Liquid Lessons Learned

I did the liquid diet for 5 days.

I also lost 10 pounds in 5 days.

(Yes, I know that’s mostly water weight. I’m hoping actual pounds lost is two. Even that might be optimistic, I don’t know.)

I have also decided, as of the piece of whole wheat toast that I broke down and ate this afternoon, that I am officially DONE with this whole liquid diet experiment.

It was interesting, and I learned a lot about myself – mainly, that I do have more willpower than I ever gave myself credit for, and that it is possible for me to feed the kids without nabbing a bite of their stuff for myself. It’s hard as hell, but I can do it. And hopefully if I can continue to do it long enough, it will eventually become a habit.

I learned how very little it takes for me to actually start to feel satisfied, and that I need to listen to my body cues and pay closer attention to that, to help me control my portions. I think the diet books call that “mindful eating.” The whole idea of putting down your fork in between bites, not eating in front of the TV or computer (damn, that one is HARD for me), that kind of thing. So I’m going to continue to work on that.

And I learned how much better I feel when I’m not full of salty junk food and when I’m really well-hydrated. (Probably TMI, but OMG y’all, the peeing this week. It has been INSANE.) I thought I was drinking a lot of water before, but I learned that I need way more water than I’ve been having. I’ll keep up with that too.

So, hopefully, even though the liquid diet is over, this will be a good launching point for me, and I can keep some of the momentum and continue to lose weight. We’ll see, anyway.

Fingers crossed.

past the halfway point

I’m on day 4 of the liquid diet. How’s it going, you might ask? Well, let’s see…

* Day 1 – Hey, this isn’t so bad!

* Day 2 – Holy crap, somebody is going to die before this week is over.

* Day 2.5, part 1 – I cracked. And let me tell you, that was the most delicious handful of baby carrots I have ever eaten in my entire life.

* Day 2.5, part 2 – I’ve decided that negative-calorie foods (meaning raw celery, plain lettuce, etc. – things that burn more calories in chewing/digesting them than they contain in them) just don’t count. Because OMG, I NEED TO CHEW SOMETHING.

* Day 3 – Major headache, I’m guessing from carb/sugar withdrawal. It sucks.

* Day 3.5 (last night) – The combination of sleep deprivation (thanks to Lucy’s current sinus infection), the aforementioned headache, and the lack of food turned me into a Rage Monster. And that was when I almost hit Lucy.

It was bedtime, and she was crying and kept climbing out of her bed instead of going to sleep, which is not all that abnormal really, but for some reason it just pushed me over the edge. I don’t remember the last time I was that angry. I wanted to hit her. I wanted to throw her down the stairs. I wanted her to just… disappear. For that one moment, I hated my baby.

Instead of doing any of the horrible things in my head, I closed her bedroom door and walked away, and I left her to scream for a while. I essentially put myself in a time-out. I felt sick and my hands were shaking. I texted Greis (who is doing this liquid diet in solidarity with me this week because she is the most awesome friend ever), and I took some deep breaths and tried to calm myself down. Then I went back and got Lucy and gave her a bottle, and she was asleep about two minutes later.

And even though I know that that wasn’t really me, that it was just a lot of external factors overwhelming me, I still haven’t quite forgiven myself for the things that went through my head last night.

* Day 4 – So far I’m ok. Got the kids off to school this morning, no meltdowns or anything. This morning, I weighed myself and I was at a number I haven’t weighed in well over a year. (Yes, I know it’s mostly water weight, but I’ll take it.)

It occurs to me that I’ve made it over halfway already, and I’m grateful for that. I’m not sure if I’ll make it all the way through Saturday, but I’m going to give it my best shot.

Next time the Rage Monster shows up, though, I may have to just bite the bullet and give her some damn carbs already. Because I really don’t want to feel like that ever again.

good stuffs

Things that were good this week:

1. Nobody is sick. I’m almost scared to say that out loud for fear of jinxing it and bringing the Germ Fairy back to our house. But for the moment, nobody has The Crud. So that’s awesome.

2. I’ve hit the point in my diet/exercise plan where I can now see the difference myself. I’ve lost around 10 pounds, my clothes fit better, and I caught myself checking out my own butt in the mirror. Like, more than once. Not so much being vain, more “hey, look at that!”

3. Lucy seems to have figured out this whole “standing up” thing.

Ok, who taught the baby to stand up? Because it sure wasn't me!

Now I need to hurry up and figure out the whole “baby proofing” thing, because man, she is into EVERYTHING. And unlike Catie, Lucy wants to put EVERYTHING in her mouth. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve had to stick my fingers in her mouth to fish out something she shouldn’t have gotten. Neither of us are happy when this happens, and yet, she keeps doing it. Babies really don’t catch on quickly, do they?

4. I’ve been having late night Skype dates with Matt after the kids are in bed. I think my crush on that guy is bigger than it was back in 1999. He makes me giddy.

5. I’m going out with a girlfriend tonight while my parents watch the kids. I can’t wait. I need to get dressed up and get out of Mommy Mode for a while.

So yeah. Pretty good week here overall.

why I do that

My allergies are still giving me grief, so I’ve been skipping out on running and doing the 30 Day Shred instead. That whole “holy crap I can’t breathe” feeling isn’t quite as awful during the Shred, I guess because the exercises are constantly changing and hurting you in different ways, as opposed to running where you’re just doing the same painful thing for 25 minutes.

And it’s weird, I like them both for different reasons. With running, I get this weird sort of endorphin head rush of, “f*ck yeah, I’m a RUNNER, man. I’m strong! I’m empowered! I can conquer ANYTHING in the WORLD!” So, apparently running gives me delusions of grandeur, because seriously, all I did was run barely 2 miles. We’re hardly talking Marathon Woman over here. But whatever, it’s fun.

Meanwhile, with the Shred, I don’t necessarily get the same rush, but I feel sore all over afterward, which I like because then I feel like, “ooh, I’m toning up these muscles, and these, and these…” So they each have their own perks.

Last night, I did the Shred after Catie got home from daycare, but before dinner. Catie said she wanted to work out with me, so she grabbed my 1-pound weights and jumped in (I’ve upgraded to the 5-pound weights, which make the workout infinitely harder). It’s hilarious because she doesn’t really do any of the moves correctly, but she was so excited that she was doing it with me, and she kept saying, “Mommy, look at me! Look at me!” It actually made the workout harder because I couldn’t stop laughing.

It’s funny, she’s done the Shred with me a few times, but she doesn’t really have the attention span to do the whole video. She does the warm-up, then she wanders off to play with her toys, then she sees me doing something that she thinks looks like fun (i.e., what Jillian calls “squat thrusts” and what Catie calls “frog jumps” – I think Catie’s term is probably more accurate), and she’ll run back over and join in again for a couple of minutes, then she’s off and playing again. Lather rinse repeat.

But last night, when she first got home from daycare & I was putting on my workout clothes, I told her I was going to work out, and she said, “Why you do that?” I have been VERY careful about not saying anything disparaging about my body in front of her, because I don’t want her to take on any of my body image issues as her own. In fact, when she’s jumping around doing the Shred with me, I get really annoyed with Jillian Michaels for talking about burning fat and losing weight – like, SHUT UP, I don’t want those thoughts getting into her head.

So when she asked me, “Why you do that?” I paused for a second to think about it. And I said, “Well, you know how we eat healthy foods like fruits and vegetables so we’ll be healthy and strong? I exercise for the same reason. I need to be strong, so that I can still pick you up and carry you, even now that you’re a big girl.”

She seemed to like that answer. She said, “Yeah, and I am getting sooo big! Right, Mommy?” I agreed with her, and I was feeling all proud of myself and sort of smug, like haha, take THAT, stupid American standards that beauty = thinness! Boo-yah!

Then Catie continued: “Yeah, Mommy. And you getting HUGE!”

Nice. Thanks a lot, kid. Jeez.

the exercise aliens have taken over mah brain!

Ok, so who’s tired of hearing me talk about working out? Anyone? Well, sorry, but it’s all I’ve got today.

My current plan is this:
1. Weight Watchers to keep the calories in check.
2. The couch-to-5K plan.
3. Other workouts (typically the 30-Day Shred, or maybe yoga if my knees are hurting) on the days when I’m not running.

And so far, it’s going ok. I’ve only lost 6 pounds, which is not much to brag about, but I also haven’t really been pushing the whole diet side of it as much as I should. I’m working on that. I can’t do sudden major changes if I expect to maintain it long-term.

But there have been these changes that I’m seeing in my body that are sort of strange. My shoulders have more definition. My arms have a bump on them that I think might possibly be the curve of a muscle under there, although I suppose it’s possible that I have matching symmetrical tumors or something. I’m also getting these… dents, I guess?… on my stomach. It’s not exactly like I have abs, per se, because there’s still a big ol’ layer of fat on top. But there’s definitely some sort of muscle underneath all that.

So, it’s weird. I’m still in my size 14 jeans, and the number on the scale is still uncomfortably high for me, but I really like all of these little changes that I’m noticing in myself. Which is motivation to keep it up, I guess. I love that I feel stronger, even if it isn’t necessarily visually obvious yet.

Oh, and about the couch-to-5k? I wish someone had warned me that things go crazy once you get to week 5. I had gotten pretty good at running the 5-minute intervals, but then it suddenly jumped to 8-minute intervals, which almost killed me. Then I see that for my next run (which is, um, later today), I’m supposed to run 20 minutes without stopping. TWENTY. MINUTES. When I first saw that, my initial reaction was to balk. There’s no way I can do that! Are they insane?

But then, this tiny little thought popped up the back of my head: “…but what if I can do it?” I have no idea where that came from, this notion that I need to challenge myself to do something more physically strenuous than I’ve ever done in my 34 years on this planet. It was sort of strange, because it’s totally out of character for me. But I think I might give this whole 20-minute run a shot. This weekend, not today. I’m really sore from doing level 2 of the 30-Day Shred last night, so I’m just doing to do another 8-minute run interval today.

P.S. Don’t tell me “You gave birth, you can do it!” Catie weighed less than six pounds AND I had drugs. It almost doesn’t even count. Plus I only had to push for 14 minutes to get her out. Not 20.

P.S.S. Dave just started working out this week, but he’s been eating healthier with me for the past couple of months. He’s dropped over 25 pounds already. The male metabolism is so freaking unfair.

Falsie FAIL

[Editor’s Note: If you’re a guy, you probably want to skip this post. If you read on, you’re going to learn more than you probably want to know about my breasts.]

I have always been somewhat under-endowed in the boob department. I technically wear a B cup, but I don’t fill it out all the way. I’m pretty sure that if you yelled into my bra, you’d hear an echo. Last month, my girls over at Room 704 did a “boob collage” photo (don’t get excited, it’s just cleavage, it doesn’t involve nudity). And I realized that I couldn’t participate because the only way I can get cleavage is if I put on a push-up bra, lean waaaay over, and then squeeze my boobs together with one hand and take the picture with the other hand. It’s just too damn much work.

The funny thing is that if you met me, you might not know just how tiny my girls are, because I only own super-padded push-up bras. They make me feel a little more equally-distributed. I’ve told Dave (numerous times) that as soon as we’re done having kids, I am getting the Mommy Lift, and I do not feel even slightly guilty or anti-feminist by admitting that I want plastic surgery. I don’t give a flip what society thinks I should look like, I just want to like what I see when I look in the mirror.

But I had whole new revelation of embarrassment about my boobs last night. I’ve been doing this couch-to-5K thing for over two months now, and one thing that’s always bothered me is how much my chest hurts when I run. It feels like I have a big rock in each of my lungs. The weird thing is that I never get that sensation when I do the 30-Day Shred, even though I’m breathing just as hard during that workout. I figured that maybe it was the difference between being inside versus outdoors – our house is air-conditioned, but there are allergens in the air outside, that kind of thing.

Last night, though, I went for a run and I didn’t have the lung pain at all. Weird, right? I realized during my second run interval, though, that I forgot to put my falsies in my sports bra. I never use them at home (i.e., when I’m doing the Shred), but if I’m going for a run or going to the gym, I use them because otherwise my sports bra flattens me out so much that I look like a 12 year-old boy. Or rather, a 12 year-old boy with a muffin top. Which is kind of disturbing.

So, apparently the source of my chest pain was NOT due to being out of shape, but because I essentially turned my sports bra into a tourniquet that was putting extra pressure on my chest. Brilliant.

If you need me today, I’ll be shopping for a pre-padded sports bra. And I guess I’ll leave my bra inserts for Catie to play with. She loves them – she calls them “Mommy’s Boobs” and likes to run around holding them on the sides of her head like Princess Leia hairbuns. She also likes to take my black Wonderbra and wear it on her head because it makes her look like she has Minnie Mouse ears. Strange kid, but you have to give her points for creativity.

putting a bullseye on my muffin top

I feel like sometimes I probably blog too much about whatever diet and exercise plan I’m currently on, but I guess that’s because it takes up so much of my brain space at any given point. So, I apologize in advance if this stuff bores you.

I’ve always thought that I know what diet I need to do to lose weight: low-carb works for me. Back in the old days (read: before I had a kid), I could just chuck all the bread, cookies, chips, and other starches from my pantry and I’d guarantee to drop a few pounds quickly. (The problem, before my gastric bypass, was that would be all I’d lose – a few pounds. That was all I could ever lose on any diet or exercise plan. Which is sort of frustrating when you need to lose 100+ pounds.)

In the last couple of years, I’ve tried to do a low-carb diet again on several occasions. And the longest I’ve ever managed to stick to it is about two weeks, tops. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me. I used to be really good at sticking to diets. I never cheated, ever, and I always stuck to the plan. What the hell changed?

Oh, that’s right, I had a kid. Who eats carbs for roughly 90% of her caloric intake. So I can’t get rid of all the bread and crackers and other carb-y snacks. My old trick of “just don’t have it in the house and you’ll be fine” no longer applies.

I had to find a new diet, one that would allow me to have carbs on occasion. Which is why I signed up for Weight Watchers Online. I am far too lazy to go to Weight Watchers meetings, and I kind of have a weird aversion to that whole support group environment anyway (don’t ask me why). But the online plan has a lot of information, and the whole “points” system is actually not as horrible as I originally thought. (There’s even an iPhone app so I can track my points while I’m out. Very nice. I guess they had to compete with the “LoseIt!” app.)

I’ve been on it for a week now, and I like it. I’ve also lost 5 pounds – I don’t expect to maintain that rate; in my experience, I always lose a lot of weight at first (because of the shock to your system, I guess) and then it slooooows down. Still, I’m not going to complain about 5 pounds. It’s a good start. And I still get to eat little sweets here and there, and I don’t have to feel like I’m cheating – or more specifically like, “oh well, I’ve blown it, might as well pig out now.” I just allow for those points out of my daily allotment, and I move on.

So, it’s good so far. We’ll see how it goes. I’m cautiously optimistic.

On the exercise front, I’m still working out most days. I typically either do the 30-Day Shred or the Couch-to-5K workout. But I think I have to give Jillian Michaels credit for massively increasing my endurance. I’d been stuck on week 3 of the couch-to-5K program for weeks, because no matter how hard I tried, I physically could not run for more than 3 minutes straight. I tried week 4 a few times, but I could never do those 5-minute run intervals. But this week, I finally did it. I ran for 5 minutes straight without stopping. FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE. And I know, I know, 5 minutes, whoopee. But trust me, it was a very big deal for me.

Yesterday I decided to mix it up and take Catie for a bike ride to the playground (meaning me on the bike, her in the bike trailer). And you know what? I know that this might cast a shadow of doubt on my genetic connection to some people in my family, but I haaaaate riding a bike. Seriously. I absolutely can’t stand it. I would so much rather walk (or run), I can’t even tell you. And because of my funky patella issues, it hurts my knees just as much as running. Plus, even though I invested in the super-cushioned gel/padded seat, it also hurts my girly bits. So what’s the point of THAT? No. Not a fan of the bike at all. I think I just like to have my feet on the ground.