Friday, December 29, 2017

18 in 2018

Image result for aint nobody got time for that

Hello! It's been well over a year since I last blogged. Why? Because two weeks after I wrote my last post I found out I was pregnant. That led to an exhausted first trimester, and then a second, and then a third, and then I had a baby.

So here I am, back at it. Did I accomplish my goals for 2017? NO! Did I model good behaviors for my daughter? Sometimes. Did I learn anything about moderation? NO! Not as a pregnant lady, no way. But, a new year is upon us. I love making lists and setting goals, so this is a happy time for me. I love the gap week between Christmas and New Year's where navel gazing and organizing are normal.

I am Gretchen Rubin's biggest fan. If you and I are at a party, you'll find me in a corner by myself. Come over and ask me about Gretchen and be prepared for an hour of conversation. I call her Gretchen because I think we would be good friends IRL. She made a list of 18 goals, tasks, or accomplishments for 2018 and asked her fans to do the same thing. Since I am her biggest fan, I have already emailed mine to her. 

Here is my list!

1. Wear my wedding ring each time I leave the house, even for a quick errand or day care pickup. I have a bad habit of dashing out and not wearing it, and then sometimes I forget when I am going to be out and about for awhile. I love my ring and my husband, and I want to wear it.

2. Exercise twice a week- no other stipulations or time commitments! Just get the old body going.

3. Read 12 books, or listen to them.

5. Try dragonfruit

6. Wear a blouse twice a week, instead of t-shirt every single day. This is part of my ongoing, never ending, sometimes-successful effort to look like an adult woman.

7. Limit coffee intake to four cups a day. Three is even better!
    Planned exceptions: holidays, birthdays, days when kids are sick

8. Have a date night with my husband once a month

9. This line has a philanthropic activity I will keep private 

10. Make Lifetime status in Weight Watchers

11. Get my haircut at least 4 times

12. Learn to make pancakes well. I am terrible at this and always double the batter because I will burn so many.

13. Blog once a month. I blog as well as I make pancakes.

14. Finish two Shutterfly scrapbooks

15. Spend money mindfully- stick to my budget and stop browsing for things to buy. Since I am no longer a minimalist, I let up on my purchasing and I have swung too far in the other direction. I'd like to be more mindful and purposeful when I go to a store or shop on Amazon.

16. Eat out no more than twice a week, and use menu planning more faithfully

17. Have a spiritual quiet time each week day

18. Leave my phone in another room during play time and bath time. Last month Emily asked me to put my phone down and it was like a stab in the ear that traveled to my heart. This is the main reason I am doing the Bored and Brilliant Challenge.

I'd love to hear other people's resolution, ideas, words for the year, etc. I do have two words picked out for 2018. Since I want to blog once a month, I am saving that for one post. 

Monday, October 10, 2016

My Two Words for the Year

I like to select my One Word around my birthday. September always feels like the start of a new year because of my birthday and "back to school" time. My daughter doesn't go to school yet, but I've never really shaken the rhythm of the school year/summer vacation. Last year I selected one word as a woman and a different word as a mother, because being a mom doesn't define every part of my life and yet all parts of my life are interdependent. 

Last year's words were Execute and Playful and I feel a satusfied sense of accomplishment in both areas. I executed my weight loss goals, my desire to have regular date nights with Luis, and my resolve to be productive and effective at work. I also had a lot of intentional play time with Emily. Being playful doesn't necessarily come naturally to me, so I knew I needed to focus on this. Baby play time is really baby learning time, and I take my role as Emily's teacher very seriously. I love to watch her develop as her play time leads to fine and gross motor development, problem solving, and spatial orientation. That's super nerdy to say, but it's also super me.

My words for this year are Moderation and Modeling. 

Moderation is absolutely dismal for me and I really feel like the missing key to my weight loss success will be moderation. I HAVE to master this. Or at least budge it a little. I'll be honest that I have no idea how to even start, but this is really necessary and something I truly need to do. 

I see Emily watching Luis and me, and picking up all kinds of mannerisms. She pretends to put toothpaste on a toothbrush, she spits in her hand and pretends it's lotion (so gross), and  even knows her own nickname. I am more aware than ever that she will learn a lot from me, simply because the most important influence on a person is the parent of the same gender. That is an amazing amount of pressure and a bit overwhelming, but also an honor and really, really cool.

Gretchen Rubin says not to let perfection be the enemy of the good. Marla Cilly says to aim for progress, not perfection. Here's to just doing SOMETHING.

Monday, October 3, 2016

A New Version of my Authentic Self

When I was first learning about minimalism and incorporating it into my life, I kept coming back to this idea of who my authentic self is. I would keep coming back to a box of wooden stamps and a big collection of Peanuts-themed collectibles, for example, and putting them away because I just could never get rid of those. And yet, I never used my stamps, except for one stamp that I used for Christmas cards (which I am not very consistent at sending). And even though the Peanuts are my favorite cartoons, I hate having a bunch of knicks knacks around the house. Once I was honest about who the "true Kate" was, it was easier to align my home and surroundings with that.

I have been thinking about this idea again as I have approached the one year start of my weight loss journey. I am really nervous about transitioning from "I am trying to lose weight" to "I have lost weight and want to keep it off." I have never successfully done this and I don't want to fail at this again. But the truth is that I do know how to keep it off because I have been actively learning this lesson for the past year. The way I will keep the weight off is by doing what I have been doing, day after day. 

I have always been a person that hates exercise. When people would advise me to find an activity that I loved, so that I would miss it if I stopped, I genuinely only had nasty things to say in response. The truth was that after a long day of sitting, the only thing I wanted to do was to keep sitting. But the craziest thing happened: last week we finally got a wave of fall weather and I was so excited because it meant I could finally take Emily out for a walk in the stroller again. I was so excited that I could walk up to the day care and bring her home. I was double excited when she asked to go play at the park on the way home and then I was triple excited to climb the equipment because she wanted to try the big slide. I realized how much I missed our walks when the summer heat made it impossible to go  for walks after dinner. That was the activity that I missed. 

So the truth is that I have a new angle to the concept of my authentic self. I genuinely am a person who is capable of eating 10 potato chips, not the whole bag (even when I want to). I genuinely am a person who likes exercise and misses it when I don't do it. In other words, I am a person who is capable of moderation and getting back on track. I am a person who is capable of sustaining this new lifestyle, even if it's only a year old. That's new for me, but it can be permanent.

This has to be the last time I lose a massive amount of weight. I am a mom now and I want to model good habits for Emily and teach her to have a healthy lifestyle. That is the basis for all of this, the motivation for all of my efforts. 

If you are trying to lose weight, or reach a goal, or change a habit, just keep going. When you get off track, get back on. When you plateau, keep pushing and working and it will all pay off.  Hebrews says that no discipline is pleasant at the time, but later it produces a harvest of righteousness. You don't even have to believe in God to find some wisdom and truth in that. 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Whole30 Check In - Day 14

This diet sucks y'all. I hate it.

You can read about the progression of a person on the Whole30 here: Day 6 was rough for me and it's basically just stayed rough.

I tried doing a Whole30 in October and quit on day 6. This time I prepared myself for about 3 weeks before starting. I cut my sugars a lot and I planned a variety of dinners and lunches so I wouldn't get bored and subject my family to endless pots of broccoli and lettuce salad with lemon juice. Can you guess what happened? I HATE EVERYTHING I HAVE TRIED. 

Last night I spent an hour making a new meatloaf recipe, french fries, and salad. The meatloaf had normal-sounding ingredients in it that I enjoy in other foods, so it's not like I was chasing a real wild card or anything. After my first bite, I just spit it out and went out to get us dinner (no, I will not tell you what we ate). After eating second dinner, there were only 20 minutes until Emily's bed time and I had not played with her at all. Luis spent the evening wrangling her and we let her unpack baskets and boxes and basically tear up the entire first floor. Once I sat down to play, she bit me and had to go into timeout. So to recap that is

  • an entire wasted meal
  • a cheat meal + the cost of this meal
  • an evening NOT spent with my family
  • an insanely messy house
  • toddler time out (generally consists of me holding her into place for 60 seconds)

So I texted my cousins, who are doing this with me. Are you ready for their reactions?

These two are awesome and encouraging and I love doing this with them.

Feel free to confront me if I talk about doing this again.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Level Up Weight Loss

When I first started Weight Watchers, and for many years after, I tried to see juuuuuust how junky my diet could be while still losing weight. If I only ate a small order of fries and a cheeseburger, I could still lose. If I ate 100 calorie snack packs, I could still lose. If I slept in super late and ate a burrito bowl at 11:30 and nothing else all day,  I could still lose.

I eliminated gluten from my diet in 2010 and let me tell y'all, you can eat some serious junk food without involving gluten. 

Since I have been in my 30's, I find myself more sensitive to different foods. It's been dairy, gluten, and artificial sweeteners for years. But in the past year or so, soy has been creeping in. I love soy milk when it's involved in dessert in a cup from Starbucks. For about 4 years now, refined sugars have ebbed and flowed into my diet, first making my skin terrible, then giving me a random pain around my spleen, and lately causing  crazy level 10 stomach aches. I eat the junk and feel like crap then crave more junk.

Why do some people get iron stomachs while mine appears to be made of tissue paper? I feel like an overripe peach that will snag on a branch and peel.

I started a Whole30 on July 1st with two of my cousins. You can google that if your haven't heard of it at least a dozen times (bc it's super popular). I read and planned and prepared and shopped for this. I am on Day 3 and I feel ok so far. That hardest part has been missing sugar  in my coffee, but it's not terrible. 

I sometimes feel overwhelmed when I think about whether I will be able to reintroduce foods into my diet after this. It never occurred to me that I would need to be gluten free for life. What if I can't eat beans, drink a soy mocha, or have a GF cupcake without suffering y'all? Is that really sustainable? When I say suffer, I really mean doubled over in pain, short of breath, with tears on my cheeks. Honestly, that is not sustainable either.

I just know I need to feel better than I have been.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Feeling discouraged but really just tired

Last year, in October, I tried doing a round of Whole30 and flopped because I hadn't planned well and wasn't prepared. I am prepping and psyching myself up to try again in July and three things keep giving me anxiety:
1. Coffee conundrum. I like xylitol in my coffee and I drink a lot of it.
2. What in the heck am I going to eat?
3. The prep

The prep is where it all falls apart for me. Is that true for you? I don't really know many people who are spontaneously and effortlessly peeling the carrots after a long  day of work. Yesterday after Costco, dinner, play time, and bath time, I went to do our regular grocery shopping. This was about  75% produce, which I am actually feeling pretty proud of. But then I needed to wash it, prep it, split up the huge packages of meat we got from Costco, and clean it all up. And when I say "need," I mean it y'all. The prep sets me up for so much success, and it's a sad set of dominoes that topple if I don't.

So after I was done, an hour after getting home from shopping, I ate a snack and hit a wall and just headed up to bed. I could feel that anxiety kicking in, thinking about how much more work I will have if I start a Whole30. I get nervous thinking about planning meals without a starch, honestly. I am not very adventurous when it comes to vegetables, so I get into a rut of broccoli and salads super quickly. 

I don't really have any pearls of wisdom to share about this topic. The only thing that comes to mind is just do it anyway. Prep the veggies even if you are tired. Push through for a few minutes, knowing that it's going to help on Tuesday when you oversleep and you're shoveling the food into baggies and trying not to sweat too much before you jump into the car to blast your body with the air conditioning.

Lastly, I am down 50 pounds since December. That feel great y'all.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Summer Goals

Today at Weight Watchers my very first WW leader was subbing for my regular leader. I realized I started WW for the first time in 2002. Almost 14 years ago! How is it possible that in 14 years I haven't figured this out? I have gained and lost 65-75 pounds 3 times already, and I am working on 75 for the fourth time. That is humbling y'all. People are dying of hunger in the world and I am dying of cheeseburgers.

After the meeting, someone stopped me to tell me how skinny I looked, and last week someone said I look like what she wants her "after" picture to look like. Oh my gosh y'all! Those are two fabulous compliments!! Since December I have lost 45 pounds and I really do feel great. When I hear something like that, it really gives me a little push and bounce in my step. I have been a bit off the rails lately and I am going to just get back on track.

My goal for this summer is to lose 25 pounds by the end of August. That's a lot. It's a Thanksgiving turkey. It's more than my daughter weighs. I am so so so close to fitting into old clothes and I am finally feeling healthy all of the time. 

I have a lot of things I want to say about losing weight and getting healthy. My cousin posts a lot about what she is eating and doing while she tries to make the Whole30 her for-real-lifestyle. I keep thinking about my WW life and how I will make that a lifestyle when I do get to Lifetime status. I'll be honest y'all, my default mode is still pretty junky, and heavy on the dairy and sugar.