Category Archives: journal

Moving Past the Fog of Unhealthiness

When I am unhealthy, I can often look back and recognize a fog. A mental fog that weighs me down so much, it becomes a physical attribute. I don’t necessarily notice it every minute of every day. But it’s there. Lingering. A constant sluggish feeling that hovers over my life.

Like I’m always playing catch-up. Moments experienced through a tinted filter. The opposite, when I’m in a really good place with my health, is a refreshing feeling. I feel light, quick to respond. Experiences are crisp and sharp. I feel free.

I want to be healthy for myself.
I want to be healthy for Francisco.
I want to be healthy for my marriage.

I want to be healthy. Healthy physically, mentally, spiritually and financially. I want to feel free in life; not weighed down by the fog of unhealthiness. I want to rise above the haze I often feel as a result of my unhealthiness.

I worked out 3 times last week and so far, 2 times this week. Sunday, I made it to the gym even though Carlos was out town (usually I would use this as an excuse to not workout.) I dropped Francisco off at the daycare and even though he hated it, I took the 30min for myself to sweat. This morning I also went. At 5am. Which meant Carlos got up with Francisco. Carlos is more of a night owl (I am the early bird) so I appreciate Carlos being willing to wake up and hang with Francisco.

2 times this week. Not as much as I’d like but I’m still taking it as progress. We are going back to Minneapolis tomorrow so I my goal will be to work out before a half-day of work which will get me to 3 times this week. Although in the back of my mind, I still continue to crave getting up to 5 times a week.

I’m tracking my food. I’m focusing on being balanced and while I still need to work on decreasing my fat macro, I’m doing very well with not overdosing on processed carbs every day. My eating focus is eating balanced, real food. Not low calorie, not low fat, not some fad diet. Just balanced protein, healthy carbs and good fat.

It’s a slow uphill battle. Fighting toward healthiness when unhealthy habits seem to feed off each other. One decision in the morning can throw the rest of the day off-kilter and seem absolutely impossible. Every day can start with the same good intentions but intentions don’t mean much if it isn’t followed up with action.

Every day, the goal is to continue to move past the fog of unhealthiness.

I’m okay, you’re okay – WE ARE OKAY

No matter how frustrated I get.
No matter how many times I feel like I’ve failed at this whole healthiness thing.

No matter how often I struggle. I still know that I am okay.

I have an amazing husband and an amazing little boy who is growing way too quickly.

My weight does not define me. My struggles do not imply that I should just give up. Being healthy isn’t just something we can do, check the box, and be done with. For so many people, including myself, being healthy will be lifelong. I will never just “be healthy.”

Every day is a new opportunity to try, try again. Every day, I wake up with good intent. And while good intent doesn’t automatically translate to everything working out like I had planned, I am so thankful that despite my failures, I have not given up.

I can only imagine how it can be from an outsider. This blog has been here for TEN YEARS. And what have I accomplished in ten years? A lot, actually. I am not perfect, I struggle. But I am okay. We are all okay, despite whatever we are struggling with.

Fighting Against the Current

It’s a rainy day here in Milwaukee.

As I was driving to work this morning, I started thinking about my struggles with healthiness. I feel like I’ve done better with my eating this week and while it’s not squeaky clean, whole30, rabbit food, it’s been significantly better than in recent months. Almost all week, I did not give in to excuses around my eating. I did not justify poor eating because I was running from meeting to meeting, was too tired, or other reasons that again would have been just plain excuses.

But I also think it’s going to take a lot more to get back to a healthy life, which includes a healthy weight. So then, the question popped into my head…

How bad do I want it?

How important is it to me to be healthy. Is being healthy more important than the choices I’m making now? What am I willing to do different? Am I willing to make what I may currently perceive as sacrifices now because I know once I get the healthiness ball rolling, it will be more of a norm, and won’t feel like a sacrifice. Right now, all my decisions have a snowball effect into one negative consequence. Being unhealthy. These decisions may seem individually small and unimportant (a poor choice here, a poor choice there) but they all add up to one big huge result.

Unhealthiness. It feels like I’m trying to move a mountain, but probably because right now, I am fighting against the current. Each small decision I make, each decision that is better than what I would have previously make, each decision that fights against the current, is what makes a difference. Because together, the collective whole, will get me to where I want to be.

So the question I need to continue to ask myself, every time I think this one choice may not be a big deal, I just have to ask myself how important is being healthy to me.

Back to Tracking

Happy Monday!

The weekend flew by, as does most weekends. It was so beautiful here in Milwaukee. I did a 20min home yoga video on Friday night and then Francisco and I met a friend and her boys at Harvest Fest on Saturday morning. We also took a lot of walks both Saturday and Sunday.

All weekend, I tried really hard to pay attention to my eating this weekend. I mentioned in one of my posts last week I know I not only need to focus on getting more movement in my day, I also need to work on my eating.

On Saturday, even though we were at the fair from 9:30am until 1:15pm, I skipped eating from any of the fried food vendors and instead came home to have lunch. Usually, I would have just allowed myself to eat there because it was “lunch time.” Small victory.

I spent a few hours on Sunday preparing food for this week. I roasted chicken, cauliflower, made an egg bake and made some meatballs for Francisco. I bought a few different Chopped salads from Dole which make grabbing a salad so easy during the week, I just add chicken and I’m done. I’m also back to tracking this morning using my trusty DietMinder journal.

I’ve gone through multiple of these over the years. But, one change I’m making is NOT recording calories. I really want to focus on the foods I eat, the quality of foods, not the calories. I don’t want to fall into a low-calorie diet mentality again.

Over the weekend, I fixed the blog so that my posts will show up on the front now. You can still find archive entries from other PriorFatgirls from the menu at the top.

Francisco was up every 3 hours last night so tonight will an early bed time for me. I’m looking forward to it already!

The Unhealthiness Cycle

Thanks for all your support on being back at this, on being back on this whole push for healthiness. It feels utterly ridiculous that here I am again because I KNOW what I need to do. This whole unhealthiness thing just feels like a cycle.

Every day I wake up with good intentions. Those good intentions last an hour. Or three. Or maybe until lunch time and then I get pulled into 4 straight hours of meetings. Today, I inhaled my lunch at 1:45pm in a 6 minute window of time between two meetings, while trying to answer questions from my boss who just got back from traveling.

Please tell me. How do you make this work? I have about 1 hour in my evening when I could possible sneak in a workout and that’s the one hour that I could possible sit down with Carlos and have some 1:1 time with him. Or I could clean a bathroom. Or read. Or play Candy Crush. Lord have mercy.

I just feel like I’m spinning my wheels. I feel like my cheeks are suffocating my face.

Admitting the Real Struggle

The first step in any drug or alcohol treatment program is admitting the addiction. That is what I’ve done this week, admitted I’m struggling. I’ve been trying to hide it but I know by hiding it, I am allowing it to continue to be a problem. I try to wear baggier clothes. A lot of black, avoiding colors that draw attention to me. I avoid being social, avoid posting photos on Facebook and Instagram with me in it. I also avoid eating with people, even Carlos.

But, I have to admit my problem. By no means am I comparing my struggle to drug or alcohol addiction but I can learn from their recovery process, borrow best practices and leverage success factors. So, without further ado, please accept the next picture that admits my problem:

I am utterly, unequivocally, beyond embarrassment. 24lbs away from my all time highest of weight, 76lbs away from my lowest. I’ve gained close to 30lbs in the last 6 months since Francisco was born. Add that to the 20ish I gained during pregnancy and the other 20ish I had gained in the years since my lowest (which I wasn’t worried about), I am now at the highest weight I’ve been at in almost 9 years. I don’t want to lose all 76lbs.

I don’t want to go back to 140lbs, that wasn’t a realistic number for me to maintain. And, to be honest, it really isn’t about the number on the scale. I just want to feel healthy and confident again. I want to feel good about myself. If that means 30lbs or 40lbs lighter than where I am, so be it. But it isn’t about the number. It’s about what that number represents. It’s about the number being a symptom, my general unhealthiness being the real issue.

A comment on my post earlier this week made me stop and reflect. It read…

Hi Jen,

I do not remember how I connected with your blog years ago, but I have always admired you and your story has always touched my heart. Maybe it is because I have a daughter your age. I am going to give you the advise I have given my daughter.

In one word, it is stress.
It all boils down to we women are doing too much. Something has to give. There are simply not enough hours in the day to work full time, parent, take care of ourselves, be a wife we can be proud of, have a clean house, cook and do all the other things we women need to do . Even with the help of a supporting husband. It is just too much. Something has to give.

My solution to stress? Less Stuff.

We are working to have a nicer car, nicer house, nicer vacations, etc. Nicer stuff. We need to give up some of that stuff to relive the stress in our lives. There are 2 ways to do that. Work less (or not at all) so you have the time to take care of the things that are important to you. Or pay someone to do things that will give you more time in your day. Or a combination of both

Either way, you have less money for stuff. Another blog I found about the same time I found yours is Money Mustache. It gives a refreshing outlook on things we can do without. Dave Ramsey also has some great ideas on that.

Do without some stuff to relieve some of the stress. Get off that hamster wheel and enjoy your life. Can you downsize your life? I do not know your circumstances, but less expensive housing, and cars are usually the biggies.

I hope this does not come across too harshly. I just think a lot of us Americans have traded a more relaxed, less stress, happy life for more stuff and higher class of living.

My 2 cents, given with love in my heart.

Kaydee

Whether or not you and I agree on the sentiment that it is women trying to do too much, I do agree so much with the general message from Kaydee, that I need to work on stress. I can feel it in my jaw, many times throughout the day having to remind myself to un-clench my jaw. I can feel my blood pressure rise as I drive to and from work, rushing to get there or rushing to get to daycare. I know I need to work on lowering my stress.

I think the easiest way to do that right now is 30 minutes of yoga right before bed. I had originally been using this time to de-stress by playing Candy Crush and reading BuzzFeed in bed but usually fell asleep within 5-10 minutes. I think 30 minutes of yoga right before bed would be the perfect time.

Carlos is gone this weekend visiting a friend so this weekend will be a great weekend to start with my new routine. Francisco goes to bed around 6:30pm so that will give me enough time to make supper and eat, do my dishes, clean or fold laundry, and then do some yoga before bed.

Now. I don’t want to end this post with that picture. So I think it’s best to post photos of little baby Francisco. Except he isn’t really little, he’s in the 97% percentile for both height and weight.

Francisco is 6 months old. He has 2 teeth, is crawling everywhere and is already starting to pull himself up on things to a stand. He is hitting a lot of developmental milestones fairly early which at first I was like “go go Francisco” but now I get weepy thinking about it because he is literally growing way too fast.

He eats like a toddler, hating purees and cereal, and instead insisting on eating actual food. He eats banana pancakes, sweet potato, carrots, scrambled eggs, chicken, banana, and tomatoes. His teachers at daycare tell us often that he is a very busy baby, always having to be somewhere he is not.

I love him so much, you guys.

Happy weekend!

I Need to Be Back

I need to be back.

I need to blog.

Life is like WHOA. I have now gained MORE weight in the six months after the birth of Francisco than during my entire pregnancy itself. I am uncomfortable and want to hide. I hate getting dressed, I hate being social, I hate being seen by people who haven’t seen me in awhile. In fact, I avoid being social.

I have contemplated blogging for awhile now but there has been a little voice in side my head reminding me the blogging world isn’t what it was when I started blogging in 2007. People are quicker now to give their judgement via comments. People are more mean. To be honest, I’m scared of mean-spirited comments when I fall off the wagon. Or when I eat something someone doesn’t agree with. Sharing my struggles for the world to see. Opening myself back up to vulnerability.

And, does anyone read blogs anymore?

But Carlos reminded me recently that if I were to start blogging again, I wouldn’t be doing it because people read my blog. I would be blogging to hold myself accountable. Dear diary, I suppose.

Because I need to be back.

I need to blog.

I don’t know what my voice is. What I once was as Jen, priorfatgirl, is a memory. I am a mom now, our little guy is SIX MONTHS. We moved to Milwaukee a few months ago. I am now 5 hours away from my sisters, my best friends. 5 hours away from the healthiness support I could have reached out to. Still trying to navigate the stress of a huge move, starting a new job, going back to work.

I feel like I’m starting from scratch. Like I’m all alone. Trying to figure out how to balance work, life, a baby AND try to be healthy overwhelms me. Excuses become justified, food becomes my outlet. Same story, different time in my life. Funny how I find myself here yet again.

So, dear diary. Dear typing my emotions out. Dear blogging for myself, for my healthiness, for my emotional processing. Dear diary.

Scale Shows 16 lbs Down

16. The hardest 16 ever!

The scale shows 16lbs down and I’m feeling a groove. I am getting to the gym more and more in the mornings now that Francisco is FINALLY sleeping through the night. I haven’t gotten into hitting the gym every morning but progress is progress.

It’s been nice a couple weekends in a row now, so I’ve gotten in a couple runs in on the weekends. It’s such a good feeling going out for a run and then coming home to have coffee and breakfast outside. Francisco LOVES to be outside.

We are starting to explore Milwaukee a little more, now that it’s nice. A couple weekends ago, we went to the zoo and Francisco was memorized by the animals.

We have also started to explore parks nearby. We don’t have anyt within walking distance but luckily don’t have to drive too far. Francisco doesn’t really run around the park too much, he just wants to play with and throw the wood chips around.

I can’t wait until we are in a house later this summer – we are just starting to look now and there are so many amazing houses in the Milwaukee area. It will be great to have a yard again, to have space again.

We were supposed to go back to Minneapolis this weekend however Francisco is teething HARD. He is getting his canine teeth and these seem to be the hardest out of all of them for him. Poor little guy. He isn’t sleeping right, isn’t eating normal, is cranky and moody — all the stuff that comes with teething. I decided it was best to just keep him home in his normal routine, in his own bed and where we can try to keep him on somewhat of a normal schedule.

I got a Fitbit so it helps encourage me throughout the day, watching the steps add up on my weight loss journey. I don’t think I realized how sedentary my job really was. I’ve done multiple challenges with my sisters, who each also have Fitbits. I talk to my sisters often but the challenges mean we are in touch ALL DAY LONG, ha! Speaking of steps, I need to get up and get some water – catch ya’ll later!

Have a great weekend!

And, We Have a Baby!

Baby Francisco Silva has arrived, we are all in love!

Francisco was born on March 12th. Delivering Francisco was the most intense, indescribable and surreal experience I’ve ever had. I received some pitocin at noon on that Saturday and mild contractions started fairly quickly. Within a few hours, I was laboring pretty heavy. By about 6pm, I asked for an epidural however when they checked me at about 6:45pm, I was too far along and they told me to start pushing.

Time goes so quickly in those intense moments. Every breath felt like seconds but last an hour. Encouraging phrases would wind through the room, in one ear and out the other. Carlos, standing right by my side, holding my hand, tears in his eyes.

As my doctor and the nurses began to coach me into preparing for the final push, every ounce of feeling Francisco flowed through my body. Emotions were exploding all over, every painful sensation is felt and then quickly forgotten. And then. That exact moment. 7:43pm. Pushing Francisco over the pelvic bone and feeling him rush into the world.

9lbs, 3 ounces of the most beautiful,
perfect baby in the whole world.
21 inches of amazing.

The first 5 weeks were insane – Francisco was extra fussy and we struggled a lot with breastfeeding. In the past week, the fussiness has calmed down and he is captivated with his surroundings. Despite trying everything nurses, doctors, the lactation consultants and the internet suggested, I was never able to get my milk supply to where it needed to be to feed our growing Francisco. I do still nurse however we follow-up every nursing session with a bottle. Not being able to breastfeed exclusively was horribly devastating. While I am thankful for being able to nurse what I can, I have had to grieve over what I am not able to do. A grieving process I never fathomed would have to happen.

Francisco’s fussiness has started to calm down and he has started to smile + laugh.

For being an unplanned pregnancy, it truly has changed our lives. It is safe to say both Carlos and I have developed the most intense level of love with this tiny little baby that neither of us knew we needed. This whole experience has been so much more.

More intense.
More complicated.
More emotional.
More love.
More happiness.
More tiring.
More incredible
More complex.
More amazing.

More everything.

It has been six weeks since Francisco came into this world. Six weeks of a lifetime we never knew we would love so much. Six weeks of seeing Carlos fall more and more in love with this little baby we created.

We ended up flying back to Boston on Friday, a last minute trip to visit Carlos’ family. Watching Francisco’s eyes light up when he hears Cape Verdean Creole, absorbing the words like he already understands their definitions. Dancing with his Grandma Julia, memorized by her sing song.

I go back to work in three weeks. I am both looking forward to the routine and adult conversation, and dreading the absence of someone who has become my whole world.

Life is so unexpected, so difficult, so emotional, so perfect. The unplanned becomes natural and comfortable. Carlos and me. And Iggy. And Francisco.