Tuesday, July 09, 2013
I dropped off the radar here on Spark People in late November/early December because I was trying to do too much during this pregnancy. I was pregnant (not easy to adjust to under any circumstances), I was counting calories (not the greatest idea while pregnant), I was breastfeeding my next youngest, and I was working out. Because I had so much on my plate, my energy levels plummeted and my blood sugar started to destabilize.
I tried to move over to Spark's pregnancy website, but the drive to continue to lose weight didn't lessen there and after seeing several miscarriages in the first few weeks in my due date group, I started getting depressed and anxious. I have NO history of miscarriage whatsoever and that didn't matter emotionally. So I decided to quit. I quit all of it except walking. I have not tracked a morsel of food since November, aside from OB appointments I have not weighed myself a single time, my poor food scale is covered in dust (well--WAS, I dusted it off yesterday), and my workout videos sit neglected. I have gained precisely 20 pounds as of Friday's appointment. None of that counts until after my 6 weeks postpartum check so I'm not even worried about it. I have walked as much as I can. But my big focus was getting my eating habits in line. That was my big success story of this pregnancy.
Somewhere along the line something major clicked with me on the meal planning and pre-prep front. The only time we eat out in this house is after I fail to meal plan and that is becoming really rare around here. As of Sunday night, I had 3 nights of dinner prepped and in the freezer and every lunch either frozen or refrigerated for 8 days. Last night I added another night to the freezer for later in the week. I'm not hungry, I don't ever have to wonder what I'm going to eat, and what I wind up eating is WAY healthier than what I would turn to before. Without even trying, I'm staying at about 1800 calories (I tracked yesterday's food just to see where I'm at out of curiosity--and to be completely honest, I still don't care a fig) a day and my macro-nutrient balance is in the ballpark ranges that SP looks for.
All of these changes have made me realize something:
Diet and exercise are not a means to an end.
There's something liberating in this so I will say it again.
Diet and exercise are not a means to an end! It isn't about doing what will get you to a magic number; it's about doing what makes you feel great. There is no time limit on feeling great, having energy, and doing the things you love. There is no magic benchmark that defines where you're healthy and happy in your life. Today, I plan meals in advance and eat wholesome food because it makes me feel good and gives me energy, not because I'm looking for a number on my scale. I do it because it makes the rest of my week easier when I only have the kids and the house to worry about. I love how my food tastes and if some days, it has more fat in it than my diet calls for... whatever, it's mostly good fat anyway.
There are a lot of ways to go about looking at what you do and how to do it, but when everything becomes about making yourself the best You that you can be, nothing else really matters any more. It's not a chore that I do because it's "the thing to do to lose weight," rather it's something I do because when I'm done I feel emotional accomplishment, physically nourished, and completely relaxed. I don't have to STRESS anymore about when I have to start cooking dinner, whether it's healthy enough, if it's going to help the scale move where I want it to go, whether the kids will like it, or if I still have all of the ingredients I need for it. It's done, I made it out of wholesome ingredients rather than a box of crap, it tastes good, and I don't feel like ass half an hour after eating it.