9

I’m not dead, I’m just planning a wedding!

Holy crap, has it really been since December since I’ve written a post? You must have all thought I kicked the bucket and left this planet.

I assure you, I’m still alive. I’m actually in the midst of planning our wedding, so it’s kind of taken over my life. Plus, my work just moved to a brand new location, and I was in charge of a few big projects (including our grand opening) so needless to say, my spare time has been next to nil.

You can also rest assured that my toddler is wreaking her usual havoc, in her cutesy charming ways. Her vocabulary and sentence formation ability has sky-rocketed which has made for some very interesting conversations lately. I’ll get to those – I promise – but a few people have contacted me lately and asked me what’s been going on since I’ve basically dropped off the face of the blogosphere. Well, here goes…

1) We’re getting married! April 28th, 2015 in JAMAICA! I am beyond excited. It will be my fiance’s first time leaving the country, and L’s first trip on an airplane, so it should be interesting keeping her occupied for the flight. Mom’s/Dad’s who have been there and done that when it comes to in-flight toddler entertainment, PLEASE comment with any tips you’ve got to share. I’m so open to them. I can just see us being “that family” with “that screamy kid” on the flight, so if I can avoid that by any means (besides drugging her lol) I’m up for it!

I can't wait to have my toes in the sand on this beach!

I can’t wait to have my toes in the sand on this beach!

I’m also trying to do this on a budget. Well, as much of a budget as you can when flying to another country. I’m trying to DIY stuff, and access free stuff (cause who doesn’t like free?) and get it done on a dime. So if you know of any beachy themed, turquoise & tangerine DIY stuff, send ’em on over!

2) Remember the “Hypocritical Health Hurdles” series I was writing? Yeah… I know it’s been a while, but I’ve SUCCEEDED!!! I’ve lost 21 pounds to date (my goal was 20 pounds), including 3.5 inches from my waist. It’s actually reached a point where other people are starting to notice the changes, and I’m feeling pretty great! I may not be at my ideal weight (that’d be another 20 more pounds…uggh), but I’ve lost it and kept it off, so now I know I can do it! Yay! Plus, I still treat myself to a drive-thru fast food meal, or pizza, or something grease-laden and sweet and awful for me every now and then, so I’m not feeling completely deprived and off my rocker. The big bonus for me? I’ve picked up a few nice sundresses and things for when we go to Jamaica, and they’re not plus-sized! I’m back into regular sized clothes now, from regular stores, and can pick it off the rack! I will never be a size small, and I don’t want to be. I’d like to keep my boobs, my butt, and my curves. Though I do like that now I can keep that curvy look, with a decreased health risk. Overall, I’m feeling pretty great about my success!

Finally!

Finally!

 

3) I wish I knew how to cut my own hair. I’m in desperate need for a haircut. I’m talking a minimum of 6 inches cut off, but it just isn’t in the “mommy budget”. Sigh. Not really an exciting thing to report, but it’s on my mind constantly and every time I look in the mirror. I feel like a fresh new cut/look to go with my fresh new weight loss success would lift my spirits pretty high. Time to save the dollars I guess.

 

Alright, well that’s the life update as for now, so on to the stuff that keeps me giggling every day when it comes to my girl. To say she keeps me on my toes is an understatement.

– L loves to shop. If you ever gave her a choice as to where she wants to go, she’ll almost always say Walmart. I’m not sure why she loves Walmart so much, but now my goal as a parent is to make sure she doesn’t grow up to end up on that people of Walmart website. Have you been there? Basically it’s a website dedicated to posting pictures of people who are spotted at Walmart, wearing clothes to…”impress”. If it were up to L, she’d be in Walmart all day, every day so I don’t want her to turn into the Walmart Creature Feature lol. They aren’t the most fashionable to say the least. Check it out! http://www.peopleofwalmart.com/

– The other day, while in Walmart (maybe I do go there too frequently… am I one of those people?!), L was seated in the front of the cart when she started caressing my chest area and trying to pull my shirt down. It was a fight to keep the girls contained. She kept saying “Mommy, boobies under there. Boobies are hiding! Come out, come out wherever you are Mommy’s boobies!”. If you’ve met my L, you’d also know that she doesn’t understand the concept of an indoor voice, so we were drawing some unwelcome attention. This type of thing occurs regularly. Fun.

– On a cuter note, L wished me a Happy Mother’s Day on Mother’s Day, and every single day since. I’ve stopped reminding her that Mother’s day is over, because frankly, I like being celebrated.

– POTTY TRAINING IS HELL!!! We were having success for such a long time, then she was having some bowel issues. It took a few trips to a pediatrician, followed by some elimination diets to determine she has a lactose sensitivity, which explained the control issues she was having. Now that we have it sorted, we went back to the potty. NO FRIGGIN’ LUCK! I’ve tried sticker charts, bribing with candy, getting rid of pull ups completely and letting her wet her underwear to see if that will help her to learn the “I have to go” signal, etc. She’s TOO DAMN STUBBORN! Our conversations go something like this:

Me: “L, are you pooping sweetie? Let’s go to the potty to finish so we can have a treat!”

L: “Ummm, no thank you. You change my bum!” (she then runs and hides. At least she declines politely, right?)

Me: (trying to remind her the potty is nothing to cry about) “L, remember what we say for the potty? What do we say?”

L: “Happy potty, happy candy!” (basically a short version of if she sits happily on the potty she gets a candy – not a big one, I’m talking like one m&m – which she seems excited about till she sees the potty, then crosses her arms, pouts, and takes off running).

This pretty much sums up her attitude...

This pretty much sums up her attitude…

Or this version:
L: “Mommy, my bum hurts! Owie! Rash!”

Me: “L, you have a rash because you’re in pull-ups. If you used the potty, your bum wouldn’t get rashy and hurt!”

L: “NO THANK YOU! NO POTTY! NO UNDERWEAR! YOU CHANGE MY PULLUP!”

Now I know people are going to say that maybe she just isn’t ready, but I don’t think that’s the case. She was using it successfully until the lactose intolerance problem caused a lack of control for her movements and we needed to use the pull up for security purposes for a period of about 4-5 months. She’s reverted backwards, and I can’t pull her out of it. FML. If I never hear the word potty again, it will be too soon.

How are the rest of you doing? It’s been so long, I feel like I’m practically writing for strangers again! I think I need to get someone to start harassing me on a weekly basis so I don’t fall off the bandwagon again. I miss this place.

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10

Hypocritical Health Hurdles – The Changes/Accomplishments

Well, I saw the Registered Dietitian (Sarah Dunphy-Morris at Kinesis Health Associates)  again two weeks ago now. Yes, two weeks ago. I know I’m late writing an update, but to be honest I did it on purpose. I wanted to be able to also report on changes I’ve successfully made since her recommendations. It’s one thing to report about my visits with her, but I also wanted to be able to hold myself accountable and follow through on my homework.

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This was the visit I got the thoroughly analyzed results from my 3-day food diary, and learned about what my common trends were and how I could make some simple changes that would make a big difference.

Overall, my calorie intake wasn’t nearly as high as I thought it would be. For someone my age, the recommended calorie intake for weight maintenance is 2583 per day. On Day 1, I had 2815, Day 2 was 1961, and Day 3 was 2108. Overall not TOO terrible I thought. Sarah went on to explain that the recommendation of 2583 was for weight maintenance, not loss, and that most people who consume the “maintenance” amount of calories will actually end up gaining a few pounds per year, which is what I want to avoid. We didn’t focus too much on calories, but she did say that for a slow healthy loss of weight, someone my size and age should be aiming for 2100-2200 per day.

The majority of our focus was spent looking at the number of servings from each food group I consumed per day, plus the percentages of fat, sodium, fibre and sugar. In looking at my personal trends from the three days, there was a lot in common. I consume too much sugar, too much fat, and not enough fibre. Also, I tend to skip breakfast when I first wake up (around 7am) and instead feed my daughter and use the time while she is eating to quickly get myself ready. By the time I get around to feeding myself, it’s between 10am and 11am, and my body has gone into starvation mode. Instead of giving my metabolism an early morning kick-start, I’ve been tricking my body into thinking I’m starving, so that when I finally do eat, all of that food is stored for “survival” rather than burned off as it should be throughout the day.

So my homework was as follows. I had to eat breakfast at breakfast time. We went over how time is an issue for me, so I often resort to pre-packaged “quick” foods. She went over lots of ideas about what I could do ahead of time to prepare and ensure I’m starting my day (and my body) off right. I had to prepare a mid-morning snack to get me through until lunch, and generally try to cut back on the fats and sugars while increasing my fibre.

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That Sunday night, I boiled half a dozen eggs and put them in a tupperware container in my fridge. When Monday morning came along (my starting day) I woke up and had one hard boiled egg and one piece of whole wheat toast with some natural peanut butter. The protein gave me energy and got me through until about 1030am. I was at work and I was STARVING! My stomach was growling and grumbling loudly, and I needed food asap! Luckily Sarah had predicted this and said that I SHOULD be hungry mid-morning if I’ve eaten breakfast because my metabolism had a kick-start and was working. I had prepared for this at her advice, and packed a fat-free greek yoghurt with some honey and natural unsalted almonds (about 10-15) all mixed up. The sweetness of the honey helped my sweet-tooth, and the healthy fats from the nuts got me through to lunch. Lunch consisted of whole wheat pita and roasted red pepper hummus, carrots, celery and an iced green tea. When I got home for dinner my fiance had prepared a spinach and kale salad with mushrooms, orange segments, and some grated mozarella cheese, alongside baked skinless chicken breasts done in a homemade orange glaze – I know, he’s a keeper, right?!

The rest of my week continued in this fashion. I did hit up McDonald’s one day for lunch, but instead of my usual bacon cheeseburger and large fries, I got their Mediterranean veggie wrap on a whole wheat pita with hummus, feta cheese, lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes and red onion. It had some high fat (Sarah and I figured it was from the feta cheese) but it was still a MUCH better choice than my usual pick.

Fast Food Nightmarefx copy

That Saturday night, I gave into my laziness and cravings and ordered Dominos pizza. I felt guilty but I didn’t care. I told Sarah I did this, and she wasn’t upset and said she would never expect anyone to be perfect all of the time, and a treat once a week is just fine. The thing is, I ended up not really enjoying it. 45 minutes after I ate the pizza, I was in pain. My stomach felt crampy and achy and I was in some digestive distress. I liked the taste of pizza, but my body didn’t like it anymore. The grease and huge amounts of cheese just weren’t settling and I felt awful. I had felt great all week on the healthier food, and now I knew why. I was feeding myself garbage and felt like garbage. It was all making sense.

This is week two, and I’m still doing it. I’ve turned down the cookies I’ve been offered by co-workers, I avoided Whopper Wednesday at Burger King two weeks in a row, I’m eating breakfast, and I’ve stopped drinking my iced lattes with pumps of chocolate syrup and am instead drinking either black green tea (which I love!) or regular old coffee without the pumps of chocolate syrup and high fat milk.

It isn’t the easiest thing to do. I’m actually having to prepare stuff in advance so that I have time for breakfast. I have to think ahead of time about what I’ll have for lunch. I’m having to be accountable. It is hard to do, but I’m feeling better for it and it’s only been two weeks. I haven’t stepped on a scale or re-measured myself yet, and I’m not sure I want to. I want to give this a go for a full month or two before I do that I think.

imagesCAD1RCH0

For now, how I’m FEELING is reward enough. That was my intial goal – I was tired of feeling tired, and sick of feeling sick. So far, I’m feeling a million times better, and that in itself is motivation to keep going.

I’ll keep you all posted. Thank you so much for your kind words and support – it means so much to know that I’m being encouraged through this.

I did provide a link to Kinesis Health Associates facebook page. If you like that page, Sarah is often putting up daily tips on how to make little changes in your diet that can make a big difference!

(Don’t forget to vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs – just one little click on that cartoon lady to the right is all it takes! Thanks!).

4

Hypocritical Health Hurdles – the 2nd visit.

I’m a little behind on filling you all in with how my second visit with Registered Dietitian Sarah Dunphy-Morris went.

I had my second visit with her on Friday, August 30th. This was the day that I gave her my 3-day food log, and was nervous about what she’d say about it.

I logged everything I ate on Thursday August 22nd, Saturday August 24th and Monday August 26th. I had to pick three days that were not consecutive and included at least one day that fell on a weekend. Having a visual for every cookie I ate, every latte I drank (with shots of chocolate in them of course), and every breakfast I skipped was kind of an eye opener. But I followed the rules and didn’t try to modify a single thing for those three days, because she needed to see an accurate starting point in order to make better recommendations.

Our second visit was approximately 30 minutes long, and I would say it was kind of divided into two halves. The first half of it was going over my food diary, and the second half was education based – teaching me about label reading.

When I sat down in her office on Friday morning, I was prepared for the judgment. My hackles were up and I was ready to defend every crappy thing I ate. I didn’t have to though, as once again there was no judgement and I wasn’t lectured. We sat down together and she went through the list with me, simply asking for clarification on what I had written down. She asked about approximate portion sizes for each item consumed, and the times of day that I consumed them. For example, she confirmed that it was actually butter on my dinner roll and not margarine, asked if it was milk or cream in my iced lattes, and whether my pasta was white, whole wheat or rice. I was also pretty vague on some of the things I wrote down. My “glass of juice” could have been any size, so she made me clarify how big the glass was I was drinking from. For all she knew I could have been drinking out of a bucket, just like the drinks they serve on the beaches in Thailand.

Buy all the fixings for your drink in a bucket, fill up that bucket with the stuff provided, drop a straw inside and the bucket becomes an instant drinking glass!

Buy all the fixings for your drink in a bucket, fill up that bucket with the stuff provided, drop a straw inside and the bucket becomes an instant drinking glass!

Once she had all of the details clarified, she explained that now she would be able to enter all of this information into her computer program that analyzes everything. The results of the food diary will be given to me on visit number three, once she’s got the data and the cold hard facts in front of her. I’m actually kind of glad that we’re taking baby steps, because I think if I was overloaded with information and changes all at once, I’d start to become overwhelmed and quit.

The second half of our visit was all about label reading. I learned to compare two similar products and pick the one that is the overall better choice. I now know to look at the portion sizes and make sure they are comparable to each other, and to look at the % daily value. I also learned the 5% and 15% rule – Keep the “bad” things under 5% and the good things above 15%. Well I’m paraphrasing a lot, but basically if things I want to cut back on (ex. sodium, sugars, trans fats) are under 5% of the daily % value on the label, then it is considered not too bad. If things I want to increase (ex. fibre, vitamins, calcium) are above 15% then it is considered good. But if it had 20% daily value of sodium, and only 2% daily fibre, and not a lot of other good values, then I might want to compare and make a better choice.

I was only half looking at labels before. I would look at two crackers, and see which had more fibre, which had less sodium and pick the better of the two not knowing anything about percentages. Now I have some more to look out for at the grocery store.

So basically from the labels I have to look at 5 things:

1) Serving size. Compare the serving size on the label with what I ACTUALLY eat. I probably eat 3-4 times what the portion size says I should have.

2) Calories. Pretty self explanatory.

3) Percent daily value. Tells me if there is a little or a lot of a certain nutrient in a food.

4) Get less of these things: Sodium, Cholestorol, Saturated and Trans fats.

5) Get more of these things: Fibre, Calcium, Iron, Vitamins (A and C the most I think).

This image from the Government of Canada is very similar to the one I was given.

This image by the Government of Canada (Health Canada) is very similar to the one I was given.

Overall, I think things are going really well so far. This week my homework is to read the labels when I grocery shop and let her know anything that has surprised me, or any changes I made in my purchases because of my findings. I’m taking baby steps, but I think that will be better in the long run. Small changes are easier to manage than big ones, and so far I’m doing alright. If I had to change a million things at once, I’d probably cry and quit.

This, I can do.

12

Hypocritical Health Hurdles – The Initial Dietitian Visit

Well, the first visit with the Dietitian has come and gone and it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought. I did, however, walk away with a major reality check. It was the kind of reality check that actually had me fighting back a tear or two in the office when I realized my health is quite literally teetering on the edge between healthy and sick. I can’t fall off of that edge. I need to be around for my daughter, and the thought of me not being able to be my healthiest and the kind of Mom she deserves, had me feeling quite emotional.

So, let’s start at the beginning.

About my Registered Dietitian, Sarah Dunphy P.Dt, BSc AHN :

alderney-sarah-dunphy

The Dietitian I have chosen to work with is one I have known for three years. Sarah works primarily in private practice, counseling and educating patients in a variety of areas including; general healthy eating practices and physical activity, weight loss and weight gain, pre-diabetes and diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and more. When the time and opportunity arises Sarah truly enjoys media opportunities as well as conducting group and corporate wellness presentations. Outside of work, Sarah is a dedicated volunteer with Dietitians of Canada and Nova Scotia Nutrition Month coordinator for 2013.

You can contact her via the clinic website at http://www.alderneychiropractic.com/#

If you live in Atlantic Canada, you may have seen her recently on CTV Morning Live or Global News speaking on behalf of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada with tips for what to pack picky eaters for school lunches. Links to those broadcasts can be seen here:

http://globalnews.ca/video/792655/healthy-school-lunches

http://atlantic.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=986555

The 1st meeting/impression:

When I walked upstairs to her office my heart was pounding, which took me by surprise. I know her well, and know that she is knowledgeable and professional. To be honest though, I think the fact that I knew her was what made me nervous. I was about to expose myself completely. Plus, I’m a big girl and she’s definitely not. I wondered if she’d truly be able to understand what it was like to struggle so much with food and your weight.

I am relieved to say, however that she put me at ease almost immediately. She is warm, compassionate and non-judgmental which is exactly what you need to be in the presence of when you’re about to confess all of your bad habits and emotional hang-ups. Plus, I looked at it this way – she’s as small and fit as she is because she practices what she preaches. She’s had years of education, and that’s what is helping her to maintain her healthy weight. I think listening to advice from a Dietitian who is 600lbs would leave me thinking “Oh yeah, cause it’s obviously worked for you…”. Just as you wouldn’t feel comfortable taking financial advice from someone who is bankrupt, you need to seek nutritional advice from someone who has implemented their practices on their own life successfully. This logical thinking helped to put all of those bad thoughts out of my head.

The process:

After sitting down and getting comfortable, Sarah began going through a thorough health history of both myself and my immediate family. This was to see if there are any instances of cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, thyroid issues, digestive issues, heart ailments, etc. going down our blood line. I only know the history on my Father’s side, as my Mother is adopted, but it was enough for her to go on.

Once the personal health history and family health history were completed, we started diving into my own food habits. What my typical day was for food, what habits I have (I’ve discovered a lot of what I eat is purely habitual and convenience based), what food leaves me feeling sick and gross (for me that is dairy mostly), and any sensitivities I might have. She also inquired about caffeine, alcohol and other drug intake. I didn’t do so well on the caffeine front, but I think a lot of Mama’s can relate as why that might be.

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She also gave me the option to have my anthropometric measurements taken. It includes things like getting weighed, measuring your waistline, etc. She always gives the choice to the client as to whether they are comfortable having this done. For some people, seeing a Registered Dietitian is such an emotional thing that stepping on the scale would literally throw them over the edge – so she never pressures people into it. For me, I thought I’d better go big or go home, so I took off my shoes (to take away what extra weight I could) and hopped on the scale. The number wasn’t pretty, and I tried to crack a joke to cover my insecurities. My joke I realized wasn’t necessary though, because Sarah had no outward reaction to the number on the scale, which I’m beyond thankful for. My ego couldn’t take it if I had seen a cringe.

She then measured my waist. This is where most of the concern lied from Sarah’s perspective. Apparently waist measurements above a certain number put you at an increased risk for many major diseases and ailments. I was above the healthy number. This was a major reality check for me, and I found myself trembling a bit.

What I learned:

I learned that my weight, height, waist measurements, and everything else combined has me in a Class II obese category. I always knew I was overweight, but I never thought “obese” is where I would fall. I don’t look in the mirror and see an obese person.That was devastating to learn. I also learned that my excess weight isn’t her main concern, it is my waist measurement. We need to work to decrease this as a priority.

My increased waist measurement leaves me at a greater risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, coronary heart disease, gallbladder disease, obstructive sleep apnea, and certain cancers. This left my brain reeling – how could I have let it get this bad?

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My Goals:

Sarah asked me what my goals were for working with her. I told her I was tired of feeling tired, and sick of feeling sick. I didn’t necessarily want to focus on losing weight, just feeling better overall. I want my energy back, I want to feel less drained on a daily basis, and I don’t want to feel like I have to rely on caffeine to get by on a day to day basis. I also said that I wanted to be a healthier Mom and better example for my daughter. She told me that these goals were great, and that I have the right motivation.

After meeting with her though, and realizing where I stand on the grand scheme of things, I would add decreasing my waist measurement to my list of goals. It is now, I’m realizing, quite dangerous to have a waistline with my measurements. Plus it couldn’t hurt to have people stop asking me if I’m pregnant all the time…

My Homework:

Before we start working on changes and learning to read food labels, etc., I have some homework to do. I have to do a food diary/log for three days. These can’t be consecutive days, and at least one of them has to fall on a weekend. This is just in case I have a meal one night, and then leftovers the next day. Those two days would then be too similar to each other, and less accurate as to what I would normally consume. So I am logging today (Thursday), Saturday, and Monday.

It’s hard not to be conscious of what I’m eating now since I know I’m writing it all down. Sarah explained to me though, that if I try to make changes now (especially since we haven’t gotten into education yet about what kinds of changes to make, specifically to my needs) I’m only doing a disservice to myself. It won’t be a truly accurate depiction of what I eat like, and therefore when she analyzes it, it won’t be a truly accurate starting point.

So, I continue to eat “normally” (read, badly) for now, so that I have a true starting point to begin from. I’m looking forward to how she analyzes it, and the suggestions for change that she will offer.

The first visit was more of an information gathering session from Sarah’s standpoint, and even though we didn’t get into changes yet, I still left feeling as though I gained something. I gained insight into what my habits are just by talking about them out loud to another person. I gained perspective about just how dangerous my situation can become if I don’t work to change it. And I gained respect for what she does as a profession.

I’ll keep you posted on what the outcome of my food diary analysis reveals, and where we go from here.

There’s no turning back now – I can’t afford to not listen to her.