitting LIKE does NOT count!
-Example of weight loss points: You will get 5 points for maintaining your lowest previous weight AND 10 points for each whole pound. For instance, if you gained weight, you will report 0 points AND you don’t get any weight loss OR maintenance points in future weeks until you return to the lowest weight you had already achieved. If you maintained your previous lowest weight, you report 5 points. If you lost 1 pound, you would get 5 points for maintaining plus 10 points for that pound, so you would report 15 points.
NOTE!!!!! Points totals MUST be either emailed (jillyslosers@gmail.com) or messaged via Facebook to Jill Tracy by midnight MST each Tuesday in order to be counted. With such a large group, I’m afraid there will be no exceptions. If you forget to tell me one week…they won’t count. I’m sorry!
9. Remember that this group is about gaining health and losing weight through eating right and exercising. Extreme/fad diets are not allowed. Weight Watchers and things like that are fine, but no pills/drops/powders etc.
10. This group is only for those who will be actively participating in the competition this season, so while I hope everyone will stick around, please know that if you choose not to join us this season, you will be removed from the group. You are always welcome to join us in later seasons smile emoticon

Sunday, August 30, 2015

So...apparently losing weight is hard...

I know when I haven't written a blog entry in a long time it's usually because I'm not making any progress.  Time to vent I guess.  I'm sure the up and down of my entries gets old, but hey, that's life.

I've been riding the same 10lb roller coaster since June and it's kind of driving me crazy.  Okay, not just kind of.  I'm not going to blame my beautiful, sweet 8 month old......but okay, I'm going to.  Cause it's totally his fault.  Well....okay maybe like 80%.  Having a new-ish baby is HARD!

Yes, Cooper is my 4th child, but as Nathan likes to tell those who ask, "Is he your first?"....."He's our 2nd first."  And it's so true.  With a 15 year old, 11 year old and 8 year old....Cooper is like having a first child all over again.  The world and our lives are COMPLETELY different with this baby than with Emma back in 2006.  But I think the biggest difference, for me anyway, is that with the other 3 babies, I never bothered trying to lose weight after I gave birth.  I was severely obese and I had zero hopes of ever changing that...especially with little kids.  But now that I've been down that weight loss road and lost 122 of the 150-ish lbs I wanted to lose before I got pregnant...I'm in a very different boat!

I don't want to just be content to stay where I'm at post-baby.  And I'm not.  But since I've never done this before, I didn't realize just how hard it is.  Before Cooper came, I was at the gym for 1-2 hours a day, 5-6 days a week.  Period.  It was my ME time...my sanity...my addiction.  I was eating under 1500 calories every day without a problem and while I still had my splurges, I was able to keep my eating under control 90% of the time.  Now my time isn't mine anymore.  I have 3 kids back in school (which is when I'd normally hit the gym without inconveniencing anyone)....and a nursing baby.  I'm blessed to have a husband who works at night so he's home during the day, however, it doesn't feel right to just up and leave him with the baby for several hours every day.  I'm sure it bothers me more than it would him for me to do that...but at this point in time, I'm lucky if I get to the gym twice in a week.

Twice a week in the gym probably sounds like a lot to some people and it would be great if my eating were in check.  HA.  My eating.  Oh man....I had no idea that this is how it is when you're nursing a baby!  I am hungry...ALL...THE...TIME!!!  I nursed my other 3 kids, but only for 4 months each and always with supplemental formula bottles.  With Cooper, since I have the time to focus on it, I decided to try and nurse him for the entire first year.  I'm happy to report we're still going strong!  He does take a formula bottle once in a while now when absolutely necessary, but I still nurse him at least 3 times a day on top of all the solids he's eating.  That little man is a bottomless pit!  Like his mama!  But nowadays I'm lucky if I keep my calorie count under 2000!  To be fair, I don't count calories anymore since I've switched to Weight Watchers points, but I'm pretty consistent about using up every single point they give me each week.  Since I'm nursing I get 14 extra points a day...and yup, I use those too.

Food food food.  I know I've written about this before, but it bears repeating.  Food addiction is a real thing.  And there's no going cold turkey.  Ugh.  I know this is a roller coaster like everything else, but I'm hoping that a climb is in the near future as it feels like I've been free falling for entirely too long now.  Now that school is back in session and Cooper is a little bit more predictable in his schedule, I'm hoping that maybe I can become a bit more predictable in mine.  I need to get things under control before the holidays hit and everything becomes another excuse to binge on my favorite foods.

I lost 122lbs before....why is this so hard NOW???  I'm tired of having an entire wardrobe in my closet that I can't fit into.  Time to buckle down.  Again.  (I'm sure I'll be saying this multiple times in my life)

Monday, June 8, 2015

Baby steps take you the longest distance

In my last blog entry, I had stated that I wanted to lose 10lbs by my birthday (June 5).  I'm happy to report that I came within about 0.4lbs of that!  I was extremely excited.  And it's all thanks to Weight Watchers.

I never in my life thought I'd say that.  I never really wanted to try WW and I put it off for years.  Like another friend of mine put it, I felt like if I weren't just doing it on my own with proper diet and exercise then it didn't really "count".  I'm glad I got over myself and gave it a shot.  WW is amazing.  I've always had the accountability of weighing in with my own Jilly's Losers group every week, but after so many years of that I felt I needed a more personal form of accountability.  Weighing in face to face with a WW coach every Friday has made such a huge difference.  I still weigh in every Tuesday with my group and having two weigh-ins a week actually helps keep me on track!

With WW, I never feel hungry.  Because I'm heavy to begin with, I'm given 42 daily points to use (41 now that I've lost some weight).  That's already a lot.  But add to that the fact that I'm a nursing mother and I automatically get 14 more.  It's a lot of points!  And "most" fruits and veggies are freebies.  I've found that I'm eating a lot more of both and I feel great!

Another thing that's really helped is that in the current Jilly's Losers season, we've been tracking points for various things like fruits/veggies/exercise...and the hardest one...no sweets.  But after being off the wagon for so long with my pregnancy, it feels good to finally say that I've regained control of my sweet tooth.  For the past month now, I've managed to keep my treats to ONE a week.  I look forward to my treat day all week long and then I enjoy it so much more when it comes!  One of my biggest challenges is reminding myself that I don't have to eat like there's no tomorrow.  I can always get another brownie or carton of ice cream or whatever it may be.  I don't have to have 10 helpings.

By no means am I losing weight at a rapid pace.  Sometimes I wish I could lose large amounts of weight in a week, but I'm not willing to give up all the things I'd have to to do so.  There are a couple women in my group this season who lost huge numbers the first week and it was amazing!  I asked how they did it and was told they'd given up dairy, grains, sugar (including fruit) and other things.  I admire their dedication.  I really do.  But it's just not for me.  I would be able to sustain that for a little while and probably lose a ton of weight....but I know me. When the competition was over, I'd come crashing down and regain it all and then some.  I need my treats.  I need the flexibility to eat the things I enjoy as long as it's in moderation. So I truly love Weight Watchers.  I'm losing between 1.5 and 3lbs a week and I feel fantastic.  Baby steps.  That's how I lost the 122lbs the first time around.  I just need to do it again.  Baby steps feel small, but in time they add up...and in my case, I'm far less likely to take any of them in the backwards direction!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Oh yeah, I have a blog....

It's been so long since I put my thoughts and feelings down on "paper" that I'm honestly afraid they'll all come out pretty chaotic and jumbled...but even so, it needs to be done.  If this is as far as you read, I totally understand!

So...turns out having a baby changes your life a bit.  Who knew.  You'd think I'd never done this before.  Maybe it's because this was the first pregnancy I've had where I was active and healthy and so I was absolutely certain that the day Cooper was born, I'd hop right back on that weight loss wagon and it'd be cake.  Or baked chicken breast.  Or something healthy, whatever.  My point is....For the months building up to his birth, I was beyond excited to get my body back and to get back into my rigorous workout routine and get back to eating 1500 or less calories a day and lose all the weight I'd gained.  I'm hilarious.  That was a funny joke!  Here's how it's ACTUALLY gone down.

As of my last appointment with my midwife in December, I was 269lbs.  That was about a 55 ish pound gain from when I learned I was pregnant.  Not my worst pregnancy gain, but it was far more than I expected to gain with as often as I was working out.  I was still teaching Zumba until November and working out 3-4 times a week on top of that.  Unfortunately, I let myself eat whatever didn't irritate me or make me feel ill pretty much the whole pregnancy.  I knew what that would do to me, but I accepted my fate.  I was sure that once the pregnancy was over, everything would revert to normal.

(This was me at 209lbs, before I got pregnant)

(This is my before/after pregnancy pic)

(And this is what I look like now...)

My sweet baby Cooper was born on December 22nd just after 5 in the evening.  He weighed 7lbs 15 oz. and was absolutely perfect.  As I was hoping to, I was able to deliver him without any drugs and while it was the most painful experience of my life it was also the most amazing.  I'm grateful that my body (and mind!) were healthy enough and strong enough to get through such an experience. I was up and walking around very soon after and I was sure that was a sign of things to come.  But from day one, I should've realized that life was going to change.  Drastically.

I think I got maybe 10 hours of sleep the entire first month of his life.  Between his jaundice (he had to sleep on a bili-bed for a few days) and trying to exclusively nurse him whereas I'd used bottles with my other babies...it felt like I was living with a little human attached to my body.  It wasn't much different from carrying him inside me!  Not to mention...I'm 35.  I'm no longer in my mid-20's trying to care for a newborn.  No matter what physical shape I was in, it was a LOT harder than I remember it being!  I was exhausted, both physically and mentally and worrying about what went into my mouth was the last thing on my mind.  I continued to just eat whatever I had the time or the stomach for and that was usually something fast, convenient and loaded with calories.

I kept telling myself that once the 6 week mark came and I could get back to the gym...everything would be okay.  Life would go back to how it was.  Wrong again.

6 weeks came and I got the go ahead to work out from my midwife.  I went back to teaching Zumba and taking classes at the gym, but with a baby in tow.  What started out as 4 classes a week quickly turned to 2...and then 1.  I forgot how much STUFF babies have.  Trying to get him changed, fed, dressed, packed up in the car, diaper bag filled and then drag all that up to the aerobics room of the gym was NOT enjoyable for me.  THAT was a workout in itself...and I got sick of it. Luckily he loves Zumba and would sit/sleep happily through the entire hour anytime I did bring him.  But it was just too stressful.  And as has always been the case for me...when I'm not working out hard, my eating suffers as well.

One thing hasn't changed.  I can still start every single day fresh with a healthy breakfast.  And I do.  But guaranteed...4pm rolls around and I throw in the towel.  Add in a newborn and it becomes more like...2pm.  He sleeps a bit better at night, but I still can't get more than 20 mins at a time usually where I'm not having to hold him.  (I'm surprised he's slept the entire time I've been typing this!  That baby swing is a Godsend.)  So it then again becomes... Eat what I can, when I can and feel guilty about it later. I had hoped that I'd be one of those people who, when nursing, burns calories like a mofo and can eat whatever they want and lose a ton of weight.  No such luck.  I, apparently, am one of those people whose hormones get all out of whack when exclusively nursing and is ravenous ALL THE FREAKING TIME!!!  I'm lucky if I can keep my calorie count under 2,000...never mind that 1500 a day nonsense.  And my craving for sugar?  HAHAHAHA.  I have zero control over that little bastard (pardon my language).  But seriously.  I can't even go a full 24 hours without giving in to some sort of treat.

So what do I do?  Cooper is now 4 1/2 months old and cuter than ever.  I am blissfully happy being a "new mom" all over again and I love watching all his milestones and watching my older kids as they learn to take care of him right along with me.  But I need to find a way to make myself a priority again.  Not top priority of course...but at least A priority.  Top 5 at least.  He's 4 months old and I'm still hovering around 265.  Not acceptable anymore.  People are so sweet and keep pointing out that I just had a baby and it's okay and it will take time....and I appreciate that.  But I need some tough love now.  I need someone to crack down on me and stop letting me make excuses.  I'm running out of clothes to wear here people!  I have an entire wardrobe that was bought at 230lbs and I refuse to live in maternity clothes forever. Nor will I go buy all new plus size clothes after I had just gotten rid of them a year ago.  Nope nope.  My only option is to buckle down, get serious, stop making excuses and get healthy again.  No one needs to eat 3 cupcakes in one sitting.  No one needs dessert every single day.  No one NEEDS to eat out several times a week just because they hate to cook.  (that one will be harder to fix...cause seriously...I hate to cook. And that doesn't help me any.)

Something has to change. I am still running Jilly's Losers, which I love doing...but if I'm being honest with myself, it's not helping me like it used to.  It's SO wonderful to watch how it's helping others and it inspires me every day...but after 17 seasons, I no longer feel that accountability that I used to.  I feel so loved and accepted by these people that it no longer scares me to weigh in or post full body pictures in front of them.  I'm completely nonchalant about it and that's not good.  I talked to a good friend of mine yesterday about the possibility of trying Weight Watchers.  I need to physically go to a place where I have to step on a scale in front of strangers and be held accountable for my choices each week.  Maybe counting points instead of calories will help (although with a year and a half streak going on myfitnesspal.com, I'm not likely to stop doing that anytime soon).  All I know is I have to figure out what will light my fire again because it's almost gone out and the thought of returning to 330+lbs terrifies me. Needless to say, it's hard to try and motivate other people when I can't even motivate myself.

Nathan has a new job now that has him working from home.  This means I no longer have to drag the baby and all his belongings with me to go workout.  This is a good start.  In the last week, I was able to get in a couple extra workouts and was genuinely sore for the first time in a year.  I can't spend hours a day working out like I used to, but I am hoping that if I can at least get back to working HARD in the time I do have...it will start a cycle that will help with the eating part of things as well.  You know things have gotten bad when your children come to you and beg you to make something healthy and turn down dessert because "We've eaten too much bad stuff lately mom."  I know better.

So there you have it.  Hopefully putting all of this out there will help me to feel a bit more accountable again.  It's why I started this blog in the first place.  It helps me.  I'm grateful for all of the blessings in my life.  Life is amazingly good right now.  I just need to re-learn how to live it to the fullest.  Change doesn't have to be the undoing of years of hard work.  Right?

So before I end this, I want to make myself a goal..publicly.  I usually tell my group folks to set goals that aren't scale related, but in this case...I need to make an exception.  I want to lose 10lbs by my birthday (Which is 1 month from today).  And by the time our family reunion rolls around in August, I would like to re-hit my 100lbs lost mark (230.6).  Now I realize that this may not happen and I am not going to beat myself up if I don't quite get there.  35lbs in 3 months is a big goal.  But right now I think I need to have a big goal. Now if only I could come up with an equally big reward that would actually push me! We'll see how it goes. In the meantime...if you see me eating a cupcake, slap it out of my hand.  You have my permission.