Saturday, March 31, 2012

Kicking My Own Butt: 2 Months, 20 Pounds Lost

So here I am, an Internist and a mom, with a 3 month old baby girl and a 22 month old toddler boy, and with all that there is plenty of fodder for writing. All the priceless, precious wacky and aggravating moments that make up parenthood; all the touching, challenging, annoying moments that are doctoring. That's why we write, right? There's just SO MUCH.

But today, this is a simple update on my own journey back to my own body. Two babies in less than two years (plus a bit of an addiction to really dark chocolate) put alot of extra weight on me. I fell off my own fitness wagon. My runner's body gave way to... Obesity.

At 4 weeks postpartum with Babygirl, I realized I was at BMI 30. I kind of freaked out. I started a modified South Beach Diet. I lost alot of weight really fast, I think because I was breastfeeding. Then, when Babygirl was 6 weeks old, my husband was hospitalized with diverticulitis for a week. My plan went by the wayside. There were many days of like, Cheerios for dinner. My breast milk dried up. We went into Survival Mode.

Now, he's fine, I'm back at work, and life goes on, I picked up the free weights again. I started running: 1, 2 miles. Today, I ran 3 1/2 miles. Whoo-hoo!!!

And, even with my schedule and the kids, I have managed to lose 20 pounds in 2 months. I am now at BMI 27 (I'm pretty short.) It's hard, damn hard, but I can't give in to excuses or laziness. (Well, maybe sometimes...)

But if I expect to see change, I have to do the work. That means making myself get up at 5:30 a.m. on a Saturday to go for a run BEFORE the kids wake up. And taking the time to do abs work before going to bed. And planning meals: buying the healthy food, packing it up for myself the night before an early office day. It means resisting desserts. Most of the time.

So, while I am not perfect at all of this, I am persisting. My goal is to lose 20 more pounds, to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight. I find myself empathizing with my patients. Commiserating. Coaching.

So much of my work with patients is in trying, desperately trying, to help people help themselves to get fit. If I can use myself as an example, I will. I know how it is, I'm living it.

I can share with patients about how it's tempting to declare "Diet over!" after giving in to a little indulgence. But this is a HUGE pitfall. I'll talk with patients about how, for me recently, one chocolate-dipped strawberry led to another... and could have led to more and more, but I physically got up from the table and got it back together, and now am seeing results. I'll talk about the merits of hot herbal tea after dinner in lieu of dessert; the handiness of packaged mozzarella cheese stick snacks; the necessity of Truvia.

I can share with patients how hard it is to get in exercise when you work and have kids. How I need to make it a priority, and stay on top of it. Can't go to the gym? Me neither. I haven't re-joined my gym, because I'm not sure I would ever get there. Try running. Jumping rope is excellent exercise. I also discovered hundreds of free fitness videos On Demand. I do abs work at night before bed. I run after my toddler and lift him like weights. And there are stretches of days when I don't move much, and that's OK. It's tempting to declare, Game Over. But that's a common error. Just Keep Going, I tell people.

And I will keep going. Persisting, Resisting. Eyes on the prize.

Next week: 4 miles.

7 comments:

  1. Congrats! I'm down 27 lbs since Christmas without a gym membership! I still have 40 more pounds to go but I feel great. Keep up the great work!

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  2. Great job!!! I'm down 30 so far, I have 20 more to go and its getting harder and coming in spaced out spurts!!! I will NOT declare GAME OVER! Thanks for sharing. You have inspired me!

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  3. Nice article, I’m a true believer in losing weight naturally. There are plenty of systems that work great. Look for impartial review blogs like http://realfitness24-7.blogspot.com/ to learn what works and avoid scams, or just look around on Google. Personally I added the “31 day weight loss system” and “the truth about abs” in to my regular routine and I managed to get a perfect six pack in a month and a half! :)

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  4. It's so hard to lose the weight after having children. I found running really helped me. Now 20 years later I have put it back on and have to find my way back to cutting down. Congrats on your weight loss! It's great too that you can share this info with patients now.

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  5. I'm a doc too, now with a 10 year old and a 7 year old. You will get your body back, I promise. Be good to yourself, have a goal to be back in your jeans when she turns 1. By the time she's 3, you'll even feel buff again. It's a process, and it will all work out.

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  6. I know I can't speak for everyone, but when my truly obese doctor talks to me about weight loss, I respect her more than the doctor who tells me to lose weight without admitting that they should be taking their own advice. I know that she is in the fight with me and she understands what it's like to not be totally perfect with this.

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  7. I'm just breezing through blog posts today but if you're looking for some good free advice, feel free to check out my blog site at ninacheriephd.com. Lots of helpful info there. Good luck to you.

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