I have two major goals to focus on right now.
1. Write 50 pages per month so I can finish my book by the end of 2015
2. Lose my pregnancy weight healthily by January 25, 2016
Losing weight has always been hard for me. I normally hover about 5-10 pounds above my ideal weight, in a range where all of my clothes fit, but some of them (especially my jeans) are pretty tight. Last year I made a push to get to my goal weight. I counted calories, walked every day, took up running, and went to the gym a few times a week with my husband. I got to my goal weight and maintained it for about 5 months.
Then I got pregnant.
Obviously, gaining weight for pregnancy is different than gaining weight otherwise. I knew that during my pregnancy, so the weight gain didn’t bother me much. However, since giving birth and losing that initial 20 pounds of baby, placenta, amniotic fluid, blood, other fluid buildup, and whatever else comes out over the two weeks after having a baby, I haven’t lost a pound. Or I should say, up until the last two weeks I hadn’t.
Five weeks ago I really got gung ho about exercising again. I was walking five or six times a week and was feeling pretty good. I had more energy and all that, but I didn’t lose an ounce. So about two weeks ago, I made a running and gym schedule. Run twice and week and go to the apartment fitness center twice a week while my husband watches the baby. That plan was great and I felt amazing and lost a pound.
And it lasted a week.
Then last week I was tired. I missed two of my exercise days and didn’t walk on any of the other days. So far this week, we’ve been extra busy with various things, so I haven’t gone to the gym or for a walk or run at all. It’s so easy for time to get away from me, and I look at the clock and it’s 9:30, so I go feed the baby until he falls asleep and then it’s 10:15 so instead of going to the gym, I just fall asleep, too.
I’ve been lifting hand weights and doing crunches, at least. That’s something. I just need to plan my time better so I can go for my runs and to the gym when the baby is happy.
That’s part of the problem. He’s in this new phase where he either gets sad when I leave, or he gets tired and won’t fall asleep unless he’s breastfeeding. My husband is a good father, but that’s something he just can’t do. He says it’s fine that the baby screams in his face for the whole 45 minutes or so that I’m gone, but I feel bad, both for him and the baby. I know people always say new mothers need to make sure they’re taking care of themselves, but it’s hard. I don’t want the poor baby to scream for 45 minutes just because I’m not there.
I’ve read that losing a pound a week is safe during breastfeeding. I’m aiming to lose the weight by January 25 of next year, which will be one year after giving birth. I’ve lost 3 pounds over the last two weeks by just making sure I’m not eating more than 2000 calories a day (because I LOVE food and this is actually really hard for me to do), so that’s a start. I need to lose about 3 per month to be back to my pre-pregnancy weight by next January.
I don’t know what weight loss is like for other people, but I’ve always struggled with it. I’m currently 25 pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight and 5 pounds over the heaviest I ever was before pregnancy. So it’s not like I’ve ever had to lose a ton of weight at once. 20 pounds over my ideal weight is not that bad.
But like I said, I love food. Sometimes I get this obsessive need to keep eating, hungry or not. I feel like I’m hungry even if I just ate a meal and know that I am not hungry, that I can’t possibly be hungry. I’m one of those people who, on Thanksgiving or other special occasions, will eat a plate of food, then have another small plate, then eat dessert, then grab some more mashed potatoes and another roll, then disappear for a while because I’m in the kitchen pretending I’m cleaning up when really I’m standing over the stuffing bowl with a fork eating the stuff straight out of the serving dish because I’ve convinced myself I’ll eat less that way. Then, when I get caught, I give that up and have another piece of pie.
It’s like I have a bottomless stomach, except I don’t. Even if I do feel full, I have the urge to keep eating. What I really need is a human chew toy. Something tastier than rawhide to satisfy my urge to eat when I know I don’t need to. I’ve started eating a carrot when my hunger alarm bells go off immediately after consuming a meal. I think it helps. They take a long time to chew, are healthy and tasty, and only have like 30 calories. Pretty good chew toy.
I’m also totally addicted to sugar. I’ll buy a large bag of those individually wrapped Reese’s and eat one after the other, progressively thinking things like, “Holy crap, I feel terrible, why do I keep eating these, why do I do this to myself, this is so unhealthy, MMMMMMM THEY’RE SO TASTY EAT MORE.” It’s ridiculous. I eat the entire bag. I’ve never been able to make myself look at the back to figure out how many calories that is.
So I’ve decided to give up sugar except on special occasions, and I’ve picked out like 15 special occasions throughout the year. 15 sweet days when I used to eat sweets twice a week? Scary. But I know it’s bad for me, so I want to make a push to do better. I have been sweets-free for 4 days now. Go me.
Regarding my writing goal, I got close this month. I wrote 42 pages instead of 50. About 38 of those were written in the last week and a half, though, so if I keep up this pace I think I’ll do pretty well this month. The unfortunate thing is that writing and weight loss don’t go together so well, since writing more involves sitting on my butt more. The good news is that I’m usually too lost in writing la-la-land to think about eating much while I’m doing it.
There’s still a lot of other stuff going on in my life regarding work and maybe moving and all that blah blah, but I don’t want to let all that distract me. That will happen no matter what, so I may as well focus on being healthy and writing so that at least I’m having a good time in between all the uncertainty and annoyances.