6.2 Pounds - Woot Woot!!!

It's been 20 days since I started calorie counting through MyFoodDiary.com.  20 days since I started a regular exercise routine.  20 days that I've spent weighing my food, packing it in little bags for me to take to work, so that I wouldn't be tempted to eat anything more than I was allowed.  And in those 20 days I went from weighing 163.6 to 157.4!

6.2 pounds lost in 20 days!!?!?

I love it. 

I know that this early weight loss is the easy stuff.  It's the excess weight that I really shouldn't even have in the first place.  I'm hoping for at least 2 or 3 more pounds of "easy" weight.  If I can get to 155 quickly, I know that will motivate me to work hard to get to 150. 

150 is my short-term goal.  I hope to get to 150 by March 10th at the latest. 

My long-term goal is 143.  (If you're wondering why it's such a random number, it's because I started at 163.6 and I decided 20 pounds was a nice sounding number to lose.)  I hope to get to 143 by the middle of May.  Just in time for summer!

I am super motivated by success - I just hope that I keep seeing success, and that I don't let a slowing of success ruin my motivation.  I already feel stronger on the treadmill again.  I can easily run 2 miles at 5.3 mph without any pain or side cramps or any of those symptoms that I felt when I was terribly out of shape. 

It only took me 20 days to get a place where I'm motivated and I feel stronger.  I already fit back into two pairs of pants that were previously too tight. 

And because I know the only reason you're really here is to see a picture of EH, I will indulge you.

EH Phones Home

EH is a huge fan of phones.  He doesn't discriminate either - an old school land line phone is just as exciting to him as a fancy pants smart phone.

Over the holidays during the first of our two Motel 6 stays, EH got a huge kick out of playing with the hotel room phone (which we unplugged from the wall before letting him play with, lest he accidentally call the front desk or 911.)

The video below is only 8 second long, but just imagine this little clip replayed over and over and over for at least 30 minutes straight.

Keeping Up with the Big Boys

We spent the days following Christmas with DH's dad and stepmom at the home in south eastern Pennsylvania.  We drove through the snow, sleet, and rain and arrived to find no snow on the ground in their area - an extremely pleasant surprise.  It was even nice enough out that we took a walk outside one afternoon, on DH's childhood stomping grounds. 

EH had a blast as well.

Mr. Independent isn't a huge fan of being carried right now (I'm sure that will go away just as soon as he is too heavy for us to want to carry him anymore.)  So we walked along a fairly flat, even path in the woods (that still proved to be a little challenging for him) and he loved it.

He wanted so badly to keep up with the big boys.  And he actually did a fairly good job.

I love this kid.  He proves to be more awesome with every passing day.

Stereotypical New Year's

I'm not very creative when it comes to resolving to make changes for the new year.  I am almost never happy with my weight, and so my resolution is always to live a healthier lifestyle and lose weight.

This year is no exception.  After my big announcement two months ago that I was going to lose weight, I lost 3 pounds, stopped exercising and then immediately gained it all back.  It was a big fat fail. 

So, I'm starting again. Because failing and starting again is always better than just failing, right?

I'm still at 163 pounds, but I'm making progress in the right direction.  We've started exercising in the evenings again.  I joined My Food Diary again - one of the biggest influences on my weight loss 5 years ago prior to my wedding.  And, perhaps the biggest change of all, we cut out 90% of our drinking.

DH and I like drinking.  We like having a beer with dinner, and have a couple of drinks with friends is always a good time.  When we're bored or when we want to "relax," having a drink or two was always a good way to do that.  But we were bad at stopping at a "drink or two" and after two or more drinks you can bet your bottom dollar that I wasn't going to suit up and get on the treadmill.  Alcohol was a bad influence on us - both of us, but perhaps DH even more so - so resolving to cut back and having him on board with that plan was crucial.

So far so good.  After a full week of not drinking we don't actually miss it that much.  Like I said, it was just something that we did because we thought it was relaxing.  But really, you can relax with a cup of a coffee in much the same way, and DH has adopted caffeine as his new drug of choice.

For me, calorie counting and feeling accountable for entering in every single thing that I put in my mouth is a great way to stop drinking.  Do you know how many calories are in alcohol? Way too many.  When you consider that I am only eating 1500 calories a day (and then exercising to burn at least 300 for a net of 1200) there is no room for empty liquid calories. (Actually that's a lie, there's a little room. I need creamer in my coffee so I allow for 100 calories worth of Bailey's French Vanilla creamer each day - an astronomical amount of calories already allotted towards liquid calories when you consider how few calories I'm consuming. But a large cup of coffee with 100 calories of creamer fills me up for at least 2 hours, so it's a wonderful morning "snack.")

We're also committing to eating better and making more of an effort to cook healthy meals at home.  This is a challenge with a toddler and two full-time working parents, because as I've mentioned many times before, the last thing I want to do when I get home from work is spend more time working on making dinner, especially since I get home at 5:30 and EH goes to bed at 7:30.  But we're planning ahead and using a Food Planner app so that we know exactly what we're having for dinner.  Then I'm going to spend some time on the weekends prepping food for the meals that week.  For example, tomorrow we're planning on having meatloaf - something I would NEVER normally make on a week night because it takes so long - but I'm going to make it tonight and put it in the fridge and DH can pop it in the oven tomorrow evening when I'm making the evening commute home from work.  I'm optimistic that this sort of planning is going to work out well for us, and DH has committed to helping more with the evening meals, which is something that I desperately need if this is going to work.

So, all of this is to say that the diet starts again.  As I mentioned, I weight 163. My current goal is to lose 20 pounds with a weight goal of 143.  A random number, I know, but 20 seems like a nice round amount of pounds to lose. And since I weighed 137 before my wedding, I know that 143 is achievable.  Hopefully this time I will be slightly more successful than I was last time.

The Holidays

Phew.  It's been a long time, hasn't it? Long enough that I almost forgot I had a blog.  Not really, but still a long time.

Oh, "the Holidays."  Where to begin?  I look forward to the time off every year, but it's also so exhausting and this year was no exception.  We traveled over 1,000 miles over the course of 10 days.  We visited my family the weekend before Christmas and attended a family Christmas party where we were embarrassed to learn that a "Dirty Santa" gift exchange was not the same as a "White Elephant," although in the end I think it worked out fine.  We woke up on Christmas morning excited for EH to open his presents, but it seems like all 3 of us woke up on the wrong side of the bed that day some how, and everything just felt off. We were moody.  EH didn't care about his presents.  He was fussy. It was hard. 

EH got a wagon from his nana and papa for Christmas!

On the 26th we were supposed to hit to road in the morning, but those of you in Pennsylvania know that there was terrible snow that day, that started right around the time we wanted to leave.  The traffic reports that we could see - given our lack of cable and poor antennae reception - showed tractor trailer accidents on every major artery we were going to travel.  So we waited.  By the time we decided it was safe to travel, it was 5:30 p.m.  "Night," as far as I'm concerned, and I had sworn that we would never travel with EH at night again, after a particularly nightmarish episode a few months earlier. 

But we left anyway.  In some places the roads were manageable.  In others they were horrible.  Near Breezewood we stopped moving altogether, and given it was closing it on 9 p.m., and we were still hours and hours away from our final destination, I decided that we would start looking for hotels.  DH, who is usually anxious to just get to his final destinations with as few stops as possible, looked at the traffic, the deteriorating weather conditions, and the screaming crying baby who was already 90 minutes passed his bedtime and showing no signs of calming down, agreed.  We called every hotel in Breezewood - the self-proclaimed "town of motels" - and found everything to be booked.  So we called a few exits ahead and found that they had availability and thus made Carlisle, PA our final destination for the evening.  We checked into a Motel 6 that was as nice as I could have asked for (reminder to self - write review for Motel 6 Carlisle on Trip Advisor) and 30 minutes later were all laying down to sleep. 

And a sand and water table from "Santa"
We departed the next morning rested and in much better spirits, onto much better roads as well.  We arrived at DH's dad's house and spent the next three days attending a party, playing outside, and generally just "visiting."  We made a quick trip to Delaware to visit some of DH's family there and then around 7:30 p.m. on the night of the 29th we headed towards my parents house, where Murphy was staying. 

Notice that time up there? Yep, that's right, we left at night again.  AGAIN.  We drove about 2 hours north of Harrisburg and stopped at yet another, impressively nice, Motel 6 and spent the night, not willing to let EH get to meltdown mode like he had the last time.  It worked, and we arrived at the hotel with a rather chipper baby who had a blast rider around on the luggage cart (this particular Motel 6 wasn't actually a "motel," and was instead a 4 story hotel complete with elevators, luggage carts, and a fridge and microwave in each room.)  The next morning we drove a few more hours to get Murph, stopped at my parents for lunch and to let EH run of some steam, and then returned home that evening.  We had two blessedly quiet days at home before going back to work.

All in all I know that it was a good holiday break. We saw lots of family, EH got lots of great presents, and there were some definite moments of relaxation and wonderful times. 

But my god, when I think back on the trip as a whole all I can think about is all of that time spent sitting in the backseat of a car with a fussing baby who didn't like being in his car seat much in the first place and certainly didn't like it after multiple hours per day.  I think about the horrible weather, the stressful driving in the snow (that I was doing from the backseat.)  The lugging around of suitcases and large bags of gifts and then packing them back into an overcrowded car a day or two later.  So much work for so little relaxation. I want to focus on the good times, but when the majority of the time is spent in the car, it's hard to forget about and not focus on that.

He had a blast playing outside at his Grandpa and Grandie's house

We say this every year, but now that we have a toddler I feel that it is going to finally come to fruition - we are going to stay home next year. No more driving during the holidays. We will still visit family, but we're going to do it during a time that is NOT late December.  November. Or January, even February. We're going to spend one Christmas at home, just the three of us (although family is more than welcome to come and visit us!) and see what all the hype is about that I hear from all of my friends with families who spend their Christmas breaks at home.  I hear it's awesome. I can't wait to find out!