Sunday, August 14, 2011
Start of a new week, and in a way, start of a new year. I may have forgotten to mention it, but someone around these parts (coughmecough) is having a birthday on Wednesday. I'm going to be 34 and that just sounds so old, but at the same time, not old at all. I'm starting this new year in a bit of a rough spot though, because, and I hate to admit it, but I've gotten fat.
Like, WAY fat. Like, I've gained 20 lbs in the past two years fat. WHAT. THE. HELL. You heard me right. After the boy was born, I lost all the baby weight, plus some. I wasn't thin but I was doing okay. I was down to the low 170s while I was breast feeding. It was the lowest my weight had been in years and it was AWESOME.
Well, I'll tell you what happened. This is not an excuse, but the actual truth of how I let this slip away from me. When I got pregnant, I vowed I would not be one of those girls who went around lamenting the fact that they were getting "fat." Um, duh, you're freaking pregnant!!! That's not fat, at least not all of it!!! I was happy to not have to suck in my gut any longer. I was happy to have an excuse to eat whatever I wanted because hey, this was really the only time in my life that it would be okay, since I was pregnant and all. I had McDonald's for lunch three times a week and ate chocolate Hostess Donettes like they were going out of style. I avoided the stuff that I knew was bad for baby (caffeine, soft cheeses, certain kinds of fish, lunch meat) but everything else was fair game. In spite of all that, I still only gained 24 lbs in my pregnancy. I was pretty much a happy camper.
Well, after the baby was born, I swore I would eat better. There was just one problem though. I didn't realize just how hungry breast feeding would make me. I was pumping, at my highest point, over 14 ounces every three hours. That's a lot of freaking milk! If I was a dairy cow I would have won a ribbon at the fair! It takes a lot of calories to make that much milk, and so I was hungry all the time. I would literally go from feeling fine one minute to feeling like I hadn't eaten in days a few minutes later. Forget having time to actually cook anything! I wanted to eat NOW.
Enter the Wendy's two blocks from our apartment. It was the closest fast food, and my husband got sent there a LOT. My typical order would be a junior bacon cheeseburger, a five count nugget, a small fry, and either a medium Frosty or a large fruit punch. I'd inhale it all and then be hungry again a few hours later!
In spite of eating like this, I not only lost all the baby weight after just a few months, I lost an additional ten pounds from my starting pregnancy weight. Life was good.
Well, then I stopped breastfeeding. Now I had a year and a half of bad eating habits totally ingrained in me. My body was used to taking in large quantities of food, and often, but now it had no place to burn those excess calories. This was bad. I kept telling myself to stop, but anyone who has struggled with overeating knows, it's hard. Oh man, especially at night. I'll do okay during the day, but come night time it was seconds on dinner, then ice cream, then cookies, then whatever else we had in the house on which to snack.
Let's go ahead and add the stress of everything that's happened in the past two years on top of that. We'll compound the problem with raging insomnia. I just realized last week that I have no clue when to eat anymore. If I get up at 1 and have breakfast, then I don't get hungry for "lunch" until close to five. My husband is supposed to get off work at six, but he's weird and "forgets" to leave most nights until way later than that. He won't call me, despite repeated pleas, to tell me when he'll be home so I never know what time "dinner" should be. I don't want to make it so it's ready every night at 6:30 but not have him wander in until an hour later and have him eat a cold, nasty dinner on which I actually worked really hard but you wouldn't be able to tell! That means dinner doesn't get started until he gets home from work.
Depending on what we're making, or if I need to have him run to the store to grab something, "dinner" could be anywhere from 7:00 to 10:00 at night. If I'm hungry for lunch at 5:00, it's not a big deal to just have something small to tide me over to an actual meal at 7:00. But if I don't know when that "actual meal" is going to happen, it could be that I'm hungry for a really long time before I get to eat again. So, I found myself frequently having lunch at 5:00 and then dinner at 7:30 - 8:00, just a couple of hours later.
Then there's the insomnia. I don't go to sleep most nights until three or four in the morning. Even if I eat dinner late, say at 9:00, I end up getting hungry again before I manage to get to sleep. I don't want to eat a whole meal, because I've already had dinner, so I snack. Unfortunately, one thing usually doesn't satisfy because I'm actually hungry, so I end up over indulging on junk.
Thankfully, we don't eat out as much as we used to. We rarely go to restaurants where you sit and someone waits on you. Fast food consumption is also way down to maybe once or twice a week, TOPS. Twice is very rare. I make a lot of our food from scratch. I shudder to think how bad things would be if I was eating the way I was before, with all the take out and processed foods!
My problem is portion control, and night time eating. I don't drink soda, so I can't do that thing where I cut it out and magically lose 15 lbs. I just need to work on those two things and I think they'll cut down on my problem a LOT. Oh, and that pesky exercise thing. I'll talk about that tomorrow.
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