Mar 10, 2015

Getting Fit

I was miserable when I had gestational diabetes.  I hated the diet and wasted no time before I indulged in everything I couldn't have during those last 3 months of pregnancy.  I had planned on keeping it reasonable- I knew healthy habits would be important, because if you have gestational diabetes you're a lot more likely to wind up with type 2 diabetes later.  Life with a new baby is hectic though, and in addition to her I had 3 older to children to keep up with.

So, after the baby was born I quickly gave up caring, put the scale away, and pretended like nutrition wasn't a thing for a few months.  Any amount of caloric intake was acceptable as long as I was eating something occasionally.  Truth be told those first couple months were difficult, but it took me an extra couple months to get back to trying again just because I'd developed a wealth of NEW bad habits that needed breaking, and it was overwhelming.

Every time I thought about what needed to change I came up with 50 different things and couldn't even fathom how I might organize and implement them.  So my brain would start to hum, my chest would feel heavy, and then I'd need to go lay down a minute.  I gave up before I even started at least 20 times.

I realized I needed a different approach.  I needed to start off slow and simple, and not stress over how imperfect it was.  I decided just to shoot for "more."  More sleep, more exercise, more water, more fresh fruit and vegetables, more protein.  I made a couple of simple goals that fit comfortably into my life anyway.

My favorite new habit by far is taking the baby on a walk/jog every day.  She loves riding around outside in the stroller, and I love the fresh air and sunshine.  My original goal was to make it happen at least 3 times a week.  I had to work to make it a priority at first- one day I even skipped a shower because I didn't have time for both- but it only took a couple weeks for this to turn into a daily habit that fits easily into our routine.

Nice view for a morning walk.

Even better view.

I jog as much as I can (not much), and then I walk and make sure to hit as many hills as possible.  I stay out at least 45 minutes; it was only 20 minutes in the beginning but I like it so much I decided to set aside more time.  At first every time I jogged it was terribly depressing because it was so difficult it felt pointless.  So, I started doing this really dorky thing that changed my attitude and helped me stay motivated- in my head I started yelling "I'm doing it!  I'm doing it!"

Like it's a miracle!

Like I thought I'd never walk again let alone run!

Like the braces are flying off my legs! (Forrest Gump anyone?)

I know it's hilariously embarrassing, but for weeks it TOTALLY WORKED.  Recently it's like I pushed through a wall and I can now jog much much further than I could before, which is super encouraging.   

Slowly, as they've made sense and fit into my life, I've made many changes over the last 2 months, always with the mantra "more" repeating itself in my mind.  I've started menu planning and changed my grocery list a little so we've almost completely stopped eating take out all together.  I have been eating more fruit and vegetables and drinking more water.  Just recently I've been snacking more so I don't get so hungry between meals.  We've got the baby on a schedule, which has helped in a lot of ways.  She goes to bed early, so I go to bed earlier and without the TV- so I get more sleep and better sleep.  During the day she naps regularly so I get more time to do things for myself (like this blog).

I have not denied myself anything I've wanted- not really.  At most I may opt for water instead of soda or a piece of fruit instead of a cookie because I'll think something like I really haven't had a lot of water today...  But if I really want the soda or the cookie or whatever I just have it, because for me that's not the point right now.  When I start telling myself "no" I start the internal battle over what I want and what I should have.  That's when the guilt starts and that's when it turns into this weird depressing mind game where I end up angry at myself and feeling sorry for myself at the same time: Why can't I have anything?  Wahhhhh....  

I'm working really hard to change my life for the better and it's working.  Organically and sustainably I am developing healthy habits that are painlessly pushing out the bad ones.  I'm stronger and more energetic, and I'm on the path to a lifestyle that does not result in type 2 diabetes.  Oh-so-slowly I am losing weight, and I'm not worried that it's not happening faster, because the faster you take it off the easier you put it back on.  I don't have the time or the energy to play the yo-yo game when it comes to my weight and my health.

6 months old and I still can't resist a sleeping baby picture.

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