Week Four

I am sorry to say that this last week has resulted in another dismal performance for yours truly. Maybe that’s being a little dramatic–I definitely haven’t gone on a food free-for-all, but I haven’t been as meticulous about what I’ve ate and my exercise routine is still non-existent.

This was another busy week–I had observations from my principal as well as parent-teacher conferences. Not only has my professional life been a bit hectic, but my personal life got a bit more exciting this week as well. If you haven’t heard, a little movie called The Hunger Games came out on Friday.

The above is a terrible photo of me sans makeup before heading into work on Thursday, posted just to show you what a nerd I truly am. I went to the midnight premiere, drug myself into work the next day, and saw it a second time over the weekend. I started reading the books a few years ago after seeing my students with them and simply couldn’t put them down. I was just as excited as they were about the film and was very pleased with how it was adapted. I could go on all day–but to make a long story short, I ate lots of popcorn this weekend. Lots.

Today I finally faced the music so that I could see how much of my eight pounds I managed to gain back in a very nonchalant two weeks. Much to my surprise (and delight), I weighed today and discovered that I had only gained a pound. I’ll weigh again tomorrow morning just to be sure, but I was certainly expecting much worse. I am simply frustrated with myself for falling off the diet bandwagon in the first place. Reading other weight loss blogs, I’ve discovered that those who are successful set small goals for themselves each week, so I decided to steal this concept.

For the week ahead, I want to use my Livestrong app continuously. One of my Facebook friends told me about the app, and I just got around to downloading it today. So far, so good–it’s helped me keep track of the calories I’ve ate during the day and the amount I have left. I am a little curious about how it will work if I choose to eat at a restaurant, but I’ll cross that bridge when I get there. I would also like to head back to the gym this week, for at least three sessions, and schedule my personal training appointment.

I am really going to push myself this week because next week my husband and I are going out of town for a few days. After the rough few months we’ve had, we definitely need and deserve a vacation.

In closing, blogger Beth from the awesome blog weight4us nominated Shrinking Mrs. S for the 3-in-1 Award! As I am new to the world of blogging, I am not exactly sure what this entails but am very humbled that she would consider my little blog. The fact that anyone reads it is simply amazing to me–so thank you for reading!

Week Three

Sometimes, when going on vacation, my family and I would take a trip to a nearby grocery store. We always ate relatively healthily at home, so we would load up on junk food and ice cream, typical vacation fair. My Dad referred to this as a “buggy of shame” and the moniker stuck. I tell you this just to let you know, up front, that this is my blog post of shame.

In my defense, this has been a very busy week. My laproscopy procedure (which, I later found out, was actually a laproscopy with a hysterscopy and a possible D&C procedure–if that means anything to you) went relatively well. We got there early, and my fabulous, brilliant doctor who is usually always running behind was actually a little early. That was good news, but I was still pretty nervous–so I took the nurses up on their offer to give me a little something for my nerves. I remember nothing from that moment to waking up in a post-operation room, but apparently before and after my surgery I said many unusual things to my husband, mother, sister, and a slew of nurses. I might not be able to return to that hospital out of sheer embarrassment.

My doctor told my family after the procedure that she believes this will significantly up the chances of me carrying my next pregnancy to term–the next step is to get on the right mix of medication. (If you want to know specific details, feel free to message me–I’ll spare the squeamish since this is a public blog.) I have tried to put a lot of faith in her words, but those of you who have lost pregnancies know that it is so hard to have faith when you know all the many things that can go wrong. I meet with her again next month, so hopefully I will have further information to share with you at that time.

When I first awoke from my post-op haze, I was in a great deal of pain–but as the hours wore on, it subsided. I was grateful to have been put to sleep during the hysterscopy especially, as many women have told me how painful it can be if you are conscious. I would say I have not dealt with pain so much as discomfort–it is especially painful to ride for long periods in the car or to stand up after a long period of sitting down in general. I took the Friday of the procedure and the following Monday off from work and returned Tuesday with no problems–I am actually thankful for a job that requires long periods of standing on my feet, which is when I am most comfortable.

So, on to the diet and exercise front. Obviously exercise is out. I am hoping to return to the gym at some point next week, although I want to start by just doing maybe twenty minutes or so on the treadmill. I do still have possession of a free personal training session, but am waiting until I am a hundred percent to use it. All I wanted after my procedure was a big bowl of ramen noodles, and this started a week-long cycle of eating junk. I am not even attempting to weigh myself this week because I am so terrified that I’ve gained my weight back. I will face the music next week–after a period of eating right and exercising, which I am determined to do. Weight loss is such a struggle–especially when you’re juggling a zillion things like me; however, when I was on the wonderful website which is Pinterest, I saw a graphic that read “Someone Busier Than You Is Running Right Now”. There really are no excuses–there are tons of people living way busier lives dealing with way heavier things that manage to stay in shape. I’ve just got to become one of them.

Week Two

I am posting early this week because, unfortunately, tomorrow I will undergo a procedure that I cannot fully pronounce. The English teacher in me is ashamed to admit this, but it is true. I am having a laparoscopy (lap-pros-cope-ee? lap-row-scope-ee?) and I could certainly use your prayers and good wishes. On all accounts it is a small, outpatient surgery, although I’ve heard it is pretty painful. Without going into too much detail, I have my fingers crossed that this procedure will shed some light onto why my miscarriages happened and if one can be prevented in the future. I am always nervous anytime anesthesia is brought into the picture, and some of the side effects I’ve read about during my many Google searches have left me a bit uneasy; therefore, I am praying for courage and a quick recovery time. On the plus side, I will certainly be able to guilt trip my future children about all the things I went through on my quest to get them here. 🙂 I did find some wonderful tips related to the surgery here. If any of you have experience with this sort of thing, I would love to hear from you!

My diet was certainly not ideal this week. Because of bad weather, I spent one afternoon hunkered down in a basement due to tornadoes and another day snowed in. (On a side note: What is up with this weather?) In those instances, I ate what I had available which wasn’t a good plan. I also have been skipping breakfast and eating little to nothing for lunch, then eating way too much when I come home from work. Obviously I need to plan my meals and have healthy snacks on hand to prevent this sort of behavior.Gym visits continue. I am a little worried about how soon I can return to the gym after my procedure, so I am trying to take advantage of the equipment while I can.

My weight loss for this week was two pounds. I am a little disappointed, but I am reminding myself that it was not a full week and, admittedly, I know I could have made better choices. I am looking forward to getting the laparoscopy over with so I can channel my thoughts, energy, and effort into my weight loss. Hopefully the next week will bring with it a clean slate!

On an unrelated note, I would like to thank those of you who have read this blog and have left comments, sent messages, or just verbally gave me your support. Anytime I’ve felt like giving up (which, I’ll admit, happens a lot), I think about the encouragement I have been shown over the last few weeks. Thank you!

Week One

All in all, this has been a terrible week to make a drastic lifestyle change! The work week was absolutely chaotic, I am finishing final exams/ projects in my graduate courses, I am nervous about an upcoming surgery (more on that next week), there has been a terrible outbreak of tornadic weather in my area, AND perhaps the biggest blow to my “healthier me” lifestyle overall–Girl Scout cookies arrived this week.

If I didn’t make it clear in my first post, I am pretty dreadful at dieting, exercising, and holding myself accountable.  When I was in college, I started seeing a dietitian who made me wear a pedometer and would check the steps I took at follow up visits. During this, I worked part-time at a daycare. After one particularly sub par week, I decided I would at least create the facade of effort. I clipped my pedometer to a very active toddler who ran up my step total for the day. This is a funny story now, but it is, sadly, just one example of how I have cheated myself in the past.

I guess what I’m trying to say is even though I had a million reasons this week to slip back into my old ways, I think I have finally discovered that going to the gym or choosing an orange over a handful of chips has long-lasting effects and makes me feel better overall. I’ve gone to the gym three times this week and, even though I’ve not established a specific diet plan yet, I’ve made better choices and tried to incorporate fruits and vegetables into my meals.

It hasn’t been easy and I know it will only get more difficult. Along with the exhaustion I’ve felt, I’m also still recoiling from the emotional pain of my second miscarriage. Some days I feel like the only person in my circle of friends not expecting or mothering small children. I have moments where I feel incredibly sorry for myself. Through this blog, however, I’ve encountered women who have stories much like mine, and this has brought some degree of comfort. I’m sorry that anyone has to go through this, but sometimes it is nice to know that you are not the only person who has struggled on your journey to become a mother.

Back to the subject at hand–today was my first weigh-in. I usually lose weight at a snail’s pace so I had readied myself for the worst. Drum roll, please…

My weight loss total for week one was six pounds! I am pretty satisfied with that, although there is always have a sliver of hope that I’ll pull out a big number like a 10. I know that’s pretty unrealistic, though, and I also know that slow and steady is an excellent way to lose weight.

Next week I plan to watch my diet a bit more carefully and perhaps extend my time at the gym. Thanks for reading!

The Game Plan

First off, I want to thank all of you who took the time out of your day to read, comment, and subscribe to this blog. I was initially embarrassed and very hesitant to write about something so personal, but your support has helped tremendously. Thank you for reading–and thank you for holding me accountable!

Per my doctor, I was supposed to take it easy for awhile following my recent miscarriage. I decided this would be a good time to establish a game plan, or how I would go about pursuing a healthier me. I began by looking at my wardrobe and realizing that I owned zero “work out” clothes–so, I bought some. Everyone has assured me that yoga pants will quickly become part of my regular wardrobe. I also picked up a food journal at a local bookstore. It allows you to keep track of what you eat and also has a new inspirational quote every day. What can I say? I am a sucker for a good quote.

After work on Tuesday, I did two very important things. For starters, I joined a gym. I was pretty overwhelmed as I took a quick tour and looked at all the equipment and seemingly signed my life away for a membership; however, it is a nice gym that offers classes, and I am allowed to bring a friend for free. At this point, I am undecided about a personal trainer. I am definitely an exercise novice and could benefit from some personal instruction. On the other hand, going to a few personal training sessions a week is just not in my budget. My membership came with a free personal training session, which I booked for next Tuesday. Hopefully I will be able to get a feel for it at that time and see whether or not it is worth the fee. The second important thing I did was purchase a scale. I haven’t owned one in quite some time for obvious reasons.

That brings me to my first terrifying weigh in. I have gone back and forth about whether or not to post my weight on this blog. Sorry to disappoint, but for the time being I have decided against it. I am a public school teacher after all, and the last thing I need is for my students to somehow stumble upon this blog and find out how much I weigh. In general, though, I’m simply embarrassed. I have no idea how I ballooned up to this size in such a short time. All my life, people have told me that weight “creeps on”, but now I truly believe it. I will, however, be honest about the weight I lose each week, and I hope to eventually get to a point where I am comfortable revealing both my original and current weight.

I am looking forward to beginning my exercise routine and I am hoping to gain a specific dieting plan in the coming days. I hope the next blog post reveals a significant weight loss! 🙂

My Story

I should begin this blog by telling you, admittedly, that up until this point in my life, I was a pretty lucky girl.

I came from a happy, nuclear family. I always had a small circle of great friends. I was fortunate to attend college, graduate in four (largely) uneventful years, and immediately find a teaching job while some of my peers were scrambling. I met my soul mate in college (although we knew one another in high school, but we hated each other then–another story for another blog post) and we had a nice, June wedding. During this time, I had misfortune in only one area–my health. Being overweight had been an attribute of mine for as long as I could remember. I went on diet after diet, but I would always lose a few pounds and then simply give up. I made excuses such as “It’s too close to the holidays”, or “I’m just too busy right now,” but the simple fact of the matter was that I simply lacked the desire to do it. It just wasn’t there. I liked to eat, and I hated to exercise–I knew I needed to do something, but I simply did nothing. It kind of pains me to admit that.

When I was a teenager, I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, or PCOS for short. The nurse practitioner, in kind of a hushed, cautionary way, told me I might have trouble having children. I couldn’t have been older than sixteen, so I shrugged off her words. I was a long way away from having children. I would cross that bridge when I got there.

Fast forward to October 2011, when I get a positive result on a home pregnancy test. “Take that, PCOS,” I think to myself. My husband and I break the cardinal rule of pregnancy and tell our parents only a few days later, and slowly the good news begins to trickle to our immediate family. A week or so later, I wake up with the feeling that something isn’t right. I rush to the doctor who performs an ultrasound, and I see my teeny, tiny speck of a baby. They assure me everything is a-okay, telling me to simply relax. I miscarry my first child two days later.

Heartbreak and devastation do not adequately describe how I felt in the days and weeks and months afterward. My hopes and dreams for a June baby were crushed. All around me, friends and acquaintances were announcing their healthy, normal pregnancies. I felt, for lack of a better word, like a freak.

When I got a second positive home pregnancy test in January of 2012, my emotions were different. I was petrified. My husband was petrified. Under the care of a fantastic new doctor, a specialist, I immediately had blood work done. My HCG was high, but my progesterone was low, almost half of what it needed to be to sustain a pregnancy. She prescribed supplements, I took them religiously. A second blood test a week later revealed my progesterone was even lower and my HCG, while up, wasn’t doubling every 48 hours as it would normally, going only from a 210 to a 388 in a week. An ultrasound was performed, but it was too early and nothing could be seen. Still, we tried to hang on to a shred of hope.

A few days ago, that same ol’ something-isn’t-right feeling cropped up again. We went to the emergency room. After what seemed like an eternity of blood tests and exams and more blank ultrasounds, the emergency room doctor told me in a matter-of-fact tone only tinged with sympathy that I was in the early stages of a miscarriage.

At twenty-six, I have lost two pregnancies, mere months apart from one another. Miscarriages are physically and mentally painful and confusing, as society often doesn’t regard them as a loss. People are quick to tell you that you can always have another one, or that there must have been something wrong with the baby–in other words, that your grief is not warranted.

I have sort of a “perfect storm” of small medical conditions that makes carrying a pregnancy difficult. Not all of them are weight-related, but some are. In the last few days, my grief has somehow transformed into determination. So much of pregnancy is chance, so many factors out of my hands, but I know there is one big thing I can control.

I don’t have a specific game plan as of today, and there is a possibility that a small surgery looms in my future, so I’m not sure how that will mix with exercise; however, I am planning to enlist the help of a personal trainer. What kind of diet/eating plan I will follow is up in the air, but I am open to suggestions and hoping to work with a professional on that front as well. I also hope to keep this blog updated, at least weekly, letting you all know how many pounds/inches I lose or gain (hopefully not the latter) complete with embarrassing photos. I also hope to talk about other things, as this is my blog after all, but my journey to a healthier me will be my main focus.

Hopefully next week we can get this show on the road! Stay tuned!