Hopeful Thoughts

Losing the Baby Weight: Weighing In

I began my commitment to seriously working to lose the weight on July 26th. Tomorrow will mark one month since I began my journey, so I thought it would be appropriate to “weigh in” today and report my progress.

I’ve done OK at maintaining my work out goals. However, I hit a bump in the road when I injured myself. I’m pretty sure that I pulled some kind of muscle in my knee as a result of poor form. To other mom’s out there, form is important, and it’s hard to keep it when a toddler is floating around your workout space! G is REALLY curious about the blue lights on the heart rate monitors I wear for the PS3 game I work out with. He’s ALWAYS underfoot. He plucks the resistance bands, sits on my back while I do push ups, reaches for my hand weights, insists on being picked up while I do squats… I think he enjoys watching, but it’s easier if I can do it well before his nap time or while he’s asleep.

Anyway, I had to sit out for a week as a result of the pain. I started back Monday, and things seem to be healed. I’m really enjoying the program and it’s nice to be able to keep to a routine that I can do indoors with this INSANE summer we are having here in TX.

Now, drum roll, please! In the last month, I have lost TEN pounds!!!!!! I can officially say this because even at my heaviest time of day, the weight loss is clear! I’m so excited!!!

I think I only have another 5 pounds to go to be where I was when I got pregnant. I can’t find where I wrote that down at the moment. 🙁 I have another 15 pounds to go to make it to my goal weight. Yup, I gotta keep going. When I got pregnant with G, I’d just returned from almost three weeks in Argentina. Three weeks of eating empanadas, the best ice cream EVER, and polishing off an entire batch of brownies (or whatever chocolate treat we decided to make) with my three moth post-partum friend and her husband was NOT the best way to prepare for pregnancy weight gain!!

I’m finding it pretty easy to stick to the program. It helps SOOO much to have those extra points for nursing. I wish I’d focused earlier when he was nursing more often. The weight would have flown off! But, here are a few stats to illustrate my eating habits.

Week 1: Used 19 extra points (G’s birthday cupcakes) Had one or two extra points remaining on 3 days.

Week 2: Used 7 extra points (dinner at Chuy’s). Had 2-7 points remaining on all other days

Week 3: Used 12 extra points (ate out twice that weekend) Only 3 days with remaining points

Week 4: Used 5 extra points (Uncle Julio’s!) 6 days with remaining points, all but one day 3 or more

A New Resolution

It’s taken me a lot longer than I had planned to shed my baby weight. Everyone assured me that if I kept nursing I would be surprised when it slowly but surely melted off. Well, Grayson turned one year old on the 29th of July, and I still was nearly 20 pounds heavier than when I got pregnant, and the same weight I was two months after his birth. I knew something had to change.

So, I determined to change and boldly announced to all my Facebook friends (might as well have been the world) that I was going on a points based eating system (you know the one, but the old version, because that’s what I’ve used before) and committing to exercise. I knew that by telling everyone, I would have to stick to it. Sure enough, I’ve had a bunch of people asking me how it’s going.

I’ve made it through two full weeks so far. Most days, I have an overage of points at the end of the day, and I’m not starving. I’ve barely had to delve into my extra weekly points allowance. I’m in a weird place when it comes to the points allowance. As a nursing mom, I get 10 extra points per day. However, G is getting some solid food, so I’m wondering if I even need all of those points. I’m seeing some small weight loss, and feeling better, but I bet if I started using all of my allowed points, I’d be stuck.

The question I am faced with is whether or not to drop my daily points value. As it stands now, it’s pretty easy to stick with it. I know that if it becomes too hard, then I am less likely to stick with it. However, it’s all just a numbers game. I can’t decide if I’m better off using the higher daily points total and not dipping into my extra, or dropping my daily points and using the extra. It seems I’d probably end up using the same number of points either way.

Not to mention the fact that, as G weans, I WILL have to drop my consumption to keep losing weight. I’m inclined to leave well enough alone for a few more weeks, giving me time to learn the “secrets” of this program, so that, hopefully, when I do get less, I’ll know better what to eat to keep hunger at bay.

So far, I have learned a few staples to help me stay on my points target. Fiber and Protein seem to be the keys to feeling less hungry. Here are a few ways I’ve packed them in.

Smoothies are great for both fiber and protein, and you get a good dose of dairy. I’ve even learned that a couple of handfuls of fresh spinach blends right in without ruining the flavor. You wouldn’t even notice if it didn’t turn the smoothie a lovely shade of green! In an attempt to pack more punch into my smoothies, I tried adding protein powder. I experimented with it a couple of times, but it seems to mess up the flavor. Especially if you use soy powder. Soy powder is NASTY!!! However, I mixed some vanilla flavor whey protein powder into a glass of milk this morning and it was pretty tasty!

A good nutrition bar is also a lifesaver. I’ve learned to keep one in my purse in case the munchies hit. Most are 3-4 points and contain lots of protein and fiber. I like the Luna bars (just not the protein ones) and I recently discovered Odwalla bars.

Sandwich Thins and Bagel Thins are also great. Choosing the whole wheat versions give a big dose of fiber and makes for one tasty little sandwich. Whole grains in general stick with you longer and are lower in points. One sandwich thin (top and bottom) is a single point, but two slices of white bread rack up four! I also choose Miracle Whip over Mayo, although today I discovered the olive oil version of mayo. Pretty tasty and just 1 point per tablespoon! I was excited!

For exercise, I’ve been using EA Active 2 for the PS3. It’s a great circuit trainer with lots of variety. I haven’t been bored yet and it’s totally kicking my butt. In fact, I have to take a breather for a couple of days because I think I hurt myself. Most likely because it’s difficult to watch your form when a 12MO is dancing in your workout space and climbing on your back when you try to do push ups!

I’m looking forward to seeing the benefits of my choices, and excited to learn more about eating well.

Better Late than Never: Tribute to Fellow Crafters

Almost a year ago, I took a bunch of pictures to post on my blog. A sweet lady in my church launched a quest to get the other crafty ladies to band together to create matching handmade gifts for Grayson. She found an adorable fabric collection called “Chirp.” I received SO many cute things, and we have gotten so much use out of everything over the past year. So, here they are for all to enjoy.

The inspiration for all my diaper crafting. Two wet bags, two diaper pail liners, and a cute little water proof changing pad. All crafted by G's Aunt Bee.

Unique circle blanket crocheted by my dear friend Bethany. This size and shape was PERFECT for the stroller and the car seat. Not to mention keeping little guy warm for naps without having too much bulk around his face.

Quilt, pillows, and coaster made by Colleen (special mention to Megan who designed the owl on the little pillow). There was a lot of "tummy" time spent on the quilt, and the pillow and coaster were indispensable for nursing.

Hand-hemmed receiving blanket made by G's Grandma on his Daddy's side. Extra large size made this a perfect swaddling blanket.

Great Granny Gwen did the needlework on this cute little quilt. This got some tummy time, too!

OMG! Cutest diaper bag EVER!!!! Keri is amazing! Came with a burp cloth and extra bag to tuck inside.

Super cozy crochet afghan crafted and sent by my high school BF. G loved the weight of this all winter long, and still loves to cuddle with it! I'm so excited I get to return the favor and craft for her expected little one!!!!

Miss Lori made this colorful, useful little knapsack. It's served as diaper bag for air travel, and overnight bag to Grandma's. I expect G to get lots of use out of this over the years.

The satin lined receiving blankets are a family tradition. My Granny made them, and then my mother, and now my sister and I both make them as well. Here are the two that G's Ma (my mom) made for him. Jungle animals and Little Boy Blue.

Last, but not least, the beautiful work of Miss Vicki, the brains behind the whole craft crusade. Reversible bibs, a grab ball (oh my! What a lot of pieces to stitch together!) and a sheet for the pack n play (not pictured).

I am so blessed to have friends and family who would spend their precious time to create gifts with their own two hands rather than quickly buy something. LIfe is hectic, and spare time is sparse. These are gifts crafted with love, and I love the givers. Thank you all.

Crafting in Between

As I have a few minutes here and there, I’ve been working on a few crafty things since G’s arrival last year. I’ve continued to make the flannel receiving blankets, but I was forced to cut back on my crochet and knitting due to some pretty painful postpartum carpel-tunnel syndrome. I have a few projects on hold that I hope to get back to, but this post is about my newest focus: sewing.

I was fascinated by the diaper pail liners and wet bags that my sister made for me. When my friends Allison decided that she was going to cloth diaper her new baby, I resolved that I was going to make a few things for her. With the help of my little sis, I got fabric ordered and cranked out four diaper pail liners (2 for Allison and 2 spare for myself) and 4 cute little wet bags.

Upon seeing how cute these turned out, I kept going back to the site where we ordered the fabric, Kids in the Garden, and just looking. The lady who runs it makes and sells cloth diapers. She also sells a couple of patterns for making your own. I’d noticed LOTS of sellers on Etsy who make cloth diapers. It was so tempting, but I was completely freaked out by the idea. The idea of working with the elastic scared the heck out of me.

Eventually, curiosity got the better of me. I HAD to try. So, I ordered a pattern (The Nikibaby One Size Diaper)… it was less than $10. I purchased some cute fabric, and a set of snap pliers with plastic snaps.

Yes, the elastic is a super big pain, but it turned out not to be as difficult as I’d expected, and I quickly cranked out this cute little number:

I was SOOOOO excited! Here’s a shot of my little guy modeling it. Sorry for the bad photo. It’s really hard to get him to stop moving!!!

After getting comfortable with this pattern, I thought about how to modify it to make a cover for pre-folds. I took some measurements of the covers I had around the house and made a pattern. Putting the diapers together turned out to be another challenge, as there is the added difficulty of binding the edges with fold over elastic (FOE). After 3 attempts, I finally got it down in time to make a gift for my friend Paige. Wish I had a picture of that one, but here is G in one of the first attempts:

Making diapers has turned out to be a lot of fun. You can do so many creative things. If you are a wanna be cloth diapering expectant mom and a friend of mine, expect some cute “fluff” in your baby gift!