Friday, January 30, 2015

My body after baby: A look in the mirror

Dallas Page and DDPYoga
Meeting Dallas at a DDPYoga workshop
in January of 2014.
So many things in life are a blessing and a curse.

One of those qualities for me is my unbelievable drive to succeed. I am one of those people who decides I want something and then do whatever it takes to get it. While this leaves me extremely disciplined, it also leaves me unable to relax. My husband in particular does not enjoy that aspect of my personality. (Also truly fitting that I would have a cat on Prozac)

I am planning on blogging my journey to getting back into shape, but it won't be a typical one. I am a unique individual with unique obstacles when it comes to this. While this may result in some cursing my name, it may also allow me to connect with a personality type that isn't typically targeted when it comes to getting into shape: the psycho exercisers.

Taking a quick look back at my getting-into-shape history, I did try eating right while I was in college. What it ultimately created in my 20-year-old self was an absolute obsession with food and an insatiable hunger. All I thought about was what I was eating and when I would eat next. I did lose weight for a time, but it didn't last. I was quickly burned out.

Now 32, I've come to learn more about myself, which has helped me become successful in regards to my health and nutrition.

First off, I don't try to eat perfectly because it creates such a high level of stress in my life. This means that, despite starting my get-into-shape plan a week ago, I have also consumed a full pint of Ben & Jerry's Half Baked over the course of the last 16 hours.

An aside: while the founder of my workout plan of choice -- Dallas Page -- may not approve of that dietary choice, it does clearly state on the package that all ingredients are Non-GMO ... so there's that.

Second, I recruited my husband to be my exercise pulse. I obsess about exercise to the point of mental exhaustion.

Should I work out? I should work out. I need to work out. I'm so tired. I should work out, but it's 11 pm ... should I work out?

(As evidence to my self-diagnosed insanity, I will confirm that I have, in fact, worked out many times at 11 pm.)

My husband gives me one of the following responses:
  1. "Don't work out, but I know you're going to anyway"
  2. "Just work out, you'll feel better"
  3. "You're not working out, have a beer"
He really is the best.

Meeting Dallas has been a great experience,
sparking what I hope will be a lasting friendship.
Finally, I try to make generally good food choices. Meeting Dallas did raise my awareness of chemically-treated food and GMO, but if I tried to eat perfectly (see my first paragraphs), I would go insane and -- probably -- broke.

My solution was to buy organic produce and meats and do the same in other areas when necessary. This has allowed me to make slow change over time. So, sorry Dallas, but Ben & Jerry's is here to stay ... for now.

What I don't strive to be is one of those celebrities in a fitness magazine who boasts about substituting tofu for chocolate cake ("it's her favorite healthy treat!") or "splurging" on pizza and ice cream one day a week. I eat what I want, but what I find is that exercise helps me eat better. When I feel better, I want to eat better.

This lighthearted attitude is a must for me, or I will drive myself crazy. To lose the weight I had put on after my first two kids, I ultimately instilled the help of MyFitnessPal because I recognized the exercise was making me stronger, but not thinner. Right now I can't do that because I'm in the first months of nursing.

(By the way, why can't I be one of those women who "magically" loses all baby weight by breastfeeding? Probably because breastfeeding has me feeding way more than I need to be ...)

So, I'm a week and a half into DDPYoga, which got me into kick-ass shape a year ago. I took my "before" pictures, but went all the way and am only wearing a sports bra in them (don't worry, I'm also wearing pants), so I'm going to hold off sharing them until I have a progress picture to compare.

For now, I'll try to make decent food decisions while doing my diamond cutters diligently.


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A cat on Prozac? No, I'm not surprised.

Almost a year ago to the day, I had an incident online that shied me away from posting my personal content online.

Thanks to encouragement from an online acquaintance (Scott Stratten), and a "professional reset" so to speak, I have decided to fire this blog back up. For the past year, I have attempted to publish quality content in other realms in which I have interest -- sports, business -- but the best stuff that I write comes from my day-to-day experience with my kids (and my pets). Oh, and my husband. He counts too.

This brings us to present day.

I am going to have to change the header of this blog because we have added another child: a four-week-old girl. Yep, we just threw her onto the pile and -- so far -- she's surviving amidst the chaos.

Today is a fair representation of my life as I know it. Abby probably has pink eye and both kids have had green snot erupting from their noses for over a week, so all four of us are home together and we will head to the doctor shortly.

I am attempting to write while "Mommy?" "Mommy?" "Mommy!" is being peppered in my direction.

My delivery of "what?" has evolved from patient and loving to carrying a WTF-do-you-want-now tone after they have requested/stated the following:

  • Jack: "I love you."
  • Abby: "Can I have more waffles?"
  • Jack: "Can I have more waffles?"
  • Abby: "I want the iPad!"
  • Jack: "I love you."
  • Jack: "Can I watch Planes?"
  • Abby: "Will you play with me?"
  • Jack: "Are we there yet?" (We're in the living room)
  • Jack: "I love you."
  • Abby: "Can you put the iPad in here?"
  • Abby: "Can you get me a snack?"
  • Jack: "I love you."
I am one who does not do well while being verbally badgered. It is this fact that would cause my husband to dissolve into fits of laughter if he heard me tell someone that I have a "zen mode" when it comes to parenting.

Luke in his immature bliss.
Anyway, to my cat.

This past year can be easily summed up by telling the story of Leia being prescribed Prozac.

Our household had been stressful to say the least and -- apparently -- Leia was having a rough time with that. She was so high strung that she was constantly attacking Luke following any sudden noise, sideways glance or jolting movement. Unfortunately for her, she also isn't the stealthiest kitty, so she would get her tail handed to her (pun intended). After multiple fights in which Luke would essentially own her, she began to resemble Joaquin Phoenix, and now sports a gash of a scar across her nose.

Leia's issue became our issue due to the fact that she was also peeing all over the place while engaging in these fights. Mornings feeding the cats became increasingly stressful for my husband. I would be upstairs in the bedroom and hear a utensil hit the kitchen floor. My husband would then scream, "NO!" and shrill cat noises would follow. I would then come downstairs to find him on his hands and knees, scrubbing the carpet with a foul look on his face. He would then ask if we could sell the cats.

I finally took Leia to the vet. The prognosis? She was so tightly wound, it would be in her -- and our -- best interest to put her on Prozac. To say this amused me is an understatement. I believe my first comment to the vet was, "Well, it runs in the family."

The kicker here was that I had to fill the prescription at a regular pharmacy. Yes, I had to walk into Walgreens with a prescription for an anti-depressant for my cat.

When I handed the pharmacist the slip of paper from my vet, I immediately digressed to make light of the situation.

"Yeah, I'm just here to fill a prescription for Prozac for my cat."

The girl wasn't really fazed. She began typing into the computer. I just sat there. Wondering how this was going to go down.

"Do you happen to know the cat's date of birth?"

Okay, really? Actually, I did.

Also contributing to Leia's stress levels: my refusal to give her snacks.
I was furiously texting this hilarity to my best friend when the girl turned to me and asked, "Does she have any known allergies?"

Okay, this was happening? I said no ... and resisted the urge to state that she was a known allergy, but that probably wouldn't have been as funny out loud as it was in my head.

I said I would wait in the store while the prescription was filled. I walked around for upwards of 20 minutes and my name still hadn't been called. I walked back up to the counter to inquire.

"Um, yeah, I'm waiting for a prescription?"

The gentleman at the counter got my name and then said, "Oh, for the cat?"

It apparently wasn't quite ready yet. So I waiting right by the counter. After a few minutes, he came back and said, "For Leia ... the ... cat?"

This was flat-out ridiculous. If it wasn't so funny, I may have been slightly embarrassed. Okay, not really.

I grabbed the prescription and paid. As I was walking back to the car, I did, in fact, burst into laughter when I saw the name on the slip: "Leia Wywrot Cat".

You'll be happy to know that the Prozac has done wonders for Leia. Thankfully, she has avoided a therapist for now and the medication has given her the ability to relax.

And, yes, it hasn't seemed to change the integrity of who she is as a cat -- she's still got that great personality we've all come to know and love.

So, at least one member of our family is calmed down and in more of a zen state.

As for the rest of us, that is still up in the air. My intention is to get back to writing regularly, so stay tuned to stay updated.