Saturday, January 31, 2015

Healthy Me: Week 4

One month later, and all I can say is 'Wow'. I can't believe that the weight I always whined about was finally coming off, and so much easier than I anticipated!

But, I want to say something. I loved my body, with each curve and flabby bit, every stretch mark and every sag. But I knew I could be better than just OK, and Heather than just 'no more McDonald's' (though that has a lot to do with it!!).
I love you, Me. We're gonna go so far!

Weekly weigh in-
On Jan 1st: 178 lbs
Last week: 170 lbs
This week: 169 lbs
And two more months to go!!! Love ya, Mamas! We can do this!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

One Lovely Blog Award!!!

Thank you, Jann Newton, for my nomination!

              Jann is the brilliant mind behind Newton Custom Interiors.

The Rules for accepting this award is: 

  • Thank and Link back to the person who nominated you.
  • Share 7 things about yourself
  • Nominate other bloggers and comment on their blogs to let them know.

Here are 7 things about me!

  1. I really, really hate doing the dishes. It hurts my hands, it hurts my knees, and my hips to just stand there and clean. I've only ever had a dishwasher once in my life, and I miss it terribly.
  2. I really dig Steampunk themed things. I have a few stories, comic books, and artwork. 
  3. I'd really love to go to a 'Con, like Daisho or Comic.
  4. I'm awful in large crowds. Anxiety levels get way too high. (But it's getting better)
  5. I'm a huge homebody. Nothing makes me happier than just staying at home with my crochet and my books.
  6. I'm all about the boo spookies. Ghosts, vampires, witches, werewolves...if it goes bump in the night, I love it. (With the exception of Zombies)
And now, for the bloggers that I'm personally nominating:

  • This lady is one of  my facebook blogging groups, and her site is amazing! I love her presentation of makeup, and then describes everything, instead of just spamming photos. Spot on!

  • Anita has an earthy quality about her that I just love. Reading her posts are always on my To Do list. Thanks for such amazing writing, Anita!

If YOU think someone deserves this award, feel free to comment below, OR link their blog in a comment. You can never have too many nominations, and I think everyone deserves this kind of exposure. 

Love ya, Mamas!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Healthy Me Week 3: Disclaimer Post

My dear Mamas,
I realize that my wellness journey may seem a bit rushed, as I frantically click-clack away at my keyboard to pour out my excitement in each post. But,  I wanted to make sure my intentions for this un-diet were perfectly clear. I do not want to misinform anyone out there who reads my blog, and thinks I'm intentionally rushing myself. SO! Here is week 3, and a disclaimer for my un-diet:

I, Emyle Prata, am in no way a certified physician, and the health plan posted here has been discussed with both a lactation counselor and my physician to ensure that I am not hurting my body, or my milk supply, which could in turn lead to undernourishment of my child. I am going under the guideline of 'One year to gain, one year to heal and lose', to ensure that I am not going to cause irreparable and/or long-term damage to my body.

My posts are for inspiration as well as starting points to talk with your own healthcare practitioner about how you can lose the weight, if you want to, after having a baby. I know that one size does not fit all in the world of wellness.
So! Do what works for you, Mamas. We'll get to our goals together. Love ya!

Weigh In:
Starting Weight in January: 178
Last Week's Weight: 174
This Week's Weight: 170

I did a double take this morning when I stepped on the scale. There was no way I lost four pounds this week!? So, I stepped off, and on again. And again. And again. Yup. 170. Wow.
When I looked back on my MyFitnessApp, I never met my 'goal' for calorie intake. I was always about 300-500 less than the goal. This is all because of how much I walk at work, and nursing! That's pretty awesome, if you ask me, and more motivation to keep going!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Mommy Reality Challenge #7: IN SUMMER!

This challenge is called 'Essence of Summer', and with all the snow and icky cold weather, I thought bringing this topic out -now- would do us all a bit of good. Kinda like the goal at the end of the freezing racetrack.

I wanted to include two pictures from this last summer that really held a special place in my heart, and I felt that summer would last forever in these photos.
My backyard view from the back screen door
The first one, above, is my back yard. It is lush, and green, and the brush I have as a land divider is full of spiders! (*I love spiders because I hate mosquitoes.) That greenery is a memory I like to keep front and present on days like today, when it's snowing and I don't want to walk outside.

Beans and her lei!
Ah, my beautiful Beans. This year was the first year I let her pick out her own bathing suit. She plucked this colored number from a box of hand-me-downs I had tucked away in the basement, and -tried- to wear it under her clothes every day. Her reasoning? "Well, just in case we go to the pool today. You never know!" I'm very thankful to have had the gently used clothing available, and the smile on her face that day was a perfect summer feeling-- Warm, excited, and happy.


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Healthy Me: Week 2 Check-In

Hello, my Mamas! Another week down, and another weigh in from yours truly! I did a little Yoga this morning to wake my body up, and stretch out. It helps me to focus on my day, I find, and I miss doing my stretches. More on that later. For now, let's talk about pedometers!

AccuPedo app:
This app is amazing. It's incredibly accurate! I love how you can change the sensitivity of it as well, though the standard did pretty well for me. I also liked how you can pause it, and transfer the information to MyFitnessPal! **I noticed that the information only transferred once, and then was lost again after writing this.
I still hold that MyFitnessPal, and now AccuPedo, are still better than the standard SHealth. But I'm going to keep tinkering with it. I hate extra stuff on my phone.

I'm putting my Yoga '30 Day Challenge' on hold, but still doing certain poses, like Child Pose and Corpse Pose, thanks to my bum wrist. My work week also ran me ragged with picking up a shift, and staying late. I definitely need to get back onto the scheduling Yoga thing, and make time for me. Good thing I have the videos accessible on pretty much ANY device! But, I'm not stressing over it...

When you start on a health journey, you have to reevaluate your thoughts, not just habits. Stressing out over things is a nasty habit, and one that I share with you. (Thank you, anxiety) But I'll feel even more defeated with my journey if I hold onto everything that I -didn't- do, instead of what I accomplished.
I discovered this website while doing research for my classes last semester, and fell in love with it. Unlike webMD and Livestrong, this information is specially tailored for a woman, and her body. I just love reading the articles! (I realize they sell vitamins and such, but that's not what I'm interested in, personally)
A very important part of losing weight is not worrying about it! You know what I worry about? If I'm going to remember to log the sugar in my cup of coffee. I don't care what the calories are, because I'm not doing the math. I know that I need a small snack around 9am every morning. Do I care if it's a handful of trail mix or an oatmeal cookie? Nope. Because it's something. The way the body works, especially with stress triggers, is amazing. But if our bodies stay in stress mode for too long, it can lead to unwanted, and even damaging, effects. No, thank you! I don't know about you, Mamas, but I want to be Stress-Free!


Weigh In: Starting Weight in January: 178
          Last Week's Weight: 175.5
       This Week's Weight: 174
Even though I've only lost 1.5 lbs, I still consider this to be on target because of last week's weight. I'm actually on schedule!

Things I noticed:

  • I was relying more on my diet control than a combination of portions and exercise. It's definitely a joint effort!! I noticed that I started to look for not-so-good snacks on the days that I had little exercise, too. Maybe I eat because my brain just needs something to do? Weird thought.
  • My milk supply was GREAT! With the oatmeal in the morning, every morning, I'm pumping about 8 ounces a day! That's soooo much better than the piddly 4 ounces I would stress over. Ooh, I think I see a pattern here.

Until next week, may all you Mamas keep up the great work in -your- life. Love ya!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Broken But Not Beaten!

On Thursday, I had a bad feeling about going to work. I woke up late, I didn't get my coffee, and I kept getting behind the s-l-o-w-e-s-t drivers on my route to the facility. In the back of my mind, a little voice was nagging me to go home, and call out of work. BUT! I'm an ethical worker, and I do like my job, so I ignored that voice, and clocked in.

Being a CNA, I've long accepted the fact that my field comes with its fair share of boo-boos, which include, but are not limited to: Easily catching multiple colds and/or Flu, strangely placed bruises, scrapes, aching muscles, headaches, and in extreme cases, strained/sprained muscles and tendons.
When dealing with an Dementia client, you are walking a tightrope. Despite all the training you receive, there is always the risk of one, small thing that could make you fall into a dangerous situation, for you and the client. You gotta know when to act, when to back off, and when to call for back-up. On Thursday, I was the back-up. Despite appropriate approaches, I was treated as a threat, and the situation quickly turned on its head. My Co-worker did her best to diffuse the situation, and after a couple minutes, things settled. But the damage was done. Luckily, I have some great co-workers, and a great boss. They were supportive, and after icing my wrist, then wrapping it with an ace bandage, I went back to work, and finished my shift. I was given the fun duty of folding laundry!

Currently, I have physical therapy appointments set up to get myself on a fast-track care plan. I'm still able to do light duty, which means I can still work! Yay! 
Blog posts will be slower, until I can type without taking lots of breaks. I'll keep updates rolling on my Twitter, so follow me there! @lilfrozenpeach

Love to all my Working Mamas, who have to roll with the punches on a daily basis. Literally.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Adventures in Breastfeeding: So-Called Diet

Hi, Mamas! In my last post, I mentioned calorie tracking as part of my un-diet. And I had one question: Just how many calories do I burn when I nurse? How many do I burn when I pump? And, after hours of research, I came across an article about how many calories a nursing mom should have, but not much else.

I finally did a 'I feel lucky' Google search, and found an interesting question through Askville via . One person gave me the answer I was looking for. Finally!! Thanks to Marymoomoo for this answer:

"If you're only nursing a few times a day, the caloric requirement for lactation would be lower by proportion than if you were exclusively nursing.

On average, exclusively nursing mothers burn about 500 calories per day above and beyond the requirement needed to maintain their body weight. And, on average, an exclusively nursing mother transfers 24 ounces of breastmilk to her baby per day. So, a good estimate would be that 20 calories are burned for every ounce of breastmilk produced.

Going with that number (20 calories per ounce), and knowing that toddlers who are nursing 4x per day or more are taking in around 12-15 ounces per day, you could estimate that you're currently burning about 280 calories per day above and beyond what your body needs to maintain weight. Of course, that estimate would be different based on several variables. "

I also found more information on the caloric intake needed from KellyMom.
To input the amount of calories I burn per day into the MyFitnessPal app, I did the inital set of calories I do on a work day:
From midnight to midnight, Isabel nurses 4 times a day. I pump once a day, and get about 3 ounces from each breast (some days are more, and I adjust accordingly). If I take the above information and plug it in, the calculations are roughly
20 calories x 6 ounces = 120 calories burned
120 calories x 5 times a day = 600 calories burned

600 calories!!! That's incredible, and I can do the math very simply for those days I have to adjust. (cluster nursing included!)
Give it a try, and see how you can benefit from nursing AND keeping track of your calories! WE CAN DO IT, MAMAS!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Healthy Me: Week 1

Check in time, Mamas! I'm hoping to keep up with this as I weigh in each week. I tried doing this with my meal plans last April, but it fell through. Now, I have more reasons for accountability. And, most importantly, I wanna show that it doesn't matter what I do, as long as I'm doing something to change! If I can do it, so can every other Mama out there! Let's get started.

My Yoga Path: Finding Myself Again

So, I did it. I finally put the excuses aside, and threw myself into the world of yoga. Both feet. No tiptoes. And so far, it feels amazing. Adriene, the Yogi I've come to just adore, has a sort of mantra: 'Find What Feels Good'. And though I'm not on the correct day for this week ( I had an early nursing night with Baby Girl and a stress migraine), I'm still feeling fantastic. This series is on Youtube, and I've put the first video here to see if it's your cup of tea. If so, enjoy!

My Un-Diet: Kinda like an un-birthday. I don't really believe in one, so I had to look at the big picture. Healthier eating is a better diet for everyone. Not necessarily calorie counting, but good, wholesome foods. But, of course, you can still eat too much of a good thing. My too much? Sugar. Holy cow, I didn't realize how much was in my diet until I started using a fitness app to track my meals. Wait, a fitness app? Me? Yes!!
MyFitnessPal on android or Iphone is an amazing investment, especially since it's free! It gives you a general amount of calories that you need to have every day, tracks your sugar intake goals, and has a place to keep a record of how much you exercise during the day.
{Protip: Add 'breastfeeding' under the Cardio section for calorie burning. Writew up the calories burned by doing the math I'll be explaining in my next post. Win/Win situation!}

The downside to this app is that I always have questions: How am I still undereating? (I usually never meet my 1280 goal by about 200 calories.)
Did I push myself into starvation mode? I'm not that hungry, man. I don't graze on food all day like I used to. I eat small meals with small snacks, and I'm always full! What on earth is going on here??

I will say that MyFitnessPal is, personally, easier to use than the S Health that comes standard on the Galaxy phones (S2 and higher). I have no idea how to plug in all those numbers. But, if you need a pedometer that also tracks food, then go with the S Health. It's all about how you want to lose the weight!!

Starting weight:178 lbs.
Weigh in 1/10: 175.5
Total pounds lost: 2.5

WHOOO!!! I beat my week goal, -and- I'm keeping my milk supply up! If I can do this, you can do it, Mamas.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Mommy Reality Challenge #6: Real Mom Loungewear

So, a while back, I started doing the Mommy Reality Challenges to help get those juices flowing for blog posts, as well as connect to my Mommy Blogger community. And then I fell off the wagon.
It was August. AUGUST. Geeze.
I decided that they were really too fun to quit, and since I'm dedicating myself to my blog and my health, it'd be good to pick it back up!After all, I'm all about keeping things real.

Where was I? Oh, right. I'm on the 6th challenge: Mommy Lounge wear. AKA, what I wear when I only have to take Delilah to school. (Bra optional)

Oh yeah, there I am in all my radiant glory! I don't do a lot of makeup , or dress up fancy, so this is as close to comfy as I get without being naked! (Remove fuzzy socks to see me in my summer wear)

You see that plain old gray shirt? Sure, it's nice and simple. It can be paired with lots of things to look nice and not-so-slept-in. But what you don't see is the throw up stain that my hair is covering. You don't see how stretched the collar is because Baby Girl keeps pulling on it for her 'Na-Na' time. It's also starting to ride up a little in the back, thanks to the muffin top that refuses to deflate. That qualifies it as pajamas to me!

Anyone else out there dare to share? C'mon, it's fun! 

(See more challenges at Leapfrogs and Lipgloss )

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Adventures in Breastfeeding: One Year Later...

Big Sis Beans and Baby Girl. January 15, 2014

Wow. This year has gone by so fast; I can hardly keep up with everything! Baby Girl will be a year old in about one week, and we're still going strong on the breastfeeding front. This is a goal that I never dreamed I could obtain. Each time we curl up on the couch, or in bed, and she looks up at me with those heavy-lidded eyes as she suckles herself to sleep, a wave of contentment washes over me.

Don't get me wrong, we're still struggling with things. Breastfeeding isn't a walk in the park, as much as I would like it to be. Not really the same issues from before, but different situations I've never had to deal with!
The cold weather has settled itself in, and I suffer from constantly hard and/or chapped nipples. Negative temperatures will do that to ya, I guess. 

Baby Girl has become a 'snacker'; during the day, when she's missed me, or just thirsty, or needs to feel safe, she fusses about until I pick her up, and she paws at my shirt until I can pull myself from my nursing bra. After a few big gulps, she P-U-L-L-S off, stretching the end of my nipple like taffy, grinning and babbling at me. I have yet to find a way to deter this behavior, aside from lying in bed, in my dark bedroom, at bedtime. Any other Mamas out there with tips, feel free to leave 'em in the comments!

Yes, I'm still pumping at work. My boss is OK with  pumping for as long as I need to. That makes my job awesome!! I still feel like a cow most days, though. Moo.

Big Sis Beans and Baby Girl. Christmas 2014 (almost 1 year later!)

I think that my next goal is 18 months. I say that because, between note and then, she could get actual teeth. Once that happens, she may possibly want actual food more than the Ta-Tas. I won't lie, I'm excited about child-lead weaning! 
Of course, I say this, and Baby Girl hits another growth spurt where she only wants to nurse for hours and hours.

There are good things (baby snuggles!!) and bad things, (periods that can make your supply drop) but overall I'm still content with knowing that my body is still doing everything in its power to give Baby Girl what she needs.

I've met my goal, and surpassed it. You can do the same, Mamas!!

(via Pinterest: Rosie the Riveter By Melissa 'Asylum' Hansen)

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Out With A Smile, In With A Cheer!

As 2014 comes to a close, I keep hearing ads on the radio about 'Going Out With A Bang!' parties and such. Well, you know what? I don't go out with loud, obnoxious noises. I'd like to think of the end of the year as a time to tie up loose ends, and plan for the (immediate) future. A lot of this has to do in part with some serious reflection on my personal wellness, thanks to the last class I took. (By the way, I totally rocked my finals with a B- and an A-!)

As I take a look back on 2014, I realize it was an absolutely wonderful year, and much less stressful than the years before. Yes, even with a new baby, 2014 has been relatively relaxed. Any serious stressors came from my own mis-planning, and situations were resolved easily. I found my limits, and respected them. I even discovered a passion for something that I didn't know I'd even like. All in all, 2014 was a good year.

There were things that I let go to focus on others. I let my personal health go to focus on work and school. All the baby weight that I tried (and was pretty successful with) to lose came back with a vengeance, and my body has been reacting to the extra weight. My family's meals have become more of the 'open box, throw in oven' type, and I've never liked that. Essentially, I traded my time for convenience.

So, I knew that the new year would bring a fresh starting point for me. I knew I could do it, but I wasn't going to make any resolutions. Oh, no. Those things are bound to fail the second you make them. What I wanted was a goal. Goals have clear, concise instructions, and feasible timelines. I even gave myself little rewards for each goal met! I didn't say 'Oh, I'll just lose 50 pounds and be good!' No, that's not truly realistic in my world. But I could lose at least 20. I gave myself a main goal, and then broke it down into each month.
I'll give the example of my weight loss strategy.

Main Goal: Lose 24 pounds by March 31st

January: Lose 8 pounds (2 pounds a week).
-Reward: Pedicure (Not something I get often)
February: Lose 8 pounds (2 pounds a week).
-Reward: $10 to spend at Bath & Body Works (Since Baby Girl's skin has gotten a little more tolerable of fragrances, I can start wearing my lotion again. Yay! Just can't do the perfume/lotion combo. She breaks out something awful)
March: Lose 8 pounds (2 pounds a week)
-Reward: New Yoga Pants!

Because each month has its own goal to attain, I don't have to be pressured to lose all the weight quickly. And my rewards are very affordable! I believe this is the best way to do things. Because I'm still breastfeeding, I simply have to look at my caloric intake, what is the makeup of those calories (is it an apple or a slice of apple pie?), and changing my eating habits back to something healthier!

I have two other goals for the year as well. First, completely dedicating myself to my Yoga again. I loved that I was so at peace and my body felt healed through Yoga. I follow a wonderful gal named Adriene who does wonders with her Yoga practice. She teaches to find what feels good, instead of focusing on being perfect, which I love!

And last but not least, I made a goal to change the eating habits of my home...again. Gone will be the days of quick snacks and chocolate for desserts, (because Christmas gave us a LOT of chocolate this year) and back to homemade goodness and fresh food! You already know how I feel about my bad romance with the grocery store. So, the pressure is on! But not so much that I have to stress over it.

I know all of us want to change with the new year, so how do you plan to do it this year? Baby steps, Mamas. Take baby steps, and remember that your babies think you're perfect as you are!
Namaste, God Bless, and have a wonderful New Year!