Friday, September 5, 2008

Lame Excuses and Leaf Turning

So here's the deal. My eating is out of control. The less than stellar food choices started almost as soon as I went off Weight Watchers but the eating really got out of control when the exhaustion hit. It felt pretty clear to me that I was eating junk for two reasons, 1- to comfort myself and 2- because I had that, "I feel like crap and I don't care I'm eating this," rebellion attitude. Oh and also I think in the back of my mind that whole, "I'm pregnant" thing added to it.

Well, those first two excuses are not really valid anymore (and the third was never a good reason to eat junk). I don't really need the comfort, I'm actually feeling alright these days, which also means I can't exactly rebel against feeling like crap. Now I'm left with some bad habits I developed over the last couple of months. Want a doughnut while grocery shopping? Sure! Feel like you want to eat a Reese's Peanut Butter Cups? And a Reese's Sticks? Why not? Yes, I've slipped into this thing where I barely deny myself any food thought that comes into my head. And it's not good.

So my weight fluctuated some in the first trimester. I started at 164.4, went down to 158.8 and then went back up to 164.9 by last Friday. My nutritionist viewed this as me gaining only .5 pounds in the first trimester. Fine, I'll take it. But, at our appointment last Friday she instructed me to gain no more than 3 pounds in the next month. Guess how much I've gained in the first week? 2 pounds. Yep, 2 pounds! That's not going to work. My eating has to change.

By the way, she has me on track to gain 25 pounds during the whole thing. That sounds reasonable to me. I read a lot of articles that said overweight women should shoot to gain 15 pounds. That just sounds kind of crazy to me. 25 seems reasonable and like something I can live with. But I have to sort of chuckle because I don't know what the hell I'm talking about. I've never been pregnant. I don't know how "reasonable" it will be to gain 25 pounds. But, it sounds good so I'll go with it.

So, my eating has to change. I'm in a pattern of saying that and then not changing. For example, yesterday I wanted a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. Brought on by my eating some individual Hershey's bars at the office. Chocolate begets chocolate in my world. Anyway, after work I got the peanut butter cups and the aforementioned Reese's Sticks bar too. Oh dear. I'm telling you this in the hopes that I can stop being in denial. So I ate them and then felt like crap. Now my eating that started out as a way to make me not feel like crap is making me feel like crap.

I want to change, I enjoy healthy foods more than chocolate. Weird, but on the whole I believe that's true. Chocolate is a nice treat but when I eat two candy bars in a row after work I can't honestly say I enjoy them, you know what I mean? I'm supposed to be tracking my eating for Christine (the nutritionist) but haven't been. I'm going to go track my breakfast right now. Alright, that's done. I'm turning over a new tracking leaf today! Right now!! [By the way, in regards to my eating plan, 1 protein = 1 oz. So 4 proteins = 4 oz of lean meat. It's not as much as it sounds.]

Really quick...I started my swim class on Wednesday. After work I looked up the class schedule to confirm the start time of 6pm and guess what? The class started over 2 weeks ago!!! On 8/18! Holy Toledo! I couldn't believe, and still don't understand how, I screwed that up. I went to the class and told Jean I had the wrong start date. She hadn't dropped me, thank goodness.

She's also fine with me being pregnant, "It seems like every year I have at least one pregnant lady, it used to freak me out but now I'm used to it." She gave me a lecture on taking it slow, listening to my body, not letting my heart rate get too high. I love her. She's so awesome. So I got into a lane with three ladies and we did some drills. Freestyle, kicks, backstroke (which I had to learn!). I felt so great after the class. I was all fired up to go weight training the next day, Thursday, which didn't, ahem, happen. But, I'm so glad to be taking this class. Like I said before, if nothing else I'll be getting 3 hours of exercise per week.

I'm hoping this will kick my eating into gear. When I'm exercising the food thing seems to come easier. I just need to get in one more day on my own. Maybe I'll go to the gym today and do that weight training.

What's on tap for this weekend? Well, tomorrow I'm hoping we can hit the beach. We're in the middle of a heat wave here in the SF Bay Area and that cold bay water sounds good right about now. Then in the evening we're going to see Dave Matthews at The Greek Theater. Yay! I'm excited. And on Sunday I am going on a group 32 mile road ride in Napa, "For the most part this is an easy bike ride over mostly flat and some mild rolling hills through back roads and vineyards...". Yeah, that "for the most part" part makes me nervous! I'm going to let them know my status though and hope they'll feel particularly patient as a result :)

I hope everyone else has fabulous weekend plans too. Let's get out there and live!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Labor Day @ Angel Island State Park

Thank you all for your Congratulations and Well Wishes, it feels really good to have so much support and encouragement!

So the biggest things that have changed in my life since Week 6 of my pregnancy have been diet and exercise. Like I said, I was hit with a month-long bout of exhaustion that really cramped my style. I've definitely lost my momentum and now that my energy is returning I need to get it back. A good description of what the tiredness has been like is that every day during that time I felt like I hadn't slept in 2 days. Now I just feel like I stayed up too late last night. I yawn a lot during the day and just feel like I'm dragging a little bit. Not enough of an excuse not to exercise, right?

You might remember that I signed up for a swimming class for this fall semester. Lo and behold it's here! I start tonight with my first class. Jean is my teacher and I'm so excited to see her again. I know she'll motivate me. The class is Mon & Wed 6-7:30pm so if nothing else I will be getting at least an hour of exercise twice a week. That's much better than the near-nothing I've been getting. I'm hoping this will motivate me to sneak a little weight training back into my life. I'm scared to think how much muscle I've lost over the past month or two.

This past weekend Miguel and I did something that's been on my list for a while. We took ourselves and our bikes on the ferry to Angel Island. We were a little surprised at the cost of the ferry, $15 each! Anyway, it was a beautiful day and neither of us had been so off we went. The views of San Francisco from the ferry and island are incredible so we took lots of pictures. Here's a picture from the ferry of the Golden Gate Bridge and the bay.

How beautiful is that? Once on the island we checked out our options. There are a couple of paths around the island, one follows the perimeter of the island, is on the easier side, and is about 5 miles. The other is an inner circle that is a little harder but shorter. We opted for the longer easier one. Here I am at our first photo stop.

I love this city. That's the Golden Gate again in the background and my beloved mountain bike in the foreground.
And both of us at our next stop...

And me wading in the cold but refreshing water at a beach stop...

There were a couple of hills during the ride and I did my very best to take it easy and slow. One of the hills was a kind of big and long so I just put it in the granny gear and slowly made my way up. I have to admit, it's not easy to keep myself from really pushing, but from everything I've read online a little exertion is not going to hurt the baby, as long as I stay hydrated and don't get too hot. And I was drinking a lot of water all day since it was a scorcher and we were in the sun most of the time. Just to prove I took it easy...

Here I am resting toward the end of the ride. Miguel got bored after a few minutes while I could have dozed off for a little nap if he would have let me!

After our ride I tried to get Miguel to do the 3 mile inner loop as a hike but he'd had enough of the sun. I wasn't exactly full of energy myself so we caught the ferry back to Tiburon. I was wanting a burger so we found a burger place and I indulged in a burger and onion rings. At least the burger had lettuce and tomato on it! I've been struggling with getting veggies in. Normally I eat veggies with lunch and dinner but they've been a huge turn off to me. I can't wait until my taste for veggies returns!

So that was how we spent our Labor Day Monday. I'm so glad I still have some endurance left. Now it's time to step up the eating and exercise routine. Speaking of eating...

The plan the nutritionist put me on is based on food group/serving size eating.

Breakfast: 1.5 Milk Servings, 2 Starch servings, 1 Protein, 1 Fat
Snack: 2 Proteins, 1 fruit
Lunch: 3 Starch, 2+ Vegetables (ha!), 4 Protein, 1 Fat
Snack: 2 Starch, 1 Protein, 1 fruit
Later Snack (if needed): 1 Fruit, 1 Protein, 1 Starch
Dinner: 3 Starch, 2+ Vegetables, 4 Protein, 1 Fat
Desert: 100 calorie desert

Sounds like a lot of food, right? I am supposed to be tracking my food to go over with her but I've been slacking on that as well as on following this plan. I'm paying the price in the regularity department for skipping the veggies. I need to make a menu!! I'm also taking a Calcium supplement, Iron Supplement, and a Prenatal Vitamin. Unfortunately Weight Watchers does not allow you to participate while pregnant, they don't have a plan for preggers ladies who shouldn't be losing weight, but I'll be right back on it after the little one arrives. I still want to get to goal some day!! I WILL get to goal some day!!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

At Long Last!

I have been missing in action lately, I know. When you have a blog that chronicles your weight loss and you suddenly can't lose weight...well, that makes it hard to keep up the blog.

Why can't I lose weight? Many of you are clever and long ago figured out my secret. Yes, I am pregnant. I am a little over 12 weeks along. Want to see a picture?

As you can see by this picture it's been a long 12 weeks and a lot has changed around here, especially with my body! Alright, okay, I'm not carrying quintuplets and that is not really what my baby "bump" looks like. That's me at the maternity store and I'm wearing the fake belly they give you for an idea how clothes will fit later on in the pregnancy. Before I go on I have to back up and start from the beginning...And I have to warn you, I'm catching you up on weeks of information so it's a long post today. But I promise fun, super-important, and happy information so hang in there!

A few years ago... See? I said we were going back. So, a few years ago I got pregnant. It wasn't really "planned" per se but we were excited. I was also freaked out. How was I going to do this in the shape I was in? And not just physically, but emotionally too. Well, we found out at the first OB appointment, at 8 weeks, that there was no baby, the sac was empty. We were really disappointed. We didn't try to get pregnant right away, though we both knew we wanted children. I talked with a friend and I remember saying I feared what we came to call the Trifecta - fat, forty and pregnant. I didn't have control over the 40, if I didn't get pregnant again until 40, oh well. I didn't have a lot of control over the pregnant either, that is if I wanted to bear a child. But I do have control over the fat, that part I could change. And it only takes changing one to avoid The Trifecta.

So while future pregnancy wasn't a huge factor in my deciding to get in shape, it played a part. Because of my reaction to being pregnant (I told you I freaked out) I had entered therapy. I had some "issues" to work on. It was a good thing too because when we had the miscarriage the therapy helped me process that too. But I stayed in therapy long after the miscarriage to address the other issues in my life with which I was unhappy - and the weight was both a symptom and part of the cause of that unhappiness. Eventually I started feeling better and wanting to take better care of myself. I joined Weight Watchers and the rest, as they say, is history.

So earlier this year Miguel and I decided to "try". I started by plotting my cycle dates for two consecutive months and then using an ovulation calculator to predict the date of ovulation. The very first month we used those dates to try to conceive I got pregnant. Talk about wham, bam, thank you ma'am! I was actually figuring it would take a few months. I felt so sure of that that I had registered for the Marin Triathlon in October, "Oh, I won't get pregnant right away, I'm 37." Hmph.

So, we conceived. Yay! Turns out I was pregnant at my very first triathlon way back in June!! I just didn't know it yet. I was really convinced I wouldn't get pregnant that fast. After finding out I was pregnant we held our breath. I felt fine for several weeks. In fact, I felt so fine I was telling myself, "I'm going to maintain my fitness routine. I can do that triathlon in October, I can keep training. As long as I don't push myself too hard I'll be fine." I really did feel totally normal. Remember that 47 mile ride we went on in late July? Well, the Monday after that, in my 6th week, it hit.

Exhaustion. Utter and complete exhaustion like I don't think I've ever known. I felt drugged, I felt dead tired. I couldn't believe I could be that tired all day. It was actually worse than how I used to feel at 230+ pounds. And it didn't go away. For weeks I was dragging myself around like a hungover college student, tired and mildly nauseous with glassy eyes and a slow brain. It was bad and I started to get depressed. I think it really scared me. I feared I would lose all the fitness gains I'd made, that I would become a couch sloth again. I was doing all my "old" behaviors, lying on the couch after work, doing nothing on the weekends. And I couldn't shake it. No matter how guilty I felt or how many times I told myself, "you should go for a walk", I couldn't get moving.

Our first OB appointment rolled around, including the 8 week ultrasound. We went and held our breath. This was the same appointment at which we found out we weren't pregnant the last time. The doctor lit up the machine, which Miguel could see but I couldn't. In just a few moments I saw a big smile on Miguel's face. He saw something. And then the doctor turned the screen toward me, "there it is, with a little beating heart". We "saw" the heartbeat as a little fluttering on the screen in the middle of a tiny blob. Wow. wow. wow.

I knew I would have to stop Weight Watchers after that appointment. I knew I couldn't keep losing weight. But no Weight Watchers scared me. So I asked the doctor about seeing a nutritionist. She let me know that normally only pregnant women with diabetes see nutritionists but I told her about my 75 pound weight loss and my fears. I needed help with knowing how to eat healthy. So she gave me the referral and I met with a nutritionist. I also asked about exercise and got the go-ahead to do the Tri for Fun in August. The Olympic distance in October didn't make my doctor so happy. She said I could relay it and do one leg, if things were progressing well and I didn't exert myself too hard. More on my pregnancy and nutrition/exercise learning curve in a bit.

We were still holding our breath. Remembering the disappointment in my mom's voice when we had the miscarriage 2 years ago we made the decision to not tell her until after the first trimester. That's why I couldn't post it here either. Couldn't very well keep it from mom but shout it out to the blogosphere, right?

The exhaustion was ongoing and I slowly became almost totally inactive. I'm telling you, I was not a happy camper. Don't get me wrong, I was happy to be pregnant but I couldn't really believe how tired I was. I started feeling human again about a week ago. At least I no longer feel like I should be sleeping at any given moment of the day. The severe tiredness lasted about a solid month, from 7/21 to last week. During that time, in an attempt to keep my blog alive, any and every time I did some activity of any sort I blogged about it. As if to say, "look, I'm still moving."

On 8/20 we went in for some tests they offer women of "Advanced Maternal Age", like myself. They lit up the machine and... oh. my. god. There was a little baby! And it looked like a baby, and it was kicking and throwing its arms in the air, and flipping over! We had never seen any other ultrasounds besides our own at 8 weeks so this blew us away. Would you like to meet the little kicker?

Last Wednesday we got the results back from the testing. We have a healthy fetus with 46 chromosomes including an X and a Y chromosome. For those who don't remember that particular high school biology lesson an X and a Y means we're having a boy!! Sweet! I didn't realize how nervous I was until the genetic counselor called and told us all was well. That was the biggest sigh of relief of my life.

Now I can tell mom! It's been over 12 weeks and all is well. My mom had called recently and offered to buy me a couple outfits in my new smaller size. "Perfect!", I thought. Here was the plan. I decided we'd go to this really cute outdoor mall that has a Mimi Maternity. I'd guide us in there with, "hey, let's check this store out", figuring she'd figure it out right away.

It went off wonderfully! Miguel went ahead of time and took flowers and a card to the store. I had made a card with a picture of the ultrasound on the outside and lots of different grandmother nicknames on the inside. The manager was very sweet and super excited to be helping us surprise her.

So when I said, "let's check out this store" my mom just froze. She stared at me and I smiled and she knew. We walked in and when the manager handed her the flowers and congratulated her she broke down and cried. She was so excited and happy and it was just plain fun.

I was worried she'd be upset that we waited so long to tell her but she thanked us again and again, "Now I just get to enjoy and miss all the nervousness." It was so fun!! She's super excited. And...I got three pair of maternity pants!! Yay! Do I need maternity pants? Not really, my size 8's are too tight but if I wear pants with an elastic waist they still fit. Those maternity pants sure are comfy though. I'm just beginning to pooch out in the tummy, but I just look chubby, you'd never guess I was pregnant.

Well, there you have it. The big news. The reason I haven't posted a weight or followed my training plan. By the way, I'm 164.4 pounds. I'll have to go into the food plan next time, this post is already pushing the length limits. Let's just say there's a plan, and then there's what I'm actually eating :)

Before I go, a word to my super-cool readers. I'm thinking a blog name change might be in order, at least for the next 6-7 months. Any ideas? More importantly, thank you for your concern over these past couple of months. I'm sorry if I made anyone think I was sick or dying or anything. I wanted to not mention it at all but when I stopped following my training plan I figured I had to say something. Some of you figured it out but I had to keep mum. I know you understand....Guess What? I'm pregnant!!!