Friday, April 29, 2016

Sweetness in the moments...not my mouth

When I was pregnant, I ate pretty well about 80 percent of the time.  But I wasn't going to deny myself a treat if I wanted it.  I ended up gaining about 70 lbs while pregnant.  While this may seem excessive, let me elaborate.  One, I didn't get gestational diabetes.  Two, I'm six feet tall.  Three, I really looked like I was smuggling a beach ball...I was all belly.  And four, both my mom and sister gained about the same amount with their pregnancies, so I'm thinking I was genetically inclined to do so as well.

Since having P almost 9 months ago, I have lost most of the weight.  I'm currently holding on to the last 10 or so pounds and they just don't want to budge.   I'm also finally trying to get back into shape and am finding the motivation and the time to work out.  I'm working full time, tired, and just not feeling it.  I'd rather curl up with a bag of peanut M&M's and watch TV.

I've been looking for a way to shake things up for a few weeks.  I know that something needs to change, but I didn't know how to do it.  Then I heard about the documentary from 2014 called "Fed Up."  It talks about the food industry, predominately about our addiction to sugar.  It was an eye opening film that I recommend to everyone.  After watching it, I knew what I needed to do.  So I decided to give up sugar for the entire month of May. 

The #fedupchallenge is only for 10 days and is very restrictive.  Over 80% of the food products on the market today have added sugar.  Things you wouldn't think would have sugar...ketchup, for example.  I knew I wanted to do this for a month, but I also knew I wasn't going to have the ability to critique every. single. label.  I still have to feed my husband and while he is supportive, he isn't going to give up sugar any time soon.  So I have myself a few guidelines to follow for my own challenge.

1.  No sweets (candy, cookies, cakes, etc.)

2.  No artificial sweeteners.

3.  Fruit, and other natural sugars, are allowed.

4.  Limit added sugars as much as reasonable.

5.  Limit refined carbs as much as possible.

These seemed to be reasonable and also meant that I didn't have to alter how I fed my husband that much either.  If I was making pasta for him for dinner, I could make zoodles for myself and use the same sauce.  Yes, there will be sugar in the sauce, but I can find a sauce with the least amount. 

Half the battle is identifying and educating myself on all of the "hidden" sources of sugar.  There are so many different things that sugar is labeled as, it can be a bit daunting.  While my purpose for giving up sugar isn't solely weight loss, I would be lying if I said that wasn't part of it at all.  I need to lose this baby weight.  I want to feel confident wearing a bikini this summer at the beach.  And I want to be a good example for my son.  It's important to me.

Sugar is a frightening addiction in our society and one that I'm a little nervous, but excited to take on.  I can't wait to see how my body reacts.

In addition to quitting sugar for the month of May, I have four other goals.

1.  Drink at least a gallon of water a day.

2.  Refocus my workouts, to include weights, and get something in 5 times a week.

3.  Get at least 10K steps a day.

4.  Refocus my stress to something other than picking my nails and skin around my nails (such a bad habit and my fingers are looking horrible lately).

I'm generally really bad at challenges.  I give up and my sticking to it-ness kind of sucks.  But I'm determined.  I know there will be some rough days in that first 7-10 days while I'm detoxing off sugar, but if I can get through that, I can do the month.  As a reward for making it through the month and accomplishing all of my goals, I'm going to treat myself to a spa day...facial, massage, and a haircut and color.  It will be glorious and something I desperately need. 

I plan on checking in every Friday with a sugar detox update post.  That way I can document how the process is progressing.  My starting stats will be taken (weight and measurements) on 1 May and I'll take them again on 31 May to see if I saw any improvement.  This is going to be an adventure!

Monday, April 25, 2016

Two steps forward, one step back

Most days, I feel like I have my s**t together.  I manage the kid, the dog, the husband, the house, and the job.  I'm exhausted, but I get what needs to get done completed.  It ends up with me getting very little time to myself.  I prioritize a few *Sarah things* during the week...watching "Dancing with the Stars" every Monday, getting a pedicure every few weeks, trying to squeeze in a workout at lunch, and reading a book, even just a few pages, before bed every night.  I feel like I'm giving so much to everyone else during the day that focusing on me for just a bit feels heavenly and selfish at the same time.  It's a constant struggle.

When P was almost 4 months old, I broke a little.  After talking to a doctor, I was diagnosed with Postpartum Depression.  Knowing I wasn't going crazy and that I could work on fixing this was empowering.  I was put on some medication and have been on it ever since.  Generally, I feel pretty good.  But just when I feel like I'm going to be ready to come off the meds soon, I have a weekend like this past weekend, and I question everything.

My sleeping prince...
P hasn't been feeling the greatest since Thursday and was running a low grade fever, coughing, and congested.  This is pretty much par for the course for us anymore (thanks, daycare), but he wasn't himself this weekend.  On Saturday, he took four naps, all on me (with the exception of one which was on A).  I was able to break away during the nap on dad and walked the dog and got a pedicure.  Overall, Saturday wasn't horrible, but we didn't get anything done and I felt a little stir crazy by the end of the day.  But such is life with a baby.

Sunday was a different story.  A had a flat tire and needed to get it fixed, leaving me with P alone.  Normally, this isn't a big deal.  I wrangled the stroller and the dog and we went on a long walk.  And then the whining started.  I know, he's a baby.  But everyone reaches a breaking point.  It was a lot of crying, not wanting to be left alone, and general neediness.  Normally, I am all about some baby cuddles, but I was having a bad day and the more restless he became, the more annoyed I became. 

Once A got done with his truck, I basically tossed the baby at him (not really) and just laid on the couch.  I was done.  Done with dealing with it all and done with feeling guilty about feeling done with dealing with it all.  That's the thing about PPD, it makes no sense and sometimes the feelings hit you so hard and fast that your brain can hardly keep up.

Me and my littlest guy.
I love P.  I mean seriously, look at those cheeks?  I would never do anything bad to him.  But one of the challenges with PPD is that you have to know your limits.  When your brain starts heading down a dark road, you need to acknowledge it and give yourself some space.  Be okay with allowing yourself a little bit of grace.  I struggle with that a lot because I expect myself to handle it all.  And while I can most days, there are those times when I can't.  And that is when I need to remember I'm part of a team and I'm not in this alone. 

Friday, April 22, 2016

Again? Yes, again!

My little family...
I have been blogging, on and off, since 2007.  I have blogged through two deployments, break-ups, and my engagement and wedding.  I honed my baking skills through blogging and have met some amazing people, through blogging.  I loved my old blog but I can't make it what I want it to be anymore. 
Koda is a paci bandit.
My life is different now.  A lot different.  After A and I got married, we almost immediately added to our family with our furry baby, Koda.  Koda is a Labrador retriever and German shorthair pointer mix.  He is easily the goofiest dog I have ever met and he loves me with a fierce intensity.  He is loving, thinks the world revolves around him, has never met a stranger, and is incredibly naughty.  But we love him and he is such a fun addition to our little family.
He is a super unhappy baby, obviously.
A few months after we got Koda, I found out I was pregnant.  We had planned on trying to get pregnant soon after getting married, but I honestly didn't expect it to happen so quickly.  A little over a month after our first wedding anniversary, we welcomed a little boy into this crazy life.  P is a happy, easy going, adorable little guy.  We are screaming up to 9 months old and all he wants to do is stand up.  I fear we will have a walker on our hands sooner than I thought!

I find myself these days sort of lost.  With so much change in the last two years (we also moved), it's been hard to find that new normal we are living in and make it work for me.  I struggled with Post Partum Depression after P was born and am still dealing with it.  I'm struggling on finding a balance of taking care of my entire family and still taking care of myself.  It's a constant struggle.  A struggle I wouldn't change for the world, but a struggle nonetheless. 

Through all of it, I find myself coming back to blogging.  I read something online and think, "I wish I could blog about that," or something happens that I want to document or share and I don't.  The old blog isn't appropriate for where my life is anymore.  It was a baking blog that morphed into a lifestyle blog, sort of.  At this season in my life, I think just a "life" blog is more my style.  A place where I can share whatever I pics, funny stories, deep thoughts, recipes, projects, etc.

I find myself wishing for days to be over since they are exhausting and all I want to do is sleep.  But I need to remember, the sweetness is in the moments.  I don't want to ever forget that.  P won't be the little and snuggly forever.  Koda won't always have this insane amount of energy.  I want to appreciate all my life has offered me.

I hope you enjoy the randomness that I hope to show here.  It won't always be pretty, but that is life and the sweetness in the moments of life are what it's all about.