JENJESS48's SparkPeople Blog JENJESS48's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Big NSV The scale has barely moved in the past two weeks but my pants are noticeably less tight and more comfortable. <em>224</em> I'm chalking this up to gaining muscle from running while losing inches of fat. I'll take it! Wed, 15 Oct 2014 10:27:31 EST What a Week! Monday and Tuesday went just fine, totally normal days, except for an extra dose of cranky from one of the twins, who are 20 months old now. I went to bed nice and early, feeling fine. My husband woke me up around 10 and the wheels just came off. Madelyn had vomited and was having trouble breathing. The next hour saw her vomit twice more - once all over me - two calls to the pediatrician, the three of us camped out in the bathroom, letting Mads breathe in steam, and DH taking the baby to t... Fri, 3 Oct 2014 09:06:56 EST Doing Something Right As a parent, anyway. My 18-month-old daughters applaud for strawberries, love brushing their teeth, and their favorite toys are books. Not to mention that they are happy, healthy, and on track to ahead with their developmental milestones. <BR> <BR> But the evidence is pretty clear that I'm better at taking care of them than myself. I still have 15 pounds of baby weight to lose and another 25 pounds after that, I feed them healthier than I feed myself, and I let my workouts lapse. Typical... Mon, 14 Jul 2014 14:36:00 EST Doing Something Right As a parent, anyway. My 18-month-old twins applaud for strawberries, love brushing their teeth, and their favorite toys are books. Not to mention that they are happy, healthy, and right on track to ahead on their developmental milestones. <BR> <BR> But the evidence is pretty clear that I'm better at taking care of them than myself. I still have 15 pounds of baby weight left, another 25 pounds to lose after that, I feed the girls healthier than I feed myself, and I've let my workouts la... Mon, 14 Jul 2014 14:24:48 EST Quick Update As you may suspect, I've been pretty busy lately and haven't had time to Spark. Or brush my teeth or shower every day, for that matter. :) But I wanted to share a few things with y'all while both babies are napping. <BR> <BR> Madelyn and Caitlin are doing great. They have normal baby problems - Caitlin has tiny nasal passages and needs saline several times a day and they both are on baby Zantac for reflux - but they are very healthy and have caught up to average growth patterns. Caitlin is ... Fri, 5 Apr 2013 09:37:41 EST Baby Pics and Info! At long last, here's the baby blog! I have been just a bit busy, so getting to the blog took longer than I would have liked. But better late than never! <BR> <BR> Me just before my c-section: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Both babies in the OR: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Baby A: Caitlin Clare, 3:46 pm, January 11 2013, 5 pounds 11 ounces, 18.5 inches <BR> <BR> <img sr... Wed, 30 Jan 2013 11:34:34 EST My Last Pre-Surgery Medical Appointments Today I did the final blood work, sonogram, and physical exam before my scheduled c-section on Friday. Everything went very well. The babies look great and are both head down, getting ready to go. The doctor asked me if I wanted to consider a natural birth considering both girls' position and I said no. Then she called me a chicken. I told her that I'm willing to accept that label, lol. <BR> <BR> She changed her mind, though, upon doing the physical exam. My body is not preparing for labor.... Wed, 9 Jan 2013 16:27:41 EST Approaching The Finish Line Today I officially hit 38 weeks, the longest most doctors will let moms of multiples carry. (Delivery-related risks, like placental abruption, go up significantly after 38 weeks because moms are simply carrying too much baby.) I am truly surprised that I made it this long; very few moms of multiples do. And, irrational as it may be, I am proud of myself. It has not been at all easy for either me or DH. Essentially I've been an invalid for the past month, unable to use my hands fully and on mo... Sun, 6 Jan 2013 15:22:33 EST Hanging In There: A Scare and Modified Bed Rest, But Very Healthy Babies The past couple of weeks have been interesting, mostly in the sense of the Chinese curse "May you live in interesting times." A week ago on Monday I had the worst scare of my pregnancy to date and probably one of the bigger ones in my life. Sunday afternoon my hands started to swell and feel uncomfortable but I didn't worry about it because that's normal pregnancy stuff. By midday Monday my usually thin, agile fingers were clumsy little sausages and I couldn't feel my arms or hands from the e... Thu, 13 Dec 2012 13:31:22 EST Change in Tactics My last appointment was a week ago, at 31 weeks, and my doctor said it's time for a change of tactics. He said the girls are growing apace and that now the concern is how long I can keep them in. So starting next week I will have weekly biophysical sonograms to assess whether I can go for another week or if it's time for the C-section. We'll also talk about whether I can keep working, should stop working entirely, or need bed rest. <BR> <BR> So the childbirth thing is getting real. Really. R... Thu, 29 Nov 2012 18:31:49 EST Nesting and Resting (A Pregnancy Update) On Sunday I hit 30 weeks, which is technically "any day now" territory for twins. And, much to my own surprise, I'm quite calm about it. A week ago my doctor told me that everything looks good and there is no reason to worry about preterm labor. The girls are big for their age and perfectly healthy. Cutting back my hours at work has allowed me to rest more and overall made my life much easier. <BR> <BR> But what is really letting me rest easy, both literally and figuratively, is that I now f... Tue, 13 Nov 2012 18:15:45 EST Survived the Storms and Had a Great Check Up Today Hurricane Sandy was kind to DC; apparently she saved her wrath for places further north. A tree branch smacked the trunk of my husband's car and dented the trunk and smashed a tail light but that was the extent of the damage. The new roof repairs held and the basement stayed dry. We even kept power through the whole thing. So we got off very easily. And I'm grateful. <BR> <BR> The other storm was *inside* my house. Last week's blogs mentioned some discord between DH and I over the state of o... Fri, 2 Nov 2012 15:47:41 EST He's Finally Getting It! Yesterday I complained about DH having a slight case of anal-cranal inversion regarding the arrival of our twins. Well, he's corrected the situation and is fully on board now. I am hugely relieved! <BR> <BR> Last night we had a breakthrough over dinner. DH finally admitted that if the babies come at the beginning of my due range the upstairs will not be done but that it will be mostly done - except maybe the bathroom - if they come at the end of the range. Next he acknowledged a need for a ... Wed, 24 Oct 2012 15:30:26 EST Disappearing Act Yesterday my lovely Sparkfriend MERRIKATE reminded me that it's been over a month (!) since I last blogged and asked me for an update - and she's not the only one who's asked how I've been lately. And I know that I owe you guys pictures. I've got some good recent ones of me but the babies' sonograms are getting more boring because they're too big to photograph at the same time. <BR> <BR> The unvarnished truth: the last month has been HARD. And when things get hard, I pull back into myself an... Tue, 23 Oct 2012 16:31:52 EST Where I've Been I've been pretty scarce for the last month or so, but all is well. In a nutshell, 3 weeks ago was a very rough week, 2 weeks ago was hectic, last week was blissful, and this week I've been catching up and getting back to normal. <BR> <BR> The best news: my last check up, on Monday, went great and the anatomy scan went perfect. Both babies have all their parts, except for maybe Blueberry's right hand - she refused to move it from behind her head, so the sono tech couldn't count her fingers. T... Fri, 14 Sep 2012 12:41:49 EST Stepping It Up in the Second Trimester Yesterday I officially entered the second trimester. <em>244</em> I'm already starting to feel better: my stomach is more stable and I'm a lot less tired. I think Tuesday was morning sickness's last great hurrah. Or at least that's what I'm telling myself, lol. <BR> <BR> Tomorrow I have my 12 week sonogram (a week late) and DH and I have taken some baby belly pictures (I'm popping out to the point that I'm wearing almost exclusively maternity clothes). I'll try to get those posted sometime... Mon, 16 Jul 2012 12:27:24 EST Yesterday's Foot Surgery - The Least Eventful Part of My Day Surgery went well yesterday. DH and I got to the office half an hour early - we were worried about traffic and getting lost - and they worked us in soon after we arrived. Very, very nice. The doctor numbed up my toes a lot more than in previous procedures - three times more in the left foot and four times in the right, to be precise. (The right needed an extra shot because he did it second.) <BR> <BR> The only thing that I didn't like was that my feet dangled off the end of the table, which ... Sat, 30 Jun 2012 19:41:21 EST Attitude is Everything My pregnancy symptoms had eased up a bit last week, to the point that I thought the worst was over. Well, the universe saw fit to tell me otherwise this week, lol. Acid stomach, fatigue, inability to concentrate are all back in force. Tuesday was the third worst day I've had and I almost went home sick. (I'm glad I stuck it out, though, because a coworker brought in frozen yogurt that made both my belly and my soul feel better and the social time let me fill up the day without having to take ... Thu, 28 Jun 2012 12:20:21 EST Reconciling Myself to Pregnancy's Changes Pregnancy is hard. Those of you who have been here know this truth firsthand, the rest of you probably secondhand from friends and loved ones. But I need to process a little bit, so I'm blogging - pretty standard operating procedure for me. :) <BR> <BR> Pregnancy is hard for everyone. The hormones and their effects - fatigue, forgetfulness, nausea, sensitive stomach, etc - are no joke. Your sense of "normal" simply no longer exists and this is the hardest part for me. I spent over two years ... Fri, 8 Jun 2012 14:10:11 EST Plantar Fascitis, Family Weddings, and Other Challenges The past two-plus weeks have been really bad on the wellness front. They've dealt me more challenges than usual, and I haven't met them very well. Every day I try to do better than yesterday and I succeed more often than not but it's from such a low base that I know all I'm doing is inflicting less damage, not even damage control. <BR> <BR> Let's start with the physical one: plantar fascitis. My left foot has been hurting for a while. And, like a typical stubborn Kraut, I didn't get it looke... Wed, 25 Apr 2012 09:52:11 EST March Progress Report March was a month of big changes for me. The two most important were going off birth control and entering maintenance mode, both in an effort to get pregnant. I generally stuck to my nutrition framework and fitness plan, so I didn't expect to see as many changes as I did. Specifically, I: <BR> <BR> <em>181</em> All but cut out alcohol. I will still have an occasional drink - I'm not pregnant yet, after all, and even then most docs say the occasional drink is okay - and had more than one on... Thu, 29 Mar 2012 10:58:58 EST Cardio Contemplation Sometimes cardio is utilitarian drudgery: Just do it. I'll feel better afterwards. <BR> <BR> Sometimes cardio is intense, sweaty, push-myself-to-see-how-far-I-can-go. <BR> <BR> Sometimes cardio is about working off stress, anger, or other emotions. <BR> <BR> Tonight it was about breathing in the soft spring air, feeling my muscles and lungs work, noticing how my limbs move, greeting my neighbors as I passed, and noticing all the glorious new buds and growth. Yeah, that's the best: in the... Mon, 12 Mar 2012 18:19:50 EST Learned a Shocking Fact Today Today I learned a shocking and appalling fact: of the 7 billion souls on this planet, 3 billion are improperly nourished. These people break down into three even groups of about 1 billion each: don't get enough to eat (undernourished), don't get proper nutrition despite getting enough calories (malnutrition), and obese, often with obesity-related health problems. (For more information, see this week's Economist: <BR> <BR> So that means that just o... Thu, 23 Feb 2012 14:41:08 EST Discovered Snacking Nirvana Yesterday Yesterday I passed by a Trader Joe's on my way home, only because I had an appointment and took a different route. I was hungry and majorly PMSing (my TOM is more than a week late but my PMS was right on time; it's getting excruciating) and I remembered finding great, healthy stuff at Trader Joe's on previous trips. So I stopped in. <BR> <BR> And boy, did I find what I was looking for. (DH actually asked me how my hormones actually managed to steer the cart and swipe my credit card, lol.)... Tue, 31 Jan 2012 15:49:31 EST Fresh Dose of Determination Needed All right, I have a plan. I laid it all out, including pretty emoticons, in my last blog. That's great. But what I haven't had is follow-through or motivation. Friday I stepped on the scale to discover I gained FOUR POUNDS over a long weekend in San Francisco and two weeks to my own devices while DH was on a business trip. Blowing off workouts for an entire week did not help. <em>198</em> Umm, yeah, that's a big ol' wake up call. Gaining weight is simply not an option. <BR> <BR> Thi... Mon, 23 Jan 2012 12:21:44 EST Freshening Up My Program for the New Year Last year I wanted to lose 40 pounds but only lost 15. So this year I have about 25 pounds to lose - and my husband I plan to try to get pregnant this year, so I probably won't lose all the weight before then. And that's fine with me; I don't want to postpone pregnancy to lose weight. (I'm already 33 and don't have the luxury of time.) <BR> <BR> Late last year I got burned out on my weight loss efforts and learned a lot about what works for me. Apparently I've been bitten by the New Ye... Tue, 10 Jan 2012 11:31:24 EST What I Learned In A Month Away At the end of October I felt very overwhelmed and pulled in too many directions. So I decided to take a SparkBreak for two main reasons: to pare down the number of things I try to do in a day and to focus in on what is and isn't working in my wellness plan. And let me tell you, I learned a lot. Most of the lessons are still works in progress - life just seems to work that way - but I'm in a better head space and ready to come back, slowly. Here's a list of what I've learned in five weeks... Wed, 7 Dec 2011 14:22:03 EST Taking a Spark Break Lately I've been feeling overwhelmed, mostly at work - which is where I do most of my Sparking. My weight loss effort level has been up and down, more down than up, and I keep beating myself up over it. I just need to free up some of the brain space being occupied by all my Spark activities. So I've decided to take a Spark break. I'm still going to exercise and eat healthy, but I'm not going to track and I won't be hopping online. I'm not sure how long this will last; I plan to try it fo... Mon, 31 Oct 2011 20:59:47 EST Turning It Around: New Motivation and a Double Win My last blog was about me feeling stuck and frustrated. In it I mentioned that I'm frustrated because DH and I are getting closer and closer to starting a family, but I'm no closer to my weight loss goals. Well, I decided to turn that rationale on its head: I'm using our plans to light a fire under my butt to shed the excess pounds before I get pregnant. This weekend I realized that I have a golden opportunity in my hands: I have six whole months to focus on myself and my goals before my... Wed, 12 Oct 2011 14:05:38 EST Reset My Ticker I started out 2011 very strong, losing 10 pounds by February. Since then I've only dropped 3 real pounds, losing and gaining the same pounds over and over again. And I'm heartily sick of it. While I love all the positive comments on my friend feed every time I lose a pound, it also disheartens me because I know that I'm truly only re-losing the same pound I re-gained last week. <BR> <BR> This week I reached a new level of frustration. I have been reasonably diligent about keeping to my s... Fri, 7 Oct 2011 11:21:17 EST September Wrap-Up and October Goals (With Dress Pics!) Last month I lost 0.4 pound, stayed exactly even on inches, didn't stick to my program with iron-clad consistency, but met most of the rest of my monthly goals. So, on balance, I'm pretty happy and give myself a B. Here's my favorite non-scale victory: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Granted, I have on a pretty serious shaper. But the dress is a 10 and I'... Sun, 2 Oct 2011 16:20:47 EST New Dress Pics Last night I bought a new dress to wear to my good friends' wedding on Sunday. DH is a groomsman but I'm not a bridesmaid. And I know I'll be feeling awful because of my foot surgery later today, so I wanted to look as sexy as possible so I'd feel more confident. If this dress, in plum instead of the gray shown, doesn't do it, nothing will: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=" Thu, 22 Sep 2011 11:03:04 EST Victory Over Emotional Eating - and Drinking - Leads to a Better Day Yesterday was a rough day. The second rough day in a row, as a matter of fact. When I got home I wanted to pour myself a stiff drink and seriously binge eat. <em>198</em> <BR> <BR> <BR> But I didn't. Instead I poured myself a flavored water, turned on my favorite video game, and beat the crap out of some sociopathic rabbits. Then DH and I went out to a restaurant we hadn't tried before. He went for his old standby, burger and housemade chips, but I decided to try something more adve... Wed, 21 Sep 2011 13:53:11 EST Really Rough Start to the Week The past two days have been a series of small misfortunes, annoyances, and problems leavened with tiny victories. The net effect is that I want to curl up in bed, pull the covers over my head, sleep for many hours, pretend that none of it happened, and start over. Which, on balance, isn't bad. Sometimes days like this make me want to put my head through a wall. <BR> <BR> The rollercoaster started first thing yesterday with my weigh in. As reflected in my feed, I was down 2 pounds. BUT I... Tue, 20 Sep 2011 12:23:36 EST Thanks for the Motivation Today I was chosen as Done Girl of the Day, which came as a huge surprise. Shock might even be a better word. :) Lately I've been feeling like I haven't been in high gear - more like first gear - and have been working very hard to correct that. But my motivation has still been low. The outpouring of affection and congratulations has really rekindled my Spark - thanks ladies! It couldn't have been better timed. <BR> <BR> <em>247</em> to all my Done Girls! Thu, 15 Sep 2011 11:29:10 EST Remembering 9/11 September 11, 2001 was an absolutely gorgeous day in Austin, Texas. Tuesdays were my long days on campus; I worked two jobs as a grad student and I went to both of them, plus several classes, on Tuesdays. My first class, for which I was a teaching assistant, started at 8 a.m. Central time. A student wandered in late and started chattering about an attack on the Twin Towers in New York. I shushed her, downplayed it, and tried to get the kids focused back on the lecture - they were starting ... Sun, 11 Sep 2011 09:55:33 EST August Wrap-Up and September Goals August was not my best month for sticking to my plan. But I did really well anyway: I lost 3.6 pounds and 3.5 inches in July and August. <em>244</em> <em>9</em> <BR> <BR> Plus I had some fantastic non-scale victories: <BR> <BR> <em>312</em> Ran my first 5K! <BR> <BR> <em>192</em> My mom and sister haven't seen me since March; they guessed I'd lost 20 pounds since I last saw them. I'd lost only two and they refused to believe me at first. Go ST and losing inches!!! <BR> <BR> ... Sun, 4 Sep 2011 18:14:01 EST Ran My First 5K Last Saturday I finished the last training run of SparkPeople's 5K Your Way run/walk program. And it was the toughest run I've had yet. I didn't have as much caffeine as usual and I was visiting my in-laws so I had my back up shoes and ran on a different treadmill. Ugh, what a horrible combination. The belt wasn't as padded as the one I'm used to and my shoes just sucked. My recalcitrant iPod did not help at all: it kept playing swing from my gym mix when what I really needed was classi... Thu, 25 Aug 2011 10:35:28 EST What Healthy Means to Me (FFUSW Challenge) For me being healthy is quite simple: respecting my body so that it gets through the day without difficulty and can handle all the fun stuff I want to do, like hiking, biking, dancing, rafting, climbing, etc. To keep my body adventure ready, I drink 8+ glasses of water a day, sleep for 8 hours a night, exercise regularly (3 cardio and 2 ST sessions a week), and eat a healthy diet with at least 5 freggies a day. <BR> <BR> Here's the catch: actually doing this is a lot harder than it seems ... Thu, 18 Aug 2011 10:30:12 EST Loving My New Schedule This is week 2 of my radically earlier schedule. By "radically earlier" I mean that I now go to bed at the time I used to get home from work. Seriously. I only work 8 hours a day now, instead of 10, and my commute is dramatically better because I get out the door before traffic really starts. <BR> <BR> Let me count the ways in which this is awesome: <BR> <BR> <em>128</em> I get three hours back in my day. <BR> <BR> <em>56</em> I have a whopping 5 hours at home before I need to go ... Thu, 11 Aug 2011 11:37:38 EST Radical Reboot: July Wrap Up and August Goals The first three weeks of July went great. That third week I was on vacation in the Southwest and did a great job of sticking to my plan. But when we got home the wheels came off. There's no good reason, only excuses. And as my dad, a middle school basketball coach, likes to tell his kids "excuses are like a$$holes: we all have one and they all stink." <BR> <BR> The good news about July is that I only gained a pound and a half, which is a minor miracle considering how I ate and how rarel... Sun, 7 Aug 2011 14:08:15 EST Southwest Vacation Photo Blog Two weeks ago DH and I got home from an amazing trip to the Southwest, including Las Vegas, the Hoover Dam, the Grand Canyon, Sunset Crater, Montezuma's Palace, and Sedona. We've been positively swamped since we got home, so this is the first chance I've gotten to post a photoblog; I also updated my SparkPage with some of the photos we took. <BR> <BR> We started the trip with Las Vegas; DH attended a convention for work and they put him up in the hotel where the conference was held: the Ve... Sat, 30 Jul 2011 19:31:45 EST Held Even Last Week And yeah, I'm a little annoyed about it. I stuck with my back to basics bootcamp pretty closely (had a drink one day, went over my calories one day, and failed to track on two days but otherwise 100% on track, which isn't shabby considering there are 10 things on my daily list). But whatevs, I didn't gain and I know I'm doing the right things. Plus I'm a bit sore, which means I'm holding onto water. The weight will come off when it's good and ready. <BR> <BR> Anyway, this is a short week... Mon, 11 Jul 2011 15:48:32 EST June Wrap Up and July Goals Okay, June was not such a great month. I gained a total of 1.2 pounds and held dead even on measurements. Considering how I ate for most of June, this is a victory. <em>198</em> I salvaged the month by a last-week push to get myself back on track. It worked, and I'm planning to keep going with it. Overall I give myself a B for this month; I had two so-so weeks, an awful week, and a great week. I met most of my other goals, with a few exceptions. <BR> <BR> June goals: <BR> <BR> <e... Mon, 4 Jul 2011 15:56:51 EST Back to Basics Bootcamp Last week was...well...a disaster. TOM and social occasions drove my self-control not only out of the building but apparently out of the state. I ate like a crazy person and gained THREE AND A HALF pounds. <em>198</em> I have gained every week this month, last week being the worst. <em>40</em> <BR> <BR> The insanity ends here. Right now. I tried to get it together on Saturday but failed. I'm letting it go and moving on. And, being me, I have made a plan. And a spreadsheet. <em... Mon, 27 Jun 2011 15:24:04 EST New "Final" Goals Okay, so I've blogged before about how inaccurate a measure weight is for me. This week I decided to ditch the idea of a final goal weight in favor of other concrete and more realistic goals. <em>225</em> I will declare myself as "in maintenance" when I meet the following goals, regardless of what the scale says: <BR> <BR> <em>341</em> Rework my eating habits so that a healthy, (mostly) clean diet is a fact of daily life. <em>244</em> <em>248</em> <BR> <BR> <em>331</em> <em>... Thu, 23 Jun 2011 16:23:36 EST Beach Weekend! This weekend DH and I went to the beach on Maryland's Eastern Shore/Delaware. My previous blog was about me hyperventilating about planning the trip. Well, I needn't have worried. It was wonderful! <BR> <BR> I planned the meals and the packing, and everything fit into the car nicely. We had a leisurely drive with the top down to Assategue Island, which is home to a herd of wild horses. Spanish ships wrecked off the coast in the 16th century and the horses on board swam to safety on Assa... Mon, 20 Jun 2011 20:20:33 EST Planning for a Weekend Getaway to the Beach Weekends at the beach are a summer classic for most Americans. But not for me. I burn in about 15 minutes and have to be super careful about heat - I got heat stroke as a teenager and am therefore susceptible to new bouts of it. Also, and this is the odder part, I have hardly ever traveled to the beach in the U.S. Generally speaking, I know Latin America better than my own country: work pays for my trips abroad, but I'm on my own time and my own dime to travel domestically. I grew up in... Wed, 15 Jun 2011 15:12:02 EST DOMS, Compliments, Distance Ratios, and the Chitchat Factor Today I am not feeling great. TOM and DOMS are a potent team, leaving me extremely fatigued and sore. To the point where I'm going to leave work early to run errands with DH. Mostly fitness and health related errands, actually: running store (15% sale this week because of National Running Day), gym equipment store (DH wants an elliptical), spice store, and optometrist. Probably more productive - and definitely more fun - than sitting at work today. <BR> <BR> What has carried me through ... Wed, 1 Jun 2011 15:13:19 EST May Wrap Up and June Goals This month I lost 3 pounds and 2.25 inches. <em>244</em> That's less than I wanted to lose, but I worked really hard so I'm not going to complain. <em>30</em> <BR> <BR> Here are my May goals and how I did against them: <BR> <BR> <em>192</em> Drop to 170 pounds (a 6 pound loss). <BR> I got to 173, a 3 pound loss, and I'm happy with that. <BR> <BR> <em>248</em> Do 3 cardio sessions a week. <BR> <BR> <em>248</em> Do 2 ST sessions a week. <BR> <BR> <em>248</em> Take one rest d... Mon, 30 May 2011 16:14:33 EST