Mamavation Monday: Week 12

Last week, I wrote about how Jason and I had decided to give up sugar for Lent.  I got tons of encouragement, and a few great tips.  Thanks, Everyone!  I also realized something interesting this past week.

We don’t eat much sugar anymore.

Giving up sugar hasn’t been very difficult.  It hasn’t changed most of our eating patterns.  It hasn’t felt like a sacrifice.  There are times when it has been frustrating or annoying, but it hasn’t been hard or sacrificial.  When I say it’s been frustrating or annoying, I am thinking about trying to cook black bean enchiladas.  Did you know that most salsas have sugar in them?  Did you know that tomato sauce has sugar in it?  Some store bought breadcrumbs have HCFS in them.  (I’ve been making my own since I read this blog post just after it was first written.)  So, most of the time this week the choice for us to eliminate sugar from our diets has been about “catching” it in foods here and there.

Honestly, I was pretty surprised how little added sugar we eat.  When I hear about all the sugar that is in our diets these days, I thought eliminating sugar would be a no brainer.  I’m still glad that we gave up something for Lent.  I still think that sugar is something that we can do without in our diets.  I did think though that I would be doing more giving up vs. substituting.  Right now, I’m just looking for a salsa without sugar or using tomato paste and water instead of tomato sauce.  It’s not what I expected.

Last week, someone had asked for tips or suggestions.  I’m not sure I have many since the low amount of sugar in my diet has come as a surprise to me instead of a conscious choice, but here’s what I have so far.

1.  Use fruit to sweeten things you would otherwise sweeten with sugar.  If you are having oatmeal, throw a banana in with the oats while they are cooking.  It will break down and sweeten every bite.  If you are eating plain yogurt, try peaches, pineapple, or banana slices.

2.  Use natural sweeteners in moderation.  Honey is great for sweetening up a smoothie.  Mixing in 1/2 tsp. of maple syrup with some plain yogurt will take the sour bite out of it.

3.  Not everything needs to be sweet.  Try eating savory oatmeal.  Add cucumbers to cottage cheese.

4.  Make sure you’re getting enough sleep and enough liquids.  A book I read a few years ago talked about people who are chronically tired mistaking the feeling of tiredness (or thirst) for hunger.  I know that sounds a little insulting.  I know what hunger feels like, right?  Yes and no.  I do know what it feels like to be hungry, but when I’m tired or thirsty, I will sometimes choose to eat to try to satiate that feeling instead of doing what my body is really asking me to do either by drinking some water or going to bed.

5.  Stock your fridge with fruit and vegetables.  Make fruits and vegetables your snacks, side dishes, and impulse eats.  If those are your choices, you’ll be doing far less mindless eating with a bag of broccoli than you will with a box of cookies.

Have a great week, Everyone!

Mamavation Monday: Week 11

Jason and I decided to give up added sugar for Lent.  We are still eating things that have sugar that naturally occurs in them (like fruit).  We are not eating things with sugar added to them (like most peanut butters).  I made this decision sort of on a whim.  I thought about it briefly, dismissed the idea, and then changed my mind abruptly to commit to doing it.

About a year and a half ago, I decided to get sugar out of my diet for a month.  It was hard but great.  I had more energy.  Food tasted better.  I felt great.  I was really healthy and didn’t get many of the early winter colds either.  It was great.  Did I say it was great?  🙂  This time I’m also doing it with someone.  That makes it a lot easier this time around.  I’ve been tempted to give in to a few sweets, but so far things are going well.

I decided last week not to weigh myself for the rest of March.  Jonas is still young, and my body isn’t responding (weight wise) to diet changes and exercise in a way that encouraged me to keep making good choices.  So, I decided to quite thinking about the scale for a while.

Best wishes to all of you on your journeys!

Mamavation Monday: Week 10

Two weeks ago I was trying to meet a goal of going to the gym 12 times in the month of February.  To meet that goal, I went to the gym 7 out of the last 8 days of the month.  I ended up not losing any weight, but I really liked getting there that often and feeling the difference in my body from doing those workouts.  I did not like the guilt though.  Even though my husband is awesome and my kids are pretty flexible considering how much time it took from my day (and theirs, too, on some days), I feel guilty.  I have a house to clean, meals to make, kids to read to, babies to cuddle, meals to plan, laundry to wash, laundry to fold, laundry to put away, kids to put to bed, and many other things to do, too.  Instead, I either put it off or handed the duties off to my husband to get the workouts done.  He never once complained.  In fact, he encouraged me to keep going and get the workouts done.  He’s awesome by the way.  🙂

Yet, I feel guilt.  I have 3 kids.  My husband works full time plus does freelance work in the evenings.  Is it really fair for me to take that much of our family’s time to exercise?  Up until recently, I had been going to the gym twice a week in the mornings and putting the boys into their child care area.  That worked really well until Kael and Asa started to get tired of it.  So, we figured out a couple little things they could have or do in there to keep them interested and occupied.  Now, Kael is sick and Asa is just getting over his cold.  I won’t be going to the gym tomorrow morning.

So, I have a choice.  I can skip going and end up with a marathon run of workouts at the end of the month.  I can go tomorrow after Jason gets home from work.  I can go tomorrow evening when the boys are going to bed.  Or, I can go another day, but the time issues remain the same.  Unfortunately this is a very busy time in my life, and I don’t have a lot of flexibility in my schedule.

It appears that I could moan and groan about it.  Those of you reading this would probably give me some helpful suggestions and words of encouragement, and I appreciate that.  But, I think the real solution is the same as what it was to my moaning a few weeks ago.  Just suck it up and do it.  Everybody has the same 24 hours in a day.  Everyone has things that make them busy.  Everyone feels guilty about doing or not doing something.  In the end, we just have to do the best we can.  So, there it is.  I’m a bit of a whiner, but (hopefully) I’m also a doer.


I weighed myself again, and I didn’t gain or lose any weight last week.  I have decided that I’m going to take a month off from the scale.  I’m going to focus on water, fruit, vegetables, and regular exercise.  At the beginning of April, I’ll hop back on the scale and see how things are going.  Until then, I’m going to work on solidifying my lifestyle choices.

Mamavation Monday: Week 9

So, apparently you can ask two health professionals the same question and get two completely different answers.  I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, but I’m still frustrated.  For quite some time, I’ve been experiencing the effects of having a pinched nerve in my foot.  Sometimes it feels like a nerve sensation through my toes.  Sometimes it feels like there’s a rock in my shoe.  For a long time, I took my slipper off several times a day trying to figure out where the rock was.  It aches most of the time, and I can feel the ball of tissue where it’s inflamed when I stand on a hard floor in bare feet.  So, I saw a podiatrist and a chiropractor.

On my orthotics:

Podiatrist says:  They’re fine.  Wear them all the time.
Chiropractor says:  They increase the force on my joints 5-7 times.  They also only support the main arch allowing the other two to remain collapsed.   When they are in my shoes, they are like walking on a board that flexes only in one place.  She can make me new ones if I’m interested.

On treating it:

Podiatrist says:  Cortisone shot or surgery.  He also says since I’m 31 he won’t tell me not to exercise so go about my exercise routine like I normally would.
Chiropractor says:  There are a few stretches that can be done.  Use biofreeze before and after anything that might inflame the area. She says avoid things that are high impact and be careful with everything else.

On whether it can be resolved without an invasive treatment:

Podiatrist says:  Probably not.
Chiropractor says:  It’s possible.  The body sometimes does what it does, and while it’s not likely sometimes it does happen.


So, I’m chewing that on this week.  Also, I realized that in order to get to the gym 12 times this month, starting last Monday, I realized I needed to go to the gym seven out of the last eight days of February.  So, since Monday, I’ve been to the gym and done 45-60 minutes of cardio every day except Saturday.  I’ve gotten my water and fruit and vegetable intake most days.  I figured last week would be a great week.  Right?  Apparently not great.  Meh.  I’m hoping my body and mind sync up soon.

Jonas is almost five months old now (in just over a week).  When the other boys were this age, I was already below my pre-pregnancy weight.  I had friends who struggled to lose the weight.  I encouraged them to get their lifestyles ready for when the weight was ready to come off.  I supported them.  I reminded them their babies were still young.  I meant all the things I was saying, but it’s a lot harder to be on the other side of that coin.

Over the past week, I have done somewhere around 300 minutes of cardio.  I’ve also had plenty of water and made pretty decent food choices.

Previous loss:  8.2 lbs

This week’s loss:  .6 lb gain (Boo-urns!!!)

Total loss:  7.6 lbs

Staying focused on water intake, eating fruit and vegetables, and getting exercise.

Mamavation Monday: Week 8

This week I learned a lesson.  What I’m doing is not to lose weight.  It’s to get healthy.  I need to do what I need to do, and eventually the results will come.  Weeks when I do well, I expect to lose weight.  Weeks when I don’t do as well, I don’t expect as much of a loss.  My body and my expectations aren’t always on the same page though.  That’s why it’s so important to focus on the long term goal of being healthy vs. the immediate result of losing weight.

Last weekend, we were out of town.  We didn’t eat like we normally do.  I also had *that* week of the month this week.  I expected it to be a holding pattern type of week.

Previous loss:  5.8 lbs

This week’s loss:  2.4 lbs

Total loss:  8.2 lbs

Who knew?

This week, I’ll be keeping up on the water and fruit and vegetable intake.