NOW: I’m really in a bad winter rut. Not emotionally. Physically. And it’s discouraging because I feel like in the last 5 weeks or so, I’ve undone everything I worked for. Between January 2011 through Mid-December, I was really really good about exercising. Over the summer I even started running and ran a few 5K’s. I felt great. And along with the exercising I was watching what I ate….not obsessively, but just paying attention to my hunger cues and adding more veggies and healthier options.
I knew things would go downhill at the holidays. With going out shopping came going out to dinner. We still were sort of trying to find better options but we were still busy enough that we weren’t cooking at home as often and maybe not paying as much attention. Now, I’m not talking about going to a fast-food place and getting fatty or fried foods! Even if we ran to Applebee’s we didn’t get a big cheeseburger with fries along with an appetizer or something. We didn’t pick off of the Weight Watchers menu either, but we tried to get grilled chicken or steak with veggies. And we almost always cut our meal in half and take half home.
Things really fell apart the week AFTER Christmas. I was off and had no intention of getting up at 5:30 in the morning to exercise. That was my first mistake I guess. It was more important for me to get that sleep. Which actually ended up working out ok because with Will being SO sick (broncialitis/pneumonia), he was waking me up VERY often in the night and I felt exhausted anyway.
Ok, so the New Year came and my first day back was January 3rd, but I still felt honestly just exhausted. I didn’t catch up on sleep at all the week before and I was definitely feeling run down. So, again, I chose sleep over exercise. All week. Again. I felt refreshed. And not guilty. Not good. Because justifying it can be a big mistake. I know that from past experiences.
The week of the 9th was better. We got up Monday, Tuesday, took a break Wednesday, got up Thursday. Friday…..not so much…..Will had been waking me up like every half-hour during the night and then the dog woke me up once because he threw up. When my alarm went off, I cried. Tim said this was an extenuating circumstance and I should get the extra hour of sleep. So I did.
Starting Sunday, Tim was sick. Like puking sick. So…..I was very busy. I was on my own with the kids and then I also needed to take care of him. He didn’t need much, just an occasional glass of water or some crackers. I did have to make dinner, which he had been planning on doing, and then he didn’t eat even though he requested Lipton soup. The kids loved it though! I wasn’t sure how that would work out…..they’ve had it before but only by taking little sips off of our spoons. But I gave them more noodles/less broth and they did VERY well! I was impressed. So that was good.
Monday I had off, Tim was still sick, I didn’t even consider exercising. Again, setting a bad precedent for the week. Tuesday morning, my alarm was all set. But my resolve wasn’t. And this is where my problem lies. I haven’t exercised all week. Tim had an excuse, he’s still pretty weak. He finally ate just yesterday. Here’s my main problem – my motivation seems to be gone. And it feels like it’s been gone for a while. I love(d) exercising. I love feeling great. I love getting up in the morning and feeling like I accomplished something. I love when my pants don’t feel tight (which they do right now). So what is MY PROBLEM!!!!! I’m so mad at myself, but apparently not mad enough to do something about it. Even today, I said to myself, meh, it’s already Thursday, why bother getting up to exercise now. WHAT!? Ridiculous. And I know it’s ridiculous. But I’m still not doing anything about it.
I also have a terrible terrible habit of eating if I can get away with it. For some reason, when I get home from work and I’m starting to make dinner, I almost always get very shaky. Like low-blood-sugar or something. What I should do, is have a nice, high-protein snack as soon as I get home and that will hold me off until dinner. But I don’t. I wait until I’m shaky, light-headed, hot/cold, and irritable. Then I have 3 handfuls of cashews (probably 3 servings right there), a couple pieces of chocolate, and maybe even some tomatoes or something if I’m making salads. So not only am I ingesting all of these calories after eating good all day, plus I didn’t exercise, plus it’s only like an hour before dinner.
I just don’t understand how I know it’s bad and wrong and I feel physically awful especially in the area of pants being tight. And yet I don’t feel guilty enough to fix it. Maybe writing down these confessions will help. Maybe you guys should all comment (yay, please comment!) about how I need to get my lazy self back to exercising and not gorging on cashews every evening before Tim gets home.
Not only that, but I know part of my decrease in motivation comes from the fact that I worked so hard for 11 months and now it’s all undone so what’s even the point? Why work hard again for another 11 months when I can just buy bigger pants? Laziness is so much easier.
Every once in a while, I do get that fleeting thought in the back of my mind…..maybe if I tried even harder it wouldn’t take 11 months? Maybe. This is now.
THEN: Did I mention the breast-feeding? No? I’ve got to work it in someplace. So, I had planned on breastfeeding the twins. Can’t do that when they’re on feeding tubes in the NICU. No, not so much. But that’s ok. I can just pump and they can put whatever I get into their feeding tubes. Although getting less than an ounce after almost a half-hour of pumping is rather discouraging. Especially when there’s two mouths to feed. Luckily for me, I was able to stay in the hospital those few extra days. The lactation nurses came to see me whenever I needed. I just had to get used to the idea of 2-3 women playing with my boobs every time I needed a little assistance. I felt it was worth it. And I suppose an ounce is really not that bad when your kids are only eating a couple ounces at a time anyway. But it was always on my mind that obviously, eventually, soon, they would need to eat more. In the meantime they were being supplemented with formula. I was told multiple times not to feel guilty and that every little teensy tiny bit helped. And that pumping was bound to get you less milk anyway. And that having a C-section was bound to get you less. And that having a delivery at 31 weeks was bound to get you less because your body wasn’t supposed to be ready to give milk for another 7-9 weeks. And all of these things made sense logically so it’s good that I’m normally a very logical person.
But I still felt guilty. And I still felt like since I was just sitting in my hospital room anyway maybe I should just leave the pump attached all day long or something.
They also said don’t worry about getting up in the night; I needed my rest. Screw that, my babies needed to eat! They weren’t sleeping through the night without having to eat, so I couldn’t sleep through the night without making them some food. They were eating every two hours. I was pumping every two hours. Sometimes by the time I got it all set up, pumped for a half-hour or so, and then cleaned up the machine so it would be ready for next time I felt that it probably would be easier just to leave everything attached all day. Like a cow. It was not easy. Emotionally or physically. I felt drained. I felt like a failure. I knew that eventually I would make more but it was hard to convince myself of that when all I had were mere drops to feed my children. Like really, drops, like when they would pour it from the tube I pumped it into to and try to get it into the feeding tube, there probably was nothing left because it all just got stuck on the side of the container. I was told to take a picture of them and look at it while I was pumping to stir up some emotion. That actually did help a lot, especially when I was first home. They told me to massage my breasts a little before pumping. That helped too. A little. My determination got me through I think. It is not easy to breastfeed, pump, whatever – I tell everyone that. But in my opinion, it’s worth it for the vitamins and antibodies that I believe I was providing to my babies. And since this experience, I have had A LOT of new-mom friends come to me for advice. I’m no lactation consultant (those people crazy (in a good way)), but I do think that if you can do it, (because not everyone can), you should do it. Or at least try for a little while because every little teensy tiny bit helps. That was then.