I think it's probably not a coincidence that I've had this burst of reorganization energy at the same time as I've been getting myself healthy. I have so much more energy than I did a few months ago, and it makes me want to get things done.

I've been watching what I eat and exercising at least three times a week for 6 weeks now, and I'm down 16 pounds! My fairly lofty goal was to lose 20 pounds by Halloween, and now that's looking like it will probably happen! When I started this I was a size 20 and even those were getting tight. I'm now in an 18, and those are loose. Yesterday I put on several pairs of size 16 pants just for the heck of it, and I could definitely get them all on, though they were way too tight to actually wear. But another 10 pounds and I will definitely be wearing those pants. That's exciting, and incredibly motivating. I have a long way to go, though. I want to lose a total of 60 pounds, which would get me back down to the weight I was when we started TTC. Infertility put 60 pounds on me, and I'm really ready to put that part of my life behind me! I'm 25% of the way there.

Okay, on to the garage. This was something I've been wanting to do for a long time, and when it finally got a little cooler a few weeks ago, it seemed like a good time to start this project. It took us two weekends to get it done (really two days spread over two weekends). Here are the before pictures. )

So we bought some shelving at Lowe's, went through boxes, threw a bunch of stuff away and hauled several carloads of stuff to Goodwill. Getting the shelves up turned out to be a harder task than we'd anticipated. Carter played while we worked and generally stayed out of the way.

The results! )
I was recently reading a parenting book (Baby Matters) that presented a lot of research about how bad cows' milk consumption is, and it was really compelling. You can read about it here, if you're interested.

I've never been a milk drinker; I just never liked the taste of milk. I like cheese and the occasional yogurt, but the main source of milk consumption for me is coffee drinks. I like my frappuccinos and iced mochas, and I love half-n-half in my morning cup. But I was sufficiently freaked out by the stuff I'd read to start trying soy in my coffee instead.

It turns out that I really like the soy versions of Starbucks drinks! Soy milk has a sort of a nutty flavor that really complements coffee well. In fact, I think I like the drinks more with soy than milk! I bought some soy coffee creamer to use at home, and that's still growing on me. I'm not so sure I'm ready to give up my half-n-half.

But the really interesting thing is that I can tell a big difference in Carter since I cut out even the small amount of dairy I was consuming. He went from being incredibly gassy, as he's been for as long as I can remember, to being only minorly gassy. I've read that dairy in the mother's diet can affect the quality of breast milk (and many women avoid dairy while breastfeeding for that reason), but WOW. The difference is huge!

So I'll be sticking with the soy for a while, I think.

As an aside, cheese is apparently not the culprit that milk itself is. It has something to do with the way the proteins have been partially digested during the cheesemaking process, IIRC. (?)

Diet update

Apr. 2nd, 2007 10:42 am
Weight loss at eleven pounds and holding. And that's not bad at all, because I stopped being really careful in the last week. Actually, after Doug came home Wednesday, I wasn't really careful at all. :-P

Considering that my goal was to lose ten pounds before IVF, that's pretty good. I'm more interested in making sustainable changes in my diet than I am in losing another twenty pounds at this point. I'm hoping to be pregnant in June, so losing a lot of weight in the next couple of months would be a bit pointless. But if I can be a little healthier by the then, all the better, and that's definitely happening. My clothes are all looser, and I can even squeeze into jeans the next size down, which is cool. (They aren't wearable yet, but I can zip them up. ;-))

In other news (and perhaps contradictory to the above), we finally bought a BBQ grill! We haven't had one in almost five years, and spent a lot of time going back and forth on where we'd put it, how nice of one we'd get, whether we'd have it hooked up to the natural gas or just buy a propane-fueled one. We decided to just buy a medium-priced one and see how much we use it. If grilling out becomes a big part of our life, then maybe we'll save up for the awesome outdoor kitchen set-up in another five years.

We found our grill at Home Depot a couple of weeks ago. (It's amazing how much the prices on grills have come down since the last time we bought one!) It was delivered while Doug was OOT, and then this weekend it finally stopped raining long enough to move it out of the garage. We have it out on the patio by the pool in an out-of-the-way spot. So last night we grilled and ate out at the table by the pool, something I've wanted to do for almost five years. Hee! Tonight we'll grill hamburgers and watch The Game. See how my diet is about to go wrong?

Cryptic message to a family member. )
I lost another 1.5 pounds last week, bringing me to 5.5 pounds total. :-D

I slacked off on the exercising last week, so I really need to pick back up with that. I used to be a morning exercise person, and these days I seem to be a midday exercise person. For some reason, it's really hard to motivate myself to go for a walk or drive to the gym first thing in the morning. I'd rather drink some coffee and get to work. But around lunchtime, I'm more mentally ready to exercise, and I don't have to talk myself into it. It's just weird because all through college when I was running, I would get up first thing in the morning and go, because if I didn't do it then, I wouldn't do it later in the day.

Of course, in the summer in Arizona that was a necessity -- it was too hot by 8:00 am to exercise outside. Which is true here as well, though it's more the humidity that gets me than the heat, and that's present even at 7:00 am. So who knows, maybe this is a seasonal thing. It's also dark at 7:00 right now. Somehow it's easier to convince myself to go exercise when the sun is higher in the sky.

Doug is in Shanghai right now, which is interesting because he was in Beijing just a couple of weeks ago. And I've been meaning to post these pictures he took of the Great Wall. )

I don't think he gets to see anything quite so cool this trip, but he's gone a long time and will be in a lot of places: Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Seoul, Sydney, Singapore (again), and then back home. He flew out through London (yes, the wrong way) because it was cheaper and he'll be flying back through Australia again, so he's taking a big tour -- four continents within two weeks!
1. The diet is going well! I have lost 4 pounds according to my scale, which is pretty amazing. I know that sort of progress won't continue, but it's great to see it working so well right away. My clothes feel a little looser than they did a week ago, and that really encourages me to keep going! I managed to eat about 1800 calories a day last week, though on the weekend it was 2100.

More diet stuff )

Papa update )

Rita and Quincy )

Movies )

Farmer's market )

There was more (like that we went to see The Lion King Saturday night), but I need to run, so I'll stop there. It was great to have a weekend to spend together!
I reported a few days ago on Papa's open heart surgery. He was moved into a regular room on Monday, but on Tuesday started having problems with an irregular and low heartbeat. They hooked him up to an external pacemaker and I suppose he responded well, because tomorrow morning they're going to put in a permanent pacemaker (lots of interesting information there). Hopefully this will do the trick. :-)

In other news, Doug is coming home from Beijing tonight! He went to see the Great Wall on Monday, but said it was so cold it wasn't much fun. He'd also planned to go to Tiananmen Square, but it was closed for some reason. It was a crazy trip, as he went all the way to China for a single meeting. :-P

I've stayed under 1900 calories four days in a row. Go me!

Diet, etc.

Mar. 6th, 2007 10:01 am
Since I've got a few months before IVF, I'm going to try to lose a little weight. My goal is ten pounds, which isn't a lot, but the real goal is to eat healthier and more reasonably, which I figure will really help me if I get pregnant. Doug and I eat pretty well about half the time; we eat a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, we cook with quality ingredients, and we use olive oil almost exclusively. Of course, we eat too large portions when we cook, and when we don't cook, we tend to eat fast food because we're busy and tired. So we have good intentions, but we don't quite get there most of the time.

So my first goal is to try to become more conscious about the amounts of food I eat. )

I made yogurt! )

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