My son is now 6 months old and my daughter is 3! I can’t believe how fast time goes! There has been a lot of changes in our house.
One big change is that I decided to stop pumping. This was such a difficult decision for me. I strongly believe in trying your best to give your baby breast milk. Unfortunately I was not able to successfully breastfeed either of my children for whatever reason. I tried very hard and even went to see lactation specialists but both my kids just didn’t gain enough weight in their first few weeks. I was very hopeful with my son because he wanted to breastfeed all the time. I was sure that he was gaining weight but when we had him weighed there was no change. I am not very fond of my pump. It is a great pump and I am thankful for it but I didn’t want to have to pump again. With my daughter I pumped for 10 months. I even got up in the middle of the night when she was able to sleep through the night so I wouldn’t lose my supply. So when I found out that I couldn’t breastfeed my son I was pretty upset. Although I knew I wasn’t going to put as much pressure on myself this time around. I wasn’t going to pump in the middle of the night and if I needed to supplement with formula every now and then so be it.
I had been trying to decide how long I was going to go for a while now. However I did have 6 months in mind. With two kids finding the time to pump was a challenge. In addition, now that it is summer we want to go out and not worry that I would need to go home and pump every so many hours. Finally there was a day a couple weeks ago when I was trying to pump and baby was just crying the whole time and then the next time I tried to pump my daughter had a tantrum and cried the whole time. Here I am stuck at the pump two times in a row with crying kids! That was the last straw. I decided to start weaning then.
So putting the guilt aside let’s talk about what affect pumping has had on my body. The one thing that I do love about pumping is how much I can eat! With both of my kids pumping helped me not only lose the weight but lose a couple extra pounds beyond my goal as well. Pumping takes an extra 500 calories a day. With my daughter I didn’t know this was going to happen. I went about my daily life trying to get back on my regular eating and exercising schedule after I had her. After I met my weight goal I didn’t pay attention to the scale. One day someone asked me if I had lost more weight and I didn’t think I had. Later I stepped on the scale to check and was amazed that I had lost a few more pounds. I know my body pretty well and know if I exercise and eat a certain way that my weight will be a certain amount. However, I didn’t factor in the pumping. So I got to eat snacks and dessert on a regular basis (not that these were the healthiest choices) until I stopped pumping and then I went back to my regular schedule again.
I thought this time would be similar and it was. After I got to my goal weight I did keep losing a little weight eventhough I was eating an afternoon snack with my daughter and dessert at night as well as three solid meals a day. Now it has been a week since I stopped pumping. I still have been eating just as much and wanted to see what would happen. I got on the scale today and had gained back the few extra pounds that I had lost in just one week. So now is the time to cut out the extra snacks and desserts. I am officially done with having someone live off of me. No more pregnancy, no more breastfeeding. It is both liberating and sad at the same time.
As for my health and fitness it is time to get back on the horse. No more treats and desserts everyday. Or at least eating just healthy ones without sugar. It is time for me to officially practice what I preach. I have been wanting for a long time to step up my fitness level as far as both exercise and eating habits anyway. I have already been doing that in the exercise department. Now it’s time in the food department.
Is this going to be easy to do? Yes and no. For me, I have a firm goal that I want to accomplish and have for a long time. Now that I am finished having children the time is now. I am not getting any younger. My goals are what keep me committed. Will the work be hard? Yes. Will I want a treat later today? Yes. (My mom is terrible at making yummy treats for my daughter and of course I eat them too.) Will I eat one? I will be honest…probably. But I know if I can’t resist a snack that I am going to have to compensate somewhere else. I will have to take a look at my other meals and make sure that they are perfectly healthy with no extras. This I know I can do. At night when I know I will want a snack I will just choose something like an apple or yogurt to satisfy my want to eat.
What am I going to change about my meals. First I am going to eat more protein at breakfast. I had been eating yogurt with fruit and cereal mixed together. Now I am switching to a protein drink for breakfast. I am still trying to figure out what I am going to mix it with. I had been mixing with milk, yogurt and a banana. That seemed to be pretty good but I am still trying different amounts and ingredients. Today I just had the milk and banana mixed with the protein powder. It is now 11am and I am starving, so maybe it wasn’t quite enough. Don’t be afraid to try things out and make changes if necessary. For lunch I will have a salad with plenty of veggies and protein. Then for dinner we will be having mac n cheese so I will make sure that I step up the amount of veggies and lessen the amount of carbs. I am a very active person so it is not like I have to make huge leaps. Just subtle changes.
One final thing that I want to add is that this process is not perfect. We are not perfect. I am not perfect. I don’t want you to have an idea of me as this perfect person. This process is constant trial and error. Or trail and make adjustments. You will be tempted to eat foods you are not supposed to. You will eat foods that you are not supposed and you will have times when you don’t exercise as much as you would want to. That is a fact and it is okay. More on this in the next post…