I got online this evening to blog about the new diet that I’m going to try, only to realize that all I’ve ever posted was (insert new diet here) day 1. Ugh. I wish that surprised me, but it doesn’t. I’m a horrible dieter. In fact, the only area of success I’ve ever had was in gaining weight- which is pretty counter-productive at this point. I’m topping the scale higher than I’ve ever been (pregnancy included) and I’ve gotten to the point where my failures greet me every morning in the form of back fat, trouble standing, and low energy. There are so many diets that help you lose weight that it can just be confusing. One low-fat, one high-fat/low-starch. Glycemic-Index, Paleo, Atkins, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, etc. My head is swimming from the blur of dieting and all their insisting that theirs is THE way. I’m so tired of their ways. I’m so stuck in the rut of promising to diet and then not dieting. I’ve made lists and goal sheets, I’ve planned meals and read recipes, I’ve even had my sister clean out my kitchen from all “forbidden foods.”

Many days, I entertain the idea of weight-loss surgery, except that I know it wouldn’t work. I’d get into the office and the doctor would say, “okay, prove you can stick to a diet: lose 10 pounds.” I’ll walk out of that office determined to do the right thing and I will end up losing nothing. What’s the missing link? Am I just trapped in this unhealthy cycle forever, like Sleeping Beauty having already pricked her finger or Snow White after the apple or Rapunzel in her tower- incapable of actually getting out, getting free? Am I waiting (unconscious) for Prince Charming to show up? That my diets have all failed because they weren’t the right prince. It wasn’t true love? I love these fairy tales, I’m not really one of those people who blames fairy tales for all of women’s woes today (quite the reverse, I assure you). Perhaps it is the mystical and mysterious depression that has settled into my body. Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Maybe it’s just my insatiable desire for fast food and sweet stuff.

No matter what the problem, I want to deal with it intelligently and strongly. I want to stand, victorious, at the top of Mount Everest and look back at what I’ve done. Mostly, I just want to feel normal, moderately active, figure “flaws” that can actually be camouflaged by clothing instead of exacerbated by it. I want to feel pretty in a dress and sexy with nothing on at all. And don’t give me that crap about society’s standards being unhealthy. I’m not 120 trying to lose 5 pounds with D-sized breasts and hollow cheeks. I’m 240 pounds with DD sized breasts and a stomach that passed them up. My libido (what libido) [let’s not even go there]. So, what’s going to work? What’s the magic pill that makes this all go away?

Did I mention that I homeschool? That my children are mired in my misery for every waking hour of their lives? Shouldn’t that motivate me? Shouldn’t the desire to stand victorious at the end be motivation enough? Why isn’t it enough? How do I fix this? I keep thinking about it and contemplating it and planning around it. But never doing it. Because doing it is hard. I’ve never done anything hard. Ever. The hardest thing I’ve ever done was finish delivering my (first) daughter naturally after 4 hours of pushing. The doctor was prepping the operating room for my c-section. I knew that was undesirable and somehow the determination and drive came over me. If I thought I had an extra 2 hours, I probably would have quit. As it was, I thought I could deliver her and I did. And though I’ve had three other (natural) deliveries since hers, I can’t really call them hard because I’ve only had to push less than 10 times for all three. Combined. It’s been a miracle, but not my miracle. Maybe it is just the feelings of being overwhelmed. I’m not good when I look at mountains from their base- in any area of my life, I just quit. If that’s the dishes, the laundry, the homeschooling, finances, or diet.

I wish I had a nice, fuzzy, upbeat ending, but I don’t. I’ve got nothing. And I feel helpless. And trapped.


Failure to Thrive

Are you familiar with those useless, boring, obligatory doctor visits? I always hated them and felt that they were a complete waste of time. For the most part with the previous two children the visit was basically about getting vaccinations. Since I’m not especially thrilled with the vaccination process, but go along with it anyway, doctor visits take on somewhat of a negative view. I know that the idea is that if you see a doctor when you’re well, he might actually catch something BEFORE it becomes a big deal. I know that they aren’t there to evaluate my parenting style and choices and judge me. I know that it can be valuable, but in my experience, it’s been nothing but a waste of several hours waiting in a waiting room, then stripping your child bare to measure them, more waiting in a cold office (with your now undressed baby), and then a visit with a nurse, and a quick minute or two with the doctor, and the shots.

I have to say though, Andrew’s doctor has been completely pleasant. It’s still largely about waiting around, but I can easily blame that on our modern medical system rather than the doctor himself. Dr. Davidson is a soft-spoken man and, unlike other doctors I’ve seen, not prone to overly alarmist speeches. He makes a funny face when I’ve said something I think he disagrees with, but he calmly states his counterpoint or ignores it. I like that. He has reassured me a number of times that Andrew seems to be progressing fine developmentally, but starting around the six month mark, he began to express some concern about the lack of growth for both height and weight in Andrew. Still, he reassured me that he looked completely healthy. He brought us back in for a 7 month weight check and ran some standard lead tests seeing as we lived in an older home that had verifiable amounts of lead. Andrew made some progress for his weight check and the lead test came back normal.

Which is why I understood that he was really concerned when we discussed failure-to-thrive at Andrew’s 12 month check-up. Andrew still hasn’t gained weight. What used to be a healthy 50-75% baby has now dropped to 1%. He’s energetic and healthy, not prone to diarrhea or vomiting, has a good appetite, sleeps fine, walks, and screams to communicate a point. But he’s small and that is a concern. Really, seeing his growth chart really does it. So here it is:

Of course, like any parent, they begin to do research the minute they’re out of the doctor’s office. What I found is that failure to thrive (FTT) is really a symptom, not a disease. The causes are usually obvious: you’ve got a sick baby. In Andrew’s case that doesn’t apply which means that the odds are that his FTT is caused by… me. At least, that’s what the research seems to indicate to me. Sure, there are rare issues of growth hormone disorders and other endocrinological issues. There are many things that can still be causing it, but the research says that the odds are high that some “inorganic” reasons are to blame. As in, the parents are putting their child on a diet or some other form of abuse. Now I know that I’m not abusing my child nor withholding food from him. But that doesn’t stop me from thinking that the doctor might be thinking it.

The good news is this has helped me view my parenting and habits from the outside in. You know how when you are having company come over, you suddenly see all the things that aren’t clean in your house that you’ve been living with anyway? (Please tell me that it’s not just me!) I decided to begin to track Andrew’s habits- everything from sleeping and eating, pooping and playing. Though I was almost done weaning him, I (thankfully) was able to get my milk supply going again and have been feeding him (more or less) on demand. He nurses three to five times a day and again once or twice at night. I began to weigh and measure his food intake and how he behaves after a meal. Just like using a food journal for yourself helps you to identify food patterns and weaknesses, tracking Andrew’s diet has helped me see where I’ve become lazy (from having older children) and respond accordingly.

The other good that has come of this is that I’ve had to look very carefully at what I’ve been eating. For one thing, Andrew almost always refuses food if we aren’t eating the same thing with him. The other big deal for me is that I feel judged because of my weight. I’m embarrassed by it and this leads me to feel like other people are judging me using my own yardstick. I feel like, in this case, the doctor must assume that Andrew eats nothing but junk, since clearly his mother has over-indulged regularly. Out of my deep desire to lose this weight (AGAIN!), I’m going back to my couch-to-5K workouts and then from there into a half-marathon training program (with an adjustment period to build my weekly mileage in between) Ideally, I’ll get pregnant in there somewhere (yes, we’re praying for more children), but developing good work-out habits is good for every pregnant woman. In addition, I’m planning on juicing/juice fasting to include some nutrients that I know I’m not eating enough of. I would really like to have some crazy-fast weight loss just so that I can look better and feel better right away but I know that I only have enough discipline for the minutest of changes.

I’m still praying that the doctor’s up at Children’s Hospital in Denver will find out that there’s nothing wrong with my little one, but I’m still determined to be thankful in all things. After all, Andrew was created in the image of the Father and is perfect just as he is.

Day One

We did it!!! We managed to get out of the door in time to work out.

We dropped the kids off, it was empty in the Child Care area.

We changed and jumped into the pool. We swam our prescribed 10 minutes of swimming. At which point we were paged to the child care area. Never good.

I got dressed because Eric had headed over immediately, but stopped to check in and see what was going on. When I got there it was only to find that MY FIVE YEAR OLD DAUGHTER WET HER PANTS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE PLAYGROUND. Her response? “Why didn’t you bring me a change of clothes?”

We left the Y and have plans to return tomorrow to (hopefully) get a longer than 10 minute work-out. At least we finished the workout that we were supposed to do. We had both been hoping to get in a little more time, but we will probably tack in on to tomorrow’s workout which is our first bike ride.

And we’re off!!! (Note the weight loss…having the flu is good for at least one reason!)

Y Me?

Yeah!!! We got a membership to the local YMCA, and I was planning a trip to Target to get the most modest swimsuit available, over which I’m sure I will put a white t-shirt and shorts, when I started noticing that Noah was getting an eye infection, to go along with his cold/fever/flu. We were hoping for a break in the sicknesses and were looking forward to actually working out when, SPLAT. I get the flu. Now, I am just weak and tired, but hopefully I’m done with throwing up.

Bummer, I would like to actually start working out, before May 23rd, you know?


Today is technically Day 5 of my “new goals” but it’s not working out the way I had planned.

First off, we don’t have a gym membership, so swimming and biking are out of the question (since we don’t own bikes, yet). I suppose we could have been running, but we have sick kids, it’s snowing right now, and the list goes on. My diet has consisted of more junk food than normal, to include pizza and ice cream, BUT I have been faithfully taking my diet pills. So hurrah for that.

What I’ve been thinking about lately is that I am not going to accidentally get into shape. It won’t be a mistake that I am able to complete a triathlon on May 23, 2010. I am not just going to wake up one day and have an epiphany and suddenly be perfect. That’s what I’ve been waiting for! Sure, I will tell you that I know that you have to try to lose weight by eating healthy foods and exercising, but read my archives…this isn’t new information for me! I’ve been thinking that suddenly, I will have the right motivation to get it done. That it’s about wanting it or feeling good. It’s not. Motivation is dead. There is so such thing.

There is, however, self-control and discipline. It is self-control and not motivation that forces you to eat (drink) a healthy life-supporting smoothie in the morning instead of slurping your way through three cups of coffee until the shakes set in and you realize  that you’ve had nothing to eat all day. It is discipline and not motivation that gets you up and out the door and in to the gym for your morning workout. Motivation is just what makes you feel like you want something, self-control and discipline are your means of actualizing whatever it is that motivates you.

There is an important distinction for my mind that I am trying to get through its thick surface. I can do this, but it’s not going to be easy. It will be hard and painful and there are going to be a lot of days that I just plain don’t want to go to the gym. It is at those times that I need the determination to succeed, not really the motivation. In my last post, I got a comment from Brad, and one particular thing that he said stands out to me:

Believe in yourself. Your family and friends can believe in you but you are the one that matters most. If you can’t get your brain into the zone that says “I can do it”, you will quit with a bag full of regrets.

He is right. Believing in yourself is the key, but it’s not enough. You have to follow through. So, I ask you, why is it so hard to do exactly what we know that we want to do?

I have high hopes for this week. Despite the sick(ish) kiddos, and the snow, we are planning on heading to the local Y for our first attempt at doing something that we don’t (necessarily) feel motivated to do (at that moment). If we just can’t, I am forcing myself to do one of my workout videos first thing. Despite all that, I think I’ve actually lost a little weight! Official weigh-in days are going to be Mondays and Thursdays and I will be taking a picture of myself every week (probably on Monday). It’s like pregnancy pictures in reverse!

ps. I added a new category just for these weeks, called “Tri for 12 weeks”

New Goal

I FINALLY GOT MY VITAMINS TODAY!!! Which really is the side note here, I got the vitamins which include Garden of Life’s new product called Diet 360 which has been shown (in a tiny almost inconsequential test study) to increase weight loss by 50%.

But, no matter. What I decided to do is commit to a 90 day or 12 week diet and exercise plan. There are a million different reasons why I want to do this, health and happiness reaching the top. I am going to be 29 in under a month and it occurs to me (a lot) that I am not living at the peak that my body is designed to live at. My children aren’t receiving a good example and my husband isn’t getting me at my best. I think this is going to be hard, and I’m confident I’ll fall off the wagon once or twice (or more) during these 90 days, but I will get back on. And in the meantime, I’ll be posting updates, so check the “FISH” tab at the top. (Edited to add: I posted, and will continue to post, my updates in the FISH section, scroll to the bottom to a link called “updates”. You will also find my current weigh-ins, photos, for women viewers only, and my diet strategy.)

My Choice Diet: Perfect Weight America

It always has been my choice, but I don’t really know why, exactly, but I know that I love it when I do it well! For the first month, I will be doing what I always start out trying to do, avoid white foods and avoid starches. (Notice that I did not say carbs, as fruits and vegetables are allowed and recommended for snacking.) As we get into spring, I would like to eat about 50% raw foods, which means a simple, yummy, fruit and yogurt smoothie in the morning, followed by a large veggie salad (I will still likely put eggs or another protein on here, even though it’s not raw) and then a sensible, veggie-friendly dinner. My kids still need starches, but we don’t need that many! I’m trying to not make too big a deal out of the food, focusing on buying real foods and eating the way that I know how. At this point for me, I think it is pretty obvious when I am eating to live and thrive or just shoving food in my mouth because I’m bored or tired or … you get the picture.

My Choice Workout: Your First Triathlon

Yup, you read that right! I have always wanted to do a triathlon and I purchased a book with the name Your First Triathlon by Joe Friel that gives you plans for how to go from couch to triathlon in 12 weeks and I decided that I wanted to do it. Modesty issues are a concern for me at this point and I don’t know exactly how I will handle them, but the first step is going to be purchasing a one piece black swimsuit somewhere and I will find a long pair of black shorts to go over that. At least that keeps my skin covered, but not my form. For now, I’m okay with that, because I will be in the pool most of the time, not lounging on a chair and jumping around, but actively swimming. As for the actual race day, I’m not sure how I will keep up my modesty standards yet, but I know that I’ll figure something out.

So, what am I going to do? I am running a Sprint Distance Triathlon, which is a 1/2 mile swim, followed by a 13 mile bike, followed by a 3 mile run. The race that I want to participate in is the Without Limits Summer Splash Triathlon in Longmont, Colorado on May 23, 2010. That gives me a few extra weeks after I complete the 12 week program to continue to work on my skills. The only downside is that I need to register soon, and the registration costs $65. I think it’s worth it to have a goal to train for and therefore, a deadline.

My Choice Goals:

*To lose weight- my goal is to lose 30 pounds in these 90 days. If the Diet 360 works as well as it says it does, I “could” in theory, lose up to 48 pounds, but we’ll see.

*To exercise 5 times a week.

*To choose the food I eat and when I eat it, not eating on impulse or unplanned splurge.

*To finish the triathlon with a smile on my face.

A New Strategy

Still mourning my pregnancy loss, but I am looking forward to the future too. As soon as my “miscarriage process” stops, I am adding some exercise. I wanted something easy that wouldn’t require I spend tons of money on either the workout, or the working out. So, I bought two different “Biggest Loser” workout DVDs. I don’t watch the show, but I know that in general, their products are great for beginners because they are geared for people who are trying to lose weight, but aren’t there yet. The other thing I like is that they aren’t cast with the most beautiful, fit people; instead, they are cast from the contestants on the show, which means a variety of shapes, sizes, and abilities. I like that. The first movie is called “Boot Camp” and it is a cardio-weight lifting routine (circuits) and the other is the Weight Loss Yoga. I chose the Biggest Loser title because I thought it would be less “spiritual” than some of the others. The thing is, I have tried a little bit of yoga from a rented movie and I loved it! It was a great, no-impact workout that I could do in my living room with only a yoga mat (which I already had from trying pilates). The other advantage to these titles is that they are $9.00 each at Wal-Mart (or you could pay $20.00 at Target) which makes them very affordable.

[A word about yoga. Yoga is simply a series of positions or stretches that you hold while focusing on your breathing. It can be an awesome workout, or a relaxation time. However, it doesn’t need to be spiritual, at least for me, it doesn’t. I know who I worship and it is not my “self” or “spirit” and it’s not “nature” or any of the other false deities out there. I am not going to chant different mantras because that is idol worship and I will worship no idols. I worship the one true God, creator of heaven and earth. He gifted me with an amazing body, capable of doing amazing things. Stretches and poses are two of the ways that I am attempting to strengthen my body. No, I have not studied the origins of yoga, but I am guessing that it comes from a form of worship, with the deep-breathing and chanting. If I am comfortable (or at least only slightly uneasy) about celebrating Halloween and even Christmas, I think I can manage my “Christian” version of yoga. Topic is up for debate, but not maliciously so.]

So, all in all, I had to find (or purchase) the two DVDs, which both have customizable routines and varying levels, a yoga mat, a water ball or medicine ball (which I don’t have yet), a set of smallish weights (I’ve had for a while), and exercise straps (also something I don’t have). At this point in my exercise routine, I think the exercises without the added tools are still going to be plenty effectual, but I am planning on trying to purchase a few of those items as they go on sale or I find myself with spare cash or a desperate need.

Outside of that, not changing my diet too terribly much. I want to be prepared to get pregnant, so I am trying to stick to the pregnancy diet, more or less. I think that it is well-rounded enough, I just want to watch my calories and workout daily. Or twice daily. My plan is to do one workout first thing in the morning (alternating until I find a favorite) and then every other day doing the other workout at naptime. We’ll see. The beginner workout are only about 35 minutes, start to finish but I don’t like getting all sweaty after I’ve showered, so I don’t know how well I will like doing another workout in the middle of the day.

I’ll keep you posted, and hopefully you can watch my slider there on the right move down as it counts away my extra pounds. Every pound I lose now is another pound I don’t need while pregnant!