Thursday, April 26, 2012

Pregnant again – how much will I gain?

When I bought the domain name “,” I was sure that blogging was going to be my next big thing. I love writing and I wanted to chart my way back to fitness after giving birth to my daughter. I was ignorant of the huge world of “mommy-blogs,” but I felt a desire to document my journey.

“F” for fail!

I have inconsistently posted random blogs that are all over the map. Nearly a year ago, I reported a new focus on my own professional development – which is still very much in play. And then… nothing.  Nothing for nearly a full year.

But here I go again… We’re nearly 20 weeks along with baby #2, and I’m already making plans for my post-baby fitness. Why I think I can do this with TWO children in tow, when I have largely failed with only one mostly perfect child is one of life’s mysteries. But hope springs eternal.

Part of the game plan this time is to continue working out throughout my pregnancy. I did pretty well with my previous pregnancy, and I attribute my super-easy delivery at least partially to that fact.

This time around, I am still working out – but with much less frequency than the last time. It’s a scheduling issue (working MOM vs. simply working) and a prioritization issue. I’m busier at work now, and instead of working out, I’m working late.

At the halfway point in this pregnancy though, I realize that I need to place a stronger emphasis on working out. It helps that the warmer weather is beginning now.  I can bring my daughter on walks around the lake and do more outdoors, instead of limiting myself to trying to “go to the gym” – which seems like such an overwhelming chore sometimes.

I’ve also reached the “I just look fat now” portion of the pregnancy, which is a bit soul-sucking. I find myself rationalizing overeating by saying that I’m getting fat no matter what, so who cares. I’ll just have to work a little harder to lose weight after having the baby.

Yes, I know this is wrong. I have a pregnancy workout DVD by Gabrielle Reece in which she states that it’s easy to get “back in shape” if you never get out of shape. I try to keep this in mind.

But I’m TIRED! I’m 42, and I’m pregnant with my second kid. I have a scary-smart & sassy toddler, a needy husband (sorry, honey, but it’s true) and a demanding job. I have aspirations that we’re going to get our house ready to sell and buy a new house before or shortly after having this baby. In other words, I have unrealistic expectations.

So let’s keep things simple. My goal with this pregnancy is to only gain 25 pounds (since I started at 30 pounds overweight). I’m currently hovering at 12-13 pounds here at the halfway point. The only way I’ll be successful at this is to implement the virtuous circle – exercise, have more energy, have more willpower, eat better, get enough sleep/limit TV, exercise, have more energy…

Anyone need an exercise buddy, so I can get the accountability factor into action??

Friday, June 3, 2011


I've been growing up lately. Putting on my big-girl shoes at work and bringing more to the table. Changing my mindset. Focusing on supporting my direct-reports; focusing on my own professional development.

I've been growing lately. Treating myself to heaping late-night bowls of frozen yogurt. Falling off my "12 healthy habits" wagon. Working out more; yet eating more.

I'm actually at a rather good place in my work life right now. The new hire I recently made is working out quite nicely. I just survived an exceedingly stressful 6 weeks and hope to resurface and return to some development goals I've begun. My boss is pleased with me and my workload is at an acceptable level.

But why, oh why, can I not get my act together in my "healthy living" journey?  My March goal was to give up soda, which I did -- for March.  It's back with a vengeance now.  Probably 4 cans of Diet Dew today.  I don't even like it that much anymore.

Running club began the last week of April and I LOVE it!  I'm good about making it a priority on the dates we run (Tuesday and Saturday). But I absolutely suck at working out other days of the week.

I can go for about 10 hours max of eating healthy.  Or I lose 2 pounds, and then celebrate -- thus gaining 3.

It is not like this stuff is some sort of mystery. It's not like I don't know what I should be doing. It's not like I don't have reasons to get healthier.  So what's the problem?

  1. Prioritization?
  2. Planning?
  3. Time?
  4. Feeling I'm "good enough?"
  5. Too many other competing issues?
  6. Exhaustion?

I'm thinking it's mostly the last three.  Or at least numbers 4 & 5.  I'm "overweight," not "obese."  I have a husband who loves me for me (and who is overweight himself), so it's not like I'm trying to attract a mate. I could knock out a 30-minute 5K if I needed to. And quite frankly, the healthy tasks do not always make it to the top of my list.

Sleep is high on the list. I can really tell when I don't make it to bed by my 9:30 pm "bedtime."  So considering that I'm parenting from 5 to 8 pm each week night, my bedtime doesn't allow for a trip to the gym, showering and winding down before 9:30. Easier to skip the workout.

I also have a number of "projects" in the works that I anticipate will help me with my healthiness journey: menu planning, weeding through strength workouts to identify a half-dozen to actually use, keeping the house cleaner on an ongoing basis rather than sacrificing long stretches of time for cleaning.

So until I can wrap up these projects and incorporate them into my life, I hold off on taking the daily steps that would certainly contribute to some better results.  Foolish.

Kate.  Where are you going with this?  Where's the interesting story, the fun anecdote, the touching example that draws people to blogs?

I have none of that.  I have regrets.  I have excuses.  I have grand plans that grind to a halt on day one.

Do I make another grand plan?  Set a new goal?  Declare a do-over?  Hmmm.  Where do I go from here?

Well.  Good question.

It's June 3.  Barely into the month of June.  The Baby Girl turns two at the end of July.  That's about two months from now.  Instead of setting a weight goal to hit by the end of July, how about I identify a new area of focus each week?  Much like my twelve healthy habits, but on a shorter term.  And they could build.

From June 4 through 10: 
  • Do not buy/eat any MORE frozen yogurt -- at home or at work.
  • No unhealthy/pastry-type treats at work.
  • During drive to/from Duluth -- go through files/black bin project that's been sitting in my living room for two months.
I'll report back as to how this goes.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Distractions and Sadness and Contentment... Breathe

Whirlwind.  What an appropriate word!
  • The Baby Girl threw up for the first time ever -- in the car on the way to Easter at Grandma's at the very beginning of a 2 1/2-hour ride.
  • Easter down at my mom's was good, but busy.  It was a full weekend away from home -- so in essence, a lost weekend.
  • Work today was a slap in the face.  So much to do in such a short time.  And I don't know what I can delegate to others.  It seems I have to do it all.
  • I'm eating so poorly, and not exercising due to all of the above.  The scale is reflecting my bad actions.
I usually take a short break or two at work by jumping on the Internet - something like Facebook or the local newspaper. Today's break sent tears rolling down my face.  Friends from our former church had a baby last week and her health has not been good.  They found out Friday she has a serious disorder, and the future prognosis is very unclear.  This on top of another friend of a friend with a very premature baby who just had heart surgery at one month old.  I read their blog daily for the latest update.  It seems all around me are sick babies with strong parents making the best of each new piece of bad news.  And this comes at a time when Jeremy and I are getting ready to start trying for baby #2.  Talk about bad vibes....

Back to work, and I'm overwhelmed.  Not enough time in the day - especially to exercise during the day, which is part of my "deal" with my boss.  Yet I know that if I would just take the time, I'd probably feel better - physically and emotionally - which would take the edge off my tension.  Yet I don't.

Driving home tonight, my head was a whirlwind. Trying to prioritize tomorrow. Trying to figure out how I can ask for help. Berating myself for not exercising. Lamenting the fact that it's only Monday, and the entire scary week is ahead of me.

I got to daycare to pick up the Baby Girl. And, as happens about 50% of the time these days, she wanted nothing to do with me. Wanted to stay and play. Cried/screamed as I tried to gather her up, put on shoes. So I took my time. Eased into the transition. Sat on the floor with her, talked about what she could do tomorrow. And we left tear-free, calling out "bye-bye" and being perfectly contented.

And then we got home. Once the coats were off, and I had transitioned out of my work clothes, I sat down on the floor with her to play with blocks.

And I relaxed. I marveled at what a wonderful child she is. So smart, so healthy, so funny, so good-natured, so lovely. I hugged her and she giggled with delight. I picked her up and gave her kisses -- an uncontrollable cascade of giggles. And a request for "more."

I am blessed beyond measure.

I have a job that challenges me and the support of my co-workers and my boss.
I have my own good health, and the ability to make decisions that are in my best interest.
I have a supportive husband who pulls me up out of my bouts of self-doubt and disappointment.
I have wonderful friends and family who are there whenever I need them.
I have a healthy, miraculous child, who thrives in spite of my many fumblings.

Yes, this too shall pass, and from the chaos will come even more confidence and balance.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Lots of stuff on my mind tonight... I've been home since about 1 pm, since I had to pick the Baby Girl up from daycare.  She had a fever today -- her first fever ever, and she's 20 months old.  So she's been very healthy.  When daycare called, they said her fever had ranged from 99.1 to 101.7 degrees.  Once we were home, she perked up for a while, and then went down for her nap.  A few hours later, I went in to get her and she was shockingly hot!  I took her temperature and it was 102.5.  So I quickly got some acetaminophen in her, which took her fever down within an hour.

Baby's sickness aside, I'm generally in a very good place right now.

  • I finally hit 10 pounds lost at Weight Watchers.  Less than 19 pounds until I reach goal!
  • Although work is busier than ever, I'm finding new challenges and inspiration lately.  I'm working on some innovative stuff that I hope will be accepted.
  • In less than 2 weeks, I start my Moms On The Run training program up in Shoreview.  Don't know much about this, other than we'll go on training runs, and baby strollers are welcome.  But I'm essentially guaranteed to get in at least two workouts a week.  Yippee!
  • Although my house isn't necessarily clean, the kitchen counters are staying clear and I wipe them down every night.
I'm not exactly sure why the weight is dropping right now.  But there are a few factors that likely figure into it.  I cannot remember the last time I ate a frozen dinner - of those pre-packaged boxes filled with preservatives.  Instead, I've been preparing more healthy meals, with lots of help from Trader Joe's.  And although I'm not getting in as much exercise as I'd like, I am at least usually getting to the gym a couple times a week.  And I think I'm taking better care of my mental health -- instead of staying up late "getting stuff done," I'm letting stuff go, and getting to bed early.  Sure, there are dust bunnies growing by the moment, but they'll still be there when I get around to cleaning them.

Speaking of which, it's now past my bedtime, so it's off to bed with me!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

I Don't Like Tea

First of all -- hello!  Yes, I'm still alive, but blogging has not been my strongest focus, obviously.  However, I am still doing my 12 Healthy Habits for 2011.  April's habit is to start doing weekly menu planning.  Hey, I still have a few weeks, right?

March's healthy habit was to give up soda-pop.  WIN!  My addiction is/was Diet Mountain Dew.  I could not resist a soda the morning of March 1, so I drank my "last" Diet Dew, and then saved the bottle - labeling it as "My Last Soda."  It sits on the filing cabinet in my office.

And on March 31, I caved in again, having another Diet Dew.  It wasn't quite the nectar of the gods that I remembered, but still enjoyable.  Yet I'm pretty pleased with myself in going from 2-4 Diet Dews a day to 2 Diet Dews a month.

There is a bit of a void in my life, of course.  When you don't drink soda, what do you order at a restaurant?  Most drinks have calories, which replaces one disagreeable characteristic (glass full of chemicals) for another (glass full of calories).  Water doesn't always cut it either.

So my grand plan was to start drinking tea.  Ahhhh, tea.  What a healthy habit!  So I found a shop with lots of tea goodies and decided to use some of that money I was saving on soda to make a few tea investments.  I bought a couple insulated cups with tea strainers (work and home), and a sampler of different tea flavors.  It started well enough.  I think the novelty kept me going at the outset.

But one thing soon became quite clear.  I do not like tea.  I've tried a fair number of flavors and types by this point, and none of them are very good.  As a friend pointed out, many of them taste like someone scraped a bunch of leaves and twigs off the ground and boiled it in water.  Yeesh!

So here I am, drinking a diet soda from Trader Joe's.  That doesn't count, right?  There aren't really scary chemicals in Trader Joe's soda, right?  Well, if there are, please don't tell me until I've finished my non-chemical soda.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Hello from a ballroom in Florida

Let me paint you a picture.  Right now, I'm sitting at a 6-foot table in the corner of a ballroom.  There are about 250 people in the room at round tables, and 7 people on stage participating in a panel.  This is a big-scale production:  beautiful stage set, gigantic screens on each side of the stage, two camera-men, 4 AV guys at the AV platform in the room, 3 AV guys backstage.

That is my life this week.  I'm in this ballroom Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.  Last night, in this same room, there was an awards dinner for 390 people, followed by a dance with a great cover band that lasted until 11:30 pm.  And I was back in this ballroom by 6:30 am!

Last week I was in Seattle.  Smaller group, but I was the only staff person running the meeting.

I find it challenging to do all this and stay focused on my fitness goals.  Yes, this stretch of weeks is very much the exception for me.  But it throws me off!

In 2008, before I left for this meeting (it's annual), I was at my lowest weight ever -- 151 pounds!  I spent a week working this meeting in Florida, and then went to Sonoma, AZ for another program.  By the time I returned home, I weighed something like 160 pounds.  My routine and habits were shot.  My confidence was shattered.  I was disappointed with myself and disillusioned.

Why can't this fitness battle just be over??  Why can't you get healthy and fit, and then just check it off your list?  Complete!  Done!  Next challenge...

I got pregnant in the fall/winter of 2008, and had the Baby Girl at the end of July 2009.  I have yet to get my act together again and get back down to 151.  And I know I can get there because I've done it before.  But I still allow myself to get/be disillusioned and disappointed.

The session in this ballroom is all about defining goals -- Wildly Important Goals.  And then defining the key measures you focus on to get there.  People are being called out if they have too many.  Two to three steps are perfect.  Five are too many.

So, I'm keeping it simple.  My ultimate Wildly Important Goal is to get back to 151 pounds, and to be strong -- not a flabby, weak 151 pounds.

What are the 2-3 things - maximum - I can do that will help me get there?  What can I commit to today (or next week, when I'm back home) that will move the needle on the scale down?  Suggestions are welcome!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Sunny South... and my travel realities

Yes, I'm still around!  But I'm in the midst of my "winter-time travel" season.  I'll be out of town 3 weeks out of 5.  My first week was last week - Jan. 22 to 28.  That's a long time to be away from home.  Especially when my poor husband had to be single-dad to the Baby Girl for that long.  Let's just say that he did a great job, but the house is a disaster.

I'm back home for two weeks, and then gone for two consecutive weeks, with just one day home between trips.  I know - I can't complain.  Arizona and Florida in the winter are usually a lot more appealing than Minnesota.  But along with the good is the not-as-good.  And especially for my two upcoming trips, eating will be a challenge.  I'll be hosting large-scale meetings with full meals and breaks, etc. and I'll need to be partaking in all of it.

Did you know that I'm an event planner?  Yep, I plan corporate events.  So when I travel, it's usually to staff a meeting/event that I've planned.  And although I often choose the menus, and my groups are actually very interested in eating light, I'm still exposed to a lot of food.  And I'm sad to admit it, but when there's an oatmeal raisin cooking staring me in the face for three hours, at some point I'm probably going to eat it.

My schedule is also a problem.  When I'm traveling to staff an event, I'm technically "on-duty" from before breakfast until the end of dinner.  So that's generally 6:30 am to 10 pm.  Which doesn't leave a lot of time to exercise.  I do my best to make it work in my schedule, but there are just times when it's not possible.

My trip last week was to attend a conference.  So my schedule was lighter, and meals were not included.  I hoped to come back weighing the same as when I left, if not less.  Not so.  Up 1.4 pounds.  Could be worse, I know.  But I'm afraid that it will be worse during my upcoming trips.

It's high time for me to get more serious about this whole thing.  I joined WW on Nov. 30, and did pretty well over the holidays.  I lost 9.6 pounds by Jan. 8.  But as of this past Saturday, I'm up 2 pounds from there.  So just 7.6 pounds total.  Basically, I wasted January.

A few bright spots, however.  I exercised 11 times in January!  For me, that's great.  Again, it actually helped that I travelled for a week, since I got many good workouts in on my trip.  And I am also wrapping my head around the menu-planning thing.  I hope this becomes a future "habit."

Speaking of habits....

February's Healthy Habit: Exercise 12 times a month.  This will be a tough one!!  My travel during the last two weeks of February is going to make this very difficult.  Which is partially why I chose it for February.  I need an extra push to get it done.

Additionally, I'm supposed to keep up my "new" sleep habit of getting enough sleep.  Yeah.  That didn't go so well in January.  Perhaps I can do better the first couple weeks of February.....