Friday, February 27, 2015

Healthful Tips

I have a few “go-to” things that I always do when I try to lose weight.  They are fairly common sense, but they make a big difference in helping to achieve my goals.  I haven’t started doing all of them again, but I’m working on it.  As a reminder to myself, I decided to write them down.  Maybe they will help someone else out there too.

1. Cut out pop (or soda or whatever you call it).  I have not had any Coke, Sprite or any other kind of pop since December 31st.  Not only does this make a huge difference in my overall health, it allows me to eat more because I’m not drinking my calories.  If you’re thinking it doesn’t matter because you drink Diet, think again.  Zero calories, yes, but research what aspartame does to your body!  Yikes!

2. Related to that, drink LOTS of water.  I keep my water bottle filled and with me all day.  Whenever I feel like I’m going to eat out of boredom, I chug the whole thing.  It really helps me get past the mental aspect of eating for no reason.

3. Brush my teeth right after dinner.  By doing this, I am less tempted to eat an evening snack, aka ice cream.

4. If you will binge eat it or be tempted to eat too much of it, don’t buy it.  This is why I don’t buy cartons of ice cream and stick to the portioned ice cream bars.

5. Hang a motivating picture on the refrigerator.  This was a great tactic when I lost weight after having Aiden.  Now I have two pictures hanging – one from several years ago and one from after I lost weight last time.

Taken summer of 2007
6. Meal plan for the entire week.  A lot of people plan dinners for the week, but I’ve recently started to plan for lunch too.  Since I am home with the kids, I need to have a plan or else Jimmy Johns will be at my doorstep way too often.  This upcoming week I am going to try having the same lunch for most of the week so that I use up the ingredients.  For example, if I want to make a salad, but only have it one day, the extra veggies, chicken, lunch meat, etc. will go bad before I make another one.  I’ll let you know how this plan goes!  I found this grocery list/meal planning sheet awhile back and really like it!

7. Use MyFitnessPal App.  I’ve referenced this before, but I use it a little differently than most people.  I put what I plan to eat for the day(when I know) into the app in the morning.  That way, I can see where I am at with calories and if I need to change things up.  It also allows me to plan exercise and splurges!

8. Have fruit and veggies with every meal and eat them first.  Not only are these healthy, but also they typically have the fewest calories.  If I fill up on these first, then I eat less of the other stuff. 

As I said, none of these are mind blowing or brand new information.  But I’m not going for a fad diet here, I’m going for a healthy lifestyle that can be maintained.  These are also habits I want to pass along to my kids. 

The other thing that will make a big difference is when I can start adding my workouts in, so that I can eat more.  I started working with a personal trainer yesterday, in lieu of the cardiac rehab I did after my last surgery.  Instead of working out with a lot of (very friendly) older people, watching daytime game shows, I get to work out at my own gym that has a daycare and fun classes I enjoy taking.  I’ll write more about that next week, get excited J.

I know most of my posts have been health related recently.  That’s not my intention; it’s just been the focus of “Limke Life” these days.  I promise more variety in the future!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Health Update - Happiness

About a week ago, I watched an interview with a mom on the Today show.   She wrote a blog post about how she is much happier being fat and how she wanted to connect to real women.  As I listened to her and then subsequently read her post (found here), I was pulled in so many directions.  My initial thought, honestly, was that she was crazy.  If you look at her before picture in the bikini, she does look physically beautiful and the after picture is quite different.  I quickly dismissed that initial judgement though, and re-read the post from the perspective of someone who has been overweight most of her life (my own).  While I respect her opinion and understand that she may be happier at her current size, overall I do not agree with this for myself. 

It is absolutely possible to not be a size 4 and still be healthy, just as it’s very possible to be thin and also unhealthy.  While I hope everyone shares the aspiration to lead a healthy lifestyle, I realize that this looks different for each person and family.  What makes me happy, may not make my neighbor happy or even my best friend.  I think what truly bothered me about her post was her overuse of the word “fat.”  I personally believe she used this word to make a point and get more attention.  If you’ve ever been overweight, that word probably makes you squirm.  She was proving her comfort level with the idea by repeating it over and over. 

One interesting quote from her post was…

Happiness does not require thinness. Fatness does not presume sadness.”

This may be true, but for me personally, I am happier when I am at a healthier weight.  I have more energy, I feel better about myself and working out and eating well (with the occasional splurge) make me happy.  Once I get into the routine, I enjoy it.  I, of course, agree with this woman’s point that society pressures women to be thin and caters more to smaller sizes.  You have to be very strong mentally and emotionally (or have the ability to ignore the outside world) when you are overweight.  I can’t say I am at that point, but I am better than I used to be. 

I am rambling a bit, but this post struck such a nerve with me, I wanted to write about it.  I actually think this woman and I would get along well and it’s not that I disagree with her.  I just wish she would have written more about being fat, happy AND healthy.  Good for her for achieving happiness and figuring out what works for her.  The same doesn’t work for everyone, including me.  I will continue to strive to eat healthy, be active and put my health near the top of my priority list.  Doing that makes me happy and keeps me at my best for my family and friends.  Hopefully I can share some before and after photos one day that can inspire others too – though maybe not in the same way.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Aiden Paul - 2 Years Old

Tomorrow my baby boy turns 2.  Two years ago, after over 24 hours of induced labor, he arrived with barely a push and has continued to be the absolute best roller coaster ride ever since.  Aiden was the baby we prayed and hoped for and he literally made our dreams come true when we saw his little face for the first time.  He was 7 pounds 10 ounces, born at 7:10pm.  I often reference Aiden’s lack of good sleeping habits but really I would deal with that ten times over to keep my little boy just the way he is.  He is silly, smart, active and all boy.  I can’t believe how much he has changed this past year.  So much has happened since he turned one.  Sometime over this past year he changed from a baby to a kid…to me it seemed to happen when we were in the hospital having Audrey.  He came to visit and seemed so different, like he knew he was now the big brother.  I am so proud of my boy and absolutely love the stage he is in right now (most of the time!).  Here are a few things I hope I never forget…

As you probably already know, Aiden LOVES trains.  Yes, you can refer to my previous post on the word love, but I think it is used correctly here.  He constantly has trains on the brain and choo-choo was one of his first words.  His favorite is Tommy (aka Thomas the Train), followed closely by all of Thomas’ friends, any train from Chuggington and pretty much any train at all.  He loves books about trains, puzzles about trains, clothes with trains on them…you get the picture.

His voice is the sweetest sound I’ve ever heard.  Some of my favorite things he says…
“Hi Mommy!” (or hi to anyone/thing)
“Pease Mommy.”
“What are you dooooing?”
“What’s that?” (and then usually answers himself)
“Me-no!” (aka snow…although he’s recently started actually saying snow)
“Audrey night-night” (used to pronounce her name “Audgie”)

He is a picky eater, but he’s gotten a little better the past week or so.  His favs…grilled cheese, mac n’ cheese, strawberries, blueberries, goetta (true Cincinnatian), sausage, chips, goldfish, Elmo pouches, pizza, cottage cheese and MILK (like father, like son).

He loves to “run run run” in our basement and “jumpy jumpy” on the bed.  He enjoys bath time, especially splashing as much water out of the tub as possible.
A few other favorites….Hot Dog (aka, Mickey Mouse), Elmo, Frozen (Olaf=Off), Cars and Monsters Inc.  He loves to read and recently has enjoyed coloring.  Thanks to having an infant and surgery, he is also very good at operating an iPhone and ipad.  He watches Bob the Train (educational!) and Wheels on the Bus videos and is mesmerized by watching train videos.

I, of course, think Aiden is a genius, but he has learned a lot this year.  He can count to 5, somehow identifies the letter “I”, has a couple of his books memorized and knows a bunch of animals and sounds.  He also knows the names of at least a dozen different vehicles and what sounds they make.  Andrew is so proud :).

As I went back through the thousands of pictures I took over the past year (literally, thousands, but I’m sure you’re not surprised), I chose a few of my favorites of Aiden. 

Ok, so this one was right before his first birthday.  The day we found out Aiden would be a big brother!
1st Birthday Photo Shoot
The big announcement last March
Riding in Opening Day parade!
He looks like the missing member of an early 90s boy band.
On vacation in Florida 
4th of July parade 
Go Reds!
Master of his trains
Splashing in Oxford
That time Elmo went to the zoo with us
Right before Audrey was born
She rocked his world, but he's been such a trooper.
Finding the perfect pumpkin 
Helping Mommy cook
On his first train ride!
Loving life
Sorry buddy
He loves to be outside
That smile
Wasn't too fond of "Ho Ho" this year
Train heaven
Our big boy

Aiden – Mommy, Daddy and Audrey love you so much.  I hope you are always as enthusiastic and passionate as you are today.  Happy 2nd birthday, Nugget!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Health Update - Lifestyle Changes

Fridays are my health update days, but Friday kind of came and went.  I typed that sentence on Saturday and have tried to continue since then.  A miracle happened tonight and both kids are asleep by 8 (thanks to Aiden not napping), which means I actually have time to finish this!  It is getting harder to find time to keep up – which I’m sure is why most people who start blogs only last a month or so – but I’m determined to keep at it.  I enjoy having someplace to “dump” all of my thoughts, even if no one ends up reading them!

Today marked 5 weeks since my surgery.  In a way it feels like it’s been months, but mostly it feels like time is dragging on.  I do not want to wish time away, especially time with my babies, but I am VERY ready to feel normal again.  My incision is healing nicely and my energy is coming back but I’m having pain that I forgot about from last time.  Because I have been so hunched over and in weird positions since surgery, I have horrible neck and back pain.  A heating pad and trying to have correct posture helps, but I can definitely tell I was taken apart and put back together again.  But still, it’s manageable and things could be FAR worse, so I’ll stop whining.

So now on to my journey of health and weight loss.  I’ve managed to keep my weight steady since losing the 10 pounds after surgery, which was my goal.  I do want to lose weight, but I don’t think it’s practical to set an unrealistic goal of losing a lot before I am able to work out and burn significant calories.  Reflecting back on this week, though, I need to be careful.  I’d say I’m making good food choices 70% of the time, which isn’t going to be enough to keep weight off long term.  I’ve mentioned my downfall is sweets; well it’s also comfort food.  Mashed potatoes, French fries, creamy soups, etc.  have crept into my diet as a comfort for the pain, restlessness and cold, snowy weather.  I’ve always tied eating to my emotions.  I’m not sure why I feel the need to bake cookies and eat a calorie-filled crock-pot meal when it’s snowing, but I do.  It is seriously like an addiction that needs to be broken.  It took all I had today to not bake cookies (and then eat several). 

It’s not just snow that has an association with food.  Holidays, birthdays, certain times of the year, different activities – so many things are tied with food.  I tell myself that these are the times when moderation is key, as well as small portions.  Which is all well and good, except these times make up MOST of the year!  So really, the exception has become the rule.  Aiden’s birthday party is this weekend and when planning what to eat, I had to go with easy, not necessarily healthy.  But, moving forward, I want to try and incorporate healthy foods into events, holidays and even snow days, so that not only am I leading a healthier lifestyle, but it will be the norm for my kids.  Old habits die hard, so why not try to not even make it a habit?  And why stop at food choices?  I’d also like to start making activity a part of these times too.  Like a football game on Thanksgiving or snow tubing the day after Christmas.  This is the lifestyle I see for my family.

Now to wrap up this babble of a post (sorry for no pictures, by the way)!  My goals for this week…1. Try to not stress while prepping for Aiden’s party. 2. Use the app MyFitnessPal on a regular basis. 3. Hopefully get a release signed by my cardiologist on Friday so I can start working out with a trainer at my gym. 4. Make good food choices 85% of the time…so if you see me post a picture of cookies I baked, point me to this post. :)