Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Befores and Afters!!

So in my last post, I promised some before/after pics of my weight loss journey up to this point. This is the best I could find! The first "before" is me in November '10. The rest of the "befores" are me in September 2010, just 5 weeks after Gemma was born. All the "afters" are me this past weekend!

Okay so I have one more suprise!!!! I also chopped my hair off yesterday! Well, actually, my friend Becka did, but still. I've been wanting to go short for years and years, but was gripped by fear. I had super short boyish hair as a kid, and got made fun of so badly for so many years that as soon as I grew it out I was very attached to longer hair. I've had short-ish haircuts before, but was always long enough to pull into a ponytail, even if it was tiny. So this is the first time since childhood that I worked up the courage to go drastic!

I'm still getting used to it, but overall I really, really like it. I think I'll love it in a week or so, once I've had time to get used to it, and it's had time to grow just a bit more. Eeeeee! Anyway, here are the before/after pics of the hair chop!!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Goal Weight!!!! Woooooot!

Sooo... I'm so happy, I can't even contain myself! I hit (actually BEAT) my goal weight today! I am one excited mama. I went back and forth about whether or not I'd share my actual numbers with you, dear readers, and the world wide web at large... and ya know what? I decided I will. For a few reasons:

1. I'm really proud of how far I've come, and want to share my true progress with y'all.
2. I understand women are usually really sensitive about their weight, but it stems from an insecurity that we're always "too fat". An insecurity which stems from all the horrible lies we've been fed throughout our lives about what beauty is.
3. I hope that other women can learn to embrace their bodies, be inspired to work towards a healthy lifestyle, and not be ashamed of a healthy weight!

So. When I got pregnant in November of 2009, my weight was 153. At 5 foot 4 inches, and according to the standard BMI calculator, that was overweight. At the end of my pregnancy, my weight was (gasp!) 183. Now, I know I was preggo and all, but that was definitely not a healthy weight at my height, and the BMI calculated that as obese. Yeeeeeikes.

So since the birth of my daughter in August 2010, I have been working towards a healthier lifestyle. I haven't been "dieting" because diets don't work. I've adjusted what I eat to be more balanced, nutritious, and ideally portioned. And I also don't have an intense exercise regime. It seems that everyone I know is a runner. Well, I don't run. I just don't. I've always said the only way I'll run is if someone is chasing me down a dark alley with a weapon of some sort. I am active, however.
I take walks (2-4 miles) at least 4 times a week. Sometimes I do yoga. Sometimes I do kickboxing if I'm in the mood. And I chase around a rambunctious baby all day long! :) So now that that sweet baby is more than nine months old, I have finally reached and surpassed my goal weight.  
My goal weight was 138 and today I am 137!!
According to the BMI calculator I am a normal, healthy weight for my height. And I couldn't be happier!

And now that I've made it here, I'm ready to keep going! I could lose another 10 lbs and still be well within the "normal weight" category. I think I'll have a new goal weight of 130. And see how I feel when I get there! I'm really excited to start working on my physical fitness now that I'm at a healthy weight. Ya know, all the toning goodness that makes your bum a little cuter and your arms a little tighter :)

I would post before/after pictures but I stupidly took them in a sports bra and teeny shorts sooo.... I'll take some afters of me in clothes and see if I can grab some befores around the time I had Gemma. Though I'm pretty sure I wasn't letting anyone take full-body pics of me at that point! Haha ;)

Anyway, is anyone else on a weight-loss/healthier-lifestyle journey? How are you doing? Anything you need some advice about? Any tips you can lend me or other readers? :)

Have a great weekend y'all!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Broccoli-Stuffed BBQ Chicken

So it's been awhile since I've shared something from my kitchen, but fear not dear readers, the wait is over! I bring to you the latest, greatest kitchen creation to fill your hungry bellies! It is everything I love about food: scrumptious, healthy, satisfying. This particular recipe is for 2, but easy to increase if you have a bigger family than I currently do. One chicken breast per person, and increase the other ingredients accordingly.

2 thick chicken breasts
2 stalks of broccoli
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms (if you don't like them, omit them!)
1/2 medium onion
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup fresh basil
2 tbs butter
2 tbs olive oil
1/4-1/3 cup your favorite bbq sauce
seasonings (I used oregano, chili powder, thyme, and nutmeg)

1. Preheat the oven to 350.
2. Take your chicken breasts out of the fridge to bring to room temp before cooking.
3. While that happily sits, heat up the butter and oil in a skillet. Chop the broccoli up and throw it in. Add your salt, pepper, and seasonings to your taste. Chop up your onion and basil, while you let that broccoli cook for 5-7 minutes. Next, add the garlic (grated or finely chopped), onions, and mushrooms and cook for another 3-5 minutes. Take off heat, and stir in the chopped basil and about half of your bbq sauce.
4. Butterfly your chicken breasts*, and place them into a greased baking pan.
5. Spoon your broccoli mixture into the chicken breasts. Pour the other half of your bbq sauce over the top of the chicken.
6. Cooking time will depend on the size of the chicken breasts. Start checking it after 20-25 minutes and bake until done! Serve on a bed of brown rice and with plenty of extra bbq sauce!


*How to Butterfly a Chicken Breast:
Place the breast on the cutting board with the tip facing you and the thinner side opposite your cutting hand. Place your hand on top of the breast to keep it steady. Carefully insert the knife (you will need a VERY sharp knife - the sharper, the better!) into the thickest part of the breast, and draw it almost all the way through the breast. Be careful to make sure you keep the breast attached on one side. Open the breast like a book and, if needed, lightly pound the flesh until it's an even thickness.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Anybody Else Hate the Hospital??

Sorry I have been so MIA lately!!
This past week I ended up in the hospital, which was awful. Seriously... anybody else hate the hospital? Of course you start off being miserable when you get there because there is obviously something ailing you seriously enough to put you there in the first place. Then you get into your room, and people just start doing stuff to you. I was asking questions every five seconds about what they were doing to me, but not one person was offering up information on their own accord, and even when they would answer my questions, they would give me the most minimalistic, dumbed-down answer ever. And if I ever questioned the answer, they'd look at me like I was crazy! Sorry I'm not an animatronic moron who will just sit there while you poke and prod at me! Sheesh! 

When I first got there, of course, they were asking all kinds of questions about my current condition and medical history. During this time it came out that I am nursing my baby. They took a BUNCH of blood which I haaaaaaate. I so admire people who donate blood for good causes and all that but I cannot stand the feeling of blood draining out of my vein. It's so unnatural! 
After I had already been there for almost TWO HOURS, they finally get around to asking me if I'd like something for the pain. I was in quite a LOT of pain, so I said yes. Unfortunately, I didn't have any pain meds in my bag like I normally do. Rocky specifically asked them if there was a... well, not insanely expensive option for me to have. The nurse looked at him like he has two heads. 

Nurse: "What do you mean?"
Rocky: "Well, I just know the pain meds in hospitals can be pretty expensive." 
(we learned this after my hospital stay with Gemma)
Nurse: "Oh yea... uh..."
Rocky: "So I was just wondering if you had a cheaper version available of whatever you're going to give her."
Nurse: "Hm. I really just don't know! Sorry."

Cut to a few minutes later. The nurse comes in and starts doing stuff on the bedside table. I look over, and I see she is filling up three needles with three different things. Of course, never tells me what she's doing over there, so I HAVE TO ASK as usual. 

Me: "What are those?"
Nurse: "Oh this is blah blah. To help with the pain. And this is blah blah for nausea. And this is blah blah. That's the stronger pain medication for you."
(All three needles were already filled, so at this point I was pretty sure I was paying for all three of these things regardless if I refused them or not.)
Me: "Oh. Well... ya know, I'm not really feeling nauseous anymore at all."
Nurse: "Haha ohhh, you will."
Me: ?????
Nurse: "This blah blah normally makes patients feel nauseous so we just always give these medications together like this."
Me: "....o...k..."

She puts all three meds into my IV. Pretty much instantaneously, I felt SO WEIRD. I mean - weeeeeeird. This hot, pushing, swirling feeling crept all the way from the base of my skull down into the rest of my body. And then yes, I felt so nauseous. I felt dizzy and removed from the world. In short, I was high as a freaking kite. As soon as that feeling had taken over, I panicked! The nurse was already gone but it occurred to me that this was a VERY powerful narcotic, and I knew there was no way I would be able to nurse Gemma on it. Rocky went and grabbed the nurse for me. 

Me: "Uhh... this is making me feel really loopy. Is that normal?"
Nurse: "Well, most people do feel weird for a few minutes but it should subside soon."
Me: "Okay, well, am I going to be able to nurse my daughter on this?"
Nurse: "Ohhhh. I forgot you were nursing! Oh, egh, yea, I don't think you will be able to. Let me check with the doctor for you."
(20 minutes go by)
Nurse: "The doctor said four hours before you can nurse."

SERIOUSLY?! This, by far, was the most maddening part of my entire hospital experience. They KNEW I was nursing my daughter, but gave me a narcotic anyway! Mind you, it had already been over two hours since the last time I had nursed Gemma, and I wouldn't be able to nurse her till 7pm, which would skip her usual 5pm session and make her wait till before bedtime basically. I had brought a (very) small amount of food with me for her... just some puffs and a little bit of mashed apples and grapes. I was so angry with the hospital staff! Not only did they ignore our request for a cheaper pain med, they ignored the fact that I was a nursing mother, and they neglected to mention to me that what they were giving me was a NARCOTIC, even when I flat-out asked the nurse what she was giving me! She just told me the name of it (like that means anything to me!) and told me it was strong. Well, I consider Motrin to be strong, so how was I supposed to know just how strong she meant? Not to mention, I'm super sensitive to pain meds of any kind as it is, so I felt high for almost five hours, and the nausea didn't pass until the following afternoon. 

Deep. Breath.

Okay, sorry for the rant, but I'm hoping I'm not the only crazy one. Anyone else had bad hospital experiences? Where you just feel like the staff forgets you're an actual person and they just do stuff to you without even consulting with you? I mean, I'm sure these people aren't maliciously trying to treat you poorly, but you can tell they are just plugged into this system and they forget that we are not plugged into it! We get inserted into it against our will.

[For the record, I was in for an ovarian cyst, which has since ruptured and is decreasing in size. I'm feeling much, much better.]

Okay, and lastly, on a happy note, I'll leave you with this really cute song by Jason Mraz. I love finding songs by artists I like that can double as children's songs. It gives me hope that I don't have to necessarily be doomed to a life of The Wiggles and KidzBop to make my children happy :)

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