With Baby Comes…

This is one of those things that I know no one reeeeeally cares about reading, but I neeeeeed to talk about it.

Weight.

So I had a baby, in case anyone reading this doesn’t already know that from my bombardment of photos on the interwebs. And with a baby comes extra weight. It’s a fact of life. When you’re pregnant, however, you can be smart about it, or, like me, be stupid about eating and healthy weight gain.

I had packed on a few pounds before I got pregnant, and was in the process of trying to lose it, and failing miserably. I just love food ok? When I saw the double line on the pee stick, I was all “Great! No more having to worry about losing weight!” And I ate…and ate…and ate…and gained a lot more weight.

Y’all.

*Swallows pride.*

I weighed well over 200 pounds at the end of my pregnancy.

It was hard for me to accept. I wanted to badly to be able to control it, but losing weight has always been difficult for me.

Before I move on, I just want to say that I am not at all trying to be one of those people who isn’t that big, but is going to complain about it anyway. If there’s nothing we women get more annoyed with, its skinny girls talking about how fat they are, meanwhile we are sitting here, obviously heavier than them, eating a burger. No, I am not trying to be that woman. Just talking about my personal story, and although I was and still am overweight, I try not to think of myself as “fat.”

Losing weight has NEVER been easy for me. I can exercise, but I am unwilling to change my diet much if at all, so when exercise doesn’t cut it (10% exercise/90% diet right?), I give up and feel even worse about myself. I like carbs, cheese, and sauces. Those are my vices. Plus I love to cook, it’s a creative outlet for me, and cooking some variation of chicken, again, gets old. When given the choice at a restaurant, I will always choose something I want instead of something healthy. Why pay for a salad when I can make that at home, right? It’s a real problem. I use food for comfort too. I have a hard time sitting and watching a tv show or movie without having something to snack on. I tend to break the golden rule of dieting by drinking my calories as well. Coke is like sweet nectar of the gods on my mouth. I could go on and on.

The point is, it has always been a problem, but a bigger problem is feeling down about myself. This is hard crap you guys. I hardly have time to dress myself and keep laundry washed, let alone to spend 2 hours of my day working out. Because let’s be honest, doing  45-minute work out is only a small part of it. For me, It means pumping, because, you know…jumping around and stuff, squeezing into a sports bra and still-too-small work out clothes, making sure the kid is asleep or otherwise occupied, doing the work-out, showering (maybe), and changing again. THAT’S LIKE HALF THE DAY YOU GUYS.

Ugh.

I do love the #MomBod movement over the past few weeks, and I am all over giving grace to moms to get their bodies back, but that doesn’t mean that I should just do nothing. I want to be able to run and play with my kids and get down on the floor and color without it hurting. I want to be able to…gosh just to wear MY OWN CLOTHES again. We like to paint a pretty picture of how beautiful childbirth is, but rarely do we have honest feelings about how hard and sucky it is to accept that our bodies will never be the same. I don’t want to feel like I am body-shaming or mom-shaming by saying that it is sucks to have stretch marks all over my body and to accept that it’s just how my body looks now. Or can we just talk about boobs? Or extra skin? Or just all of it?

I want to feel healthy and good about myself again. I want the fat in my face to go away so I can stop hating every single photo of me. And sure, there’s a part of me that needs to learn to love myself and my body more, but there’s another part that needs to suck it up, get her act together, and eat better.

All of this to say, I am on a diet. *Shudder.* Even I hate those words. I wish I could be one of those women that’s all “HAHA what’s a diet??” but no, I did not win the “Bounce-back-after-childbirth lottery,” and something’s gotta give. I don’t like diets. They rarely work and I never want to have to buy a bunch of shakes, drops, bands, wraps, and whatever other diet fad is going around now. Just no. I am doing the 17-day diet. I like it because it’s structured, but simple. I can have as much as I want of certain things, so I am never hungry, and it’s easy to wrap my mind around. I am down about 6 pounds since starting, and I am 2/3 of the way through cycle 1 (It consists of four 17-day cycles). That puts me at (crap is there still pride I need to swallow??) 174 currently. My goal is 140.

As far as eating out goes, that’s where Bryan comes in. I asked him to be in charge of my diet for the time being. He was all “Nope nope nope nope this is a trap nope.” But I talked him down and explained that I don’t have enough self-control to eat well, so could he please order for me at restaurants and slap chips out of my hand when necessary. He has been great so far! I think showing him that I wouldn’t fight him on it in the moment (bites tongue) really helped him to not feel like this was a lose-lose for him.

I may post updates as I go, but maybe not. I know this stuff isn’t exactly riveting, but it’s a big part of my life right now. Food is so hard for me that when I limit myself, it occupies roughly 97% of my thoughts. So I’m just trying to hang in there…for now.

Love, Alex

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…And Then I Came up Short.

So I had my first weigh-in since my little change of heart that led to this post, and I only lost 1.5 pounds this week, and not 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 like I was hoping.

Naturally, I freaked out and wanted to cry, but then Bryan was like “Good job Babe! You didn’t gain any weight and you actually lost some even though we haven’t been to the gym in the past couple of days and we didn’t eat great with my parents last night. You should be proud of yourself!”

I wasn’t proud of myself. I hate that some people can like, sneeze and lose weight. OR DO NOTHING AND LOSE WEIGHT. I hate that I have to try. I hate that I can’t eat and COOK what I want. I hate that I didn’t lose 5 pounds instead of 2. I hate I hate I hate.

I seriously let this ruin my morning.

It’s slowly hitting me, though, that he’s right. I SHOULD be proud of myself. I did eat not-so-great last night. I did succumb to not working out for the past two days because we’ve had stuff going on. And I still lost weight!

I’m slowly becoming as proud of myself as Bryan apparently is.

I am reminded of how I am such a brat to God. I try to be so independent, and worry instead of pray, and I don’t trust Him completely, and I don’t see the world and my life through a lens of Him like I should. And then I act all upset that I can’t do it all on my own. I let it get me down and I kick myself for not getting it right, like ever. Much like that whole weight thingie, it makes me feel like I will never get better or change or grow, and something in me refuses to see any growth that actually is there!

Ugh! This refinement thing is so hard in all areas of life! And yes I know that the definition of refinement implies the difficulty and pain. My blog is called REFINING ALEX, duh. I’m still allowed to forget and be shocked and surprised by it right? AAAGGH.

I AM learning though, I am. I am better with my weight and self-control than I was yesterday, and I’m still going to strive for that to be true tomorrow. In the same way, I can only hope that I grow more in God each day. And God doesn’t expect me to be perfect, in fact, He’s counting on me not to be, and He already has it covered.

I turned down a cookie the other day. A chocolate chip cookie. A FREE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE. I am so Superwoman right now y’all. I don’t even care that I’m I’m self-complementing. I can do this.

I’m not giving up. I will be there.

Alright, I’ve Fooled around Long Enough.

I told you about my New Years plans (I still refuse to call them resolutions), but not a lot of concrete change has happened. I know what you’re thinking: “Whaaaaaat? That NEVER happens with resolutions New Years plans!” and “But you’re so organized and self-controlled!” and “You always seem like you have it so together, though!”

Yes. All of this. BUT actually none of it.

I am failing, you guys. I’m tired of failing too. I am too competitive and too prefectionist of a person to put up with this crap. And by this crap, I mean my 20’s so far. When did I get so lazy? With my diet, with my household stuff, with just all of it.

The other morning I woke up early for some reason, and I always wish for that because that’s usually when I have the “want to” to get stuff done, but this morning (much like most times like this), the one where I actually woke up at 6:30 without my alarm clock, it was like “woe is me, booooo.” I kid you not: I started praying that God would give me the motivation to get up and be productive before work. As soon as I started, God was all: “You have got to be kidding me. You’re seriously praying that I will help you TO GET OUT OF BED.” That may seem harsh, but I make a practice of praying that God will give me the motivation to complete simple tasks that are so not a big deal and will take like 5 seconds. I have got to realize that grown-ups shouldn’t act like this and it’s time to pay the Piper and own up to my responsibilities.

This is such a balancing act for me. I feel like I’m either lazy as all get-out, or I’m super uptight perfectionist crazy girl. I need to find the healthy in-between of letting go and finding joy in spontaneity sometimes, and NOT GETTING THE HECK OUT OF BED.

So I have developed a highly skilled, technical (<– not that) plan for getting myself out of this rut:

For my diet: I’ve realized that saying “I’m going to eat healthy!” is not cutting it. I need a specific, guideline-filled plan for myself to succeed, so I made one. While we are at home, we are eating recipes and dishes that consist of only the following (and you may notice that it is reminiscent of the Food chapter in 7: An Experimental Mutiny on Excess, and that’s because we lost weight while doing it. Simple as that.):

  • two meat types: chicken and fish
  • all produce: fruits and veggies
  • one carb: Brown Rice
  • one dairy source: plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
  • eggs
  • seasonings: any dry seasoning (excluding sugars), olive oil, honey/agave nectar
  • drinks: water and coffee (Almond milk and sugar may be used in coffee only)

So this is the plan. I feel it is fool-proof because we are allowing ourselves to cheat when we eat out, although we are planning to try and eat better at those times too! You guys, yesterday, I ate at Mexican restaurant (<– my kryptonite) and ate fajitas sans cheese, sour cream, or tortillas. I EVEN SKIPPED THE QUESO! I am superwoman right now.

Look at that grocery supply! I am so proud of myself! The only boxed items are the rice and flavor packets for my water!

Look at that grocery supply! I am so proud of myself! The only boxed items are the rice, salad dressing, and flavor packets for my water!

For day-to-day crap: I am planning to try and rebel against myself in the will-power deficient times. I’m stubborn enough that I am determined to make a habit out of doing what needs to be done instead of being lazy. It supposedly takes 21 days to make or break a habit, so what if I made it a habit to get up earlier, to get out of the shower quicker, to finish one of the million project I’ve started, to get my laundry folded on the time-table of a sane person?

I’ve got to pull myself together. I’m over having breakdowns every couple of months because I feel so out of balance and ungrounded and out of control. Surely I am not the only one. I struggle with looking at other women who seem to have it all together and are able to juggle the thousands of hats they have to wear AND THEY HAVE KIDS! Oh my gosh what will I do when I have kids if I can’t even keep it together now?

What do you guys do? What are your plans for keeping yourselves sane? How do you overcome the lazies?

The Daily Fav Day 27: Cooking

I think I’ve made it pretty clear how much I love cooking. I told you about this recipe and this app and this inspiration and mentioned it a ton of other times in random posts, but for real y’all, I love me some cooking. Now I don’t profess to be the best cook by any means, but I do have a talent for figuring out how to make things with little to no recipe.

I really didn’t start messing with it until I met Bryan and actually had a reason to cook, but once I started I never looked back. My sister is also interested in cooking, and is a fabulous baker. She’s much fancier than me and wants to go to culinary school in Paris, you know, normal kid stuff. I’ll just ride her coattails and maybe one day we will open a restaurant together or something!

I also have a business, Meals on a Mission, where I cook and deliver homemade meals to customers, and for every meal purchased, I donate one to a family in need. It gives me an outlet for my cooking addiction and helps people at the same time! When I first started it, I thought that my main client-base would be working moms, but over time I have gained most of my business from people purchasing meals for their friends and family who just had a baby, are sick, etc.

My goal was to find something to do for when I start staying home with our (future) children, so I really just wanted to get it off the ground and running. I did that, so now I have stopped marketing for it as much so I can focus on the here and now until we have kids.

One more day left! I don’t know about you, but I am tired of talking about myself!

The Daily Fav Day 24: Hibachi Food!

hibachi food

I love food a lot you guys, so much that I have literally had to restrain myself from posting more about my favorite foods in the Daily Fav than I have. However, this is legitimately my favorite food in the world!

I’m a big fan of most Asian food, especially if it fuels my love of carbs. Hibachi food definitely takes the crown though!

When I lived in Springfield, there were an abundance of great Hibachi places to choose from, but here in NWA, there’s really just one good restaurant (…that I know of! Please tell me if you’re in the know of another-and don’t say Shogun! I’m really not a fan.).

That place is Kobe. Specifically the Fayetteville one, because the Bentonville location does not have a grill, and mamma needs her grill.

I go there for my birthday every year, and as much during the rest of the year as I can get away with.

Me and my love on Sunday for my birthday dinner.

I’m determined to learn how to make it at home and make it restaurant quality. It may be a lost cause, but I’ll let you know!

What is your standard “birthday food?”