Friday, January 24, 2014

Friday Fit Club

Okay I said I was joining then haven't posted an update.
20 week bump

Basically this was because I didn't actually work out though I did look up work outs. And then didn't do them. Part of this was laziness, but then part was fear.

Fear, you might ask? Well, to be honest I started losing weight for no good reason! I was up two pounds from when I found out I was pregnant at the beginning of week 20, steady for a few weeks... then at the end of week 20 I was back at the same weight as when I found out at week 7! This despite the fact that the beginning of week 20 brought an increase in appetite and I began to eat more. This was worrying me and making me hesitant to work out because when I should be gaining but am losing, burning more calories doesn't sound like the best idea. So even though I'd written that I'd work out more to you, I was hesitant to do so...

Then on Wednesday I weighed myself again. I always weigh myself with as few variables as possible, so I'm pretty sure it was accurate: I had lost half a pound! What the heck?! Here I am at 21 weeks 2 days and I weigh less than when I found out I was pregnant?

I freaked out a bit, but ended up looking up articles about losing weight in pregnancy. And they calmed me down. Basically retrospective studies (looking at medical records after the fact, versus giving on going care during pregnancy) of obese women who lost weight during pregnancy showed that they had a far less chance of having complications during pregnancy like pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes. Doctors aren't ready to recommend women TRY to lose weight, since they fear it'd have a negative impact on birth weight (and aside from GD, bigger generally means healthier with newborns.) However if you're obese and weight loss is just happening, like it is for me, it's probably not a bad thing. So that relaxed me. Also, every single article I found mentioned that regardless of weight or whatever that unless they're on bedrest the doctor's recommended exercise for all pregnant women, but especially the obese ones. So, the fear went away and I figure even if it does lead to another pound loss it's better to just exercise.

Around this happening a pregnancy group I'm on facebook with recommended squats as being great for pregnant ladies cause it strengthens the muscles we need for labor, so I did some. I think I did 15 squats before bed. Not a large amount, but something to start me rolling. Then on Thursday I went for a 20 minute walk and did 50 leg lifts on each side in bed. And today I've done 20 squats... but my knees hurt a little. Darn relaxin. So maybe I shouldn't do squats or only do them in increments of ten or something.

So my new goal for this week actually is to look up mini exercises like that and here's my thought: I'll make a list of small bursts of pregnancy safe exercises divided up in small doses. I'll try to do at least one "dose" a day but also try not to do more than 3, considering my weight loss. That way I'm being more active but not overdoing it. I know with working out I tend to be all or nothing, so moderation is good. If later on I start gaining weight, I'll increase my activity with no guilt. Oh, and if I find myself with access to a pool you'll have to drag me out, I'm not coming out until someone forces me. Gosh, I miss swimming.

So that's the goal for the week, to ease myself into deliberate exercising again without over doing it. I'll update y'all on how that goes next week. Also I have a doctor's appointment before then, so I'll be talking about my concerns with her and we'll see if that changes anything.

Hope you all have a fabulous week!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


I can't believe it's been over a year since I started Meaningful Activity!

When I posted the last post I glanced back to see how much I'd blogged last year and realized I'd reached a year! How crazy!

It really does seem like not long ago at all.

However whether it was Meaningful Activity or other things, this year has seen meaningful improvement in my health:

-I lost 45 pounds
-I started a health initiative (which I admit I've not kept up as much as I should have.)
-I found out I had an under active thyroid and found a name for my sleeping disorder.
-I conceived my first child

That's pretty awesome stuff!

Thanks to God for this year and yay for Meaningful Activity!

Updated the banner!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Joining Friday Fit Club

I think this is the week it's starting to look
more bump and less "is she just fat?" but
I'm still not obviously pregnant.
Well on Friday I was looking at the blog reel and saw a blogger I follow, Duckie, introducing a Friday Fit Club to kick off the New Year.

I thought, "That's perfect for Meaningful Activity." Since I announced this pregnancy I've been neglecting this blog... but I also have been neglecting working out. First trimester I was just so exhausted and sick feeling, and then the holidays were a whir. But now I have no excuse and exercise during pregnancy is a good thing.

The rules? We set goals for each week and keep each other accountable with an update and photo each Friday. Easy peasy, right?

For newcomers to my blog I'm 18 going on 19 weeks pregnant with my first. :) I'm due in June and then my focus will shift to losing the baby weight. For now I want to go for having a healthy pregnancy.

So my goals for this week is to find pregnancy safe workouts, and do 3 30 minute sessions. Now that I'm past the first trimester fatigue and nausea I really should concentrate on keeping fit for the delivery and to help prevent gestational diabetes. I also want to try to get back to tracking calories, only now for steady healthy weight gain. Since I found out I was pregnant, I am only 1 pound heavier, even though I look much more so... I went down 5 pound actually by week 12 I think, from nausea, but then around week 13 or 14 started to gain that back. I think I have officially gained one pound more than I was when I found out I was pregnant (at 7 weeks). I am still down from the weight I was I would have conceived, as this baby was a surprise and I was actively dieting and exercising for weight loss then. I am about 8 pounds less than I would have been at conception.

Since I am obese/overweight, the doctors want my weight gain at the end to be 10-15 pounds. I have 21 weeks to go, so if we use my starting weight as when I found out I was pregnant, I should gain about a half pound a week. However, if we use my conception weight then it can be more than that. As long as the baby is growing though, less is okay, but I should be striving for healthy weight gain now, not weight loss or maintenance.

Friday Fit Club

Monday, September 30, 2013

Back in the Saddle

Okay, I'm pretty much recovered from dengue. Information online says I'll be weak for another week or two, which I can attest to, but I'm so much better. I've been out of the fever/body pain stage for about a week now.

So today I started Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred. I'm doing it with a friend.

It is hard. I liked it though.

Doing level one, at this point I didn't do everything I'd liked. I'm using liter water bottles as my weights (so 1 kilogram each) and I had to set them down and just lift my arms up for one of the squat thrust circuits. I also pretty much collapsed during the second push-up thing, my arms hurt, but I did some of them, but probably only half I was supposed to for that thirty seconds. And for one of the "jump ropes" (you mime having a jump rope, you don't really have one) I ended up walking in place instead because I felt like if I jumped I'd fall over. Haha. Otherwise I did it, doing the beginner modifications, though I did have to catch my breath three times (she says you can stop to catch your breath, but for no more than five seconds.. I made sure I got back to it before five seconds was up.)

I had the challenge of my wild kittens thinking me doing this was FANTASTIC! They thought it was a fun game. I don't have a mat, and my floor is marble, so I had laid down three couch cushions to do the floor stuff on... every time I returned to it (you get up and down a lot) one of the kittens (**coughPrincesscough**) had broken up them so they were scattered and I had to put them back together. Apparently couch cushions on the floor is FUN! Also, she kept running up my leg, leaping up and "tagging" me (with her claws retracted, so it didn't hurt) and then dashing away. She was obviously thinking my exercise was me zooming around in play and wanted to join in the fun. It was cute, but a little distracting.

I was panting and covered in sweat by the end. I hadn't eaten right before (I'd eaten two hours earlier,  but only a cup of cornflakes with a cup of milk, so not like a huge meal where it'd still be in my stomach) and that was probably a mistake. I also didn't eat right afterwards, since I was overheated... nor did I prepare my food. I was planning on having a bean burger with a baked potato, and I hadn't made them (I had the raw patty ready to cook, but I hadn't cooked it yet.) So when like fifteen minutes after the program I got shakey, it was another ten or fifteen minutes before I was able to eat, and by then I was extremely weak and wobbly.

Most likely that's compounded from the dengue, but for other people thinking of attempting the Shred I'd say either eat something small right before hand (I've read and found from my days doing the C25K that a banana is a perfect pre-workout snack) or have your food prepared and ready to go before you start the workout so if you need to eat fast for recovery afterwards, the second your body tells you that you can eat, you can eat. (Like most people I can't eat right after a workout, but as soon as my body had cooled down enough it was like I need fuel!)

Five ten minutes after eating though, the wobbliness went away and I felt great. I still feel good... though a bit wiped out.

I'm doing the 30 Day Shred now because my friend Lydia is coming in November (yay!) and I want to look great since she hasn't seen me in almost a year, since I moved to India. I moved here at the end of last November, and she'll be here mid-November, so really, it's like a year... and I've already lost 40 pounds! I'm hoping with the shred and watching my calories to lose another ten before she gets here, so I can be an impressive 50 pounds lighter... and toned! I figured starting the shred on October 1st not only gives me all of October, but gives me the first two weeks of November if I get sidetracked (like if I get a cold or something) or also so if after I finish the shred I look at my body and say "everything looks great but *this* area" I can have a couple weeks to tweak... I'm excited to get to reveal the changes in my body to the very first person to see me who knew me in the US when I left!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Dengue Fever

So I'm getting over dengue fever. I've had it for a little over a week now and pretty much through the first phase (the actual fever) and am just in the weakness.

I've lost some weight being sick. I've now lost 40 pounds... not during the dengue, total since I started losing weight. I've lost about 5 pounds since I got dengue. That's not the best way to lose weight, I know, but I figure at least it's jump starting me again to think about weight loss.

A friend of mine is coming to India to visit (yay!) in November, so I want to set her visit as a goal to get down smaller. I'm already smaller than she's ever seen me, actually. I'm smaller now than I was when I started college, which is when we met. But I'd like to get smaller still before she comes so that it's dramatic. :)

So I've readjusted my goals on "myfitnesspal" so that I will lose more rapidly... while still being within their guidelines. I haven't been logging lately though, so hopefully I can get back in the habit. I had myself down as trying to lose 1.5 pounds a week in a lightly active lifestyle but now I'm putting down that I'm trying to lose 2 pounds a week in a sedentary lifestyle... which is true. I've been sedentary lately, being a lot less active than I was when I was losing more. Consequently my available calories has shrunk by like 500 a day. Ah well. 2 pounds a week is still a healthy goal and I'm being honest when I say that right now I'm sedentary-- especially coming off the dengue!

The dengue will make me weak for the next few weeks, so I'm not going to be able to exercise up a storm anyway, though I do want to focus a little on my abs. My gut is getting flabby.

Well that's my weight loss and health update for now. Hope all of you are well!

(Oh, and when my friend comes I plan on taking some "after" shots and updating the banner... I want to not do it until then, so she won't see a picture of me online and not get the full dramatic 'wow Pam is way thinner' thing I hope she gets, but once she's come I'll do that and you guys can see!)

Monday, September 2, 2013

Imagine You Had a Sleeping Disorder

Imagine you're scared to go to sleep.

Not because you're afraid of anything in particular, no nightmares, but because you're never sure when you'll wake up.

Imagine every time you drift off you know there's a chance that you might not wake up in time to go to work, school, or that meeting or appointment that you have....

Imagine every time you make a commitment, there is a thrill of dread deep in your heart that says, "I hope I don't let them down. I hope I don't sleep through it"... even if the commitment is for something in the afternoon or evening.

Imagine you pray and pep talk yourself about not missing that thing or another at 9 am the next morning... only to wake up at 10 or 11 or 12 or 1 or later... Imagine curling up in the fetal position and sobbing your heart out and wondering why, why, why?

Imagine seeing the look, over and over again, on the faces of people you care about. The look that says:

She's such a flake.
She just doesn't care.
She's lying.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A Reply to Peggy

I recently received a comment on my blog that goes like this:

Hi there!

This is the first time I've read your blog, along with your story and how you met your husband. I understand completely how you feel. I'm quite heavy myself, and, I am ashamed of myself. I know I should exercise and watch my weight, but now I'm so heavy I can't even exercise. I almost can't walk because my feet hurt because of all the weight put on them. So what do I do? I stay inside almost all day, except for going out in the backyard to feed the birds. I know I need to lose at least 100 pounds, but how, when I can hardly walk? I want to hide and cry. Do you ever feel like that?

Peace in Christ,


I began to reply under her comment, but then realized it was getting too long to just be a comment. Also, I realized this was something I should have written about before this. This is a super important topic to address and hold up for us all.

Hello Peggy (and everyone else), I'm so glad you've found my corner of the web!

No, I can't say I know exactly how you feel, though I do know how the world attaches shame to weight loss. For me, I gained the initial weight  due to my PCOS alone, and I knew that it wasn't from lack of eating well/excercise, since I gained 50 pounds in 3 months without a change to either. Actually, most of my life, no amount of effort made a dent on the scale. It wasn't until moving to India that something about the food here changed my hormones enough that the weight can come off...

That being said, as I said, I do know how the world tries to shame us. Don't listen, Peggy. One time I was reading a book, aimed towards women but not about our bodies specifically, and they had a chapter on this kind of stuff. And I went into it thinking I knew what I'd be reading... but during it I found myself having a conversation with God. Because see, I knew my PCOS caused the weight gain... but deep down I was afraid I'd caused my PCOS. I thought it was the result of sin on my part, maybe. And I talked to God about that...

And suddenly I realized that maybe God had a reason for my size. It was a huge revelation. Maybe God had a plan for my PCOS. Maybe it was part of His Will for my life all along.

I'm not saying God was saying I would always have to suffer with PCOS or weight... and indeed, I'm finally losing it. But maybe God has a purpose, Peggy, for you to be where you are today. Yes, you could surely eat healthier and exercise more, and I'm not saying you shouldn't. But tell me where "thinner is godlier" is in the Bible? That verse about the Body being God's temple has nothing to do with exercise. It's strictly talking about sexual immorality, if read in context, and is constantly misused. Peggy, you are beautiful in God's eyes and He has a plan for your life-- which may or may not include weight loss. I mean, you might be overeating and idle, but if you've made an idol out of food or are sinning in sloth, those are issues you can address with God. But don't you know that has very little to do with your worth? Don't you realize there are lazy, overeating skinny people who are just blessed with good genes? I've met them. It's crazy. But it's also part of God's plan for their life.

"Thinner is better" is a value of the world. God has called us to be in the world but not of the world. When Christians embrace thinner is better... and I've been guilty of it... we're sinning. Yes, sinning. Because "pure religion is this: to take care of orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself undefiled by the world." When we define worth by waistline or weight loss, we are becoming defiled by the world.

Obviously, I have a health and fitness blog. I'm not saying embracing weight loss or calorie counting or weight lifting or whatever is a sin by itself. But Peggy, Jesus is ten thousand times more important than any of that, and indeed even more. And to Jesus, you are important.

I say that again. You are important.

So I encourage you to get active. Make diet changes. All this is good.

But first make sure you're getting a good diet of time with God. Make sure you're exercising your spirit in your prayer life. These things matter.

I told you that the Bible verse is misused that says our Bodies are a temple of God when Christians say that means we sin by being fat. But our bodies, fat or thin, short or tall, healthy or withering away are stones in the temple of God because the Holy Spirit dwells within. Respect Him by respecting your body, but realize your worth comes not from how you look, but from Who lies within you. This is what the "earthen vessels" verse is about.

And what does the Bible really say about our bodies, our actual bodies we're sitting in now?

It says they are merely tents, and God is preparing mansions for us. Tents are easily buffeted and torn and leak. Poles can collapse, they can be uncomfortable and miserable.

Sound familiar?

But Jesus is preparing a mansion for you. Now, indeed, I think that it is loving to take care of your tent, and not despise it, since God gave it to you. I mean, I'd rather have a tent than be homeless, wouldn't you? Tents are good.

But do you think Stephen and Peter and Paul and all the other martyrs were not loving Jesus when they allowed someone to stone or beat or hang or burn or crucify their tents?

Of course not! They were showing great, enormous love and faith by saying we are more than these tents and we believe that Jesus will rescue us and set us into our eternal dwellings.

So this idolatry that taking extreme care to always tend your tent means worshipping the Holy Spirit is unBiblical and ridiculous. Don't fall for it. After all Jesus said it's better to tear out your eye and enter the kingdom than to go to hell, right? Don't you think He would rather have you fat and in the kingdom than thin and committing idolatry at the altar of the gods of fitness?

Peggy, your body is precious and fearfully made. And I'm sorry it hurts to walk. I have plantar fasciitis and can imagine. And I do understand how "unmotivated" feels. And I have felt shame before, though not to the extent you're expressing. But remember, you can start. And hey, you said you need to lose at least 100 pounds... 128 is the goal I've set for myself, though I have less than 100 to go now. So I do get the enormity of losing that much.

But just focus on healthy right now, dear. Just more activity, cutting out some of the easier to trim less healthy food to start with. Yet focus more on your spiritual health. We all have to do that. I lose touch a lot actually. I'll be exercising like a madwoman but barely touching my Bible... and then I have to return to Jesus and confess that my priorities got screwed up. Balance is my weakness, in all areas of my life.

Even if I was 500 pounds, if I was worshipping Jesus and following His plan for me, I would be beautiful and righteous.

But even if I was 115 pounds and a super model, if I put worldly ambition above Him, I'd be like that proverb: Beauty in a woman without wisdom is like a gold ring in a pig's snout.

I'm not saying you're idolizing anything, Peggy, though examine your heart of course. But I do see that you're letting the opinion of those who are idolizing the perfect figure to determine whether or not you're going out.

Seek the Lord, Peggy. Let Him be your shield. And if He says go out, go out. If people say cruel things, but you're walking in obedience to God, let them not be barbs of shame, but your crown of thorns. Let them be beautiful for God, as proof you're crucifying yourself and suffering alongside Christ.

Maybe your weight is the result of sloth and gluttony and it will bring Him glory for you to repent of it and lose the weight. Or maybe your weight is the "thorn in your flesh" that God will never remove but teach you that His grace is sufficient. Or maybe your weight is even the cross you're carrying, beautiful to God as your crucify your Self which desires something very different. Maybe God's using your life as a tool to part the righteous from the unrighteous by seeing who treats you differently based only on the outward appearance, and not seeking Him to look within. Maybe your weight has never, ever been about you, but about God and the people He's bringing you in contact with...

I don't know. But He does, and He does have a plan.

And I know this. He loves you, Peggy. He loves you.

I love you too. I hope this was encouraging to you, or maybe someone else out there.

Thank you so much for commenting.