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.

Sugar Rush

Lately, I’ve been feeling ill in the evenings. We have also been busy trying to get our house packed and ready to go for this weekend. So what do I do? Grab a Monster or a soda of some kind or another…preferably with caffeine. I thought the ill feeling was the caffeine, but after having the same exact feeling after having a root beer (caffeine free, see?) I began to think that I wasn’t reacting to the caffeine but the sugar! So like any other person who has WAY more to do than humanly possible in the time allotted (read article here) I ran around the house collecting samples and reading labels of things that I (or my children) have consumed in the last week. Talk about an eye opener!!! This is only a partial list. 

The standard teaspoon of sugar is “a mere 15 calories” say the commercials. And they are right, one teaspoon (level) of sugar is equal to 15 calories, but how many times do you consume only a tsp of sugar? I put FOUR in one (large) mug of coffee alone! One teaspoon of sugar is equal to 4 grams so each cup of coffee I drink has 16g of sugar in it, but wait, there’s more! I also add a serving (or two…) of flavored creamer with a price tag of 7g of sugar. So for each cuppa joe that I consume, I will have eaten the equivalent of almost 6 sugar cubes! PER CUP!!!
Here’s my list (in no particular order):
Raw Honey (1 tbsp) 16g of sugar (but at least its all natural…)
SlimFast Optima, Creamy Milk Chocolate (11 oz can), 18g sugar
ChexMix Bar “Turtle” (1.2 oz bar), 11g sugar, including High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
Monster Green (16 oz can= 2 servings…yeah, right!), 27g/servings for a total of 54g sugar per can
A&W Root Beer (12 oz can), 45g sugar, HFCS is the SECOND INGREDIENT!!!
Mountain Dew, Live Wire (12 oz can), 46g sugar, HFCS is the SECOND INGREDIENT!!!
Costco Gourmet Chocolate Covered Raisins (20 pieces), 23g sugar incl. corn syrup
Multigrain Cheerios (1 cup), 6g sugar
Walmart Brand Traditional Jar Spaghetti Sauce (1/2 cup ), 12g sugar incl. corn syrup
100% Juice Box, Apple (6.75 oz box), 23g sugar
KC Masterpiece BBQ Sauce (2 tbsp), 12g sugar, incl HFCS
Heinz Ketchup (1 tbsp), 4g sugar, incl HFCS
Jif Creamy Peanut Butter (2 tbsp), 3g sugar
Kirkland Fruit Snacks (.9 oz pack), 13g sugar, corn syrup and sugar are the number 2 and 3 ingredients, respectively.
Let’s be clear here. Every time I drink a soda, I’m eating the equivalent of ELEVEN AND A HALF SUGAR CUBES!!! Yummy!!! And that’s just in the drink. Also note that I didn’t include things that don’t include “sugar” but that your body treats like sugar like chips and starches.
Gee, I wonder if the ill feeling was my body trying to tell me to break up with sugar???

Evening Snacking?

I was on SparkPeople tonight and one of the message boards asked what you do about night-time snacking. Here is my answer:

I have two different strategies. The first is to plan ahead; if I have done this successfully, I will grab one of those (ridiculously expensive but very convenient) 100 calorie packs of my favorite junk food. I eat them very slowly, savoring each flavor in my mouth and I always eat at the table. Drinking a full glass of water before I do that is even better. The other snack I have are the 100 calorie popcorn bags. I always seem to crave junk food at night (which is when I did all my binge eating…kids are in bed and I don’t have to share or explain myself) so eating a banana or something so “healthy” doesn’t always work. Even still, often times, I don’t plan well enough and am left with no free calories for snacking.

In THAT case, I drink a large glass of cold water, brush my teeth (try varying your toothpaste flavors…even including the “sweet” kids versions) and go to bed! I plan to eat my snack in the morning, after breakfast. Most of the time, I have already planned on a sweet breakfast (lots of fruit and yogurt for breakfast) and I forget about the extra snack. This works well during the day too. Just promise yourself to wait an extra hour before snacking, drink a large glass of water and distract yourself with a hobby or some entertainment. Don’t make a point of remembering to snack, but allow it if you remember. I always like to keep controlled quantities of snacks, so I don’t have to do any thinking.

Being hungry for a short period of time isn’t the worst thing in the world- I know I am going to eat the next day, so when I am feeling REALLY low, I begin to pray for the people who are hungry and DON’T KNOW if they will eat in the morning. That usually puts my cravings into perspective.

So, I am using options two and three right now, going to bed hungry praising the Lord that I don’t have to hear my kids crying because they are hungry and I have no food, thankful that I can wake up (God-willing) and eat more food to nourish and sustain my body.

What do you do?

High Fructose Corn Syrup

The first time I saw this, I nearly choked!

Now, there are plenty of spoof movies out there, but first, I wanted to call your attention to the “Corn Refiner’s Association” at the bottom of the screen. Anyone find it ironic that now that HFCS is getting bad press, it suddenly has a marketing campaign? AWFUL!!! So, I only watched a few spoofs, but I like this one:

But for more information, check out this guy (I know…that first picture doesn’t look good, but it is really a guy talking and showing pictures):


SlimFast and Soy?

Never in a million years did I expect to go back to the SlimFast diet. I loathe the idea of buying the majority of my diet needs at Target. However, Katie has moved her wedding to the month of May now and the best Saturday in that month is the 30th because Memorial Day weekend falls early this year. So now I am really in a tizzy to lose weight as soon as possible and as fast as possible.

I am embarking, not officially and willing to quit whenever my fancy leads me, on the SlimFast diet. It’s still common sense, only with liquids. The “plan” is:
Shake for breakfast….ummm, yummy! (they’re okay, really.)
Small snack
Shake plus 1/2 a sandwich for lunch
Small snack
“Sensible dinner”
Small snack
Totally do-able and totally common sense. It is basically a way to get all the calories I need without really having to think about what, exactly, I’m eating. I think it will work for a few weeks, possibly the first 10 pounds and then after that I’m really going to need to begin eating again. That’s okay because the SlimFast plan helps you with that transition. The SlimFast website actually includes a free plan to go on, so that’s pretty cool.
The other thing I am going to add to my diet are Boca burgers or Morningstar burgers. By saying that, I mean that I am going to try to incorporate some veggie burgers. I would prefer to avoid the soy based ones, but since they are almost all soy based, I’ll deal with it. It’s only until the end of May. Easy-peasy…right?
I HAVE to lose the weight now, because after talking to my sister, she said she found the bridesmaid dresses, here, take a look! They are gorgeous!!! I love the color and shape and style, but they don’t come in plus sizes, so I really need to get down to a 16. These are now my goal measurements: bust- 41 1/2 inches, waist- 34 inches, hips- 44 inches…yikes!!!

So there you have it. I plan on using SlimFast and Soy products to lose 4 dress sizes in 4 months. I can do it!

That’s gotta help!

I had a tooth removed today.

The process was less unpleasant than I expected and though I was completely against the gauze being in my mouth, the actual procedure was okay. Now, however, not so much. It’s not the pain though, because I have very little of that. There is swelling (and oozing…gross!) but that is just plain uncomfortable. What is really difficult right now is EATING. 

Of course that’s a dieter’s dream!!! I anticipate sticking to a relatively liquid diet for the next few days and have purchased a few cans of SlimFast to help get nutrients. Otherwise it’s going to be soups, yogurt and crackers. I am actually looking forward to this. I made some good chicken broth the other day and it’s sitting in my fridge just waiting to be used. I will add some chicken and veggies to it and call it lunch (probably dinner too)!!!
I am really interested in my thought process right now. A week ago, I was stubbornly refusing any and all “diet” food because I didn’t believe in the low-fat diet craze. Well, I still don’t feel like eating “franken-food” is healthy for long-term eating…I don’t plan on eating it long-term! My goal right now is to find ways to cut out the junk from some of my regular meals. I am contemplating BocaBurgers as an easy to prepare lunch for myself and am intrigued with their Chik’n Patties, though they are actually more calories than the burgers. These are things that I would NOT be purchasing before, but now, I find myself willing to try them. The other thing I am considering (and searching out recipes for) is a grilled vegetable spaghetti sauce. I have heard good things about this type of recipe and think I’m almost ready to try it! Pair that with a large salad and a small serving of pasta and I’ve converted a “not-so-good” meal into a keeper!
The bottom line is that I can feel the change- I want to change right now. Still having to figure out what to do with working out, but just changing my food habits is a good start.
Weight’s been jumping around on me; yesterday I was up to 211 and today I’m down to 209. I like weighing in daily, but I guess I don’t take it too seriously. It’s the feeling that counts…its just the numbers that can be measured.