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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Should Old Acquaintance Be Forgot…

Go Home New Years, you're drunk.

Go Home New Years, you’re drunk.

So I have a problem when it comes to participating in mass activities, thoughts, and feelings. I have many examples of this, among them:

Taking part in lent (never have, doubt I ever will).

Saying things I am thankful for every day of November on Facebook.

Here comes the big confession: Feeling holiday cheer for any sort of reason that “I’m supposed to.” I don’t know what it is. This goes for almost all holidays, not just The Big C.

I’m plenty stubborn, but that is somehow not the reason for this difficulty. I guess it just feels ingenuine to me. Like “Oh, NOW is when I’m supposed to have all these feelings of thankfulness for what I have been blessed with, or adoration for my Savior being born, or great respect for the ones who died for my country.”

I’m no Scrooge, I have plenty of festiveness and cheer running through my veins. I love celebrating holidays for the commercial reasons. I will put that change in your bucket with more gusto than you’ve ever seen. I will volunteer and shop and eat and partake in traditions like a boss. I will decorate and listen to Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” until everyone around is sick of both her and me. I just cannot force feelings upon myself simply because I am supposed to.

Don’t get me wrong, I am very thankful and stuff. Some form of “Thank-you” is pretty far up there on my most-said list (and trust me, I say a lot of words). I give so much praise to my God for sending His Son, I do. I just can’t seem to get with the program of being in some sort of mood on a given day. It’s a problem.

New Years both escapes and follows this trend of mine. I LOVE New Years. I think it’s so magical and that there is something special about celebrating accomplishments and memories of the past year, and ringing in the fresh beginning of another one. It almost makes me giddy.

This is Bryan and I in NYC for New Years last year. It was love. I MISS YOU NYC!!!

This is Bryan and I in NYC for New Years last year. It was love. I MISS YOU NYC!!!

The problem is with the resolutions. I feel like it’s similar to lent. I have never felt the need to declare things I will do differently, when said declaration almost never seems to hold up for people me.

This is how we feel about resolutions.

This is how we feel about resolutions.

I’ve decided I’m going to give it a go this year. I am changing the pace though. My husband (who is all up in the business world, he and business are besties) recently told me about the “SMART pattern” for setting goals, and I’ve decided that this is the key for successful New Years resolutions. I’ve also defined my resolutions in the examples instead of boring you with a list. YOU’RE WELCOME.

S: Specific. Make the resolutions clearly defined and not vague. Bad: “I’m going to try to be on my phone less.”  Good: “I’m going to put my phone away when I am out with Bryan, in the passenger seat of a car with anyone (there is a contingency for road trips, because, let’s be real here), and when we are hanging out in an intentional group setting (double dates, at someone’s house for dinner, etc).”

M: Measurable. Have definitive numbers or other measurable units in place to keep the resolution in check. Bad: “We’re going to save for a house this year.” Good: “Let’s make a plan to have ‘this specific amount’ saved to put down on a house this year, break it down into monthly savings, and keep track of it carefully.”

A: Attainable. Let’s not get crazy up in here. Bad: “I’m going to compete in a Half-Ironman this year.” (HAHAHAHAHAHA!) Good: “I’m going to do the ‘run’ portion of one of the sprint/olympic triathlons I plan to compete in without stopping for a break.”

R: Relevant. Make the resolution something that is already on your radar. If you pull something out of left field that you know you don’t care about that much, then it won’t be accomplished and it’s pretty pointless. I think this applies well to group goals. Don’t get suckered into a group resolution that you don’t care about that much. You’ll either give up because you don’t care about enough, or be miserable trying to stubbornly prove the point that you can do this. Bad: “I plan to read 10 books on business this year.” (If I want to be bored and sad) Good: “I plan to read 20 books this year.”

T: Time-Based. Give yourself deadlines for your resolutions. Don’t just make them willy nilly and hope they get done before next year. Bad: “This will be the year I hit my weight goal.” Good: “I am going to get down to a size 6(<- Specific. This is a two-for.) by the time my brother’s wedding rolls around (June 28th, I’m a bridesmaid) through my triathlon training and weight lifting.”

So there you go. I’ll let you know how it’s going through the year, and whether my disdain for these things grows or shrinks. For now I’ll just work on being thankful and full of praise all year round :).

What do you guys think of my Resolution Strategy, and what is your own?