Thursday, May 26, 2016

Goodnight.

For the first time in two years, my body is my own. 

Since July 2014, I have either been pregnant or breast feeding and though I have been able to make use of my body, it always belonged to Silas. He needed it to grow and develop and ensuring those things was my priority.


A photo posted by Kimberly (@healthystrides) on


But on Monday night, I nursed Si for the last time.

I have mentally been ready to be finished breast feeding for quite some time as I had hoped to have him fully weaned by a year. However, his apathy toward bottles and sippy cups made it a challenge, and I didn't want to quit when I was not certain that he would be willing and able to get his nutrients elsewhere. 

The discovery of a Nuby cup with a 360 straw was a game changer, and Si has become more and more proficient in drinking from it. About six weeks ago, I was able to drop down to just nursing at night, middle of the night and morning and a month ago, I dropped the morning session.

Since then, I have noticed my supply drop but wasn't worried. I knew my body could possibly maintain it for months. And, anyway, I was going to be done at 15 months. I just needed to be.

It had been OK for that month, and I even started to cherish those moments with Si in the Ikea Poang chair when he was quiet and calm. I knew they were numbered and the ease of getting him to sleep would soon be replaced with a possible battle. 

However, the nurse-rock-bed routine that had been so dependable crashed to a halt on Monday. I put Si down and he screamed. I mean SCREAMED. I could tell, physically, that I had no more to give him or with which to comfort him. It was a shock. It took me a moment to figure out what to do – which was grab his cup and cuddle with him in the chair as he gulped and gulped the cow's milk. Clearly, our nursing session had not given him what he needed. When he was done, he pushed it away and snuggled in. I held him for a short time before laying him down, where he rolled over and went fast asleep.

Even still, I wasn't so sure that would be the end of breastfeeding. I thought I'd give it to the weekend, when the boys are going to Camp Nana overnight.It would give me, us, time to prepare for the end. But as we read had bath and read books on Tuesday, I couldn't bear the thought of another night of struggle.

So without fanfare or an official goodbye, I decided that we were officially done. I cuddled him as I gave him his cup and prayed that he would be OK. Because even though I was mentally and now physically finished, I didn't know that Si would be. I didn't want to take something away from him. 

He nuzzled his head into the crook of my arm, his left arm around my back, and sipped from his Nuby. When he was finished, he pushed it away and relaxed his body into a cradle position. His eyes fluttered closed and fell into slumber. I laid him down in his crib, where he slept until the next morning.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Wednesday Weigh-In

Just before the Indy Mini, I got brave. And by brave, I mean that I stepped on the scale. 


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No matter how much I exercise or how many days I track my food (I currently have a 374-day streak on MyFitnessPal) or how many times I've actually stood on the scale, it's always a nerve-wracking moment. It was no different that day albeit probably worse as I knew that the indulgences were many in April as I celebrated my PR at the Carmel half marathon and my birthday, as well as ate my way through Chicago with my girlfriends.

Just as I suspected, I didn't like the number I saw – especially because it displayed my weight in stones, not pounds, no matter how many times I fiddled with the settings. (And it still does. It might be a sign to get a new scale and have a legitimate reason to go after this one with a sledgehammer.)

But before I could beat myself up too much, the universe gifted me with a near 10-day stomach virus that left me 6 pounds lighter.

Please note: I'm not advocating illness as a means to weight loss. It just is what it is what it is.

While some of the loss was water, I have been able to stay under my pre-baby weight, which is still not to say I'm happy. Ideally, I'd like to lose another seven to 10 pounds to feel like I look lean – especially in pictures – but also so I enter training for the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon at a fighting weight. 

Goals should be SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound – and I'm approaching my post-partum, post-nursing weight loss in the same way. While I would never advocate that someone lose weight for something, I'm using our family vacation in July as a benchmark to keep me accountable.

Also: I really want a reason to spend more money than necessary on an Athleta bathing suit. I'm using the purchase as a reward for reaching my Weight Watchers goal weight, which would mean I need to lose 4 pounds. Four pounds is specific, measurable and achievable and the weight-loss is relevant as marathoners can often gain weight during training. Time-bound – well I have six-week goal.  

It's not good enough to have a goal, though. Not even a SMART one. You have to have a plan and a plan I have.

The stomach bug didn't just jump start my weight loss, though. It helped me reset my palate, which had been far too sugar hungry before May 7. Using that as a springboard, I'm focusing on vegetables (boring) and increasing my protein intake. I'm not going to be slamming protein pancakes and protein shakes and a dozen hard-boiled eggs but I am going to add in a shake and skip the night-time ice cream in lieu of cheese and meats with a couple crackers or homemade popcorn.

I'm also, at least this week, sharing my meals on Instagram (follow me HERE) to keep me accountable. Partly, it's because I'm copying a friend who is doing Whole30 but it's also because I have a short attention span when it comes to focusing on food.

Anyone have tips to stay motivated? I almost think it's harder to keep at it when the weight loss goal is smaller and the weight is more stubborn.