Getting rid of pounds

12 Apr

I mentioned a little while ago about my doctor retiring and finding a new doctor and the stress involved in that and my super high blood  pressure.  I also mentioned the difficulties I had during my pregnancies including my blood clotting disorder and pregnancy induced hypertension and pre-eclampsia.

You know, the good old days.

I have been seeing my doctor weekly to monitor my blood pressure and it’s been ok, but not fabulous. With my history during pregnancy and my family history, my blood pressure needs to be even lower than “not too high”, but at this point, I am not a candidate for medication.


I need to lose weight, I said to my doctor matter of factly.

Yes, she agreed, it would be best if you did.

My doctor commented that it is likely that my blood pressure may be weight related.  As I have lost weight in the past two weeks, my BP has lowered.

As a rule, my blood pressure is lower when I am thinner and higher when I’m bigger. 

In the past 9 years since I have started having kids, my weight has gone up and down and up and down.  Right now, it’s up, and I am not a happy camper.

While I am not at the point of plus sized clothes, if I keep eating what I want, I will be.  And I don’t want to be there.

I wrote about my stomach issues a while back and how I no longer eat gluten.  While that helped to an extent, I ended up replacing bread with corn and potato and rice.

And then I read Wheat Belly.

My daughter is in an amazing program at school called Girls on the Run where girls from grades 3-8 train for a five km walk or run in a non competitive environment that is empowering!

I want to be a mother that my kids can look up. A mother who not only provides healthy choices for them but makes healthy choices for herself.

Modelling behaviour is so important.

If you take my giving up gluten, reading Wheat Belly, seeing my doctor, my kids and just generally being unsatisfied with my appearance and the way I feel, I think I can safely say that I have hit my proverbial rock bottom.

My doctor weighed me today. She didn’t say “lose x amount of weight” or anything to that extent, but she did book me to come back in two weeks to recheck my blood pressure and my weight.

Since I have lost a bit recently, I have decided to get even more serious and start blogging about it, weekly, so that I can get my feelings out, and be accountable. To myself. And to the 3 people who read my blog, my mom and my neighbour and my really cool twitter friend @jayjii who you should all be following!

I would like to lose 40 pounds.  I almost said 50, but that’s ridiculous. I would really be way too skinny.  Even 40 is pushing it, but I feel like it’s attainable.  I don’t have a timeline in mind, but I would like to see how things go over the next 6-12 months.  I would be losing no more than 2 pounds a week at that rate.

How am I going to do it?

I am a Weight Watchers online member.  Since I am not eating gluten or bread or corn or rice or anything like that and trying to cook/eat as close to natural as possible, it’s kind of hard to track.

Essentially, I am going to eat as close to natural /real as possible.  I do much better with a defined list of “good” foods and a defined list of “bad” foods.  I imagine sugar and bad foods as blood pressure raisers and I stay away.  If I “eat in moderation”, I eat until I’m satisfied.  And that might be 4 slices of pizza. And some wings. And a glass of wine. And that’s just ONE meal out of three. Plus snacks. That isn’t going to cut it.

A few sample meals that I have made recently:

Breakfast – Shakeology with Almond Butter

Lunch – Hard boiled egg with olives and a salad with feta.

Dinner – peppers stuffed with lean ground chicken, zucchini, carrots, mushrooms, tomatoes and onions with parmesan cheese. Edamame on the side

Snacks – veggies and hummous, cheese, almonds and walnuts.

LOTS of water with lemon.

It may sound restrictive, but I am actually really enjoying it and I find it really filling and yummy. I get to eat cheese! And I love walnuts and olives and salad and avacados! It feels good to make my food from scratch, not “sort of but with cans and jars and boxes”.

I eat a protein each night before bed and it has been helping me sleep.

I drink a ton of water.

Tonight I am making tuna mixed with avacados and a big greek salad. And I can’t wait to eat it!

Additionally, my husband and I are into week two of the Advanced Turbo Jam rotation.  Next month, I am joining a challenge with my Beachbody Coach for more support and unaccountability.

There is a famous Canadian blogger named Maria from Bored Mommy who is using the coolest idea for tracking her weight.  She is also doing a series on weight loss and her posts, along with a few other bloggers, have inspired me to track my journey as well.

I loved the weight loss jar idea on Maria’s blog so much that I went out, got the stuff I needed and made my own!

First things first,  I put the two jars with lids, a pack of stick on letter and a pack of coloured pom pom balls, on the counter.

Then, I decorated the first jar with the sticky letters saying “pounds to lose” and I added 40 pom poms in four different colours. A pom pom represents one pound.  Each time I lose ten pounds, all ten of one colour will be in the other jar.

And finally, I decorated my empty “pounds lost” jar that I will, ideally, be filling up with pom poms each week.

My weigh in day will be Thursday because I weighed in today and I usually see my doctor on Thursday.

I really like the idea of visualizing something and I am excited to start writing about getting healthier and skinnier!


7 Responses to “Getting rid of pounds”

  1. fitvsfiction April 12, 2012 at 9:14 pm #

    I am really happy to hear you say that feel good about your diet cuz I think that’s what we all aim for…if I can just say one or two things ( feel free to completely disregard what I have to say, it is just my opinion afterall) Your diet sounds like a DIET. The problem with going ON a diet is that at some point it’s inevitable that you will go OFF it.

    I remember cautioning a friend of mine who joined the Dr. Bernstein clinic a few years ago..she said she felt GREAT and could eat like that forever..I knew it couldn’t last (Been there, done that)…a few months later, she had gained back the weight she had lost and added a few more.

    I worry that by putting food into GOOD and BAD categories, you are attaching way too much emotion around them…what will happen if you end up eating something from the BAD list? How will you feel? Will the guilt completely undermind all the positive steps you’re trying to take?

    AS HARD as it is to believe, eventually, the best thing that can happen is for you to learn how to work WITH your body instead of against it and learn how to trust yourself around food. It seems like there are too few foods on your “Safe to eat” list and that will be tough to maintain.

    It also sounds like so much of your time and energy is being put on the weightloss, be careful that it doesn’t take over the other important things in your life. It’s like the expression goes: Whatever we focus on, just gets bigger.

    You have set a big goal around the number of pounds you want to lose..maybe it’s a good idea to make the goals about how you feel as well.
    Maybe you’ll find out that you don’t need to lose 40lbs to feel good about yourself, fit and healthy..maybe?
    Again, feel free to ignore what you’ve just read….Just thought I’d share my thoughts.
    Good Luck!

    • jexalt April 12, 2012 at 11:51 pm #

      Thanks so much for replying. I absolutely love it when someone comments, and the fact that you replied with something so well thought out is much appreciated!

      In the course of my work, I run a lot of programs for people with substance use issues (drugs or alcohol) and I am familiar with, and a huge supporter of, harm reduction. This method of limiting harmful substance use works really well for a lot of people because quitting cold turkey is HARD and, not always medically advisable unless under supervision in a hospital or detox setting. For other people, abstinence only works. Some people do a combination of both. I believe it’s important to plan for relapse and not beat yourself up if it happens because it is all a part of the journey toward sobriety in whatever form it may take for each individual.

      One thing I like people to think about is HALT – Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired. If people can identify the mood/emotion/feeling (one word) they can often see why they are using and when. If they can identify the thought corresponding to it, they can better see what drives their behaviour.

      I am pretty familiar with the above (explained in the most simplified form possible so I don’t write a book) because I use it so often in my work life. I also have become quite good at identifying my own feelings and thoughts because of the CBT and that I have engaged in (ie. writing regular thought records).

      A few things:

      1. I am good at identifying my own feelings, the corresponding thought(s), and the behaviour that follows. And why.

      2. I do much better with the cold turkey approach rather than the harm reduction method (although I strongly feel that harm reduction is the better method for most people). If I use harm reduction, I set parametres such as “only at x time”.

      3. I liked what you said about going on (a diet) meaning you need to go off (a diet). So true. I have no intention of going off of gluten free because the health benefits are so great. Will I ever eat corn chips or rice cakes or potatoes again? Without a doubt. I know I will. Right now, I need to stay away from them entirely though. I am not saying “never” with those foods so maybe there is an element of harm reduction there that I haven’t visualized at this point what it will look like for me.

      4. When I was diagnosed with Panic Disorder, I stopped drinking coffee – cold turkey. I haven’t had a cup of coffee or a black tea in about 7 years. I associate caffeine (particularly in high quantities from coffee) with inducing uncomfortable physical symptoms related to anxiety thus “bad” and that association has kept me away from caffiene. So when I say “good” and “bad”, it’s not driven by emotion, rather by health. When I look at a slice of pizza, I visualize my blood pressure. If I eat that pizza, my body (that I listen to ;)) will react negatively and my blood pressure will be affected. There is no guilt associated but I do recognize that it is a step in the wrong direction to good health even in moderation.

      5. I am absolutely working with my body and not against it. While the “diet”/”lifestyle change”/”mindfullness”/whatever is the currently trendy jargon may seem restrictive, when I eat bread, I feel bad physically. When I don’t drink a lot of water, I feel bad physically. When I drink caffeine, I feel bad physically (and emotionally). When I eat sugar and sweets, I feel bad physically. When I eat whole foods and real foods, I feel good and I feel full and I feel satisfied – physically. I know this because I do listen to my body. A pizza feels great in the moment, but I pay later – on the toilet, in my stomach, with headaches, and in my PB readings, etc. If that’s not listening to my body, I don’t know what is.

      The thing is, I’m not losing weight to fit into a size 0, although the thinner appearance is nice. I am losing weight because of my health. We don’t tell people who have their organs shutting down due to anorexia and need to be formed into the hospital, by their doctor, the police, their family, the justice of the peace, to listen to their body because without being fed through an IV they will die. And yes, after that initial intervention the real issues will need to be tackled, but that early intervention is necessary. We don’t tell people with peanut allergies to eat in moderation and listen to their cravings. If I lose ten pounds, my BP will likely drop by leaps and bounds so if what I am doing isn’t working for ME at that point, then I will re-evaluate, because I want to feel good and be healthy. For now, this is my goal. No goal is too aimless for me.


      Thanks again for the reply, I hope I wasn’t too defensive! I felt like there were a few assumptions in your reply without knowing the full picture (understandable) and I just wanted to clear them up. I also hope I don’t scare you off! I love what you do and really am appreciative that you posted!

  2. fitvsfiction April 13, 2012 at 1:49 pm #

    Wow Jenn..I’m COMPLETELY Offended!

    Naw, I’m just kidding, I’m not offended at all. :o)

    Weightloss is one of those tricky issues is that is sooo emotional and oh so personal. I apologize for making you feel like I was making assumptions, without knowing you, I could only go by what I had read and how I could relate to it. I really believe that weightloss and maintenance varies for different people.

    If you feel GOOD, physically, emotionally and psychologically, you are probably doing what’s right for YOU.

    It’s interesting that you mentioned substance abuse treatment. For a few years, I tried to recover from my eating disorder through a 12 step program for food addicts and there was a time when I thought it was helping..after awhile, I realized that it was just making my disorder worse. For me, there is no abstinence with food, like there is with drugs and alcohol. We need to eat to live. The program had me list binge foods and then abstain from them, but that just increased my fear and gave them more power. When I finally found real recovery through an outpatient program at a hospital, the first thing I was given was a list of foods I HAD to eat. These included all the foods that terrified me: Cake, ice cream, french fries, etc.. I HAD to eat them everyday! I was mortified and posititive I’d gain weight. Crazy enough, by eating these foods in moderation, they become a much smaller issue for me and I actually ended up LOSING a few pounds as well as the FEAR I had felt for so many years.

    I agree with what you said about anorexics needing to be fed by IV before they can be treated psychologically…hard to heal the mind when the body’s so sick..but as you said, once they are healthy physically, the real work begins and they need to learn how to feed themselves or they’ll never really be recovered. Staying tube fed could sustain their lives, but not learning how to trust themselves would keep them from living.

    Many of the girls in my treatment program had been through the hospital inpatient programs and didn’t feel “Well” until they left and started having to take responsibility for themselves.

    Sorry for this looong reply..I promise, I will be short and sweet in any future responses…this is an issue I could speak about for eons.

    Good luck with your journey!!

  3. myiejourney April 14, 2012 at 6:23 pm #

    I know…we are in different places with this…..I hope you understand I have to stay away from these types of posts if they’re going to be coming. It’s not because I don’t care, it’s just not good for me and my recovery. And just like fitvsfiction I could probably write a few novels too….but that won’t be good for either of us. But just one thing because I love you….

    Jenn, you’re beautiful, you look AMAZING! Just be healthy and happy.

    • jexalt April 14, 2012 at 8:17 pm #

      Aw, thanks!

      Thursday is going to be my post day for this sort of post, so be sure to ignore on that post.

      Regular (unscheduled) program the rest of the time.

  4. ❀ Marci O'Connor ❀ (@BeingMarci) April 14, 2012 at 10:48 pm #

    wow, the comment were just as great as the post here – so interesting to share different points of view! I find it interesting (and compelling to look at weightloss beyond the scale & pounds lost and this REALLY has given me a lot to think of!!

  5. jexalt April 15, 2012 at 11:18 am #

    Thanks for commenting, Marci! How is the meal plan going?

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