Posted in postpartum, postpartum weight loss

Identifying the feeling is more than half the battle

For me, now that I know the feeling behind my actions — grief, I am able to figure out the way I need to think so I can create the feelings and actions and results in line with my goals. 

By no means, does that imply I am skipping the rest of this grieving process. I am just able to better understand what I need from myself in order for this process to happen more effectively. 

Over the last 2 years, my inner dialogue has drastically changed — for the most part.  Being compassionate with myself was the first and foremost prominent change that needed to happen so I could change my weight and my life.

Compassion is my “new” process, and what that means is my “old” brain patterns occasionally surface when there is something new that is going on which I have not yet fully recognized or processed.

Because I now understand what is happening, I am able to disarm the thinking via self-talk by taking on compassion about where I am at and interrupting the action. Something like, “you did great today despite everything that went on” or “it was a hard day, you should try to go to bed a little earlier.” 

By acknowledging the reality and offering myself a hug, I am meeting the need that would have otherwise been satisfied by wine and/or snacking.

I love managing my mind. It takes just a few short minutes a day. I am getting all of this done at home with a newborn and a toddler, so trust that time is limited.

And now, I am back to my healthy habits, or “minimums” because I have eliminated the interference.

Today is a good day to move forward with reaching my goals.

Posted in postpartum, postpartum weight loss

New Life; New Strife

Today I figured out the feeling that has been bringing me back to food every day. After spending my entire pregnancy getting used to using food for “only” solving hunger, 5 weeks postpartum I have figured out the reason I have once again found comfort in overeating… 

Grief.

I am grieving my previous life.

Not because my new life is bad — because it is good. But. It is hard being a mom of 2. It is hard being a stay at home mom. I never even thought about becoming the latter. I was always going to be a working mom — working for someone else and in a corporate setting, I had thought. Even though I had really always wanted to work for myself. Like my mom. And now I am still a working mom. While I am staying home with my kids, I am working on launching this blog, podcast, and coaching business.

So I am in grief. I miss having a desk in a building that is not in my home. I miss dropping off my son at daycare. I miss interacting with adults — and caring about my LinkedIn profile (ha!) I miss being friendly with colleagues. I miss most of it…

But that does not mean I am not grateful for my life right this second. They are not mutually exclusive.  I miss having my own income (for now) and I am not loving having to adjust to a tighter budget. 

But I am super grateful to my husband for pushing me to take this leap. I am grateful that I have changed my mindset in such a significant way that I could make peace with being a stay at home mom. I am grateful for doing something so wildly outside of my comfort zone that I know I am not going to be the same person in one year, or six months, or even one month from now.

But most of all I am grateful for my son and my daughter. I am a mother of two, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a blogger, a (future) podcast host, a (future) Life Coach and an entrepreneur.

Now that I have identified the feeling, I can now work on putting it behind me. I can move past this and onwards to transforming into the person I am meant to become. 

Life is hard. And. Life is good.

Posted in postpartum

Stay at home mom: A new frontier

I have taken to writing while standing at the island in my kitchen. I am standing because if I ever get “too comfortable” someone inevitably needs something almost immediately. Seriously. Yes, my life is run by a toddler and a newborn. Such an adventurous time in my life never quite knowing what to expect next — except one thing for certain is there will be chaos.

So, here I stand — from my island — able to see right into the living room, and exactly what the toddler and newborn are doing. And it feels almost like a prison tower. Almost like I have authority (hahaha) and almost like I call the shots of our day to day lives.

But if you have ever been in my shoes, you know any thoughts like this are a complete sham. But I’ll keep thinking like this even though I do realize this is simply never going to ring true.

Someday I will be able to work again in quiet, at a desk, seated. Or any other which way I would like to get my thoughts out. Because they will be in school, living their own life, so I’ll be able to live my own life, too — at least for a few hours a day, anyway.

And until then, here I stand. Not all that comfortable but able to move my life forward word by word, while my real bosses dump out the legos again and are ready for another bottle…

Posted in postpartum

Should does not exist when your cup is empty

In my second postpartum experience, I have been more sleep deprived and hormonal than I remember from when I was going through it with my first. [First born is a boy, second is a girl.]

As a result, my cup has been really empty lately — I literally had nothing to give or offer to anyone. Even simple conversations feel/felt forced and draining.  Of course, some days are better than others. It really depends on how much sleep I have gotten the night before.

All of this to say that my eating and movement were seriously compromised. I found myself (over)eating for energy. I did not have the ability to wake up early to get my walk in before getting the kids up for the day.  This was also during a heat wave so daytime walks were not possible either.

It was easy to feel like I “should” be pushing myself harder than I was. I was so used to walking most mornings, and only eating for hunger. My specific minimums, including drinking water, and sleeping solidly. 

Gone were those days…

I genuinely felt ragged, exhausted, irritable, and drained. My son was adjusting (roughly) to being a big brother, and my newborn daughter was not sleeping great during the night. Also, I had just started my new routine as a stay at home mom. 

It is important to recognize where you are with your emotional (and physical) needs before you can be willing to share it with others. Simultaneously, you are also responsible for taking care of yourself first. There are no “should”s that can be imposed on one’s self when you are in the midst of a trying moment. 

Becoming aware of your emotional energy is an effective way to evaluate what you are able to accomplish in one day — what you “are able” to do. Show yourself some compassion on the tough days by recognizing where your energy has been depleted. 

I needed to have a good nights sleep, to take a shower, and listen to a podcast. Then I felt refreshed enough so I could meet my minimums. Though to be honest, I am still not able to offer support yet. I am 5 weeks postpartum, we are finding our rhythm and I have re-evaluated my minimums to be within reach and have abandoned what I “should” be doing based on what I was able to achieve daily during my pregnancy.

It is important to recognize how you will fill back up your cup, give it some time and then you can resume trail blazing.

(This was originally written when I was 5 weeks postpartum. 9/7/18)

Posted in failed lap band, failed weight loss surgery, lap band removal, postpartum, postpartum weight loss, pregnancy, pregnancy weight management, weight loss, weight loss surgery, weight loss surgery regain, weight loss surgery revision

A brief intro

I was 23 years old in 2010 when I ultimately decided to have Weight Loss Surgery. I opted to go with the lap band and needed to gain weight in order to get approval from my insurance company. 

When I graduated from high school in 2005, my weight was around 180 pounds. As soon as I began college following that Summer, my weight was already in the 200s and I had absolutely no desire to do what was necessary to stop the bleed. 

Sure, I had joined Weight Watchers several times before then but as a ‘rebel,’ almost every weigh in was futile. [I am a rebel as defined by Gretchen Rubin’s The Four Tendencies.]

Of course I “knew” how to lose weight. Eat salad. Stop having an entire box of cereal in one day. Go for a walk. I simply did not want to do any of it.

I was emotional and food was the constant to level me out so I did not have to feel.

The lap band played a significant role in my 20s. It totally revoked my ability to binge eat. For that, I am thankful.

However, knowing what I know now and from where I am currently sitting, nothing about weight loss has anything to do with “what” you are eating or how much you move. Just that you simply limit the quantity — and not so that you are hungry; and move in a way that clears your mental space.

Changing my life, finally, took a big effort in my mental game. I will let you in on a secret. No one ever hated themselves enough to lose the weight. It took me figuring out how to love myself in order to make peace with this process… and my new life…