Monday, December 26, 2016

A Depressing 100 Extra Pounds and Bleeding

238 lbs
I have been bleeding since giving birth to my fourth son. It has driven me nuts. I have tried multiple things and it doesn't seem to fully work. I am more frustrated because the IUD and birth control pill have made me gain around 5+ lbs over the last month. Yet, they have lessened the bleeding to an extent. The "pill" has sent my emotions on a roller coaster that was well-controlled.

I have had an ultrasound and antibiotics. My doctor ruled out any left over placenta, glucose levels, thyroid problems, and other common issues. I have a slightly thickened endometrial lining.

I mentioned my problems on Facebook and friends and family suggested things. Mostly love and support. Many female friends empathized that they had similar bleeding that had no apparent reason for happening.

Sometimes, I wish I were male.

Well, not really.

I tried raspberry leaf tea and shepherd's purse. I stopped trying those a few days ago. Now I should be "on" bleeding with the pill. So maybe next week I should find out if the bleeding stops. I am embracing it this week. Haha.

I can't believe how much birth control can make me gain weight. So many things have been working against me for the last 13 years.

When I was 19, I had a breakdown at college. I was misdiagnosed with depression only and given an antidepressant. I gained 40 lbs over two years of taking it. I was active for most of that time. It was a stressful time I suppose at school, teaching English in China, and a brief mission. In China and the MTC, I didn't have the option to eat anytime, so I scarfed down more food at meals. I felt no control.

At 21, I switched medication and started more medications. I had a new diagnosis of bipolar 2. I started the patch a few months later when I married, which made me gain 5 lbs. I don't believe the bipolar medications had made me gain weight.

I lost 16 lbs puking through my first pregnancy. I tried going off my mood stabilizer and started a new antidepressant while breastfeeding. Eight weeks later, I went back on the mood stabilizer plus the antidepressant.

That antidepressant was notorious for gaining weight. Over the course of taking that medication, I gained 45 lbs. I had one more child, 2 IUDs in and out, 9 moves, a broken foot, and joblessness. That stress might have contributed.

So much has happened to my body. I had two more children with my body gaining, losing, and finally gaining. Changed medications several times. I had periods of losing 5-10 lbs., but it returned when stress hit.

Currently, I am 238 lbs. I figure I am gaining weight because of stress, lack of sleep, overeating, and too little activity. I don't know what perfect storm caused me to gain 100 lbs in the last 13 years. Medication and birth control don't help.

The extra weight holds me back from my dreams. I feel the weight hang off my belly and I just want to cry sometimes. It is just the last 15 lbs that has really depressed me.

Anyway, there's my pity party.

So here's a new year. Go to bed by 10 pm. Tell my infant to sleep through the night every night. Tell my toddler to sleep through the entire night too. Eat vegetables and fruit. Reduce stress. Blah...

I bought a stationary bike, which I ride for about 15 minutes a day. It helps in the winter.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Not Pregnant Anymore!

"Mom pushing baby stroller"
I was so happy when I had my fourth boy out of my body. I can't remember the pain. I remember: I can bend again! God knew what he was doing when he made women forget.

During the last two months of my pregnancy, I had gestational diabetes. Ironically, the placenta can make a woman's body insulin resistant. I avoided sugary drinks and more sugary stuff near the end. I drank diet soda again despite the diarrhea. My doctor put me on metformin, which caused more diarrhea. Couldn't tell the difference anymore.

I had to check my blood sugar two to three times a day. I got good at poking my fingers and "milking" out blood. A dietitian and my doctor gave me two different ranges. The dietitian gave me strict guidelines and my doctor and the nurse educator gave me less strict guidelines. Who do I follow? Anyway, I dropped the dietitian because my doctor hadn't referred me to her, but maternal-fetal medicine doctors.

Taking my blood sugar, I had to wait two hours after eating to check my blood sugar. Even worse, I had to take a fasting blood sugar. For a nauseated woman, that's torture! I hated food, but I still had to have it to settle my stomach.

My doctor suggested I take walks within two hours after having a meal. The dietitian said that exercising your muscles has a backdoor to process glycogen that doesn't require insulin. Isn't exercise amazing!

The moment I had the baby, I was so excited not to prick myself anymore. And I could return to eating normally--not worry about counting carbs. At my six week checkup, my blood sugar was 75. The moment my placenta came out, my pancreas worked like it should to product insulin.

However, I am at higher risk for diabetes in the future. Losing weight would help a lot! I could lose 100 pounds and be the right weight. Isn't that depressing?

I have been walking some and doing chores, but not much formal exercise. I try bending more from my hips and knees instead of straining my back. It hurts from holding a baby and toddler.

For awhile, I dropped to what I was prepregnancy at 230 lbs. I am teetering a bit above, depending on bloating. I just shake my tummy fat in despair.

So, I am debating what best to do for exercise again. It is tricky with a baby and toddler who both want to be held most of the day. Oh the joy. Somehow I will figure it out.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Pregnant As Ever

I get bigger every day!
I'm in the last leg of my pregnancy journey. Food only tastes good temporarily and then it gives me heartburn. If I go to bed late or have a hard time sleeping, I wake up out of sorts. I can't breathe. The baby squishes my innards. My hips hurt; I can't bend; I'm done.

I beg my husband to take the baby out, but it's still too early. Please...TAKE THE BABY OUT. I tell him I will pay him a million dollars. Then he has the gall to ask me where the money is coming from. What does that matter!

Right now, my goal is to stay hydrated in the heat. I drink water and other fluids, but it's probably not enough. Some drinks make me nauseous. Watermelon has been my friend and my husband's enemy. He's tired of the mess it makes. I try to avoid some sugar when I have diet drinks, but those have an unwanted side effect of diarrhea. Yea, you wanted to know that. Fruit is awful too. I looked it up to figure out my problem. I switch between diet and regular soda when I eat out.

I stomach anything I can stand. It helps to have some protein with each meal like milk, eggs, or cheese with bread, tortillas or cereal. I can stand yogurt. I skimp on veggies because it takes more effort to make them. They make me feel nauseous, unless they are with other food. I am dependent on one fruit: cool, wet watermelon. I'm okay with strawberries and apples.

I eat out or have frozen meals a lot. I ask my husband to remind me of what I cooked like before. I made real meals 3-4 times a week. Homemade pizza, chicken and barley soup, burritos, chicken and mushrooms with brown rice, meals with vegetables and fruits. After the baby is born, I'll be back to normal, right?

Exercise? Hmm. I sweat from going up and down the stairs, opening the outside door, doing dishes, picking up, and sleeping. I clean around the house and that's my exercise...and calling to my oldest to catch the toddler. Yet my body still feels so much healthier than my third pregnancy. I am more active in general. This last trimester is kicking my butt though.

The 90 to 100 degree Fahrenheit weather is my enemy. I sweat from doing nothing. I stay hydrated and stay inside. I want to go on outdoor adventures, but I can barely move in the heat. I cut my hair in hopes of staying cooler (and it drying faster). I waddle like all pregnant ladies.

Only a little while longer and this baby will come out. Will I feel better? Well, I'll be able to bend, not have heartburn, breathe, feel cooler, but I will still be sleep deprived.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Weight Loss: Pregnancy

I lost 2 pounds at my last doctor check up and the medical assistant was worried. I'm not worried. I lost 16 lbs. on my first pregnancy and gained it all back!

I did nothing to lose weight on purpose. Morning sickness. I have gained 15 lbs since the beginning of the pregnancy, so I am not worried. If I lost a lot of weight simply because I was exercising and eating healthier, but not dieting, I would be fine. Or if I gain weight while being healthy, I am fine.

I am eating healthier than I did my last pregnancy. I gained several pounds from drinking so much juice and sweet drinks at the end. I am trying to drink fewer sugary drinks. I am paying more attention to how full or hungry I feel.

My only goal is to survive the last trimester alive.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Trouble with Sleep

"Cats Cuddling" by Melissa Anthony
I am having a harder time falling asleep lately and need more sleeping aids (bipolar meds). It is such a pain, but it's partially my fault. I haven't been going to bed consistently at a good time. My sleep affects how healthy I am, and I have a great habit of going to bed later than 10 pm.

I am missing out on some exercise opportunities and making healthier choices with food and habits throughout the day.

I went to bed at 10 pm last night. But I slept in until 8:35 and missed an appointment with someone. The sleeping aids have to be the right dose to be just enough to put me asleep, but not too much to keep me asleep longer than necessary. My doctor and I have discussed splitting a pill or having the whole dose.

I've been taking the whole dose instead of a half-dose like I normally do. So I have two solutions in mind: improve my sleep hygiene, and take the sleeping aid earlier in the evening.

Sleep hygiene may make the biggest difference. I have a bedtime routine, but I don't have a set time I start my routine. I need to start by 9:30 pm at least. Will you keep me on track? :)

If I take my sleeping aid at 9 pm, I may wake an hour earlier than normal.

I will have to experiment.

I have goals I want to achieve: start graduate studies, writing books and blogs, achieve a healthy weight, and function well as a mother.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Program Almost Done--Now It's Done

Wrote this part last week:

My son is watching me while I write on the computer. It drives me nuts. He is just laughing...even harder. He fell over a bag of chips. He creeps closer as I type 'me.' His laugh is maniacal. I'm telling him my bubble is the length of my arm. I've never liked anyone looking over my shoulder while I write or I am on the computer.

Anyway, to the point. This month I finish the weight loss class I've been doing. I have learned a lot about eating, sleeping, making change and so forth. Permanent weight loss takes time and isn't a fad diet.

This week:

I had my last appointment a week ago and I was down to 226.5 lbs from 232 lbs six months ago--5 1/2 lbs lighter! I lost 1.25 inches around my waist.  That's a significant amount!

My Body Image

For two or three years, I've wanted to have liposuction because it feels like the only way I can succeed. However, I know it isn't the only way. I see the bodyshaping commercials now and I feel more comfortable with my body (most of the time!).

It will take time for me to lose the weight in a more permanent fashion. Surgery costs money and has complications--no matter what any surgeon may say. Losing weight doesn't have to cost a dime!

I have a better body image than I used to. I am beautiful in whatever stage I am in. I used to see other women and feel extremely jealous of their thinner bodies. I still feel a pang of jealousy, but I no longer feel depressed (for too long) about it. I have a body that functions and I am healthy--besides my weight.

I had a two-day bout of jealousy last week of slender silhouettes. Ah, I'm jealous! But life goes on.

Sleeping Habits

My sleeping habits are getting better. I have done yoga one other night this week. Mostly, I avoid stressing subjects an hour before bed and I am retiring around 9:30 to 10:30 most nights. I am making considerable progress.

I stayed up until 2 am reading Julie Klassen's latest book, A Painter's Daughter, last Thursday. I need to find a better solution to when I bring home a library book in the evening.

Since first writing this post last week, I have stayed up until 11 pm or later. I retired by 10:30 last night. My goal will by 10 pm.

Struggling with Goals

Goals are elusive beasts. If I write down my goals or get too specific, it stresses me out at times. Lists stress me out. Somehow I need to find a balance that fits my personality.

Rewards are another tricky subject. What can I use as a reward? Anything I choose, I will buy myself anyway or do that activity anyway. I feel like their are natural rewards to health goals: I get HEALTHIER and HAPPIER. Other rewards are beyond my reach or my attention span. I'm making progress.

I talked with my dietitian and she said that natural rewards make sense. She liked my approach. These rewards are free and happen when you fulfill your goals. They are natural consequences.


Exercise makes the biggest difference in what I do. I've lost inches in the past when I exercise 60+ minutes 4-5 times a week. I'm trying a new exercise program that involves my children too.

Formal exercise has always been tricky because of toddlers. My toddler was sick all last week, so I went a week without going. I exercised some at home, but I was sick for two days too. 

My youngest had his larger-than-life adenoids removed last September, so he has fewer colds. He can breathe normally too! That has made exercise a little easier. He wants to be held while I exercise.

I found a walking partner again! It's been a couple years since I had a walking partner. My other partners get too busy or move away or I moved away.

Intuitive Eating Attempts

I rarely track my food because it stresses me. I'm focusing instead on eating when I'm hungry and adding vegetables and fruit to my diet. The hunger scale helps me gauge my hunger. Last night I ate beyond the full stage to uncomfortable. (It was a difficult day yesterday.)

I am making progress because I don't eat to the point I'm literally sick. Five years ago to the week, I went into the emergency room with such pain. I had gall stones, which made me throw up when overeating fatty foods.

After that, I ate a little less because I remembered the awful pain. But I still ate until I felt beyond uncomfortable. Over the last two years, I've tried to be more careful.

Just Keep Swimming--Dory

My life is making it one day at a time. I don't like to plan, but I have to do some. Weight loss is a long term goal and then weight maintenance. I hope that I can be slender within the next year. I just need to stay active and pay attention to intuitive eating.

Here's to one more day!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Thoughts on New Years Resolutions

"Happy New Year" by Circe Denyer
Resolution from the Latin resolutionem is "process of reducing things into simpler forms." I'm thinking of What About Bob? where Bill Murray's character takes literal baby steps to achieve his goals. Losing weight is achieving small goals on a daily basis as a process.

So my journey is a process, but I want it done now!

What should I do to make this year a success? My success last year was maintaining my weight for six months. I should think of that as success anyway :).

  1. My goal is still to go to bed by 10 pm. I have succeeded at going to bed earlier than in the past. 
  2. Eat when I'm hungry. I use the hunger scale to determine if it's time to eat (most of the day).
  3. Exercise, but for how much?

I tried yoga before bed to help me fall asleep. It helped doing a PM session meant to calm me down. However, that takes up time before bed!

I'm not sure if I've gained or lost any weight over the holidays. I've had some active days, but some days where my cold drained my energy and emotions. I had so much hope for a productive and fun holiday, but it has been pretty lazy.

I weighed myself before and after bathing. It was a difference of two or three pounds. Is that how much dirt I was carrying on my body? Gross to think about. I figured I'd weigh more because my long hair was wet.

How much does wet hair weigh? I found this post where the woman says her wet hair was .2 pounds heavier than dry hair. This article states that being wet only adds a few ounces to weight.