Fast Away the Old Year Passes

It’s nearly the end of 2018, and it’s been two years since I posted much of anything on this blog.  What a couple of years these have been.  

As you know, if you’ve been reading this blog (and let’s be honest, that readership pool primarily consists of me and my spouse), I started a new job in Fall 2015 and moved to a new city: Detroit, Michigan.  For a few years, my husband and I commuted back and forth on weekends to see each other, but late last year we finally bought a house and settled down in one place together.

Because we had twins.

That’s right, I’m now the proud and somewhat beleaguered parent of fraternal twin girls – who I will refer to on this blog as La Pelirroja and La Rubia (The Redhead and The Blonde) – who turned 1-years-old this past weekend.  

So, you see, there was not much moving or drinking of brews for the better part of a two years between being pregnant with twins and then nursing twins.  In hindsight, I wish I had pushed myself more to keep exercise when I was pregnant.  My OB told me not to let my heart rate get over 140 while I was pregnant, so that kept me from anything but a not-too-brisk walk, but I could have done more swimming.  There was nothing quite like swimming my third trimester and feeling gravity reassert itself when I hauled myself out of the pool.  (Onlookers always looked concerned.  Like perhaps I was a whale that was going to beach itself.)

But honestly, being pregnant with twins was not that bad for me.  I’ve got a tall frame, so there was enough room for two in there, and once I got over the first trimester morning sickness, which is often worse with twins because of the increased hormones, I didn’t suffer from any particular late term complications like gestation diabetes or high blood pressure.  I was very lucky.

There was an ongoing “discussion” with my OB about getting a C-section.  They more or less told me at day 1, “So, you’re having twins, which means we’re probably scheduling a C-section for 38 weeks.  Just so you know.”  I lost that particular battle because La Pelirroja was Baby A and in breech, so there was no way they were letting me attempt vaginal birth.  I may write a longer post, or posts, about the experience of pregnancy and birth at some point, but let’s sum up with: being pregnant is both empowering (“I’m creating life!”) and dis-empowering (“You can’t do [insert perfectly reasonable and non-crazy request like using a clear curtain during my C-section here]”).  Since I wasn’t about to move back to California, as one midwife at my OB’s practice suggested I do when I asked for the above-mentioned clear curtain, I had to do a lot of letting things go for the birthing process. 

But, we’re finally at a point where (maybe, maybe?) life is starting to calm down a bit, and I can once again go out into the world and drink coffee and beer, and perhaps start exercising again in earnest. 


Welcome Back

To me, that is.  It’s been months since I posted anything to this blog.  In part because I’ve been spending what free time I have looking for my next job and in part because I took on an extra class this semester, which took up the additional time I wasn’t spending on the road traveling.  I also have been reluctant to put much of anything personal on the Internet lately.  It can be such a judgmental, unkind place and that was not what I needed these past few months.

I’m still running, at about the same pace as last year.  I started half-marathon training a few months ago and it was going well until second rounds of interviews hit and then, traveling, cramming, skipped mid week runs, skipped long runs.  Next week’s Cap City Half Marathon could go either way.  I’m confident I can finish the event, but a PR, which is what I started training for, may not be in the cards.  I’m going to continue to aim for a 2:15 finish and if I don’t quite make it, I’ll still be on pace to PR.  I ran at 10:21 for my pace run today, but it was tough and even that’s not going to get me to 2:15.

My weight’s continued to creep back up.  It’s hovering in the 192-193 range.  My new weight goal is 172, a 20-lb loss.  This will, of course, require a renewed focus on nutrition and a gradual decrease in quantity and increase in quality in what I’m eating.  It’s also hard to cut back on food while training for a race, so I may try to shift my focus to more yoga and strength training for May-July while I transition to my new job.

Lots of changes ahead!

Friend Makin’ Monday: First Time Posting

This is a cross-blog quiz where you fill out your answers and then link to via a comment.  It feels like high school when I’d make up questionnaires and then circulate them to all my friends.  I hope I don’t end up feeling like the time in college when my friend Jen and I uncovered some of these old quizzes and I remembered I’d gone to see Titanic five times in theaters!


1.  What time did you go to bed last night? 11:15 p.m.  A little later than my goal of 11:00, but pretty good nonetheless.

2.  What is the last thing that made you smile? A photo of corgi butt over on the Corgnelius tumblr: Momos walking in unison

3.  What is the last movie you watched? Her.  We made it to a theater for the first time in forever on Saturday night.  Loved the movie and think Joaquin Phoenix has a good Oscar shot this year.

4. What did you have for breakfast today? Scrambled egg, half a multigrain French roll, half a grapefruit and coffee.

5. Would you rather mop all of your floors or do laundry? Laundry.  Aside from the folding, which I can watch tv while doing, it’s automatic.

6. Do you drink coffee? You bet.  My favorite is from the Hair Bender Blend from Stumptown, which now roasts in Portland and NYC, so it’s actually distributed to Columbus.  Right now, I’m drinking Pete’s Major Dickason’s Blend, which was the most appealing thing they had at my local supermarket.  Pete’s ended up buying out several Caribou Coffee’s in town, so they’re starting to have more brick and mortar presence in Columbus.  Some people were upset by that, but I prefer Pete’s to Caribou or Starbucks.

7.  Will you watch the Superbowl? Probably, but would have been more enthusiastic about it if the Niners had made it.  I don’t like rooting against Manning, but I’ll likely root Seahawks.

8. How often do you shop for groceries? About once a week, should go more often.

9.  What kind of workout will you do today? It’s “Strength and Stretch” day on my training schedule so I did Rodney Yee’s Yoga for Beginners to Stretch and a combo of bench press and squats for Strength.

10.  Do  you use a fitness tracker? I use FitBit One.  It’s been going a little crazy lately, but I like when it emails me with reminders to charge it!

The Fat Trap Revisited

This is from a journal entry from the end of 2011, but it still feels true today.  I notice that back then my goal was 160 and now it’s 170 – perhaps that means I’ve gotten a bit more accepting of myself in the past couple of years?

People act like “it’s my metabolism” is just an excuse us fat people make for being overweight, and always discredit us when we claim to exercise as much (if not more) than many people.

An article in the Times got me thinking about my own weight struggles.  It cites a study finding that people who have lost 10% of their body weight actually burn calories more slowly than people who are naturally that lower weight – and, bonus, the pleasure centers of their brain respond more when they see food.

“After you’ve lost weight, your brain has a greater emotional response to food,” Rosenbaum says. “You want it more, but the areas of the brain involved in restraint are less active.” Combine that with a body that is now burning fewer calories than expected, he says, “and you’ve created the perfect storm for weight regain.”

Over the past 10 years or so I’ve lost about 55 pounds (and regained about 25 of it).  I’ve gone from 235 all the way down to 175, only to see my weight creep back up to 185 and then 195, and now right around 200.  That means at one point I’d lost about 23% of my total body weight and am now about 15% lighter than my starting weight.

A lot of my weight gain was having an office job that kept me at the computer 12+ hours a day, but even then I was seeing a trainer two or three times a week.  The trainer is what kept me around 190.  Now that we can no longer afford a trainer (and despite a honeymoon that involved hiking and tons of walking) say hello to 10 more pounds.

How did I make it down to 175?  Caloric restriction and exercise, plus sleeping 13 hours a day.  Yes, that’s right, 13 hours.  By the end of that year I was forcing myself to go to the gym, rarely ate out, and ate about a bowl of cereal and a sandwich a day.  When I told my doctor I felt listless and depressed even though I was getting more exercise than ever, she ran a blood test and discovered I had hypothyroidism.  Being put on synthroid to increase my thyroid hormones only seemed to make me hungrier (probably a good thing since my eating habits weren’t sustainable or particularly healthy).  I was living alone that year and rarely saw friends and family.  I might have been on my way to anorexia without even knowing it, which is ironic because I’ve always joked I don’t have the self-control for anorexia and, of course, all I got for my weight loss were compliments on how good I looked.  A woman has to be very thin indeed in this society for people to start telling her she’s too skinny.

Here I am, starting 2012 with the desire to once again shave 20% off my body weight and get down to 160 pounds, but now that I think more about it, I don’t know if that’s even a realistic goal.  The health magazines and purveyors of “diet du jour” (medically approved!, it’s your bowels!, turn to God!) tell you it’s possible to lose weight and experience a range of enhanced well being by the increased self-control of healthier eating, exercise, etc., and while I believe in the importance of a diet full of whole foods and low on the processed stuff, I’ve been living that way for a decade and it hasn’t kept my weight from moving back up the scale.

What it will take to lose even 20 pounds is an immense amount of effort on my part, both in exercising, and in forcing myself to eat much, much less than my 45 pounds lighter spouse.  It won’t seem fair.  It won’t be fun. This sounds harder than making it through law school…