Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Return to Almost Normalcy

Woo hoo! I am no longer overweight! Since last Monday my BMI has been below 25. The health website I use defines normal weight as a BMI of 18.5-24.9 and overweight at 25-29.9.

This is still overweight for me. I remain 8 pounds above my normal pre-pregnancy weight and 18 pounds over what I weighed when I conceived. But hey, returning to no-longer-technically overweight status is a nice achievement. It’s been well over a year since I’ve been here.

The site also shows me that I’ve lost 15 pounds (yay!) since the 4th of July, when my mother-in-law gave me a great pedometer and the copy of The Step Diet Book. I haven’t been following the plan rigorously, especially in recent weeks, but I do try to keep the principles – regular activity and limited calories – in mind.

The Step Diet starts out with a two week baseline in which you go ahead with your typical diet and exercise levels in order to set a baseline, or starting point to improve from. Looking back at my records, I see my weight remaining pretty steady during those two weeks. Then, as I began to up my activity level and pay a little more attention to what I eat, a concave curve began to form.

I’ve figured out that for me, what works is getting 11,500 steps or an hour of other exercise/day and trying to keep calories in the 2,000 range (it was 2,4000 when I started and was breastfeeding more). I have a sweet tooth, so reining the calories can be a problem. But I think I’m doing much better than during the baseline, when upon keeping track of my food intake I saw I was consuming a solid 3,000 calories a day!

As of last Monday, I set myself a new challenge which should aid in weight loss. It is to stop being a hypocrite in terms of food. I try to keep River away from white carbohydrates and sweets and I try to keep the amount of processed foods he eats to a minimum. I’ve been a little more flexible lately. When we went out for pizza and they didn’t have a wheat crust option, I let him eat regular pizza. A little white pasta every so often won’t kill him either. My goal is just for him to develop a taste for the healthier versions before he’s regularly exposed to the less healthy versions.

My husband and I knew that we’d have to end our hypocrisy at some point. We both have problems controlling our sweets intake. I had hoped we’d change our habits together, that we could set a date to move ahead as a healthy family. It’s clear that River notices now when we have something and won’t let him have any. So I thought the time to begin should be soon.

When my husband balked at naming a date, I decided to go ahead and end my own hypocrisy. I’m not forgoing sweets entirely. But I have set a rule for myself to not purchase anything to eat for myself that I won’t share with River. Nor will I eat things that I won’t allow him to have in front of him. I’m making exceptions for occasional diet sodas, diet Jello and low-fat frozen yogurt. Without those things, I really don’t think I could survive.

In the few days I’ve been implementing it, it’s first been driving me towards whatever sweets we have left in the house. I’m scarfing up the dark chocolate, the Laffy Taffy’s, the granola bars. Life will get harder when those are all gone and I’ll have to be more creative in finding healthy snacks. At the same time, it’s leading me towards healthier choices when I’m out. Yesterday I felt like pizza for lunch. But I wouldn’t give that to River. So I instead settled upon beef stroganoff with roasted vegetables.

Here’s hoping I’ll be nearer to my pre-pregnancy self soon. As someone who doesn’t do well with food deprivation, it’s taking me a while.

Do you have any secrets on how to take off the pounds or keep them off post-pregnancy?

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