Weight Loss Journey: Week 1

7:27 AM
The Baby has arrived, I've recovered, I've been released by my Doctor and I've procrastinated.

But it's finally that time, to be responsible, take care of myself and get the weight off.

My current weight is not bad at all, heck, 90% of the time I would say weight is just a number and doesn't have any value when it comes to my overall health. It doesn't matter if I weigh 200 or 110 if I'm not healthy.

I can admit, I've been ignoring my health, eating what I like and trying my hardest not to care that NONE of my pants truly fit at the moment. I can wear my pre-pregnancy jeans by using the old hair tie trick to "button" them, but I cannot brag that they actually fit.

One thing I am certainly aware is that having a baby makes your body change. It took 9 months to get here and it's going to take time for things to get back to normal. I did not have six-pack abs when I got pregnant, so I should not suddenly expect to achieve those results.

My stomach is stretched and squishy, it's gone in a ton, but it needs it's own time to heal. I'm aware I have minor diastasis recti, that takes time and careful exercise to heal.

My hips are wider, because I ate a lot of brownies and because they naturally widen for child birth. Once again, they take time to do their thing and heal up.

My breasts... they've been breast fed on and, well, let's just not talking about those.

There are many things I cannot control, things that need time to heal. But I can start making diet changes, crack down on myself and work on my health.

So, obviously there is a something special I'm going to do, right? Something I might be selling, something you will have to find the money to buy. Right? RIGHT? Everyone is all about their magic pill, shake, wrap, etc these days!

Nope. None of that.

I'm not saying none of that stuff works, but quick fixes don't change lifestyles.

So, then it's a diet trend! Paleo? Gluten Free? An oldie but a goodie like Atkins?

Nope. None of that.

I know people that have done all of the above and done great things for their life and health! But I also know many that crash and burn so hard off those super strict diet plans. I know myself, I know I love food and honestly, I will crash and burn the first time a chocolate cake passes by.

So what am I doing?

Walking and counting my calories.

Ewwwww. Calorie counting. I honestly tell anyone that asks that it is horrible, it is miserable and I hate it. You know why? It makes me super aware of what I am putting in my body!

With calorie counting, I have a limit to how many calories I can eat in a day. So I have to think carefully about each and every piece of food that goes into my body.

500 calorie breakfast with a 400 calorie latte? I'm nearly out of calories for the day. Good bye lunch and dinner!

Now I would not starve myself of a meal to reach the goal, but I'm never going to achieve my goal by eating like that.

I'll probably do just the opposite and gain weight like that.

But I can plan carefully. Maybe I want a latte on a Saturday morning, then I'll make the best choice possible. Get a small, maybe get skim milk. At the end of the day, I may still end up going over, just a little, but as long as it isn't a day to day thing, I'll be okay.

If I make weight loss a total punish to my love of food, I'll hate it and eventually quit.

With the holidays coming up, there will be a lot of temptation, I may not lose anything the entire time. But I can watch myself, balance myself and keep myself from gaining weight.

And how much does calorie counting cost? Well, it can be free! There are many free apps like Lose it! or My Fitness Pal that are free to use, sometimes they charge extra if you want additional features. I personally will be using the fitbit app, you can use it without a fitbit, but it's much for useful with the tracker. I have a fitbit flex I bought last year, obviously that cost something. But I purchased it at a discount for participating in a wellness event at my husband's employer.  But you don't need one by any means!

I also find it helpful to log my calories before I eat, I can always go back and fix them if I eat more or less. But failure is more likely if I eat to my hearts content and then see how bad I did. By logging ahead of time, I can get an idea of my limit and eat a proper portion. For example, I used to eat a Clif bar at breakfast, but one bar is 250+ calories, before I even have my coffee and creamer! So I'm given the choice to eat a smaller portion or find a different breakfast. I don't even want to touch fast food because one meal is bound to throw me over my entire days limit. But I could look up a grilled chicken sandwich from Chic-fil-a, see the amount of calories, pass on the fries and soda, and keep my calories in check.

And walking? I try to get in at least a 2 mile walk about 3 times a week. It's not much, I know, but it's better than sitting on the couch. I don't get a lot of time to exercise right now, my son is too young to walk all the miles and by time my husband gets home, it's already getting late so I just get in what I can. Obviously that could be remedied with a gym membership but once again, it's getting late and by time I drove to the gym, did my workout and came home, everyone would be in bed. I don't want to sacrifice bedtime with my children or the little time I have to spend with my husband these days.

I would normally do a home exercise, but as I mentioned above, with the diastasis recti, I am trying to be easy on my abs. Crunches are a bad idea and can even make the split worse, so I'm trying to work on healing before I push it.

And that's about it.

I'm blogging about it for the accountability. If I'm putting this on public forum and logging my weight each week, I'll feel a little pressure to work on it.

Similar to Weight Watchers, except I don't have a group to go to every week. I'm just checking in here.

I'll be weighing in every Friday morning. I have my goal set at 2 pounds per week, which is super tough, but the overall idea is just to get the weight off.

My goal is to reach 135lbs, it's not super skinny but it is a comfortable weight for me. From there I can continue to focus on fat loss and bring muscle building in when I'm ready. I worked so much with weights last year, I was getting tone and thin but my weight stay around 138 and I was happy with that! Because the number no longer mattered when I was healthy and getting my body in great shape. I just want to lose some of the weight before I start adding the muscle back in. Gosh I miss my strong arms and my butt, it actually got bigger but it was soooo toned. Thigh gap be damned, give me muscle.

This week, my stats are at the bottom of my post since I wanted to explain myself and start my journey off. Next weeks and the weeks that follow, it will appear at top. So you aren't forced to read about my week if you just want to see how I'm progressing.

I started counting about 3 weeks ago, but I was super lenient on the first weekend, I gained what I lost immediately. Followed by week of "so upset I no longer care" and then a marathon of sewing week where I just forgot. But I'm back on it this week and I'm sticking to it, no more weekends of cheating.

My Stats: Week 1

Current Weight: 145lbs
Goal Weight: 135lbs
Pounds Lost To Date: 3lbs


Wish me luck! Participate in the comments below! Eat a donut for me!

- Amanda

Maeve's Baby Quilt

7:00 AM

Baby Maeve's quilt was the most difficult project I ever had to complete. Probably because being pregnant really just made me want to nap, like all the time [thank you anemia!].  It was a struggle to convince myself to sit down and work on this. I wanted it done by time she got here but ohhh, I just didn't want to touch it either.

I managed to power through and get it done, I'm so glad I did. I just hugged it, all the time. I wanted nothing more than to cuddle my sweet baby girl and she was being stubborn about arriving. So until that time, I had a blanket to hug.

I made her quilt using vintage sheets I collected from sellers on instagram. I collected these sheets two years before she was even conceived and called them my hope scraps. I wanted a daughter badly, I love my son but I yearned to have someone to put in dresses and top with bows.

I looked at many designs and finally decided to do this "zig zag" because I wanted to quilt it to look like arrows. I didn't go native with her nursery design, at all, but I'm so eclectic I wanted to add a piece of that in subtly. My original idea for a girl's room involved lots of yellow, though I strayed from that later on, I still kept the yellow in her quilt with pops of pink. I love how the quilt is set off against her blurple wall, so it was a total win.

Once I got my pieces together I just wasn't happy, it wasn't complete. So I began experimenting with different designs for a border. The down side of using vintage sheets was my limits, I couldn't just run down to the fabric store and pick up more of this or that, maybe grab another coordinating fabric. Nope, I was stuck with what I had. But I couldn't make it work so I began to dabble with solids and decided to do this black and white border.

If I recall right, I had already picked the polka dot binding, so that's why I was drawn to the black and white "stripe." It turned out great, I've received a lot of compliments on the pop the border makes, so I'm glad I went with my gut and did it.

The polka dot binding was originally going to be my small touch of black and white, but when I put just that against my blocks it seemed like it still didn't quite work. Which is why I added the small border and then the binding. Now I love it!

I also finally learned to slip stitch my binding on to make it seamless and pretty. It's a little wonky, but it was my first try. I've done it on a few blankets since then and it looks great [Yes, I've made blankets since my baby was born. Mom needs a hobby!].

On the back, I originally planned to use this vintage poppy sheet I had, but I just could not bring myself to cut it. So I used solid white cotton, because it was the easiest match I could make last second. I probably could have shopped Etsy for more vintage sheets, but I wanted to get this baby done.

I love how the quilting looks on the back. I quilted with pink and yellow thread, so the colors show on the back. It's easier to see in real life, sorry.

I also chose to use a thick batting inside to make the quilt super puffy, the idea being that baby will play on it more than she will sleep with it. It's too big and heavy to be in the crib with her, so I planned for it to be more of a play blanket instead. I lay it out on the living room floor for her to play on almost everyday.

Plus, it's super fun to squeeze, like a stuffed animal.

I am really happy with how this turned out. It's far from perfect because I struggled with the vintage sheets so much, some of them stretched as I worked and made the quilt less than a proper rectangle. But that's okay, it's made with love, from Mom to Baby.

It looks beautiful in her room and works with the sheets I received as gifts, a yellow zig zag and a gray with white polka dots.

I'm glad I held on to those vintage sheets for so many years, I started to have my doubts about having another baby and then once I was pregnant, I kept thinking: "What if I have a boy!?" I suppose I would've been making new plans.

This is probably my last quilt for this year with the holidays moving in. No one else has announced a pregnancy at this time, so maybe, just maybe, my next quilt will be for me.

- Amanda

What's In My Bag? The Baby Bag

10:30 AM

Greetings! Hello! I am alive!

While I was still working on blogging all about baby coming, baby made her appearance!

I'll talk more about her birth coming up, but right now I wanted to catch up on my posts that I already had ready, just not written and scheduled. Plus, I have a new little thing coming up as it's time to work on that baby weight, I don't have a ton to lose [though I don't think anyone has every had to lose a whole TON] but talking about it and checking in somewhere really helps me stick to it. Plus, my weight loss doesn't have any gimmicks. Hooray! No expensive products necessary, just diet and exercise. But maybe, just maybe, I can make something of it, share some recipes and tips that help me.

So, to the baby bag! I'm going to tap into my sleep deprived brain here and try to remember what I wanted to talk about here.

I already showed you my bag and what was in it. I did actually get to carry that bag to the hospital and most of all I wish I had more snacks. Go figure. Birthin' babies makes a gal hungry, so does breast feeding them.

So the first thing you need is a bag, of course. I would say there are NO wrong choices when it comes to choosing a diaper bag. I had it a little easier and I didn't have to pick one! As soon as my friend, Mary, found out a baby was on the way, she began plotting to make a pony bag. The announcement that we would be having a little girl cemented that plan.

I could not be happier! I get compliments like crazy on my Pony bag, plus it has proven itself durable and useful. I was showing it to another friend that recently announced she is expecting and she loved that it's design would make it a great overnight bag for the little lass in the future. Hooray for Grandma's house!

If you interested in this bag or one like it, they start at $60 and they can be customized almost limitlessly. Her facebook page is the best way to contact her: Mary El Designs

Otherwise, pick what you like. Baby bags can get expensive QUICK, but set a budget for what you want and shop around. Prior to knowing about my pony bag, I was eying these to die for leather bags... until I saw the $400 price tag. I don't even buy purses that expensive, I wouldn't do it for something that's going to carry baby goods and in the future, toddler goods. I don't want juice in a $400 bag, but a small child will need juice. Pony bag will be much easier to clean, granted, I still hope we don't get juice spilled in it.

So that is my baby bag and this is what I packed...

Look at all that cuteness! We have here:

  • 2 Receiving Blankets
  • 2 Swaddling Blankets
  • 2 Newborn Onsies
  • 1 Set 3m Onsie with Pants
  • 1 Night Gown [0-6 months]
  • 1 Footie Jammy with Hat [for going home, size 3m]
  • 1 Pair Socks
  • 1 Pair Mittens
  • 1 Pair Slippers
  • A Set of Bows
  • Brush
  • Comb
  • Pacifiers
  • Baby Grooming Kit 
That's it! You'll notice I do not have diapers or wipes. The hospital will supply diapers and wipes during your stay, in my experience, it has always been pampers. So you do not need to bring any unless you are A.) Set on using a specific brand or B.) Cloth Diapering. I have no experience with cloth, except I do know that sometimes small babies don't fit them in the beginning. Just something to consider and plan for just in case.

Now, if I could go back and change anything, I would add to the bag. 
  1. More onsies! Our stay was a little longer than I would have liked, so extra onsies had to be picked up.
  2. More mittens! She had scratchy little nails and loved to run them all over her adorable little face, she needed all the mittens we could get.
That's actually it, that's the only stuff we needed more of, so not bad.

One little thing we had brought to us during our stay, were these swaddlers by Summer Infant. They're called SwaddleMe and I loved them so much. I had a hard time keeping the blankets tight on her, but these were so easy to put on her and kept her happy [Thank you, Grandpa!]. I was pretty sad when we outgrew them, mostly because she wanted to move and wiggle, so we stopped swaddling. 

That's my baby bag! Everyone is going to tell you different things you need and don't need, just go with your gut. Everyone has different experiences, different needs. I took pretty much the bare bones because I did not want to haul a bunch of stuff to and from the hospital. I'm simple, I like to keep it simple.

I'll tell you all about Little Miss' arrival soon, as she was as stubborn as I predicted, oh the fun!

- Amanda 
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