Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Time to confess

Goodness me where has the time gone? Tomorrow my little girl will be 7 weeks old.

Let's get straight to it....I've been absolutely bloody awful! There, I said it. It's out there now.

Some of you will have noticed that I didn't post an update on Sunday. That's because I didn't actually weigh in. I knew how bad I had been and to be honest I was afraid to get on the scales (still am if the truth be told). Oh and it was all going so well.

Let's start at the beginning. After my daughter was born I lost 6,11 & 2 pounds. I also stayed the same for a week and the latest weigh-in was +3lbs. I am not really sure what's going on in my head. It wouldn't surprise me if my next weigh-in is a gain of double digits. What I do know for sure is that losing weight is possibly more about getting your head right and sorting out the emotional/mental problems, than just diet & exercise.

So when I say I've been awful, I really mean it. I've binged loads, I've eaten takeaways, tubs of ice cream (yes, a whole tub just to myself...in one night). It's almost like I'm possessed sometimes. Afterwards I get so mad at myself. I just can't seem to do moderation when it comes to unhealthy food. I've noticed that I have a lack of energy too, on top of the sleepless nights that a newborn brings.

I have tried to think about why I've eaten so badly. What I have come up with are the following excuses (and let's face it, they are excuses)

1. A reward for giving birth (cause it is bloody hard work)
2. Relaxing the very strict diet that I was on due to gestational diabetes
3. Rewarding myself for bad nights when baby hasn't slept well
4. Eating convenient food when lack of time due to demands of newborn
5. Needing more calories due to breast feeding
6. The 'no one will know' thought
7. It will make me feel better

It's pretty pathetic really. I am in real jeopardy of destroying all my hard work in 2012. I cannot allow that to happen.

Mum (I know you're reading this), I'm not still in this place - do not panic!

So where am I now? Well throughout this time I've continued to watch programmes that inspire me such as Jessie Pavelka's 'Fat: The fight of my life' and also by following and reading a blog by 'weight loss bitch'. I watch these people who have more weight than me to lose and am inspired. When I watch the tv series I see some of the problems they face and remember that I used to have some of these problems. I slowly remember quite how miserable I was. I particularly find Weight Loss Bitch's blog and Facebook page very encouraging. She posts about her own journey everyday. She used to weigh over 40st and so far she has lost over 15 1/2 stones so far just with healthy eating and exercise. She is very honest about her journey, which is what I am trying to do here. I have continued to read/watch these and just been waiting for the penny to drop again and to be able to see clearly. 

Thankfully I'm happy to say that the penny has dropped. I have noticed a few things that I'm not happy with. My clothes are getting tighter, my double chin is coming back and I can't see my collar bones as clearly, as well as the things I mentioned above like tiredness. Today I ate the last of the unhealthy foods in the house so tomorrow I can start a fresh. I am going to weigh in tomorrow and just face facts. Anyway the number on the scales is only telling me the truth and I need to face the consequences of my bad choices. I'm prepared to be totally ashamed of how much I've put on. I'm just hoping that I can cope emotionally with it. I may well type another post to get out how I am feeling about it...we'll see what tomorrow brings.

Those that know me know I like to set goals. I have 2 big goals to aim for at the moment.

1 - to lose 1st by Christmas (14 weeks away so average of 1lb per week)
2 - to lose a further 1st by beginning of May (we go on holiday to Portugal. 18 weeks after New Year)

I think these goals are realistic - as long as I can stay in control of my demons. Unfortunately this time round I will not be going to the gym due to finances, so I will be exploring the different ways to exercise at home. I have got an exercise ball, weights, dvds and an exercise bike so there is a lot at my disposal. 

Wish me luck and thank you for reading x

Friday, 12 July 2013

Pregnancy eating review

I am not far off having my little girl now, almost certainly in the next 2 weeks she will be here. I thought that I would look back at my 'diet' since being pregnant and see what I have learnt from it.

Initially I was full of determination that I could carry on with my healthy eating throughout my pregnancy. However I learnt that plans don't always go the way you think they are going to and that if I'm given any kind of 'excuse' then I will take it.

I was ok for the first few weeks and then I couldn't eat much at all for several weeks due to nausea which was hideous. I barely ate anything and lost weight as a result. Then came Christmas and the new year and my nausea subsided. I think that I felt like I had to make up for not eating or something. I ate.....and I ate....then....I ate a bit more - whoops. I remember having cravings for ice cream and coleslaw (not together I hasten to add). I was eating a massive bowl of ice cream most nights and then I was pretty much eating what I liked the rest of the time. Looking back at my weigh-ins from this year you can really see that. From March - April I put on 15lb in just 4 weeks. It just goes to show quite how easy it can be to let the weight pile back on. I think it was after that weigh-in in April that I started to realise that I could end up putting on 3 or 4 stones in this pregnancy if I continued on this destructive path. I think I then had a couple of better days but I still wasn't being brilliant. I put on about 1lb a week until I had my glucose tolerance test. Up to that point I had put on almost 2.5 stones and I could see that with still over 2 months to go I was heading completely in the wrong direction. Then I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes in mid-June and that was a real turning point. I was given a medical reason for me to evaluate my diet. I would do anything for my children and I knew that I had to control my sugars as best as I could for the health of my unborn daughter (if that's not a bloody good enough reason I don't know what is). So I was given lots of info about blood sugars and what can cause them to go high and what foods are best. After 4 weeks of trial and error I managed to find a 'diet' that works for me. I am having to eat very low carbohydrates in order to control my blood sugars. Since 15th June I have only had 4 out of 112 readings that have been higher than the limit. Of those 4 high readings they were all due to trying something new or having been out for a meal. I have had to dramatically overhaul my choice in foods to achieve this. Despite making more informed choices about my foods I have had to take medication to control my sugars in the morning only. But at least I haven't had to resort to injecting insulin at any point so far. Since I started my diabetic diet I have actually lost 6lbs. At the moment I have put on exactly 2 stones from the very start of my pregnancy.

The diet I have had to follow, although completely necessary, has been boring and unimaginative to say the least. I worked out quite quickly that the best way to control my sugars in the morning was to have a cooked breakfast. Now at the start (and any other day previously) I'd have been overjoyed at the thought of having a cooked brekkie everyday, but to be honest I'm quite bored now. There's only so much egg and bacon a girl can eat. I'm really looking forward to having cereal or toast again once Squeak is born. Lunches and dinners have been particularly difficult recently due to the hot weather. I don't like eating a hot meal in hot weather unless I have salad with it. Before this little heat wave we're experiencing in the UK, I was having soups at lunch to try to give myself some sort of variety, but now it's pretty much protein and salad for both lunch and dinner. It's actually quite difficult to come up with new ideas of jazzing up meat and salad. I did discover Ryvitas which I always thought weren't that nice. But when your diet is pretty much meat and salad, something salty and crunchy like Ryvitas are a god send. But the whole way through I have just telling myself that it's not forever and that it's good for Squeak.

I had a growth ultrasound scan yesterday to see how little Squeaky is developing and in 4 weeks she put on approx. 1lb 12oz and was measuring a pretty average weight for her gestation. That alone made every piece of lettuce, tomato and cucumber worth while. I know that it has been dull and repetitive, but I have managed to control my sugars enough so that my baby girl's growth wasn't affected. I know that I have less than 14 days until she's here and I can totally cope with that.

The down side for me with this very restricted diet is that I have had to extremely limit a food group - carbs. Those that have followed me for a while will know that I don't like to cut out any foods as I believe that you (well me at least), will start to crave those foods and give into temptation. What I have found in the last few weeks is a major craving for sweet foods. I've wanted things that I'd never normally think about such as doughnuts, flapjacks, cake etc. I have however been able to resist so far. The moment I deliver Squeak though I do not have to check my blood sugars and do not have to watch what I eat due to diabetes. So I have to admit to having packed a Kit-Kat Chunky in my hospital bag for after she's born.

The plan at the moment for after she's born, is to have a few weeks grace whilst we all adjust to life as a family of 4. I know that I will indulge in that time however I would like to hope that after 3 or 4 weeks that I will be able to get back to eating as healthily as I did before I fell pregnant. I would then like to lose weight gained during my pregnancy and a little bit more as well as work on my fitness.

So for now I would like to thank you for following me on my bumpy pregnancy journey (haha excuse the completely unintended pun). I aim to weigh-in on Sundays still so if you see a dramatic weigh loss one week it's because I've had little Squeak. I will probably not post other than weigh-ins for a while, but rest assured......I will be back.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Getting into the groove

Yesterday made 7 whole days in a row where my blood sugars were good. I've had to adapt my diet quite a bit to achieve this. It is difficult at times, but really it's a small price to pay. 

Up until I saw my consultant a week ago the whole carbohydrate thing was confusing me a lot. Carbohydrates convert to sugar after you've eaten them. some carbs turn to sugar very quickly giving you a fast energy boost and spike of blood sugars. These 'bad' carbs are things like white bread, rice, pasta, couscous, crisps etc. however there are 'good' carbs which release their energy at a slower rate and convert to sugar slower. These include the wholemeal/wholewheat versions of the above foods. 

Initially I had tried to cut down on carbs, then the diabetic nurse said that carbs were still an important part of your diet as long as eating the wholegrain versions. As it happened my blood sugars were higher then, even after eating the good carbs. I then saw my new consultant on Monday and she asked what I was doing with my food. I explained a healthy eating approach and she said 'low-carb'. Since then I have decided that for my blood sugars to be low, low-carb is the way to go. I do make sure I eat good carbs at most meals as I personally don't believe you should ever eliminate any food group from your diet. By doing this I have been able to have consistently good blood sugar readings. 

I did post on my weight loss blog yesterday too. I've lost another 1lb. Well actually I lost 1.5lb but i only post in full pounds. I'm going to weigh-in again today but only because then I'm back in the Sunday routine. 

I've tried to vary my food as much as possible this week. I'm finding the cooked breakfast a little repetitive so any ideas for high protein / low carb breakfasts would be much appreciated. For lunches this week I've been having soups & salads. To help with my variety of dinners this week I've been doing more home cooking. We've had chilli con carne, coq au vin, baked salmon and Spanish chicken. I've just cooked separate good carbs for me to go with each dish. Snack-wise has mainly been fruit. The consultant said that some fruits are not recommended such as mango (my favourite fruit) and pineapple. They have very high sugars. But I've found that fruits such as strawberries, satsumas and blueberries have not affected my sugars. 

Right I'm off now to spend the day with my husband & son. Good luck to any of your who are losing weight. 

Thank you for reading x 

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Small changes = Big difference

When I wrote my last post I had just started taking 1 metformin tablet with my breakfast. My blood readings after breakfast in the last 4 days since starting the medicine, have actually been higher after breakfast than they were before. So I called the diabetic nurse again to see if I should do anything. I think the higher readings may be just a coincidence that my insulin is not as effective as it was, or the tablets don't agree with me. I spoke to the diabetic nurse and she suggested I take 2 metformin tablets at breakfast. Yesterday was the first day of doing this and my bloods were better. 

I think the thing I'm still finding frustrating is that I'm eating a healthy breakfast that has been recommended, yet my sugars are still high. I just have to get my head round the fact that regardless of how well I eat, I cannot control the efficiency of my insulin. So today I have decided to have a cooked breakfast and see what result that brings. 

I weighed in this morning and I have lost 3lb in the last 2 weeks. I'm not worried about this at all. I know that I'm eating a healthy, balanced diet which is good for me & Squeak. I have put on a total of 2st 4lbs since I found out I was pregnant, which isn't bad at all. 

The good thing about being diagnosed with gestational diabetes is that I have HAD to go back to healthy eating. In my mind there really was no choice about returning to my healthy ways. I would do anything for my children and this is something I can do to help Squeak before she's born. Although I'm finding the diabetic diet lacking in variety, I am back in 'the zone'. This can only be a good thing as when she's born I feel as though I am ready to lose this excess weight and get back on track (but hopefully with a better variety of foods to eat). Even though I am back to my healthy ways, I have to say that I have got a chocolate bar packed in my hospital bag to eat after Squeak is born :)

On Thursday I had a growth scan to see how our little girl is doing. At the moment she is still measuring well. She weighs approx 4lb 12oz and I've got just over 7 weeks to go. So at the moment it looks like the diabetes isn't affecting her growth too much. I have another scan booked for 4weeks time, so I'm hoping she stays put until then.

Here's a little photo of her for anyone who's interested.

Thank you for reading and good luck to any of you who are on your own weight loss journey x

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

My diabetic diet

In the last couple of weeks I've been testing my blood daily. Initially it was 6 times a day, but now it's only 4 times. I was very much hoping to be able to control it with diet alone but my body doesn't want me to. 

My blood sugars are fine before breakfast but generally too high after I've eaten even though I've been eating crunchy bran, oatibix and wholemeal toast which is all recommended. The only time my sugars have been below the recommended reading is when I've had a cooked breakfast, but I just don't have time to do that everyday. My sugars are not a problem after lunch as long as I eat sensibly & healthily. I've had a couple of high readings after dinner even though I've again eaten well. I've now swapped my pasta & couscous for the wholewheat versions. They aren't as bad as I remember them. In fact I can't tell the difference which is good. We already only have wholemeal bread in the house too. These wholemeal & wholewheat versions of foods turn into sugar at a much slower rate than the white variety. This has two benefits, 1) it means my blood sugars don't spike high after eating; 2) they actually keep you fuller for longer.

Yesterday I had to call the diabetic nurse and give her my readings for the last week. I am now taking 1 Metformin tablet with my breakfast every day to help control my morning sugar. Apparently most people with diabetes have higher sugars in the morning. From what the nurse said I understand that your insulin just takes a while to kick into action first thing in the morning. The nurse did say that I may have to take a tablet with dinner too. I've got an appointment with the diabetic nurse & consultant on Monday and they will review my blood sugar readings from this week and decide. At the moment I'm on the lowest amount and I can go up to 2 tablets twice a day. I'm now hoping that I will just be able to stay on the tablets and not have to go to insulin injections.

I've just tested my blood sugars after breakfast. Today is the first day I've had to take a Metformin tablet and it was one of my highest readings. I think I'll see what happens after tomorrow's reading then I may call the diabetic nurse again. 

I'm finding the diabetic diet quite repetitive. It doesn't help that at the moment I can't be bothered to make proper home cooked dinners, so we're having easier dinners with lots of salads. 
I know that I need to change this otherwise I'm at risk of eating foods that will spike my sugars. I'm finding the food I'm eating at breakfast quite tasty so that's all good. For lunch I'm having a lot of big salads with things like ham, bacon, cheese, chicken and mayo or salad cream. I've been finding that this has been filling me up loads. I think the reason for this is that I have been having a massive amount of salad and it takes me a long time to actually eat it. 'They' say that it takes your brain about 20 mins to register you've started eating and that your getting fuller. So the fact that I'm eating very low-cal, low-sugar salad over a long time is giving my brain time to register when I'm actually full. Definitely a lesson to learn and use after Squeak is born when I start back on my journey to lose weight. 

One of the things I have found harder is snacks on a diabetic diet. I've been mainly having salad, some raw veg, the odd bit of fruit and nuts. I've really enjoyed eating pine nuts, cashews and pistachio nuts. They are packed with protein and don't seem to affect my blood sugars at all. The only thing with nuts is that they are high in calories. I've been trying to stick to no more than 2000 cals a day and so far so good. Yesterday I bought some Walkers Sunbites which are whole grain crisps. They didn't affect my sugars yesterday. It may sound odd but I miss having a crunchy snack to eat. 
I've taken to eating pudding in the evening too. It's managed to fill me up and satisfies my sweet tooth. I have 2 pots of sugar free jelly with fresh strawberries & blueberries.....delicious. 

On Thursday I've got a scan for Squeak. It will have been 4 weeks since my last scan when she was weighing approx 2lb 13oz which was an average weight for her gestation. So we'll be able to get a good idea about what affect my diabetes has had on her. Hopefully she's still an average weight & size as I'm really hoping for a natural birth this time.

I've not weighed myself for a couple of weeks. If I remember I will try to on Sunday morning. Apparently at this stage in pregnancy you can put on about a pound a week, so we'll see. 

Thanks for reading xx

Monday, 27 May 2013

Gestational diabetes

I went to the drop-in in Friday and was given a blood testing kit and lots of info about diet and what foods turn to sugar, which will affect my diabetes. 

I've been testing my bloods for 4 days now and so far so good, all readings are lower than they should be. I have to test my blood 6 times every day. Before every meal and then 1 hour after. So this doesn't leave much wiggle room so anything other than a healthy diet. 

I've been tracking all my foods now for about a week and it's been good to get back into it. I've had some lovely meals rather than some of the rubbish I was eating before. 

Carbohydrates turn to sugar once digested and its that (and actual sugar) that can affect your blood sugar. The things that can affect your blood sugars include: breads, pasta, rice, potatoes, some veg, sweets, cakes, milk and there are more but I can't remember them at the mo. so I've been trying to have protein & veg/salad as the largest proportion of each meal, but still making sure that 'good' carbs are included. I've been having crunchy bran for breakfast and then just having 1 slice of wholemeal bread instead of 2 with my lunch. I'm managing to eat between 1900 - 2000 cals a day too. I've not had many snacks in the day, but have had some in the evenings. I made a hummus dip the other night and have had that with raw carrot, raw cauliflower and celery with a reduced fat dip. I had so much and was so full after which was great. I've also been having pistachio nuts and pine nuts as a snack. They are a good source if protein and much better than crisps etc. 

This week has got a lot of challenges when it comes to my diabetes. We went to a party for our son's friend's birthday. But I  managed to choose wisely and my sugars were fine, I even had a bit of cake for my pudding in the evening. Tomorrow is a big day in our house as our gorgeous son turns 3. We have family coming round for a small lunch and of course birthday cake. Then on Wednesday he has a few friends coming round for a playdate. I'm making a train cake and it's a chocoholics idea of heaven. So I'll have to restrain myself and just have a small piece. We've also got family down this week and a few other events. I reckon if I can control my blood sugars this week then the next 10 weeks should be no problem. 

I weighed myself today on my wii fit scales. These are the scales I used the whole of last year and so I know that they will give me a true reflection of my weight. Since I've been pregnant I've just been using bathroom scales (which actually aren't that reliable). I have actually put on 2st 5lb which is less than I thought I had, by about 7lbs. 

Right I'm off now to decorate the house ready for our little boy's special day tomorrow. 

Thursday, 23 May 2013

The 'unhealthy snowball effect'


It's been so long since I wrote in here and thought that with a few significant changes I should get some thoughts out.

On Monday I reached 29 weeks of pregnancy! I can't believe 1) how quickly the time has gone and 2) how long this pregnancy has been going on for. I know it's a complete contradiction - but there you go.

At the very beginning of my pregnancy I was still being very healthy and making all the right choices. But I fell off the healthy eating waggon I'm afraid to say (damn it's so easy to do). I was getting cravings for ice cream & chocolate from the end of my first trimester until about 5 weeks ago. I actually found it very difficult to eat 1900-2000 calories a day. I think that I'd trained my self to eat so well that actually finding more calories to eat actually meant that I would start eating unhealthy foods just to add on the calories too, which started the 'unhealthy snowball effect'. I got to the point where I wasn't watching what I was eating at all and not tracking down what I was eating - BIG MISTAKE!

In my last post I said that I didn't want to put on more than 2 stones, which is what I put on when I was pregnant with my son. Well this has not happened and I have so far put on approx just under 3 stones. It's disappointing as it's nearly half of what I lost last year. But I cannot allow myself to become depressed about it. It's not all fat after all - I am growing a lovely little baby girl in there too.

Last week I had to have a glucose tolerance test to check my blood sugar levels. It turns out that I have gestational diabetes - boohoohoo! Although this is not good at all due to added risks to me & Squeak, I have decided to see this as a positive thing. I know that I can control my blood sugars with my diet. When I had my health MOT at the gym I managed to get them to about 2. Although I haven't seen a diabetic nurse yet I know that I can control this with diet alone. Tomorrow I am going to a diabetic drop-in clinic to collect a blood monitor so that I can check myself at home. For the last 3 days I have been tracking my foods again and cooking lower fat and lower sugar meals. I'm hoping to get more info about diet tomorrow before my appointment with the diabetic consultant in 10 days time.

I'm quite worried that if I don't control this with diet, then I may need to start injecting insulin and I DO NOT want to do that at all. This in turn has the added health benefit of meaning that I shouldn't put on as much weight from now as I will be reintroducing more healthy foods into my diet.

I think that over the last 7 months I've really learnt that self-control can be bloody difficult at times. But everybody is human and make mistakes from time to time. The point is I have looked back (albeit due to a medical situation) and realised that I kind of gave up and started using the "I'm pregnant" excuse. Actually it probably was the worse time to give up. But what's happened has happened and the past. Now I must look forward. As I said above I have put on almost half of the weight I lost, but I am determined to lose that once little Squeak arrives. I've done it once and I can do it again!

Just go to get through the next few weeks as there are lots of birthdays and parties coming up - wish me luck!