The Sleep Correlation

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It’s a miracle! Seriously, a fricken miracle occurred this morning when I woke up and realized that my two-year-old slept through the night without waking up. She’s never really been a bad sleeper, but last Wednesday night she learned how to escape her crib. We considered ourself lucky that she’s made it this long staying in her crib, but now we need to transition into a toddler bed. We haven’t changed the bed yet, but for the past few nights she’s woken up at 1 a.m. like clockwork.

My husband and I have always maintained a strict no-kid-in-the-bed policy so instead of letter her escape her crib and crawl in with us like she wants, we take her back to her room and end up sitting on the floor waiting for her to fall asleep. It’s exhausting! And with this newly-found exhaustion comes all sorts of pains and ailments and bad habits in the daylight hours. Being more tired than normal in the morning makes me want to reach for a Coca-cola for a caffeine fix (I’ve never been a coffee drinker), and that leads to wanting an Egg McMuffin or a bagel sandwich. It took every ounce of restraint in my body to stick with having fruit and cereal each of those mornings and not giving in to the indulgences I was craving. Random fact: IF I would have gone to McDonalds and grabbed an Egg McMuffin meal, it would have cost me 16 points, just under half of my daily allowance.

These last few days have really made me take a closer look at the true correlation between eating habits (and by extension exercise and other healthy lifestyle habits) and sleep. On days that I wake up after getting a good, uninterrupted night’s sleep, I feel motivated and easily stick to the goals and plan that I’ve created for myself. Whether it’s breakfast or dinner, the whole day just seems to be easier when it comes to eating and passing on indulgences. In comparison, these last few days have been nothing but difficult for me on many fronts. I’ve wanted to eat junk and avoid cooking. I’ve wanted to nap for hours instead of staying active. And, most noticeably, my overall mood has just been sluggish and short. 

So this realization (not revelation because none of this information is truly new or outstanding) then begs the question, on days when my overnight sleep is less than stellar, what can I do in the morning or throughout the day to help me stay active and on track? Can I eat superfoods during breakfast to increase my chances of staying energized? Should I take a power nap after lunch to re-energize myself? Is it best to just call in sick for the day? Are vitamins the answer? These are all questions racing through my mind because I know the struggles of having a toddler will be around for quite awhile. Every day for my daughter is new and is part of her overall transition from baby to young girl, and that means sleeping issues, varying eating habits, tantrums and mood swings. I’m definitely ready to help her during this period, but I’m not as ready to help myself stay on track while I put so much focus on her. 

I won’t lie, I’m worried about weighing myself tomorrow for my weekly weigh-in. Although I didn’t go crazy a single day in the last week, I’ve just been feeling really sluggish. I certainly don’t think I’ve gained a pound, but I have a feeling I didn’t lose any weight either. Now is that the end of the road for my journey – a week without weight loss? Absolutely not, but it is a bit discouraging during a long weight-loss journey. I guess speculating won’t make it any easier either so it’s best to just wait and see what the scale says in the morning. As for the issue at hand … I was lucky to sleep through the night last night so I’m keep up hope that we have another good sleeper tonight. Fingers crossed!

First Week & Three Pounds Down

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I finished my first week of Weight Watchers and weighed myself on Wednesday. To my delight, I lost three pounds! Now I know in the grand scheme of things three pounds is a drop in a lake, but it’s a start!

In the first week I didn’t cheat, use all of my extra weekly allowed points or forget to track a single item. Although not everything I ate was healthy for me, I still kept to the overall guidelines of eating just 39 Weight Watchers points worth of food per day … Or 39 plus a few of the weekly allowance if necessary. So by definition of the rules of the program, I succeeded. Future mini goals will incorporate using the Fit Bit I purchased and incorporating exercise. Slow down me! One step at a time.

My goal for this week is simple: use fewer of my weekly extra allowance. Yes, yes my overall goal is to lose a couple of pounds this week as well, but in an effort to achieve that my mini goal is to adhere even closer to that strict daily allowance.

The usually most difficult part of any person’s week for dieting is right around the corner: the weekend. For me, however, it shouldn’t be to rough because I work all day Saturday and can easily plan my breakfast, lunch and snacks without having access to any extras. I’m hoping to spend some time playing outside at the playground or park with my daughter as well this weekend. Each time we go I try to be more involved than the last time which helps me burn calories while we both have a great time. Thank goodness for the weather in the Southwest and being able to spend time outside when other parts of the country are still struggling with winter weather.

Alright, well there are only a couple of hours remaining until my daughter and husband get home and I still have several chores to tackle. I’m happy to be home early today because I can actually spend some time making dinner for us. On the menu for dinner: garlic and basil orzo with chicken. Not only do both my husband and I enjoy it, but my daughter devours it like chocolate! I seriously can’t wait for dinner.

Taking Over … a.k.a. cutting ties with the pounds

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I just got back from vacation with my family. While in the Caribbean my family had formal portraits on the beach taken. I was the beached whale.

When I was younger, and really until just before having my child, I was the smallest in the family. My waistline always was or appeared to be small in comparison to my family members. That isn’t the case anymore. My sister recently lost more than 100 lbs with the help of a Minneapolis-based program called Slimgenics. My mother and best friend lost weight the same way. All the while I’ve put on more than 40 lbs since getting married in 2010 and having a child in 2012.

Things that used to be easy for me have now become difficult daily tasks. Climbing the stairs takes the breath out of my lungs, tying my shoes is a challenge because folding my body in half to reach the laces feels impossible, and don’t even get me started with normal bathroom/shower/hair/makeup tasks — all of them make me want to cry.

On top of the fact that my eating habits mimic those of my two-year-old, I’ve added desk-job to my resume and find myself staring at a computer screen and sitting static for 8+ hours each day. Every wonderful change in my life has helped to add pounds to my body, and I wouldn’t change anything in my recent history, but now I’m ready to shed the weight and keep moving forward.

I’ve tried a lot of different programs in the past including Nutrisystem, the online version of SlimGenics, Weight Watchers and my own program focusing on using the mobile app LoseIt. Between WeightWatchers and LoseIt I was able to lose 40+ pounds before my 2010 wedding. I felt beautiful in my wedding dress, and I want more than anything at this moment to look in the mirror and feel beautiful again.

When my dad showed me the pictures that we took on the beach I was horrified at what I saw because I was in denial about just how much weight I had put on and what it had done to my appearance. It wasn’t me that I was looking at anymore, but instead it was someone without self-control and lacking self-respect. More than how I view myself, I’ve realized with absolute certainty that if I can’t respect myself because of how I am right now, then how will my daughter respect me as she grows up. How will she learn to grab grapes before she grabs a Snickers or asks for a home-cooked meal before a Happy Meal at McDonalds if I don’t do those things myself?

So, it was while I was on the vacation that I made the decision to change. I know I can’t change overnight, but I am taking steps to change for the better. I’ve re-signed up for WeightWatchers online and ordered myself a FitBit so I can getter a better picture of just how active (or inactive) I am each day. I also started this blog. When I lost weight before I blogged about it and it really helped me to stay accountable because people were reading about my progress, asking questions and encouraging me. So here I go and wish me luck!

MY STATS:

30 yrs old, female, married with one child

248 lbs on 3/18/14 with a BMI of 40

First goal: 20 reach 225 lbs (lose 23 lbs) by June 1.