Friday, March 30, 2012

Day 5 and Funny Stella Video

Here we are at day 5 and I've made it through the first work week.  Last night was hard because I found myself wanting to eat more than I knew I should at dinner time.  I think it is my body adjusting to not eating carbs as much. We had a great dinner - oven roasted turkey breast, asparagus and oven roasted potatoes but I still wanted more.  I ended up snacking on some almonds and that helped subside the need to eat. 

This morning was the first morning I really felt the affects of the "cleanse".  I haven't really seen any change to my digestion or visits to the restroom but this morning, I finally had a little cleansing moment.  It felt really good and I swear my stomach got flatter LOL.

So far this morning is going well.  I've had my probiotic pills, a spark and breakfast.

I weighed in at 160.0
Total loss - 2lbs

Not bad for 5 days!

On a separate note, Stella did that funny sitting up thing in bed again...only this time, she was so tired she started falling asleep while sitting up.  I video'ed her video monitor...take a look.  Sorry if it is sideways :)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Stella's New Trick = Rough Nap!

Well, Stella is developing more and more, which is so fun to watch, but that leads to new tricks including sitting herself up in her crib during bed and naptime.  Normally she will just figure out how to get herself back down to her belly and fall asleep.  Unfortunately, we weren't so lucky this time.  During her 1:30 nap, she pushed herself up to her butt and started playing with her little blankie like it was a pom pom.  That was fun for about 15 minutes but then she realized she was tired and got so upset that she refused to lay back down.  Normally I'd let her work this out on her own but the scream/crying was killing me so I went in and laid her back down.  What do you know, she pushed herself back up and scream/cried even harder!  FINALLY, after about another 20 minutes, I went in and laid her down again and she went to sleep.  Here is a pic of her on the video monitor...just sitting up in her crib and chillin!

Day 4

Not a whole lot to report about yesterday.  I found myself getting sort of hungry but I am getting better about making healthy choices for snacks.  Things like apples, grapes, almonds, carrots, luna bar, etc.  We roasted a turkey breast to have some protein throughout the week...it is yummy!

I also made steel cut oats in my crock pot overnight.  I cut out the butter and brown sugar but put in cinnamon and apples.  It was a little bland so I'll have to figure out a way to spice it up but boy...talk about easy and healthy breakfast.

I forgot to weigh myself this morning before drinks or food but I weighed after I ate and I was weighing in at the same 160.5.  I'm hoping that I'll break into the 150's over the weekend!

Day 4 is when we start with the probiotics so we did that this morning.  I can report that I woke up without a headache again but I am tired today.  We have gray skies...I'm sure that doesn't help.  I always perk up in the sunshine!  Plus, I find Thursdays somewhat difficult...the weekend is within sight but not quite here.  Today may be a day where I drink an extra dose of spark.  BUT I'm doing well without my coffee...haven't had any coffee since Sunday!

Praying for the sunshine to peek out!  More tomorrow...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Day 3 - Met my nemesis

Here we are...day 3 of the 24 day challenge and I realized that I may not have planned this challenge at the most strategic time.  I headed downstairs yesterday and what was staring me straight in the face?? GIRL SCOUT COOKIES!!!! I had ordered them over a month ago and they finally came in a few weeks ago.  I had honestly forgot we still had some thin mints laying around and then I spotted them.  There they were just begging me to eat them...they looked so good.  The package was open and the cookies smelled soooo good.  It was snack time and I was hungry.  In a moment of weakness, I popped one in my mouth but immediately wrapped them up and buried them in my messy pantry.  I'm hoping I will go back to forgetting they even exist!  Damn you, thin mints, damn you!!!!

Anyway, other than my little encounter with my nemesis, the thin mint, yesterday went pretty well.  I found myself getting hungry a few times but I reminded myself that hungry is not a bad thing.  I don't need to be stuffed to the brim every moment of every day.  It is ok for my body to be hungry, as long as I am not letting myself get too hungry where I will eat anything and everything in sight...been there, done that...it ain't pretty!

Like I mentioned in my post yesterday, I had woken up with a headache but it dissipated as the day went on.  Again, not sure what is making that happen but I am sure happy about it. 

Here is the most amazing thing that happened yesterday...I actually had the desire to clean! For those of you that really know me, you can pick your jaw up off of the ground now :) YES...me, Ally, cleaned my kitchen on my own free will!  Normally at night all I want to do is sit and play with Stella and watch TV...veg and not think about a thing.  Last night, I just got this little burst of energy around 7pm.  I had put Stella to bed and decided to reorganize one of my cupboards so I did.  I also organized the island and picked up all of the crap that had been cluttering my kitchen for months and months.  It felt good! 

I still had time to sit down and relax for part of the evening but I felt good knowing that I had been productive!  Hopefully that will continue.

In addition, this morning, I woke up without a headache.  It has been over a month since that has happened.  I also woke up bright eyed and bushy tailed.  I am by no means a morning person and I start work at 6am.  It usually takes me a good few hours to get my happy face plastered on but this morning, I woke up ready to tackle the day!  The weather has slightly dampened my mood since it is so drizzly and nasty outside but hopefully my energy level will stay high.  I have a lot to do and I desperately need to get my butt in gear to finish my final portfolio/thesis for school!

Day 3 morning weight - 160.5.
Total loss - 1.5lbs

More to come...

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Day 2

I made it through the first day and I have to tell you...it wasn't that bad!!  Here is a quick review of how it went.

I woke up in the morning with a headache...nothing new since I have been battling with my sinuses for about 4 weeks.  Upon waking up, I drank a glass of Spark and went on working.  30 minutes later, I drank my fiber drink (not the tastiest thing but also not the worst) and then drank a meal replacement shake for breakfast.  About 2 hours later, I had an apple for a snack and about another 2 hours later, I had lunch.  Lunch consisted of a grilled chicken salad with balsamic vinaigrette.  During the first half of the day, I also consumed about 32 oz of water.  Needless to say, I was racing to the bathroom to relieve myself quite often. 

Around 2pm, I had a second glass of spark and as I was drinking it, I noticed that I didn't have a headache.  This was probably the first time I hadn't had a headache in about 3 weeks - no joke!  It was like a huge weight had been lifted!!  I'm not ready to say that it is any one thing - spark, water, healthy food, etc - but the combination was awesome!

I had a luna bar for a snack after work and then Matt and I had a very yummy dinner of salmon, brown rice and green beans!  Surprisingly really filling and really tasty!  Then it was off to Young Life, like every Monday night.  I noticed that I did have more energy than my normal Monday night.  Normally, I'm dragging by about 8pm but I had a little spring in my step last night.  I got home at about 9pm, took the "cleansing tablets" and went off to bed.

I woke up this morning at 161lbs (1lb down) and felt more alert than I normally do at 6am.  I did have a headache again but I'm hoping that will disappear as the day goes on.  So far, I'm feeling good and still motivated.  I've had my spark, fiber drink and breakfast (no coffee) and I'm not tired!  Today is sunny and I'm keeping a positive outlook!

Monday, March 26, 2012

24 Day Challenge - Day 1

Welcome to day 1 of my 24 day challenge.  For those of you that know me, you know that I am fairly in shape but I'm always looking for a way to lose a little weight or get into better shape.  Over the years, I have tried many things and some have been very successful but most of the time my bad habits get in the way and I eventually gain the lost weight back.  Well, today I am beginning a 24 day challenge/cleanse to hopefully rid my body of the toxins and cravings that I am currently experiencing. 

The 24 day challenges is from a company called Advocare and it is based off of 10 days of cleansing the body of the waste and toxins and then 14 days of building up the good vitamins, nutrients and probiotics so that your body can process and utilize food as fuel, the way it was intended to.  This is not one of those crazy cleanses where you drink cayenne pepper and lemon water and you can't eat food and you are running to the bathroom every 10 minutes...oh no - I could not handle that!  This is a combination of high fiber drinks, probiotics and healthy food to cleanse and recalibrate the body.  During the entire challenge, I will still be eating food but the food will consist of fruits, veggies, lean proteins and complex carbs.

On average, people lose 12 lbs during the 24 day challenge.  I don't have a ton of weight to lose but realistically I've been in the same 15lb weight range for the past 12 years.  I go up and I go down but I pretty much always stay between 150-165lbs (OMG I just admitted my weight in print!! SCARY!) I am 5'8" and have a good foundation of muscle mass from being a gymnast, so that weight isn't ridiculously high but it is still higher than I would like it to be. 

I feel good about my body when I am 150lbs so that is my initial goal.  I'm currently at 162 so that would be a 12lb loss.  I know that 150 is something that I can achieve because I've been there before in recent years, however ideally, I'd like to find out if 140's is attainable.  Honestly, I'm not really sure whether it is or not because I haven't been there since I had my big growth spurt of 10 inches in high school.  Once I get to 150, I will do another assessment to see how I'm feeling and whether I feel that I should maintain at that weight or if my body can remain healthy and lose more.

Of course weight loss is a priority for me but more than that, I just want to feel healthy again.  I know that I am not eating the things that properly fuel my body and I feel sluggish and icky most of the time with constant headaches.  From reading other people's reviews of this 24 day challenge, their energy level increases, their focus and clarity increases, inches and weight decrease and headaches disappear.  That is my hope.  With everything that I have on my plate (graduate school, work, baby, husband, volunteer work, etc) I could definitely benefit from those results.

So...now that I've bared my soul (and my weight - I still can't believe I did that!!), here is how the next few days will go...

Days 1-3

* Wake up and drink Spark (Advocare's version of an energy drink - full of vitamin B) on an empty stomach
* 30 minutes later drink the cleansing Fiber drink with breakfast.  Breakfast consists of a few eggs or a piece of fruit or a piece of oat toast with peanut or almond butter or a meal replacement shake.
* Snack of fruit or almonds between breakfast and lunch
* Lunch - salads w/lean proteins or vegetables and lean protein
* Snack again (same thing)
* OmegaPlex supplements taken with dinner for the healthy fatty acids.  Dinner consists of lean protein and veggies again (complex carb if needed) - we are having Salmon tonight YUM!
* Snack if needed before bed
* Cleansing tablets at bed time. (Herbal Cleanse Tablet: Senna extract, wheat grass powder, cranberry juice powder, burdock extract, astragalus extract, echinacea extract, milk thistle extract, schisandra extract, beet powder, odorless garlic powder).

I will let you know how we did tomorrow.  Oh yeah...I say we because my husband is doing it with me!! This is the first thing that Matt has shown an interest in doing with me because it is done with the purpose of healthy, rather than weight loss like my other ventures like weight watchers, etc.

Wish me luck! I'll keep you posted along our journey!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

An Update on Stella's Weight

Miss Stella had her 10 month check up (which was only a result of being low weight at her 9 month visit) so that they could check her weight and it went really well. We have been feeding her what feels like a TON of food and she is loving it. Here is her current schedule:

8am: wake up and nurse
8:15am: 3.5oz of fruit solids
8:25-9:15am: play play play
9:15am: 8oz bottle of formula
9:30-11 or 11:30: nap #1
12 noon: nurse or 4oz bottle of formula
12:15pm: 3.5oz meat solids
12:30-1:30 play play play
1:30- 3 or 3:30: nap #2
3:30pm: 8 oz bottle of formula
3:30 - 5: errands or play with mommy
5pm: 3.5oz vegetable solids
5-6:30: play with mommy and daddy
6:30pm: bath time
7pm: 8 oz bottle of formula
between 7:15-8p: bedtime

As you can see, a good portion of our day is eating, eating and more eating. Here is the kicker...when we starting this eating regiment, she could barely eat 5oz at a time. Now she gulps down 8oz and then wants more!

Needless to say, I was confident that she had gained weight since her last appointment and, sure enough, that was confirmed when she was weighed. Little Miss Stella gained 4 pounds!! 4 POUNDS!!! Can you believe that? 4 pounds in 1 month. She is now 19.4lbs. That gain put her right back up on the 50th percentile. The doctor said that he was extremely happy with the result and to keep doing what we are doing.

I asked what the maximum is that she should be getting and he said that he really doesn't think she can eat too much at this point but if I am concerned, I need to make sure she gets a minimum of the 24 oz of formula and then I can always offer water as an alternative. If Stella had her way, she would be drinking 32oz of formula plus solids plus nursing every day.

At this point, I only have 1 or 2 nursing sessions a day and my supply is way down. I'm a little bummed that my breast feeding days are coming to an end with her but it is also somewhat freeing. I was planning to wean her at a year anyway so we aren't that far off and Stella is such a happy baby so I know we are doing what is right for her.

She is also sleeping 10-12 hours at a time now and pretty consistently. I think the formula at night helps her feel full through the night so she doesn't have to wake as early to eat. I will be honest...I'm pretty happy with this result of the feeding change.

Overall, we have a happy (really joyful) and healthy 10 month old daughter that steals my heart on a daily basis. As frustrating as the weight loss was, we rebounded and came out of it better than ever. It is now 1 bump we can add to the road of parenting :) We are smooth sailing for now but I'm sure there will be many more bumps to come.

Thank you to all who had my baby in your prayers over the past month!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

My First Weekend Away

I finally did it...I left my baby for the weekend.  Matt and I ventured to California for a weekend of fun in the sun.  My parents kindly headed over the pass and stayed at our house with Stella so that we could leave knowing that she was in good hands. 

As we pulled out of the driveway on Thursday night, I was overwhelmed with anxiety.  I knew that Stella would be fine with my parents but I had spend 9 months carrying this baby and then another 10 months with very little separation from her.  I was anxious about just being away from her.  A little of me was excited but a lot of me was anxious.  I tried not to show it but I think everyone could tell.  I am surprised to say that I did not cry at all.  I kept thinking I was going to but I talked myself out of it.  I probably would have been more sad at the airport but thankfully, we didn't have time to think or rest there.

We arrived at the airport an hour early, which is plenty of time at our small regional airport, to find that our flight was running behind and there would be very little chance of us making our connecting flight in Oakland.  So, the front desk agent make some calls on her walkie talkie and was able to get us and our bags on a flight that would be departing in less than 15 minutes.  We rushed through security (there were only 3 people in front of us in line) and they greeted us by name at the gate and we boarded the plane.  PHEW!  We weren't able to sit together on the flight but at least we knew we wouldn't be stuck in Oakland.  We ended up having to fly to Boise then Oakland then finally LAX.  It was a long day of travel for a total of about 3 hours in the air but we finally got to the hotel at midnight.

We stayed at the beautiful Hyatt in Huntington Beach and had a gorgeous view of the ocean from our room., which we didn't know until the next morning since we got in so late.  The first night was the hardest for me.  Believe it or not, I had a really difficult time sleeping.  I woke up at about 3am and couldn't fall back asleep until about 4:30am.  I kept thinking about Stella and how much I missed not being able to roll over and look at her video monitor.  I finally turned on the white noise that she sleeps to (which I can hear over the video monitor) and that helped me go to sleep.



The next day Matt and I spent the day at Disneyland!  It was a lot of fun! We began at California Adventure and did 3 rides: Soarin over California, The Tower of Terror, and California Screamin.  I have never been able to get Matt to ever ride any rides in the history of our relationship but he agreed to go on all of them with me and even admitted that he had a great time on them all (especially the roller coaster)!!



We made our way over to Disneyland and went on Space Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean (not very fun) and Splash Mountain.  We just happen to be in a boat with 4 heavy men and 2 women (Matt & I included) which weighted down our boat/ride quite a bit so every splash seemed to make its way into our boat and onto all of us!  Thankfully Matt and I were in the back but we still got pretty wet.  Poor Matt had 1 very wet shoe.




We almost made it out of Disneyland without spending more than $40 but then we found the big Disney store in Downtown Disney and I went a little nuts getting presents for Stella. Whoops!

The next day, Matt went golfing while I got an amazing massage at the hotel spa.  His golf game took a very long time so I spent the rest of the day by the pool of the hotel in 78 degree weather.  It was quite lovely...sipping pina-coladas by the pool...ahhhhhhhh! BLISS! 

After sunbathing by the pool, I headed up to my room and got to video chat with Stella! It was so fun to see her.  I found out that Grammy had taught her so many new tricks!  It was so comforting to see her so happy and doing well without me there but it made me miss her a little bit more.

We left early on Sunday and had another long day of travel ahead of us.  We got to the airport at 11:30 but didn't actually fly out till 2pm.  Then our 2.5 hour layover in Oakland turned into a 3.5 hour layover and we didn't get home until 9pm.  Stella was already asleep when I got home and I didn't want to wake her but I did go and peek in on her.  I swear she grew while we were gone. 

I was so excited to go and get her out of her crib the next morning and she seemed just as excited to see me.  It was pretty darn adorable! 

Overall, the weekend away was a success!  I survived away from my baby and my baby LOVED spending a weekend with Grammy and Grumpy.