Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Weight Loss Wednesday- Week 1

And so my journey begins. One year ago today, my Monkey was born. After that date, I did what many typical moms do. I lost a lot of weight, then slowly started packing it back on. Before I realized I was pregnant with Monkey, I had quite the magic algebraic equation to explain the weight I gained after Diva was born:

Sweet tea obsession + Junk food habit + Depo Provera + lack of exercise =

Nicole + 40 lbs (at least)

One of my first pregnancy symptoms, about two weeks before I knew I was pregnant with Monkey, is that sweet tea started tasting weird. It was overly sweet, almost like they doubled the amount of sugar. I stopped being able to drink McDonald's sweet tea, then a few days later I stopped buying it from the local restaurant near my work. Little did I know, I was actually pregnant and Monkey DID NOT like sweet tea.

I typically had 3-4 large sweet teas a day at this point. That is 280 calories each, so 1120 calories per day just from sweet tea. Even before my first prenatal appt, I knew that I had lost 10-20lbs in the previous month, just from not drinking sweet tea and making healthier food choices. When I weighed in at my first prenatal appt, I was 178lbs, so I started out at at least 190lbs. During the first half of the pregnancy, I slowly lost weight and made it to 153lbs. Not on purpose, but it was the product of cutting out sweet tea and healthier choices. I was not exercising a lot or counting calories, just walking when I could and choosing more fruits and vegetables. At that point, I started gaining weight back and was 173lbs the day Monkey was born.

Since then, I have yo-yo'd, going back down to 155lbs at 5 months postpartum and back up to my current weight:

Given my height and frame, I know that 140-145lbs is a healthy goal weight. I have never actually "dieted" before. I would try to get a little more exercise and make healthier food choices (read: less junk food, but still including a good portion of junk).

Now I am ready to get healthy. I am using several different tools to accomplish my goals.

1) I have joined the Planet Fitness in my town. My goal right now is to work out twice a week at the gym. Hubby has a wide variety of meetings throughout the month during the week, so Wednesday evenings after dinner seems to be the best time during the week for me to go consistently. I have a hard enough time getting everyone out the door on a typical morning, so I do not want to add the gym to that. So Wednesday evenings and once during the weekend is my goal for now.

2) I have joined a weight loss challenge with friends. I "met" a large group of women on a parenting forum during my pregnancy with Monkey that all had due dates around January 2011. We have since moved our online relationship to a Facebook group, discussing everything from our children and families to TV shows and venting our frustrations. There are over 100 of us, which sounds like a lot, but most of us have been together since early in our pregnancy. Our closeness is due to the 18+ months that we have "known" each other. Some members have regular playdates, others have travelled a few hours to meet up, and others have visited from across the country.

So around two dozen of us have banded together in a weight loss challenge. The challenge started this week and will run through Easter. Whichever Mama loses the highest percentage of weight between now and then will be declared the winner and receive prizes from all the other participating Mamas. Although any of us will be winners just for trying.

3) I have started using My Fitness Pal. This is a free site that helps you count calories, log exercise, etc. Conveniently, you can use the free website or the free apps for the iPhone or iPad. I entered my starting weight, height, age, goal weight, and how much you want to lose per week. You can then add food and exercise to your daily log. One of the benefits of My Fitness Pal is their database, which includes nearly every variation of food (from estimates for homemade foods to prepared and restaurant foods) and exercise (ranging from times spent on different machines, walking or running, and even household chores).

I am still breastfeeding, so it is important that I do not cut my daily calories by too much or I risk my milk supply. According to Kelly Mom, I would need to consume 1800-2200 calories per day for an abundant milk supply. My Fitness Pal calculated that I need to consume 1425 calories per day to lose 1lb per week (plus two 60 minute workout sessions). So according to both sites, I need to consume 400 more calories per day than what is needed or me to lose weight. *scratches head*

But I figured out how to bridge the gap. Nursing burns roughly 20 calories per oz. I know that when Monkey nurses, he consumes around 4oz in 3-4 minutes. One of the benefits of of My Fitness Pal is that you can add foods and exercise. Based on what I know is the average of Monkey's consumption per session, I know that it averages out to around 1 minute to burn 20 calories (or 1oz). I was able to add "Breastfeeding" in to the exercise options on my My Fitness Pal profile for 1 min = 20 cal. Now when Monkey nurses, I can just go in to the site or the app on my phone or iPad and add the exercise "Breastfeeding" into my log and enter how many minutes the session lasted. EASY exercise, right? And that's not even counting housework and "real" exercise that will also help to offset those extra calories.

So here is my log for today from My Fitness Pal:

Granted, I know that I really probably didn't burn 700 calories nursing Monkey today. But, he did a lot of nursing today, possibly because of a growth spurt and because one of his top front teeth finally popped through. So I probably burned at least 500 calories from nursing today and consumed 1724. This means my net calories for the day is 1224, lower than the 1425 that I need daily to lose 1lb per week. WOOT!!

Full disclosure: Today was supposed to be a workout day. On a typical week, my plan would be to come home from work, do the dinner/homework routine, and then head to the gym while Hubby does the bedtime routine. With today being Monkey's birthday, we went to Mom's for dinner and cupcakes. So no gym for me tonight. But this weekend, I will be READY!

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