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.