Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Five Pound Challenge - Week 1

On Valentine's Day I over-indulged - again - and that night I finally shared a post about body image that I'd been working on for quite awhile.  In that piece I committed to losing 5 pounds.  To hold myself accountable, I'll periodically give an update about how I am doing with counting calories on myfitnesspal and exercising each day.

Trying to get a weight loss progress pic but my kids just don't get that
Mommy wants a turn alone!  My sweet little cutie patooties -
I'm glad they like the camera!
Here's an update on my first week, in which I embarrass myself ruthlessly, sort of in diary form:

Feb. 15, 2014

Counting calories is so daunting! I just ate two big plates of homemade stir fry with veggies (including sweet potatoes & carrots & lots of green non-starchy veggies) and pine nuts that I cooked in olive oil & added soy sauce to. I have NO clue how many calories that is. I don't even know how much of it I ate. I'm guessing maybe 3 cups or so. I logged stir fry as myfitnesspal has it listed, and mfp said that it would have 300 calories. I think I'll fret a lot over not knowing how many calories to record, especially since I'm trying to eat whole foods, not boxed foods with nutritional information labels. But I will keep at it, because at least I'll start to get a sense of my intake...

later that day - a sense of my intake was a real wake-up call!

So I made a big mistake today! We got smoothies from Smoothie King. I used to get a large, so tonight I got a medium. I thought you had to ask for the Turbinado (sweetener, I guess - sugar and honey?) and thought I was getting 720 calories. Nope - 1020! So I'm in the red on myfitnesspal. My exercise DVD isn't in the case and I need to get my kids to bed so I turned on the TV and found exercise on demand. With no time to be picky, I turned on Buff Brides: Countdown to the Gown! I did my terribly uncoordinated best while trying not to step on Bellybean for 20 minutes (with a potty break for him to complicate things further - I held his hands so he wouldn't fall in and marched while he peed). I have no idea how many calories I burned. I think I called it moderate walking on mfp since I haven't figured out logging exercise on there. I'm still over by 73 calories. I told Adam we have to have sex tonight. He's game. And after, if I go to bed early, then I should be able to avoid eating again tonight. 

Feb. 16

Oh, my word, this food tracking thing... I used to eat three Torchy's tacos with chips and queso for brunch, or spread over breakfast and lunch. It should have covered me not just for two meals but for the whole day - maybe more.

And I am hungry. I'm saving the third taco for dinner, so I just ate a bunch of broccoli. Blech. I like broccoli, but handfuls of the stuff plain and raw - not loving it. But I ate it because I feel really cranky and kinda headachey and maybe I'm wrong, but I think it's just cause I'm getting so few calories compared to my usual intake. 

Trying to drink more water. Glad hubby is trying to keep the kids happy, and is being accepting of my foul mood...

Feb. 17

Today I hired an organizer (spaceWise Organizing ♥) and we found paperwork from when I saw a dietitian months ago. I get 450 more calories a day! Yay, breastfeeding!!!  No wonder I've been so fartin' hungry!  My Tochy's brunch was too much food, but not a whole day's worth, after all!

My husband's partner/former boss paid for dinner at Jack Allen's Kitchen tonight, and though he said that if we saw two things that looked good to order them both, and not to leave without dessert, I only ate half my steak (yes, I ordered the most expensive thing on the menu - make of that what you will) and I did not have dessert! AND I walked 35 minutes today. Can I get a booyah?!

I cleaned a lot today. I'm counting that as my 10 minutes of exercise. And if that didn't raise my heart rate enough to count, I'm pretty sure watching The Walking Dead did.

Actually, my muscles all hurt like I've been exercising a ton. I had a stressful day, with my oldest son being very challenging all day. I feel a little like I'm just steeped in adrenaline. But I'm wondering if this icky-achey-tight feeling has anything to do with cutting my calories waaaaaaay back.

Oh - and I feel I must admit that I cheated. Sort of. Before I added my "exercise" to mfp, I only had 30 calories left for a snack. But I ate an 80 calorie string cheese anyway. I haven't yet figured out how to account on mfp for those extra 450 calories I get for breastfeeding, so I think I'm ok.  Which leads me to my next thought - I hope this doesn't affect my milk supply! Bellybean was so fussy today. I don't really think it had to do with my milk, but I'm a worrier...

Feb. 18

My scale sucks. The numbers are all over the place. Today I thought, for about 30 seconds, that I'd lost 10 pounds. Um, no. Tried again, I'm still at the same place - which is fine, but don't mess with me! Frickin' scale. Thing is, all the scales we've ever had have been crappy. I don't want to spend a load on a new one when we have one and scales have a bad track record for us, but I am not sure what to do about this one stinking like smelly old cheese.

mid-morning snack:

So I'm sitting with my kids as they eat their snacks and the smell of their food is driving this already cranky mama crazy!  Bellybean wanted to eat in my lap. So the Pirate's Booty was within snatching distance, and I could smell it so hard I could taste it.  I decided to go ahead and have a yogurt as my snack, and Bellybean starts clamoring to EAT MINE! He already has his own dang yogurt! ‪#‎leggomyeggo‬

lunch (still crabby):

Baby just demanded some of my leftover steak. I reluctantly (I'm so selfish!) cut up a few bites for him. He chewed some up and spat it out.  ‪#‎Punk‬ ‪ #‎leggomyeggo‬

I added soy sauce to my steak. Still hungry post-steak, I drank the soy sauce that was still on the plate. Unsatisfied, I licked the plate (a disgusting habit of my husband's that I have chastised him about for almost 19 years). I am embarrassed to admit these things, but I guess it's like a fart joke - I am amused by how gross I am!

(Do people hashtag in blogs?  It feels a little like saying "LOL" in an in-person conversation.  But I wrote most of these little daily updates in the Facebook group I started when so many mamas said they'd be joining me in my #5PoundChallenge.  So I'm leaving the hashtags as they originally appeared, because frankly, #leggomyeggo cracked my crap up.) 


Have somehow managed to eat out for the past three days - the first days of my diet. So for the first time, I need to go make dinner. While hungry. I'm not sure how this is going to turn out...

Feb. 19

I cheated last night. Ate my chips and queso as a snack, then looked up the calories after. Went way over. It was nice - really, really nice - to not feel like I was starving. I don't feel like I fell off the wagon; I'm not going to beat myself up. I didn't meet my goal yesterday, but I will today. And I think I'll be more careful to spread my calories over the day rather than be over cautious all day and have lots left for dinner but just still feel like I've spent the day feeling ravenous.

One problem I'm experiencing, beyond the sudden drastic reduction in calories, especially before I accounted for breastfeeding in my calorie goal, is that I just have lost the ability to know when I'm hungry. I've been pregnant and/or breastfeeding for over 9 years, so I've basically been hungry for almost a decade! Cause I was hungry even on way too many calories. I'm sure it's partly psychological, but surely not entirely...

Feb. 20

My husband went out of town today and I haven't managed to log my food on mfp, but I'm paying attention and I think I'm doing ok. Except not with exercise. I think it's maybe just too many changes all at once.  But I'm still trying, and I'll get into a groove with it.  I haven't gotten enough sleep for a couple of weeks so I'm giving myself permission to watch a show and go to bed. No dishes, no laundry, no mfp.

Feb. 21

Should have had half an ounce less of cheese today, and should have exercised but didn't manage it. Still doing better than I was, so I'll take it. 

Feb. 22

I looked in the mirror this morning and thought my face had changed, that it looked thinner.  But then I thought that was silly, and that I was probably just unused to the glasses I was wearing.

I cleaned so much crap (broken toys and such) out of my yard today that I wasn't hungry!  All of the exercise and being outside curbed my hunger (I should always work outside, everyday!!!) and I ended the day with many available calories unconsumed!
Sweet 16 my @$$! - I am SO thrilled to be
getting rid of this frumpy, dumpy, falling-apart
(the back pockets have lost their buttons & since I
don't sew much I cut them because they were
too long - see the frayed bottoms? - lovely)
pair of size 16 jeans - the only non-maternity
pants I've been wearing for too close to two years.
And that stack of pants & jeans on the
yellow stand?  All maternity pants, also headed
to Goodwill or Safe Place or a friend.  Woohoo!

Feb. 23, 2014

My scale really is a piece of crap. It definitely says I lost 10 pounds now. I don't buy it. But I DID leave the house in size 14 jeans today! Came home and noticed a bit of a camel toe situation, though...

Soon they should fit well enough to remedy that, and I'm going to wear maternity shirts cause they're long.  This was worth all of the hunger.  I feel downright svelte.  If I'd known I just had to be super disciplined for a week to get back into my stupid non-maternity clothes, I'd have done this months and months ago!  I'm sure it won't all go so quickly, and that's fine.  But this is a lovely reward for finally starting!

And now for the next five pounds!

Comparison: The top row is at my top weight of  186 pounds in early February,
which is where I started my diet on the 15th.  Bottom row is today, 2/26/14,
about a week and a half into dieting, and down more than 10 pounds. Oh - and
I had just taken a bath today - didn't want to bother to wait for my hair to dry.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Delta Tweets That Moms Cannot Breastfeed on Their Flights - and What to Do About It

A mother tweeted Delta to ask about their breastfeeding policy, and was told that she cannot breastfeed on their planes.  You can read about it here on The Leaky Boob - including the apology that was issued since I first wrote this post.  

I feel your outrage - I am right there with ya!  

But before anyone says, "I wouldn't have asked!" please consider that the mother, if motivated to ask, must have had some anxiety about it, and she sought to allay her fears.  This is a smart thing to do, and not one that we as supportive mothers need to imply she handled inappropriately.

And before you add that you've never had any problem, and you've breastfed on Delta flights X number of times, please just clarify that you are disappointed in Delta's response, and you're glad you've never had a problem.  But DO bring on the positive NIP stories - mamas need to hear them when something crummy like this happens.

If you are so inclined, please contact Delta.  I would suggest expressing your disappointment diplomatically.  Rudeness does not represent the breastfeeding community well, nor does posting breastfeeding photos to their social media channels in a confrontational manner.  Also, saying you'll never fly with them again is not motivating - if they've already lost your business, there's no reason to appease you.
Tell them that they need a breastfeeding supportive (fully supportive) policy, and their employees need training regarding it.  Tell them that groups like Family Friendly Business Initiative exist to help businesses by providing resources.  Breastfeeding rights deserve sensitivity training.  And tell them that they would help the public relations problem they've created by doing these things and by publicly declaring support for breastfeeding legislation.

Please when engaging Delta, do not misrepresent the law.  They may just dismiss you if they themselves are clear on the statutes.  There is no law specifically protecting mothers to breastfeed on a flight.  Federal law applies to federal property and lacks an enforcement provision.  State laws may apply, but only while the plane is on the ground.  But the fact is, most state laws lack an enforcement provision, as well, leaving mothers with no recourse.  Some say we can breastfeed anywhere, but many (most?) don't say that no one can violate our right to do so.  It may sound nitpicky, but them's the facts.  I'm not a professional but from all I've learned about breastfeeding law in the past 18 months, the devil is most certainly in the details.

This is why, more than contacting Delta, I urge you to contact your legislators.  Tell them that when you fly, you want to know that you can feed your baby as recommended by major medical organizations without being harassed.  You can read more about influencing the creation of breastfeeding laws in my post on The Leaky Boob here.  

You can find your state’s law here.  And you can look up your state legislators here and your US Senators and Members of Congress here.

On Facebook Delta is here.  On Twitter they are @Delta.

Nursing Sweet Pea on a flight many moons ago.
We have no family in Texas, so this was one of many
times I've breastfed on a flight to see family - without incident.
One last thing - yes, there have been NIP incidents on flights.  But by and large, women nurse their babies on planes every day with no problem.  If you're breastfeeding and need to fly, feel confident that you are unlikely to have any issues.  Yes, there are anti-boob trolls out there - but nobody honestly wants to be on a flight with a crying, hungry baby.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Using MyFitnessPal While Breastfeeding

How I'm using myfitnesspal to lose weight as a breastfeeding mother...

I'm loving myfitnesspal.  I am learning so much about my old eating habits.  It's sort of terrifying, what I'm learning, but as a fan of The Walking Dead, I'm no stranger to terror.  So I love it.

I used to eat chips, queso, and three tacos with an orange juice for brunch on Sundays.  By tracking my calorie intake I realized that that much food should last me pretty much the whole day.

Or so I thought at first.  BUT, that was not taking breastfeeding into account.  No wonder I'm hungry enough to eat my own young!!!  My old habit of a huge Torchy's Tacos brunch was definitely too much sodium and more than I needed to eat before dinner, but it wasn't as dramatic as I thought.  So spreading that meal over the whole day Sunday wasn't necessary after all.

Photo by Gloria Sanchez

I saw a dietitian a few months ago, and since I crapped out on dieting then (the holidays = classic excuse to wait on dieting), I did nothing with the paperwork she gave me.  Then yesterday Sonya Feher of spaceWise Organizing helped me tackle the Paper Monster living in my house, and I found the paperwork from the dietitian.  And I found 450 calories!

Breastfeeding a toddler, with my height/weight/age/weight loss goals and/or whatever, she recommended an intake of 1600-1800 calories.  Since I'm ravenous, for now I'm going with 1800.  That's 450 more than myfitnesspal allotted me!

(Yes, I knew I was burning calories by nursing Bellybean, but I didn't know how many or how to input that on the app.)

Since myfitnesspal unfortunately doesn't take allow for breastfeeding in their calculations, I might have maybe figured out a way around that, which I'll share at the end.  But first I'll share the email I sent them, asking them to consider breastfeeding users:

Hello.  I am a breastfeeding advocate in Texas, excited to be using your services.  The past three days I have appreciated the projection of how much weight I can lose if I keep going as I am now.  Unfortunately, now that I have adjusted my calorie goal as per my dietitian's recommendation, I am apparently only set to lose one-tenth of a pound per week!  I would very much like, as a breastfeeding mother, to have the ability to adjust the "Calories Burned from Normal Daily Activity" to reflect calories I burn breastfeeding.  This would give me back the motivation of being told that I will lose weight if I keep eating at or under my goal.
Unfortunately breastfeeding rates are low in the United States.  But they are on the rise, and breastfeeding is optimal nutrition for infants, so a health app should, in my opinion, take nursing mothers into account.
I would love to see you work with a lactation consultant to create a resource as part of your app for breastfeeding users of myfitnesspal.  A recommendation to see one's doctor or physician may still be in order, but a lactation consultant could offer guidelines about how many calories breastfeeding burns, and how to watch for a dip in milk supply that may come from cutting calories too far.
Thank you for your consideration.

Since I still want to have the weight loss projection, I tried a few things.

First, I tried adjusting my calorie goal to 1800 and adding breastfeeding as an exercise.  But that just earned me another 450 calories, on top of 1800.  Um, no.

So then I tried changing my lifestyle from sedentary to lightly active (not a big enough difference of only 220 calories for me) and then to active (a difference of 510 calories - too many since I'm not nursing a newborn).  This changed my Calories Burned from Normal Daily Activity, but the numbers didn't line up with my 450 calories burned while breastfeeding.

What I think is going to work is this (SEE EDIT BELOW FOR ANOTHER SIMPLE OPTION): I changed my goals one last time and allowed myfitnesspal to again allot me 1350 calories.  I set my exercise goal at 11 minutes of exercise.  Each day I will add "1 minute" of breastfeeding as exercise (cause it's easy to do the math - if I exercise for 20 minutes, that 21st minute is my breastfeeding calories).  I input that that "exercise" will burn 450 calories.  And voila - I've "earned" those calories, setting my daily goal at 1800.

I will let y'all know how this seems to be working for me, and I hope it helps other nursing moms!  And if my math is crazy wonky or you're sure this isn't the way to go about this, by all means, please let me know.  This is new territory for me.

One other thing I've learned by tracking my food: I should probably weigh as much as a small truck.  Here I was all "Phooey!!!" that I wasn't losing weight while breastfeeding, but I now realize that breastfeeding while eating enough for two to three people was surely helping me to not gain weight.  Thanks, boobs!

If you'd like to encourage myfitnesspal to better serve breastfeeding moms, consider emailing them.

  So after all that, I found out that you can eat a negative number of calories!  You can choose breastfeeding as a food, or enter it yourself with your negative calories if they're not already represented (I only saw 300 and 500 I think).  I swear to you when I Googled this, all I saw was mfp saying to manually adjust your calorie goal because they don't calculate for breastfeeding.  So I still think they could do better by bf moms.

Also, the reply to my email said the same as what my search turned up, with the addition of suggesting to add breastfeeding as an exercise (too bad I didn't get the email before I fiddled around with it to come up with the exercise thing).  But I'm finding it simpler somehow to add it to my breakfasts.  I can finish my first meal and still be in the negatives!  Thank you to all who commented on Facebook (and here) to let me know I could add bf as a food.

Here's the reply from myfitnesspal, if you're interested:
Thank you for taking the time to contact us and for your suggestion.
Since breastfeeding varies for each woman, we don't currently offer a specific recommendation for adjusting your calories. However, if you obtain a calorie estimate from your doctor or nutritionist, you can easily change your calorie goal to account for the difference. 
To adjust your calorie goal:
On the Web​
Click "My Home" then "Goals" then "Change Goals, then select "Custom." Be sure to save your changes.
In the Android, iPad and iPhone apps
Select "Settings" in the Menu Drawer then "Fitness Goals."
Tap "Net Calorie Goal"
In our other apps
On the "More" page select "Edit Profile"
Select "Net Calorie Goal."
Selecting the current goal will allow you to change it. Be sure to save your changes.
As an alternative, you may log "breastfeeding" as an exercise. Once you have a calorie estimate, you can add "breastfeeding" as a custom cardiovascular exercise to your exercise database. (For information on adding a custom exercise, see the article here: )
We hope this helps. Please let us know if you have any other problems or questions. We wish you all the success in reaching and maintaining your health and fitness goals.

Are you taking the 5 Pound Challenge with me?  How is it going?
What tools are you using to meet your goals?

Friday, February 14, 2014

My Distorted Body Image

Three years ago, I was skinny.  I grew up thin, and don't recall feeling fat, or worrying about my weight.  I complained about being flat-chested, but I don't remember disliking my whole body (just my boobs - kind of funny, now - considering that now, I'm all about my boobs!).  My sister was the pretty one, but by the end of high school I no longer felt like that made me the ugly one.

I gained 50 pounds with my first pregnancy, and I hated how puffy and full my cheeks looked, especially since I had cut my hair super short in the first trimester.  Gradually the weight fell off, and I was thin when it came time to get pregnant again - and gain 50 pounds again.

I didn't work very hard to lose my second round of baby weight, but with breastfeeding and some walking, I lost my curves and fluff.  Then I got e-coli. After a month or two of being sick (and thinking, for most of that time, that it was just my Irritable Bowel Syndrome and/or a virus), I was a skinny size 4.

I remember seeing this photo online around that time, and loving it.  I totally identified with the woman pictured.

The beautiful Lizzi Miller is a plus-size model, whose 3-inch by 3-inch photo in Glamour sparked a tremendous positive response among women who felt empowered to see a normal sized woman, and see her as gorgeous.  This meant that we normal women felt able to see ourselves as gorgeous.

What got me, though, when I read more about Lizzi, was the realization that at a size 4, I could look at her at a size 12-14, and think, "That's what my body looks like."  

My tummy, after two children at the time, was just like Lizzi’s.  That's probably what I identified with the most.  Even so, I
overidentified, and I think that’s a clear indication that I had a pretty distorted body image.  I mean, I was relatively happy with my body.  But I wasn’t identifying with Lizzi because I thought she was beautiful and so was I.  I was identifying because I thought I looked like a size 12-14.  It took being tagged on Facebook in a picture a friend had taken to realize how thin I’d become:

November 22, 2010

I was shocked.  That was me?  I was that thin?!  Shazam!   Not much later, I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease.  The night I wore my grandma’s awesome vintage dress to a friend’s Mad Men party, I was so bloated it was hard to get the dress zipped.  So I googled "why am I bloated" or "natural cures for bloating" or something and came across the symptoms for Celiac, and boom.  I just knew I had it.
November 2010.

My doctor agreed to a blood test for gluten antibodies, but he also sent me home with (another) handout on Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).  The blood test showed high gluten antibodies, and later the results of an endoscopy gave me the Celiac diagnosis, on December 27th, 2010.  

Within a few months, I was back at my top pregnancy weight, but without a bun in my oven this time.  
I'd been misdiagnosed with IBS in 1996.  So for fourteen years I had eaten like a college girl, without absorbing all of the good - or bad - from my food.  And at age 35, I had some ingrained eating habits working against me.  Between not realizing that I was absorbing fat and calories my body had dumped for years, and failing for a few weeks to renew a Synthroid prescription for my hypothyroidism (another autoimmune syndrome that loves fat), I gained weight on a gluten-free diet very quickly.*  In fact, most of the 50-pound gain happened in about a month.

At a size 14, I no longer identified with Lizzi.  Or with me.  I felt huge - way bigger than she could possibly be - no way were we the same size!  I looked in the mirror and I didn't know who that was, looking back.  She wasn't pregnant, but she was overweight - obese, by definition, in fact.  

I was
supposed to be healthier - no more diarrhea or gas cramps, more energy.  But instead I was at an unhealthy weight.  And I was really and truly pissed off about it.   I would create opportunities to explain my weight to people - like I wanted them to know that this wasn't really me.  I wasn't really fat - I was just in this crappy circumstance.

When my oldest son, Magoo, started first grade, I walked him to and from school most days for months - so about 15 miles of walking each week.  I didn't diet well.  I tried sometimes, but mostly I just thought about it.  I’m not much of a cook, and I was still adjusting to the fact that my husband and Magoo had become vegetarians.  Between trying to wrap my head around entrees that weren’t meat, and Googling everything I put in my mouth for gluten-containing ingredients, I wasn’t up for any fad diets with lots of restrictions.  I wasn’t even too keen on limiting portion sizes, or completely giving up sweets, either...  We eat relatively healthy, at least - organic foods, not as many processed foods as some.  I thought the exercise should help.  But the weight just stayed.

Then I got pregnant.  It was unplanned, and very, very welcome.  And in addition to getting the third child we so dearly wanted - I finally had a good reason to be fat!

Once I started to show, I didn't mind being overweight.  But I didn't want to gain another 50 pounds, so I tried to limit my binging on candy, and I tried to eat smaller portions.  Although my midwife assured me that my levels were nothing to be concerned about, when I had some ketones in my urine and read that ketosis might impact my baby’s IQ, I decided to relax.  I gained some weight, but not too much, at the end of my pregnancy.  I dropped it within a week or two of giving birth.  But no sooner had I put away my maternity clothes than I gained it all back.  

I now weigh, depending on whether I place the scale on the hardwood, cork, or tile, between 182.4 and 186.4.  I'm 5'3" with a medium frame.  The only non-maternity pants that fit (yes, I had to get the maternity clothes back out) are a size 16.  Actually, those jeans droop and sag half off of me, but my 14s are too tight...  

My 4s are in the attic.

Over the past year and a half I have vacillated between shame over my weight, and confidence that it's just where I am for now.  

When I was interviewed for a news piece on my NIP discrimination incident, I wished I was thin.  I knew, each month, that the speeches I delivered to the school board would be televised, and I often thought that if I'd just commit to a diet I could at least lose enough to be a size 14, or maybe even a 10 or 12 within a month or two.  But in terms of stress, that period of time was second only to the time surrounding my mother's death.  The weight stayed.

In fact, with all the stress, for months I didn't even bother to go buy make up, and most of the times that I gave speeches or attended meetings, I wasn't wearing any.

And I looked fine.  A lot of the time, I was okay with how I looked.

But I'm not okay with how I feel - physically.  

You see, it's hard to get up when I take a bath.  I'm so big for the bathtub, and I move awkwardly, like when I was pregnant.   This is a prime example of a moment that makes me realize: I need to ensure that this weight is not permanent.

I feel there's a connection between body image and nervousness to nurse in public.  I'd be much more loathe to bare my belly or my butt crack than my boobs.  So I've read more and more about body image.  And there's a great movement out there aimed against fat shaming, with the message of loving your body.

I do.  I love my body.  I had three natural births.  I am a badass.  I created (with a little help from my husband!) and grew three incredible, gorgeous children.  I have spent years nourishing them with my body.

I have sex and I love it.  It's good sex, and my fantastic husband loves me and makes me feel desired in whatever shape or size I am, whether I’m skinny or curvaceous.  

I love my body.

But I'm ready to feel healthier.  Stronger.  I want to get out of the bathtub without feeling like I’m about to slip and get very hurt.  I want to climb stairs without being winded.  I want to go surfing someday and be strong enough to actually catch a wave.   I want to feel like I’m taking care of my body enough that I don’t have to worry I’ll die before I can meet my grandchildren (many years from now).  And I don’t want to be too decrepit to help my sons with said grandchildren..

It's not fat shaming for me to want to be skinny again.  Aside from the whole e coli thing and the Celiac symptoms, in a way, I felt healthier when I was sick.   And I still have some really cute size 4 clothes in the attic that I'd like to get to wear again.  I don't much have cute clothes these days.  Other than some cool T-shirts, I think I hate just about all of my fat clothes.  It’s not as valid a reason to lose weight as my desire to be healthy, but I would like to like the clothes I wear.

So I am going to lose 5 pounds.

Not 50.  5.

I have a smart sister.  I don't know if she knows that.  She was the pretty one - I was the smart one.  Or so she thinks.  But she's really quite bright, and she told me that she lost weight by having a goal of 5 pounds.  Then another 5, then another 5, til she lost 20.  So I'll keep going once I hit my first goal, but for now, I will work towards losing 5 pounds.

And I am publicly declaring my goal, ‘cause that's how we stick to resolutions in this social media age, right?  

This post has been a long time coming.  I’ve become more interested in the connection between body image and NIP fears, thinking more about my own body image.  Thinking more about expanding the scope of this blog.

But I have been afraid that no one would be interested in anything besides the breastfeeding advocacy they came here for to begin with.  I have been afraid that if I posted this goal here, I would publicly fail.  I‘ve been afraid that if I posted it, I’d have to start.  Start limiting portions, start exercising.  Start taking care of myself.  

Robert Anthony said, “We fear the thing we want the most.”  I have to admit, I don’t know who Robert Anthony is (was?).  I Googled “fear quotes,” looking for a way to end this post!  And this one works.  

I want to change my eating habits.  I want to exercise.  I want to take care of myself.  And I know other people can relate to this - so I want my journey to be of interest to people who might find themselves here reading this.

So - here goes.  

I had a lovely Valentine’s Day, replete with several gluten-free, egg-free brownies (thank you, Adam!), chocolate covered strawberries, and before I came to bed I squirted too much Redi-Whip directly into my mouth.  I enjoyed getting my sugar on today.  And now it's time to say goodbye.

Tomorrow, I start losing 5 pounds. Update: You can read about my first week of choosing health here.

Do you think your body image may be distorted?
Have you made a commitment to self care?
If so, do you think you are motivated by how you look, or by how you feel?

Edit: I'm overwhelmed by the reception of this post! Several people have been inspired by my sister's idea to lose five pounds. If you'd like to join me, I've created a Facebook group for support and accountability. *Some people lose weight on a gluten-free diet.  I suspect this has to do with cutting carbs by cutting gluten.  Celiacs often have trouble gaining weight, and are able to do so as their intestines heal on a gluten-free diet.  
And as long as I’m writing about Celiac, I feel I should mention that many people are sensitive to gluten even without having Celiac.  If you have any health issues whatsoever, it may be worth going gluten-free for awhile to see if anything changes.  Gluten is bad mojo.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Blogging More

I became a blogger by chance.  I had tried blogging long ago, but it never took.  When I started Keep Austin Nursing in Public, it was out of a need to connect with people, to solicit support for a law-abiding breastfeeding policy at Austin Independent School District.  Then support for breastfeeding legislation in Texas.  I've come to like blogging, and in my mind, though not so much in reality, this blog has evolved into a place where I could share stuff I care about that has nothing to do with boobs.  I'd also like to post more frequently about breastfeeding, too, because Facebook algorithms have caused me a ridiculous amount of anxiety, and I'm under-utilizing this platform in favor of that one.  So, expect to see more here in the future (she says, knowing she has like 60 unfinished drafts, but hoping that this public declaration will be a kick in the pants to finish and post some of those!).

SO - if you missed these on Facebook, here are some breastfeeding gems:

Saturday Night Live kept the Austin Victoria's Secret NIP incident in the media longer than I'd have expected - by making a joke that was not at the expense of breastfeeding moms!  Breastfeeding isn't often portrayed in movies and television, but when it is, it's almost always for a laugh.  This time, at least the laugh came when the audience realized that Cecily Strong was mocking Victoria's Secret!

The irony of a bra store employee telling a mother to breastfeed elsewhere was all over the news.  Which makes it an excellent opportunity to hold the situation up as an example of why we need stronger breastfeeding laws.  Read my post, "Breastfeeding in public harassment and how you can make a difference" on The Leaky Boob to see how you can be part of one systemic solution for this all-too-frequent problem.  (Y'ALL!  I have a guest post on The Leaky Boob!  I can't even tell you how stoked I am about that!  I'm so grateful to Jessica Martin-Weber for the opportunity to talk about legislation to a wider audience.)

If you missed the incident when it first hit the news, you can see the interview with Ashley Paradez here: Woman denied right to breastfeed at Victoria’s Secret store.  I think she did a really nice job, and I appreciate that she reached out and covered our coalition's efforts to improve Texas NIP law.  (If you watch it, that's me on the phone!.)

And one more BF goodie for you tonight - "Ruin Your Day" by Sparrow Folk. This video is hysterical, and I lovelovelovelove it!