Saturday, September 5, 2009

Time for Change

A few weeks ago, my husband and I met up with a friend from college. This man also happened to graduate from high school with us, but we didn't really "travel" in the same circles. Somehow he and my husband became friends in college (we all went to the same school), and even were roommates for a year. This friend of ours also was a groomsman in our wedding. He and his wife just had their first baby, while we've now had three.

Originally, I thought this meeting was just going to be my husband and our friend, but was called last-minute to find out our friend would like to meet our kids and say hi to me, too. I don't know why, but I immediately was embarrassed - even before meeting up. Embarrassed by how fat I've gotten. How out of shape I am. Three babies in less than 4.5 years is hard on the body, but my youngest is almost two. Some women are back in shape by the time they go back to work - I'm not one of them. Some women found breastfeeding helped them lose the weight - again, I'm not one of them. Some women lose the weight after weaning their child - once again, I'm not one of them. I'm the heaviest I've been (non-pregnant) ever in my life. And I'm not happy about it.

The prospect of meeting with our "old" friend was a bit of a wake-up call. I realized how ridiculous it is that I am embarrassed of myself. I realized how horrible it is that it made me realize how much I hate what I've become. I realized that something has got to change! It is time for me to work to lose this baby weight. Time for me to stop making excuses for myself. Time for me to slim down and feel better about myself.

I have since signed up with MyFitnessPal to help me log my daily food intake and exercise - as well as get some ideas as to what I need to change (aside from the obvious eat less and exercise more). I was shocked to see the number of calories I took in that first day - over 3,000! Since then, I've successfully cut back to no more than 2,000 per day. The eventual goal is to aim for 1,500 calories per day. (I started out trying for 1,500 but was STARVING, and decided it was too much too soon.) So far, I have lost roughly 3 pounds - seems to be the average when taking daily fluctuations into account. I'm proud of myself for that, but this is HARD. Very hard!

I never was a big eater before pregnancy. Pregnancy taught me to appreciate food in a way I'd never done previously. It broadened my still-narrow horizons, and helped me learn to like foods I'd never liked before. Problem is, once my body was done being pregnant, it seemed to still want the same quantities of food. My body seemed to forget how to fuel itself under normal, non-pregnant (and non-breastfeeding) conditions. So, right now, I'm working on cutting back. I have foods I really like, and I tend to overindulge. So, I am now working on allowing myself the foods I love, but in limited quantities.

The other major cutback is my daily Dr Pepper intake. I LOVE my Dr Pepper. It is my coffee. But, that first day of logging what I eat, I couldn't believe how much of my calorie intake was from the Dr Pepper. I decided I had to cut back. Since then, I've had no more than one can of Dr Pepper during the course of any given day. It's amazing the difference from that alone. Not in the weight loss, which so far is minimal, but in how I feel. To my surprise, I actually have more energy now. I have less gas - a LOT less gas. And I think I even have less of my GERD. Who knew such a small, seemingly insignificant, change could make such a huge difference!

At this point, I'm trying HARD not to get discouraged. These things take time. Losing weight slowly, while less gratifying, is better. People who lose the weight more slowly are more likely to keep it off. At least that's what I've heard. So, I thought that maybe I should write about it. For one, it helps keep me accountable. It also can help motivate me.

Speaking of motivation, I have made a list of the reasons for my decision to lose this baby weight. They are:
  • I want to wear my wedding and engagement rings again.
  • I want to look good again.
  • I want to feel good about myself.
  • I never want to be embarrassed by my size again.
  • I want to wear normal clothes - no more plus sizes.
  • I want to be healthy.
  • I want to be a good example for my children - especially my girls.
  • I want to please my husband - and make him proud of me.
So far, I've lost only a few pounds. But, it's enough that I can happily say that I'm lighter than I was at the end of my first pregnancy. While that doesn't seem like much, it's a big deal for me. Next up is to get down to my pre-Natalie weight. I know I can do it. I plan to reward myself, but I haven't yet decided how. Maybe I'll get my hair done - new style, new color(s), etc. We'll see. I have time!

If you care to follow my progress, I have added a button to this blog (right now it's at the bottom of my sidebar) that says how much weight I've lost. Hopefully I'll have double digits in there soon!
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