Saturday, March 8, 2014

Melanie Reporting: Personal Trainer Food

No, I am not getting a kick back from Personal Trainer Food. Yes, I am looking for a way to spur myself back into blogging. Yes, I am only three full days in and feel like cheating with chocolate. (When I started this, I was three days in. Now I am on my sixth day. Still wanting chocolate and now I'd like a latte too. A venti one.)

Ok! First things first! The selection of food.
The process was easy but I wish you could read reviews on individual foods. You know, in theory a Buffalo Ranch Chicken Stick sounds appealing but is it really? I chose the quick fill in option and tweaked the choices from there. Microwave in a bag sausage? Um, no thanks! And I wish there were more breakfast choices.

It was a Monday when I ordered and the earliest delivery option was the upcoming Thursday. I decided on a Saturday delivery and lo and behold, this huge cooler box arrived as scheduled on Saturday. (shipping is free and Saturday shipments are not an extra cost because it is a standard residential delivery day for FedEx)

I didn't care for the message on the flyer but that isn't a huge concern. This is definitely a diet marketed heavily to women. Most specifically women who are on the cusp of getting married. Been there, done that! The other documents provided are instructions, do's and don'ts, and a message about cheating on your diet. (Boo!) Did you know that one cheat day can set you back 2-4 days? That explains my problems, I guess! I probably have about 21 days left until I'm not set back anymore ;)

I quickly realized that I was unexpectedly limited on freezer space thanks to my husband. I had to make space where I could find it and I actually ended up bringing a week's worth of lunches to work. It's nice because there is nothing to measure or memorize. Hell, I can't even remember two hours ago let alone the heating instructions for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Only downsides are: 1) I'm not sure about the dry ice packing method during the hot summer months (if I continue with this plan for that long) and 2) there was no organization in the cooler box - I wish veggies had been with veggies and dinners with dinner, etc.

Pros after 6 days
  • "Frustration Free" packaging. I can easily open the microwaveable bags with one hand. Considering that I open most things while holding a squirmy baby, this is really important.
  • The meat is surprisingly moist and tasty! This makes me rethink my original aversion to the sausage.
  • Meals are ready in less than 3 and a half minutes.
  • The veggies seem really fresh despite the fact that they are frozen.
  • The diet is restrictive but easy to incorporate if you get pulled into a work lunch or celebratory dinner. I've needed to go out to lunch 3 times this week and using the "Do" and "Do Not" list, I felt successful in picking foods. My new friend/a new find near work: tri tip lettuce wrap with ranch dressing, tomatoes, cilantro, green salsa, onions, jicama, and low fat cheese. Yummy!
  • I can drink coffee but I cannot use my non-fat, low calorie liquid creamer. I've decided cinnamon is a good alternative.
  • Unlimited leafy greens
  • Salad Dressing with less than 2g of sugar is allowed
  • Non-starchy Veggies (there's lots more than I knew about it!) are allowed
  • Other snacks that are allowed are: lunch meats, 6 oz of skim cheese, avocado, 3 oz per day of one of these: almonds, pistachios, macadamia, sunflower seeds 
  • My digestive distress as of late has completely disappeared.
  • I've lost 6 pounds!
Cons after 6 days
  • I love fruit! And... no fruits except an apple a day :( I'd dance around on a street corner wearing a sandwich board to have 17 grapes right about now. (remember, way back when when I complained about ONLY being able to eat 17 grapes? yeah, I'd go back to that. :))
  • I love eating eggs but right now, if I see another omelet, I might cry. Too bad eggs are on the menu for breakfast for the next 22 days. The only thing that makes the eggs passable is that they are paired with a sausage patty. If I cook the omelet with the sausage on top, the juices spread over the egg and it tastes so much better. 
  • The veggies are fresh tasting but steamed, soft veggies are going to get old. Give a girl some directions on how to cook these outside of the bag without your icky butter-garlic sauce.
  • No yogurt, sugar, grains, milk, olives, or artichokes (there's more but these are things I like)
  • It's weird because they list carrots as a starchy veggie but it's in the packs of vegetables they provide. I've been chomping down carrots like crazy and I just realized they are on the DO NOT list.
  • I wish the guidelines for snacks were a little bit clearer.
  • I did not feel fueled up enough for my regular workout. I felt like my body was dragging at things that I am used to doing. The 5-30 minute walks recommended by the program were fine though.
  • Commercials on TV and the Radio really suck when you are on a diet. If I have to hear about pizza or cupcakes one more time, I will likely commit a pizza related diet crime at the Mountain Mike's All You Cat Eat Pizza Bar.
  • I'm physically and mentally fatigued though I don't feel like it is all the new diet. I do have an 8 and a half month old, after all. 

Overall, I feel like this week has been successful. I've been a little bit grumpy and restricted but I think of the last time I did a diet overhaul and that had a great outcome. I just have to push forward and stay away from the chocolate chips and reese's peanut cups that my husband brought home last week. Darn him!

And I leave you with this... (and I will)

Monday, March 3, 2014

9 Months On - 9 Months Off and Other Myths of Being a New Mom

 (Breastfeeding does not equal weight loss... whoever started that deserves to be smacked!)

I've spent a lot of time (almost 9 months, to be exact) feeling sorry for myself and feeling down on my body. My resolution this year is to have a healthier attitude because in the end, the way I treat myself will have a direct impact on my daughter. And let's be real, she's pretty important! She's already watching me and listening to me. She smiles when I call us "pretty girls" in the mirror and she frowns when I'm complaining about (insert complaint here).

 When I ran (stumbled/walked/tripped/cried through) the Tinkerbell Half Marathon in January, things hit me pretty hard. Despite my pants fitting well, a semi/fake positive attitude, and feeling physically strong, the extra weight does slow me down. I can feel it in my back and knees. I can feel it when I try to stand up taller when I run. I could certainly feel it when I hit mile six and realized that I was screwed. (I didn't get swept, thank goodness! Though I am pretty sure I came close)

I've been working out regularly since August and the number on the scale has not moved. We all know my love-hate relationship with the scale is heavily on the side of hate and how much it psychs me out. I have solid proof that my body has positively changed in the last nine months but damn it if the scale ruins everything. I feel stronger than I've felt in a long time but my scale continues to groan every time I stand on it.

So what does it come down to? It comes down to TIME. I have very little of my own time. I spend a lot of wonderful, happy time with my family. When my family is blissfully asleep and I am wide awake, I don't think about meal planning or prepping. I relax, read, drink wine, and play silly games on my computer. Then right as I'm falling asleep, I think to myself, "Shit, Melanie! You should have made lunch for tomorrow!" And then what happens in the morning. You guessed it, I have no time! Every millisecond of sleep I can squeeze into a night is being squeezed in. My wallet and my waistline have paid the price.

My solution? To eliminate the excuse of not having time. I decided about a month ago to purchase a Groupon for Personal Trainer Food. A week ago, when I realized my milk supply is dropping anyway, I finally ordered my food and decided to jump in. Pre-packaged, pre-cooked, frozen meals that I can pop right into the microwave. Easy peasy! Right?

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


I am in tears sitting in my driveway in the truck and I am so beyond frustrated. I feel like my hard work at the gym is for nothing. The scale hasn't moved. Not a freaking centimeter. My body fat is laughing at me too.

I have so many "poor me" blog posts drafted between shades of postpartum depression, lack of sleep, and being pissed off about my lack of progress. This is just getting ridiculous. Pregnancy is seriously the worst invention ever. Waking up at 4:30 to go to the gym is just as bad.

Edit (after a good cry and a hot shower... and a cup of coffee):
Here's my problem. I have been working really hard at the gym and away from the gym. I've pushed through feeling sick and weak. I've pushed through being completely out of shape. I've lost inches. But none of those positives are making it through my head because of the number on the scale and it is so discouraging. In the past, this is the point where I stop. Completely and utterly give up. How am I going to push past my past and keep going when I don't feel like I'm getting results?

I feel like I've done it all... The "I can't even lift my baby after working out" workouts, the "I can't close the recliner on the couch after working out" workouts, the "I can't stand up off the couch after working out" workouts, the "is my arm still connected to my body?" workouts, the "I feel great until I get home" workouts, the "maybe my pants will fit again after this workout" workouts, etc. Right now, I just feel like it has been for nothing and that is such an unhealthy thought process! Urgh... so frustrated.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Flukes and why they are awesome!

The baby slept for 8 hours last night! Oh. My. God. Uh-may-zing.

She woke up, ate for 40 minutes, and fell right back to sleep! Oh. My. God. In-cre-di-ble.

Is this a fluke? Probably. Will I pay for it later? Most likely. Am I enjoying my breakfast and coffee alone and in complete, utter silence for the first time in 10 weeks? Abso-freakin-lutely!

On another note, serious blog posts are coming, they are just in draft mode AKA "everytime I sit to write, the baby screams" mode. :)

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Here we go again!

 ** disclaimer: I wrote this a few days ago and forgot to press publish **

Alright people! I did it again, I braved a workout studio with my check book and committed to being a sore, cranky mess of a woman.

Last week on Thursday, I went to visit a workout studio that popped up Downtown that I had seen advertised at Starbucks when I was pregnant. If only this place had existed last year when I was getting into shape before! I would have saved a ton of time, money, and my car insurance rates wouldn't have gone up. The owner/trainer and I decided that instead of going the bootcamp route that it would be easier and more beneficial for me to do personal training sessions. It's more money but overall, I agreed. I can't feel a majority of my lower abdomen because I had a C-Section. It's hard to think of ways to exercise when there is no way of knowing if it's helping or hurting. I knew it would be tough for me to get in enough exercise if left to my own devices and now I am financially invested and it forces my husband to have "Daddy Daughter" time. (score 1 for Melanie!)

Yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon after a marathon nursing session and hardly any lunch, I headed Downtown for my first session and it was not pretty. I knew it was inevitable that I be measured and weighed but the only thing I could think to say during the process was, "Fuck. Pregnancy truly is the worst invention ever." (cue awkward laugh from the male trainer who really doesn't understand) I mean seriously, can't you go and experience something without measuring your success (or failure)? Can't we cheat a little and do the measuring in a couple of weeks when I'm maybe down a couple of pounds? Pretty please? Can I have a false sense of security here?

I would like to mention that it probably was cheating that I squeezed my boobs into the size medium sports bra before the appointment. That had to have knocked a couple of inches off my chest measurement even if it didn't help the rest of my body!

The workout started with the rowing machine. A pretty cool invention that lulled me into thinking, "Hmmm.. this isn't so bad!" We then did the initial progress check to see where I am right now with pushups, situps, and burpies. I told my trainer, "Write down 1 in the pushup box and let's move on." He refused and made me do the pushups and I beat my goal of 1 by about 18. I didn't go as far down as I should have but that's what happens when you are weaksauce from being pregnant and getting lazy. Overall with the initial evaluation, I am really happy with myself and I'm in a good starting place.

Then I was thrown to the workout wolves and I had to work the battle rope. What is a battle rope you ask? It's a huge freaking rope on the floor that you have to wave around like an idiot while you simultaneously standing in a squatting position. I felt like I was working to become the world's strongest pirate (which would be cool... now that I think about it). Once I was done with that, I did some intervals and core work and ended up back on the rowing machine to end the workout. The reason I referred to the workout as "not so pretty" was because I got sick halfway through my intervals. I need to eat better before I go work my muscles to the max otherwise I will be a victim of poor planning for every single workout. Nursing takes a lot of calories and I kind of learned that the hard way!

Battle Rope Exercise
What the Battle Rope will help me accomplish in the end...

Another reason the workout was not so pretty was because afterwards, I fell on my face going to my car. I lost my balance stepping off the curb, rolled my right ankle, and smashed my left knee into the ground. I'm lucky I didn't break anything. My knee has a 6 inch long, 4 inch wide bruise. Yuck!

So back before Pregnancy when I was doing my original "get into freaking shape" routine, these were my stats:

Remember this from Day 1, Post #1?
Number of Situps in 1 minute: 15
Number of Pushups in 1 minute: 18 (modified, knees on the floor)
Number of "Laps" in the parking lot in 7 minutes: 15
Number of minutes of straight running before I needed to walk: 4 minutes (half of what I do at home with the dog. Hello? Legs and Lungs? What gives?)

Well I have some new numbers for you and these shall be dubbed Workout #30, Week 10, Post #41
Number of Situps in 1 minute: 25
Number of Pushups in 1 minute: 36 (modified, knees on the floor)
Number of "Laps" in the parking lot in 7 minutes: 19
Number of minutes of straight running before I needed to walk: 7 minutes and still ready for more.

Here are my updated numbers:
Number of Situps in 1 minute: 29 (these were modified to shoulder blades off the floor because of my c-section incision and lack of ab muscles. Personal goal is to do 5 regular situps by my next progress check)
Number of Pushups in 1 minute: 19 (modified, knees on the floor)
Number of Burpies in 1 minute: 10

My weight you ask? 1*5. Haha! See what I did there? I censored it for your protection!

Friday, July 19, 2013

"Just you wait!"

I'm sitting here enjoying a seemingly rare moment of complete calm. The baby is content, my husband is still asleep, the windows are open, birds are flying through my yard, and the dog is staring at me wondering why his life has changed so dramatically. Well dog, I feel the same way!

I'm a month into mommyhood and part of me can't believe how quickly it has gone and the other part of me wishes this stage it would move a little bit faster. Madelyn really is doing great, she's a much happier baby now that we've realized she wasn't getting enough food. And I'm a much happier Mama now that I'm sleeping better! I have had some anxiety and depression issues which was a HUGE shock to me but I'm seeing a counselor once a week which has helped. Luckily, I don't need medication at this point and talking/crying has really helped me also. I have to do homework between appointments that involves me writing down pleasant moments and unpleasant moments and how they make me FEEL. It's weird because I'm the same person but I feel so different.

I spent 38 weeks and 6 days being hazed and I'm finally a full fledged, albeit junior member, of the Mom Club. I spent most of that time hearing the phrase, "Just you wait!". Now that I'm a (junior) member of the Mom Club, that phrase takes on a completely different meaning. All the Moms around you know what the phrase means but until you are a Mom, you have no idea what the implications of "Just you wait!" really are and let me tell you, reality hurts... a lot.

My vent... just elaborate! Really and truly! You see a new, almost Mom on the street? Just grab her by the shoulders and tell her that it ain't pretty! Don't use the phrase, "just you wait!" because it means nothing... seriously. Pop the happy, blissful bubble and just tell the woman the truth. It's not rainbows and sunshine all the time. I mean, I wasn't ignorant but I wasn't fully prepared either. I wish someone had just burst my bubble and most importantly, I wish someone had forced me to really LISTEN.

Pregnant Mom: I'm exhausted. I just can't sleep, I'm so uncomfortable in bed, and I just can't wait to not be pregnant anymore!
Well Meaning, Well Seasoned Mom: Just you wait!
What WMWSM meant to sayListen girly, you will be tired the moment that baby hits open air. You don't even understand the level of exhaustion that you will encounter. Even if your child is the perfect angel that doesn't scream cry at 120 decibels, you will still be waking up every 2-3 hours in the middle of the night for marathon feeding sessions. You will still try to be wonder woman the first week or so and not take everyone's advice to sleep when the baby sleeps. And you think you are uncomfortable now? Trying sleeping on your stomach with a c-section scar and engorged boobs, that's a whole new level of fun. (Seriously, sleep when the baby sleeps. Seriously. Seriously.)

Pregnant Mom: I can't wait to meet this baby and stop getting kicked and and I just can't wait to not be pregnant anymore! (insert other "joys" of being pregnant here)
Well Meaning, Well Seasoned Mom: Just you wait!
What WMWSM meant to sayUm, you will still get kicked. Not to mention you will get scratched, hit, screamed at, and bitten by a milk monster.

Pregnant Mom: Oh, we bought a crib and that is what the baby will sleep in from day one.

Well Meaning, Well Seasoned Mom: Just you wait!
What WMWSM meant to say: Using the crib you say? Ok, that's a wonderful dream. See comments in regards to exhaustion. That baby will end up falling asleep wherever s/he is most comfortable and sometimes that will be in your arms while you lay in bed. You will be so exhausted that you will fall asleep too! (We bought the crib with the intentions of using it right away but we were gifted a family heirloom bassinet and were told to use it. It has been a life saver but the baby still falls asleep in bed with us. And I kind of like it.)

Pregnant Mom: I'll be happy to get my body back after I have the baby.
Well Meaning, Well Seasoned Mom: Just you wait!
What WMWSM meant to say: Ha! You'll get a body back, it just won't be the one you are expecting! And yes, it will now be ALL YOURS. (I lost 25 of the 35 pounds within 3 days of Madelyn being born but between breastfeeding, attempting to sleep, and attempting to stay awake, I have had no time to do much of anything. Intentions aside, shit just got real and I feel screwed.)

Pregnant Mom: These clothes are so cute, the baby will be so cute when s/he wears them!
Well Meaning, Well Seasoned Mom: Just you wait!
What WMWSM meant to say: Good luck getting that onesie over the baby's head at three in the morning after s/he shit their way out of the first onesie. I know I bought you that onesie but that doesn't mean I'm not secretly laughing at the torture I've just inflicted on you. You're welcome. (I am overwhelmed by the amount of clothes we've received and prefer to keep the baby naked in just her diaper though buttons and zippers are my friends. And I doubt anyone buys your baby clothes with evil intentions though now I feel bad about all the "horrible" outfits I've purchased for the children of friends over the years. I'm so incredibly sorry.)

Pregnant Mom: My husband will be such a great Dad.
Well Meaning, Well Seasoned Mom: Just you wait!
What WMWSM meant to say: Yes, your husband will probably be a great Dad. But he'll also be great at handing off the baby when things get rough. Just make sure you return the favor.

Pregnant Mom: Oh I definitely need __(insert random baby item here)__.
Well Meaning, Well Seasoned Mom: Just you wait!
What WMWSM meant to say: You won't need it and you will find it again in a year, buried at the back of the closet.

Pregnant Mom: Oh I definitely don't need __(insert random baby item here)__.
Well Meaning, Well Seasoned Mom: Just you wait!
What WMWSM meant to say: Oh, you really should get that. It will save your life.

Pregnant Mom:I won't be that Mom that has problems with __(insert baby issue here)__.
Well Meaning, Well Seasoned Mom: Just you wait!
What WMWSM meant to say: Oh, yes you will. Murphy's Law. You said it, it will now happen.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Day 19: Sweet Freedom

Miss Madelyn was born on 6/18 via planned but unscheduled C-Section at 10:01am. Basically, my water broke 8 days prior to my scheduled c-section and when I got to the hospital they thought I was joking. Uh no, the water that I leaked from the parking lot to the second floor reception desk is not a gag gift they sell at Spencers, ok? Three hours after we arrived, I was in recovery and by lunch, she had already met her Grandma. We were home on 6/20 with a healthy, loud baby who we love despite her feisty stubborness. Hank the wonder dog loves her too!

As of my first followup appointment, I am cleared for light cardio exercise. My shopping trips to Walmart, Target, and Babies R Us are definitely considered light cardio! BUT, I finally got out with my running shoes on and the dog in tow for Madelyn's first neighborhood walk. Definitely a feel good, successful moment! Feels wonderful to be "free".

(Despite her age, Madelyn has a lot of control over her head. She chose the moment I snapped the camera to put her head at a strange angle to look around. Don't go nominating me for mother of the year just yet, I know how the head support works! :))