Leaving Chennai, part 1 – Parks

At the end of this week, we leave Chennai for Mangalore. We are leaving more than just a city – it’s been our home for the past 5 1/2 years. When you leave a place where you have been for so long, memories abound. Like I did for the house we are leaving, I’m going to do some photo posts of places we have visited and things we have done that will forever be embedded in our hearts.

Parks is the topic for this first post. I’ve got thousands of photos of park outings, but I’m choosing the best ones to show you. These are from about 6 different parks that we have gone to regularly over the last 5 years.

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Logan at 19 months.

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2 years old.

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So handsome.

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Lila at 11 months old. She had just started walking and loved the park.

July 14

This was to become our favorite park, being only a 5 minute drive away. Because of that huge tower, it is aptly known as “Tower Park”.
Logan, 2 1/2, Lila 15 months. You can almost see Scarlett popping out of my tummy.

Aug 07

Learning to slide on her own.

Jan 32

This is one of my favorites. Lila, 21 months; Logan, 3 years.

Mar 19

I recall that this day was sweltering.

Apr 71

One of their favorite things to climb – the snail. Lila, 2 years.

May 24

The main fountain at Tower Park.

May 26

Scarlett, 6 months old.

June 25

A good view of the tower. It has a ramp to walk up that circles the tower all the way to the top. but it has been closed to the public for years. I’ve always wanted to see the view from up there.

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It’s a rare occasion when daddy can join us. Scarlett was 14 months old.

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Who knows what lands this snail has taken them too?

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Valentine’s Day, 2011.

Feb 116

First time alone on the swing. 15 months old.

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Such fun, carefree times.

March 209

The day Logan graduated from preschool. Lila, almost 3; Scarlett, 16 months; Logan, 4 1/2 years.

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Trying out the skates she got for her third birthday.

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Fun times with daddy.

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Sweet.

May 117

My climber. Nothing can ever stop her from reaching the top.

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First time up in a tree.

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Scarlett, 1 1/2.

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These next few photos were taken at the beautiful botanical gardens.

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Time for some tricks. Lila, 4 years; Logan, 5 1/2 years.

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Spiral slides are such fun.

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Their favorite way to use the snail now. Logan and Scarlett are sitting on the antennae.

And that brings me to the end of the park photo collection. We will have one last goodbye trip before leaving. Of all the parks in the city, we have used this one the most, and I shall miss it.

September Weight Check-in

Last year when I started on my weight loss journey, I went into it not knowing where I was headed or how I was going to get there. I only knew it was time for me to lose the excess weight I had been lugging around since Scarlett’s birth.

When I made my diet changes back in February of this year and began losing weight right away, I was elated, not to mention sure that it would only take 5 months to get to my normal weight, since I began by losing two kilos in one month. But as the months passed, the weight loss slowed down, which I think is normal. I realized it was going to take longer to get back into shape. (You can go here to see my fitness plan and find links to my monthly check-in posts.)

And now here it is September, and I’m still fighting with myself to get rid of the last few kilos. These are the hardest to shed. Sometimes I catch myself thinking, “Well, I lost 8 kilos already. I look and feel better. Why push for the last 7?” Why, self? I’ll tell you why. I want to look and feel my best!

From last November until this June, I exercised 6 days a week with very few missed days. Perhaps that is why when July came I began to feel a need for a break from this intense exercise push. I spent most of July resting, doing a little swimming here or a little walking there, but nothing like the intense running and toning I had been doing. In August I meant to pick it up again, but each time I’d start, after a day or two I’d be too tired to get up in the morning and I’d miss the rest of my workouts for the week.

Then we all got sick with the kind of colds that knock you out. Myself and the kids were all so sick all we could do was watch t.v. Of course they began to recover faster than me, since I still had to care for them. If you have kids then you know what I’m talking about. Thankfully we had just hired a maid to help with the housework, so things didn’t get too dirty while I was sick. It’s been 18 days, and we all still have some lingering sniffles, sore throats, coughs, etc. I think it had to do with the weather changes, or perhaps we caught it from the little girl at Logan and Lila’s art class who had a real bad cough and cold. We were at the class on a Saturday and by Monday we were all sick.

Last Sunday, September 1st, was my weigh-in day. I only weigh in once a month. Since I don’t have a scale at home I go to a local (but still not too close) pharmacy that has a digital scale. I don’t really like daily weigh-in’s anyway. The fluctuations would frustrate me. Up until now, each month I’ve gone with trepidation, wondering if I had really lost anything, or worse, had I gained anything back! Each time I was happy to see loss, though the amount did go down over time.

This time, though, I had gained. I guess I wasn’t too surprised. Less exercise and more rest for me equals weight gain. I’m one of those people who has to exercise regularly to keep my weight down. The gain wasn’t much, only 400 grams. I went from being 72.4 kgs. at the beginning of August to 72.8 kgs. at the beginning of September.

I could have let this little gain get me down, but I remembered to be positive and decided that this was just the push I needed to get back to my workouts. Monday I picked up again by going for a run. It was tough. But I’ve done 4 days so far this week and I feel good. I just have to keep telling myself that I CAN do this. I CAN lose the weight and I CAN get down to my goal weight. Only 7 kilos to go!

August Weight Check-in

I’ve been feeling blah about writing lately so this check-in will be short and sweet.

Last month I sort of took a break from my intense exercise schedule. I allowed myself to skip some days each week instead of exercising 6 days in a row. I needed it. My body was tired and needed the break.

I still managed to lose some weight, though. I am now at 72.4 kgs. (159 lbs.), meaning I lost 600 gr. this past month.  I’ve decided to pick up again with my more intense schedule of exercise since I am not yet near the my goal weight, but I will allow for off days and the need for extra sleep.

See you at next month’s check-in.

(How’s that for short and sweet?)

Who is Really Stressing You Out?

Motherhood and stress – I find those words together a lot. Mothers all over the internet complain about how their children stress them out.

“My children are fighting and the noise is stressing me out.”

“Driving my children anywhere is so stressful.”

“I can’t shop with my children. Their antics stress me out.”

“Anytime I go anywhere with my child I end up stressed.”

We know that children are high-maintenance, and I’d be lying if I said I never feel stressed. But the question is, is it really the children who are stressing you out? Or are you allowing yourself to be stressed?

Yes, I said allowing. We have the power to decide whether or not to allow a situation to stress us out. We can either let the challenges of parenting get to us, or we can learn how to overcome them.

I know it is easier said than done, but for a mother to maintain her sanity, learning to avoid stress is so important.

Here are a few things I do to keep stress at bay.

1. Exercise

We all know that exercise is a stress-buster, but most of us don’t do it, for whatever reason. We allow our own health to sit on the back burner while we tend to those around us. It might seem noble to put yourself last, but it isn’t good for you.

Exercise is one of the best stress-relievers there is. If you can’t get away from your kids for it, do it with them. Dance in the living room, run at the park, go for a walk. Any exercise is better than none at all! So make time in your schedule for exercise.

2. Breathe

When your children’s antics are getting you riled, stop and breathe. Just take a minute to compose yourself by taking a deep breath, closing your eyes, and letting it out slowly. Go ahead. Try it now and see how good it makes you feel. Look out the window at nature, or step outside for a minute and breathe, and tell yourself you can handle whatever is bothering you. I promise you will feel the stress melt away.

3. Take time for yourself

Do something for yourself every day. Nap when your child does, read a book or your favorite blog, take a shower (and don’t feel bad if it takes an extra cartoon or two). Put on some makeup or brush your hair. Get dressed. Do something that will help you feel more like a woman and not just a “mom”.

I like to get up early for exercise, then take a shower and have my coffee before the kids get up. Thankfully my kids love to sleep late so early for me is up by 6. If your child is an early riser (or has to get up for school), see when else you can fit in time for you.

4. Keep a schedule

This will help you fit in numbers 1 and 3. Time for yourself is imperative so scheduling it will make it happen.

5. Be mature

Remember, they are just children. They are still selfish and self-absorbed. Everything is about them. Don’t take personally anything they say or do.

 

Now it’s your turn. What do you do to keep stress out of your life? Tell us about it in the comments.

July Weight Check-in

Hi everyone. It’s a new month with new challenges. For some reason I’m feeling extra perky today, and I haven’t even had any coffee yet.

Well, I now weigh 73 kgs. (160.6 lbs.). Not a huge amount of weight lost this month, (only 700 gr.) but something is better than nothing, am I right?

Last month I found myself getting bored with the workout routine I was using, so I tried changing it up a bit by doing a little bit of toning after my running instead of doing two separate toning days a week. I feel I need to change it up a bit more, so I’m playing around with my workouts again.

It’s important to not let boredom set in when you are trying to lose weight, or else the easy thing to do would be to just quit. I still have 8 kgs. to lose so there is no way I’m giving up now. Just to show you how my body has changed, have a look at these pics.

Taken December 2012. I was about 79 kgs.

Taken December 2012. I was about 79 kgs.

Taken June 30, 2013. Weight 73 kgs.

Taken June 30, 2013. Weight 73 kgs.

I’ve discovered that for me, even more than daily exercise, I have to really watch my diet and only eat what my body needs and no more. I’ve reached a point where eating small portions and being full with them is easy; and I feel it when I eat even a bite more than I need. That full feeling is there right away preventing me from overdoing it. Sweets no longer have that same tempting hold on me like they did before. I can have a small portion and be done. Well, unless it is PMS time or my kids are stressing me out. Combine the two and the craving for sweets takes over. It can be hard to resist it, too.

Stress eating is so bad for you. I know it happened to me this past month and I think that is part of the reason why I didn’t lose a whole kilo like I did the previous month. But what to do? At least I didn’t gain anything. That would have been a setback for sure!

In a few weeks we will be going to a beach resort with some friends for a weekend, so I am going to push extra hard until then. I especially need to work on my abs. That is my weak area and it needs some serious focus. Now that I am doing well in the cardiovascular area, it is time to give my abs the attention they need.

I still haven’t given up on this goal that I made last year. While I didn’t actually lose any weight last year, I have this year – a whole 6 kilos since February – so I look forward to meeting this goal soon.

June Weight Check-in

(This is the first of several backlog posts. This one should have gone up on June 1st. )

 

It is pouring rain outside as I sit to type this. The worst of the summer heat is over and we are getting a touch of the southern monsoon. Our monsoon won’t start until the end of the month. May brought intense heat this year, with the peak heat being 43oC on Sunday, May 26th. Was I ever happy to be working indoors that day!

Since then the heat has gone down to a more manageable 35 – 37oC. Lots of clouds have meant less direct sun, and more time spent outdoors without having sweat pouring off of you.

In order to beat the heat, I always work out early in the morning, around 6 a.m. Yet it has been muggy at that hour and when I finish my exercise, my clothes look like I have been swimming in them.

My weight loss is picking up again, after the difficulties I had in April. In May I lost 1.1 kgs., bringing my current weight to 73.7 kgs. (As of June 1st.) I’m so happy for this. Slow and steady really is the way to go with weight loss, ‘cause it means the weight doesn’t come back.

I now fit into a size medium for most of my clothes, whereas back in January I was in XL. Over the past few months I’ve stuck with only buying cheap clothes so that I didn’t feel bad about getting rid of them when they got too big, and yes, I’ve already had to change all the stuff I bought at the beginning of the year. But that is a good thing when you are losing weight.

I’ve also moved down a bra size. All my life I wore a 36C, but I didn’t know the proper way to tell if a bra fits or not and that resulted in many uncomfortable bras. I’ve learned that the bra should fit snug on the outermost hooks when you first buy it (and you move in to the other hooks as it gets stretched from use), and the cups should lie smooth with no wrinkles or bunching. It is also important to try on different styles of the same size bra, because some will fit better than others. Try each one you are thinking of buying; it should be so comfortable that you forget you are wearing it. I think I’m now in the size I should have been wearing all along, a 34B. For the first time in my life I feel comfortable in a bra.

This month I will be making some changes to my exercise program to spice it up since boredom is beginning to set in. I’ll let you know how it goes.

May Weight Check-in

It’s come round again; time to check my weight and see how I’ve done with my weight loss this past month.

April was a rather difficult month for me. Like I wrote about in this post, I struggled with unfounded fears, panic attacks, and mood swings. It isn’t easy to explain what I was feeling ’cause it was all so weird and abnormal. I’ve never had such intense fears that I couldn’t explain, nor have I ever had a panic attack in my life. Do read the above-linked post so you can understand what I’m talking about better.

Once the problem got sorted out, I slowly began to feel more like myself. My moods have balanced out, the fears are gone (though I confess a hint of them still hovers around the edges), and the panic attacks are gone. But my body has been through heavy struggles, so I found myself reducing or skipping my exercise this month. I also found myself eating more than I should, with the result that I didn’t lose as much weight as I did the previous two months.

At the April check in I weighed 75.2 kgs. (165.4 lbs.). Now I weigh 74.8 kgs. (164.5 lbs.). I only lost 400 grams, not quite half a kilo, this whole month. But I’m not viewing this as a failed month. No, I learned a little more about my body, how it reacts to being poisoned (really, read this post if you didn’t yet), and I can see where I need to change my workout program.

Now that I’m feeling much better than I was, I’ve started on a new workout plan, one that will help me improve my running. I was already running for 2 minutes at a time for 40 minutes, but it started getting too easy, to the point that is was no longer a challenge. So I was reading Women’s Health Magazine and found this plan that takes you from walking to being able to run for 30 minutes straight.

I began on week four, since I was already doing 2 minutes at a time. Week four starts from 3 minutes, and moves you up to 8 minutes by the end of the week. Today I did the second running day which was 5 minutes at a time, and I was pleasantly surprised by how I was able to do it. There are specific toning workouts they include, but many require equipment that I don’t have, so I’m sticking with my current toning workout, especially since I’m still building into it. You can see how I plan to use this running plan on My Fitness Journey page.

According to this plan, I will be able to run for 30 minutes straight in the next 3 weeks. It sounds great, and I hope it will help me trim down more as I continue with healthy eating and portion control.

What changes have you made in your health and fitness this month?

April Weight Check-in

Oh, boy. Summer has hit hard and it is just the beginning. I don’t recall it being this humid last year. While the temperature is still only 34C, the humidity makes it feel much hotter.

Even at 6 a.m., when I begin my workout, it is no longer cool and fresh but hot and muggy. I sweat so much I’m gonna need a bigger water bottle just to keep hydrated. This morning I was doing my toning exercises on the balcony, and the sweat was running down my arms and legs, just pouring off. You can imagine how bad it is when I run. I carry a handkerchief with me and it is drenched before my run is over.

So yesterday was my weigh-in day. I only weigh myself once a month, for a few reasons, the main one being the scale is not in my house. 🙂 I go to a pharmacy that has a proper digital scale so I can get a true weight, but it is a good distance from the house in a neighborhood I no longer frequent (we used to live there).

Anyway, I was a bit anxious about whether I’d have lost any more weight or not, since it has been a long time since I’ve had any weight loss success. I was hoping the previous months loss was not a fluke, and that I had not re-gained the weight I lost. Well, I needn’t have worried because the scale has moved down again. I now weigh 75.2 kgs. (165 lbs.)!!! Remember that at the beginning of February, I weighed 79.3 kgs. (174 lbs.), so that is a loss of 4.1 kgs. (9 lbs.) in just two months!

To what do I owe this success? Well, I know the consistent exercise sure helps, but for me, the true key was changing my diet. Eating smaller portions, less starch and sweet, filling up on raw salads, and drinking more water has made the difference between last years failed weight loss attempt and this years success. 

You know that quote about how it takes 4 weeks for you to see change, 8 for your friends to see it, and 12 for the world to see? Well, it’s taken me 8 weeks but I am now seeing changes.

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My face looks slightly less round, my arms are showing some definition, my tummy is now smaller (not larger!) than my boobs, my legs look more toned, and I can see the outline of my rib cage again. 🙂 I still have a ways to go to get to my ideal weight but these changes are keeping me motivated to continue.

Oh, and so is this. 🙂

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Ever!

No More Naps – And My Schedule

Not long ago, I got frustrated with the schedule my kids were on. They were up at a decent time, but then they would nap and not fall asleep until almost 11 p.m., meaning that, even if I had them in bed by 9, they were still awake and playing around, and I’d still be busy instead of having some time off.

Last year Logan pretty much quit napping. Some days I’d make him nap just so I could have a break in the afternoon, but he didn’t really need it any more. Then Lila began to nap less frequently, so I decided to take them off of naps altogether. They were so happy the day I told them they no longer needed to nap! Of course Scarlett still needs a nap, so I put her down in my room while Logan and Lila play in their own room.

Then the kids began taking the skating lessons. Where we used to go to the playground near our house almost daily and then come home early enough for me to cook dinner, we now have to go to the slightly farther (but still walk-able distance) sports park for the classes.

They skate from 5 to 6 p.m. and then do some exercises with the coach for 30 minutes afterwards. While we don’t always stay for the exercises (how long you stay is up to you), most days the kids want to and Scarlett joins them too, so we only get out of the park by 6:30 or so. While we can walk there in 10 minutes (at Scarlett’s pace), going home can take upwards of 15 minutes since it is peak traffic hour and the area is full of construction and bad sidewalks, and I am dragging three tired kids while carrying a heavy bag full of skating gear and water bottles.

By the time we get home it is almost 7 p.m. Everyone is tired and hungry and can’t wait for me to cook. So from the beginning I switched to cooking dinner in the afternoon so that we can eat just as soon as we get in. It takes more planning for me to make dinner before going, but having food ready to feed starving tummies makes it worthwhile.

While we were happy with the skating lessons, it did take a little longer for them to settle into their new schedule of no naps and making it through the day. The first 2 weeks were tough, since the kids were adjusting to a different sleep schedule and more exercise, but now things are settling down.

Changing the schedule has meant moving dinner and bedtime up but that was the plan – to have them actually fall asleep at bedtime so I could have some time to myself. (Tonight I had them in bed by 8 since Logan had gotten up at 6, and he and Lila were asleep within minutes.)

 

Here is a peek at what my schedule looks like right now.

5:50 a.m.  My alarm goes off and I get up for exercise.

6:05 a.m.  I am out the door to the park for either a run or I do some strength training exercises at home.

7:00 a.m.  I get in just as Glad is heading out to the gym. Kids are (hopefully, usually) still sleeping. I shower and dress, then have my coffee and read the newspaper.

7:45 a.m.  If the kids aren’t awake already, I get them up, feed and dress them, pack their snacks for school, put on a load of laundry, eat my own breakfast, clear the table, stop a fight or two, maybe tidy up a little, and make sure they are ready to go by the time daddy is.

9:15 a.m.  Kids are gone to school with daddy. I find things to keep Scarlett busy as I clean and tidy the house. Once a week we go grocery shopping; once or twice we pick up anything else we need, like fruits and veggies, at the local shops. Sometimes we call off all work and go to the park for an hour or two. I also plan what I will make for dinner and take out meat that needs thawing or soak chickpeas for pressure cooking later.

12:00 a.m.  Prepare lunch.

12:45 a.m.  Glad and the kids are usually home by this time, so we eat right away, since Glad has to run back to work shortly afterwards. This is our family meal since daddy isn’t home for most dinners and he is at the gym while we have breakfast.

1:20 p.m.  Clean up lunch mess. Find a way to keep Lila out of trouble since she no longer naps (Logan plays well on his own so I don’t have to worry about him.) Put Scarlett down for a nap and take a short one myself for 15 – 20 minutes.

2:00 p.m.  Sit with my coffee and try to clear some cobwebs from my brain. I always need more sleep, but if I sleep longer, I can wake assured that Lila is up to no good. Just this past week she played with my glasses and broke them, put a mobile phone in the washer (we had to wait 3 days for the repair man to come get it out, meaning I had to add hand wash to my list of chores), and dumped a whole packet of glitter on the balcony. I lock the kitchen door, but she climbs through the small window between the kitchen and dining room to get into food and such, and sometimes can’t get back out. The other day I woke to the sound of her and Logan heading out the front door. No more long naps for me.

Once the cobwebs are gone, I help them with their homework, if they have any that day.

3:00 p.m.  I wake Scarlett from her nap, and then work on dinner. Meanwhile the kids entertain themselves with play or coloring or teasing each other and making it hard for me to finish quickly. Somewhere in there I give them a snack and that keeps them quiet for a while.

4:20 p.m. Roughly by this time I am done with the cooking, depending on how many times I had to intervene with the kids. I have a snack myself and then we get ready to go for skating class.

4:45 p.m. We leave the house. The sports park is close so we get there quickly. On Wednesdays we skip skating and go instead to the playground.

6:30 p.m. (or so) Head home. Wash up. Heat dinner and serve.

7:15 p.m. Kids are done eating so they have some playtime while I clean up. I also use this time to boil the milk for the next day, make yogurt (as needed), etc.

7:45 p.m. Shower time for the kids. Sometimes this is a happy time and other times they are crying until the moment they are in bed. Get into pj’s, brush teeth, have a story, drink some water, milk every minute they can of being awake. 🙂

8:30 p.m. Kids in bed. Since Logan and Lila no longer nap, they go to sleep quickly. Scarlett takes a little longer, and I often hear her singing to herself, or I catch her looking at books or playing. She is usually asleep by 9.

As soon as the kids are in bed, I jump in the shower, and then head for the computer. That is my only time most days. Sometimes I’d like to go to bed early, but Glad only gets in at 11 p.m., and because of the type of lock on our door, I have to stay up to let him in. We aren’t going to change it now that we are moving. If Glad is home that evening, I will go to bed earlier. Sometimes we will both be in bed by 10, or we relax with a movie together. (If I’m desperately tired, like during PMS, I’ll get into bed early and send Glad an SMS to call me when he gets home. That way I get some extra sleep.)

This is my weekday schedule.

On Saturdays we go to the park for a few hours or maybe the mall, just to spend the morning out of the house. Then I use the afternoon to catch up on stuff I can’t normally fit in.

On Sundays I work for a few hours outside the house, so daddy is in charge. I take full advantage of this “day off” from being mommy. I leave the house at noon, finish work by 3:30, eat lunch, and then take some time for shopping, visiting a mall by myself, or just walking around and enjoying the peace. I am home somewhere between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. Daddy takes the kids skating this day, so that they can fit in 5 days of lessons a week.

The classes last for 3 months, so after that I’m sure the schedule will change again, as summer will be here and school will be out. And there are more changes to come involving our move to Canada. But I’m not letting them stay up late ever again. 🙂 I love the quiet.

Weight Loss, part 2: How I am Getting Rid of the Weight

In case you missed part one, you can find it here.

After seeing that photo (see previous post) and how much weight I had gained, I had the motivation I needed to begin losing weight. It started with the exciting high that comes with a new plan and I went all out. I exercised every day, for an hour or more first thing in the morning. I pushed myself hard, but at the end of January 2012, all I had to show for my hard work were some inches down. The scale hadn’t moved at all.

I'm always the one behind the camera so I don't have many of myself. This one is from Feb. 2012.

I’m always the one behind the camera so I don’t have many of myself. This one is from Feb. 2012.

Despite that I pushed on, each month striving to actually make the scale move, but it never moved more than a kilo, and that was either one up or down. While I did trim down a bit according to the measuring tape, the fat weight was still there. I fluctuated between 78 and 79 kgs. for the rest of the year.

By April discouragement set in and I began to wonder if I could ever lose the weight. One thing Glad kept telling me was that I was eating too much and needed to cut down, but I couldn’t see how. I was sure I’d be hungry all the time if I did that. Also, Scarlett was still nursing so I used that as an excuse to eat so much, even though I now see it wasn’t needed. (She was 17 months at the time.)

At Lila's third birthday - April 2012

At Lila’s third birthday – April 2012

I spent the rest of the year going up and down. Sometimes I’d work out, other times I’d skip it for a long time ’cause I was so tired in the mornings. The children’s sleep schedule was all over the place, so that made it hard for me to get enough sleep. At one point I got very sick and lost several kilos in a matter of days, but as soon as I was well again, I gained it all back.

I don’t remember exactly when it happened, but sometime around the end of October I saw a post on Facebook from the page Fit Moms for Life. I visited their page and the more I read, the more inspired I got. Everything they post is about how you CAN do it, the “it” being lose weight and get into shape.

I began looking forward to their daily photos and quotes, and those are what inspired me to get back into daily exercise. Those quotes gave me the motivation to just get out there and do what I could. So beginning on the 1st of November 2012, I recommitted to daily exercise. I didn’t yet have a plan of how to lose the weight; I just got out there and got back into the habit of getting the exercise.

I began with brisk walking and slowly got into jogging. I built it up slowly, literally by adding on 15 – 20 more seconds with each lap when I felt I could do more. It was a slow start, but it got me going, and I kept this up throughout November and December.  I usually gain extra weight in December due to all the yummy treats, but this time I didn’t because I was exercising. I also spent this time reading the Fit Mom’s for Life website, and I learned more about interval training and strength training.

Christmas Eve outing - 2012. How I looked after 2 months of consistent exercise but no diet change.

Christmas Eve outing – 2012.
How I looked after 2 months of consistent exercise but no diet change. (I know, bad sweater choice. I shouldn’t wear stripes – but they look great on Lila.)

January 1, 2013 - zoo outing in Mangalore with Glad's mom.

January 1, 2013 – zoo outing in Mangalore with Glad’s mom.

By January I began running instead of jogging, doing interval training 3 days a week and toning exercises on the other 3 days, with one day for rest. To make sure I was getting enough sleep (also important for weight loss) I took a daily nap when the kids did, since I was often only getting 6 hours of sleep at night, and that not solid. I recently made some changes to my and the kids’ schedules, and I am now getting closer to 7 hours of sleep at night and I only take a short (10 – 15 minute) nap on most days.

In February I changed my diet. I realized that I needed to make a solid change in my eating habits in order to really lose weight. So, hard as it was, I began reducing my plate size. I learned to tell when I felt full rather than eating until stuffed. I made my lunches salad and protein meals, and I cut out the excess starch I had been eating. I stopped buying “healthy” carbohydrate-loaded snacks (that only I ate) and replaced them with fruit. Over the past month I’ve been quite strict on myself with the amount of food I allow myself to have, and the results are showing.

I now can only eat smaller amounts at a time. If I overeat, I feel it. I’m uncomfortable once I pass the full stage, so now I don’t go there. I’ve also lost the intense desire for sweets that I used to have. I permit myself a weekly treat and find my body is satisfied with that instead of demanding it daily. I’ve also balanced out my meals/snacks and I make sure to not skip a snack if I feel the need for one. I used to skip snacks, thinking I’d lose more weight if I didn’t eat, but I’ve found out that the opposite is true – eating  small amounts regularly is better for your metabolism and will help you lose weight in the long run, so long as the food is healthy and not junk.

The payoff came when I went for my monthly weigh-in. At the beginning of Feb. I weighed 79.3 kgs. Now at the beginning of March I weigh 77.3 kgs. ! I did a happy dance inside when I saw that. Two whole kilos off in one month of changing my diet! That was the key for  me.

So now I am excited and I want to keep this up. I need support, so along with this post, I am posting a new page called My Fitness Journey where I will track my exercise and weight loss for as long as I need to. I’d love it if you could back me up, so encouraging comments are welcome! 🙂 I’ll also post photos ’cause I want to actually “see” the change as it happens. I don’t have any recent ones of myself so there isn’t anything current to show you, but I’ll get some just as soon as I can.

I just want to add a note here to Dustin and his team from Fit Moms for Life: If any of you are reading this, thank you. Your website and Facebook quotes are helping me in this weight loss journey. Having that kind of support has made all the difference for me. You guys are doing a great job! Readers, if you haven’t yet visited the Fit Moms for Life website, please go now. And don’t think that it isn’t for you just because you aren’t a mom. While Dustin’s focus is mothers, he is helping many others to get fit as well. So check it out if you need some inspiration, motivation, and support.

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