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The Art of Decompressing

Thursday, July 10, 2014

First off - I never returned to finish yesterday's blog. I had a feeling that was going to happen only because as much as I love my daughter, once she's up, she's up.

My mother came to visit today, which has been much less stressful than in years past. Her first granddaughter is clearly responsible for her much less nagging, critical, complaining presence to which I am very thankful. It's actually been a bit of a relief because there's some human contact and an opportunity to pass Emilia off when it's time for burping or when I'd like to use the bathroom. I even had a chance to run to the pharmacy.

We got to talking about how my husband is handling the new addition - and he is doing terrifically - to our family. When I mentioned that he's still playing video games my mother asked why; when I mentioned it was to decompress, she seemed bothered. I didn't understand why until she asked me what I do to decompress. I told her I'm good and can handle it, but she didn't accept that as an answer.

She pointed out that my methods for decompression have been on hold for four weeks and will be for at least another two. My six week postpartum visit will hopefully render approval for all activities, but I am especially hopeful that swimming will be okay and my stitches/tears will all be in healthy order. So I mentioned the walks I take with Emilia each morning, but she still found that unacceptable and blurted out, "food."

I wasn't receptive to her comment until I realized a few minutes later that is so true. I can hide behind being a fairly overwhelmed first time mom, but the truth is I do eventually get around to eating during the day - I'm certainly not starving - and it's not the healthiest or sound options. I "squeeze" in snacks throughout the day, but instead of measuring that snack, which would take an additional minute at most, I'm sitting down with a package that may or may not be consumed over a series of hours. And while I do need to rush a hot lunch to enjoy it while it's still hot, there are ample cold, healthy lunch choices I could be making that I can put down and come back to.

The truth is, I'm making poor choices and it isn't because I'm a new mom or too busy, but because I'm falling back to my emotional eating as a means to decompress what feels like a major life overhaul.

It's time to make more conscious decisions.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Yup, You ARE getting it. You will find YOUR ways to pre-package meals and healthy snacks for those times when there just isn't time to prep AND consume. Life is a continuous adventure in leaning NEW paths... when the learning stops life becomes a real bore.
I know sometimes a little boring time would be welcome... no matter how old we become.
Hugs, Audra

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Finding the Right Track

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Okay. So it's been a month since having Emilia.

As you can see I am all over the place emotionally, mentally, physically, and nutritionally. This newborn, first time mom thing is A LOT more everything than I ever gave it credit for. I love her, but she controls my every movement. I know it's part because I let her and part because I'm one of those paranoid first time moms. That being said I need to evaluate my perspective on me - and a little her.

(I'd like to preface this with the fact that I am borderline ashamed to admit my defeat after such a successful run with SP last time. And especially embarrassed if any of my former BLC mates see this. I hope I'm not a discouraging example of weight loss - gain here.)

I began on Spark last time at 225 lbs and whittled my way to 138 lbs.

At the end of my pregnancy, I was a whopping 218 lbs, which has now moved its way down to 193 lbs. This is not an awful start, but it is a little given my very poor eating habits as of late.

So I decided to take my measurements for the first time since last October - and Oh. My. God. - I've essential put on 9 inches on almost every part of my body. I expected my hips to be wider (and they certainly are), but my waist and thighs I was hoping could be salvaged a little.

No such luck.

I really want to exercise, but before the doctor clears me, I really should be using this time to get my nutrition back under wraps. This is a heck of a lot harder than I thought it would be. I'm not making excuses, but I no longer come first. I can't just swing into the farmer's market or Trader Joe's when the mood (or empty fridge) strikes. Those trips have to be thoroughly planned now between the diaper bag and breastfeeding and when she may or may not be airing her own grievances. Again, I'm not making excuses - or even complaining - I'm just trying to sort through this new life of mine (and hers).

In fact I have stopped typing three times already - twice to breastfeed and once to soothe. I'm actually typing one handed at this point...

I'll come back and continue this later - provided Emilia allows.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GOING-STRONG 7/9/2014 9:50PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    I know I have said this before… but I will say it again…
You will figure out your NEW life-style… the life-style that has three lives in it… one of those lives being very dependent upon YOU at this time. Remember to breathe deeply and exhale slowly. Right now it seems like she will never grow into a routine that allows you some very much needed “Me Time”. But she will, you will, and believe it or not… you will be hard pressed to remember how very difficult this time has been.
This next leg of your journey to your healthiest body life-style will most likely be a whole lot different that the last time you made this journey from 190+ to less than 140. You just will not have as much discretionary time to devote to very physical exercise… but you will find your way to your new life-style that you will be able to live no matter what else is going on in your world. A way that is not dependent upon finances, or large chunks of time, or other living beings (people or pets). Life is an ever changing kaleidoscope and we all have to adapt to the changes.
I have faith in YOU… Love and Hugs, Old Auntie Audra

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CFMOSS 7/9/2014 1:34PM

    Life is never the same...I wouldn't trade it. After my DD I lost a lot of weight and then got pregnant again....took a bunch of years before I took the weight of again. Practice good habits and gear for little streaks and successes and please be forgiving of yourself..I don't think I"ve had a full night sleep since my kids were born. Little bit at a time. You can do it.

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FIT4MEIN2013 7/9/2014 11:21AM

    This will come together. Are you nursing?

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The Dichotomy of Happiness & Frustration

Monday, June 30, 2014

Before finding SP, I typically found comfort and expression in food. Not in a "foodie" enthusiast way - like a no one is watching, shovel food down your throat, and find some momentary relief in whatever emotion "plagues" you kind of way. And it didn't matter what emotion it was - upset, excited, bored, overwhelmed - you name it, I felt it and consequently ate it.

All the way to 225 lbs.

Then I started with SP and began to process that trigger through moderation, tracking, and blogs until I invested in exercise. I was reluctant at first, but quickly found that I just felt better after a good workout. I placed less stress on my job, on my own expectations, and even restraints in my life. No matter how negative or tired I felt upon my arrival at the gym, I always felt refreshed post workout.

And that evolved. First I found the elliptical rewarding; then strength training made me feel powerful; this escalated (literally) to the stair climber. These activities opened the door to hot yoga and TRX - two of the biggest confidence boosters as well as emotional cleansers I have ever experienced. And i think that's saying a lot given my competitive swimming background.

So here I am: 3 weeks postpartum.

3 weeks postpartum means no exercising. It means having very little sleep. It means learning to appreciate a very different - very mushy - body. It means slowing down to allow your body time to heal. And it means I have the most delightful, beautiful little girl to care for.

I never thought it possible to love and feel protective over something so quickly, but every time I look at her sound asleep or try to soothe her toughest cries, I can't help but feel so happy and proud. This comes with a very contradictory feeling that i hope doesn't come off too awful.

I am so frustrated with me.

My eating sucks and I know it, yet choose to do nothing about it. I'm exhausted, but don't nap when I can. And every time I look outside and see the sun shining, I want to run outside and disappear in the glow for just a little while. Don't get me wrong; we go for walks everyday and sit outside when the humidity isn't too bad.

And most importantly, I'm losing the ability to process my emotions in a healthy manner again. I'm not a talker (contrary to my very lengthy blogs); I've always found an alternative way to process emotions. Exercise does that for me. Especially swimming, where I can go underwater and just move. Sweat always feels better. And that sense of power and independence I get from working out just feels awesome.

Without these things, I feel much less awesome. And the food I'm eating is indicative of that. I'm so stuck in a rut of eat, sleep, breastfeed, repeat, that I don't really know how to function anymore. The very fact that I'm getting a blog done is amazing right now - and concerning because she has been sleeping WAY too long to guarantee any descent sense of sleep tonight.

There's obviously much more specific details - none of which have to do with my daughter - that perhaps I will blog vent if I can't sort out personally soon. But I need to figure out a way to handle this new life as an actual life, which I'm clearly not doing right now. I know it's a process and it will certainly get easier and always be rewarding, but right now, my boobs are engorged, my stomach is upset, my head is all over the place, and I feel like a mess.

Trying for some deep breathes - really deep breathes.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GOING-STRONG 7/1/2014 8:00PM

    You will need to find a new way to exercise while you are breast feeding since it isn't realistic to just take off for any length of time. Try videos. Start with Leslie Sansone walking. You can just hit the stop button when you need to stop... but a few minutes here and there will add up to miles and you will feel the accomplishment. Hugs, R.

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    Well, I have faith in you. You will find your way.. Hugs, Audra

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BUTTONPOPPER1 6/30/2014 9:03PM

    You've really worked so hard and made so much progress! You look beautiful, and your new daughter is beautiful as well (saw you both on your SparkPage). I remember how hard it was to adjust to having a newborn, no matter how incredibly joyful I felt each time (I have three grown-up children). I remember how shocking it was to realize all of a sudden that I wasn't free to do what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it. You seem like a very thoughtful person. I know you'll find a good peaceful balance. Everything is going to be okay. Take care, and enjoy this wonderful time in your life.

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A New Learning Curve

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

This new life is something to learn. Having Emilia has been wonderful, but - wow - is there a learning curve to life. I anticipated changes, but I didn't think I'd need to learn a new life. At least for now, as a newborn who strictly breastfeeds.

I logged in to write a blog over the weekend. It was entitled, "Carving Out the 'Me' Time". The irony in that experience is that I tried for three days to finished that blog - string together a few thoughts and musings of a week and a half old alongside my initial understanding of time from last spring (baby-less) - and failed miserably. I essentially proved that carving out "me" time is not a manageable experience in this moment.

Not to say it won't be. It's just a new learning curve.

Priorities have certainly shifted, but I don't want to lose me in the process, which I'm learning takes a concerted effort. The old adage "when the baby sleeps, you sleep" can only be taken so literally if you're still working on you. You learn to function on less sleep - not none - and you look at the wants and needs in your immediate future and you tackle the needs immediately - or at least until the next feeding or diaper change. The learning curve comes in when you prioritize what is a want and what is a need.

Taking care of me needs to be a need.

And that starts with my health, which is a feat on its own when there are days that you realize you haven't managed breakfast for yourself at one o'clock in the afternoon. Today I made breakfast a priority and reasoned with myself that a half hour less sleep was OK if it meant a meal high in protein and with an hour of waking up. After all, it not only helps my metabolism, but continues to provide Emilia with the nutrients she needs. It also led to a day of three solid meals and some light snacking rather than the catch up on everything you didn't have for the first half of the day.

So that's one day of better decisions.

This losing weight thing is going to be VERY different from last time.

Here's to breastfeeding 5 hours a day! Emilia calls...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    You will survive !!!
And pretty soon, she will be sleeping through the night !!
Isn't life grand ?
There is always something new to learn --- new challenges -- and sometimes a a little while to enjoy what you have learned before the next new challenge appears.

Life would be so very boring if we did not have "New Challenges" to look for on our horizons.

Love and Hugs,
for MOM and DAD and Emilia, too !

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PMRUNNER 6/26/2014 6:24AM

    Enjoy your new baby! Good luck keeping in balance. I would advise striving for balance but don't beat yourself up if you cut a few corners here and there. Many blessings to you and your family!

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GOING-STRONG 6/25/2014 10:32PM


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TRAVELGO 6/25/2014 5:59PM

  What a wonderful thing a baby is!!

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Labor & Marathons

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

I have returned!

Sort of...

Last Tuesday - June 10th - my husband and I welcomed a baby girl: Emilia Jane at 6:43 pm, weighing 7 lbs 10 oz and measuring at 20 1/2 inches long. It was awesome, overwhelming, and so very rewarding. So rewarding that I have to share.

I preface this with the fact that I tried to maintain a consistent exercise routine during pregnancy, though after January failed quite a bit. Some of it was a result of poor balance and low blood pressure, but most of it was insecurity in going to the gym as I got larger. Nevertheless, at the end of April, I took a long hard look at what was required for labor and decided it was time to hit the pool again. And it felt wonderful. I started with the goal of 30 minutes straight and eventually worked my way up to an hour, averaging about 2500 yards and holding intervals as well as maintaining proper technique, and - yes - even flip turns up until the day before I went into labor.

I am so thankful I returned to the pool.

While I experienced contractions early last Tuesday morning, they weren't of what I consider significance. After all, the movies make them look like some dramatic moment or painful revelation. This wasn't the case. So I casually counted their duration in my head until I fell back to sleep. When I woke up I went about my morning and mentioned to my husband that I might be experiencing contractions, but didn't think they were anything to be concerned about; so he timed them. They were 5 minutes apart, but only about 30 seconds in length.

So we called the doctor and were told to come into their office rather than hospital. They were casual and had me wait for a considerable amount of time in the waiting room given why I was there. The doctor even seemed skeptical once we met. So she checked my cervix - I was 4 cm - and wow did her jaw drop. She told me we needed to get to the hospital immediately because she was concerned my higher pain tolerance was indicative of my water breaking and labor commencing quickly without my realizing it.

She was kind of right. We got to the hospital and I was 5 cm. I walked around for a half hour and was at 8 cm. They broke my water and 15 minutes later I was at 10 cm and pushing this delightful little girl into the world. I pushed for an hour and did not use any drugs - no epidural, no muscle relaxers. I, unfortunately tore quite considerably and proceeded to be stitched for an hour and 15 minutes. Why do I share that? Because I refused any anesthesia or pain medication and had the doctor do her work pain killer free.

At that point she looks up at me and asks, "How many marathons have you run?"

I’ve never run a marathon.

Or even a half marathon.

But apparently my endurance and pain tolerance was enough to leave my OB under the impression that I am a marathon runner.

I attribute swimming in my third trimester to that and am so thankful I got over my insecurities when I did.

Meet Emilia:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PATSYB7 6/18/2014 5:31PM

    She's beautiful!

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    So glad to hear from you!! I have been wondering how you were doing.
Emilia Jane, what a beautiful name.
Also very glad you had your body in shape for that last sprint to the finish line!! Since you did not say otherwise, I expect that "DaD" made it through the deliver in fairly decent condition also.
Thank you for sharing,
Love and Hugs, Audra

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NOTGVGUP83 6/18/2014 11:30AM

    congrats on your pretty lil Emilia! Welcome back to SP and wish you the best of luck obtaining all your goals! I see you did amazing before becoming pregnant and that you got active well into your pregnancy again and from your birth story it seems as though it make a world of a difference. I imagine giving birth would count as running a marathon! The high of giving life is hard to explain with words! Take care of yourself!!

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GOING-STRONG 6/18/2014 11:29AM

    How precious! Congrats to you and your hubbie on the new addition to the family.


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