Best Laid Plans: Postpartum Edition

I was really prepared this time. I knew the signs of postpartum depression, I know my own triggers for anxiety, and I know how I deal with both. I had plans in place to stay healthy after I gave birth because I didn’t before. This time would be different. I took good care of myself during this pregnancy. I never had to take insulin and I lost about 20 pounds. I wasn’t dieting or anything, it was just a matter of eating well.

I had a good idea of how much I would weigh after I had Tesla, and I planned to use that as a spring board for getting even healthier. I was going to eat good food every day, like oatmeal, good proteins, raw veggies. I was going to prep it and have it ready in the fridge so that when I was nursing I could grab a healthy snack and take care of myself while I took care of her. I was going to have a bottle of water full at all times so that I could drink plenty of water. I was going to start walking with the baby as soon as I was cleared with the doctor. My goal wasn’t to lose weight right after I had the baby, but to take care of myself. I knew from when I had Tobin that I needed to be prepared or I wouldn’t make any of my plans a reality. I also knew that if I were doing everything I could to take care of myself, my postpartum depression/anxiety (if I got it this time) would be easier to deal with.

I had so many plans on February 5th. Then Tesla was born on February 6th and the plans went out the window. Because I had the reality of the newborn and not the newborn in my head. Let me say how lucky I know we are because she’s a healthy baby. There is no reason, other than the logistics of having a newborn, that I couldn’t implement my plans. Except that I had a newborn. One who wasn’t a fan of being put down…and I’ll be honest, knowing she was my last newborn, I  *wanted* to hold her all the time. But, holding her all the time doesn’t leave much room for shopping or food prep.

I had planned to have an easy time breastfeeding. Nicholas was easy to nurse, Tobin was more challenging. Tesla had me in tears for two weeks. Nursing her was so hard the first few weeks, both physically and mentally. Physically I was hurting and my nipples were cracked and bleeding and I had thrush. She also wasn’t completely draining me so I was alternating between engorgement and feeling like I didn’t have enough milk.  Mentally, I was a mess because Tesla not only lost her birth weight, but also didn’t gain it back at a good pace. We had to supplement with formula, I had to pump, we had to give her bottles…you guys, none of that was in my Plan. My Plan had us surrounded by a soft light with me smiling down on my newborn as she nursed with a smile in her eyes and angels singing in the background as the baby let out a gentle burp and never spit up. That was my Plan. I cried while I pumped and watched William feeding Tesla formula. It broke my heart that I couldn’t do everything the baby needed. Because logic has no place in the mind of a woman with a newborn. We also spent time shuttling the baby back and forth to the pediatrician’s office for weigh-ins. It was hard, y’all. Really hard. William, my OB, and the pediatrician were all super helpful and supportive. My local La Leche League was also beyond helpful. And I can’t tell you how important my circle of friends was, thank goodness so many of them nursed their kids and could share their experiences with me. Tesla and I didn’t really get past the physical pain and in a good groove until Tesla was 7 weeks or so, and those were long-ass weeks.

Do I need to say that I wasn’t getting any sleep? Because I wasn’t (and still am not getting much, but it’s a lot better).

Despite all of this griping, Tesla has been a lot easier baby than Tobin was (because Tobin had wicked colic and Tesla hasn’t). And that made my mental and physical exhaustion even harder for me to deal with. Because I shouldn’t be so tired or have so much anxiety when my baby was a sweet easy-going baby. I *should* be hearing angels singing and enjoying my last-ever maternity leave. Instead, I was crying in the shower, trying not to yell at the older kids all the time, worrying about Tesla being kidnapped/turning into a zombie/dying in a freak accident, and walking around on egg shells with William so I wouldn’t lose my shit.

And then I lost my shit. It wasn’t anything dramatic. In fact, I knew I needed to talk with a counselor and visit with my OB about the possibility of medical intervention when I got my feelings hurt at work over an innocent event. Nothing that would have bothered me at all before sent me to my office in tears and thinking that everyone in the world hated me. Hated me. I work with amazing people who love me and would be sad to know how sad I was right at that moment. Anyway, it was the catalyst that finally made me contact a counselor and my doctor.

I also brushed up on the signs of PPD and anxiety. Shout out to Postpartum Progress!

I’m working on a different plan now. One that isn’t so rigid, one that cuts me a little slack. And one that allows me not to cry when I pick up a can of formula to supplement what I’m pumping during the day. I’ve gained back all the weight I lost during the pregnancy. It sounds great to say I’m two pounds lighter than I was before I got pregnant; but, it felt a lot better to say that I’d lost 20 pounds. My new plan cuts me some slack, right? So I have to just accept that I didn’t follow the plan, and all the weight’s back and now I need to get back on the bandwagon. Slack, I need some.

I feel better already.

Fitness Friday: Removing Barriers to Exercise

Hi Fitness Friday people <said in the “party people” tone>! How was your week? Mine was okay-ish. I ate everything I could put my hands on had some food issues. I’m going to work on that this coming week.

I used the bike we bought! The stationary, recumbent bike. I have no excuse not to exercise with that big old bike right in the middle of our living room. Talk about removing barriers. My goal is to use it three times in the coming week.

I had some other interesting insights into my brain this week regarding weight that I’ll talk about in another post.

Did you go visit Deanna last week? We’re in this together, so give her some love too!

So, how was your health, fitness, weight, exercise week?

Fitness Friday: Meet Deanna

Hey everyone! Fitness Friday is back, aren’t you all excited? Earlier this week, I shared on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter that I’m down to 274 pounds (when I share, I really share). As it turns out, I have three friends who weigh the same as me. But one of those friends, Deanna, is not only the same weight, but also the same height. Since we are, literally, starting from the same place, we thought we’d work on this health stuff together and share this journey. So, I’d like for you all to meet Deanna of Domestic Chicky.

Deanna and I are tackling this health/weight issue in different ways, but I think it’s going to be good for both of us (and maybe some of you) to see results through different strategies. I’ll write more next week, and do some measurements too, but for now, here is what 274 is looking like for me…

TwoSeventyFourTiny

How are your health and fitness goals going for 2013?

Fitness Friday: Weighing My Options

Get it? “Weighing” my options? Heh.

Seriously. I’m weighing my health/fitness/weight loss options. Putting it all on the table. Gathering research, talking to friends, talking to doctors, trying to think of everything – every way – to get me healthy.

I’ll keep you updated.

Fitness Friday Week 18: Weight-Loss Challenge

Oh, hi! How are you? I know you probably think I gave up on this fitness and health thing, but I haven’t! In fact, William and I have just begun a little weight-loss challenge of our own. We both have significant amounts of weight to lose (although mine is more significant than his), so I thought it would be fun to compete. We started our competition at the beginning of this week and the challenge is for 12 weeks. Whoever loses the biggest percentage of weight at the end of the 12 weeks wins a prize of their choice. My prize is the full series of The West Wing and William’s is a pair of boots.

I really want those DVDs.

Other big changes include finishing up the prescription steroids I had taken for a month and my knee hurting again because I stopped doing my rehab exercises. The first is good, the second is bad.

Sherry’s stats this week:

Weight: Down 2 pounds for a total of 14 pounds in the last 18 weeks!

Inches: I’m up 2 inches from last week, but still down 25.5 inches in the last 18 weeks!

Slowly but surely!

 

William’s stats for this week:

Weight: Down 2 pounds this week!

 

How is your healthy living going? What were your successes and challenges this week?

 

Past posts…

Fitness Friday: Week Eight…Run Over By The Wagon

I haven’t just fallen off the wagon, I’ve been run over by the wagon. I went out of town for work this week, and it’s safe to say there was a little bit of crazy happening for me in the food department. More than a little bit. If you follow me on Instagram, you saw every bit of food I ate over the last three days. And it tasted so very good.

But I’m back in the office and home now. Let the detox and climbing back on the wagon begin!

Successes

  • Umm, I didn’t actually bathe in the bourbon sauce from the bread pudding?
  • Weight…I maintained at 278. Which, to me, means that my body is giving me a second (or eighth) chance to get it right this week.
  • Inches…I also maintained here (I lost a bit in the waist, but gained a bit in the belly, so it’s a wash).

Challenges

I had wondered since I started the program how I would do when I went out of town and it wasn’t so easy to drink my H2Orange and regulate my food. Now I know. So I guess it’s both a challenge and a success?

How was your week?

Past Posts on my fitness Journey…

Fitness Friday: Week Four

This was a hard week. I had a really stressful work week and I used that as an excuse to eat three different times when I wasn’t hungry. I know that doesn’t sound like that huge a deal, but it was. I mean, the whole point of this program is to only eat when you’re hungry. So… blech. But, I’m in it for the long haul, right? I will continue to work on making myself as healthy as possible.

Successes

  • A gallon of H2Orange every day this week.
  • I walked twice this week for 30 minutes or so each time.
  • I hit almost 10,000 steps once this week!
  • Weight: I lost a couple of ounces, but after the week I had I’m just happy not to have gained. (10.2 pounds lost in the program, 21 pounds lost since August)
  • Inches: I lost another inch. I gained in some places, but lost in others, so it averaged out to another inch. (19 inches lost total)

 

Challenges

  • Stress eating. I had hoped that I would react better to stress than I did, but I didn’t. It’s something I’m going to have to work on, obviously.
  • I wanted to exercise a lot more than I was able. My heel is just killing me and really restricting how much physical activity I can accomplish.
  • Stress eating. It was such a challenge this week, it gets two bullets.

So, how was your week?

Past posts from my fitness journey…

Week Three

Week Two

Week One

I’m Fat, But That’s Changing

Fitness Friday: Week Three

Three weeks in! Here’s the breakdown for the week:

Successes

  • I’m still steering clear of caffeine for the most part. Over the last week, I had one can of diet soda and one 20 oz. bottle of diet soda (consumed over two days!) This is a giant improvement over the 3+ bottles I used to have every day.
  • I drank a full gallon of the H2Orange every day this week. And learned that I don’t love the cherry pomegranate Crystal Light.
  • I added two exercise sessions. I walked about a mile with the boys once this week and a mile and a half by myself yesterday. I’ve also been trying to get more steps in at the office (taking the long way around or tagging along if someone needs to run an errand). And I’m sitting on my exercise ball at my desk at home (that’s for the core or something, right?).
  • I know this wasn’t one of my goals for weight loss, but not buying breakfast or as big a lunch every day is saving me a lot of money! Bonus!
  • I only ate when I was hungry!
  • Weight…I lost 3.4 pounds this week! That means I’ve hit the 10 pounds lost since March 26th! That is also 21 pounds lost since my heaviest last August. Doing the happy dance!
  • Inches…I lost 5.75 inches this week. The biggest change was in my abs, which I expected because my, umm, lady friend left today. I was happy to see the first change in my bicep, though, as that’s always the last place to lose for me.

Challenges

  • Y’all. Easter chocolate? The Devil. I did have four pieces of chocolate candy this week. It was fun size, but I knew I shouldn’t have it, but did. Not beating myself up about it, but it’s been a challenge to resist the kids’ candy.
  • I am not hungry at dinner time any more. This isn’t bad for my body, but I miss eating with my kids. So it makes me want to eat when I’m not hungry. I still sit with them at the table while they eat, but it feels not the same.

Lessons

This week’s lesson in my program was about Sugar (aka, the Devil’s tool). I knew we (Americans) ate a lot of sugar, and I knew that it was bad for you…but I hadn’t really looked at the numbers before. It’s estimated that Americans eat 200 pounds of sugar per person, each year. In 1948 we ate 15 pounds of sugar per person, per year. I’m fairly sure I’m responsible for at least 70% of the daily allotment of the people who don’t eat sugar. I’m also noticing how much sugar is in processed/packaged foods. I feel dumb for not noticing the impact before now. A couple of the stats that freaked me out the most were: (1) the caloric density of one slice of shortening-iced birthday cake with a scoop of ice cream is the same as 1/2 pound of cooked pot roast, (2) one slice of pecan pie has the same caloric density as four English muffins, and (3) one package of peanut M&Ms has the same caloric density as 6 large peaches.

These lessons are important because of the awareness. I can’t pretend not to know these things any more.

So, how did your week go?

Previous weeks…

Week Two

Week One

I’m Fat, But That’s Changing