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During the course of my first pregnancy, I managed to lose 33lbs. And I owe it all to an amazingly proactive doctor, a very knowledgeable diabetes education counselor, and very knowledgeable perinatal doctors. I call them my dream team. But at the start of the journey I never even imagined losing weight. I was actually very anxious and nervous for what this baby was about to do to my body. I heard the horror stories about women describing how their bodies changed for the worse after having their first child. And it wasn't like I was a young gal, I'm getting close to 40!!
I weighed in at 248lbs at my first appointment on week 8. Due to several risk factors such as my weight and age, my doctor diagnosed me with gestational diabetes and scheduled me an appointment with a diabetes education counselor. (Sidenote: She had been warning me for several years to lose the weight and asked me to take the education classes before, but I was stubborn, I didn't see the need.) It only required 2 visits. In the first visit she described the new eating plan for meals and snacks that I was strongly recommended to follow. I now had to use a glucometer and take regular blood sugar readings. I had to write down everything I ate for the duration of the pregnancy.
At first I was mad about the new changes. I hate needles, and it made me remember how I used to watch my grandmother test her blood sugar when I was younger. But when I thought about how this was going to make sure my unborn child was born healthy, I decided to put on my grown lady panties and get with the program.
There were 4 things I changed to make sure I was able to follow this plan. I had to change my environment for this to happen. Old bad habits die quick. But I know that working to change these 4 things is what helped me to lose the weight.
1. My Diet Had To Change
Pre-baby, I used to eat 2-3 times a day. With this new diet, I was required to eat 3 meals and 3 snacks. I was limited to 30g of carbs per meal/snack. I had to eat every 2-3 hours like clock work. So the first thing I did was found some really great snacks to carry around in my bag between meals. My favorite go to snacks were Fiber One Bars, string cheese, Chobani greek yogurt, and Karr's sweet and salty trail mix. My favorite meals were breakfast sandwiches, salads with seafood and a garlic roll, and soups.
2. No Excuses, Exercise Was A Must
For my first trimester I was still able to stomach my regular routine workout minus the sauna afterwards. During my second trimester, I transitioned from my Cordless Jump Rope workout to more walking during lunch breaks. I didn't feel like doing all the extra. Then in my third trimester I only walked for my exercise. And what really reinforced my walking is the fact that I gave up my car and resorted to using public transportation. So I walked a lot!
3. Plenty Of Water At My Disposal
I was always thirsty. So I ordered a filtered water pitcher and had it delivered to my job. Everyday I would fill up this container multiple times a day. And since my body now demanded ice cold water, I made sure I kept plenty of ice in insulated cups at my desk.
4. No Stress Environment
This part was a challenge. I had many weird situations that broke out around me during my pregnancy. Call it changing hormones or seeing people for their true colors, but I had to take control of my personal space and only engage in conversations with people that were positive and supportive of me at that state. I refused to talk to certain people who were eager to push my buttons. I was determined to have a peaceful pregnancy and delivery. So I had to consciously make a decision to exclude certain situations and people from getting into my mental space.
So after changing those habits and monitoring my sugar levels for 37 weeks, I was able to deliver my son via c-section at 6lbs 7oz. He is the most peaceful and amazingly alert little boy I could have ever fallen in love with. After 2 weeks of breast feeding, I stepped on the scale and saw 215lbs. The next day it read the same again. I couldn't believe I actually lost the weight and was keeping it off. You don't understand, I had not seen the number 215 in over 3 years. So it almost made me want to say... let's do it again, I need to see 176 by 40!!
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It was one of those days on the weekend when I was doing work on the couch and I took a little mental break and turned on Netflix. There was a trailer running about this new series, "Rotten", that exposed different food corruption issues regarding the international food industry. I had always wanted to know more about the food that ended up in my fridge, but this series gives you a lot of great information, a little weird at times, that will inform and intrigue your mind. The biggest takeaway for me? DONT EAT ANYTHING FROM CHINA!
I watched all the episodes available in one sitting. So I learned that China is one of the biggest importers. We import their honey, seafood, and garlic. But based on international trade agreements, there's no way we can monitor how they handle the food they send to us. So these people are sending us artificial honey made from rice syrup. Once our customs agents discovered this we stopped receiving chinese honey. So then chinese relabels their fictitious honey, sends it to surrounding countries only to sell it to the United States again. WTH??!?!! Really China? That's some dirty business.
Then they were exposed when a man went to china to find out how they can cheaply manufacture peeled garlic. These people are sending their whole garlic to the prisons and these prisoners are forced into peeling this garlic with their bare hands. The brave guy that observed this was able to see one of the prisoners biting off pieces on the end of the garlic because his nails were damaged from unpeeling so much garlic. Now this is enough to make me say, I give up. But I watched on.
So it appears that because the handling practices of imports are not regulated, other countries are able to add chemicals to our imports. Fish is not supposed to be frozen and thawed and frozen again before it gets to the consumer. But that does not stop the chinese and other countries from doing it. And because we have no way to regulate their practices, we don't, but we still import them anyways. I swear, if another country wanted to take out America, all they would need to do is lace our imports with the wrong thing.
I'm so over chinese food. I will not eat anything unless I make it myself. Its not even about watching someone else make it, it's about understanding the source that produced it. We cannot see what is in it. But our bodies over time will know the difference. So I've decided #TEAMUSA #HOMEGROWN is a little better than imports. Because we do have standards to protect our American people from corrupt food handling practices. But even then, you still have to be careful.
I've been a lot of places,