The Between Holiday Challenge

Holy Mother of Mashed Potatoes! I had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We were orphaned this season because our families live in TX and MO so I spent the holiday with my husband and daughters this year and it was simply divine. Ever since I was little I couldn’t care less about the turkey all I really wanted to eat was mashed potatoes, rolls and pie during Thanksgiving. That really hasn’t changed even as I’ve gotten older so I wasn’t really all that bummed that I didn’t like the ham I prepared. Luckily Brent and Bridget loved it and Penelope noshed on squished peas so we’re not sure where she stands on ham glazes yet.

Today is the Saturday after Thanksgiving and I’m starting to wade my way between the holidays. This is usually a horrible time for me nutritionally because I tend to be an all or nothing kind of gal. A few years ago I was diagnosed with PCOS and it turns out that one of the side effects of this condition is insulin resistence. This means my body has a hard time processing sugar. Basically I’m like a gremlin. You know that 80’s movie with the cute fuzzy balls of cuteness that turn into crazy evil monsters with big ears if you spill water on them? Actually, I don’t really remember how they turn into monsters it had to do with water and midnight…

gremlins-original

(before sugar)

gremlins2

(after sugar)

The point is I’m kind of like that. If I eat too much sugar I want more and more and MORE! This exacerbates all of my PCOS symptoms. I gain weight, I get depressed, and my skin breaks out. And the more sugar I eat the more weight I gain, the more weight I gain the worse the symptoms get. It’s a vicious cycle. By the time the holidays are over the symptoms are at their peak and when the Christmas lights and tinsel are taken down I’m plunged into darkness wallowing in my fat suit. The best way I can battle this is to limit my sugar intake and exercise. Throughout the rest of the year I’m pretty good at balancing this. But during this time of year my psyche is the meanest kind of Grinch possible. These are the things it whispers in my ear during the month of December…

  • It’s impossible to enjoy the holidays and try to stay healthy. It’s one or the other!
  • Every wintery activity isn’t complete unless you have hot chocolate in hand!
  • You have to make a thousand varieties of cookies and test them out pre-baking and post-baking to make sure that they will be good!
  • Why bother working out? You’ve eaten so much cookie dough that you feel really gross so it’s probably best to just wait until the holidays are over to be good!

Okay… so apparently my little psychological Grinch yells these things at me because I felt compelled to put exclamation points behind every statement.

Here is my plan to keep negative thoughts at bay and to prevent any chances of me becoming a gremlin. Here are the rules:

1. Once a week I am allowed processed sugar or carbohydrates in limited amounts. All other sugar sources will come naturally through fruit. This means I can make cookies and have a few but not spend an entire week polishing them off.

2. I must get out and move every day. This can mean a major sweat session at the gym or a simple walk enjoying my neighbors holiday decorations. Either way I have to move.

That’s it. I’m keeping it simple. No calorie counting just good old clean eating with the occassional treat. Oh and the best part… for every day that I follow through with my plan I pay myself $4 . I will spend this money on myself via pedicures, massage, clothes… the possibilities are endless. This is the typical price for a super sugary Starbucks of which I’m addicted to. I have a tendency to treat myself more often than I should because I don’t treat myself in any other way.  It’s time for that to change. This challenge is going from November 24th-December 21. I’ll keep posting to let you know how it’s going.

Psychological Warfare

Well, as soon as I started my healthy eating I stopped again… and then started and then stopped. I played the whole “I kind of screwed up today so I’ll start tomorrow” thing. I did this for about 8 days in a row. I kept beating myself up for it because I knew it was stupid and I was just wasting time. It was similar to pushing the snooze button in the morning. I just wanted five more minutes of lying under my warm covers pretending like there wasn’t anything that needed to be tackled for the day. Let’s face it. Losing weight is hard. And when you have a long road ahead of you sometimes you just wish that you can bury your head in the sand and pretend like your muffin top simply doesn’t exist.

The hardest part about losing weight is wrapping your head around it and not over thinking it. So that’s what I’ve stopped doing. At one point I just hit the restart button and simply stopped thinking about it for just a bit and just simply listened to my body. What did I crave? I craved grilled chicken salad with sliced avocados, roasted butternut squash and apples. Basically once I stopped obsessing over this whole weight loss thing I actually started eating healthier.  The crazy thing was that ten days after I started I found myself two pounds lighter… not too shabby considering I had 8 “free days” in the process. I feel good about what I’m eating, I don’t feel deprived but I feel like what I’m fueling my body with isn’t as toxic as the crap I was eating. So far I feel like I’ve won that battle. Next on the agenda? Getting back to the gym.

Getting my sh*t together

The end of Daylight Savings was yesterday meaning that this morning I was able to wake up at 5 and have a little extra time to myself before Penelope and Bridget woke up to join the world. I say that I’m going to take advantage of this extra nugget of time every year but I usually hit the snooze button and roll back over reveling in that giddy “I’m not getting up when I’m supposed to” glow. This year is different; this is my new resolution day. Screw New Years, nobody ever follows through with their New Year’s resolution. I need to lose some weight and get my shit together.

My youngest, Penelope, was born over 6 months ago and I think I might weigh the exact same as I did when I walked out of the hospital, 215 pounds. Until recently I was strictly breastfeeding and every time I lost a bit I could feel a decline in my breast milk. Penelope was a shrimp so I felt like I needed to do whatever it took to keep my milk, even if that meant sporting around in my maternity wear a half year after I wasn’t pregnant anymore. Well, at her 6 month appointment she had dropped down to the 12th percentile for weight from being born in the 89th. Her bicarbonate level was a little off meaning the ph level in her blood was a little on the acidic side. This made it harder for her body to gain weight. But the main culprit was me, I wasn’t producing enough milk due to hormone levels caused by PCOS. I gave her one bottle and that was it. She didn’t want me anymore… and I bawled. BUT I got over it, because this meant that I was free to do whatever I pleased with my own body for the first time in over a year. So, what did I do? What any respectable woman would do, I day drank. I drank a bunch of wine 3 glasses and got drunk while eating cheese and crackers one Sunday afternoon. After that I decided it was time to lose some weight. There are no excuses now. This means that today is the day that I resolve to lose this weight I’ve been hefting around and get back to that inner hottie that I can be. You know… the one that my husband fell in love with. That whole reason I got pregnant in the first place. I kid. Kind of. The fact is, I’m too much of a hottie to be stuck in this body. We all are, and by “we” I mean anyone who might be reading this because they are going through the same thing. So I’m doing something about it.

So far I’m off to a good start by waking up at 5 in the morning like I said I would so that I could have a little peaceful time to myself before the hustle and bustle of the day began. Instead of starting it with my typical “Isn’t this relaxing?” cup of cream-sugar coffee, I opted for some hot tea and banana nut oatmeal. I have to be honest, it was just as relaxing and so far a great start to getting my shit together. And so it begins… wish me luck!