Friday, September 19, 2008

Do You Really Want to Know?

Yes, I think I do. Well, maybe, okay...yes, please tell me. Even though it will hurt, and I might cry.


This past week has been okay on the food/exercise front. I flipped out a couple weeks ago when I shot up to over 170 but I think the swim class and somewhat improved eating kept things from getting out of control. Out of curiosity and concern I wore my heart Polar during swim class on Monday to see how high my heart rate was getting. It stayed mostly in the 140's-150's, which is a comfortable range for me. During the 1.5 hour class I burned 600 calories. That was a particularly tough class, Wednesday seemed easier, though I didn't wear the Polar so I can't be sure.

I went to see Christine today, my pregnancy nutritionist. As you might recall (wait, did I even tell you this before?), between our last appointment one month ago and today's I was supposed to gain no more than 3 pounds. We have a goal of my gaining 20-25 pounds during the pregnancy. Can I do it? Will I do it?

Well, if I'm going to do it I need to buckle down. So, did I gain 3 pounds over these past four weeks? Yes I did...and then some. I gained 5.5 pounds. I'm now 170 pounds. Yikes! Please, I know I'm pregnant and pregnant women gain weight but I must have a moment to freak out. Especially because I need that freak out energy to motivate me for what lies ahead. Are you ready for this? In the next four weeks Christine wants me to more than 1.5 pounds. Can you say Yowza! According to Christine my response to that number did not sound very confident.

I asked her if that number is realistic. Is it really realistic for me to go from 15 weeks to 19 weeks pregnant and only gain 1.5 pounds? She assured me it is. Dammit! She graphed my recent weight gain and if I stay on this course, well, things could get dire. The truth is I don't want to have a ton of weight to lose after I give birth. I don't want to have to deal with that extra stress when my little one and I are hanging out at home getting to know one another (!!). So, this is my goal, right? No one is forcing this on me. That's something that is so easy for me to forget.

I did a little photoshopping to really drive home the point of what I'm trying to avoid. This is what I don't want to look like in 5 months. This is serious. I want to stay healthy, I want to be a healthy, fit mom.
"Women who are very overweight or very underweight at the start of pregnancy are at greater risk of developing complications during pregnancy or at delivery. For the overweight woman, these complications include high blood pressure, toxemia, cesarean birth, kidney ailments, gestational diabetes and a long labor."
A bunch of things need to change in order for me to show up to Christine's office 4 weeks from now weighing no more than 171.5 pounds. First, I need to track. I need to stop talking about tracking and actually track. I'm going to start tomorrow (don't laugh!) and put my food into a GoogleDocs spreadsheet. Feel free to follow along. Second, I need to follow the food plan she gave me we created. Funny thing about the food plan, it doesn't include tacos and milkshakes from Jack in the Box. Or nachos. Third, I need to squeeze in a little more exercise. Right now I'm going to swim class twice a week and doing something recreational on the weekend. Christine recommends adding two 1/2 hour walks per week to get up to 5 days of exercise per week. I know that would do loads for my metabolism.

How's that for some needed changes? Track, follow the meal plan, and exercise. Sound familiar? I know this, I did this for 1.5 years. I can do this.

Other small changes I plan to make include not bringing red-light foods into the house. I know I can't resist eating a whole stack of low-fat graham crackers so why buy a box? Did I get more will power along with pregnancy? No. Another thing is getting more diligent about getting my fruits/veggies in. I struggled with a veggie aversion but that's getting better and I can eat all sorts now so no more excuses. Also plan to prepare more meals at home. There's really no excuse for not making dinner anymore.

Well, there you have it.  Things have to change around here.  I showed Christine my blog because I wanted her to see what I looked like before.  I wanted her to know my fear.  After looking at the pictures she asked me, "Do you really want to know?  If things start to get bad do you really want me to tell you?"  Yes.  Yes!  I know Christine wants for me what I want for myself - a fit and healthy pregnancy.  A healthy weight gain.  A healthy baby.  A happy mommy.  I'm feeling very motivated.  I'm feeling confident.  I believe in my ability.  I know that if I really want this, I can do it.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Napa Sonoma Ride Redux, but first...A Scale Rant

Before I yap on and on about the goings on of my week I want to rant about something for a minute. The Scale. We all know The Scale can be a cruel and unusually mysterious creature. I've had my share of moments standing there naked, post-restroom, pre-breakfast, with both a boggled and angry look on my face. The Scale does not always make sense. And the reason it doesn't make sense is because The Scale only tells part of the story. I know I say this a lot but only because it's true.

Being pregnant, my relationship with the scale is changing. Oh, I still turn to the scale for information, but for some reason this different relationship has given me a new view of my old friend. And I'm not liking a lot of what I'm seeing.

I've tried to organize my thoughts into a list. Without further ado...Here are Five things about The Scale that drive me crazy

1. The Scale does not have all the answers. If I were to tell you, "I'm going to make a recipe and the ingredients are beef, brown gravy mix, dried Italian salad dressing mix, ranch dressing mix, and water and then asked, "What am I making?," would you know? Highly unlikely, right? Why? Because you don't know the amounts of ingredients, you don't know the preparation, the cooking instructions, etc. Would you be upset with yourself for not knowing? Would you be baffled as to why you don't know? Of course not. You'd say, "How could I know? I don't have enough information!" Well, to me, that's what we expect of ourselves when we hop on that scale, see a number we didn't expect and then get upset. So many things go into our weight - calories in, temperature, sodium in, waste out, time of day...the list goes on and on. The Scale does not have The really doesn't.

2. The Scale reveals minute changes in our weight.
We say things like, "I don't understand, I ate healthy, exercised...why am I up .4 pounds?" Point 4 pounds? Seriously? My scale gives my weight down to 1/10th. Most of the time I think that's a good thing. But sometimes it's not. We lose perspective. We seem to forget that at 164 pounds .4 is a .2% change in our body weight. Not even 1%, not even a 1/2 of a percent...but .2% people! Why are we reacting to this?

3. The Scale is a progress report on our goal of improved health.
As if they are one in the same. If I gain one pound this week (imagine I'm not pregnant but still trying to lose weight) you might hear me say something like, "I had a bad week." But whoa...what if I'd gone to the gym 5 days that week and reached a personal best on the treadmill? What if I resisted giving into a Taco Bell urge on my way home from work after a stressful day? What if I learned a new healthy recipe version of my favorite comfort food (that I actually like)? Those are all fabulous accomplishments that will serve me in my long term goal of weight loss and health. They are also signs that I am indeed living this new healthy lifestyle. They contradict my earlier conclusion that I had a bad week. Don't they?

4. The Scale tells us how to feel. Why do we let the scale effect our mood? Why is The Scale the one that tells us how to feel? What to think? What to do next? Well, partially, I think, because it gives us (in seconds) something concrete to focus on. Measuring ourselves takes time, and it might take weeks before we see a change. Weeks? Are you kidding me? Why wait weeks to get feedback on how I'm doing when I can hop on the scale in the morning, mid-morning, afternoon, late afternoon, evening, late evening...etc, etc. I've read more than one post in which the writer weighed herself and was up a tiny bit more than she wanted to be. She did some shenanigans (losing the clothes, using the restroom, etc) and hopped back on. Lo and behold that extra weight is gone and happiness ensues. Something is just not right with that picture. And yet I've been that person so many, many times.

5. Despite all of the above, The Scale does not go away. I've met those woman who never weigh themselves. They say honorable things like, "I let the fit of my clothes tell me if I need to start eating less." These people have somehow broken free from the cruelty of that little measuring device. I think it's great. I wish I could do it. Well, obviously I don't because I haven't. I'm as addicted to that instant feedback as the next girl. Even though it doesn't always make sense, it can put me in a bad mood, it lies (oh and don't think it doesn't, it will lie straight to your face without a second thought), it's unreliable and inconsistent...even though I swear it hates me, I won't get rid of it. And neither will you. And that's the worst of all.
So what inspired me to put together this list? You. As I was riding my bike today I started thinking about some of the anguish, the torture, the pain I've read lately in some blogs. Women truly, seriously frustrated, women confused, women depressed. And I've been that woman, I am that woman too. I wrote this list to try and break us free from the insanity. We need a new relationship with the scale. How to do that? Well, give me time, I haven't had that epiphany yet :) The good news is we weigh ourselves because we are driven, we want to get healthy. And we want to know how it's going. We weigh ourselves because we care. I think it's what we do with the number that gets a little screwy.

That's enough of that. Let me tell you how things have been going here. I went to my swim class on Wednesday evening and once again felt great when I left.  Too bad that didn't translate into any other exercise for the week.  Finally today, Sunday, Miguel and I went for a bike ride.  I decided to take him on the ride I did last week, the Napa to Sonoma and back 30-miler.

The weather was cooler than last weekend, which is nice. We had a very nice ride to Sonoma and once there we happened upon a celebration for Mexican Independence. There were dancers and singers and it was an awesome little surprise.

After watching the dancers for a while we went to a deli and purchased some food for an impromptu picnic.

I had some egg salad on lettuce with tomatoes, cucumber and carrots and we shared some salami, cheese and bread.  It was a great little lunch.  While we were eating the mariachi band was playing and it all felt so perfect.

On the ride back I really paced myself.  I remember how I pooped out last Sunday about 7 miles from the end.  I didn't want that to happen again, and it didn't.  I felt good the whole ride, save a little bit of a sore butt and legs now and again.  Here I am on our return leg.

What a picture perfect day, right?  

Well, that's about it for me.  It's late and I'm tired.  Off to enjoy some sleep.  Have a great week everyone!!

Oh, and by the way, the ingredients mentioned earlier are for "To Die for Crock Pot Roast"